Christmas in Foggia

What an exciting week! 

As this was my first Christmas away from home, I knew it would be different. What I did not know was how enjoyable and uplifting Christmas as a missionary is. At the beginning of the week at zone conference we reinacted the nativity!  It was especially exciting for me because it is a tradition I do with my family every Christmas back at home. The following day at English course as we taught the advanced class we were speaking about Christmas traditions. We shared with them the tradition of the nativity. We were able to talk about the birth of Christ and share scriptures with them. They were all excited and responded well to the message. We finished the lesson by showing "He is the Gift". The Spirit was strong and beautiful! 
For Christmas eve and day we were able to spend time with a family in our ward. They have quite an interesting make-up. There are 2 full time members, 2 less actives, and 2 non-members. During our meals with them we were able to have very meaningful gospel conversations and lessons. I feel like because it was Christmas their hearts were softened to the gospel. It was wonderful to share the season with them and plan to work with them in the future.
Of course it was exciting to skype with my family and hear from them. Such a blessing and wonderful way to spend Christmas. 

 So now I need to share the classic missionary moment I had. I want to tell you all a story of the BEST (or maybe worst)meal appointment!! So our friend, Costance,is from Nigeria and she invited us over for dinner to try some of her traditional food. She fed us a traditional African dish called FUFU and soup... or fufu for short... let me explain...

first off... there is a large ball of flour and water that forms a play dough type of texture and taste
you use your hands and dip the "dough"  into soup.. (please notice that the entire meal is eaten with your hands!!! EW)
then there is the soup... this soup was probably the nastiest thing I have ever consumed! It was super spicy and was the consistency of boogers!!! Inside was chicken on the bone that you had to pick off, liver, whole fishes, and what I think was heart and some type of cartilage. IT WAS SO WRONG!! As we were eating it, I was like... this is not that bad but then the experience just got worse and worse. The bowl was soooo big that after spending about 30 minutes swallowing each hand full and looking at the bowl and still having so much left it seriously felt like a challenge on the tv show Survivor. The cartilage pieces were so big that we had to rip them with our teeth and then swallow them whole!! Then came the fish... I literally saw eyes and the full skeleton of the fish going into my mouth. At one point Costance left the room and Sorella Price and I just looked at each other and she said..."I can not eat anymore, I am going to throw up"... mentally I was doing fine up until this point and then I LITERALLY threw up right there...BUT like a champ I RESWALLOWED the food back down my throat. I could literally feel bones in my throat coming back up! Shortly after we finally were able to leave and I went in a back alleyway and threw up again! I can testify to you that the only way that we both survived that meal appointment was by divine help from above! I am not even kidding! blessed! hahaha!!

This Christmas I recognized the biggest gifts in my life. Family, friends, and the gospel. All of these gifts are given to all of us because of Christ! I am so happy and thankful to be a missionary and teach and share these gifts with others! What a wonderful opportunity! 

 I love you all and have a happy New Year!! On New Years Day we get to deep clean our apartment! Super exciting!!  

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