Monday, December 28, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Well, it has come and gone, but Merry Christmas to everyone!! (And an early happy new year!) I just want to start out by saying that being a missionary during Christmas is literally an amazing experience. Yes, it is hard to be away from friends and family and traditions and everything, but I have absolutely LOVED being a missionary this December. Let me tell you a little bit of what it was like...
We started off the week with an amazing Christmas conference! It was the whole west side of the mission, and we all met in Sevilla. We started off with a talent show and it was so fun to listen and watch all of the missionaries share their talents. All of the Hermanas from 2 of the 5 zones that were there got together and we sang Hallelujah (like the one from Shrek) but changed the lyrics of each verse to talk about the birth of Christ from the point of view of Mary, the Angels, the Shepherds,the Nephites, and people in the world today. I LOVED IT. For me, there is nothing more powerful in inviting the Spirit than music. After that, all 100ish of us walked over to Carrefour (basically like a Walmart) and sang Christmas hymns right in the front of the store... I never knew you could feel the Spirit so strong in a place like that, but you can, and it was AWESOME!!
We then returned to the church and proceeded to hear the testimonies of the missionaries who are going home this transfer. My sweet comp was one of them along with 4 others and it was amazing to hear their testimonies and advice. There were a couple things that I really loved that they shared. The first was about talents... One of the elders reminded us that we are all different, so we all have different talents. And while some people have the talent to be missionaries, others don't. BUT it doesn't even matter because the Lord wants us here and if we TRUST IN HIM then He will help us and guide us regardless of our talent. I love that because honestly this is hard work and sometimes I don't feel very good at it but that the Lord will help me if I trust him.
The second thing I loved was that missionary work is for NOW. It is for me and it is for you and it is for here and now. It isn't for when you receive a mission call, it isn't for when you aren't afraid. It's not for your next area or with a different companion or when it's not so cold outside. We are all missionaries and we have the responsibility to share this wonderful gospel now! So my invitation to y'all is to find someway to be a missionary this week - it is simple. Share a Mormon message with someone or talk about what we belief, be an example to someone or invite a friend to church! Just try it and I promise you will love it and see blessings from it.
So something cool about Christmas here is that the biggest celebration is the 24th... Noche Buena. And on this night families get together and have a huge dinner at like 9, 10, 11 o'Clock at night!! We spent it with Flor and Augustine, two of the members here in our rama. Okay, something you need to know about Spain is that these people eat A LOT. Those of you who have ever eaten with me know that I have a petty healthy appetite but man, it ain't nothin compared to these people. I literally felt like I could have just rolled all the way home! But let's be real, it was awesome.
I have tried a lot of new foods this week....
* Raw salmon with mayo
* Langostinos - basically huge shrimp that you have to pull the heads
off before you eat
* Yucca
* Some sort of turkey/other meat that was.... Interesting...
* Yucca
* Turrón
* Alfajores - a yummy Peruvian cookies
Some were better than others but for the most part, I liked it all!!
So Christmas morning, our president let us sleep in one hour which was super nice of him. But it was such a tranquilo day. I wrote some letters and we went with the elders to eat with our branch president and his family. And then I Skyped with my family!! ❤️❤️ I can't even describe the joy that was for me. And I sure am grateful that families are eternal because man, do I love mine. It was such a wonderful day...
But I think one of the greatest parts of my Christmas Day this year was that I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I started reading it again when I entered the MTC and then finished it on Christmas. Brothers and Sisters, friends and family, whoever it is that might read this, I testify to you that The Book of Mormon is true. It is the word of God, it testifies of Christ and it helps us draw closer to Christ. Whether you are suffering physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, no matter what you are going through, I promise that it will help you. This book applies to every person individually if you let it. I wish I could just look every single one of you in the eyes and convince you of this. But I can't. So.... I want to invite you all to read the Book of Mormon. If you have read it before, read it again. If you've never read it, just do it! And you will be able to see blessings in your life like never before.
Also, I just want to share a verse that I read in my studies this week.... Ether 6:9 - And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.
I love being a missionary. I love the Book of Mormon and this gospel. Most of all, I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary and share his message of love with all of the people here in Spain. I hope that we all turn to him and focus on him during this Christmas season and every season of our lives. That we find ways to praise Him in all that we do and never cease to praise the Lord.
Thank you everyone for your support, prayers and sweet cards of encouragement! Much love to you all!
Xoxo Hermana Hauber

Chistmas Eve with two of the members, Augustine and Flor
My cute comp and I after the Christmas conference
Christmas Day with our branch president and his fam!
P Day fun today. We walked around the alcazaba with the elders

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