Hey all, what a year it has been! It's been a pretty good one, full of crazy experiences and lots of growing. :) It's been great. Wow. I can't even believe it's been just about a year. It flew by, and the last half goes even faster they say. Wow. Anyway, so that's pretty crazy!
Mom - Well it sounds like you guys had a fun Thanksgiving haha. I hope it all worked out well and that you were able to enjoy yourselves. The TSO concert sounded pretty sweet though, and I'm glad you all had a great time there! I did miss you a bit on Thanksgiving, but it was still a pretty good day- I'll get to that in a second.
Dad - The TSO night sounded like a blast! We did have something on common on Thursday - and it involved riding a train haha. It's a pretty intense new area, and I'll get to explaining it in a bit! But it sounds like you all had a good time in Salt Lake! :)
Marilee - I'll email you in a bit. :)
Well, I am now working in Santurce. I've officially been transferred from Guayanilla and now work in Santurce. It's a huge change. I moved from the most tranquilo pueblo on the island to the area of the island where a ton of killings happen each year. I'm now in the middle of San Juan haha... it includes Viejo San Juan (all the touristy area), and all the northern part of San Juan (excluding the airport). It's CRAZY! It's so much fun though haha, and a TON more people. In our area there are like 1.5 million people or something. It's intense. And on top of that, everybody is Dominican, so that's pretty interesting. It's a pretty sweet area, and I'm still really confused directions wise there, but it all works out. Oh, and we don't have a car. We live in Caparra, right by the office, and we catch the train every day for a half hour with our bikes and then we go bike around in Santurce! It's pretty sweet, and a lot easier to bike than in Guayanilla, as it's all flat and hardly any hills. It's pretty sweet. :)
Anyway, on Thanksgiving, we had two meal citas. The first one was with a member in Rio Piedras, and we ate Sancocho with him, which is a Puerto Rican stew. A bit later we ate with a member family in Santurce, and we had lechon, mashed potatoes, salad, and some rice. A different Thanksgiving dinner, but still really good. :) It was a good time, and I enjoyed it. Besides that, this week we had some really good lessons, and we taught a bunch of people. Santurce's got a lot of investigators, and a lot that are ready for baptism, so that will be sweet.
Then on Saturday night, some elders came and picked me and another missionary up, and we slept in the Riverside apartmentos for Sunday, because we were in the choir. On Sunday we went to Toa Baja, and then Arecibo, and we performed in those two sacrament meetings. It was really good. We then practiced a bit after, and then came back to the metro area. At 6:00, we met up at the office again and went to a funeral and sang there. (For all the performances I played the piano.) For the funeral, the Alvarado family brought a keyboard which was definitely NOT like a real piano, but I made it work haha. :) It was a nice service, and we left a nice performance there, singing "Nearer my God to Thee" and "Be Still my Soul", both in Spanish. And Pres. said a few words, and it was all really nice. The Spirit was definitely there. I'm a bit bummed I won't be able to visit my new ward until January, but it's really cool being a part of the Christmas Choir. We have another performance on Friday in Caguas, and then others throughout the month. We might even be going to the Islands!! Like Tortola, Antigua, St. Croix, etc. It'll be fun.
Anyway, that's about all I've got for the week. Lots of craziness, but we'll see where we go. Almost Christmas! Send me my Skype information ASAP. We still don't have anywhere to Skype yet, but I'll find somewhere before Christmas comes around. :) I love you all and wish you all the best! I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and that you're all doing great. :)
Con muchisimo amor,
Elder Kimball Ray Gardner