Coming Home July 2011


Working on new material for the blog!

It has taken me awhile to decide what to do with the blog. I felt lost not posting pictures of the missionaries and I've felt lost with not having my missionary routine. We are starting to settle into a different routine and I have decided to start blogging again. It will take me a little while to get things squared away but we are rolling into the next phase of our journey in life - recovery from the best experience of our lives ( the mission), knee surgery( Tim's), physical therapy for my back, and the economy with our business. We look forward to continuing our growth spiritually and preparing for what comes next!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas in Kharkov

We celebrated Christmas in Kharkov with the Missionaries this last week. I could hardly wait to post but I needed to wait until after p-day came to an end so no one in Donetsk would peek and see what we did in Kharkov and that way it would be a surprise to them. We had so much fun!!!! Wednesday evening was our Christmas Eve. We had a yummy dinner of chili and homemade rolls all the way from Donetsk(Sister Lydia made them). Then we ate pumpkin cake and well you can't get canned pumpkin here so when I was home, I bought some and had it shipped here!The look on the missionaries faces was pure joy to me. We had a wonderful fireside. I told a little about the traditions of each country that our missionaries are from. It was fun to learn about them. We have missionaries from Germany, Sweden, Russia, Canada, England, Armenia, Ukraine and the United States. We then heard from Elder and Sister Reed(CES couple serving in Kharkov) and they are so wonderful. They do a lot for the missionaries in Kharkov. Then President Pacilliyac(the 2ND counselor in the mission presidency)spoke. He and his wife are very wonderful and they are from Kharkov. We communicate pretty well thru what little English they know, what little Russian we know and lots of sign language! President spoke and all of the messages were great!! I will tell in my next post what we(mission couples) gave the missionaries(just in case we have some peeking on my blog). Then the next morning, which was our Christmas, we met at the Church and played some awesome games. It was so fun(thanks to my daughter Denise for sending the ideas for the games. She is a teacher of French in the Cinn. area and attends a leadership conference with the students. She gave me games for last year too! Oh by the way, Denise if you read this - the CES couple is anxious to use these games for the young adults too!) Anyway I will go into detail on the games in the next post. We had lunch - yummy barbeque sandwiches, cake(from a cake mix which is a lot lighter) and frosting(from a can which you can not get here) sent from my home(missionaries loved it) and cabbage salad that Sister Lydia made. We were as stuffed as Sister Phebe(President's family joke - mom and dad, if you read this, thought you'd get a kick out of it). We boarded a bus and off we went to an orphanage. We went there last year too and what a great experience. We got there and it was bitter cold! Inside the children gathered in a room. We were told we could not visit the other rooms because of the flu quarantine. Bummer!!! I had many of the children that have been my favorites upstairs! Well we or rather (I) convinced myself to be flexible (which is hard for me to do sometimes) and instead of playing and coloring with the children(I brought coloring books) we thought of any song we could sing in Russian and sang it. I was so proud of our missionaries! I have challenged them to memorize a certain hymn in Russian every 6 weeks and they remembered them!!!! We also sang children's Christmas songs in English and the children sang some of their songs. We sat with them(as the care givers did not want them to be wound up because it takes too long to calm them down) and taught them rock, paper, scissors. For some they could not do it but then these wonderful missionaries taught them to pile their hands, one after another with their hands, then touch their head on top of the hands and then let go with a whoopee! So simple and yet it thrilled the children to know end. Some of the children just wanted us to hold their hand and to feel of our warmth. Well they didn't want us to stay too long and so we left and it didn't even seem cold outside any more. We love these missionaries and their time, talent and energy in serving others. It has truly been a full filling 2 days! Isn't Christmas wonderful and no matter when or how you celebrate it, all that matters is that you have the Christmas spirit!! And in what better way than in serving others?

1 comment:

dixiewhitehead said...

Wow, that was so fun to read! Just as I was reading about how the missionaries improvised with teaching "Rock, paper, scissors" and how they showed the boys how to pile their hands and touch their heads I was listening to "His hands" from your music. It almost brought me to tears. I am so touched.

Thank you so much for the great pictures and memories for the missionaries from all the work and effort you go to. You are so special. We are so blessed to have our son be serving with you in this great mission. All our love to you!