We had a wonderful visit with him on the phone on Christmas day. We were at the ranch, so we put the phone in the middle of the table and he got to talk to Granny, Papa, Uncle Ty and all of us. It was so joyous, but definitely not long enough. Our 45 minutes seemed to be a fleeting moment. He told us three really great stories/experiences. He sounded to happy. We enjoyed talking and laughing with him. Our next phone call is Mother's Day, just 4 months away!
Just before Christmas, he ran into a young lady from our ward in Buffalo who is stationed in the Navy in CA. She was attending church when he saw her! She was headed to Buffalo for Christmas, so he was able to give her some things to deliver to us. It was such a surprise to see her at my door with things from Hyrum. They weren't gifts, just some things he didn't have room for in his suitcases - a few books and a beautiful ceramic plate he made, that he said I could use:) This really is a small world, even when your son is 1000mi away in CA :)
Two days after Christmas he got to go to Santa Barbara to pick up the new missionaries from the airport. He was pretty excited to do that.
Here are a few of his comments over the past two weeks.
This past week we had two Christmas Devotionals/Zone Conferences. We really enjoyed getting to know the missionaries in the mission. Elder Young and I did a presentation on our new Christlike attribute focus of patience. We taught the missionaries about being patient with others, ourselves (that's the hardest part for me), and God's timing. Then the Felix's spoke/gave a training on the Doctrine of Christ. He had us go through 2 Nephi 31 in depth. It helped me understand my purpose better. For lunch we had stuffed chicken, funeral potatoes, steamed broccoli and pie and ice cream. Yum!
After lunch we had some entertainment by the missionaries. We finished the conference with President and Sister Felix teaching us about angels. They showed a video of pictures of all the missionaries put to the song "Angels Among Us". A member in one of the nearby stakes had recorded Elder Deem and 3 hermanas (Spanish Sisters) singing this song and then put the photos to it. Halfway through the first time they showed it to us, it dawned on me that we are the angels. I cried.
Sister Felix also read us a Christmas book entitled "Snow Angels". I love that book now. It is about two girls who call upon angels to help them do good deeds in their neighborhood. The whole conference was a blast! And we got the privledge of doing it twice!
President and Sister Felix gave us all a copy of the Book of Mormon and colored pencils. By the next Zone Conference (March) they would like us to have it read and the Doctrine of Christ highlighted and angels circled! If you don't know what to study, or how, I suggest you get a brand-new Book of Mormon and highlight/annotate it according to a topic or question. This is something that Elder Bednar does and I am really enjoying the study of the Doctrine of Christ so far.
The phone call home was nice, but not long enough. Everyone is so happy. I loved hearing their familiar voices. It's kind of like life here on Earth. We are away from "home" for a while, but we can call home in prayer. We recognize Heavenly Father's voice and love when he answers. I miss my family, but not so much that it distracts me from the work here.
Much of our time this week was spent in the office, but we still found time to meet with Ulises and Nevin. We even found a new investigator through our own efforts. The bishop had both the Camarillo Elders and us over for dinner last night with one of their non-member friends! One of the less-actives we are working with has said that she is done with church now. That broke my heart.