Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hermana Mercado's 20th Letter from Chile

What to say, what to say.... This past week was full of lots of
things. We had a sleepover in our pension. The Hermanas from the cost
came to sleep in our house last Sunday night because they had to do
things in the city the next day, and Monday night as well because we
had our mission Christmas party Tuesday! Hermana Wiltse (she's dying),
Hermana Carter (she was in my first district in the MTC), and Hermana
Grimaldi (Hermana Iroz's trainer). It was a fun time.

Our Christmas party consisted of skits from all the zones, a Christmas
song from all the zones, a talk from our President, a lunch, and a
white elephant gift exchange. I got a Chilean pen. It was a good time,
but a little formal. I wish their had been more games.

The day before the world was supposed to end, it rained. It usually
doesn't rain during this time of year. People were a little freaked

And the day the world was supposed to end, we had to go to the city to
take out Hermana Iroz's carnet. Lots of lines. And riding the metro.
Our ward had a talent show that night as well. It was really good. La
obra misional (a.k.a. us) sang "Jesus en Pesebre".

Sunday, we went out caroling with the Elderes/Sumo Sacerdotes of our
ward. It was really fun. And lots of contacts :)

Monday I talked with my beloved family through Skype. It was
wonderful. And my basement is completely different.

Then, in the evening we and the elders had dinner with Obispo's
family. People in Chile stay up till midnight (when the viejito
pascuero comes) and then immediately open their presents. We only had
permission to stay out till 11, but we opened our presents at midnight
in our house.

Yesterday, we went and sang Christmas hymns with our zone in La Plaza
de Maipu. It was a good time. And now I'm writing this while Hermana
Iroz skypes with her family.

Oh! And I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish the other day! We
were reading it together as a mission in 85 days (I'm pretty sure
that's right), the same amount of time it took Joseph Smith to
translate it. And we were marking everything to do with Jesus Christ;
one color for every reference to Jesus Christ, one color for his
attributes, one color for every time he speaks, etc. It was really
awesome. I never realized how much the Savior is referred to in the
Book of Mormon, or how many times he speaks. When it came to his
attributes, I think the attribute I marked the most was misericordia.
Reading through the Book of Mormon this time, I really learned that
the Savior never gives up on us. No matter how many times we mess up,
no matter how many times we turn away from him, his arm is extended
still. We just have to make the choice to reach out and grab it. And
life is so much easier when we rely on the Savior. He really helps to
lift our burdens.

I hope everyone's Christmas was wonderful, and I hope everyone took
some time to remember the reason for the season! And if you haven't
read the Book of Mormon yet, you really should. It's a really great

--Hermana Mercado

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