Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas with the Crazy People of Iowa

Hey there!  This week's been a weird/great one for sure but I loved every minute... well maybe not Christmas Eve's dinner but besides that it was great!

Christmas Eve's dinner...

Christmas Eve's dinner...
Christmas Eve, we went over to Presidente Lagunas house and had dinner with his whole family.  The people were great, the weather outside was a nice and warm 15 degrees, and the food was...special.  I knew coming out on my mission that the food would be weird and I promised myself I would try anything that they put in front of me... but when they plopped the giant goat stomach on the table, I started having second thoughts.  They told us they emptied the stomach and intestines of the goat (which they killed themselves in their basement) and then put the intestines and the blood back in the stomach and cooked it like that.  It was easily the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten but I did it!  Soooo gross.   
Christmas Eve Pajamas (They're amazing by the way, thank you!)
After that the ZL's came over with all their presents and slept over so we could open them all together Christmas morning.  
All the stuff I got

My presents :)

Cheesy matching hats.

Thank you so much for all the presents!  I loved every single one of them, including my own 1/2 eaten jar of nutella from home :)    Skyping home was easily the best present of all though.  You guys looked so happy and I was so glad to see your faces!  

Now let me tell you about what's been going on since Wednesday!  Elder Juan's had a mix of super bad back pain and some kind of sickness so he's been out of commission for about 3 days.  We go to work for about 2 hours and then he can't even walk anymore so we get a ride from the other Elders home and he goes to bed.  The doctor also gave him this really strong muscle relaxant for his back which just knocks him right out so I've been doing a lot of studying lately.    I learned something really cool this week though that I want to share with you :)  In Matthew 28:19, in English it says, "Go and teach all nations..."  but in the Spanish version it says (translated) "Go and make disciples of all nations..."  That's so cool!  That's really what all of us 80,000+ missionaries are out trying to do!  We're not just trying to teach a few lessons to people and dunk them into some water and hope for the best after that,  we're out to teach people the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ  and help them to increase the faith they already have unto repentance, baptism by immersion, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, and become a true disciple of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I love being a missionary :)
Elder Juan during one of his naptimes.  He was only half awake in his drug-induced state so I said, "Hey Elder Juan, do you want Scott Thompson (The stuffed animal he recieved as a Christmas Present from Sisters Scott and Thompson)?"  and he said "mmmm" so I took that as a Yes, got it for him, and he cuddled right up to it :)  He was really confused when he woke up.  

Last cool story is about Javier.  Javier is Presidente Lagunas less-active nephew.  We started talking to him and inviting him out to things like Basketball with the Elders on P day and the Branch Christmas Party and he comes everytime!  We finally sat down and talked with him a few weeks ago and he said he really wants to turn his life around.  He's come to church 3 weeks in a row now, reads in the Book of Mormon everyday, and is now working towards getting the Priesthood and hopefully a mission when he turns 18 next year!   I love the kid.  He's like our best friend now :)
My First Cornfield :)

Anyways thats all I got!  Love you! 

Lots of love,
Elder Zack

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