Dear Family & Friends,
Well, the first week of the Transfer is done and I have been assigned to North Augusta, South Carolina! I have now officially been assigned to an area in each of the three States that the Georgia Macon Mission touches (Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama).
Here I am the District Leader and my companion is Elder Jordan from Layton, Utah. We get along well. Elder Jordan comes from a less active family. He has a sincere testimony. He is here to prove who he is. He is out here to serve. He is teaching me humility and patience that I am sure he does not know that he is. My last few companions have been from Utah, except for Elder Stewart and Elder Thornton, of course. I am excited to be here in this area and I hope to stay here for a while, at least 6 months. One can only hope, right? I fell in love with this area almost immediately. The members are amazing and they take care of us missionaries. The youth and young adults are enthusiastic about Missionary Work, and a few of them hope to go on Missions soon.
To start, it was a 2 and a half hour drive to get here from Macon. Compared to Savannah to Macon, which is 3 hours. We met a few members that first day and ate with a young couple. Café Rio style sweet pork tacos and Mexican rice. YUM! A family that we met was the Plochas. They are older retired couple who love the missionaries. Brother Plocha, who is a non-member, while his wife is. Except for a Word of Wisdom issue, he is a dry Mormon, so to speak. He is a bit, abnormal, and at times loud, but he has a good heart and a very good sense of humor.
I received your Christmas box. I opened the box on Tuesday. I will record myself unwrapping to give you a laugh or two. Becky, from Thomson is hopefully seeing us on Wednesday. An older couple in the ward is taking us to Augusta, Georgia tomorrow at 1 to Costco. They wanted to buy us groceries as their Christmas gift to us. They saw that the meal calendar was somewhat empty and wanted to help. I love this area!
There is not much else to talk about except for the fact that it is 4 days until Christmas! We will be spending some time with the Dunagans, which Brother Dunagan is the High Priest Group Leader. There we will be Skyping home on Christmas Day after 5 pm. We will be seeing some other members and investigators on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It is sure different being away from home at this time of year. But I feel privileged to be serving a mission during this important Holiday. When it gets down to it, Christmas is about giving and doing what Christ would and follow His perfect example. I would invite y'all to read Helaman 15 and 3 Nephi 1 which give an account of the sign of Christ's birth and that prophecy coming to pass. Christ truly is the reason we celebrate this season. Though it is being more commercialized, I exhort all of you to always remember the true meaning of Christmas. He is the greatest Gift ever given from God and through him all mankind may be redeemed from our imperfections.
Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!
Elder Alexander Kestner