Happy New Year In Bolivia!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years celebration. Remember how I told you all that Christmas Eve the fireworks display was insanely gorgeous? Well, THAT was absolutely NOTHING compared to the fireworks on New Years Eve. Like, nobody in our house slept at all because the noise was so loud! Hna. Knighton and I woke up because of it. I also have several videos of the display, so maybe some of you can get an idea for what it´s like here. But then we also couldn´t sleep because one of our neighbors decided to blast music from 2 AM all the way to the morning! Like, the music was still going on even as we got ready to go to church. Locos.
There were also many drunk people on the street, some passed out, others attempting to serenade shop owners in order to buy more alcohol. Haha!
New Years day we had lunch with the familia Aparicio, and Igor made what was literally the greatest steak I have EVER eaten in my life. He could make a vegan go cannibal, it was that amazing. He also made a ton of meat, all of which we miraculously managed to eat. I have no idea how. Anyway, I guess it´s a dream of Igor´s to open up a restaurant one day, so I told him to open one up next to my house because I never want to be without his food, and also because there is no Bolivian restaurant in Utah.
I´m still having steak dreams.
It was also Hna. Alarcon´s birthday yesterday, so we decorated the house and surprised her in the morning by throwing balloons on her. Yay! It was so much fun, and I also managed to get the only good picture with our sparklers.
I´ve also completed my first transfer here! Woohoo! There are new people in my zone now. This is also Hna. Knighton´s last transfer, and then she goes home! I´m so sad. She´s really been such a wonderful companion. Missionary work is hard but she makes it fun.
Yesterday we had lunch with the Elders at a members house, and it was very interesting. My zone leader just finished training a gringo companion, so he was telling me and Hna. Knighton what he did to teach his companion Spanish. I think he misses training a gringo. His idea to teach his companion Spanish was to talk really fast all the time, and I don´t know if he realizes that everyone learns differently and that talking fast doesn´t equal learning fast. Haha! Anyway, I´ve had a few breakthroughs with the language, the biggest one being that I realized that I need to stop stressing about learning it. I´ve been focusing too much on learning the language and planning what I´m going to say to people in my head before, but I need to worry more about our investigators, then the language. Since I´ve had this revelation, I´ve been putting so much more effort into thinking about Christ and thinking about what I want my investigators to know, and it´s been making a difference in our lessons and in my attitude. Hna. Knighton has a phrase that she always says: One thought of Christ can change everything! How right she is. I hope that all of you can make it your goal to think of Christ more often this year, before you get angry or frustrated or sad. I certainly hope to become more Christlike in everything I do!
Well everyone, that´s all for now! I hope you have the greatest new year of your life! I certainly intend to make this year count for me in every sense.
Hna. Ius
Pics (not in order): Hna. Alarcon´s birthday photo, the puppy I stole off the streets to take pictures with (IT¨S NOT A STRAY, WE KNOW THE OWNERS), me and a yummy cookie, night landscape of Tarija, and a picture of a tree I drew in Hna, Knighton´s scriptures Alma 32.

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