Thank you so much for the Christmas/Birthday package! I have to say the best part of the whole package was the letters from the kids. Ethans little drawings made me cry in front of everyone. Haha. This week has been mad crazy! During the holidays, missionary work as far as teaching people drops but then all the members ask you to do everything for them. I'm pretty positive we wore jeans most of the week because we did so much service.
So my 21st birthday on the mission. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. Sorry mom, it even beats the birthday that you took me to Chuck E Cheese with my best friends. I wouldn't have wanted to spend it anywhere else, (I love you guys and I love England, but Suwanee, GA is where it's at ;)) I spent the first half of my birthday in Cumming, GA on exchange with Sister Pabpst who is the newest STL in our zone. She sang me happy birthday and was going to make me birthday cake waffles but she found out she didn't have any ingredients when she thought she did... oh well, it's the thought that counts and plus, we ate chocolate so that made up for it ;)
When we exchanged back, Sister George took me back to the apartment and had my desk all decorated up. She got me one of those snap bracelets that I loved in the 90's and it made my day. To celebrate my 21st birthday she got me a huge margarita glass filled with recess peanut butter cups, she knows me too well :) We danced around the apartment wearing our princess crowns and my birthday girl sash. I swear I'm 2 all over again. We went to the Folkman's for dinner and Sis Folkman made this heavenly chicken (almost as good as dad's tregar chicken) and chocolate cheese cake. We then went to the Mckenna's afterwards for the party. Sis Mckenna made me a cake that said "Happy Birthday Sista K" and we got to open our Christmas presents early since Sister Mckenna will be in Texas for Christmas. She got me a play dough set because one time when we went over to make cookies, I couldn't stop playing with the cookie dough. It has a roller and animal shape cutters and everything. We then went back to the apartment and the elders showed up with milkshakes and lit me a birthday candle and sang to me. I didn't think much was going to happen on my birthday but Sis George had it all planned out, she's awesome. I don't think this birthday will top my next birthday out in the mission field but we'll see ;)
Thursday was the Mission Christmas Party. We went early to pick up our NEW 2014 Ford Fusion that was long over-due. They expire the mission vehicles when they hit 50 thousand miles and our Coralla was at 54 thousand. We were bummed because Elder Resadori told us we were going to get a white one, but when we got there, he had already given it to another set of sisters. So we got a silver one. It kind of looks like a grandma car but we are sister missionaries. We have to dress like grandmas so it's all okay. At the party we had dinner, there was a slideshow of pictures, and a talent show. Pretty much the whole talent show was piano numbers. Haha. The Lilburn zone of sisters hula danced though and they had a bunch of polynesian elders chant while they did it. There was one district who did a skit about a distinct bird and it was probably one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Haha.
Friday we helped Marni wrap her Christmas presents and she took us to Moe's afterwards (the substitute for Cafe Rio here in Georgia). The Ketchum's had us over for dinner and they invited the Brinton's, who is a young family in the ward. Sis Brinton's less active brother and his girlfriend from the Phillipines were in town so they came over to eat as well and we taught them a lesson. Since Sis Ketchum is from the Phillipines too, we had the traditional Phillipine meal. We had this super yummy chicken curry dish, shrimp and pork egg rolls and rice. It was super yummy and we learned how to eat the way they do, using a fork to scoop your bite into the spoon.
Sister Hamilton and Sister George had a lesson with Ben on the Word of Wisdom on Tuesday while I was in Cumming with Sister Pabpst. They had it with the Watkins and apparently it got a little crazy. Bro and Sis Watkins believe that ALL caffeine is harmful to the body so they told Ben that he couldn't drink any soda but Sprite and Root Beer. No no no! Haha. Of course Ben accepted the lesson because he is elect but we had to clear up the errors in our lesson with him on Friday. We only have a week and a half until Ben's baptism and counting! He is super excited and I love seeing him grow in his faith more and more each week. He basically sails through every single lesson we have with him now.
On Sunday we went over to the Clark's after church and helped them get together Secret Santa for the Watkins. The Watkins are so giving to everyone in the ward and they never accept any service for them and so we were super excited to help out. They got Bro Watkins a Gift Card to Home Depot because he loves to fix things up and Sis Watkins got a couple different kinds of crock pots. We took all the stuff over to the Watkins afterwards and just walked in and set the presents under Sis Watkin's halloween tree (mom, the next time you talk to Sister Watkins, ask her to tell you her wedding story). The look on their faces were priceless and they demanded to know who had given them all this stuff. Of course Santa's little elves don't get to say who Santa is :)
Let's face it, numbers went down the drain this week and we didn't have too many over the top awesome experiences, but this week got me into the spirit of Christmas and it was so much fun to help others out and experience those who I've grown to love already in the space of 3 months give me a birthday to remember. For the longest time, Sister George and I kept saying that it didn't feel like Christmas because there was no snow on the ground and we weren't caught up in all the craziness of Christmas shopping and what not. As a missionary, you almost get to be the viewers of this big movie and see others love and give to one another and you really feel the Spirit of Christmas more than ever before. Of course we participate in the service as well but it was awesome to see the big picture of things.