Here in Peru for the new year, they burn a doll. Not like a toy doll that they don’t want. They make a doll out of stuffing and old clothes into the form of someone or something that they don’t like or that they want to change. Imagine like a scarecrow, meant to be an actual person or idea, and that’s what the dolls look like. There was one that was as big as a two story building. Pretty cool! We didn’t stay up late or anything. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. They do fireworks but they’re not worth staying up for. Anyway, we would still have to wake up at 6:30am. On Christmas and New Year’s (practically this whole past week and a half) it’s been a challenge finding new people to teach. Everyone has been drunk! It’s a struggle, but we’re pushing through. I’m just glad that these holidays are over, finally! Haha. I’m training a new missionary right now and its going good. I’m learning what it’s like to be a parent a little bit. In the mission, when you’re a trainer, you’re a dad. When you’re a trainee, you’re a son. It’s requiring a lot of patience, love, and mercy but we’re getting there! My companion is Elder Yaguana, from Ecuador. He’s 24 years old. He converted at 17 years old but was inactive for about 4 years.) He’s great! We’re both learning a lot together. We had an experience on Friday…we have our weekly planning session that’s 4 hours every Friday. At the end of it you have a companionship inventory to make sure that everything is good between you guys. I started it and told him his good qualities, and then told him that he can do better with one thing, and that was it. I was super nice and loving about it, I promise. Then it was his turn. He immediately started to cry. He just started bawling and talking through the tears. I’m really not even sure what he said, other than the fact that he’s really glad to have a gringo companion that’s obedient. I didn’t understand him very well, because he doesn’t speak very clearly, but its fine. I got the jist of it. He’s doing fine now!
We’ve been teaching a less active lady and her husband. We want to bring them to the temple and get them sealed. She told me the other day that she had a dream about me when she was 19 years old. She just recently realized that it was me. She recognized my face this week. This was over 10 years ago. Pretty crazy, but also cool. I didn’t really know how to respond though. "Oh wow, that’s awesome! Well, see ya later!" Anyways, cool stuff!
Tell Dad happy birthday for me. I love him so much! I miss him! It was amazing being able to talk to him on Christmas!
Tell the family I love them. Know that I know the gospel is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I have a story about him that I need to tell you next week.