Thursday, January 5, 2017

Merry Christmas from Down South!

Christmas Conference with our new t-shirts

Dear Family and Friends,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Not a lot of time to send my mass email out, but I'll cover some of the highlights of the week...

On Tuesday we were in Macon all day for Christmas Conference. The training's that were given were inspired and motivating. Elder Ballard gave some additional training on Windows of Heaven. As a treat from the Graysons, we got to watch "The Errand of Angels" a movie about a Sister Missionary serving in Austria. We had a white Elephant gift exchange and I came away with ear muffs that did not fit as I found out later. On our way home, our District stopped at Moe's for dinner. It was a very long and tiring day. It was a pretty fun road trip both ways. 

On Thursday, on exchanges with Elder Darrington, we were able to teach Tela, who had been taught by missionaries in Cusseta last summer. She is very receptive and recalled a lot of what she had been taught. 

Prime Rib for Christmas Eve dinner w/ the Ashcrafts
On Friday we had supper with the Ashcrafts and they invited us back over for Christmas Eve Dinner. It was really nice of them to invite us! After eating with the Ashcrafts, we went to the Harsh's Christmas Party. A little after we got there, we got a surprise from Josten and Sarah Cornett! we then had a White elephant gift exchange and I came with $5 that Elder Taylor put in as a last minute Christmas gift. It was a very enjoyable evening!

Surprise visit from the Cornetts!!

Saturday morning, Bug picked us up and we went and played flag football. It was a great time and I didn't hurt myself this go-round. After the game, we were dropped off, showered and dressed, and then went to IHOP and picked up some gifts from Bishop Zeh and the Young Women in the Ward. We then had lunch as a District and a good time at that! 

Christmas stockings form my family!
Sunday was awesome as it was Christmas Day! Church was short and we opened gifts after everyone left. We then had lunch with the Bush/Eiland clan plus a lot from Brother Bush's side of the family. We then visited Sis. Brewer for a while and had a good time. We then had a wonderful Christmas Dinner with the Cammacks, who are all Seahawks fans as a bonus! We ate, laughed, and then went to do the best thing missionaries can do on Christmas; Skype Home!! It was great seeing my family as well as my brother serving in the Arizona Gilbert Mission. We took care of some business and really enjoyed the time we had to Skype. This was my last time Skyping before returning home. Quite coincidentally, this was the first time my brother, Ben has Skyped home. It was awesome and refreshing to Elder Taylor and I. 
Well, my 21 month mark is just around the corner on Monday, January 1st. Things are starting to get more real for me. The things I've learned recently I wished I learned sooner, but that is just how it goes sometimes.I feel I have grown a lot and learned as much since I've been out. I guess the mission is preparing me to be different, but still me at the same time.  Any-who, have a Happy New Year Y'all!

Elder Alexander Kestner