Dearest friends and family,
Happy Christmas season! It´s...not like that here. I wouldn´t even know that Natal was close if it weren´t for the date. It´s just...different in the States. I can´t explain it well. Something about the people´s expectations of Christmas.
Some of you have asked about how to send me small packages. There isn´t really a good way... I have an address and we get UPS and FedEx... But it´s SO expensive. So, sorry, but I´ll go without. =)
This season just isn´t Christmas for me without The Forgotten Carols. Good thing I have the CD! =) Seriously though, go to it. It... Makes my Christmas. Celebrate it for me while I can´t.
I just realized that I´ve yet to explain the wonders of Funge to you guys. Hahahahaha... Funge is hot glue soup. It´s flour mixed with boiling water to make something that looks like mashed potatoes, has the consistency of rubber, the taste of evil, and the smell of FUNGE... Lets just say the name explains it well. Everyone here eats it. It´s filling, easy, and cheap. Elder Kelsey and I have a running contest to see who can dodge it the longest. He´s winning, but I have hope.
My investigators are just so dang cool. Joice is 14, has an 8 month old daughter (she´s SO cute), and wants to make a lot of changes in her life. Yesterday, she asked us when she could be baptized! Wow!
Alberto is in his 30s and just loves the church. He never misses a Sunday. He devours the Gospel Principles manual. And, when we teach him, he alredy knows the stuff! He´ll be baptized shortly.
Overall, life is so, so cool. I love this place. I love the dust. I love the pollution. Heck, I love the drunken taxi drivers. This city is so special to me. As far as Christmas goes, we´ll be partying at President´s. I don´t know what that entails, but we´ll be eating a lot and playing games, for sure. I´m stoked. No, mom, I still don´t know about calling home. I´m sorry. I think we´ll Skype, but I´ll let you know when I do.
I want to share with you my two favorite Christmas songs: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day and O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Read the lyrics. Listen to the songs... They´re powerful.
I love you all. I´ll close with my testimony that Jesus is the Christ. I know that only through Him can we find true peace and true comfort. We are far from home. But, when we find Him, we grow closer to it. His way is light and joyous. His love is real and palpable and so, so important. Chase Him. Chase after His love and His counsels. It´s the only way.
I love you and I love this church. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Cody R. Eckman