Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Week

Our Christmas week was Great!  Busy, busy, then pretty quiet.  So many treats for us from ward members, we are spoiled; candy, jerky, cookies, candles, a lovely hand-knitted scarf, and more.  And so fun to receive envelopes and boxes on our doorstep almost daily from our wonderful children and my thoughtful sister.  Sweet, fun gifts.  Thank you, thank you. On Monday we hurried through our chores, shopping, and laundry so we could use the afternoon and evening for the last of our Christmas visits.  We ended up distributing all 70 of our booklets "In Search of the Christmas Spirit" by President Monson, with a message, a treat, and a song.  A few booklets we ended up giving out at church because we just couldn't find a mutually convenient time for a visit, but most of them were in-home visits. We really enjoyed seeing so many people - 36 active families, couples, or individuals,  29 visits to inactive households, and 5 booklets went to non-members - one who is being taught, four who were in the home where we went for dinner and joined right in with our presentation...

We finished up our Book of Mormon reading - taking on the mission two month challenge. Yes, we have read it many times before, but this time was special as we read along with our entire mission, usually at the same time of day, keeping about the same pace.  Yes, I know it is true, I learn more each time I read it, and I am so grateful for it.  

Wayne here:  We were supposed to read and then write down what we gained from our study.  As I read this time, I really focused on Mormon and Moroni.  I tried to imagine the anguish that they went through knowing that their families and all their people would be wiped out.  And the awful scene at Cumorah where it actually happened.  Then for Moroni to wander around for several years in hiding from the Lamanites.  I was especially touched by his warnings and pleas to us with such strong testimony that his writings are true.
This book was really written for us.  It is true.  He really wanted us to know that. 
Each time I read it I am amazed at how many things I missed the previous time I read it.
It is another testament of Jesus Christ.  We know that the life of Christ is one of the most documented occurrences in history and yet there are so many learned men try to convince us that He is not the son of God.  Now we have the witness of a whole other nation who documented his life.  We don't have to wonder.  it is true. 

Tuesday we took our four Petersburg Elders to Columbia, on the outskirts of Baltimore (3-hour drive) for the Maryland Baltimore Mission Christmas Dinner and Devotional.  It's nice to have a TV and DVD player in our van so on the way over and back they could watch movies ("17 Miracles", "Ephraim's Rescue", "The Saratov Approach").  The dinner was great, the devotional was great, the Talent Show was silly with a few great moments!  The missionaries love getting together, the excitement and energy in the building was almost over-powering.  At the end of the day they got their packages from home too.  We did hit some crowded freeway roads on the way back to Petersburg, also some fog.  But we made it safe and sound about 9 pm.  
Elder Mordecai, modelling the hat his parents sent him

Trying to get everyone in the mission picture

Wednesday we had District Meeting in Romney.  The Elders from Petersburg drove their own car so they could stay and have a district activity with the Romney Elders after the meeting.  They were allowed to watch a movie, they chose "Frozen", silly boys.  We left them to their wild party and went to a Romney nursing home to see our good friend Woneda.  Since we have known her she has bounced around from an apartment in Moorefield to the local hospital to a nursing home in Baker to her son's home way out in the woods to the hospital in Winchester to a rehab facility in Charles Town - and now to this nursing home in Romney.  We seem to track her down eventually each time she moves - and she appreciates it, sometimes she feels so alone and lonely.  Anyway we were able to visit, pick up some items she needed from the store, and Wayne serenaded her with Christmas songs and guitar music.  I think we cheered her up and brought some Christmas spirit...

Christmas eve we just enjoyed being together, snacking, and watching an old black and white movie "It Happened on Fifth Avenue".  Christmas Day we went for a walk, read the Christmas story from the New Testament and Book of Mormon,  then had the joyous experience of talking on the phone, skyping, and face timing with all of our children and all but one of their spouses, and most of our grandkids.  What fun for us!  We do miss them so much.  It was great to hear the wonderful report of our grandson on his mission in Mozambique, Africa.  His family was so excited to see and talk to him!  Technology is amazing and helps us all to stay connected.  

I spent my vacation time doing a jigsaw puzzle of Noah's Ark, Wayne read a book. We watched a few Hallmark movies too. We made a trip to Moorefield on Friday to deliver a pick-up from one ward member to another couple who needed to borrow it. And we finally got to watch the movie "Frozen".  Cute.  Saturday afternoon we made several visits and finally made contact with a ward member we had been searching for.  I typed the ward bulletin for Sunday and also a program for an 8-year-old's baptismal service.  

Today was a lovely Sabbath Day.  Nice weather, good attendance at church (several investigators and a few less-actives..).  Very refreshing to partake of the sacrament and be uplifted by good music, talks and lessons.  An added bonus was a baptism after church for a special 8-year-old girl, Chloe.  Nice service.

Can't believe we are about to head in to a new year.  2015 will be a great year!  Hope yours is amazing...  
Cute Chloe with her Grandfather, on her baptism day!

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