So the day of Christmas eve we went to go send a video to president and to our families in the cyber. The people that were working there asked us if we wanted to dress up as Santa for a little bit and wave to people as they drove by! We told them that we could do it for our service for the week! So we each did 30 minutes dressed up as Santa! I was definitely a skinny Santa. It was HOT! Later on for Christmas Eve we got to go up to that beach area again and have a huge dinner that was basically all great meat :)
It was so nice to be able to enjoy that time with a great family that is always doing things for others and wanting us to enjoy this Christmas Season. We had permission to be out later so we were there until 1030 and it was dark enough so Ezekiel their kid lit some fire works and threw some bombs - haha little did I know that this was just a small precursor to later. So we took the taxi back to our house and went to bed.
That didn't last long! At 11:55 pm we started hearing a few fireworks go off and by midnight it was like there was a war!!! Almost every house in the town was shooting off fireworks! We quickly hopped up onto the roof and wow that was an amazing sight!! I thought we had Spirit and lit a lot of fireworks for the 4th of July... Not even!!! I have never seen so many fireworks at one time and how loud it was too! Was a fun Christmas Eve.
Then Christmas came and I loved being able to Skype the family! Everyone was doing really well and looking a ton different too! Needless to say that Justin looks like a mofia member, that was the biggest surprise for me! The minutes flew that I was able to talk to them but I really enjoyed it! That night we then went caroling at some old persons homes and a few members too! It was way fun to be able to sing the songs and the Old People loved it!!
Then Saturday during lunch we got a call from President. We knew that Changes were the next Monday and that probably meant one of us were leaving. Well he told us that Elder Toledo was going to train somebody again and that I was going to go to Rivera. It was a little bit of a shocker for me and at first I couldn't really believe that I was going to be leaving Carmelo. This has become my home since the MTC. Ya E Toledo was a great comp and I am definitely going to miss him a ton.
But luckily I was able to have one last baptism there in Carmelo Saturday night. And it was one that I will never forget. Mirta is 88 years old and has Alzheimer's so some things she doesn't remember but she understood the lessons and remembered a lot of it. But interestingly enough she forgot about the baptism part when we opened the door to walk down into the font, she did not want to get wet! After 15 minutes of gentle coaxing she finally got in and both Elder Toledo and I were there. He took her in his arms and I took her legs while plugging her nose and we both just dropped into the water.
Sunday was my final day and the President of the Rama gave me 10 minutes to speak to the Rama. It was a little nerve racking to have that much time but it actually went really well. I talked about Mosiah 2:41 and how we truly are blessed in everything if we follow the commandments. And how much I enjoyed being able to serve there and ¨grow up¨ in the town of Carmelo!
After Church we borrowed the bikes again and went around to pretty much everyone to say goodbye which was pretty hard for me and then the last house was of Eduardo who was the convert that I was able to work with him and his family the whole time. They had an awesome cake for me.
And they also told me that when they are going to get sealed as a family that they are going to invite me! I couldn't have asked for a better way to leave them hearing about their plans of going to the temple in a year to be sealed as a family! Carmelo said goodbye to me the best possible way it could have - I love SUNSETS! It was unreal! The entire sky was bright yellow and orange, the photo doesn't do it justice!
Rivera is awesome though! I have only been here for one day but I have already been into Brazil and dying of the heat. Its going to be getting up to 125 degrees here and last night I woke drenched in sweat, this is going to be interesting. My new companion is from Spain, Elder Zapata! He is way awesome and we are going to have a great time here in Rivera! Elder El Bakri & I are both up in Rivera together..... so we will get to see some of each other still.
I love this work! The blessings and Miracles that come through missionary work and the Gospel of Christ are amazing! There is only one path that leads us to Eternal Life and we need to do everything we can to help others find it and do everything we can to stay on it. I know that through Christ we can stay on the path by following the commandments and his example. We can get back onto the path through repentance, and move forward with growing faith in him and trying to perfect ourselves. Love you guys and hope you have a great week! Set Goals and lets make 2014 great!! Happy New Year from Uruguay!
p.s. Enjoy the last of the photos from Carmelo! Here they come from Rivera now! (I have updated the links to the side - Lisa)