Recently I keep finding myself feeling a little bit lost in our new ward and wondering why it is that we've been led here rather than someplace else. It's not that the people in our ward aren't nice or that we don't like them, but more rather that we really haven't been able to get to know anybody well enough to feel like we belong here. It's hard to explain really. We've been in our house now for almost 7 months and we started coming to this ward almost a month before we moved in and still we don't have any close friends or people we feel comfortable enough to just call and talk to or seek out in the halls. It probably doesn't help much that we were in our house less than a month when Josh and I were called to teach the Sunbeam class in primary so pretty much the only people we see and talk to regularly are a bunch of 4 year olds and a few of their parents as they pick them up after church-that's about it.
Over the last week some of those feelings have changed for me. On Saturday night our doorbell rang and when we went to the door there were two giant trash bags full of wrapped presents. They are all for the kids but there are more than a few and a couple of them had tears in the paper I had to fix as I put them under the tree so I got to see what they were-not cheap gifts to say the least. And, to top that all off, there are at least 5 gifts for each of the kids. We have 5 kids so that means that somebody really spent some money on us and were actually thinking of us as they prepared this gift. I was in awe.
Then Sunday night as we sat in the other room our doorbell rang again. We all went to answer it and this time found only a gift box on the doorstep-like a t-shirt size box. I picked it up and shook it, it sounded like it was food so we opted to open it up. It had a bunch of boxed candy-the type you'd buy at the movies-and several gift cards. I passed Josh the cards and he looked at me as he examined them and asked "did you see these"? I hadn't looked at them, just handed them to him. There were gift cards for the movie theater, Chiles restaurant and Payless Shoes. The gift cards totalled $200-who has a random $200 to spend on another family at Christmas?
Then on Monday we were called by somebody from the church and offered 2 weeks worth of groceries if we needed/wanted it. Not that we really need it right now, but it makes me wonder if they know something that we don't?
Finally, on Tuesday morning Josh was leaving for work and discovered 2 more trash bags full of gifts-3 more gifts per child. These were definitely from somebody different than the first as names are actually spelled right on all gifts.
So, we know that the gifts came from somebody at the church-we don't know anybody else here really and the people that we do know from the school or whatever, don't know where we live. It's made me stop and think the last few days. The people in our ward really are paying attention and we aren't as invisible as we thought we were. The gifts we received were thought out and actually individualized (I think somebody saw Raven's church shoe with it's sole hanging off the last few weeks and that's why we got the gift card to Payless shoes. Not that we can't afford her new ones-those are new, just a few months old, and she just destroyed them so we were making her deal with it for a bit before we replaced them). I'm actually feeling really grateful for what we've been given and that somebody else (a few families at least) was actually thinking of us. Our Christmas has been expanded by leaps and bounds thanks to somebody else's generosity and sacrifices and I am in awe for that.
Thank you to whomever you are for those gifts and thank you so much for letting us know that somebody here really does care about our family. And especially, thank you for sacrificing so much of your time and money during this holiday season-we really do appreciate it all. Maybe I'll start looking at our ward a bit differently and with a lot more love in my heart now.