The phone call home on Christmas was everything I expected it to be - chaotic but enjoyable. Thanks to Mike for setting up the sweet cross-country conference call. I don't know if I told you all, but I was using one of those blue tooth things for the first time. Unfortunately the microphone didn't reach my mouth, so that's why I was yelling the whole time.
The Christmas season has been great. For one the few times in my life, there has been food in front of me and I don't want to eat it. It's a strange feeling, and I hope it passes quickly.
Thanks to everyone for their generosity in sending Christmas cards and presents. For all those who didn't, I wish you the best of luck standing at the Judgment Bar explaining why you neglected one of the Lord's humble servants.
The weather here is perfect. Clear skies, but still cool. I dread the coming summer. If it's perfect temperature on New Year's Eve, what sort of scorching heat will there be in July?
One short story:
The other day we were on exchanges (where you or your companion switches with another missionary in another area for a day) with the Zone Leaders. I stayed in San Juan Bautista and was with Elder Hessing, a missionary who knows many Chuck Norris jokes and has heard of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. I liked him immediately. Anyway, we were walking down the road and came upon a friendly game of baseball going on, when one of the players called us over to play. We didn't have any appointments, so we went over. To our surprise, they put us up to bat immediately. I was first up. Doing the classic pointing the bat in the air, indicating a home run, and then taking a few practice swings, I stepped up to the plate. The pitch came. A slow lob - one of the most difficult pitches to hit in baseball. Somehow I hit it - a line drive - but with the combination of dress shoes and loaded pockets, I was out well before I reached 1st base. Elder Hessing had a similar experience. Little did we know, this was the last inning of the game. And so these two young men went into legend, as the Mormon missionaries who lost their team the game.
Such is life in San Juan Bautista.
The work is wonderful, the gospel is great. I hope everyone has had a very merry Christmas, and that the new year treats you well. Thanks so much for the emails, letters, and packages. I write everyone who writes me back, as quickly as I can.
Happy New Year, everyone!
P.S. Did you know that Chuck Norris invented the giraffe? It happened when he uppercutted a horse.