I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! It was so cool to be able to Skype with some of you that I haven't seen in almost a year. It really was so great to see you and talk with you. After we opened some packages from home, I got to Skype with family for a while and talk to a bunch of aunts, uncles and cousins as well. I didn't feel so far from home. I even got to be a part of the dinner prayer! My mom took the laptop to the kitchen where about 40 people from my family were gathered together to bless the food. It was amazing to be there for that. It is good to see that my family back home is doing so well. After we Skyped, we had dinner with the Hernandez family. We had posole and tamales. It wasn't the mashed potatoes and turkey that I am used to, but it was a really good Christmas dinner. It seems like here in Lake LA they celebrate more on Christmas Eve. It was pretty great, we got invited to three different dinners on Christmas Eve. It was a little weird to be away from home during the holidays, but I definitely got to spend Christmas with some great people.
The rest of the week was great too. The past seven weeks, Elder Dee and I have been knocking on a lot of doors and talking to a lot of people on the street. Most of the people we talk to have already met the missionaries before and are oftentimes not very interested. So for the past couple weeks Elder Dee and I, as well as the other two Spanish speaking missionaries in the Branch, have been trying to work really closely with the members and trying to find people to teach. We have been giving Preach My Gospel classes at the church on Saturdaynights and we have also been visiting each family sharing messages about missionary work. We haven't had a whole lot of success with that quite yet. However, this past week a returned missionary in the Brach, Lucerito, introduced us to her younger brother Emanuel. He is 19 years old and he is really awesome. His sister joined the church and then decided to serve a mission shortly after. While she served her mission, Emanuel started to wonder what the church was all about and what his sister was doing. So he started emailing her questions and through that, he learned a lot about the Gospel. Lucerito returned from her mission a couple of months ago and she invited her brother to talk with us and he said he would give it a shot. So he came to church on Sunday and we taught him a quick lesson in the chapel after church. Manny is really awesome. He really has a sincere desire to learn. He has never been really religious and it is amazing to see him start to learn things that I have known for a long time. He is just beginning to understand that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that He loves us so much He died for us. I am so grateful that we have met him and that we can share the Gospel with him. He is a great kid and is making a lot of progress.
Well, I should probably get going. We have to catch the bus to Lancaster soon if we want to go shopping this week. I am doing great. I am happy to be out here working for the Savior in Lake LA. Sometimes it is difficult, but I'm trying not to take this time in my life for granted. I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year! I can't believe 2015 is almost here. Crazy how time flies. Take good care!
I love and miss you all,
Elder Chad Thompson