Hi Fam Bam,

The biggest news of the week is that I have officially been out on my mission for a YEAR!!!  This has been the fastest, and longest, most life changing, worthwhile year of my entire life and I’m so grateful for every experience that I’ve had!
New Years was a blast… just kidding we didn’t actually do anything.  We had to come home at 7:00 pm on Thursday and we had planned to make tacos (because its been a YEAR since I’ve eaten tacos!!), but we don’t really have the means to make tacos here (like tortillas are really expensive and there’s no such thing as spicy). So on Thursday afternoon we were telling our convert, Luciano, that we were going to make tacos somehow, and he’s like “it’s so easy you just do this and this and this to make tortillas blah blah blah.”  Easier said than done, I think.  And then LATER, he calls us to tell us that he made the tacos, tortillas from scratch, and it was all hot and ready for us to come eat.  Literally the people are toooo wonderful here!  I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE MURPHY.
Anyways, we were in bed by 11:00 pm on New Years Eve, and rather angry when the whole pueblo started shooting off fireworks at 12:00. DON’T THEY KNOW THE MISSIONARIES ARE SLEEPING?  hahah
Okay, so there’s this lady that was in our branch.  And she was 93 years old, her daughter is the relief society president, and she just got baptized a few MONTHS ago. And she was so wonderful!  We would go to visit her and she would have fruit and candy that she saved for us, sometimes she would dance, and even though we struggled to understand each other, we loved her SO MUCH.  Unfortunately, she passed away last night :(((  And this morning they called us at 10:00 to come to the funeral at 11:00.  And then when we got there, they asked us to speak.  WHAT.  Luckily on the mission I have learned to follow the spirit and be ready for ANYTHING, and it was a truly BEAUTIFUL service.
I’m so happy to be a missionary. I’m so happy to be able to meet such wonderful people and have such new experiences.  The month of December I had decided to focus on developing charity.  And as I went to bed on New Years Eve, I felt like my heart was just overflowing with the love that I feel for the people here.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt such joy before, and that joy truly comes after we lose ourselves in the service of others.  I know I would have never felt this way if I had never come on a mission. It’s been so worth it!!!
Love you all SO MUCH!
Con amor,
Hermana Strong

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