Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 5, 2016

 I wonder who is getting the foot massage for Christmas

 Dear Family,

It's been pretty much your average week over here. The Christmas initiative of course began this week so that's exciting. It's been a little different from last year. A year ago I mainly used it as a tracting tool and shared it with as many random people as possible. This year we've been helping the ward members get excited about it so they can share it with their friends. I think that will end up being more effective in the long run.

The First Presidency devotional was really awesome last night though. I liked how focused on the Atonement and Plan of Salvation it was. It's really sad to see people forget about those things during Christmas. It seems like everyone down here either gets caught up in money and stuff or just don't enjoy Christmas at all. We were lucky enough to be able to watch the devotional with some members. It's always fun to be with families around Christmas. The night got me thinking about why missionaries are specifically told to call home on Christmas. You call on Mother's Day out of tradition but the white handbook rule is call "your parents on Christmas and one other time during the year (usually Mother’s Day)." I think the reason is that a missionary's job is to testify of Christ and that includes to family. Christmas is the best opportunity to do that. Anyway, looking forward to it! I'll most likely call at 9:00am or 3:00pm your time your time. I'm not sure what the plans are yet. Plus, there's a small chance I'll be transferred next week.

This week I was also able to go on exchange with Elder Mendoza who's from Honduras. We got to share the Christmas initiative with a few families which was fun. It was interesting to do language study with him too. He has a pretty good vocabulary but has some trouble with grammar. He kept asking me questions about things people say that don't make sense to him and it made me realize how bad most English speakers are with grammar when they speak. All I could say most of the time was, "Well Elder Mendoza, that is not the way English was meant to be spoken so I don't know how to help you there." I did my best to explain words like "gonna" though.

That's about as interesting as my week got. I'll keep you in the loop as far as Christmas and transfers go.

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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