As a missionary, It is really nice to have Christmas focused on the Savior. Even though we are far from family, Christmas is filled with many joys. Sisters MacMillan and Koster are happy to be opening a parcel from home. It doesn’t matter much who it is for because everyone shares. Elder Derieg gave me some of his peanut brittle and I am still enjoying the hot tamales from Elder Smith. This is Sister Nelson and Sister Tim showing the lighted star the stake presidency and his family gave Sister Tolman. I received a little wooden Christmas tree. We tallied all the parcels and prepared gift bags for any missionaries with no check marks by their name. If you look carefully, you can see a couple by the mail baskets.
Christmas means goodies and gifts. Elder Tuapolutu and Elder Simon gave us the gift of vacuuming the floors. They also brought us treats. Here they are modeling the scarfs and hairbands that went in the gift bags for girls. Sister Back gave Elder Kinghorn 2 warm chocolate chip cookies, just out of the oven.
Missionaries get extra dinner invitations at Christmastime! Wei is an excellent cook. We had already enjoyed one of his dishes at a family home evening when we were first assigned to the Chinese Branch. When he and Sophie invited us over, we got another taste of his skill in the kitchen. I especially enjoyed the fresh prawns dipped in a wasabi sauce. Isn’t that amazing?! Wei taught us how to easily peel them. This picture is Dave courageously trying the chicken feet. I thought it should be documented. Their darling little boy was happy with all the attention we gave him.
Soon after Christmas, Sister Tolman hosted our Mortdale book group. It wwas really nice to spend the time with these ladies who have become good friends: Joanna, Angie, Vi, Effie, Kim, Lynn, Frances, Sister Tolman, and Pam is taking the picture.
We received many generous gifts this Christmas from the missionaries and members.