|Apparently these are built and then burned in the streets - along with a whole bunch of others -|
for New Year. People pay 50 cents to have their picture taken with them.
Jacob!!!!! My little brother!! Congratulations on the baptism man. That is super great. You have just made one of the biggest decisions in your life - and you made it right. Love you lots little man! All grown up and a member of God´s kingdom here on the earth! I hope you never ever forget about that day. it is a super special one, one that I would have loved to have seen. Just remember to hold on to those covenants you made, and you´ll do great!!
Well, let me tell you a little bit about my New Year. It was actually super awesome. In the building we live in, we got permission from the lady that owns it (and the president of the mission) to go to the top balcony for New Years Eve. I told you about how they destroy these sort of piñata thingies in the street, but the people here know how to celebrate. We were on top of that building, and we could see all of Guayaquil city around us. In every direction, you could see fireworks going off, just like the ones on the 4th of July. And there were tons! Sometimes people would light them off right next to our building, and we were almost deafened by the sound! It was really one of the neatest New Years I have ever had. The best part was right as the countdown was going, the people beat apart their piñata thingies and lit them on fire with gasoline and roman candles. (fireworks). When it happened, almost literally the whole street went up in flames! It was nuts, and I was pretty glad I was four stories or so up in the air. (thats about as tall as the skyscrapers get around here) Also, someone lit a nearby mountain on fire. That was a little sketchy, at least until one of the members told me that happens every year haha! Then for the rest of the day we just stayed in the house and that was it.
So, a quick spiritual thought. Something that my companion and I joke about lately is the pregunta: why do bad things happen to good people? It all started when I asked him that when I accidently spilled my soda in KFC. Since then, we have been using the phrase a lot for different things. But I had to look at it in a spiritual way at some point. Why is it sometimes that we run into things that knock us down when we are doing everything to keep the commandments and live the way Heavenly Father wants us to? I have found a couple of reasons why. One, because sometimes its bad luck haha! But another is that there needs to be opposition in all things. How would we know the good times from the bad if we had never had either? How would we know what happiness is if we had never felt sad? 2 Nephi 2 talks about that in the scriptures. But another reason I have found is that it helps us recognize how much we need to rely on our Savior to help us out. In some circumstances, everything is out of our hands, and we physically are unable to better our circumstances. But even if we think that all is lost, it is not, if we are willing to search for and find comfort in the grace that Christ so willingly spares us. We have tough times and trials so that we can learn to rely on Him, and when we do so, He will be there. Just to think about, but I love you guys lots, and I´ll talk to yall next week!