Monday, December 29, 2014

December-2014 udpate

Early December pictures 

As the time for “graduation” draws near, the missionaries get more and more excited.  It is especially true for our 6 weekers.  We get to know them better than those who are here for less than 2 weeks, but we love them all.  

Of course, our sister missionaries hold a special place in our hearts.

Eventually, it is time to say our goodbyes and pray for great success in their future.

We love them all.  As you can see, they come in all shapes and sizes and that’s the long and the short of it. Hands down, they are wonderful.

They come in various sizes and shapes.

Aproaching Christmas
Well, we are still waiting for our white Christmas to hit, but since it is around 85 degrees every day, we don’t think that is going to happen soon.  Nevertheless, we had a nice Christmas with our missionaries and our missionary couple friends.  We will include more information and some pictures later in this update.

No, this isn’t Walmart, but the little food store we shop at regularly.  Santa could sing too.  It was fun.

We did say our goodbyes to some of our dear missionaries, who are ready to go into the mission field to serve the Lord.  Some of them have learned a new language, and others have learned the basic lessons and procedures they are to follow.  Most of all, they have felt the sweet Spirit of the Gospel in their lives and we loved being part of that.
We take them to the temple occasionally, and it is always a nice experience for us all.  This is one of our language districts.  They have learned French and are off to their fields of labor.  I had to laugh as one of the African elders was giving a talk in Church and he said,
“The field is black and ready to harvest”.  They have a neat sense of humor as well as a sweet attitude toward life. 

 They come in all shapes and colors, as you can see.  We love them all.
Christmas week was very busy for us.  Many of our missionaries are in the field now.  We do have our 6 week language missionaries with us, and other non-language missionaries are coming in regularly.  Christmas was busy, even though we didn’t have as many missionaries as we usually have.  Many of them wait until after Christmas to come into the field.  Nevertheless, we had a very busy week getting ready for our Christmas celebrations.

We invited the missionaries who are serving in the Accra Mission, to come for a Preparation Day, at the MTC.  They came in sports clothes and had a fun day with programs and sports for the day.  We remembered that Devin Despain is serving his mission here, so we went out to the sports field, to see if we could find him.  Sure enough, there he was.  What fun to see someone from home.  He said he will be home before us, so he can be at our homecoming.  What a nice young man he is.

Elder Despain and the Malmroses.

I was asked to organize the Christmas Eve program with the missionaries only. We already had big plans for some of the senior missionary couples to come to the MTC on Christmas Day, so this would be our “family” celebration with our own missionaries.
I talked with the different districts and asked them if they would participate in the program.  They were enthused to be part of their own program.  So I assigned each district a Christmas Carol and asked them to practice it.  I also gave them some background on that particular hymn. I even had one of the elders ask me if he and his friends could do “Oh Holy Night”.  I said, “sure”.   A few days later, I went around and had them all sing for me to make sure they were ready.  They did a good job, and I thought it would turn out OK. 
The night of the performance, I gave the introductory remarks and then let each district take their turn.

There was a sweet, reverent spirit in the room for the whole program and I was very pleased with their love and enthusiasm for the Christmas hymns.  Gerald and I, along with Sister & President Robison, sang a quartet of Silent Night, and the congregation joined in as the closing song.  I was very happy with how it all turned out on that special night. They did so well, so we asked them to sing again during the Christmas Day celebration with the couples.

On Christmas Day, all the couples arrived to join us at lunch.  It helped us to not be so homesick, to be away on Christmas. They are such nice people and we really enjoyed being with them. 

Here are a few pictures of our Christmas celebration:

We decided to wear traditional dress for the festivities.

Some of our Senior Couples Christmas Greeting

It was pot luck style, but the MTC furnished the chicken, gravy and rice and they brought the rest.

Especially good is the homemade bread that our head chef Margaret makes. It was yummy.

This is our cafeteria.  The elder on the right has one of the neat beaded ties they wear here.  Oh, and yes, that is the back of my head on the left behind the elders.  I got a haircut just in time it seems.

After eating our lunch, they asked Elder Malmrose to share memories of his father, whose birthday was 100 years ago to the day.  He presented the song that his dad had played every year that Gerald could remember.  He danced and lip synced to “My Birthday Comes On Christmas”.  Everyone really had fun with his presentation.  I don’t think I have ever heard our missionaries laugh so hard and clap so loud.  This may become an annual tradition. We put it on the blogspot for the whole world to enjoy.

Each young missionary was given a little Christmas gift and were they pleased!  They really appreciate being remembered.

Here are some pictures of some of the great folks we work with every day.  What beautiful smiles they have, don’t you think.

We are working very hard, but we are enjoying it.  Just so you don’t think that we work all the time, we do occasionally get a break and do a little sight seeing.  There really are some interesting places to go to visit here, and we hope to get a chance to see more of them, as time goes on.  Since we don’t drive here, for many reasons, the Robisons are wonderful at taking us places. Here are a few pictures of one of our little excursions.

 Sometimes we move at a very slow pace, but we try not to monkey around too much.

Even the restroom signs are unique here.

They really dress up nicely for special events here.  The ladies are usually in beautiful dresses and the men in shirts and ties or traditional dress.  These are pictures of a wedding held at the ward building on the property.  Because of the laws here, members must be married civilly and then they have a traditional wedding with the family only and then they may be sealed in the temple, if they desire it.

View from out of our kitchen window.

We hope that you all had a great Christmas and a happy New Year.

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