Saturday, December 27, 2008

Celebrating Mom's Birthday

Mom got to celebrate her birthday several times. The first with the Pitts family and the other when Travis and Jordan came. It was nice to have a touch of home in Phoenix to celebrate.
During the Pitts stay we took a trip to see the lights at the Mesa Temple. We also went to visit our good friends the Brems who were visiting their daughter Emily in Mesa. That night we also went to see Kim Rhoten. Uncle Reed was staying with her. It was good to see and visit with him after all these years.

An Early Birthday Celebration

We celebrated my birthday a week early with the Pitts and then again with Travis & Jordan when they came on January 3rd.

We all took a trip to the Mesa Temple to see the beautiful lights, and also to visit our good friends the Brems who were visiting their daughter Emily who lived in Mesa. We also made a stop at Paul's cousin, Kim Rhoten. Paul's Uncle Reed was there visiting with the Rhoten's and it was so good to see and visit with him after so many years.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Traditions - Ringing the Chimes, Christmas Bingo, Nativity

Good thing we weren't playing for anyone but ourselves...but it was fun playing the chimes to Christmas songs.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Call From Santa

Just before our nativity, we were interrupted with a call from Santa to Gavin. He just wanted to make sure he still believed before he made his stop

Nativity Reading

Each year it is tradition to read the Christmas Story and use the children to act it out. This year our actors were small in number. Lars & Linda Andersen came up for Christmas Eve with Sara & Erik. Before they moved here to Tempe they were a part of our annual Christmas Eve activities.
We always finished the Evening with Christmas Bingo. Using M&M candies to place the mark, each time a person got Bingo they were able to open their present.

Enjoying having Tyler Home with Us

We especially enjoyed having Tyler home with us for 2 weeks. We thought he might get ansy staying with us that long, but he seemed to enjoy just being with everyone. We even put him to work teaching the missionaries during our interview training. His love and ability to teach and connect with the missionaries was fun to watch. Since he entered the school or business at BYU this fall,, he has worked especially hard this semester and was rewarded with all A-s.

Papa & Gavin Reading the Scriptures

It was fun to have Gavin reading the scriptures and seeing how his love for reading had blossomed.

Trish & Brandon rolling out Chrismas Cookies!

Christmas with the Pitts Family

Nana and Abigail resuming their favorite past time of making rolls for Christmas Eve Dinner

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A New Sherrif & His Assistant in Town

You can only imagine the mail that comes into the mission office during holidays as our missionaries receive gifts from family and friends. Just do the math, 180 missionaries, and times that by all their family and friends. Poor Sister Terry as she tries to forward everything before Christmas to our missionaries.

The Assistants gave President Beck & Elder Matsen Sheriff badges for Christmas! How appropriate!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Zone Conferences

For our Christmas Zone Conference we chose to split up the mission into 3 days of attending the temple and having a Christmas meal and sharing of a Christmas devotional and songs by selected missionaries. It was a very special experience to be able to first go to Snowflake, Arizona to the temple, with all of our reservation missionaries and then drive back to Polacca for a special meal prepared by our senior couples. It was a great trip up their because we were able to experience some of that white stuff that we don't see down in Phoenix. We arrived back home about 11:30 p.m. and then started the proceedure the following two days for our missionaries in Flagstaff and then in the valley. It was a spiritual and rewardng outing for everyone as we all got to see the temple lights after attending the temple. I must admit, I was ready for a long winters nap after it was over. It was quite an interesting experience as we tried to move about 230 missionaries during those three days. The Lord blessed us though and all went well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stake President's Christmas Dinner at the Mission Home

It was a busy week for us as we had transfers and then also prepared a meal for all of our Stake President's and ther wives. Elder & Sister Pickard, our area seventy, also shared the evening with us. We currently have 17 stakes presidents in our mission, unfortunately not all could come. We had a special treat as our Traveling Elder Angels came to sing to us. They all have beautiful voices and do an amazing job singing a Capella It was a wonderful evening of sharing.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Departing Missionaries- December Transfers

Sisters Conference at I-Hop

We didn't have time to have a full blown Sisters Conference, so we had a mini one and all went to breakfast at I-Hop. This was just before 3 of our wonderful sisters left to go home. We are down to 18 sister missionaries now. They are precious.