Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rafael Castillo- Week #25

P-Day Navideño

Hey Everybody!

We just got back from the mission party and it was pretty fun, but unfortunately P-day is just about over. I still have my full hour to type though, so you should get some good details on how the party was. I got the Christmas package yesterday, and everything was in it, it was sweet, obviously I already opened it. I also got Grandma Sherry's Christmas package, which I wasn't expecting, it had 2 ties, mango bars, a card with a note for 75 dollars for a car fund, slipper socks, and handkerchiefs. I got Grandma Wilma's letter last week asking what I wanted for Christmas, so just tell her I am fine, and that if she really wants to give me something just save something for my nest egg. Yeah I can't listen to that one CD, but I guess I will hold on to it for the next 18 months or something. The rule is it has to be MoTab or the hymns, so a lot of elders try to find any kind of motab cd that isn't hymns because it is like listening to worldly music...but still following the rules.

I have 6 months on Thursday! That is crazy, but I am still a youngin in the mission. Our AP Elder Stephens goes home this transfer, or in other words, next Monday, so everyone was talking today about who the new AP is going to be. Some elders get really into it, and actually make brackets and stuff. I did it last transfer, but it wasn't that fun, so I probably won't do it again. They told us that phone calls home are to be 40 minutes at the most, and haven't given us any more instruction, but the other elders said we just buy cards and call home on them, so I need to look around for a calling card place. I don't know what time I will be calling, but yeah...just stay by the phone all day? haha They want us to be in a members home on Christmas Eve, and if we aren't, we are to stay in the pench, because everyone is drunk then and on Christmas Day too. I am kind of bummed about that because I will have just gotten into my new area, so I won't really know anybody. Also, I am told that they don't really celebrate Christmas here like in the States, here it is more like 4th of July, at 12 on Christmas Eve night, fireworks go off like crazy, and supposedly you can't sleep at all, same on New Years...but I guess I will find out soon enough.

Alright, the other CDs in the package were SWEET!!! MoTab tribute to Disney?!?! I'm not sure there has ever been a better CD. The other Elders really liked their stockings too. I took a lot of videos of it, and of Thanksgiving too, so I think in a couple of weeks I am going to try and send my memory card home. Speaking of which, why didn't you guys put any pictures or videos on the memory card you sent me? I got all excited like it was going to have something, and then...no...thats ok though. I tried to send some pictures today already but I had bad luck and got a bad computer, so maybe next week. Next week I should be e-mailing you from my new area, if I leave Castillo, which I most likely will do. I don't know how I feel about leaving. I am pretty excited, because I just want to get to know more people and more areas, plus when I go to a new area the members aren't going to treat me like it is my first area and I don't understand anything. There are some members that still barely talk to me, even though I understand what they are saying, and Castillo is a bit of a hard area. Ciris was the first baptism here in about 6-7 months, and despite our hardest and best work and efforts, not many more are progressing here, so I wouldn't mind going to an area where they see a few more baptisms, but I just have a gut feeling that I am going to be sent to hard areas on my mission to teach me humility. We were told today that the mission this transfer already has 81 baptisms, with about 55 dates planned for this Saturday, so if all of those go through we will beat last transfer's record by one...if my math is right. Ciris is one of those 81! Also there are some areas in the mission getting like 9 baptisms a transfer, but we will see what happens on Monday.

Anyone ever heard of the mission Christmas Party today! I did, because I was there. They did a big slide show of all the pictures missionaries sent in, which was fun to see, and they gave us all a CD of the slideshow so I have it for memories. There were a lot of funny pictures, and a lot of pictures of dead dogs... We did a huge white elephant with the whole mission, and I got a fashionable pair of sunglasses...made for women...with decorative design and everything. One of the sister missionaries put it in the gift pool. So that was my white elephant gift from the mission. Needless to say I wore them all day, and I have pictures. Also, I put in a hot chocolate mug with the Boca Junior logo on it as the gift I was giving. (Boca Junior is that soccer team here in Buenos Aires) So after that, each zone did their own skit. We did one focusing on the focuses of the transfer. Charity, and Equilibrium in the Work, while throwing in a few jokes here and there, but the funniest one was Zone Castelar. They started out by having an Elder in PJs sing Where are you Christmas? from the Grinch, while the rest of the zone just hummed and swayed behind him. so it was funny because we really are looking for things that make us feel like it is Christmas, down here on the other side of the world, one could literally ask, "Where are you, Christmas? Why can't I find you?" It is way hot here and literally does not feel like Christmas, but not in a bad way, just different. Then about halfway through that, they had another elder dressed up as the Grinch come out and start to play fight with the PJ elder, while the whole zone broke out into a round of "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch." It was pretty funny, also they got lucky and had a piano player in their zone that knew those songs somehow. So every zone had their little skit, then we ate some chicken and raviolis, heard a devotional by President, and got to watch some of the First Presidency devotional, but just President Eyring and Monson, for lack of time. It was in Spanish, but still really good. Then we came back and now I am here.

This past week I gave a talk in Church about missionary work, and working with the members. It was supposed to be me, Elder Shields, and our ward mission leader, but he is inactive, and didn't show up to church so the bishop just asked us to take up all the 50 minutes...psh...I wrote a 10 minute talk! Luckily they asked the Patriarch, who lives in our ward, to say a few words, and that left about enough time for 15 minutes for each of us, and I got up there and started mine, next thing I know they are handing me a note saying my time was up...i looked up at the clock and I had been up talking for 22 minutes haha, but hey...i had important things to say. Anyway, time is up, and we have to go. I love everyone, and thanks for the support and prayers coming my way.

Love, Sean

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