Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Week. . . . .

     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone..  We had a very fun week with lots of different experiences.  We started the week by having dinner at the Hoefferle house.  Kristi is the mom of three boys, 14, 11 & 9.  The elders came to dinner also.. We always have fun at their house.. sat around the table after dinner and talked for a long time.. 

I love working at the desk at the visitors center; answering phones,
 fielding questions, greeting those who come in,
 This is Sister Allen from Gilbert

 Some of the cute sisters we get to work with

 Sister Humbert who left for home in Germany on the 20th and Sister Miller from Murry, Utah
Brother Brewer greets every visitor that comes to see the beautiful festival of lights. 
 He sits outside every night and has for 25 years..

     On Monday we drove up to work in the Visitors Center for the evening.. We really do have a great time there.. The performance in the huge theater that evening was the Suzuki Flutes.. It was a group of 100 young people from the age of 4 to 18.. I have never seen such a variety of flutes before.. bass and piccolos and really long flutes and colored flutes.. The music was amazing and I never realized a group made up of just flutes could produce such a variety of tones and make beautiful music that sounded like a wide variety of instruments in the group. 
 Tuesday we started our day making a list of those sisters we felt inspired to visit and then said a prayer asking our Father in Heaven to help guide us to those we needed to visit that day.  We visited 3 sisters and each one was at a very different time in their life.  Elizabeth, a young mom, of 3 ( 7, 5 & 2)..  We had tried to visit her a couple times before and she was not at home.. She is teaches in Relief Society, and is always there to help and give service when needed.  We had such a great visit and really got a grama fix with the girls, Lindsay and Lia.. Lia the 2 year old was calling me grama by the time we left.  Elizabeth said she was so happy that we came to see her.. Our next visit was with a retired school teacher, that is having some health issues.. When we called and asked if we could come, she was very quick to say yes, please come on over.  We had a great visit with her and hope that our friendship will help her to feel comfortable in coming back to church.. Our last visit was a elderly sister who has moved to our area from the district, because her apt. was broken in to and she didn't feel comfortable living there any longer.  She has full custody of her 15 year old grandson, who is a real handful.. We love to visit her and she was excited to see us.  She said that she had been thinking about us and was about to call us.  We were at her home for about 2 hours and she shared her concerns about her grandson and her health.  She lives with her daughter and so she is confined to the living room.. We were excited as she shared her conversion story with us.. the spirit was so strong as she shared this wonderful experience with us.. We really love to visit with her.  Each of these sisters have different concerns and lifestyles, but the one thing they each need is friendship and love..
     Wednesday is our usual temple day, but Sister Brown had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to check out her back and so we stayed close to home. 
     Friday we helped Roz Brown the R.S. president of 1st ward sort and distribute food boxes to several families in our ward that are struggling.  We started out on our drive around 10:00 am and drove to our first two families, who lived not far from us.  We were greeted with gratitude by each sister as we delivered their box.  We then headed south to the shore to another visit, but on the way Roz asked us if we had ever been to the National Harbor on the Potomac.. We had not, so she suggested we go there on our way and have lunch and see the area.  We were so glad that she made the suggestion.. What a cool place.. a beautiful area kind of like Kierland in Scottsdale with the addition of the Gaylord National Resort. We decided to eat at the Cadillac Ranch Restaurant.  When we entered we were taken upstairs to our table and when our server Stephanie seated us, she looked at our missionary badges and when she returned to bring us water, she asked us " if there was a church in the area", in talking to her, we found out that she and her husband had just moved to the DC area.  He was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base and she was working at the restaurant.    She said they didn't know anyone and that the only place she had been was home and work.. We were excited to talk to her and let her know that we know another couple in our ward that are a young married couple, no children and Arick is also stationed at Andrews.  We are going to get them together.. we told Stephanie and Arick about them at church on Sunday and they are anxious to have them for dinner and get to know them..  After a great lunch we drove to the shore to deliver our last box and had a great visit.  What a fun day. 
 Lunch at the Cadillac Ranch with Roz

   Stephanie Long our cute server with Roz

The Gaylord National Resort

 The lobby

The Large atrium


 Us with Kung Fu Panda.. 

 The view from the back of the resort

The bellman was from Vietnam and so friendly,
we asked if we could take a picture and he said "sure pretty ladies"..

     Saturday, we worked in the visitors center again, it was Christmas Eve and PACKED.. about 5,000 people came that evening.  The performance was provided by the young sister missionaries.  They sang such beautiful, un-traditional  Christmas songs along with a narrator reading the Christmas story.  Wow, such talent.. beautiful voices and a very talented pianist to accompany them. 

     Christmas day:  We attended both wards on Christmas morning and each ward had a special program with music and a special program celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  After church we invited the missionaries in our ward over to give them the gift we had for them.. We asked them what time they got up and they surprised us by saying they got up at 4:30 am . . . . wow they were anxious to open their gifts.  Elder Hurd had talked to his family and Elder Nielsen's family called while they were at our place, so they left so he could have some private time to talk to them.  We then prepared our dishes that we were taking to Bishop Martin's home for Christmas dinner.  We took mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls and pumpkin pie.  We had such a fun evening, the Martin's had also invited the Hughes family ( they are in our other ward) to dinner also.. We ate, played fun games and then opened the stockings they had given us.  We then headed home to skype with our families and open our gifts from them.. What a fun evening.. I felt like I was right there in Steve and Karen's home with my family as we opened gifts.. I got to be on skype with them for a couple hours and it was really neat.. I love them so much and miss them, this made being away from them for Christmas so much easier..  A truly wonderful week..   
     We have one more week working in the visitors center, until next holiday season.. It has been so much fun to interact with the wonderful people we have met there . 

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