We took a few hours on Christmas Eve and visited Butchart Gardens. It was so beautiful to see all the lights. The theme was the 12 days of Christmas. We had gone to the island to deliver last minute gifts and an apartment problem, so we took a few hours before we could catch the ferry back to the mainland and went through the gardens. The Christmas lights were so beautiful. Can't wait to tour through it this summer when all the flowers and color is out.
Well we survived Christmas away from home. We were so thrilled to talk and Skype the kids in the morning on Christmas day. Oh what fun it is to see Christmas morning in the eyes of children. We so love our grandkids and our kids. They are all so supportive and each sent us packages so that we had presents under our little tree. We enjoyed opening each one up and reading the letters and looking at each book. Thanks to them for not forgetting us. It was fun to go get packages and to see some were for us, just like a little kid, (guess I'm just a kid at heart). . We had 3 dinner appointments on Christmas day, so we were well stuffed. We visited with Faith who is from Kenya, then to the Newmans and a taste from the Philippines, and then to the Silvers for a taste of Utah. We enjoyed the day, but were tired when we got home. We had an interesting Christmas eve. We left early in the morning and boarded the ferry to Vancouver island with our car full of those last minute Christmas presents. We delivered to Nanaimo, Duncan, and then Victoria. Hopefully those missionaries were able to open their presents on Christmas morning. We attended to an apartment problem with some Sister missionaries, where their apartment was growing mold. We are moving them out today, so that took some time. It was fun to play Santa and deliver. We grabbed a quick Christmas Eve dinner, but all we could find was a place with Salmon Corn chowder (very fishy) and some pink looking pasta stuff, (causing me extreme heart burn for the rest of the eve). haha We missed that Prime Rib Christmas Eve dinner. We went to an open house for Boxing Day this evening, it was fun to get to know a few of the ward members better. Now we are at home and it feels good to just take a minute and be lazy. Christmas is everywhere, but I wanted to write. I am going to just add a few pictures, because they tell the story better than me.
Driving onto the Ferry.
Elder Nickels making the 2 hour ferry ride more enjoyable with his I-pad.
Off we go to the Island, here comes Santa and Mrs. Claus.
This is our view on Christmas Eve. Waiting, and heartburn!! Where are you Santa with a Tums when I need one.
I thought you might like to see just a bit of one of our package delivers from Point Roberts. This is a one day delivery that we brought in. We had to put them in the front office and then we sign them all in and put them into the backroom by zones. Then the zone leaders try and deliver them to their zones. Al going into the post office.
Point Roberts on a clear day in December. Kind of nice to just listen to the water and feel the peace that comes with the sound of the waves hitting the beach.
Well Christmas is on its way and we are busy getting ready. We got all the missionaries their bags delivered that we made for them. They all seem to love the pamphlets bound together. We are in the process of trying to find room for all the packages that are coming in for the missionaries. We go to Point Roberts Washington 3 times a week right now and pick up Christmas parcels. We get about 40-50 each pick-up. It is such a busy little post office. You stand in line for well over an hour to get to the counter. Al and I wanted to get our packages mailed to our grandkids so we left at 6:30 am last Friday morning to be there the moment the post office opened. We were first in line at 8:00, which the post office doesn't open until 8:30. By the time they opened, the line was out the door, so we were so glad we went early, we had a stack to mail. (and it was all ours, no mission mail). We did pick up about 50 packages for the missionaries and were back at the office by 9:30 am. The tunnel was clear, the border was clear, and the wait at the post office was nothing. We were pretty proud of ourselves. We made our grandchildren their ornaments this year. It has been fun. I will post a picture of them after I am sure they have received them. They are certainly home made, but we enjoyed doing it in the evenings. We couldn't miss a year, we haven't in the last 15 years.
Al waiting at the door of the Post Office.
We had our packages all ready to go. We hope the grandkids like their ornaments.
We have put up a small Christmas tree and even have a few presents. The Heider's sent us the 12 days of Christmas so we actually look like we have gifts. We also have a mini tree from our 12 days gifts.
The Silvers and the Boehmers and us are keeping track of each package that comes in and if a missionary doesn't receive a package we will go shopping and make sure that they do.
Merry Christmas to all. We love all our friends and our family.
