A Visit from Our Son, Brandon!!
|He brought two suitcases, one full of his stuff and one full of stuff we had requested him to bring and things people had sent for us.....what a good young man to haul all that with him.|
|A Snack before turning in for the night...|
A Christmas Tradition in our home Bratzlies (a thin delicious Swiss Cookie that I make)
A Morning Walk around the Beautiful Golf Course that borders our mission home.....
|This was taken from a spot overlooking Curacao....It was beautiful.|
Decorating Christmas Cookies to take Caroling.....
|Elder McBride & Elderr Richards|
|Sister Melendez & Sister Anderson|
|Sister Meyer & Sister Davidson|
|Elder Buxton & Elder Durfee|
|Elder Groenendijk & Elder Naef|
|President Baird, Elder Jones & Elder Parr|
|Sister Jones & Sister Parr|
We had such a wonderful night Christmas Caroling. One lady we went to teared up and said, "I feel so special, no one has ever done anything like this for me before".. Another one said, "I can throw away my diamonds because you have made me feel like a queen without them". We even sang to a guy that was drunk and he seemed to appreciate it. We gave cookies to one man and he couldn't believe that we would do that for him. It's so fun to do acts of kindness.
Christmas in Curacao
Experiencing Christmas on a mission was so rewarding. It was amazing to be able to really focus on the Savior Jesus Christ this year and not on the commercial aspect of Christmas. We truly were focused on Serving others, our missionaries and just spending quality time with those we love. We so enjoyed the caroling, decorating cookies, meeting new friends in the streets, giving away copies of the Book of Mormon as gifts, a good Christmas Movie, reading the account of Christ's Birth and, my favorite sound....the sound of "Happy voices in my home". The Sunday before Christmas we enjoyed a very special Sacrament meeting in the Curacao branch. They had a beautiful branch choir and a number of other special musical numbers along with some beautiful messages about the Savior. We had all the missionaries in Curacao over to the mission home later that day and, through wonderful modern technology, had a Video Devotional with the rest of our mission. The messages were focused on the Savior and truly being able to find Joy in doing His work. Christmas Eve we had all the Curacao missionaries over for decorating gingerbread houses and dinner and on Christmas we had them over for breakfast and a Christmas movie. We were able to have a few of the Elders Skype their families home from our home and it brought me back to the past 6 years when we have Skyped missionaries of ours....now we are the ones Skyping home. Family is where the true treasures of this life are found!! Brandon was on his mission for the last two years so it was so great to have him here with us. Due to the overlap in missions, we have not been all together for a Christmas since 2012 so we are hopefully going to gather here in Curacao next Christmas.😉 Interacting with our children at home has been priceless to me!! They have banded together to support each other while we are gone and I love them profoundly more each day...and I didn't know that was possible. I have this Scripture on my wall at home and it has greater meaning to me now than ever before: 3 John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."... Now that we are experiencing this mission I feel like we have more "children" and as I watch them progress in the Gospel it does bring Joy.
As a tradition in Sister Melendez's Family they would make Tamales every Christmas. We wanted to help her fulfill that tradition here in the mission home and although I had never made Tamales before and Mexican Spices and peppers are hard to come by, we improvised and made it work. I invited her and her companion over Christmas Eve day and they did all their laundry, emailed and studied in the mission home while we worked on the Tamales - (It's a process) They were a home run with all the missionaries on Christmas day and It brought tears to Sister Melendez's eyes when she tasted them.... she said, "It tastes like home!"
|Sister Anderson & Sister Meyer|
|Brandon, President Baird, Elder Buxton|
|Sister Melendez, Elder Groenendijk|
|Elder Naef, Elder Richards, Sister Davidson|
|Making a "Surfing Santa" takes major|
|Elder McBride got frosting on his tie....|
|Sister Melendez, Elder Groenendijk, Elder Parr|
|President Baird & Elder Jones....They didn't want to|
Decorate houses or they make better supervisors 😜.
Note: President Baird looks very casually dressed because
he had just returned from golfing with Brandon for his P-Day.
|Brandon & Elder Durfee|
|Sister Parr & Sister Jones|
These Ladies are incredible
Sister Parr leaves in March and I'm feeling
like my right hand is being cut off...
Luckily we have a couple coming to replace
the Parrs who are pretty incredible too.
|Elder McBride & Elder Naef|
The Finished Products!....
|Choosing Their Favorites!|
|Sister Melendez Received a package from Sister Burrup|
It was so touching....It's wonderful to see how
much these missionaries grow to Love each other.
|Watching our Christmas Movie|
|A Christmas Message from President Baird|
|Sister Melendez, Sister Anderson, Sister Davidson, Sister Meyer, Elder Naef, Elder Buxton, Elder Durfee, Sister Jones, Elder Jones, Sister Parr, Elder Parr|
Front: Elder Groenendijk, Elder Richards, Elder McBride
|The Jenkins Family|
This is my (Sister Baird's) Family, Taken just shortly before we left.
|Our Family At home - Oh, how we miss them!!|
(This is the Christmas Party they had together before Brandon came out)