Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas This Year

Christmas time!  How crazy is this?!  My first Christmas away from home....This has been a tough thought for me.  For a long time I let this thought get me down.  I was focusing on what I didn’t have, what I was missing, such as my family, friends, snow, Christmas goodies, and just the Christmas spirit in general.  Chile doesn’t commercialize Christmas like at all, which in a way has been super refreshing.  But at the same time, Christmas feels very small here.  I have just been missing Christmas trees, lights, music, getting gifts for people, snow, and festivities.  Like I said, I was just focusing on everything that I didn’t have.  But there is something that I have been realizing.  This might be the only different type of Christmas I will ever have.  It might be the only Christmas I experience out of the US.  Why am I focusing on the things that I will have most of my life, and not trying to sock up as much cultural spirit as possible?  Plus, when I think about it, I HAVE IT SO GOOD!

For instance, today I went to the post office and picked up a package from home!!!!  I AM SUPER STOKED TO OPEN IT!!  My family is the best for sure.  A piece of home is sitting on my bed.  AHHHH!  Seriously, it just makes me so happy.  And yesterday, we went to Petrohue.  Petrohue is a testimony to God’s greatness.  It’s a river rapid-y place that just screams, “God is huge and awesome!!”  Absolutely beautiful.  The water was so clear and the area was just….incredible.  Ahhh.  Actually, why don’t you take a look for yourself?  Haha.  The pictures don’t even capture the magnificence of it, but I will try to show you a glimpse.  Credit for these photos goes to Clay.  I, of course, forgot my camera.  It wasn’t in my purse like I thought it was.  FAILURE.

Incredible, huh?  Well, it definitely was.  And tonight, we are making cookies, watching a movie, and having a team Christmas night.  Gonna be so fun!  And tomorrow, I GET TO VIDEO CHAT MY FAMILY!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME :D And on Christmas day, I am going to an island.  Yup, an island.  WHAT?!  WHY AM I SAD ABOUT ANYTHING!???!  My life is so, so blessed.  I am so, so blessed.  And I have absolutely nothing to complain about at all.    
That is one of the big things that has been on my mind lately.  Why is it that it takes me so long to realize these things?  And this holiday is all about Jesus anyway!  He has been showing me more of Himself each day.  Why is it that I haven’t been remembering that the whole point of this holiday goes back to Him?  It’s ridiculous really.  His love is CRAZY.  I have so much to learn.  Thank goodness my God never gives up on me. 
Not very much has happened since last time I posted.  Basically, our normal day looks something like this:
-          8:00- 9:00- Breakfast and Group Devotional
-          9:00- 10:00- Spanish class
-          10:00- 12:00ish- Free time to do whatever
-          12:00ish- 1:30ish- Visit people around the community
-          1:30ish- 2:15ish- Lunch
-          2:15ish- 3:30ish- Run random errands or chill
-          3:30ish- whenever- Visit more people and eat bread :]
-          8:00ish or later- Supper

Now, this varies a little, but in general this is what has been happening for most of December.  After supper, we either have a Bible study with some people from the church or we just chill.  This month, as I think I mentioned before, is all about learning the culture and language.  It has been going really good! We are learning more Spanish every day.  I understand a lot more than I am able to speak, but it’s getting better, slowly but surely.  The people here are so hospitable.  Anywhere we go, we are almost always offered bread and coffee.  And they try to talk slower to us too, which definitely helps in the understanding process.  It’s just a very comfortable culture.  I like it a lot. 

Things have been going really well with our coordinator and his family.  This helps a lot with homesickness actually.  They have taken us in, and I feel like I have inherited 3 more siblings.  It’s really fun.  Just yesterday I got in a huge pillow fight with Nacho, and Jean had to come to my rescue.  We both got our butts kicked.  Yes, pathetic.  He did make my ear bleed though.  I think that is cause for disqualification.  :]

ALSO, another fun fact.  We got to watch Sherlock Holmes….in English!  Made me really, REALLY want to see the new one.  But I don’t think seeing it in Spanish the first time would do me much good :] 

I guess I don’t have very much to write about this time.  SHOCKING, I know.  But I do want to update everyone as much as possible.  I think after the holidays pass, I will have processed more and will have some stories to tell from our adventures.  Thanks again for taking the time to read this though!  You guys are amazing.  And, I have a Christmas present for all of you!  Listen to this song of the post and be blessed :]  It’s called Christmas This Year by Tobymac.  It just my favorite Christmas song to listen to right now.  Happy and upbeat. Enjoy!  God bless!

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