|California San Diego Christmas Devotional|
|Singing the mission song|
We lined the outside of the hall, three or four deep and thens sang the mission song. It is so fun to sing that together. There is such strength and power when we unite together. Amazing. You had to be there to experience it!
We then were fed breakfast casseroles that several Relief Societies put together for us along with muffins, fruit and hot chocolate. Usually when we meet together in groups the mission president is quick to tell the missionaries to leave the meeting reverently and quickly return to the work. If not, the missionaries just love seeing each other and catching up and would spend lots of time just socializing. But this time they gave us a lot of time to eat and then to just enjoy each other. Everyone was taking pictures with former companions and just really enjoying being together.
|Sister Kennedy and Sister Baker|
We then went back in to the chapel and finished our devotional with beautiful music and a wonderful talk from Pres. Schmitt. He then told us that he wanted to offer a blessing on us all. He then bowed his head and prayed to the Lord for each one of us. "Eye has not seen nor ear heard......" It was beautiful and we all left lifted and blessed. It has been interesting to have our mission president be about the same age as my oldest son! At times I feel like he is a young kid and other times I see the mantle of his calling come upon him and he becomes a giant, wise man. We love him.
|Now you see them...|
We went back to the office and finished the Christmas package sorting! We had to make sure we had all of the packages in the right piles for each zone. This is what it looked like Tuesday morning before all of the Zone leaders came to pick up the packages. This really doesn't do it justice. They are all packed to tightly you can't really appreciate how many there are. The past weeks have been about this full too. Our missionaries were well taken care of.
What is sad is that we are still receiving packages that well meaning parents thought might get here on time - but didn't. They now won't get those packages until next Tuesday. Oh well, two Christmas days are OK.
Roger got his iPad set up to watch the BYU bowl game that afternoon but had to take off to do some housing business for the elders and ended up leaving his iPad on for several of the senior couples who were visiting the office at the time. So they all sat around Roger's iPad and watched the game. Quite a site and quite a game!
|Beach balls for ornaments!|
|It is wet suit time|
That evening we were invited over to the Scott's place for a yummy Christmas Eve dinner. They are the couple who came to the La Jolla Institute and now stay in the place we stayed in this summer. It was nice to be back "home". We had the sister missionaries who serve at the Institute, the Knorrs who serve with us and the Bedkes. We have been having the Bedkes and Scotts help us out in the office the past few days with all of the packages and extra work load from the holidays. It was a nice group with great food and a sweet Christmas spirit. We ate and then read from Luke 2 together, played Christmas carols with music pipes and enjoyed each other's company.
Christmas day was very unique but good. We woke up and opened the presents that we had. Thanks to those who remembered us and took the time to share with us! It was so fun to know we are loved. Then decided that it was a good day to go to the beach! When we got there the waves weren't very good so Roger decided to hang out with me. We had a great time walking the beach and exploring. I was actually was glad that Roger couldn't play in the waves because I got him to myself and enjoyed being with him. It was great to be in the sun and enjoy. It was a beautiful day!
We then went home and I was able to get in a good swim. Since we have been at the office we haven't been able to swim much. It just isn't as fun to swim after dark. It felt so good so I decided I will try to find a way to swim more.
We were invited Christmas evening to a lady in our ward's home. It is the same place we went for the very untraditional Thanksgiving dinner. This time Carol's son made roast duck - yes duck!, duck lasagne, three fabulous salads, wonderful homemade rolls (I asked for the recipe and they said that it was made out of a little bit of flour and lots and lots of butter!) angle food cake with raspberries, pecan pie, semi frio, and goodies galore! Lots of great people and food.
We were able to FaceTime with many of Roger's kids and I got to see Mike and Kinley the next day. That was great to see everyone. We miss you all!
We had a great Christmas and one we will remember for a long time but I have to say that I will be ready to be back with family next year!
I have loved the theme for Christmas this year. He is the Gift. I have done a lot of thinking about why he is a gift to me and how that gift helps me in my life. It has been a good effort to write down those things that the gift of the Savior specifically is to me. I have also done a lot of thinking about the giver of the gift and how hard it must have been for him to watch his son go through what he did for us. I appreciate the gift and the giver of the gift and have totally enjoyed the focus of that this year.
Love each other and help one another! That is what this life is all about.