We were excited to welcome Sister Brown back. She is very dedicated and works well with both members and investigators. In the picture, she is strapping on her backpack for the trek to the apartment. Sister Gorina is looking on and at left is Vanya, a branch member.
Christmas Eve was a special day for our mission. We had an all-mission zone conference for the full day. It started with all kinds of board games, ping-pong, pool and visiting with missionaries we hadn't seen for a while. Rick is in the center teaching Catherine, the mission president's daughter, the fine points of Pass the Pigs.
After watching "Scrooge," we gathered everyone for group games. We played the "Bell" game and everyone had fun. We then did our traditional "Night Before Christmas" left/right game. In the picture above, one of the groups is trying to determine which direction they should pass the gifts. (For parents of missionaries, if you click on the picture, it will enlarge so you can see your missionary.)
We all felt the Christmas spirit when Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden made their appearance. They passed out gifts to everyone and brought warm wishes for a Merry Christmas. Sister Leslie, the Snow Maiden, has been serving in Kasakhstan and was in Spain with us for visa renewal. Father Christmas is a native Russian missionary.
We both enjoyed being with Father Christmas. He is a delightful young man who loves the gospel and meets the challenges of the mission experience.
This picture hardly does justice to the Yaro group doing "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer." They totally took us by surprise with their rap take of the traditional song. They were really popular with the audience. The reindeer in the background have all served in Yaro at some time. Starting left back: Sisters Leslie and Brown, Elder Barney, Sister Gorina, Elders Angelo, Morgan and Briggs. Front: Elders Jenson (Rudolf), Terry, Keifert and Smith (Santa). This act definitely set the standard by which all others will have to be measured for years to come!
We wish you all a very Happy New Year!!
Christmas at our Apartment
Since we travelled back to Yaro on Christmas morning, we decided to wait and celebrate with our missionaries on Sunday. We had a traditional Christmas ham dinner and then they opened gifts we picked out for them. Sister Gorina loved the personal and hair products we gave her. She loves to primp and is totally a girly girl! Elder Terry is in the background.
Elder Smith loved getting his own "Crocs." Elder Jenson and Daniel look on.
To add a little spice to Elder Keifert's gift, we wrapped it in several boxes so he actually had five gifts to open. He loved getting a blow-up neck rest pillow to use on trains and planes. We also gave one to Elders Jenson and Terry and Daniel received some much needed lined leather gloves. Sister Brown was excited about her Prado art memory game. We picked it up in Spain for her. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon and felt like it was really Christmas!
What a way to get a new capka! Saturday night, Anne tripped in the office doorway and fell headlong into the corner of the archway seen above. She had a deep gash which required 12 stitches. We were blessed to have Daniel with us at the emergency clinic and he has been very attentive in watching for any signs of problems. He is a 6th year medical student and is the 2nd Counselor in our Branch Presidency. Rick and he gave Anne a blessing before going to the clinic and we are sure that helped reduce the effects of the fall. Since this picture was taken, blood has settled around and under Anne's right eye, making it look like a real fight!