Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Eve & Christmas

 Last week Dave was doing "box jumps" on the wall by the church.  He sliced open his knee.  It was pretty deep but for those of you who know him, you won't be surprised he decided against stitches and used a couple butterfly bandaids to hold it back together.  I was too queasy after looking at it to help him at all.  After a week of drainage and the annoyance of it getting on his pants he went to Urgent Care.  The Dr. wasn't super understanding and he got reprimanded.  She couldn't do stitches because of infection but did give him an antibiotic and bandaged it up well.  She told him to return in a couple of days to see if the infection had cleared and if she could still stitch it.  Not sure he'll go back though...I'll let you know if we have to amputate!  

On Christmas Eve we met up with a few missionaries in Harlem to pass out socks, gloves and share the Christmas message "A Savior is Born".  My uncle passed away in September.  One of his traditions was to take socks to the needy.  We were unable to gather with his family to help with this so we did it in his memory in NY.  I wish I had better pictures but here are a few.

Sis. Dunford is helping map out areas for each of us to go.

 Sis. Dunford and Savannah went together.  They have become very close and Savannah is going to miss her so much when she goes home this upcoming transfer.

 Lauren and I went with Sis. Alexander.  This is Wanda.  As we were walking by her I noticed she had no socks on and she was playing with her shoe.  I gave her some socks and we started a conversation.  She was smoking a cigarette and was not super friendly, but Sis. Alexander convinced her to take 2 min (which she said she didn't have) to watch the Savior is Born video.  It was amazing to me to stand back and watch the transformation that took place right before my eyes.  As she kept her eyes glued to the screen she slowly put her cigarette out behind her and her entire countenance softened.  At the end she commented "that was so nice, thank you.  That really was beautiful.  I needed that.  I love God".  I was reminded in that moment how each person has a portion of the light of Christ within them.  They are able to recognize sacred things and feel God's love for them.

This is "Brother Brian", "Pop", and "the man with no teeth".  At least that is how they introduced themselves to us.  They too were very receptive and love the Lord.  We invited them to church at the Harlem Chapel, which they commented how they had often wondered about "that building." 

 Gathering back at the Harlem Chapel after.

William returning with the Elders

We went to dinner at Serafina's after, yummy Italian food on 55th.

We have a Christmas Eve tradition of new PJ's.  This year William got sweats and a t-shirt instead.  It's pretty cool when there is a college with your name.  Not sure he'll wear them in public but they do make perfect pjs.

 A few of the missionaries joined us for Christmas dinner.  Here the Elders are playing Bounce-off, a new game William got from his cousin for Christmas.

I love when the missionaries play the piano in the mission home.  This is Elder Burton.

William is the hot chocolate connoisseur at our home lately.  He took orders from all the missionaries.  They could choose from a variety of options including, crushed peppermint, mini chocolate chips, peppermint marshmallows, whip cream, etc.

 We gathered in the living room for a few minutes at the end of the evening.  William fell fast asleep and didn't wake up until 7 am the next morning.  

Dave reading a Christmas Story for FHE earlier in the week.  He's finding he needs his glasses more and more.  I love him!

I let the kids get out of school early to attend the Westchester Zone P-day Christmas Party!  This is William opening his "white elephant" at the gift exchange.  They played basketball after.  William was in heaven!  He scored 16 points in his last game...maybe it's paying off playing ball with the missionaries. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Welcomes and Christmas Celebrations

My heart is full as I reflect back on this week.  However the week started out a little rough with William and Lauren both staying home sick for two days.  They loved it though because they snuck down to the church Wednesday and Thursday to see missionaries on P-day and at the new missionary meeting.  We also welcomed Elder Ramanlal from Hawaii.  He will be serving in Chinatown.  We are happy to have him here.  On Friday we gathered as a mission at the Ossining Chapel for a Christmas Devotional and Luncheon.  About 40 missionaries participated in a beautiful musical program.  We have so much talent amongst our missionaries!  Dave and I each had a few minutes to speak. It was a very special day to have all the mission together.  Following the program we went into the gym to eat a yummy lunch provided by the Yorktown Ward Relief Society.  I am grateful for their willingness to serve lunch to almost 250 missionaries!  During lunch we had a surprise visit from Santa..aka..William Smith.  This past summer he found a Santa suit in the mission home basement and decided then that he was going to be Santa for the missionaries.  They loved it when they saw him walk out on the stage carrying a big white bag.  One of the Mia Maids, from our Texas Ward, Madie Rousseau with the help of ward members and friends gathered gloves for each missionary.  Along with the gloves they sent candy canes tied to a beautiful story about the statue in Germany of the Savior that is missing his hands.  The poem talks of us being the Lord's hands. Thank you K2 ward and Madie for your generosity! William, along with his elves, Savannah and Lauren walked around and handed one to each missionary.  We also had a photo booth where each companionship had their photo taken holding a sign "He was was born so I"... The photos are all posted on the Facebook page "A Savior is born - NYC" if you want to check them out. Missionaries are so helpful and I am so grateful to each of them.  They help set up and clean up and are always asking how they can help.  I feel so spoiled often by the kindness of so many.  I love each and every one of these missionaries.  They are unique and have different talents and challenges.  Each adds so much and is a  blessing to our mission.

Elder Ramanlal

 New Missionary Meeting/Trainers and Companions

Friday Christmas Devotional & Luncheon


On Sunday evening we held an additional Devotional for Investigators and Friends.  Many attended and it was a successful evening.  Special thanks to Sister Eliza Smith and Elder & Sister Gardner for all their efforts to organize and direct the musical program.

 The very talented musicians!

Special Thanks to the elves in Texas that sent over 40 packages for our missionaries.  Shoutout to Marla, Nathan and Matthew Goode for organizing the Christmas Elves.  Thank you also to many generous families of our missionaries that sent packages for not only their missionary but companions and mission friends.  We love you all!  Because of your generosity, every missionary in the NYNYN mission has a package to open on Christmas morning!  

Thank you to our 3 WiseMen (Office Elders) for their diligence in getting every package delivered.