I will admit, as a missionary mom, I worried about my cute little missionary on Christmas Eve. "Is someone taking care of her," "Does she have somewhere to go for dinner?" "Is she thinking about traditions from home? and missing us terribly?"
The Llerena family has been so kind and generous to the missionaries. We were so excited when Sister Llerena posted pictures of our missionary on her Facebook page Christmas Eve. All fears were put to rest. We knew Karina was being loved and well taken care of.
We finally joined the missionary family club...waiting for the phone to ring, or in our case, waiting for the Skype to connect. Anticipation was high as we waited and waited. Finally...the best Christmas present any of us received was to see her beautiful tan face and know that she was doing better than ok!
As is expected from our family, tears flowed freely, but surprisingly for only a few moments. Then we just enjoyed hearing everything she had to say about the people and the beautiful country she is calling home. Argentina has become part of her and she loves it! She is feeling very comfortable with the Spanish language and finally feels like she is making progress in learning the language. It is becoming less and less difficult to communicate.
Even though we thought she looked beautiful, she was terribly sick with a stomach virus. She had been sick through the early hours of Christmas morning and her stomach hurt terribly. Karina called us from her stake president's home and was going to receive a blessing from him after our phone call. Oh, how grateful we are for the priesthood.
It seemed crazy to her that we woke up to a very beautiful WHITE Christmas, and she had the air conditioner blowing. I'm sure that she will find it crazier come August when she celebrates her birthday and can't get warm, while we are dying from heat:)
Since we could not send Karina any packages for Christmas, we decided to surprise her with a visit from her best friend Kaz. The moment was priceless as the two greeted each other. Kaz has been so supportive of Karina and hardly missed a week writing Karina. We love Kaz and were so grateful she could arrange her work schedule to come talk with Karina for a few minutes.
Omi and Opa (my mom and dad) joined us along with Uncle Tyler (my brother) and his children, Bryon, Emily and Jayden for the last 20 minutes of our phone call. Karina expressed her gratitude to them for loving and supporting her. I know it meant a lot to both Omi and Opa and to Karina to see each other for a few minutes.
Our 45 minutes seemed to go all too quickly. Before we disconnected we asked Karina to bear her testimony of the love she has for her Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ in Spanish. The words flowed, and I didn't understand much of it (I'm pretty sure that is a good thing). Her uncle Tyler was very impressed and said that she really has accomplished so much in a short 90 days in learning the language (Tyler served a spanish speaking mission in Texas, and is married to Eva who is from Mexico). Good-byes are always hard and none of us wanted to say good-bye or be the one to click the disconnect button. Herrmana Zamora said adios and disconnected us so that we didn't have too.
We are so grateful that Karina is happy and full of joy as she serves her mission. The Lord blesses all His children from the large and important things to the tiniest and what may seem insignificant. We could kiss the person that invented Skype making it possible for us to see and talk to our missionary on Christmas.
~Robyn Kent (Karina's mom)