Hello My Loving Wonderful Family. Merry Christmas!
I have one request for Christmas, I ask that you watch the Bethlehem episode of Top Gear. I was thinking of all the good times we have had together during the past holidays. I sure do love my family!! I am glad that we are all such good friends. Anyways, here is how my week went.
We had our ward party on Friday. It was a blast and so so funny! Our ward hired a magician to perform for an hour. He was more of a clever prankster than a magician, but he was super funny. He even had me and my companion participate in the show. He called me up first and took my companions ring and put it in my hand and then had me close my hands. He then grabbed my wrists and told me that the ring would switch to my other hand. He then started to dance with me... IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE WARD. You dont even know the thoughts going through my mind! Hahaha. After he stopped dancing he asked me what time I thought it was. I answered and he asked me how I knew for sure, I looked at my watch only to find out that it was gone! He stole my watch while dancing. HAHA, I didnt even notice because I was thinking about the ring in my hand. He called Sister Rocha up at the end of the show. (Boy was it funny) He walks up to her chair and starts saying that they have been looking at each other all night... he then touches her face and says that there exist feelings between them. I busted out laughing. You should have seen her face. Hahaha :) It was so funny!
So these last two weeks, we have not had running water in our house because of the tests they are doing at the stadium for the world cup. That was fun, dirty dishes every where, not being able to make food... We took very few showers those two weeks too. We have two shower heads in our bathroom, one is the water from the street and the other is the reserve tank on top of our house. So we showered with our reserve water. You wont guess what happend next! By the time we got our water back, we were so thankful we decided to wash our clothes, because ALL of them were dirty. We started a load on saturday and ran to the store to grab something. When we came back we heard this loud racket coming from inside. Our first thought is that someone is robbing us! We start to look for the door keys and concluded that the noise was our washing machiene. When we finally found the keys we run inside and see the washing machiene jumping around the room. It unpluged itself from the wall it was jumping around so hard. So now we dont have a washing machiene. We plugged it in and recorded it on my companions camera to see what was going on. It was pretty crazy. Thankfully we have a member who is letting me use her washing machine. :D
I am learning so much! I am really beginning to understand the love our Heavenly Father has for all of His children and how I can have that same love too. It was tough at first, but my Father in Heaven has been helping me immensely this week. :) Going to the temple this week really helped too!
For our Christmas conference we all went to CIGS. It is an army training base here in Manaus. The have a lot of jungle that they do special forces training in. I read about it in the New York Times before coming here, but I never thought I would actually get to visit it. The U.S. Army sometimes sends people to take the training here. They gave us a little class on how to catch snakes. It was cool, after they let some of the missionaries try and catch a snake. I wanted to but there were so many other people that wanted to also, I just thought to myself.. I can do this all the time at home. lol.
So my friend Raisa was talking with us the other day. I told her that I had bough shark tooth earrings and she questioned me if they were really shark teeth. I told her they were, because I know what shark teeth look like. She just laughed and proceeded to tell me,"You know Chatwin? Your attributes are turn-offs, but they are endearing to me." Haha. We are great friends. She will be serving in the Joao Pessoa mission. After her mission she is going to try and come study in the states at one of the church colleges.
We got to watch the Christmas Devotional yesterday. We sat by our DL's and they had a member come sit by them. They told me that when he walked over I should say freaking flamers. Apparently that is the only thing he remembers how to say in english that he learned on his mission. Anyways he was talking to the Elders and then started to walk away, so I looked down and said in a serious tone Freaking Flamers! He was so shocked and them we all just laughed for a few minutes. It was great.
During the Christmas Devotional I was thinking of the reason so many people are willingly happy and willingly serve others this time of the year.. I conluded that it is because they embrace the light of Christ within them. We choose to williningly put off the natural man, and be like children. Helping where we see help is needed and many other types of things. But after Christmas, this worldwide unity seems to go away and we choose to embrace the natural man again. These thought reminded me of a talk by President Ucthdorf where he said that one of the biggest regrets that people have is that they wish they let themselves be happier.
It is our choice to be happy in this life. We are most truly happy when we are following the will of our Father in Heaven. Our lifes are not easy and we will always have so many trials, so people will have more than others, but we are blessed when we have the knowlede that trials are what help us learn. When we choose to be happy and embrace the light of Christ in us and accept the divine help and guidance we can recieve from the Holy Ghost we will feel a great burden lifted from our shoulders and once again feel that great peace and love from our Father in Heaven.
It is hard to believe that Christmas is this week! It is so hot here! My chacos tan is pretty sweet!
As for skyping, we are having lunch at Bishop's house around 1:30 or 2:00, so we will probably get to skype between [I'm guessing] 2-4. It is hard because I dont have a set time, so I guess just have skype open and be looking for me to get on! My name is srchatwin, if you don't remember.
I love you all so much and I really am excited to talk with you all again!
Hugs and Kisses,
*sorry I missed your email today, we got on earlier than we have been. Or maybe you all are busy and forgot, but either way it is okay because we get to skype this week too!