Hermana Millington - Notes from New Jersy

Friday, January 13, 2017

The BEST Christmas EVER!!! - December 25, 2016

The BEST Christmas gift EVER
This post is from me, the momma, Gayla.
Okay, so this is one of my favorite photos of my life, so far. All of us on Christmas day talking to each other on Skype. Seth from Renaico, Chile and Lexi in Lakewood, New Jersey and Matt, Chloe, Lance and I in Lance's office in the basement.
I had been looking forward to these calls for weeks (okay, months) leading up to Christmas, but on Christmas day, before they called, I was so excited I could hardly think straight! I thought I was going to burst with emotion, in fact, managing all the emotions literally gave a bad headache.

We talked with Seth first. The appointed time was to be 2:00. At 1:50 we were all perched and ready staring at the computer screen. At 2:00 there was nothing. At 2:05 nothing. My emotions were getting closer to the surface and almost boiled over when FINALLY at 2:10 we heard the connecting signal of Skpe, and then his handsome face popped up on the screen. There he was Elder Millington in his suit and tie. At that point my tears surfaced and boiled over. He looked SO GOOD!
He was in a member's home using their computer and throughout our conversation a little 2-ish year old little guy kept climbing on him giving him stuff, and tried to have a conversations with him. Seth was patient with him, and at one point when the little guy told him something, Seth looked at us and shook his head and said, "I have no idea what telling me." It was funny.
Seth's Spanish is coming along, but it's very different from the Spanish they learned in the MTC, so he's just smiling and acting like he knows what's going on, until he really does. That is his plan. I think it's a good one. He decided that his companion will most likely not lead him astray, so he'll just follow him and fake it till he makes it.

Christmas in Chile celebrated on Christmas Eve more than on Christmas Day. The branch there had the elders (there are four elders assigned to Renaico) help construct a Santa sleigh to be pulled on a trailer behind a four-wheeler. Then on the night of Christmas Eve the branch does a parade of sorts with Santa and his "elves" (the missionaries) and members of the branch in their cars following them. The parade goes down every street and the elders pass out candy to all the little kids in town. Seth said it took hours and they weren't back to their apartment until 1:20 a.m. He loved it!

So, we spoke with Seth for 45 minutes. It was awesome. He looked and sounded great! He was still his funny self.
Then, Lexi joined us!!!! She immediately lit up the screen!!! She absolutely sparkled!
She talked with Seth in Spanish for a little bit and they sang part of a little Christmas song about a Christmas donkey (which Seth thought was about a Christmas burrito until his companion set him straight- haha). It was really fun watching them connect like that. When Seth talked to us in Spanish Lexi looked at him like she was so proud, she hung on every word, just like mom's do when their little kids give a talk in Primary. It was fantastic.
I honestly thought my heart was going to burst at the sight of BOTH of them on the screen in front of me.
Seth singed off after 15 minutes or so with Lexi, and then we talked with Lexi alone. It was sad saying goodbye to Seth. He's SO far away! He will be fine. He's in the Lord's hands. I'm confident that he is, it's just that he's not here.

Lexi GLOWED!!! She looked and sounded amazing!  I could tell that she is totally immersed in her work as a missionary and the Lord has been blessing her with experiences that have refined and strengthened her. She was just bubbling with positive energy - the screen lit up with her laugh and sweetness. It was awesome.
What I think is so unique about her mission experience is the opportunity she has to learn about lots of different cultures. She said that in the past 24 hours she had had food from El Salvador, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Mexico and was going to have Korean food that night. It's so COOL! She's going to have quite the eclectic Spanish accent when she gets home. 
She has had great companions and wonderful experiences with the members. I can imagine that they love her and she has expressed over and over again how much she loves them.
It was hard to say goodbye to her. I was a total emotional mess by this point. I was just filled and brimming over with joy, love, gratitude, love, happiness, love, thankfulness, love, and love. For her and for Seth and for every single blessing that I have ever had bestowed upon me from my loving Father in Heaven.
This Christmas will definitely be a memorable one for all of us.

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