Well, here I am, typing up another letter here in Perú. Time keeps on slipping, into the future... I love Space Jam.
Maybe just ignore that first line, especially if you have never seen Space Jam. or Kid President.
I am still in Canadá and i am still training. I am going to be honest with you, i still don't feel like i even know how to train. I am in a little bit of a funk. But, times like these are always followed by really awesome experiences, so get ready for the best email yet next week!
My Christmas was very different than other Chritmases I have had. All the fiestas here start at midnight, so we tried (and failed) to sleep the 24th. There were fireworks going off like crazy for about 2 hours. But, more importantly than that, we were able to teach Antony, a recent convert (one of the two baptisms we have had since i've been in this ward). He lives alone, and works in the banana market here. we scheduled an appointment with him the sunday before last to meet on the 24th, not realizing that it would be Christmas Eve. As i looked at my agenda for that day, I realized that we had made an appointment with him Christmas Eve night, and that more than likely, he would be out doing something to celebrate. But, (with more prompting from the spirit than i realized at the time) we ran over to meet him at the chapel anyway (since he lives in a part of town that we try to avoid after dark). We walked around the chapel, and saw a man sleeping on the grass. We almost didn't realize that it was, in fact, Antony. We got closer and started calling his name. He eventually woke up with a startle. It was obvious that he had been working and was really exhausted. The chapel was closed, so we sat on the grass with him and taught about the temple. He then started to give the most amazing testimony about how beautiful the story of the first vision of Joseph Smith is to him. While teaching Antony, i have noticed that he understands things in his very own, unique way. But as he began to tell us of how at first, he had may doubts about Joseph Smith and then about how he researched and prayed, and came to realize that Joseph was in fact a prophet, and that the priesthood is in fact very important to have, i realized that he had come to understand very well the Restoration. I was very impressed, and very very content to realize that we had not just baptized someone, but we had helped someone to become a convert (which is one of the fears i have: that i will baptize someone who will later become inactive. happens more often than not here). I then asked if he had plans for Christmas. he simply said no. I felt terrible. We were running late to go over to dinner with some members, but i knew that i would not enjoy anything if we had to leave antony alone on christmas. i sent a text to the family to see if he could join us. Stalling while waiting for a reply, we started walking in the direction of their house really slow. I was praying harder and harder that they would answer as we got closer and closer. Finally, we were almost there, and they still hadn't answered. I was stuck. I coudn't just invite someone to someone else's party, but i also didn't know how i could just leave Antony. Literally as i went to shake his hand to say goodbye, on the verge of tears, the phone started ringing. The sister who had invited us to dinner said of course antony could join us! And yet again, i had a very precise and direct answer to my prayers, which as happened over and over again on my mission. I wish that you could have seen how happy Antony was when we asked if he would like to join us. It was a very special Christmas, one that i will never forget.
so much more has happened this week, but i am just out of time to tell you! just know that this mission is very very worth every little pain that comes with being a missionary. I love it. It's the best thing I've done with my life.
Miss you all, and love you all!
The Castillo Family
Christmas caps for the whole mission