This week has been a great week of holiday fun here in Paraguay.
Christmas is a lot different here in South America than in the States. Instead of going to bed and waking up tranquilo Christmas morning, everyone stays up until midnight and then sets off bombas, fireworks and eat asado. And when I say asado, we're talking a barbeque FULL of meats, sausages, chicken plus whatever fruit salad, juice, sopa Paraguaya o Chipa Guasu that they have for sides.
On the 24th we had a zone "Christmas" conference. We had a testimony meeting, thoughts from President and his wife and ate lunch while watching the Christmas videos put out by the church.
Hermana Còrdova and I did not know that we would eat lunch with the zone and we had planned to eat lunch with a menos activa in our area that lives alone and far from family to celebrate the holidays. Not wanting to cancel our appointment we figuratively "loosened our belts" and ate two lunches. We had a great time getting to know Lina and even though we were full, the food was delicious at her house as well.
For Christmas Eve we were allowed to stay out until 11pm and we passed our time with the Familia Oveido. We ate asado and watched the kids set off their various pyrotechnics. When we got to eating asado I was still super full from our lunches, so I just portioned a little bit of meat and fruit salad to eat. Taking the role of a loving Paraguayan mother, Hermana Oveido told me to not be embarrassed and placed at least 3 more servings of meat on my plate and would not be pleased until I ate all of it. I don't think I've ever been so full in my life.
Christmas morning we got up and opened the gifts from our packages and then went out to do some service. We moved a huge pile of roof tiles for the Familia Dure. The roof tiles had been sitting in their terreno for over two years and it seemed that a colony of scorpions, spiders, frogs, geckos and other various bugs had taken home in the pile of ceramics. Que miedo. With the help of Hermano Dure and my comp, I was able to move the tiles that had been thoroughly cleared of all creepy-crawlies and we were able to clear out the area so they could start building an addition to their house.
Later Christmas day we got to skype our families and that was so fun. Even though we're miles apart, I'm grateful for technology and the fact that my family is just a skype call away.
Every year around Christmas time we think of Christ's birth and what we can do to give a gift to Him. This year as I was thinking of what I could give my Savior I realized that I really only have one thing to give. He's given me life, the opportunity to serve, all of the things I have - the only thing I have to give is my voluntad. After reviewing DyC 4, I am even more determined to serve with all my might mind and strength, giving my all to the work I've been called to do this up coming year.
I love you all, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!