|Paddocks at Home in our new Nebraska gear that Zack sent us.|
We got to Skype with Elder Zack on Christmas for about an hour and 15 minutes. It was awesome! I love having my family together for that little bit of time! Here are some of the highlights of our chat:
He is disappointed that he did not have a white Christmas last year or this year.
Zack is training a new missionary and has also been called to be a District Leader. He is handling a lot of challenges with those new responsibilities, but is very upbeat about it all. He told a story about Elder Kummerman's first day out tracting. They knocked on the door of a crazy Guatemalan man who invited them in. He spent over 1/2 an hour telling them a crazy story that jumped all over the place and even burst into song at one point. Then he said, " I'm sorry I didn't get to hear your message, but I've got to go to work now." So they left wondering what just happened. Elder Kummerman hadn't understood most of it and Zack had been trying not to laugh. He says you only have crazy stories like that when you are getting trained or are a trainer.
Meg & I were bantering about something and Mason complained to Zack about being girl-trapped and left alone with the ladies for 2 years. Zack told him to be tough and hang in there, that he'd be home in just 9 months. 9 months!
He said he likes all the silly things we send him, but when I asked what he would like us to send, he said "more ties". It sounds like he has about 50 ties with him now, but we could always send more.
Mason asked if he'd be burning something else at the 18 month mark. He said he was not going to be burning a suit. He said that his mission president has banned fire from the mission. No more tie or shirt burning and no candles and no flame throwers made from bug spray.
|Elder Paddock & Elder Kummerman|
We got to briefly meet Elder Kummerman. He was very nice. Then all 4 missionaries that were there came in to sing us "Feliz Navidad". Zack showed us that he still has his awesome dance moves.
He says he's down about 5 pounds from when he left home, but thinks he's grown taller. I asked if his pants were getting short, if you could see his socks. He said he's gotten lots of compliments on his Christmas socks, so maybe it's true. ;)
Overall, he looked good, sounded good, is very focused on the work he is out there to do, but is still the same silly kid that we love. None of us cried, at least not during our chat. It was just so good to be together! Only 130 days or so until we get to talk again on Mother's Day!
Maybe my favorite part was when we had a family prayer together near the end. Sending Zack out on a mission has been a good experience for all of us. We are focused more on the gospel and the important part it is in our lives. We are trying to build each other up and be supportive. We tell each other how much we love each other and realize how important family is to us all. I'm so thankful that he chose to go, but I am also very much looking forward to having him back with us next Christmas! It was so good to see him and hear him and I'm sure he felt the same about us.