Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been a fantastic week! We had lots of lessons, did lots of service, and also had a Stake Nativity party. I'll be sure to tell y’all about that later in the letter!
But to start off, I'll be honest. It feels nothing like winter here in Newport News. I've heard that last year it was really cold, but it's super warm right now. At night, we walk around in our normal clothes. And during the day, we're sweating a lot of times walking in the streets. But, we are all getting a little bit of the Christmas hype here. This upcoming week we are having a mission Christmas devotional, which will be really fun. Every year they get to watch a movie (the only time on our mission where we will ever watch a movie) and last year it was Polar Express. I'm excited to see what it will be this year!
Well, this week, I was at a place I never thought I would be on my mission. The DMV. One of our less active members, from Cuba, has been having a lot of financial problems recently. And he had sold his car, but hadn't transferred the title over so he was still getting charged for it. He needed to change that of course, but he doesn't speak a lick of English. We happened to stop by, just when he needed our help. So we went to the DMV, sat down in the little waiting room, and translated for him. He was able to get it all taken care of and now he's a lot more open to meeting with us, because before he didn't really like the missionaries.
Now I'd like to talk about a small miracle we had this week. We were going to contact one of our investigators, his name is Alex, and we knocked on his door but no one answered. There was a for sale sign in their house and all of the things inside the house were taken out, so they had already left. Well, we went to knock on another door across the trailer park. We didn't really know why. We knocked on it, and Alex's wife answered! Turns out they only moved to the other side of the neighborhood. We had never met her before, but before we could even explain to her who we were she told us to come on in. We went in, and taught a really powerful lesson. She recently had her daughter die in Honduras, and I think that she really needed a message from God during this time of her life. We asked her when we could come back again, and she told us that the next day she wanted us to come back. That was really nice to see, and now I have a strong testimony that God does prepare people for His message.
Okay so this week we did get to help other people with service too, and they were all less actives so that's all the better. One lady, recently found out that she had to move. She had three days to move everything she had into a damaged, beat down house. So, of course we helped her! We carried beds and other things out of her house, and then we went over to her new house to see what we could do. The roof had a leak in it, and all of the insulation in the ceiling was ruined. So, she asked us to take it all down. It was one of the weirdest acts of service I've ever given, because I felt like I was just vandalizing a house. We didn't have any tools, or equipment like that. So, we walked into the new house (I had to duck because the ceiling was so low) and we just started punching holes in the ceiling. Then, with our hands, we would grab chunks of the ceiling and throw it down on the floor. We took off her whole ceiling, and all of the insulation that was with it. We didn't really have safety equipment, so after we were all really itchy and irritated from the fiberglass, but it was really nice to help this lady out. She really appreciated it. After, we swept up the mess in garbage cans, then we took off!
Later that night, we had the big stake nativity party. It was really similar to the one we did back home, where everyone brought nativities from different places around the world, and set them all up. Another really cool thing, they had a live nativity outside. With animals and everything! We got to pet them, and also got to watch the youth of the stake play a live nativity of Mary and Joseph. It reminded me of the one we do every year as a family, with an angel, three wise men, and everything else. It was really neat, and they had live musical performances going on inside the church with violins, cellos, and singers. It was really successful.
One thing I am really looking forward to this next week is the branch Christmas party we are going to have. We talk about it a lot, especially in ward council. I'll be honest, I was afraid a fight was going to break out in that room. Hispanics don't joke about their food. For example, we were talking about carnitas. one lady said she would make them, and everyone just started bombarding her with questions about how she would make them. "What do you put in them?" Then she said "Coca-Cola, orange, oil...." "What else?" then she said "That's all..." then everyone in the room kind of scoffed at her and shook their heads. I decided if I ever am in a Spanish branch in the future, I will just leave all of the cooking to them. But, a man named Fautsino, is making his legendary punch. I guess this punch is supposed to be warm, and has just whole fruits in it? It will be interesting to try! Lots of Hispanic food I am coming to love. It has taken me a little while to get used to (for example I'm still struggling with arroz con leche), but after a while I really start to love it! If y’all are interested in what we get to drink a lot, there is a drink that almost every members gives us—it's coconut juice, in a big can. The brand name is Foco. It's a little different because it has whole chunks of coconut in it, but it's really good if y’all every want to try something I have a lot!
Well, that's all for this week. I wish yall some happy holidays, and remember that Christ is the reason for everything! He is the light.
A member texted us this photo of Elder Adams and his companions last Saturday
Elder Adams with Hector before he left.
Family Night with the Herrera Family.
Elder Adams with a llama at the Live Nativity.
The Live Nativity.