Sunday, January 9, 2011

MY CHRISTMAS LIST


 1.      Enjoy the Lights of Hidalgo- check!  

The nearby city of Hidalgo puts on a great Christmas light show that is free to the public.  Many people attend and enjoy the lights in the temperate weather. The church has a chapel next door to the main light area.   An outdoor screen was set up where the video “The Nativity” was shown. Church members also provided a live nativity and hot chocolate on weekends. Many of our missionaries had the opportunity to help show the movie and talk with people. We received many new referrals and gave away many copies of the Book of Mormon.  We were also lucky enough to have some of our family enjoy the experience!




  

 







2. Thank missionaries who returned home- check!  
There were five very fortunate families who were able to receive a great gift during the Christmas season- a missionary who had served with honor and faith.  During December, we hosted five missionaries for dinner before they returned to their homes. We have no doubt that they pleased the Lord with the efforts that they put into growing His gospel here.  We love them and will miss their great examples and strong testimonies.  Buena suerte hermanas y elderes!

We'll miss Elders Brower and Newby!

Returning with honor! Sister Smith, Elder Horton, Sister Fifita
  




3.  Provide great Christmas Zone Conferences throughout the mission- check!








This was so much fun!  We traveled throughout the mission and held a total of five Zone Conferences.  We spent the morning in trainings and then enjoyed a wonderful meal provided by local membership.  After eating, we played some games and each of the eight zones had the opportunity to break a piñata.  I discovered:  1- Sister Missionaries can swing hard (one even broke a stick!) and 2- Elders have a quick reaction when seeing candy being dropped to the floor.  We finished the zone conferences with a special Christ-centered Christmas program and testimonies from the departing missionaries.




















4. Make time for family- check!


What a blessing it was for us to have four of our five children, two daughters-in-law, and three precious grandchildren travel to McAllen to be with us for the holidays!  We saw family that we hadn’t seen since last May.  I love them all and it was so much fun to have everyone together! They give us so much support and encouragement.  On Christmas day, we were blessed to be able to “Skype” with our “Argentine” missionary.  I miss him and love him… yes; I am a missionary’s mother!








  Although I didn't even come close to getting everything checked off on my Christmas to-do list, I feel that Christmas was a wonderful time for us. 
Other activities that we did in the mission in December:
  • New Companionship Training:  We spent one day training new missionaries and their trainers

  • Four days of training from the the missionary department. We owe Brothers Littlefield and  Jarman a huge thank you for coming and training and giving us ideas on what we can do to improve the mission. We had a Zone Leader's Conference while they were here and they did a great job teaching the leaders of our mission.
  • Welcome back Sister Carlos!  This is a small miracle in itself and a big blessing to the mission!





 


  • Baptisms!



  • New District Leader Training:  We spent one day training missionaries who had recently been called as new district leaders and we give a big thank you to Elder Pinter for his service in the office!
  
Thanks to Elder Pinter for his help in the office!




 
New District Leader Training


  • Fiesta!  Christmas parties in two branches in Laredo:

  

The missionaries seem to be so much happier than the members!



This is Brother Tobias who my nephew baptized many years ago!


  • New Year's Eve Movie:  Missionaries throughout the mission gathered on New Year's Eve to watch Toy Story 3!




  • Here's a little about the culture here.  Yes... we are in the United States, but...


 

We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!