And It's beginning to look a little like Christmas in our little missionary apartment!
The time is just flying! We are kept busy! We love that! Even on our "slower" weeks there is still always too much to do than there is time for.
The first part of the week was busy with prep work for the coming week and activities; on line, on the phone, buying supplies at stores, etc.
On Wednesday evening , our mission had another transfer meeting in which the missionaries going home bear their final testimony on their mission. They invite any members or investigators they have been close to to come. The chapel was filled as was the cultural hall , nearly to overflowing. We had over 40 going home. It is a bittersweet time. I am having a hard time with transfers, never mind seeing them return home. We get very close to these wonderful souls we work with here and we miss them when they leave.
Susan and Mike performed a beautiful song, "I Come to Him". They did a wonderful job and got rave reviews. Very sadly, they are among those going home. Many inspiring testimonies were borne and once again I must state how extremely impressed I am with the caliber of these young people and the maturity and depth of their testimonies and the intelligent and articulate way in which they express them.
One of the testimonies that I particularly liked wasn't the most eloquent but very real and relatable. She said she was very nervous about serving a mission because she would have to do a lot of things she hated; talking to strangers, organizing, planning, etc., but she said she had the best mission, she loved it and couldn't be happier because even though those things were very hard for her, she did them. She did things she didn't love because she loved Christ. It's not always easy or what we would choose but if we do it anyway with a love for our Savior, we will be happy and we will be blessed.
Thursday brought all those returning home missionaries to the temple for one last time before going home as well. A very special time for each of them and a very special time for us senior missionaries who work with them to be in the temple with them this day. We treasure these days.
Friday was our District Meeting and Zone Lunch.
Our district got switched around a bit this time. We lost several of our long time elders and sisters :( and got new ones I know we will come to love :)
Our district now includes the 2 senior Sister missionaries serving in the archives in Boston and the "Haitianaries"- an affectionate term for the Haitian speaking missionaries here.
It feels like a good mix and a good feeling was there. I 'll try and remember to take a photo next meeting.
I made up a bunch of these for our district missionaries to pass out this week.
(gotta love Pinterest!)
For our zone lunch we made Chuck's Chili. It is a recipe my dad invented when he was living alone in Massachusetts were he went for a new job while my mom and we kids stayed behind in Alabama to sell the house. I have the recipe framed and it holds a place of honor in my kitchen back home. It is special not only because it tastes yummy but because when I asked my dad for the recipe he mailed me 4 pages of hand written instructions, describing every step in detail-right down to the shape the onions should be!
And there weren't any measurements for spices. This is the best part! Instead he drew pictures , similar to these:
You have to love that, right? I sure do!
The missionaries loved his chili . When I told my sister Kathy that she replied, "Who doesn't?"!
We switched up our Pday again this week. We found a Christmas Home Tour on Saturday and thought that would be wonderful to attend. It was indeed! I so adore these fabulous old homes here- they are just that - homey. Every time we are driving around I admire them and wonder what they must look like inside. I got my chance to find out! Even more homey and wonderful. It was a very cold and very rainy day ( Again. Seeing a scary pattern here?)
but we are fast becoming hail and hearty New Englanders and don't let that stop us!
Due to the rain and people stopping me from taking photos inside , there aren't many. But you can get an idea.
This is where we picked up our programs and maps.
There were 7 homes to tour, all in Concord. Lunch and an afternoon snack of hot cider and cookies were included.
Each home was decorated for the holidays by a different designer and some of them when all out!
Many of the homes were on average and several had their own pond or river flowing by.
This house came complete with this swing and tree fort:
Pretty fancy, even for Nancy!
We loved this creative display- a cookbook and produce tree!
Also in love with this Hot Chocolate bar!
This photo doesn't show it well at all, but this was our very favorite room. It was perfect in design and decor and ... that view!
Adore those little vignettes.
My dream table. We figured it could seat at least 16.
Two charming yellow happy homes across the street from each other.
The December landscape . We were so hoping for snow instead of rain.
After the tour, Susan and I shopped a bit in the darling town of Concord and then the boys joined us for dinner here at the Colonial Inn. Dale and I had raved about it so the Moores wanted to try it. We all had the famous mouthwatering chicken pot pie , except Dale who opted for a fish dish. It was cozy and festive and warm and dry. Perfect! During the tour, the boys enjoyed a day to just kick back a home- reading, napping, watching movies on T.V., etc.
This was displayed in the Inn. I had to include it for my kids and grands!
Sunday was an adventure as the fire alarm went off during the beginning of the third hour and everyone had to leave. The bishop just sent us all home. It was too cold to wait outside. We took a car-ful of people home to Dorchester then made a visit to one of our favorites, Adolfina, before heading home ourselves. We lighted the tree, our little candle, heated up some of dad's leftover chili and snuggled in for the Christmas Devotional.
As always it was uplifting and inspiring.
We are very excited about "He is the Gift" and the opportunity to share it.
Please click on the following link if you want to see the short 2 minute video:
This time of year is the most wonderful!
We have just enjoyed Thanksgiving with its reminders to ponder on our blessings and all for which we are grateful and now we are moving right into the season of joy and rejoicing in the marvelous hope and light the knowledge of the birth, life, atonement, death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus the Christ brings.
We end with these lines from the Christmas Hymn "Far, Far Away on Judea's Plain":
"Lord, with the angels we too would rejoice;
Help us to sing with the heart and voice:
Glory to God in the highest
and Peace on earth, goodwill to men."