Cassie Shepherd

January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Tybee Island
I tell ya, Savannah is growing on me every day. Today marks about one month since we've been here. However, I feel like it has been much longer.

On Christmas day we had dinner with Sister Wiley. And, boy did we really have dinner! She is so kind and so sweet. She made the best Christmas dinner I have ever had. I am not exaggerating when I say there must have been twenty dishes to choose from and maybe eight desserts. She said she spent over eight hours preparing the food. I could hardly believe it! I don't know what we did to deserve such love here. I don't know how we'll ever return the kindness.

This Christmas season was bitter sweet. We dearly missed our family in Utah, Texas, and Maryland, but we thoroughly enjoyed our new friends and family. We attended a beautiful baptism on Christmas day of Sister Albatein's son, Elijah. I'm amazed at how the work is blossoming here.

I love being in the Relief Society and getting to know the sisters. They all seem to have such wonderful stories to share and beautiful hearts. There are many of them, but I hope that with in the next few months I'll get to know them all more personally.

The weather is another thing I'm thoroughly enjoying. The other day I hung out by the pool and yesterday on New Year's Day Mitch went golfing with Bishop Thompson. I wish it stayed in the 70's year round, but I suspect that I may feel differently about the weather in a couple of months. It is definitely humid.

My new job has been going wonderfully. I've been in and out of training last week, but I'll be more full time in the classroom this week. The kids already have lit up my life. I love their enthusiasm for learning. They're transitioning for me to be their new lead teacher, but they seem to have already recognized when I am in the school or not because of where "the monster truck" is parked. I park the Jeep outside the classroom window so they're always watching for it. On Friday, Mitch dropped me off and many were concerned that I was there, but my car wasn't. I explained my husband dropped me off and they likened it to their parents dropping them off. When it was time for me to go home one of my students enthusiastically watched for the "white Jeep" to pull up. Once it had, he yelled, "Miss Cassie! You're husband is here!"

Mitch starts his schooling this week. It is mainly orientation so he won't be hitting it too hard in the books yet. I think he is really getting anxious to start though. We've had a nice long break, but he is ready to be productive and start learning again. He has loved working with the Young Men too.

Speaking of Young Men, we chaperoned the stake New Year's Eve dance. Now, that was a funny experience. Mitch couldn't help, but think it was the funniest thing that I'd never really been to a stake dance. I guess there are some little cards you have to get to go to the dances and I had noooo idea what they were. I went to a tri-stake dance once, but it didn't last very long. In my area we just didn't go to the dances much. I suspect it is because no one else really seemed to go. I vaguely remember hearing about them, but they weren't enforced as much as here. The funny thing was though I felt like all the songs they played were the same songs I danced to not too long ago in high school. I mean, it really wasn't that long ago. Four almost five years? In fact, one of the leaders said we even looked like we could've been apart of the youth area. Ha. It feels weird to be on the other side of the spectrum. I listened to a couple of kids plot how to get out of the building and return in through a window and just laughed to myself. I don't think they realized they were standing next to a "chaperone." Of course, I got Mitch and we helped made sure they stayed put.

Christmas decorations are down and our house looks a little bare again. But, still, we love our complex and comment on a weekly basis how glad we are that we chose to move into the area that we did. We are very close to all the stores that we need, the school, and the church. Target is about the only place that seems far away and it is only about 5 miles. ;)

Hilton Head, SC
We've traveled to some of the surrounding areas and there is so much to see. As it warms up it'll be nice to go spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in town or at the beach. The Bishop said we could get cruises from around $100 down to the Bahamas so that is on my agenda in the near future. We miss home, but with all the fun things here we're pretty darn content for a while. :)

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