Saturday, December 29, 2007

the Eve of Christmas Eve
(funny after I was looking at this photo, I started to wonder what happened to
all the Christmas plants we had brought in weeks before)

I think I always say, "now this was the best Sunday ever" but really this Sunday was at the tops for the year.
We were exhausted from our deliveries from the day before but still had more Christmas cheer to spread.
One of the real exciting gifts to deliver was from two different families - they were personalized sets of scriptures for EVERY single youth and also for some women in the ward who didn't have their own set of scriptures.
We felt a huge responsibility on how to deliver this items or present them to the youth. Jeff decided to give them to them personally on Sunday instead of having them open them on Christmas Day. We placed a few things in each set of scriptures. there was a wide Christmas ribbon in Chapter 2 of Luke in the New Testament and also a large Ribbon in 3 Nephi chapter 11 in the Book of Mormon, where it talks about Jesus Christ visiting the America's after he was resurrected.

I had taken a photo of some of the youth a few weeks before and printed a small copy of it and laminated it. Each photo was placed in 2Nephi in a scripture talking about friendships.

After the meeting where Jeff had given them to the youth one of the girls said to me, "I never thought I would have scriptures with my name on them" As with any youth group it is hard to really read how it impacted them, but I am so grateful for those generous people who donated these to youth and women they did not know.

Our meeting was INCREDIBLE. Seriously if you ever visit D.C. put visiting this church on your to do list, it is just an amazing experience. We had a young man give a talk who is leaving for his mission to Boise, Idaho (yes my Boise friends get ready for the best missionary you have ever seen!) In the past two years his life had made a dramatic change. It is hands down the best farewell talk I have ever heard. I am torn with how much to share on my blog, so if you ever meet me the first thing you need to ask me is this young mans story! I told him some day his story will sell millions of books.

The two other speakers were from different parts of Africa. It was touching. Amazing. Emotional. Unforgettable.(Annie Kate loves seeing the temple on the way home in the dark each
Sunday and is always trying to take a photo)

We came home so tired. We figured between our two cars that day we picked up 11 people for church. We have such a range of emotions knowing our time downtown could be coming to an end in the future. We don't talk about it too much and are trying our hardest to give it everything we have got while we are there. No regrets, no looking back, no wondering if we could have done more. I promised myself that this year. That I would stretch myself in this aspect as far as I could.

Each of the primary children were given a small envelope by one of the older ladies in our ward. this is the sweet lady I talk of often who brings gifts for the children and passes out fruit roll ups for them to eat on their rides home. She also sings her testimony each month from the each envelope was a $2.00 bill with her name on the outside of the envelope. There was one for EVERY child even the kids in the nursery. She wanted them all to have cash for Christmas. I heard one boy say, "now I have $13.00" Annie Kate was excited and said she will be saving hers. I will put Caroline's and Sally Jane's in their silver D.C. box and it will be a wonderful memory of this woman. Again, I was so amazed at the generosity and will never see a $2.00 bill and not think of her.Even though it was late I was able to get the last few of my neighbor gifts delivered that night. I made the addictive sweet check mix from Aimee and discovered the best way to give it as gifts. I stuffed into the left over waffle cones I had from the cookie exchange. (remember the cute ones with the red and white striped paper from Safeway) Then wrapped up each cone individually and wrapped with cellophane and ribbon. (cellophane and ribbon can make anything a cool gift)I put one on each plate for each member of the family. I slit holes in the toile paper plates and wrapped the ribbon from the bottom to tie up onto a bow on top. Great Santa tags from Target on a little metal hanger and our gifts were ready to deliver.
Two of our lucky neighbors also received one of our re-gifts. Jeff received two really nice bottles of wine from Nappy Valley and since we don't drink, we gave them to our neighbors, fully acknowledging it as a re-gift. They just giggled at us.

Another great, exhausting Sunday. I am not sure what are we going to do when we just go to church for only 3 hours and it takes 2 minutes to get there and back. This year has just been such a gift!


andrea said...

I am so inspired reading your Christmas giving posts. What a wonderful thing to be involved with. Those kids will never forget this Christmas.

Shauna said...

