Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 16, 2013

     It's the most wonderful time of the year!!

We wish all of you, family and friends alike, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This past week flew by.  On Tuesday the weather was really bad so we stayed inside and worked on getting better prepared and organized.  In the evening we did venture out and drove over to visit some really good friends who are going to the temple for the first time in January.

On Friday we attended a special zone training meeting in Annapolis from 10:00 to 3:00.  It was inspiring and well worth it even though the fire alarms went off twice and fire engines showed up each time.  They found nothing wrong but it must have been from the ovens in the kitchen where we were warming the food.  We helped Sister Richards (Mission Mom) serve Chicken Alfredo, garlic toast, and salad to all the young missionaries, and we also helped clean up.  It was nice getting to know her better.  She is so amazing and sweet.

Elder Lewis teaches a teacher training class at church every Wednesday night as well as on Sunday.  I'm taking it also and it's good to be reminded how to be a better teacher.  I'm also having fun teaching my youth Sunday School class every week.  

Saturday night was the Branch Christmas dinner and program.  Everyone brought food and it was a huge spread of everything you could imagine, with many diverse dishes.  I think about 80 people attended.  The Primary children put on a really sweet Nativity program with Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus, the three Wise Men and lots of shepherds.   It was just adorable.  Santa Claus also came and each child received a large cloth bag with their name and "I am a child of God" written on it.  In the bag were a few little gifts, but no candy.  I was impressed.

During the week we have visited a sister in the hospital and an elderly sister in a nursing home.  We have listened to and comforted several members of our branch.  We have rejoiced with a member over a negative blood test, encouraged and helped a sister to get out of an abusive relationship, and cried over another sister who sadly decided to return to one.   We work with and teach  some with addictions as well as other problems.  We have made friends with people who have nose, eye brow, lip, and ear piercings, and tattoos on neck, arms, legs, and face.  We have walked down streets that we would not walk down in the dark, and we have sat in living rooms where I was scared to sit down, but we feel so happy and blessed to be here, and hopefully we are bringing a little hope and joy to these wonderful people.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, we are going to a Christmas dinner at the mission home with all the other senior couples in the mission.  It should be really fun.  Friday we are attending the Christmas devotional and dinner for all the 250 young missionaries.  We will be helping with the dinner and serving.  Saturday we will try again to drive down to see the Christmas lights on the temple grounds and also to attend the special musical program they have there every night in December. We should also attend the Stake Christmas musical devotional in Annapolis on Sunday night, so I hope we're not too tired after a long week of activities. 

Goodbye for now.  Love to all.  

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