Wow 2013 is here!!! I cannot believe how fast 2012 passed by. Maybe it`s the fact that I have been away from home since February but man I can`t believe that 2012 is gone!!! Happy new year to everyone!!! It was so great to talk to you all. Too bad that Skype was a little slow... But I was so happy that I got to see your faces. You all look so great!!! I can`t believe how big all the little kids are!!! When I get home I will have to get to know all the babies again!!! Hopefully they won`t be too afraid of me when I get back. Well this week has been really great. Not very many people are in town because of the holidays but Hermana Tirado and I are working really hard here. Christmas was just like anyother day in the field... Except I got to call home. That is probably one of the best Chrismas gifts I will ever recieve. I just have to say I was sooo embarrassed to speak in Spanish to you all. I have a horrible accent and I know that Jon and Chris understand so I almost didn`t want to talk for you all!!! hahaha Oh well... Oh and thankyou for mocking me over skype.... Now that I know that I am the only person in the world who cannot roll my "r"s... I guess I will just pray a little harder for the gift of tongues because I have tried EVERYTHING to get the double r to slip off my tongue and nothing has worked. I can make the double r sound in the back of my mouth like the french do... But I just sound like a retard when I try to pull that trick.. It just doesn`t sound the same. But I will keep practicing. This week has been a little more fun than usual. Everyone is making these huge paper mache creations... Well here in Ecuador they make these things called "Año Viejos" (Old Year) but they make big life size figures out of paper mache stuff and then the 31st at 12:00 at night they burn them all... It is kind of strange but it is something that they love to do. I have seen every kind of Ano Viejos... From Bart SImson to Captain America. But the thing that is cool is they make them life size. They paint them and they look pretty darn good. I don`t know why they burn them but back in the old days they just use to get old clothes... Jeans and a shirt and stuff it with news paper and they would burn that. But now that is lame if you are the only one on the block who is burning old clothes and eveyone else is burning paper mache sculptures. So that is the tradition here. Also every little kid in Ecuador is walking around today with their paper mache creation asking for a "colaboration" meaning "give me money so that I can buy fireworks" and the people actually pay these kids money!!! I can`t believe it! Some of these kids are walking around with pockets full of change to buy fireworks to shoot off tonight. So we will see if we will sleep;) Well this week we have been teaching the Guatapi family. I talked about them a little last week but they have a baptismal date for this Saturday. We went to see them on Christmas Eve and they were working up a storm in their bakery. They are a family that has lots and lots of faith. When we teach them they don`t have any doubts... They accept our commitments and we can really see how blessed they are. Especially when they don`t have time to talk because the people are flocking to their little bakery. When we left Hermana Guatapi said to us, "Hermanas thanks for coming by, we have experienced a lot of blessings since you two came by." She had tears in her eyes and it was really neat to see that she could see the hand of the Lord in her family's life. It was such a tender mercy of the Lord to be there with them. I love this work. This ward is great. Everyone is really unified and the members are so nice to my companion and me. They have been inviting us to come and eat... Today we ate with two families for lunch because we didn`t know how to tell the other family no.... Well we are not doing that again... I feel like I am going to throw-up... My companion even asked for seconds in one of the houses... I don`t know how she does it. But today we ate rabbit. It was pretty good... pretty chewy but pretty good. They cooked the whole thing, head and all so that was a little creepy to see. I took some pictures but can`t get them to load on this computer. But the poor little ears of the rabbit were crispy like a potatoe chip and the teeth were still yellow... It gave me the creeps... but it was way better than chicken feet. Well I am out of time... I just want to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that you all had a wonderful Chistmas. I am really happy with my companion and we are doing really well here. I will see you all in 2013!!!! Crazy!!! Love you more than I miss you! Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) P.S. I have four letters to mail to you... sorry you won`t get them for a while... The post office was closed -___- Fail!