Nov 28 2016

Oh I got full!! That's for sure. We had four separate food appointments on thanksgiving. It was great! But starting all the way back on Monday, Mike and Deb were so cool!! Oh my goodness it was amazing to see them. I felt bad that they had to make quite the trek and track me down all the way in the north part of the city.

So ya the whole week was kind of like helping people prepare for thanksgiving. We went to a few houses earlier in the week to help cook and my favorite was definitely our Venezuelan family. I will send pictures but we helped them make these yaka they are their version of Mexican tamales but almost infinitely better. They wrap them in banana leaves instead of corn husks and the insides are a mixture of four different meats, a couple types of oil, onions, olives, egg, raisins, and straight goodness! They were amazing and we cooked and danced for what seemed like forever in their house:)

So actual thanksgiving day though, we started the day again at that Venezuelan house because we had to take them a pan so they could cook some pan de jamón, which is also stinking amazing. Then we went to one of our biggest interconnected families from the ward. There are like... four or five households that span a few wards in our stake and almost all of them got together and we were invited. That was way fun too! We could only stay for a little while though because our most promising investigator family had also invited us over. They did so about two months ago so we definitely couldn't miss this one! So after eating a plate at the Alvarez we hopped on the bikes and scurried over to the Ledezma house. This is the family I found in my first week here in Westchester and they have been slowly progressing ever since.  The holidays really are tough times for missionaries who miss home a lot. One could fall into despair pretty quickly around so much family warmth and all... but not me! I don't miss home at all (sniffle). Apparently in their house it isn't thanksgiving without a giant vat of lasagna. So that's what we ate, accompanied by a small slice of ham and turkey which was then followed by overly large portions of; pumpkin pie, apple pie, some other kind of pie, and flan! Yikes. Second meal and it wasn't looking good for me. I was on the verge of bursting and the night was still young! Our final house held the member who I had told earlier that I would eat everything on my plate and his as well! Well, coming out of the Ledezmas I was really regretting saying that. I could barely pedal! Oh, and as you know missionaries love the families they visit so much that it is sometimes hard to leave once you get in. That said, we arrived at our fourth and final appointment for the day, an hour and a half late. It's ok though! They weren't too bummed since it was mostly a family thing again and were content to watch us try and stuff down two tamales each. God bless them. 

I am so grateful for my family. I am so great for all of the wonderful people that have blessed my life before, and during my mission. I am grateful that I have things to be grateful for! There is always someone in less accommodating conditions than us and I encourage everyone in this month of December to check out the church's movement of  #light the world. Thank you all for everything! Love you guys!

Elder Jones
making the yaka

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