Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Best Christmas Ever

We're celebrating here in Lexington because..... drumroll...... ME AND SISTER PIERSON GET ANOTHER 6 WEEKS TOGETHER!!!!!! Heck yeah!!! Best Christmas Present ever! I can't believe I've already been out three months. It feels so much shorter... and longer than that at the same time. It really has been best three months of my life so far though! And I'm entering what the elders in our district call "The Year of Darkness."  I'll get to spend the whole year of 2014 as a missionary in the WVCM!!!! 

This week has been one of my favorite weeks out here in Lexington. Monday, for P-Day, we got together with our zone leaders and Lexington South and had a nerf war in the church. SO FUN. 

Tuesday was Christmas Eve. We spend the morning delivering some boxes of food for the Bishop to people in our ward boundaries that were in need and we got to share a scripture with one lady out in Collierstown. It was absolutely gorgeous out in Collierstown that day. The sky was mostly grey, with little patches of blue showing up in the South, and light flurries of snow. I wish I could just take you out and drive the roads with you that we drive in Collierstown. They're probably the most twisty crazy roads in the whole world. They lead from hollers out to huge fields that unfold over the Virginia hills. Christmas Eve was especially beautiful. It felt like Christmas and I couldn't have been happier. After that we got to visit this awesome black lady who made us eat the hugest bowl of ice cream I have ever encountered.

Christmas Eve night we got to spend with the K-----s. Brother K----- has written two books about the constitution (You should look it up. He's absolutely brilliant) and Sister K----- is a convert from Germany with a super thick accent and sweet cooking skills. She made us such a good meal and some really awesome German gingerbread cake for dessert. Everything was super proper which was very different from what I'm used to out here in the WVCM! They had beautiful glasses and perfectly folded napkins and fancy plates and it was like a three course meal and the whole nine- yards. I seriously felt like I spent Christmas in Germany, not Virginia, and it was AWESOME! We read the Christmas story with them and Brother K----- read us his favorite Christmas story,  The Magi's Gift. Everybody was crying. #ChristmasAtTheK-----s

 Sister Pierson and I went home after that and opened her pajamas her parents had sent her and..... I didn't want to feel left out so I had wrapped the Park City pajamas Curtis had sent me for my birthday and I unwrapped those!. #YouGottaDoWhatYouGottaDo. The L---s, some members in our ward, also gave us an adorable little christmas tree earlier that morning that we set up and put all our christmas presents under and we left it on all night just like we always do Christmas Eve at home! We also put some of the German cranberry bread Sister K----- had given us, and an orange, and a glass of milk for Santa, with a note for him on one of our little white boards. Super cheesy, but it was awesome. I am SO GLAD that I got to spend Christmas here in Lexington with Sister Pierson. She feels just like a sister, and everyone here feels like family. My first Christmas away from home turned out to be way easier than I thought it would be. 

After our nightly companion prayer, we went to bed, and in the morning... Santa came!!!! Thank you so much for all the awesome gifts! Everything was perfect! It seriously was the best Christmas morning ever!!! We opened our gifts right when we woke up, but then it was back to the regular missionary schedule. It didn't REALLY feel like Christmas until we headed out to T---- and S----'s that morning. Again, the drive to Collierstown just about killed me. I don't think I'll be able to stay away from this place for long. When I get home, these hills and hollers are gonna call to me just as much as my Utah mountains call to me now. I feel so at home here. This is where I'm supposed to be. I know it with everything in me. And I love it. I'm utterly and completely in love with Lexington. The sun was shining Christmas morning better than I have ever seen it shine, and I'm honestly not sure I could ever be much happier than I was then, in some of the the most beautiful country in the world, headed to the home of two of my favorite people in the world, people who are now family to me.
"Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong." -John Denver

We pulled up to T---- and S----'s and S---- was outside by the barn with Blue right on his heels. He had a big smile and wave for us as we pulled up. He always says the second we get off our missions he's gonna give us big hugs :) He took us in and T----- was there with big hugs for us, in her red polka dot robe she had gotten for Christmas. I love her so much. She had gotten S---- a brand new quad for Christmas and that was the very first thing he showed us! They are so pumped about the gospel! I get excited about it just being near them! 