I am so teared up it is hard to see the screen!!!! Thank you for sharing this part of your life so openly!!! You serve with such a pure spirit. Thanks for your example!
So many lives have been touched, including yours and your family forever!

Jill said...

I'm so impressed and inspired by the thought of all the youth and some of the women receiving their own set of scriptures with their name on them. This is special for anyone, even when we've had our own before, so I can't even imagine what it would be like to receive something like that when it never occurred to you that it might be a possibility. What a gift! I think it's cool that you guys put things in their scriptures too, I love the idea of putting a laminated photo in them.

I want to come visit you guys this year and definitely want to be there on a Sunday so I can experience this ward in person.

carlo said...

again, wonderful to read. touching and moving and just wonderful.

deidra said...

I was in DC earlier this fall, and wanted to meet you (but thought that might be stalker-ish/ weird), but I'm thinking now I should have made the effort to get in touch, if only to have fit a visit to this ward in my Sunday.

I'm sure you guys are making a huge impact on these kids (and adults) that probably won't be realized for quite sometime. You will be the people that helped them realize their worth and change their lives.

mccabe44 said...

I just got called the second counselor in Primary. I want to thank you for the Ice Cream SUNDAY idea. I used that today for sharing time and the presidency said I can start doing sharing time every week! (because they liked it so much) It turned out well. Thanks so much for all the great ideas and your positive attitude about everything! With everything that has gone on in our home the last month, I have take time to read everything you are doing to help others and I have been able to keep a good attitude plus feel very blessed.

HeatherC said...

Kristi, I don't know you but have been following your blog for some time. Although not LDS myself, I truly enjoy reading about the service you and your family do. Your writing is inspiring... I just wanted to thank you for sharing!

Robin said...

I don't like to think of you guys not being part of the DC 3rd ward (although I can totally understand that it's been a TON of extra effort). You guys have made such a huge impact, and are a great example to Scott and me.We must get together for dinner in January!

Price Cream Parlor said...

The scripture donation is one of the best gifts I think that anyone could receive. I can't believe all the generosity of those that have given so much to this wonderful ward. YOU and your family have made such an impact on their lives. But I am sure that you have felt that you are the one that has learned and grown so much this past year! Charity, Service, Love, Understanding, Sacrifice, etc... What a fantastic experience for your littles! What a fantastic thought to include a photo of all the youth. That is a treasure I am sure!
Hope you feel better soon! Perhaps you will be able to slow down a bit now that the holidays are over? Get well.

{natalie} said...

oh kristi, i am just crying reading these posts. i can't believe the generosity. it's amazing and so refreshing in this world. thank you for posting all this. happy holidays!!!!

Lauralee said...

a gift of scriptures for all the youth.. with their names.. amazing.. simply amazing the generosity of people.. wow!

maybe you should ask to extend your mission! :)

Traci said...

What an awesome way to give the scriptures to your youth and other women in the branch. You have gone over and beyond and those who received will truly be happy for years to come!

crystal said...

BWWWWAAAAAHHH! I'm from Boise! I'm IN Boise right now, visiting my parents!!!! Coincidence?!?!...I'll tell my mom right now to watch out for this Elder! Email me ( and tell me his name! She's in the Boise East Stake.

michelle said...

What a beautiful thing for all of those people to get their own personalized scriptures. It is such a meaningful and lasting gift. You continue to amaze and inspire, even when I think I can't feel any more amazed and inspired!

michelle said...

p.s. I hope you're not really considering quitting blogging!!

Jen said...

thank you for sharing your experiences- what an amazing christmas. i'm coming to the d.c. area in june for a conference and i will have to be sure to go to that ward when i'm there!
you are such a great example- i have so appreciated your blog. i really hope you're not going to stop blogging because i think you have done so much good through it-

RoRo said...

We (at least I) take so much for granted! I have always had a set of scriptures since I can remember! Now only one of them has my name on them but still I currently have two pair! How wonderful that someone got them scriptures and with their names, and then you going above and beyond by marking them in such a special way.

You have totally given of yourself 110% and I can't believe that you think you need to stretch yourself more in the new year? You will rip!!! I honestly don't see why you think you aren't doing as much as you can, you have blessed that ward so much!

I really do want to meet you and ask you the story about that young man, like you said everyone in that ward has amazing stories.