Hola Familia, Amigos, y Todos,

José died this week, if you can´t remember who he was, read back… he was the Gaucho that Hermana Schmutz and I baptized in October. On Sunday, we were stopped by a lady I had never met before in my life, who told us that “Toto” (his nickname) was in the hospital, in room 9.
Hermana Araya, Hermana Godoy and I went to give him a blessing, and we got to room 9 I thought there had been some mistake, because I did not recognize the man in the bed. He was frail, unresponsive, and his legs were the ugliest shade of purple. He was just lying there, with nothing but a t-shirt and an adult diaper, surely this wasn´t my José, and then I saw his alpargata shoes at the foot of the bed, and I just knew. I knew it was him.

We then set to the task of convincing his family that he was Mormon and to let us give him a blessing for his health, which after some trouble, we were able to do. Hermano Godoy gave him a really beautiful blessing and we stayed with the family about a half an hour longer and had to leave.

We found out Christmas Eve from his drunken roommate that he had died, probably about a half an hour to an hour after we left.
Everyone tells me that I did a good thing though… the best thing, because now he has a one way ticket straight to the Celestial Kingdom. I still feel like the converts are slipping through my fingers though… Oscar Triay is devastatingly sick too… something with the kidneys. But at least he is upright and walking.

All things considered, I survived my first Christmas away from home just fine.

Hermana Araya y yo celebramos New Years Eve with Familia Gómez and ate asado a full. It was a good way to spend Christmas Eve, because Hermana Gómez´s son is on a mission in Cordoba right now, so she lacked one missionary but got two others in his place for Christmas Eve. I love this family so much… probably because they remind me of my own. I feel such at ease there, and it almost feels like I am in my own house… except I was in Argentina.

We had a later curfew than normal and got Christmas Morning to rest, which Hermana Araya and I aprovechemos el tiempo y descansamos. We woke up just in time to call home. Which was the highlight of the fiestas for me.

In another entertaining note...

We have been having a tiny problem with money lately, we were expecting our money the 25th, but still it hasn´t come and its hit harder for some companionships than others… so when we came to Posadas for p-day today, and for zone conference tomorrow, we decided to bring pan dulce y sandia for some of the other Hermanas in our zone. Especially because we have had enough sandia to fill Ituzaingó. We had almost gotten it to Posadas when the bus took a sharp curve, and the sandia dropped and exploded in the bus. The juice spilled everywhere. I don´t know if we are welcome in that empressa anymore. Igual, We started riéndonos aful. Hermana Araya asked for funny/awkward situations to end her mission, so there you go.

Well, at least the other Hermanas still have the pan dulce.

We are looking forward to the final weeks before Hermana Araya goes home and the start of the new year. Expect more sandia and fireworks for sure.

Love you lots, and thanks for reading this bittersweet blog.
-Hermana Sarah Tritsch

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