Monday, December 26, 2011

¡Feliz Navidad!

Elder Sims via Skype on Christmas Day!
A week before Christmas, we were told we could Skype with our families for about 45 minutes on Christmas Day.  A family in my new area had a computer with Internet service, so I talked to my family and saw their Christmas presents.  It was hard speaking in English, because I was still thinking in Spanish.  But it was nice to use Skype again!

Thanks to Grandma Manning and Grandma Sims for sending new ties!  I needed them.  I wore one of them on Christmas Day.  My family also sent me a new backpack, a watch (I lost my old one in a moto), a T-shirt, and plenty of candy.  We got together as a mission on Christmas Eve, and the office had held on to all the postal packages to distribute to us then.  It really felt like Christmas! I walked around with my backpack on even though I didn't have anything in it.  The Peruvians like to shoot off fireworks on Christmas Eve, so we were awake listening to those around midnight.

The night before (so, Friday), there was a ward party.  I got to play the piano a bit, which I haven't been able to do for a long time.  I really liked having time to play some of my favorite songs like Carol of the Bells and O Holy Night. 

My new companion is Elder Perero from Ecuador.  He is a recent convert and he loves learning new things, so it's fun to teach him what I surprisingly still remember from Seminary. I didn't think I paid that much attention...haha.  He's a good companion. 

Mom sent me a tree earlier in the month, and Greg and I set it up in the apartment.  You can see from the picture how excited Greg was.  The light saber was a little too big for him, though.

Greg starts celebrating a little early

Greg likes the new truck he got; it was hiding in Kristian's new backpack

Elder Sims on Christmas Day with a ward member and other Elders

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Responsibilities

I'm in an area called Lopez Albujar. It's exactly across the street (to the west) from where I was before. It's a different zone but I've barely moved at all. I'm the district leader now with a district of 8. It's very interesting and a new experience but it's going better than I thought. I think that the biggest surprise is that now I'm the example. There are a lot of new missionaries so I have to demonstrate good principles and everything.  Thanks to all for the well wishes and I hope that all goes well for you this Christmas :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Transfers and Donuts

I'll be leaving San Pedro this week, and I'll be with an Elder who has just finished his training, but I don't know where I will be going yet.  I hope everyone is having fun with their Christmas celebrations.  Sometimes it's hard to even remember it is Christmastime here without our usual traditions, and it will definitely be my least materialistic Christmas ever.  At least I'll be able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, even if it will probably be 100° soon.

This Sunday one of the members who has his own restaurant in his house taught us how to make "picarones," which are like scones or donuts. They're pretty delicious, although most of the ones that Elder Arestizabal and I did didn't turn out very good. We ate fettuccini alfredo for lunch too, with parmesan cheese... I miss parmesan cheese. Apparently it's really expensive here. But yesterday was a good day to eat!