"My first Christmas away from home! Sat on my bed and opened presents! Look at that pile of fun stuff--thanks everyone!! My Christmas gifts--I've always been one for arranging the gifts by the tree!" :)
"Wanted to share this with you...my journal entry from Christmas night....Feliz Navidad. Today was quite a different Christmas than usual! I woke up this morning at 630 and opened my gifts...my mom sent a beyond awesome package! Photos and letters from everyone in the fam which made me cry when I saw the photos! A tape with a little message from everyone...I laughed, cried and smiled the whole time listening to it! It was great! I also got a couple new blouses..so cute, lots of snacks, new missionary pillowcase, US and AZ flags, a pretty silver necklace and tons of stickers and little CTR rings for the kids here! It was great. It was a little weird and I felt a little sad opening gifts without the fam...which made this morning a little rough I have to admit. I was sad and homesick. However, everyones letters were so focused on Christ and the real meaning of Christmas and I just so happened to study the end of 2 Nephi which is all about Christ and His doctrine. I´ve had a lot of time to think about my Savior today while walking the streets and such...I am SO grateful for Him. So grateful! He is the perfect example of everything. These past couple months I have really gained a relationship with Him. He comforts me. Helps me. Guides me. Loves me. He is my older brother. He is my friend. My Reedemer. He died for me! What love! I will be eternally grateful for Him! And, i´m grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who had a plan that included the atonement. And eternal families! I talked to my family for almost an hour this evening..it was so awesome and just fun! I shed some tears..but really, they were happy tears! I loved hearing everyones voices..it felt like we just talked yesterday..and I like that feeling! I´m so grateful for my family..their love and support. My family is really blessed...we really do have a special bond. They are my best friends! And that is one thing I have learned this Christmas...what's really important. The gospel, my Savior, my family. Sure, the gifts are awesome and fun but as I went from house to house visiting people today...they really do live such humble lives here. No christmas presents under the tree...just a dinner on the night of the 24th with their family to celebrate. Peoples thoughts really are focused on Christ here. What an example to me! I´m grateful for this day, the day of the Saviors birth, to focus on and learn more about Him. I can´t express enough gratitude for Him, for His open arms and for the blessings He has allowed me to have....an awesome family, to be a member of this church and to share this happy gospel with the people here in paraguay!!"