So this is going to be a quick one. We have a zone activity to go to really soon and a lot planned tonight. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was awesome. We spent some time on Christmas Eve and Christmas day caroling as a district. At first, I wasn't too excited, but it was actually a blast and the people we stopped by really loved it. Christmas was kind of a two day event here in Bakersfield. For most Hispanics (at least here) the big celebration is on the Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve. That is when they have their big family gatherings and at night time they open all of their gifts. So Christmas Eve was a lot of fun because we had a big Hispanic Christmas dinner with one of the families in the ward. Then on Christmas we got to Skype home to our families. Its a pretty interesting experience, Skyping home when you get to see them again in less than two weeks! It was so much fun. I got to talk with the fam while they were at my aunt and uncle's place for Christmas so I was able to see a bunch of my family. I am so excited to see all of those awesome people again!
The rest of the week was really great. We had a few really good lessons with Rosario. She is a single mother who works really hard to raise her two daughters, Siclali and Samantha. Siclali is a really adorable little girl and Samantha is a pretty rebellious teenage girl. Rosario talks a lot about how difficult it is to keep her on the right path. We finally met her this week and we were able to have a lesson with the whole family. She is actually a really cool kid, but she is pretty rebellious. Her mom would tell her to do one thing and she does the complete opposite. So we had a lesson with them and Samantha had a ton of questions. She was really involved expressed a lot of doubts that she's been having about her faith. She really didn't want to come at first, but we committed her to come to church by the end of the lesson. They came on Sunday and she ended up liking it. She went to her first class and when she came out and we asked how it went she said, "That was super boring." haha We were crossing our fingers that the next lesson would be better and she said that it was actually a lot of fun and she loved it. She was talking to a lot of the girls from her class so we really think it went well. I really like that family. They have their problems, but they are all willing to try. They're reading, praying as a family, and coming to church.
This week we have found a lot of new people to teach as well. We knew that Christmas Eve and Christmas were going to be a little harder to find people so we kicked it into overdrive to try and still find people. We decided to go street contacting on Hampton St and it was awesome. I have never found so many new people on a single street before. It is really funny. We have this big huge area and half of our investigators are on this little street. One of the new people we found on Hampton is named Alicia. She is a really sweet 18 year old girl. We started talking to her and teaching her in English, but then she told us she didn't know much English and that she preferred Spanish. I always get so happy when people say that because if they prefer English, we have to refer them off to English missionaries. Alicia is really awesome though and I'm glad we can teach her.
Okay we've really gotta go. I hope you all have an awesome week and a Happy New Year! I can't believe that this is my last week. It really does not feel like I have 9 days left. I don't know what to think about it. Tomorrow I have my last interview with President Wilson and the following day we have the departing temple trip. It is a weird feeling to say the least. Most of the time I am just so excited to see my family and be home again, but then sometimes its different. Like when we finished that really good lesson this week with Rosario's family. I couldn't help feeling like I'm really going to miss this. I have loved my mission so much. Take good care. I love and miss you all, but I'll see you soon.
Elder Chad Thompson