Wow! It is a new year. This last week has been the holidays and it feels a bit strange because it was so different from any Christmas I have ever had. It was a good Christmas but with none of the traditions that I have always felt had to be a part of Christmas. Christmas Day started with us at the Mormon Battalion on shift. The sister missionaries were down at the MCRD - which is the military base camp and they were performing for the soldiers as a Christmas service project so it was just us and the director and his wife there to handle what might come in for a tour. Amazingly some people came! Mostly Chinese people. I actually gave a tour in Mandarin Chinese! I spoke English and then all of the video etc. was in Mandarin. It was interesting but I know the tour well enough I could fake it. I actually got a referral from the tour I gave. It was a couple from China who were here on a honeymoon and they were very interested in what they heard and felt. It was a nice way to start Christmas.
We were in charge of the Christmas dinner at the Battalion so I decided to serve Cafe Rio Pork. Oh the girls loved it! I had the other couples there help and it wasn't too much work. There are three of our sisters leaving soon and so they had a farewell party for them after the dinner and a white elephant exchange. We had one of our tour guide friends show up with her son to the dinner. We have been able to get the son hooked up with the elders in a singles branch and they actually taught him in his home and then got him to go to church on Sunday with them! We might be able to see a baptism soon. He is a great young man and maybe if he joins his mom will see the light.
Aimee and family showed up the day after Christmas and we had so much fun with them. Our other tour guide friends Vera and Charles, knew we had family in town and offered to take us all to the Safari Zoo and got us in free! In order to do that they had to come with us for the day. They were so pleased that the kids enjoyed the park and that they were so well behaved! At the end of the day little Zach came up to them and told them thanks for inviting them to the zoo and that melted their hearts. It was so much fun to have family around and it felt a little more like a holiday! Even though it was in the 70's! We spent time sightseeing several times too. We got to show them all off at church on Sunday and then Ryan and family arrived. We were able to take them through a tour at the battalion and have them meet some of our sister missionaries there. And then we took the girls home with us and had a "girls sleepover". Of course we had to paint nails and watch a movie! It was so much fun for me to hang out with our darling granddaughters!
We had Grandpa's famous crepes several mornings and fed each family some of the left overs from Christmas dinner Cafe Rio, played some great games of Nines and Monkey Bridge, Rummikub etc. Aimee's gang left on Sunday. Vera and Charles called that day and said that they had found more tickets to the zoo and that we could take our other family there too! So we were able to go to the San Diego zoo with Ryan's gang. That was a really fun day. We played games on New Year's eve here at our little apartment and played again tonight. What fun! We feel sad to see them take off tomorrow for Knott's berry Farm and then home. But it was so great to see them all and we don't feel quite as homesick now.
We will have to sprint a bit to catch up now with all that we should be doing for the ward missionary effort. It has been a bit slow with the holidays anyway but we feel a bit like we have not been missionaries much for the last week.
We spent the evening finishing our map where we are putting the people who no one knows on the map and then we are going to have those who live around them go visit them, see if they really live there and find out all we can about them. We are sure that we will find that many don't even live there and then we will be able to clean up our ward list a bit. There are 126 families on our list and that's with us and the other missionaries already finding many more of them. I would say there were over 170 before we started finding them. I just couldn't imagine that ever happening in Utah. We will have a meeting where all of the ward council get together and split up the names and start the process.
Happy New Year! We love you and hope all is well with you! We will be moving on the 13th and our new address will be 3730 Southview Drive #417, San Diego, CA 92117.