Another wonderful week in La Serena and I cannot believe that Christmas is just around the corner. I love Christmas time. I love the focus on Jesus Christ and His birth—or the light that was given to the world (cuando Maria dió la luz) [when Mary "gave the light," a Spanish idiomatic expression meaning "gave birth"--Eds.].
The Christmas Devotional was last night from 22:00 – 24:00. Elder Brady and I did not go. In order to go, we had to bring an investigator or a recent convert and had to have a member [of the Church] to bring us back home and we didn't have either.
This week has been pretty slow for the whole the zone. For some reason, we are not finding very many people right now. We have to work to improve our faith and our work. I know there are people prepared for us and I know that God wants us to find them; therefore, we have to work harder to find them and help them.
One way of finding that we have been doing is working in the "feria." Every day except Sunday, there are ferias in the streets of the town. Each day it is in a different area and has slightly different focus. For example there is a clothes feria, a food feria, etc. For blocks and blocks, vendors set up their stands and easy-ups on both sides of the street and the shoppers walk down the middle looking at the goods.
I love walking through the food feria. It is quite a sight and an olfactory experience. You walk and smell fresh fruits and vegetables and then you smell a mixture of thirty different spices, then you smell the scent of fish as the freshly caught fish is skinned, gutted, and sold. I love working in the feria. We always put up a table with pamphlets, books, cards and magazines and invite people to take something and write down their information.
I've imagined what it would be like to be a Chilean going through the feria and then all of a sudden seeing me, a gringo in white shirt and tie, yelling "todo gratis, folletos, libros, tarjetas de Jesucristo. ¡Todo Gratis! Vayan a la mesa, todo es gratis allí.´´ [Translation: "Everything free--brochures, books, cards about Jesus Christ. Everything Free! Come to the table, everything is free here!"--Eds.] In Primary last week, the leaders asked, "What do the missionaries do?" To which the children responded, "Go to the feria!"
I love Chile! I love Spanish! I love the people here. I am thankful for this opportunity to grow. I love my mission!