Monday, December 21, 2009

Watch out for Dogs

Dear Family and Friends!

Merry Christmas! Wow. It is hard to believe how fast the past year has absolutely flown by, especially the past 6 months. Has it really been 6 months? Yep, I think so. But boy is that hard to believe. SO much has happened and so much has changed in my life.

Lance, I liked your talk! Good job. For trainer training, I basically just help Sister Michel teach Sister Cabello what she needs to know how to do. Next transfer I could be Senior Companion, but we won't find that out for a while yet. It would depend if we're getting another Spanish sister in the mission. Honestly, we don't have anyone who is progressing. Actually, we do have one with a baptismal date for January 2, but she hasn't been to church yet, so we'll have to move that. And another is progressing--she's just not ready for baptism yet. We actually just dropped a lot of people because we weren't getting anywhere. My language is coming along. I'm not doing as well and understanding everything I want to yet, but then I remember that I haven't even been speaking Spanish for 6 months yet. I have a whole year to continue improving. Most people think I'm a native speaker because of my accent and complexion. They call me "la morena con ojos claros" (the dark skinned, dark haired girl with light eyes).

Monday: P-day. We had to clean the car well for car inspections at zone conference, and spent about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes vacuuming and cleaning the windows and everything. But our car was clean for zone conference on Thursday. We also went to the dollar store and bought white-elephant gifts for the elders--something ridiculous (i.e. coal) and a singing Christmas tie. Yes, at the dollar store. We opened our gift for the first day of Christmas: a mini Christmas tree with nativity ornaments. I had been thinking that morning that if I saw a nativity set in the dollar store that I'd get it because our apartment needed a nativity. My mother must have been inspired.

Tuesday: We did lots of knocking doors. When I looked at our tracting record at the end of the night and counted the number of doors we knocked, the total came to 65. That's a lot of doors. Our gift for the second day of Christmas was a container of homemade oreo cookies. In the poem, it said something about how we were feeling beat... that was an understatement! We were exhausted! And when we thought about how long ago the cookies were made, because they had to get here and they've been sitting under our tree for almost 2 weeks, Sister Michel and I turned to each other and said "I don't even care!" And Sister Michel wants the recipe, por favor.

Wednesday: My music for zone conference finally arrived, thank goodness! I was really starting to freak out! We helped Felipe put up his Christmas lights on his house. Sister Good is the tallest of the bunch, so I was the lucky one chosen to stand on the chair and hang them on the nails on the house. Don't worry, the chair was completely stable. No broken bones. We went to Sonic for lunch because we forgot to make food and when I went to start our car, the battery was dead. The manager is in one of our wards, so he came over (along with his general manager who was also there) and helped us out. And we got chewed out for paying, too, because he likes to treat us to lunch when we're there. Later that night, we went to visit a less-active family. They have a ginormous dog. I don't like this dog during the day, and during the night it's even worse. And it was of course dark. One of the girls took the dog to the back so we could get in the house, but he got away and Sister Good was the lucky missionary at the back of the line. Needless to say, there's a nice chunk missing out of the back of my leg. They felt horrible. I immediately put peroxide on the bite to clean it out and a bandaid. We helped them put up their Christmas tree. Our gift for the 3rd day of Christmas was a Mo-Tab CD, just in time because we were starting to get sick of our other 3 Christmas CDs. I cleaned out the bite good and put some neosporin and some gauze with an elastic bandage over it. My first-aid kid that I didn't think I'd use got put to good use. And in reading the "how to treat wounds" insert, I read that you shouldn't use peroxide because it slows down the healing... oops. So I used a bottle of clean water because the water at our apartment is nasty and followed the directions and poured the water in a ziplock bag with a hole in the corner to squirt into the bite to clean it out good. That really kinda hurt.

