One of the best things about Christmas for him was that he was able to chop down his own Christmas tree, which none of us have ever done before. He was also blessed with receiving many Christmas letters/cards:
I received 24 letters on Saturday, Dec. 17 and I went back to the mailbox on Sunday, Dec. 18 (there wasn't really a reason to but I did anyway even though mail doesn't come on Sundays) and received a 25th letter... there was another letter in the mailbox... wow, that's a lot of letters.
Something I noticed for the age of people that sent me letters: the younger they get, the less they know how to fold a letter to put in in an envelope. One kid I don't know kind of just randomly folded the letter until it fit in the envelope and our youngest brother's was folded in fourths to fit inside.Our brother Joshua, a senior in high school, who will be serving a mission in a year and a half, wrote Elder Walker a letter asking about some aspects of the mission:
How much can you drive?
~We have 1,000 miles a month we can use for the car amongst the four missionaries in our apt. Two companionships. It's really not as much as it seems. It takes 100 miles each way to go to a meeting in Columbia for transfers or other stuff, thus far we've been going there twice a month (400 miles) since I've been here.
(Joshua) has been looking at Summerville weather
~Well, I've been looking at Modesto weather. We check the weather here too every once in a while. We call "tell-me" which is a free service that allows lots of things like weather, directions, businesses, etc. to be told to me. We have that number saved on our phone we have. Don't be deceived for how warm it says it is here. The humidity makes the cold, really cold and the hot, really hot. There are some days in between but it usually feels like one of the extreems. Last year at this time it was snowing, this year it still gets in the 70's. There seems to be cold fronts and warm fronts around here.
The most common food I make: mac & cheese or top roman
~Ha ha ha, very funny. No. The most common food I have eaten is pancakes. I do love pancakes. However, home-made mac & cheese seems to be a common thing to be made here in the south. During Thanksgiving and the ward Christmas party (which was really really wonderful btw) most people had made home-made mac & cheese.
Josh remembers to water his cactus
~That's good, keep it growing, I see a lot more cactus' in people's pots on their porch around here, maybe that's just because I'm tracking and get to see everybody's house, there are a lot of weird things to see while tracking. I met my first midgit and first reorganized LDS saint on Saturday, Dec. 17. There are also a lot of wild animals that walk out of the forest all the time. (Remember the forest is everywhere around here.) How's the raspberry bush doing? I hope you've been watering that too.
I have been eating lots of strange foods I've never thought of before. We ate dinner at the C–'s house yesterday. Bro C– knows 9 languages and counting and Sis C– doesn't like to cook but knows how to cook everything from every country it feels like. (I've had some of the most unique food at their house)
How is the ward I'm in:
~The Summerville Ward is stupendous! (super). They have done such a good job with welcoming the investigators or others visiting the ward. Their activities that they organize are also really good. The Christmas party, for example, was really really good. They had about 500 paper (really only about 200) snowflakes strung across the gym and Christmas lights all over. The tables had crayons for me to draw on them and there was way too much food. It was like a while Thanksgiving meal per-table. (about 16 of them. 7 chairs a table). And lots of dessert. The different Thanksgiving meals we went to were awesome too. We are always told by people, as missionaries, "If you ever need something, food, a ride, or are in the area and need a drink, or want access to something you can't get because of mission rules (like internet, pages printed out, or movie made for us) just ask us and we'll be glad to help you." Both members and non-members tell us that. Which reminds me! We made a video for the Christmas party that we spend 1 1/2 hours on but a non-member actually made for us... one of these days I'll get it and mail it home... our view of what the movie was going to be was so much better than it turned out being. I was disappointed the first time I saw it... but we had a talk with the guy who made it for us, and he told us of these cool effects he was going to add to it... but his computer crashed several times trying to burn it on the DVD so he did a straight shot clip because he procrastinated due to lack of time. Looking back on it, it's still pretty good though.
I got a haircut from Elder Winger today... he's pretty good at cutting hair.
You know how you sent me that extra picture of our family's boys, mom? Well, that was the second time you sent me a replacement picture... I have two of them now for the one I lost at the MTC. (That one I had no control over because the blackhole ripped it from my possession into the midst of the fabric of time.)And to me he says:
Dear Alexandria Mae Walker,
Mom tells me that you are super. Thanks for being so super for me. You really are wonderful for updating my facebook account for all of my friends to see what's going on in my life right now. (I'm not sure if it's facebook or something else, but nevertheless, thanks a bunch!! You are the best oldest sister in the world!)