What A Crazy Week!
I suppose Christmas is always going to be crazy where ever you go. The malls are packed, as is the post office, and the grocers, and so forth. People just go nuts! Guess thats true for missionaries too but for different reasons. Tracting within two weeks of Christmas doesn't seem to be very effective (Go figure) But people seem to be somewhat friendlier. I found that if I just smile and say Merry Christmas Even the people who are not in the slightest pleased to see us have to return the greeting. Or just pause awkwardly before they shut the door, which pleases me all the same.
I'm very blessed to be in the Cave spring area for my First Christmas. The members here are phenomenal! I can't recall all the times when different families would ask us if we had plans for Christmas Eve/Day because they wanted to make sure we had a place to enjoy the holidays. We were invited to a number of parties and get together. My Favourite being Chirstmas Eve night at the McBrides. The McBrides is one of those families that have many other branches out from a main ancestor. Their family includes the Andersons, Jones's, Roalies, and a few others which I didn't catch. One of the McBrides is actually a member of the Mission Presidency and happens to be in our boundaries. I love the Guy. He Reminds me of Brother Dick Low because he always has interesting stories and a vast knowledge of just about everything I can think of. He also was Mission companions with Mitt Romney!! Anyways, they had us over that night for their family tradition of playing out the Nativity while reading scriptures of The Birth of Christ. I got to be a shepherd. I was stoked! I guess I just really liked it because It reminded me of being home and just sitting around a Christmas Tree with family and good food.
Christmas Morning we opened our Presents and quickly headed over to the Vanderhovens where we would eat a hearty breakfast and be able to call home. My call home lasted about 3 hours...I don't recall if President had set a time cap or not but not much we can do about that now ;). It was Fab. My companion thought it was strange after we finished how much and how little seems to change back at home. Life flies at a very different pace out here in the Field. I'm not sure if thats good or bad yet but it is what it is.
That Evening we were invited back to the Vanderhoven's grandmothers house for a sumptuous Christmas Supper. It was Superb. We spent the rest of the night playing ping pong in the basement and having a snowball fight with the Kids! I rocked one of their Cousins in the Head. It was Glorious. Oh I forgot to mention. IT SNOWED CHRISTMAS DAY! and a good about too, for here at least. With the temperature hovering just below freezing the snow was perfect for snowballs and snowmen. And also horrible for driving... So I had a slight accident in the car that night. We were trying to pull into a parking lot and another car had just gone before us. I figured that I'd given them ample room however due to the slickness and steepness of the ramp they didn't have enough momentum to make it up. She started sliding down just as I'd crossed the lane and was at the bottom of the curb. I tried to throw 'er in reverse but it landed in park instead and she slid into us. Minor cosmetic damage. a one inch crack in our front bumper and no visible damage to them. But We'll have to see how serious its going to be when I take it up with the Vehicle Coordinator... Ike!
Anyways, Church was Canceled on Sunday due to road conditions (When all everyone has on their cars are M+S tires its not hard to see why!) So we spend the morning in personal study. By early afternoon the roads had melted enough and we went to the Eliasons family for Lunch. Sis. E is Half Japanese from California!!! HALLELUJAH! I had real rice and Japanese Curry. And its was LEGIT. I was so pleased I took a large second portion, which probably wasn't the best idea since we had another supper planed shortly there after at the Jones family. But It was all worth it. I sacrificed my stomach in order to not offend the offerings of those generous families who'd gone through so much trouble to see that we'd been taken care of. Not an easy task mind you when there was scarcely two hours between feasts. But I came out conqueror. And again I got to spend time with the Jones/McBride family. They are seriously the Sweetest family!
I forgot to mention before I pay too much tribute all to one family. Bro Shorter who's a member of the Bishopbric also took us out on Thursday. He picked us up in his Prized New Mach 1, Grabber Orange, Mustang and gave us a tour of the Back creek firehall!! He was soo pleased about it all too. It felt really good to be up close and personal with a firetruck again. We toured around and he took us out to lunch afterwords to finish it off. All in all a great week. We didn't get alot of mission oriented work done, largely because most people have enough on their plate this time of year they don't care much to take the time to hear us. But thats alright. Its a new week and we have lots of followups.
I hope everyone back home had a Grand Christmas and is still enjoying the Break before work and school kick back in. Thanks to everyone that sent Christmas cards and Well wishes. I cherish them all! Keep warm up there!