Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year

Dear Friends and Fam,

It was sure great to be able to talk to the whole fam this past week for skype. That was by far the fastest hour of my life haha. I am sorry that I did not have much time to talk to each family but that is what happens when you are blessed enough to have so many people to talk to! Anyway our Christmas here was great, but really really hot! The bishopric had all of the missionaries in the ward over to the chapel for an assado, where we basically just eat tons of different types of meat. Then Tuesday we had dinner at a members house and Wednesday we spent the rest of the day after the call going around visiting members. We did not have a meal with any of them but each of them did give us a little something to eat and something to drink. When we got back to the apartment we opened up the rest of the gifts that came in my packages. Thank you all for the gifts! The Cache Valley picture book and the family picture calendar are great gifts but they do nothing to help with trunkyness haha. Thanks for them though and I will use the calendar this year at my study desk! Also thank you for all the other things I got, we are promptly eating the candy and enjoying it!
The rest of the week went by pretty well! Also I hope everyone had a great rest of Christmas and enjoyed the time together as a fam!

My area here is pretty hard I won´t lie. The members are a little hard to work with and we still don´t have many investigators. We are working hard though and this past week we had a good increase in the number of lessons even with the festivities and other activities. I am certain that we will be able to have some success in this area before my companion goes home in 6 weeks. It will be hard but as the scriptures say nothing is impossible with God! It has also been extremely hot here. I am not entirely sure what the temperature is in farenheit but in celcius it has been like 40 degrees ish. Also the humidity is a killer. It makes it hard to walk around so much but we always have the strength and feel good enough to keep working. We drink plenty as every visit we get something to drink because everyone feels bad for us haha. And yes mom I am eating well. We eat breakfast every morning which is usually cereal and then we have lunch most days with members. We don´t really eat dinner very often but instead we just eat things at visits and I am never usually hungry when I go to bed. If I am I just eat some cereal or fruit or a left over lunch and I am good. We have enough money given to us to buy what we need. If I ever need anything more I will just take some money off of the key bank card.

It is kind of weird to think that 2013 is ending and here comes 2014. It is even weirder to think that I will spend the entirety of 2014 here in the mission. I am excited to get going on it though and I am sure that it will go by fast if I just focus on the work and keep going. On New Years day I am pretty sure I will hit 20 weeks in the mission, which is incredible to me. I can almost feel the time speeding up. I have plenty more time left but I don´t know if I realize just how fast that time will fly. I have been reading Jesus the Christ lately and it has really helped me to realize a little bit more just who Jesus is and what he did for us. As you begin to realize the greatness of the man and the reality of his sacrifice for us, it becomes a little bit easier to give up yourself unto him, as there would be no such thing as ourselves without him.

Well that is about it for this week. I had a great Christmas week and I´ll be looking forward to hitting the sack at 10:30 on New Years Eve and sleeping right through the beggining of the New Year as the mission manual says I will hahaha. Anyway I wish all of you a great New Years festivities and a great start to 2014. As my mission experience of 2013 draws to a close and the entirety of 2014 ahead of me to serve, I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity. It is definitely on of the hardest things I have ever done, but also the absolute most rewarding. I love you all and thank you for your love, prayers, and support. ¡Feliz Nuevo Año!

Love always,
Élder Zollinger
Sunset outside of Tory's Apartment (don't you love the barbed wire?)

Nativity scene and ornaments nieces and nephews made for Tory

Christmas tree we sent to Tory.  He ran out of tape so he couldn't put the ornaments on the tree. haha

Tory and all of his goodies for Christmas

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