Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody!

>So this Christmas was the first one I spent away from home, and it was pretty crazy. I have a few fun stories to tell haha.
I’m still here in the office, but I’m getting better and stronger every day. I’m going to be able to leave at the end of this transfer and go out and work so I’m really happy. This transfer ends January 3rd, so I’ll get to rest up and get better up until then. That gives me one more week of being bored and recovering in the office. Yay.
Here they start celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve and they just party until 5 in the morning on Christmas. So Christmas really isn’t even a big day. Just Christmas Eve. So Christmas Eve is when we had all the dinner appointments and stuff. We had two dinners, so that was cool. We ate turkey and ham. It was sooo nice to see those meats again. It’s been forever. They pretty much only eat chicken here haha. But yeah. I was with Elder Thayne, who is my buddy from BYU, and the Assistant to the President. So Elder Zuniga, the Assistant, calls President Johns to ask if we can stay out late haha but he let us stay out, and we got home at 10:30. So that was tight. We ate so much and we were all sick by the time we got home. So my Christmas Eve was pretty sweet. We went to bed way late, because yeah, we’re the office and we just do that hahaha it’s funny. But we always get up at 6:30 like we’re supposed to.
But we woke up late on Christmas because nobody heard the alarm haha everyone woke up around 7:30. But anyways, for Christmas we did a secret Santa game with all the Elders in the office. I got Elder Zuniga’s name, the Assistant to the President, and he got my name as well haha but we didn’t know until we did the gifts of course. But we each bought each other a Manchester United jersey, and we almost bought the exact same ones. I almost got him the one he gave me. So that was funny. He also bought me sandles, which I really needed because my others ones were falling apart, and he gave me some chocolate. I felt bad because I didn’t get to leave the office to shop as much as everyone else because they want me to stay in as much as possible, so I didn’t get to finish my shopping, so he got me way more than I got him. But then I was able to give him a ton of my american candy, which I love more than life itself, to him, because he had never had ANY of it. So that felt really good to give that to him and let him have the amazing experience of eating GOOD candy. Honestly, nothing compares to american candy. There is some good stuff down here, but there are no Mike and Ikes, Butterfingers, NADA. So that was cool. We all traded gifts and then got ready to go upstairs to the office and call our families!! Woohoo!
That was an ordeal. Everybody’s family wanted to call at the same time it seemed, and there are only 4 lines here in the office. So my family had a fun time trying to reach me haha but they finally got through. It was cool to talk to them after 5 months. I only have to wait 5 more months until the next phone call! Yay. So everyone called their families and we had fun doing that and laughing at the people who cried and we just chilled and ate candy and didn’t do much because everything was closed and the office Elders couldn’t do a lot of their work because it was Christmas.
This computer has a virus. It puts a virus onto your USB stick and onto your camera. So I was trying to send Christmas pictures, and I got a few sent off, but in the end I had to erase all the pictures on my camera. That was really terrible. But the cool thing is I made a backup CD of all my photos about 2 weeks ago. So I didn’t lose much. But it was scary. I almost lost everything. So yeah. I don’t like the people who make viruses. But I taped up the USB ports on this computer so nobody else can fall victum to it’s terrible virus. It’s a nasty virus too. I did a little research because I’m going to try to get it off of here, and it’s a really really nasty virus. It’s called the Recycler Virus, and it exploits the autoboot function of peripheral devices. So whenever you stick in a USB stick, camera, or anything it throws the virus on there and basically destroys your ability to access anything on there, unless you are on the computer that first gave you the virus. So it got on my pen drive and camera, but I just formated them on someone elses computer and it went away. And it’s really hard to get off of the computer. So I’m pretty sure that President Johns will give me this as my next task to complete. I’m not excited. Viruses are no fun. So yeah. I still got my pictures so it’s all good. Just a little frustrating. And of course it had to happen on Christmas haha.
But after that, we went to the sector. I went with the Elders who work in downtown Guayaquil. The city was DESERTED. It was crazy. There was nothing open, except the Chifa, which is chineese food and it was open because they don’t speak Spanish so nobody told them it was Christmas haha. Nah, so we ate there and then went tracting. We went into a large apartment complex with about 6 floors, and the elevator broke and kicked us out on the third floor so we had to walk the rest of the way, which was killer to my legs haha ah. It’s really frustrating sometimes to feel so weak, but whatever. I’m getting better. So we went up and the member wasn’t there, so we went back down. And when we got to the bottom we had a huge surprise! The door was locked and we were trapped in the building. I felt like I was in a zoo haha because people would walk by and see 3 missionaries sitting behind some bars just waiting. So we just sat there and talked and hoped someone would pass by. Finally after about 30 minutes someone came and unlocked the door! We were getting a little scared that nobody would come and that we’d be there for hours haha. So after that we just walked around Guayaquil trying to contact references. But nobody wanted anything because it’s Christmas. We were trying to get in the door just to sing a Christmas song, and they still wouldn’t even let us in. I hope they feel guilty for rejecting a little bit of Christmas spirit later haha the world really has turned Christmas into X-mas now hasn’t it. Unfortunatly, we can’t do that little trick in Spanish. But we, as Latter-day Saints should do just the oposite and remember that the Spirit of Christmas is really the Spirit of Christ, like President Monson said. But yeah, we just walked for 2 hours and I actually didn’t feel to terrible. So that was a good little test to let me know that my health is improving.
And that was my Christmas. Not very exciting, but yeah. It was sweet.
That’s basically all that’s going on. Not much happens here in the office. I see Elder Austin all the time, so that’s sweet. I sent a picture of me and him home, so that’ll be posted probably.
I’m just ready to leave the office and go have my own sector with my own companion. I can’t believe that the year is already over. Time goes by was too fast. Anyways, I’m going to go because I have no idea on what else to talk about.
Love you all, have a great New Years!
Elder Lane D. Sawyer</a

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