Thursday: While the other sisters were in the shower, I sat down at my desk and "practiced" my song for zone conference. Luckily I have played the song, Paul Cardall's "Silent Night", before. And I did have time to run through it on a real piano once before Zone Conference. There was an amazing spirit at the Conference. For one of the activities, they had us write a letter to the Savior. I encourage all of you to do this sometime between now and Christmas. Just write what you want Him to know. It was an amazing activity. The whole conference had a very special Spirit. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here. I told Sister Anderson about my bite (a nice hole in my leg and a huge bruise), and after assuring me that there have been no rabies in New Mexico in over 60 years, she told me that I took care of it properly, just to watch it for signs of infection. And as she walked away, she told me, "You must have been a tasty morsel." That made me laugh. The talent show was hilarious! I recorded most of it on my camera, and will send my chip home after Christmas. Mom, make sure you save the videos on a CD or DVD for me please! I don't want to lose them, and after you watch the videos, you'll see why. And maybe you can post me and the Anderson's talent on my blog... actually, on second thoughts... just the Andersons. Theirs was SO much better than mine. They handed out the Christmas packages. Sister Cabello didn't get anything from home, but the Anderson's daughter made sure that she had a package with gifts to open on Christmas morning. And our gift for the 4th day of Christmas was some cocoa and popcorn. Yummy!

Friday: We did our weekly planning, or attempted to. Our minds were definitely not in the right place. We all had a very hard time focusing. We were over here, then we were over there. I'm sure you can imagine. Planning Christmas morning will be a disaster, I'm sure! We also went to a rehabilitation center to visit a sister who joined the church in September. She is from Albuquerque, but since we're the sisters here, the office called and asked us to go visit her. And come to find out, the missionary who baptized her is one of our zone leaders and the rehabilitation center is in his area. We also went to help the Luna's set up for Fernanda's quincenera party. It was good to see them again! Our gift for the 5th day of Christmas was an ornament for our tree. It's a good thing we have a big tree, because those ornaments would have completely overpowered the little tree mom sent us. And craziness... judging from letters and members here with children at BYU-Idaho, I realized that I would have been packing to move home for the last time if I weren't here. Umm... I am so not ready for that, so I'm VERY glad that I'm here. Thinking of student teaching is kind of a terrifying thought, though it will be here before I know it.

Saturday: It was super warm (in the 50s)--I didn't wear a jacket all day. We had district meeting, which totally threw our brains off, and interviews with President. I always love having interviews with President Anderson! He is such an inspired man! I also showed Sister Anderson the bite on my leg, and she said that it doesn't look like it's getting infected, but to keep an eye on it. For the 6th day of Christmas, our gift was a set of Christmas kitchen towels. They're almost too cute to use, but we're using them.

Sunday: It was super nice again. I didn't even take a coat with me (but I had my warmest blazer on). The Spanish service was combined with the Bernalillo Ward for the Christmas program and the lucky sister missionaries got to translate. There were a lot of scriptures and I read most of those, and translated the last paragraph. And I was terrified to do that. Maybe I'm not so confident with my translating abilities as I thought I was. We also drove around in the dark trying to find some inactive members who might speak Spanish (judging from their names), but it was impossible to find house numbers. That is a much better day-time activity. Bernalillo is a very dark little town. Our gift for the 7th day of Christmas was a booklet by President Monson called "The Search for Jesus." It was a nice talk to read. And when I unwrapped my bite (I've been keeping neosporin and an elastic bandage on it) it was looking better and the bite site doesn't hurt, but the bruise is looking worse and does hurt. I'm taking pictures, so you'll see those when I send my memory card home.

Busy week, no? And mom, don't freak out, but I woke up this morning and my leg was really hurting. When I got out of the shower and looked at it, I wondered if it was infected. So I called Sister Anderson who sent me to the doctor. We spent 1 1/2 hours in the urgent care walk-in clinic to be seen by the doctor for 10 minutes. He looked at it and cleaned it and told me that it isn't infected, that it looks the way it does because it is healing. He told me how to keep taking care of it, and said they'll call me if anything unusual comes up in the skin culture he took. So no infection, but I'll have a pretty nasty scar when I get home.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! I love you all, and can't wait to talk to you on Friday! I'll call sometime in the early to mid-afternoon, so you better all be around because I only have 40 minutes and don't want to waste a minute waiting for anyone to get to the phone.

Love, Hermana Good

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