Monday, November 28, 2011

Sister Lamb's First Progressive Thanksgiving in Nebraska

Dearest Family,

Happy thanksgiving! I hope it was a fun one!

Cody- Big C- HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Sorry it is a day late and not much to speak of, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY none the less.

Mom- I got one package from you, but the second one hasn't come yet. Thank you for the new camera. I was worried that I would not be able to take any pictures during the holiday season, but it looks like I will be just fine. I am copying all my pictures to the drive you sent me and I will send it in the mail sometime today or tomorrow morning. Cross my heart.

This has been a great week! Last Wednesday was exchanges (like for reals, full day exchanges). I was with Sister Ford. We ended up car fasting because the Trail Center was closing early, which meant more sisters going out to their areas, which means more sisters needing cars, so we did a lot of walking. It was a beautiful day. I think that it was in the 60's about, so lots of people were out doing yard work, so there were lots of people to talk to. We stopped to eat dinner and sat on the curb right next to some apartments and watched the sunset. It was lovely. Then as it got darker, Christmas lights started turning on (a day early, I know). We were in a richer area, so there were lots of big light displays. We would always stop and knock on the doors of the people that had light displays to tell them how much we enjoyed it and at least invite them to the gingerbread festival at the Trail Center. I enjoyed doing some walking, but I am sure grateful for having a car.

On Thursday, it was Thanksgiving of course. We had three Thanksgiving dinners to go to. The first was with the Piercys in Boy’s Town. We were there with Brother and Sister Piercy, their son Nick, their six Boy’s Town boys, and some of the boys families. It was such a neat experience. We got to meet all of the boys, talk to their families, and take a tour of their house (which includes a separate apartment for the Piercys). Before we ate, everyone went around and shared what they are grateful for. Then, a couple of the boys shared a little bit of their stories of why they are at Boy's Town and what it has done for them. Several of these boys literally have no one. They will be in Boy's Town until the graduate from high school because there is no one for them to go back to. Their parents have either died, are in jail, or have completely abandoned them. What is wonderful though is that there was a couple there that the husband used to be a teacher a Boy's Town and is now a entrepreneur and donor to Boy's Town. They come about once a week to take one of the boys, Spike, out to lunch or do something fun with him. I got to talk to them for a while about their involvement in Boy’s Town and various things. They are great people. What was really cool was that even though we were not allowed to proselytize while we were there, they recognized that there was something different about us and even commented on it. That was pretty cool. After dinner, we played pool with a couple of the boys. It is absolutely amazing how Boy's Town changes their lives. Every one of them was so polite and respectful. It is amazing how these kids can change so much when given the means and the opportunity to change. I really believe that everyone is capable of great things, regardless of the background that they have come from. That is the power of the Atonement, but first they have to believe in themselves and that they can be that person. That often takes the faith of others as well.

After Thanksgiving #1, we went to the Batins for another meal. Both Sister Kusnerik and I felt like we might throw up by the end of this meal, but we were fine. We had a great time with the Batins as well. Unfortunately, their table in only big enough for four people and there are eight of them plus the two of us, so everyone but us and Brother and Sister Batin got kicked to the living room. This was especially unfortunate because all the Batins kids are less-active, so we really would have liked to spend more time with them. Next, we went to pick up the West Maple Sisters from one of their members homes. When we got there, they insisted that we come eat dinner with them. I just had to take it one mouthful at a time with long pauses between each. I have never eaten so much in my life, but I think that Heavenly Father blessed me to be able to eat more. Yikes. Then, On Thursday, the Gills fed us Thanksgiving dinner #4. They were eating a day late so that their married daughter, whose husband is not a member, could be there. Sister Kusnerik could not come because she had to do Trial Center stuff, so I took Sister Bergeson and we had a great time. They are hilarious. But that was the last official dinner, but of course every meal since then has also been Thanksgiving because we have been eating the leftovers and will continue eating the leftovers for at least the rest of this week.

The Trail center has been really busy with Gingerbread Festival this week. Something like 600 people were here on Saturday, so trying to juggle tours and greeting people as they come in and offering Christmas DVDs to people has been interesting. Lots of families coming in, unfortunately, some parents want their kids to learn about the pioneers while they are at it, but the kids are just interested in gingerbread and refuse to be interested. But then, it also brings in lots and lots of people who have never heard of the Trail Center before, so it is all good.

The weather is starting to get a little chillier, but sometimes I don’t even wear a coat if we are not going to be outside for too long. On Thanksgiving, it was 70 degrees! Amazing!
Well, time is up!

Love you again and again and again!
Sister Melly

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