Monday, January 8, 2018

Película, Panetón, and Pop

Getting creative with popsicle sticks and Christmas cards.
Christmas is such an exciting time of year for us. We absolutely love sharing the Good News of the birth of Christ.

Christmas also ends up being our busiest time as missionaries. This is because there are less customs to prepare for Christmas than there are for lent and Easter.

 We have also found that the people have very little knowledge of the Birth of Jesus. Part of the reason for this is that the area in which we live and work is still very very young in the faith. There has only been priests living in this zone for ten years. Occasionally a missionary priest would travel through the area but much of the zone was not evangelized let alone catechized. Still after ten years not everyone has been reached. Our zone covers 132 pueblos. Some of which involve a few days journey to reach and many can not be reached during the rainy season. This is the reason we are here, to evangelize those who have not been reached by the two priests in whom we work under.
Painting the popsicle stick frames.

The finished products
The finished products.
 During Advent and Christmas we take the time to focus on the upcoming birth of our Savior. Taylor so beautifully summed it up during one of his many talks and studies "Advent is a time of preparation. Why? Because baby Jesus is coming. We need to prepare a place for Him in our hearts just as we prepare a place for our new children in our homes. We take the time to create a safe space for a new child when there are other young children in the home. We make sure the baby has some clothes, a blanket to keep them warm, diapers, and eventually we will need food for that child. With the same love and care we should be readying ourselves for the upcoming birth of Jesus Christ. This is the time to look at our lives to see if Jesus will be sustained in us. Do we need to purge some not good habits? Do I need to take on more prayer in my daily life? How am I going to feed my faith? We should take this time during Advent to evaluate our faith life and see where we need to grow. Do we read the Bible daily? No. Then now is the time to start reading five minutes a day. Do I pray during my week outside of the Sunday Liturgy of the Word? No. Then add one hour of prayer during your week. If you already pray an extra hour during the week then add another. Prepare yourself to receive baby Jesus. He IS coming. Are you ready?"

The week leading up to Christmas is always very busy. It brings a joyful exhaustion! During this week we spend our days traveling to our pueblos with fruitcake, soda, and the movie 'The Nativity Story.' We start the class by asking the children what Christmas is all about. The responses vary between Santa Claus, fruitcake, presents and toys. We were surprised that none of the children even mentioned Jesus (We are in a new zone that needs to be evangelized). Malachi and Ruth then shared the birth of Christ. We asked each of the youth to try to find the important people in the movie. It is always exciting to hear the whispers as this story comes to life right before their eyes. At the end of the movie we then ask again why do we celebrate Christmas. Everyone can answer and they then understand why they receive gifts in memory of Christmas.
We spent the week leading up to Christmas traveling to our new pueblos.
We took this opportunity to teach the youth what Christmas is truly about
using the movie 'The Nativity Story', fruitcake and soda.

This makes everything worth it. This is why we do it. As hard as it is to be away from family and friends especially during holidays we are thankful to be here serving the Lord in this manner! ~Katie
Our nativity was a little battered here in Buenos Aires. So I decided to
restore the pieces as best as I could. They turned out so nice. 

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