Well it is the beginning of the Christmas season. It does seem strange to not be home and involved in all the festivities. But it is wonderful to be around all the great young missionaries. What wonderful youth. They are all so obedient and so willingly to help and to spread the gospel. I sure enjoy when they come into the office each day. They are like a ray of light walking in the door. I have been working on the gift that the mission office/President is giving to each missionary. I had all the pamphlets that they use in their teaching bound together. I laminated the front and back with "The Living Christ' Proclamation and "The Family Proclamation" and then put into a gift bag full of goodies, of course. The senior missionaries, in the area, came in and we had a good time assembling all 295 bags.
Sister Easterbrook, Sister Ripplinger, Sister Boehmer, and Sister Tilleman.
Sister Silver and me.
The missionaries were thrilled with their gift. It was a fun project. I wish I could give them each a great big gift, they deserve it, they work so hard.
On Saturday, November 30, Al and I took the ferry from Twwasawen to the island of Vancouver. It is a 2 hour ferry ride, then we drove 1 hour to the town of Duncan. We were checking on an apartment problem that the sisters assigned there were having. It was fun to be on the island. We got the problem solved and made it home the next day to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.
Waiting for the ferry.
Kind of a gray day, but the water is always beautiful.
Driving onto the ferry. It was a fun adventure. Hope to go again, especially in the summer.
Don't know why the pictures are so blue. (need to check the camera).
We attended an awesome choir presentation that evening in Vancouver. It was absolutely beautiful, I don't think I have ever heard Silent Night sang like that. It really helped give me the Christmas spirit. We are getting about 80 packages a week to the office from parents and friends at home for our missionaries. Our poor little office is bursting at the seams. It is wonderful to go and get all those wonderful packages. We are keeping a list of packages, so that if a missionary doesn't receive a parcel for Christmas we will make sure they get one. I am so impressed by those young people who are here on the Lord's errand and are not well supported from home, but they come anyway.
Love you all and hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season.
Stanley Park in Vancouver in November.... We decided to take a drive and see if we could find Stanley Park in Vancouver. It was kind of a chilly day, but was not raining. We found the park with no trouble, even driving right through downtown Vancouver. It is quite the park with many things to do and to see. I am sure that it is absolutely beautiful in the summer. The leaves from the trees were all on the ground, but oh what huge leaves they are. Found a little gift shop and looked at a few fun things. I'll include a few pictures, hopefully the pictures in the spring and the summer will be a bit more colorful. I wish I could remember my photography class and take the camera off automatic, but just can't remember too much. I did try to get the curve into the picture however, so just notice that. And I wish I could make the pictures bigger on this blog, but can't make that work. Every once in a while the bar comes up to change, but I'm not sure what I do. Saturday is our P-day, so we try and go explore a bit. We didn't get off like we wanted as a pair of Sister lost their phone so Al needed to go into the office and get a new one ready for them. Some Elders also called and they broke the lock to their apartment and were not sure what to do. Al now has 265 kids to look after with credit cards, phones, and apartments. :) Makes my job of tablecloths pretty easy. (ha) We enjoyed the fresh air and the ocean. It is so nice to get out of the office and see some of nature. We live in the middle of a huge city. The ocean is not too far, but you have to drive there and most weekday we don't have the time, or it is too dark. It was nice to be together.
Al in front of the totem poles. It was fun to read the meaning of each of them. This area is full of "First Nation" history.
The moss on the trees is actually growing. The trees seem to have green hair.
Al in the far distance. I always lag behind to snap the pictures.
Al wanted the camera so I guess I get into the picture.
I wonder if he is looking for home? Loved how the trees framed him.
Piles and piles of leaves. I don't know how their parks department keeps up with all of them.
