Have a Sandy Christmas Y'all!
Greetings and salutations from the sandy kingdom of El Paso! I hope y'all are enjoying your snowy Christmas (it ain't Christmas without snow, eh?). El Paso Christmas's are very different. Most people do all of their celebrating on Christmas Eve, and we get a lot of Mexican food and baking to celebrate the season.
Including are pictures of us making 10 pounds of Tamales with the Gonzalez and Arny families. The Arnys were the ones actually in the photo with their two kids. The salsa photo is some crazy hot salsa from Brother Durran. He made it with Jalapenos, soy sauce, and some other crazy stuff. I ate it on pork rhines. It was very hot, but I impressed them. There's also a Christmas picture with the Jones family and their two daughters. They're moving to Oklahoma, so that was my last time with their two daughters, Kayla and Autumn. That family is a super hero family to say the least!
We were talking with a recent convert about his beautiful car with black flames along the sides. We said, "Oh, is that your body shop that did this?" He replied, "No, it's my Grandma's." I said, "Dang, your Grandma's hardcore." He said, "Yeah, I get that a lot..." A salute to all of our hardcore grandma's out there during this Christmas season.
So there's this awesome waiter in China Wok that always makes my food with love. I've mentioned him in previous emails. His name is Hector. I said, "This is the best waiter in town." He replied, "It's 'cause I'm on drugs all the time!" 'Twas hilarious, but slightly sad, because it's probably true. Hector's a good man. I salute your masterful waitering Hector.
This past week we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Keddington, who is from the northern part of Utah. While we were looking to contact a media referral we'd received, we got sort of lost, due to the GPS not updating, etc. We went into the entirely wrong apartment complex and came upon their laundry room. While we were getting directions from a man doing his laundry, a woman came up behind us and introduced herself as "Sister Pragner." We were shocked to say the least. It turns out she's a recent convert of three years, her daughter just got married in the temple, and we came at the perfect time in her life. It was an absolute miracle and afterwards we felt very strongly that we had just been an answer to someone's prayer, probably her daughter's.
We recently met with a very large family that we've been working with on and off for quite awhile. They're always a lot of fun, and we're planning on spending part of Christmas Eve with them. Their friends the Hales joined us. I had a very special heart to heart conversation with Brother Hale. I taught him and his wife about the Book of Mormon, while Elder Gawrych taught one of the Dell's daughters about the nature of God. He helped her out with a lot of confusion she has and problems she's going through. That was my favorite time teaching someone about The Book of Mormon because they were so hungry to know more. They were very sincere and genuine. It was an amazing experience and I saw the power of the Spirit working within them.
Just before visiting them, we spent time at the hospital, helping a part-member family cope with their new-born daughters health failure and eventual death. It was a special spirit there. We gave the parents and the dying daughter blessings. I felt the love of God and the powers of Heaven as we ministered unto them. It was another humbling experience, reiterating to me God's love for all of us.
May we all remember our Savior this Christmas season and renew our commitment to serve Him. God bless you all and Merry Christmas.