Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas at the Orton Apartment

Elder & Sister Orton??

Thanks to the Acors for sending us window decorations to brighten up our little apartment.  And to the rest of you who have sent cards, pictures, and packages - so fun, and nice to know we are not forgotten.  

We have kept very busy again this past week.  Trying to make as many visits as we can with our Christmas message, booklet, treat, and song.  It has been very well received, and Wayne's song(s) with guitar accompaniment followed by prayer at the end of our visit leaves such a sweet spirit.  Last night we were invited up to Jack & Debbie K.'s home for dinner with some of their extended family: three of Jack's sisters and Debbie's sister, plus a niece and grandson.  Jack and Debbie are members who don't come to church - but they love the missionaries.  One of his sisters is also a member who doesn't come. The rest were all members of other churches.  But they invited us to give our message, participated openly, were very supportive, and touched by the Spirit. Besides "Away in a Manger",  Wayne also has been singing one of our new favorites, "Star of Bethlehem".  I don't think I had ever heard it before he learned it in the past couple weeks to sing with his friends Johnny K. and John P. at the ward Christmas Party Friday night.  It's a beautiful song. Anyway, we have been enjoying the extra visiting we are doing this month.  But it has meant long days as we work around our usual service at the nursing home, Zone meeting in Woodstock, other regular meetings, ward party, another viewing and funeral for deceased ward member, preparing and teaching Sunday lessons, etc.  But awesome visits with special ward members. Such a wonderful way to spend the month of December, leading up to the celebration of our Savior's birth.  HE is the GIFT, you know...

We have been seeing red cardinals around more lately, must be the time of year.  It's always exciting to spot one, they are so pretty.  

At our zone meeting last Tuesday we helped another senior couple make lunch for the Elders and Sisters in our zone (about 20 hungry young adults!).  They made Brunswick Stew, I don't think I had ever had it before, but it was delicious.  I am getting the recipe.  This coming week is our mission Christmas Dinner and Devotional in Columbia, near Baltimore.  We will be helping with the meal for that also.  That will be for over 200!  We are looking forward to it - at the devotional our friends from Romney that we helped teach and were baptized in October will be speaking. We are excited but nervous for them.

A funny thing happened on Thursday - this is a true story.  We stopped at the local grocery store, Shop & Save, to try to find a woman whose name is on our directory, but no one knows.  We had finally found her home and stopped in but she wasn't home. Her son was there and said she works at this store.  I was going to ask one of the checkers that we know, we had been to her home several times (to try to teach but mainly just had to defend our religion...). Anyway, as we pulled up I was trying to remember this lady's first name so I could ask her about the other lady's schedule.  What was that name??  We were listening to Christmas music on our CD player and it was playing "Angels We Have Heard on High" and just got to the chorus as I was trying to think of the name.  Oh yeah, her name is Gloria!  Really.  Coincidence ?? 

Our ward party was a great success.  Good food, cute Primary program, wonderful music.  Of the 75 people in attendance, 16 were less-active, 8 were nonmembers.  And we all had a good time.

We are looking ahead to a couple of busy days as we finish up our visits (and run out of booklets), mission party, and Christmas.  We sure hope to be able to skype with all our our children, their wonderful spouses and our amazing 
grandchildren.  It's great to have been keeping busy so we don't miss them all so much this second Christmas so far away from them all. We hope your Christmas is joyous and Christ-centered.  How blessed we are.
Check out baby Rachel's fancy boots!

Primary children ready to act out "Teach the Children"

We only have two babies in our ward, here they are, Rachel and Carter.
All dressed up for church this morning.
Wayne takes pictures of rusty old cars and tractors.  I take pictures of little white churches:                                                                                                                                                                                  

And this is one of the reasons we are here in West Virginia:


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