Hey how are you all doing this wonderful Christmas eve?? I am doing wonderfully and I am getting nervous just thinking about calling you all tomorrow! I signed in to mom`s account and I want to know if calling you all at 4:00 tomorrow is okay. I am getting really excited about calling you! I hope that 4:00 works okay the only thing that I need you to do is have mom add dad`s account so that I can call you all directly. But that is about it.
Things here are going great! It is so hot down here that I just can`t handle it!!! I am sweating like a pig and I am still not used to the heat! Don`t know how the people here can handle the heat?!? But things don`t really feel like Christmas here. I guess Christmas isn`t Christmas unless your family is near. So it is better that way. I called the secretary last night and they told me that they haven`t received the packages. They went last week and I don`t know when they go again to check to see if packages are there. I will get them later so I am not too worried about it.
My companion and I called the President today to see if the other Hermanas in our zone could spend the night with us today and he called us back and guess what he said... NO! I was so shocked and wanted to say... "President... where is your Christmas spirit?" But I couldn`t bring myself too... Haha I guess you could say he is a Mr. Scrooge...Oh well. The other hermanas were really sad but my companion and I get along really well so it won`t be that big of a deal... Well I am saying that right now... We will see how I am tonight.
It was pretty funny today as we were in our companionship study we always sing a hymn before we start and I picked "Far Far Away On Judea`s Plains" and as I was saying the prayer to start our study I burst out in tears! I was actually really funny because my companion was so confused and thought that I was totally homesick but I just felt the spirit super strong. It is pretty crazy how powerful music is, especially when the music is connected to a memory. I was really touched and it made me think of Grandpa. My companion after the prayer asked me what happened and if I was okay and I told her I was fine and that everything was okay and then when I explained about the song she seemed to understand. We both are a little weepy since it is Christmas. But this is the first and the last one away from home! haha
But this week has been CRAZY!!!!! I honestly can`t believe that only a week has passed by! Well I don`t remember if I told you all this last week but I was left in this area alone! I only had like... four days in this area and then they took away Hermana Diez and sent me Hermana Tirado and we are lost!!! haha We are talking to EVERYONE!!! I feel like we are two flies that don`t leave the people alone... But it is working!!! We found a family! They are awesome and they accepted to be baptised January 5th... It is amazing how the Lord is really guiding our steps and how the spirit is in everyone of our lessons! So things are really good.
I guess I will tell you about how Christmas is celebrated down here in Ecuador...Well it is really hot so there are no snow ball fights or hot cocoa... But everyone has a Christmas tree. But there are no presents under the Christmas tree. They might exchange a few gifts but almost all the houses we have been in there have been no wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree. They all stay up cooking and eat Christmas dinner at midnight on the 24 and sleep on the 25th. So things are a little different down here. But they are happy.
Well I can`t wait to talk to you all tomorrow! I am getting really excited and I think that I am going to cry when I see you all in person! Hopefully things with our computers will work out so that we can talk! I just want to close by bearing my testimony! I know that this gospel is true and that Joseph Smith restored the church back on the earth. I am so grateful for the blessings and the strength that I have received during this time as a missionary. I know that Christ lives and he is our Savior. I am so grateful for the miracles that I have seen in the lives of others here on the mission. I am so happy that I was also able to play a part in bringing others unto Christ. I know that these things are true and if we are faithful, it will all be worth it!
Love you more than I miss you!!!
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess)
P.S. sorry if you don`t get a letter for a couple of weeks... I haven`t been able to get to the post office. It is kind of far away and it isn`t close to where we do our weekly shopping either. So sorry about that. But you all will get them soon enough.
P.S.S. Mom happy late birthday!!! Hope all your wildest dreams came true!