Christmas in Peru:
All of the Peruvians set up a little nativity during December. Baby Jesus is missing until the 25th! On the Christmas Eve they start partying when the sun goes down (blast music, get drunk) and when the clock strikes 12 open all of their presents and eat paneton (bread with little fruit snacks in it) and hot chocolate.
|Peruvian baby Jesus!|
|A real goat!!!|
"Just like the trees in the Arizona desert, we all seek nourishment. One form of nourishment we seek is validation, the feeling that our lives have value, that what we do matters. Research indicates that this is one of the main drivers of our behavior. We can seek validation, like the water in the story, from two sources: externally, where we spread ourselves in many different directions seeking things the world validates, or internally, where we quietly and steadily put out energy into doing the things the Lord has asked us to do. Here's the truth about external validation: You can't get enough! In the constant search for it, you will soon forget who you really are. You can't be cute enough, skinny enough, have enough clothes, a big enough house, or be loved and admired enough. It's like an artificial sweetener that increases your appetite but never satisfies.
"Compare that with searching and finding the well of living water--the source the Savior promised will never run dry, and despite conditions on the surface, will keep us from being knocked over. This well provides the nourishment that assures we will bloom again eternally."
This is so true! The adversary would have us believe that Christ is not the source by which we can find peace and happiness. In fact, he fills us with false beliefs. Sometimes we think "Well if I were skinnier then I would be happy" "If I had a boyfriend I would feel loved" "If I had more money I would be successful" " If I had a better church calling a would feel more important" "If I had more social media followers I would feel more needed". Well let me tell you the truth: These are all lies! Even if a fairy godmother waved her magic wand and granted every single one of those things and more, you still wouldn't feel happy, you still wouldn't feel satisfied.
This is something I've learned while on my mission. Conditional happiness isn't happiness at all! Ive found that as I've sought to be filled with the spirit I am truly happy. Even when I'm thousands of miles away from my family, eating food I don't like, showering in poopy water, feeling extra ugly, walking in the hot sun, getting rejected, I can be happy! And I am happy.
Con mucho amor,
|Singing in the Plaza! and directing my rusty choir (:|
|The whole crew!|
|I was laughing so hard at the goat...|
|Christmas dinner prepared by Susanna and July!|