Garrett in front of the Guayaquil Temple

Monday, January 2, 2012

2 Jan 2012 ¡FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!

¡FELIZ AÑO NUEVO FAMILIA! Here we are in 2012! Incredible! Without a doubt, 2011 was the quickest year of my life! For all but three weeks of last year I was either in Peru or Ecuador! It has been an incredible experience living in South America, getting to know the people, the cultures, and the food! I can't really believe it's 2012, and I'm expecting this year to be fast as lightning, so I have to take advantage of every moment I have left here on the mission, which, on Wednesday reaches 1 YEAR! WOO HOO! I think that calls for a party in our house!!! We'll see about that one :)

Wow, this last week of 2011 was a good one too. We managed to keep finding a lot of people even with another shortened week due to New Years, which was a very interesting experience! So the four of us that live in the house, Elder Johnson, Elder McRae, Elder Curtis and I had turned out the lights at 10:30 Saturday night, just planning to wake up Sunday morning and be sarcastically excited that it was 2012. Well, that didn't happen. About 5 minutes to 12, all the monigotes that people burn went up in flames, many small fireworks started going off, and at 12 exactly, it sounded like a war zone right outside of our house! I looked out our window and I saw about 5 fires burning from the monigotes and all the bombitos they put in them were exploding. So we all got out of our beds and watched and listened to all the madness going on! It put a smile on my face, as I remembered all the New Years parties from years past with everyone, friends and family, although they weren't as crazy as the party I saw here! Granted, it was a little hard to sleep after, but we managed to make it through all of Sunday as well cooped up in the house. This week will be a little bit more calm I'm thinking, although on Friday more monigotes will be going up in smoke, as the bigger monigotes that were made will be judged and then burnt. There are some interesting traditions here in Ecuador, and I get the great chance as a missionary to see them. Everybody asks us what we do for holidays like Christmas and New Years, and almost always our answer is "not what you guys do!"

Wow, this past year, as I mentioned, has been full of lifetime memories, and many people I won't forget. I am expecting this year to be just the same. It kind of scares me to think that I only have one year left, and judging by last year's pace, it'll be over before I know it! It will be very fun!

Well, I've got to go now, but I love you all, and I'm glad you all had a great New Years!

Hasta el próximo lunes,

Elder Garrett Cederquist
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur

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