Saturday, December 27, 2014


This Christmas was very different for us.  There were times it really didn't feel like our regular Christmas because of life now.  Family is a big part of Christmas.
We received the 12 days of Christmas from our wonderful friends "The Bishopric."  It gave us such a connection with them.  They got together for their annual party and called us. It was fun face timing with them.  We laughed, which happens when we are with them.    
President Felix thought it would be good to make carmel corn for the bags we were doing for the missionaries.  The Hockins (friends we knew in Grand Junction and have since moved, first to this mission and then to Bakersfield) came for a Christmas party in Camarillo and wanted to drop by.  Dell told them we were going to be busy but they could come help.  They were angels as they helped with washing pans and bagging up carmel corn.
We had two devotionals this past week.  The mission was divided into the north and south.  We started each day in the chapel.  Thank you to my friend, Wendy Wixom, who shared with me last year how she presented to her family gospel analogies of the Polar Express.  I went with the idea.  We bought the book which had a CD and was narrated by Liam Neeson.  We wanted more that was in the movie so googled the movie.  We found clips that we could use.  Upon further looking though, Dell found a narrated version of a 12 minute video of parts of the movie.  It worked great.  After discussing different analogies (the missionaries are amazing with how they think) we played a summary of the movie with Josh Groben singing Believe.
We then went into the cultural hall for lunch.  Up north Bro. Abbott who is an institute instructor and caterer provided lunch.  Down south we bought food from Mimi's cafe.  Both days we had ham and sides to go with.  Bro. Abbott made apple crisp ala mode and Mimi's provided pecan and pumpkin pie.  There wasn't going to be enough so we bought apple pies from Costco as well.
In October an email was sent to all of the parents of the missionaries requesting a baby picture of their missionary. 
I realized that the missionaries do not all know each other and was a bit concerned that this activity was not going to work.  We used it as an opportunity for everyone to be identified and get acquainted.   When it was time to give out the answers, the missionaries all stood in front of their picture.  When their name was called and the number of their baby picture, we acknowledged who was who.  It was funny though when missionaries would say, "Sister Felix, which one is me?" It was a lot of fun. 
The missionaries had fun with this.  
President Felix MCd the program.  We asked for volunteers to perform in the program.  Both days we had 10 numbers.
This act was the most unique.  Hermana Hurley comes from a family of entertainers (clowns).  I knew she did balloons but I didn't know how funny she was.  She twisted and tied ballons to shape a flower, dog, giraffe, an elder, Elsa, and we are wearing crowns.  She twisted balloons all the time telling us puns or jokes.  Hopefully this isn't the last time we can see her entertain.
Elder and Sister Ruse are sorting some packages.
It was a blessing that we were able to take many packages to the devotionals but on the 24th more were delivered.  The Ruses drove north and we went south.
This sunset is what we saw as we were leaving the mission office with the presents.
We had some frustration in trying to find everyone's apartment.  We finally gave up on one and said we'd mail it.  We got up Christmas morning and the thought came that we could deliver it after talking with our kids and after district meeting.  It was very neat for us to do that even though we went to the wrong building (but found the right one).  This district is very talented musically.  All of them participated in the devotional program and then we asked them to sing a couple of songs for us before we left.
So this is the view driving back to Ventura.  We are loving the palm trees!
There was talk of the assistants coming to Christmas Eve dinner.  That wasn't going to work with us driving around delivering.  We had a memorable meal -- crackers and cheese, carmel corn, and clementines.
The assistants came to Christmas dinner.  We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner -- clam chowder in bread bowls (even sour dough), 7 layer dip, shrimp, raspberry jello with raspberries, and finished with baked alaska.
Our dinner was interrupted three times with missionaries.  One companionship brought us cookies, the four above sang to us, and then Elder and Sister Miles and their family came and sang to us.  It was so fun.  The assistants before leaving sang to us as well.
Yes, it was a different Christmas for us but we were able to feel of God's love and we feel very blessed.  We are very grateful for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His example.
He is the Gift!

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you got 12 days of Christmas from your friends. How great and fun to join the annual party.