Christmas-(Mitre-Salta) Week 25

Hola familia y amigos!

Well there`s not too much to report from this week. Some struggles, some success, all that jazz. Out here the weeks seriously blend together haha!
The only big piece of news really is that we`ve got baptisms this Saturday! The familia Tejerina is still progressing so it’s all good. The 2 that will be baptized are Guiliana and Jaquelin (I’m not sure how to spell it but they sound like Juliana and Jackelyn). They are 11 and 8 years old respectively. So, after we found out that the parents weren’t married we knew that the mom’s baptism was going to be delayed quite a bit and we were positive that the kids weren’t going to be baptized without their mom so we just kept teaching without setting a date. They all came to church and then after 2nd hour we leave the classroom and Guiliana just says “Porqué no anunciaron el bautismo?!” (Why didn’t they announce the baptism?!) And we said “what baptism?” and she and Jaquelin basically said “Duh our baptism this Saturday!” And we were super surprised because I guess we underestimated how important this really was to them and that they were going to do it even if their mother couldn’t do it with them. So basically they are just super stud muffins and they’ll be baptized this Saturday! Meeeerrry Chriiiistmaaaass!
Argentine Christmas: Christmas in Argentina is weird and it fits what I thought it would be basically. In the US we decorate after Thanksgiving and its all out from there. Here they decorate after Dec 8. I can’t remember exactly what the  holiday is called but if I`m not mistaken it’s called Dia de la Virgen de Milagro (celebrated the virgin Mary). That holiday all the “catholics” go and march in like a parade type thing and they believe they get forgiven of their sins. Anyways the people decorate with their small fake trees and Pesebres (translated that means manger I`m pretty sure but they`re actually nativity sets). Los Pesebres start out with a little stable with like fake grass/straw and Joseph and Mary and the 3 wise men. So you have that and then year after year you buy another animal to put around it that faces the manger. So in the lead up to Christmas they don’t have the baby Jesus in there. At midnight on Christmas eve they put the baby Jesus in his spot in the manger!
Christmas Eve: So it’s just a normal day until around 8 when everybody leaves work and starts to party. The night from like 8 on Christmas eve to like 4 or 5 in the morning they call “Noche Buena”.  They make a ton of food (asado, empanadas, pizza, etc) and just eat, get super drunk, blast music (literally everyone in this country has HUUUGE speakers) and just have a good time. Then everybody gets ready for midnight and when the clock hits they put the baby Jesus in his manger and they light off a HUGE amount of fireworks. And then they just keep partying and exchanging gifts until like 4 or 5 in the morning when they finally go to bed/pass out.
I will be spending Noche Buena in the house of a member until 11 at night when we have to be in our apartments!
Christmas: Super normal day. They all just like walk around in their new clothes and that’s about it. Nothing Special.
So yeah everything is good and I love you all!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Livin` the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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The view outside our apartment

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The Christmas packages arrived in time for Christmas!

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