Well we survived transfer week and it was actually a very tiring process. Tuesday we went to the temple with the departing missionaries and then fixed them supper and served at the President's house. The temple is almost exactly like the Twin Falls, Temple only a bit smaller. Made me home sick. Anyway then on Wednesday is when the new missionaries arrive from the MTC. We have an orientation, treats and training before we feed them supper and then continue in their training. Thursday is then the big transfer day when those who are getting transferred come to the mission office and they have meetings all day, and get their new companions. We fed about 230 very hungry Elders and Sister. I am always amazed at their capacity to eat. We had a funny thing happen. Our President is totally into getting people introduced to the gospel and getting them baptized. Well right in the middle of the craziness of transfer week Fed-Ex delivers us 9 cases of Baptism/Confirmation forms. That equates to 9,900 forms. I think that is enough to last us around 10 years, so President thinks we just need to get baptizing and use them up. The distribution center in Salt Lake has a new computer system and for some reason on my last order they attached this huge order for baptism forms. So I just got that sorted and then I get a call from home and there ate around 9 cases of church stuff on my front porch. It was an order that I needed for Transfers. For some reason distribution sent it to my home address. So needless to say we have had some interesting times with shipments this week. Al and I had to take a part on the training today, of which I knew nothing about. We are suppose to train in our area of assignment. I thought what am I going to train on, how to prepare a table, or a file, (ha) But it was most interesting as I approached the pulpit it came into my mind to talk to the downhearted of which I did. I related my experience as I was here my first month, and told them my ballgame score story and addressed the down in spirit among them. I'm not sure all I said, but I do know that the spirit was directing my words. I had so many Elders and Sisters talk to me throughout the day and thank me for my words. It was a very tender experience, the Lord will direct you to help others if you will just have Faith in him and let him take over. I hope I helped some of those struggling. It has been a fulfilling week, but I must say a most tiring one. It is nice to be home tonight before 8 p.m. I have decided that a mission is a vacation, working very hard, day in and day out.
Got my orientation room all set up.
Our new missionaries. My first group that I got to take care of. What dynamic young people. Loved each and everyone of them right off.
And of course the transfer dinner decorations. Just have to show them, as I worry about them for weeks. Kind of dumb, as nobody really cares, but it does look nice. We had yummy pulled pork sandwiches, which I think we probably ate around 3 pigs or so. :
Have to just add a fun picture of Al and me last Saturday, taking a minute to have a breakfast in a real restaurant. That huge fruit "thing" was a yogurt parfait. It was sooo big.
Mission Conference, November 8-11. Well we had our first mission conference with a visiting general authority from Salt Lake city. Elder Johnson and his wife Jill visited our mission. They were absolutely wonderful people and taught us so much. The conference was a very spiritual uplift. I was in charge of the meals each day. I tried to have centerpieces that were pleasing and a little treat as well after eating Chinese food. We fed about 165 on Friday and then again on Monday. It was a huge job, but it was fun to see all the missionaries.
Used pictures of Jesus sitting on top of the scriptures, with a bit of greenery and some scriptures.
The Senior Missionaries in the Lower Mainland that were able to attend the conference on Monday. President Tilleman and his wife and Elder Johnson and his wife are seated.
Just a bit of sweet after lunch. M&M's=Mission of Miracles
Got a sign made, a bit bigger than the 8 x 11 inch one we had.
All the Elders and Sisters were so fun to serve.
The calm before the storm. Sister Boehmer makes that final check.
We were blessed to have the Carletons stay with us as they came from up north in Kamloops for the conference. We had fun laughing and talking. They are from Toronto, Canada and are doing a great job helping the people in Kamloops.
Also we had the wonderful opportunity to go with the Elders as they taught a mother and son about the gospel, Robert and Louise Milner. It was so awesome to listen to the Elders teach them about the gospel and to witness Rob and Louise as they read the Book of Mormon and accepted the truthfulness of the gospel. We had their baptism on Sunday evening, November 10. Elder Nickels will confirm them on next Sunday the 18th. They ask that he do that. It was a neat experience and we hope we can continue to help them as they learn and grow in the gospel.
All the missionaries that were involved in their teaching.
Left--to--right: Elder Orgill, Elder Smith, Robert, Rob (who baptized them, he is leaving on a mission in a week), Elder Lindeman, Louise, and Elder Gardner. Love these Elders. They are so dynamic. They are so busy each and every minute. They are the AP's right now and are trying to get the mission conference ready, but they ran home Sunday afternoon and baked a cake for refreshments for the baptism that evening. These 4 Elders also sang at the baptism. It was the most beautiful song I have heard for a while, it was absolutely wonderful. They are so multi-talented and are certainly God's representatives, as they preach the truth. You can see it and feel it from them. They are absolutely correct in their teaching. It has strengthened me so very much. Our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of his children.