Hola! Feliz Navidad!
Can you believe it, second Christmas in Peru, but really it's more like the first because the last one I was in the CCM.
Christmas in Peru is different. There is no snow. Lots of really cheesy Christmas decorations. There isn't really Christmas music. I mean there are those kids songs translated into Spanish, but CHIRSTMAS music doesn't exist. That really is a shame. Traditions in Peru for Christmas. Well the kids stay up all night. You know in the states how we tell kids to go to bed or Santa won't come. Yeah that doesn't go here. Everyone is up ALL night with fireworks, salsa music. They open their gifts at midnight. Also the people here don't put the baby Jesus into their nativity sets until midnight on Christmas because they say that the Baby Jesus hasn't been born yet. They also stuff you full of PANATON!! Its fruit cake! I can handle a slice every now and then, be we are talking about days and days of Panaton! YUCK! Oh and despite the fact that its hot here they drink hot chocolate. Anyhow that's some Christmas fun facts for you. I haven't actually lived Christmas yet, but that's what they tell me is going to happen.
This week . . . my companion got bit by a dog, and she got bit good. She had to get stitches, and since she got bit in the leg the doctor told her she couldn't walk till she got her stitches out. So guess who was stuck in the house all week again! Ugh. Perhaps I didn't learn what I was supposed to learn the last time my companion was sick. Poor girl. I know she wants to work. I think the Lord is teaching us both something.
But thankfully Hermana Venegas has so much faith that if she can't go find the baptisms they come and find her. Friday a less active member came to the talent show we did. She has two children that aren't baptized and she really didn't want them to. But then on Friday they stole from a bunch of the members. The mom talked to the bishop, she is in over her head. He suggested she let us come visit and see if we could help. He sons are really sweet, but they are naughty. It's not their fault nor their moms. She is a single mom, her husband abandoned them a few years back, she doesn't have any family in Lima. So she has to work all day. Which leaves her three sons who are 11, 9 and 7 home alone all day. She sends them to school at eight and then she comes home at 1 in the morning. Basically her kids are just left to run around the streets of Peru. After the hole stealing incident she talked to her boss to change her hours. She now is working from 4 in the afternoon till 1 in the morning. Not ideal but it gives her more time with her sons. The pay cut though is going to be really tough for her.
It was cute though. We taught her sons about baptisms about keeping the commandments and her nine year old son said he wanted to get baptized. So I asked him why, and he said. "When you do bad stuff, you become a slave to the Devil and he will say stuff like you should rob that person and then you do it and you are sad. But if I get baptized I get to have a friend, the Holy Ghost and he is going to say, No don't rob that person, and then I won't rob them and I will be happy." ha-ha it was adorable to see how he understood the lesson. Her Eleven year old son was baptized when he was a baby so his little seven year old brother asked why he needed to be baptized again and before we could even answer Benny the eleven year old says "I don't even remember making any promises the first time, so I've got to do it for reals this time so I remember my promises I´ve made." It's even sweeter when you can hear their little voices talking in Spanish. I love teaching them. It's an adventure teaching them in a way so that they will pay attention. Lots of pictures. Short lessons and a game at the end that has something to-do with the lesson. It really tests my companions patience teaching them. Maybe its because I'm hyper active with a short attention span, but I love it.
Basically all is well here in Peru. I'm defiantly missing you all this Christmas season. But not too much, really seeing as there is no snow and no family it's not Christmas. I'm excited to get to talk to my family tomorrow!!!!
Have a Merry Christmas.
Kiss someone under the mistletoe for me.
Love you all!
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart