Funeral and Nativity: Transfer 3, Week 4‏

Hello everyone! Don't worry, all is well here. I am fine, and I
haven't drowned yet. All of the crazy weather hasn't affected us,
really at all. We keep hearing everyone talking about floods and
tornados and massive thunderstorms, but all we've seen is just a
little bit of rain. Either the Lord is protecting us, we're oblivious,
or the weather is trying to pull pranks on us by only being wild when
we're sleeping or in church. It's like Toy Story, but with rain.
This week has been super crazy busy. Everyone seems to have lost their
minds because of Christmas. People just seem a little crazier this
past week than the whole time I've been here.
So last Tuesday was Pday because we had Elder Arnold from the Quorum
of the Seventy come and speak to us the day before, so Tuesday was the
last time I have updated you folks. This week we spent a lot of time
at the stake center working on the stake Nativity program our stake is
putting on. The entire gym is decorated to look like Bethlehem and
it's decked out. So as missionaries we helped put everything together
and arrange everything and we have also been spending a lot of time at
the actual event talking to people and telling them more about the
church and such. During the afternoon the stake brings in retirement
homes to see all the nativities and there is also entertainment always
going on. During the evening, the event is open to the public so
people can come hear a choir sing Christmas carols or something like
that while they enjoy the beautiful scenery and talk to missionaries.
We have spent a TON of time there this week just talking to people and
if something happens with the entertainers, we are the first ones they
ask to fill in to sing Christmas carols. And sometimes we get to dress
up. It's a party.
So on Friday we were asked to be pallbearers at Rosa's funeral. I
guess that's just what happens when you're in a small branch, but
honestly, I appreciated the experience, despite the circumstances. So
Friday morning at 11 we went to the church and helped unload the
casket from the hearse and brought it into the church for the viewing.
We had the viewing until 12:30 and we started the funeral. Really, the
only people that showed up to the funeral were the family of Rosa,
Hermano Alba, us, and one other family from the branch. It was a nice
service and we went to the cemetery. It was raining REALLY hard the
whole time and when we got there the Caucasian cemetery people didn't
want to proceed with the burial because it was raining and the ground
was muddy and they wanted to put it off until later. But in Hispanic
culture families are very important and they would not abandon their
family during their funeral for anything. So they told the white
cemetery people that they were gonna do the funeral come Hell or high
water, and we did. We brought out the casket, dedicated the grave,
they put the casket in the ground, covered it with the concrete box,
put the dirt in the grave and put the sod on the grave site. The whole
process took quick a while, and we were soaked and shivering, but I
was glad that I got to be apart of it because they taught me what
families really mean. The family was not going to leave until it was
all over no matter the circumstances or weather. It was kinda
beautiful to see honestly. I can't explain it, but I really
appreciated getting to stand in the rain and see that.
So this week we saw crazy weather, singing at nativities, and being a
pallbearer at a funeral. Honestly, it was a good week! I hope y'all
had as good of a week as I did. Love y'all! Have a good week!



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