It is pretty crazy that it is already time for Christmas again! I can't believe it, this last year went by so fast! This last week was good, a little hard, but good. We had another baptism! A 15 year old kid named S got baptized! It has been a blessing to be able to see so many results of our work out here.
Our branch President, T, is a boss. He has been passing through a ton of trials and problems, but he is super faithful. This last week, their dog bit this really old lady and they had to pay her $100, which for them is a TON of money, and all her hospital bills, and they had to send the dog to another island. He was telling us how last year, his daughter lost the $1,000 he had worked 8 years to earn, and how this year, they were going to start a business, but with the dog fiasco, he has to wait a little while longer to start it. But, one thing I admire about the people on Blas is that they understand that it isn't money that brings happiness. T always says that he knows that he Lord is just testing him and that he knows it will all end soon and he will be blessed. He is a great example to me, when I complain or think little inconveniences are hard, I look at him and get strength to endure.
My new companion is cool, he is from Arizona. He has almost the same time in the mission as me, so we will see how long we will be companions for. He wants to work hard, so that is the most important thing. We are still seeing lots of miracles for our work, so I am happy right now. I was able to do divisions with Elder T this week, one of our district leaders in the zone. I was in the office when he came to the mission. He is the really big blonde kid that is in that picture with me at the soccer tournament. He is a boss, and I learned a ton from him! We have gotten along well since he got here, so the divisions were super fun, but constructive as well! I respect the missionaries in this zone, we have one of the nicer areas in the zone, and the other areas are really hard. The missionaries that get sent here are pretty strong.
So, about skype, three o'clock my time should be fine! I am super stoked to be able to talk with you all! This will be my last call home in the mission! (super crazy) We are just going to pass Christmas pretty tranquil here on the island, and set up the Christmas devotional so the branch can watch it on Thursday night. We will have a turkey dinner with the members so it should be nice.
Well family, that is about all I have time for right now. I can't wait to skype with you guys on Thursday! I will not be able to call beforehand, I have no phone to do so, so you will just have to be ready at the computer around three (one your time). I love you all!
Remember, the true spirit of the season is felt when we remember not just the birth of Christ, but his earthly mission, and also, when we look forward to His second coming with faith. Espero que tengan una muy feliz navidad, y que sientan el verdadero espíritu de la Navidad.
Elder Austin Michael Kipp