So last night we got to attend this really cool candlelight service at a Presbyterian church in Buena Vista. They do it every year, and invite our ward to join them. It was held in this tiny little church house---I wish I would have gotten a picture of it! It was so Virginia. It is one of the oldest church houses in this area and everything is made of gorgeous old wood and it was just packed full of people. There were lots of musical numbers mixed with the pastor of the Presbyterian congregation reading scriptures from the Christmas story and Isaiah. There were a few songs where everyone sang together. The music just filled up that tiny little church and it just felt like Christmas! Right before the very last song, Silent Night, we each got a candle and passed the flame from one person to another. Then we sang Silent Night together. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I've had on my mission. I just stood there, next to Sister Pierson and the Lexington Elders, with members of the Lexington Ward that I've come to know and love so deeply, mixed with members of the Presbyterian church. Our singing filled up every inch of that beautiful little church, and I just had one of those moments where I knew I was exactly where I am supposed to be. I wouldn't have missed that moment for the world. How lucky am I that I was called to the West Virginia Charleston Mission, transferred from Ashland to Lexington, so I could be in that little church at that exact moment, and I could feel how deeply God loves me, and how aware he is of me, and that I could share it with these people, especially Sister Pierson, all of whom I've grown to love so much. There is no better place to spend Christmas than Lexington, Virginia.
H---- B---. Yeah, that's really her name! Sweet, right? So I'm already pumped to get to meet her. We drive down these GORGEOUS country roads to her little farm tucked in the hills. (I'm head over hills for Virginia. I want to go to VMI. I LOVE LEXINGTON!!!) We knock on her door and give her the cookies we had brought for her, expecting to just have a quick visit and try and get a return appointment or something, but she invites us in to see her chicken who had gotten broody. They kept her inside under a light and she sat on some eggs that had just hatched! They had put some banty eggs and some americauna eggs under her and so she had a few different kinds of chicks! It was so sweet! And so fun because I could talk chickens with her! So we talked about chickens for a minute then she says, "Well, come on in and meet my kids who are home from college." We go into her kitchen and get to meet her adorable daughter who is our age and her son who just BARELY graduated from VMI! So we chat with them for a while and just really hit it off! Sister Pierson gets to talk about her aunt to them, and it just felt like we were with family! Apparently H--- and her kids felt that way too, because she said, "Why don't ya'll just stay for dinner?" Of course we said yes. They had so many questions about our job as missionaries and what we did and it was so fun to answer them! They were such a fun and funny family. The best part of it all though, was that the VMI boy had gone hunting that morning... squirrel hunting. AND HE COOKED US SQUIRREL!!!! It was one of my mission bucket list items to get fed squirrel, and it was just icing on the cake that a VMI boy, who is a great cook, made it for us! And it was so yummy! It was seriously one of the best things I've eaten on my mission! We got to watch him cook it, because we were all just chatting around the island in the kitchen and helping get dinner ready, and he definitely had some sweet cooking skills. It was just an awesome night, and I felt like I was with family.
|Sister Pierson at the Horse Center|