I`ll admit, none of these holidays really feel very real to me since we don't do much else to celebrate than to eat a ridiculous amount of everything (then again, that was pretty much what I did before my mission) so, I guess it is the same, haha :)
Still - it has been a wonderful week of festivities! To celebrate the New year, we went over to the house of la familia Gazzoni and had a rockin awesome dinner with the BEST meat that I have had during my mission. Basically, it was the most expensive cut (as Hno Gazzoni so proudly told me, haha) that is called the lomo... sorry, but I don't have a clue what it is in English. I have never really been one to scrutinize the different cuts of a cow, and that still hasn't changed during my mission, in spite of the fact that is given to me almost every single day. Two times a day, haha :)
Ah, my poor cholesterol (okay, funny story - I tried to spellcheck that, because I have no idea how to spell it, and forgot that the computer is in Spanish. It tried to spell check cholesterol to tornalecho, haha)
Anyway , it was a fun day, and yet another round of fireworks. Okay. Enough with the paragraphs. Fun facts? seriously, its was easier, haha :)
1) Here, they celebrate not only the New Year with a huge fireworks show, but on Christmas as well! I was a little puzzled when all the Latinos were pumped up for the 24th, when for me, the big moment of Christmas was the morning of the 25th. I understood a little better with the 30 minutes of fireworks started up on midnight of the 24th and woke us all up. Needless to say, I've had my fill of fireworks this past week.
2) Fun little tidbit of Argentina, here, they have a shortage of electricity, especially during the summer when everyone is blasting AC, and even more so since Christmas is during that time and everyone is cooking, etc. So... to solve this little problem, Argentina has a nasty habit of randomly cutting the power in different neighborhoods in different cities through the country to save up on power a little bit - they`ll cut the power in your house for a day, then rotate through so that everyone has a little share of the joy, and they save up on energy that way.
Needless to say, it was a week of surprises when our power got cut two different times. What food we had was totally ruined, and when we went to the grocery store to try and buy some more - food that didn't have to be refrigerated this time - the power keep cutting and rebooting every 10 min, so the checkout machines crashed every single time, and had to reboot. Basically, we were waiting in line for about an hour and half to buy a few things. on the plus side, we got to know the people in line with us really well :)
3) Funny moment of the week - Hna Condori and I were trying to ask directions for a calle, and stopped to ask a group of men sitting in the street. After we started talking with them for a while, I noticed that one was talking a little funny, peeked into the store that they were sitting in front of, and realized it was full of drunk men. And, that's the story of how Hna Condori and I contacted a bar, haha :)
Overall, a WONDERFUL week! even more so with a beautiful experience that I had this past week. I was thinking a lot about my time here in San Nicolas - the things that I encountered when I first arrived, the things I have learned along the way, and the person I have become because of my time here. I was writing and reflecting a bit in my journal, when I had the following scripture come to my mind:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I love this scripture. I love especially the wording that we read here - not that the Lord will show us our weaknesses, or a laundry list of everything that we are doing wrong, but rather our weakness, our inability to do it alone. I have such a testimony of this promise from the Lord - that when we truly learn to humble ourselves, that the Atonement can lift us to the point where our exact character flaws that caused us such heartache before can evolve to become our greatest allies and strengths. I have such a testimony, because that is exactly what has happened here in San Nicolas :) not only with my own personal self, but with my area - I LOVE San Nicolas so much, because is the area that has pushed me and forced me to better myself than cualquier otro area.
With that in mind, I challenge you all, especially at the start of this new year, to pause and think about the things in your life that cause you grief, that cause you pain, that cause you to slip and fall. And with that in mind, I challenge you to trust in the Lord as perhaps you never have before, and have confidence in this promise. Have confidence in the promise that through a whole lot of work, time, and walking in the sun - or maybe that was just part of my progression, haha - those can turn into building blocks, into foundations of good things to come.
I love San Nicolas. I love my Mission. I love my God. I just love a whole slew of things, okay? :)
Love, Hna Lake
(there I go again with the love)