T----'s son and his girlfriend were there for the holidays, too.  Before we even had a chance to sit down or anything, T----- said, "S----! Go get them their Christmas presents!" S---- brings down these two perfectly wrapped little packages and Sister Pierson and I open them. Inside, are hand stamped silver bracelets that say each of our names -Love the H--------'s  And then they have "Lexington, VA 2013" stamped on the inside. I wanted to cry. I don't think I have ever recieved a more beautiful gift in my whole life. And how perfect that it will match   my Lytle girl bracelets? Gah. I'm still just dying over it. I'll send pictures, It's beautiful! I'm pretty much adopting T---- and S---- as my WVCM parents. After that S---- took us on a ride up through their property in their golf cart! SO FUN!!!! And afterwards, T----- made us hot chocolate because she says you ALWAYS have to have hot chocolate after a cold golf cart ride. She's my kind of woman :) 

In the afternoon, we headed over to the Bishop's where I got to Skype my family!!!!! (Okay, Skype didn't cooperate, so FaceTime.)  It was so weird getting to see you guys, but SO GOOD!!!! After we had both finished, Sister Pierson asked if I had cried, and she laughed when I told her I didn't cry until you showed me Meg. #ILoveMyMeggyGirl. I still can't get over all the snow in Utah. There's none here, and probably won't ever be. I'm actually pretty over winter here. I can't wait for warm weather when we can walk! Then maybe I can walk off some of this chubbiness that comes from getting fed ALL the time. Every house we go in people try to give you food! They call it "the mission addition."  I miss and love you guys so much. I can't tell you how good it was to talk to you and see you all. I LOVE YOU!!! After that we had a yummy dinner with the Bishop and his family and played card games! Super fun night and again, I just felt so at home.

Thursday we made the long drive to Lynchburg for a zone meeting that Sister Pierson had to teach at. We got to take a picture at the weird dinosaur statue in Glasgow on that drive. It's bizarre! 

Our Zone

Friday we had an awesome lesson with the Bishop's daughter and her non-member friend at the Bishop's house. It was so good! Teaching kids is very different though. We picked up her friend as an investigator and we're going to teach her again hopefully this week! She is a doll!

Saturday was another awesome day. We had a free lunch at Kenney's with the elders and got a picture with the super weird wizard statue up there. I'm telling you, the WVCM is the weirdest place in the world. After that, we drove out to my favorite less active dude's house, the one who live across the bridge, that is sometimes flooded, up in a little cabin on the hill. We pull up and he's sitting on the tailgate of a big old truck with the radio playing old rock music and has a big native american guy with a cigarette in his hand next to him, and his little grandaughter running around playing with a big stick in the mud. I LOVE MY MISSION!!!! We get out and he has a big hello for us. We get talking and he's like, "Yeah me and J-B--- (That's his indian friend) were just contemplating cutting some wood." (Imagine this in a really think southern accent and a really deep and rough voice. But with more love than you can even imagine.) Then J-B--- pipes in and says, "Yeah, just thinking about it though" and they both bust up laughing. I felt like I was at rendezvous SO MUCH!  We chatted with them for quite a while and he was telling us about how he and his buddies, J-B--- and H----, (I don't know what their real names are) went up to West Virginia over the holidays and went to this place where they..... drumroll..... shot wild hogs! I'm starting to feel like a super hick.... because I could totally relate to everything he was saying because of Brynne's wild hog hunt. #MyFamilyIsSoRedneck #WeShouldLiveInTheWVCM. It was so awesome though. Whenever we go up there we just talk hunting and it makes me so dang happy. When we were leaving he gave us some DELICIOUS deer sausage and some of his hog too! That night we made some of the sausage and just like J-B--- said, "It puts jimmy Dean to shame!" I seriously just love my mission!!!!! WVCM for life!!!

Sunday was really cool because we got to see S---- get the priesthood!!!! Heck yeah! It was so awesome! That night we had dinner with the C------ family, the family with a single mom and 5 CRAZY girls. They played their violins and clarinet for us and put their pet rats in my hair. Yeah. In my hair. They're insane. 

Anyway.... it was an awesome week. I love you all so much I can't even explain! 
Make some awesome New Years goals for me!!!

On the way to the home of one of my favorite people

Just another diner in the WVCM!

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