It was so great to skype with some of you on Christmas and to talk on the phone and to received so many beautiful Christmas cards and notes. We had a wonderful Christmas even though we missed you terribly. As you know, the Sisters had a “sleep over” Christmas Eve. They planned our evening from having Chicken Noodle Soup in Bread bowls, to Christmas Caroling and delivering a few gifts. I had not made bread bowls before and since I could not find any at the store, miraculously our Wal-Mart had some Rhodes frozen bread dough. Even more amazing it has the directions for bread bowls on the package. They looked great and it was fun to have our soup that way. Dinner was at 5:00. Christmas Caroling was from 6:00 to 8:00. It started out shaky as the first home on the list, no one was home, but the second house and every house thereafter was so thrilled to have the four of us on their porch singing Christmas Carols. The Sisters have lovely voices, so our little choir sounded very “heavenly”. Our last house was Betty and Roy. Roy was almost speech-less. He said he had never had someone come and sing to him on Christmas. Roy and Betty are a black couple who joined the church about 5 years ago. They are the sweetest most humble people. His conversion (in short) was do to his reading of the scriptures and knowing that “Jesus came straight way out of the water” He had joined several churches and when it came to baptism, they said, yes they knew it should be by immersion, but with children and old people, it was just easier to “sprinkle” When the missionaries came by his home, he had a lot of company and asked if they would come some other time. As they left, he said, “How do you baptize?” They said “By immersion”. He said, “Come back tomorrow.”
At 8:00 we started our Christmas Eve Program. First we read the Christmas Story from Luke. Sister Olson had selected songs for us to sing interspersed in the reading. Then Sister Williams read a wonderful Christmas Story by Elder Anderson. A family in the Branch had been doing the 12 days of Christmas, so they brought the final night to our house, so we had that little excitement too. Several of the Branch members brought us gifts and treats during the evening, so we felt very loved.
We want to thank each of you for your love and support as we have served here in Camden. We know that you have missed doing some of our traditions and our get-togethers and that you look forward to our return. Our Branch members also thank you for your support in our being here. Senior Couples do help out in these little branches and give them strength and encouragement.
I think about our ward at home and although they too are looking forward to our return....we are NOT NEEDED there. Senior Missionaries couples are NEEDED in the Mission Field.
We so are blessed that we took the opportunity to Serve the Lord and some of His children for this time.
Love to each of you. Hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration.
Love you so very much. Grandma and Grandpa
To our Children and Grandchildren: We wish you could have been with us when we delivered the pictures that you put together on Thanksgiving. We delivered them to twelve homes and the joy and the tears and the appreciation they had, to finally have a beautifully framed Temple, Proclamation or Living Christ and to know that it came from you with your love. (Y’all) We are sure that they will be a treasured gift and testimony in their homes.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
We just know that you had a wonderful CHRISTMAS PARTY last night! We thought about you as we had our Branch Party at the same time. Our Primary did a wonderful little Christmas Play about a class room learning about Christmas and Samuel the Lamanite. It was complete with a class room, 3 young boy students, a teacher and a principal and on the other side of the stage, we had Zoie and Josie, two young Lamanite girls and Samuel on the Wall. They did such a good job. We then had a wonderful Pot Luck Dinner. As usual we had about 50 in attendance and food enough for 100. Out here they just ask that each family bring two covered dishes ( with food in them) They all are excellent cooks. One of the main dishes in the South is Macaroni and Cheese. (NOT OUT OF A BOX) Delicious Mac and Cheese like Grandma Murri always made. And a super desert table. Then back to the chapel/multi purpose room for games. We played the Pass Right- Pass Left game with the money in each envelope. They had not heard of that before and it was a BIG hit. Then we did the White Elephant Gift Exchange. ( Out here they call this Dirty Santa) Again, they had such a wonderful time. There were about FIVE favorite gifts that got the full 3 trades before they became the property of the 3rd owner: the children’s toys and the big can of popcorn were the favorites. The finale was the PINATA! Ours was a small dinosaur which made it through ALL the hits from the children. Stone, our 14 year old, broke in each of his three hits, with the last one popping it open. It was the first real Christmas Party they have had and I am sure that it will not be the last. I think all totaled we had over 50 people in attendance. Some non members only came for the program, but the whole evening was just so special. Thanks to our family....back to Aunt Bebe and Uncle Carl for the first Christmas Parties with clam chip dip and a piñata and probably a few other “traditions”. WE have been truly blessed by our heritage! Earlier in the day, we (dad and I and the Sister Missionaries) had traveled to Birmingham for the South half of the Alabama Mission Party. You who have been fortunate to go on a mission know the wonderful spirit that a roomful of missionaries can bring. These young Elders and Sisters are so so so great! I just want to share with you, part of the Christmas Devotional that our Mission President, Elder Richard Hanks and his wife gave. It is a message for every Christian in the world, but especially for those of us who have been taught the Gospel and know the importance of the Birth, Life, Example, Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Our Savior. QUESTION: HOW CAN WE HONOR THE SAVIOR? 1. Like His Mother, we can honor Jesus by Loving Him. John 7:14 and Luke 2:12 2. Like the Angel’s. we can honor His Divine Gift by Serving Him. Luke 2: 13-14 Matt 2:10 3. Like those who seek Him, we can honor His Power to Heal the World. Isaiah 25:8-9 Matt 1:21 4. Like those who adore him, we can honor Him by Giving Him all that we Have. Mark 8:34 2 Nephi 31:20 Matt 25:40 We hope you have a most wonderful Christmas! Ours will be another interesting one. The Sister Missionaries had the great idea to have a “sleep over” here with us, so that they can have Christmas Morning with us. We are all very excited! They each have ytheir own family traditions, so we are going to try to do all of them. The are making the “list” so that we do it all. They will be skyping their families and we will skype ours, so it will be a fun filled day. We Love Each of You and wish you a very Merry Christmas! Love Grandma and Grandpa
Monday, December 8, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Hope each of you had a wonderful and memorable Thanksgiving. We surly did. New friends with food traditions. We had ham and turkey, dressing. mashed potatoes and gravy but THEN potatoes salad, chicken casserole and bean casserole with Mississippi Mud Pie, Sweet Potato Pie and Theresa‘s Cheese Cake. And I made Rolls. We were all stuffed to the brim. And the time spent with this family was very very special. We have been truly blessed!