Monday night was the ward Christmas party, complete with dinner. We were prepared to be taking home some leftovers, since we figured we'd probably need them. But there weren't any leftovers for us to take home. At least not any we would be able to eat. That was a little unusual, since every time we've gone to a ward dinner when we were poor and in need of food, there has been food for us to take home. We didn't even get anything like a random box of cereal in the white elephant gift exchange.
We had high hopes that that meant we'd get some money.
Lo and behold, when Athena got the mail, there was a check in it! Yay! It wasn't any of the ones that were late, but it was still money, so we were very grateful. The only downside was that it was smaller than the ones we've been waiting for, so, while we'd be able to pay bills and buy food, we might not get to go to Disneyland. So that was kind of "aww."
We made arrangements to go to the bank, and then we sat down to watch some anime. While we were watching the first episode of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, there was a knock at the door. It was UPS, with one of the checks we'd been waiting for! Woohoo! Now we can afford to go to Disneyland!
After we went to the bank, we went to dinner with Mom and Steve and his kids, but we didn't have time to go grocery shopping, because my visiting teachers were coming over at seven. They showed up and we had a wonderful time talking about translating and languages and stuff. One of my visiting teachers grew up in Canada, speaking Spanish until she got into kindergarten, where she spoke French, and then her family moved to Georgia (the state, not the country) when she was ten and started learning English. Pretty incredible.
And then! they gave us a gift bag with chocolate dipped pretzels, a candle ("don't eat it," we were instructed), and socks! See, my other visiting teacher is the bishop's wife, and one time we were at family home evening, discussing how cold it was that day, and it got brought up that we don't wear socks. We don't even know why exactly, just that somehow in the course of our laundry, they get lost. It probably has a lot to do with our lack of clothing organization. Athena also thinks it got brought up that we don't get out to buy socks very often. So Sister L. remembered us talking about that and she bought us like ten or twelve pairs of nice socks! And just in time to go to Disneyland! Wow!
Not only that, but she remembered us talking about how we've been waiting and waiting and waiting for our checks, and it suddenly hit her when she was leaving (we think to come visit last night, but we don't remember) that she had like two-thirds of a loaf of bread that neither she nor the bishop was likely to eat. So she put it in her car and was able to give it to us last night, so the fact that we weren't able to go to the grocery store ended up not being a problem! Double wow!
Fittingly, the visiting teaching lesson this month is on compassionate service, and the quote Sister L. focused on was this one from President Uchtdorf: "In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance." Teaching through word and example. We really need to remember this lesson.
Today I'm thankful for finally getting that one check (still waiting on the other one, but that's okay for now), getting to pay our bills this morning (we were so excited about that one), getting to go to Disneyland, getting to go to IHOP and try gingerbread pancakes! (finally a limited time offer we can go check out!), and having lots of nice socks! And awesome visiting teachers!