Thanks a bunch to everyone that sent a card my way, it was wonderful to hear from many of my friends. Christmas was a good one. My zone went caroling both Christmas Eve and Christmas day to a rehabilitation center and the VA hospital. Both nights the dinners were good, both families were happy to have us and it meant a lot to have a nice Christmas dinner. Christmas day was one to remember. My companion had to call international to the Bahamas to talk to his father, and we had to do that at the mission home. We get there and our president's entire family is there. Children, grandchildren, it was packed. We were the only Elders there. It was in the morning, and we got there when they were getting ready to open presents. As my companion called home Sister Winn invited me downstairs with the family. I hesitated but thought, "why not?" So down we went. Seeing President Winn in normal clothes and being called Grandpa threw me for a loop, it was weird. As they started opening presents I had to keep it together. Seeing the grandkids reminded me of my niece and two nephews, and knowing all my family was together made me very, very sad. I excused myself and went back upstairs to call my family. My mother asked me if I had a cold, my throat had a frog in it. I told her it was from yelling at the zone activity the night before, but really I was choking back, trying not to cry. (You win mom, I DO miss my family! Haha I thought I would never be home sick, I was going great, nearly 7 months, but that morning I was very homesick!)
The rest of the day was chill, we just went around and say hello to people. That night all the missionaries in the valley met up at the mission office for treats. Elders Carter, Orr, Calderwood, and myself (again, my district 14E brothers) were talking in a group. President Winn came up to us and said he was glad he had the four of us together. He told us to all prepare ourselves in the next few months, because we were all going to be stepping up in leadership, and that we would be the ones leading the mission....come again! We were floored when he said that. So who knows, come conference time I could be a district leader or something, and once we are around that year mark, I bet a few of us will be zone leaders. I guess we have been out a long time, we really aren't greenies anymore, even though people in Utah consider you a greenie until your year mark, and almost going home right after you pass that milestone! Go figure, Utah, I'll never understand this place.
The Nepali people are, interesting. They are very nice, but Christianity is something totally new to most of them. Even the ones that are already Christian, they don't see the need to meet with missionaries, or be baptized again. Most say, when we bring up baptism, is, "We wait for rest of family to come from Nepal." I am told that's a nice way of saying, "Not a fat chance." Most already have 20+ members of their family here, but apparently second cousins and their dogs are considered family members in Nepal. I am definitely racking my brain trying to figure out how to help the Nepali people. We cover all Nepalis and just the one ward the Nepali people come to because they have translation available. The ward is a small one, typical Utah size, so if we are not teaching Nepali, our numbers our small. We have a handful of English speaking investigators, but we will need to constantly be finding new investigators. I love the Nepali people already. the other day I had my first Nepali meal. It was rice, curry, and fried eggs, all in a pan. You eat with your hands, a first for me. I struggled trying to get the food into my mouth, with the curry is was all very slippery! The family laughed at my techniques and showed me the proper way to eat with your hands. I never knew there was such a thing! I am picking up on phrases and words, and hopefully as I continue to try and think of different ways to get through to them, I will be able to have a simple conversation in Nepali.
I am excited for the 2011, I know that many great experiences await me this upcoming year, as long as I work hard and do my best. The Lord will bless me in the development of my talents, and strengthen my weaknesses.