Thursday, December 27, 2012

Feliz Navidad and more

Today is my oldest daughter Nellie's birthday and Saturday will be Alexandra's birthday.  I have such vivid memories of their births.  But most of all I remember how overwhelmed I was to think that Heavenly Father blessed me with my wonderful daughters.  And I was blessed to repeat that same feeling 4 more times.  I am so thankful for all 6 of my children and their families.  Working in the temple here in Santiago, I am acutely aware of the importance of families as they come to be sealed for time and all eternity.  Last night there were two couples with teenage children from San Juan Argentina that had traveled on Christmas to come to the temple.  What faith and testimony of the our Savior Lord Jesus Christ.  Millie and I are so blessed to serve here at this time. 

Christmas was different for us.  One we are in the southern hemisphere.  But the weather isn't all that much different from the Phoenix area and our Christmas's there.  But with our little Christmas tree and 1 string of lights at the window, we felt the Christmas spirit.  And of course Hallmark Christmas movies and our IPODS with our Christmas music helped us as well.  There are alot of advantages of serving as couples in the mission field in these days.  The rules are very different for couples but as our temple president has shared with us "it is a great blessing that the Lord let's you decide the things you can do and still be ready to serve 100% with the Spirit leading you".  In other words moral agency is at work here. 

Millie and I enjoy reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  She reads very well and understands pretty well.  We follow up in English with the things we need help on.  Last night Millie was given a huge compliment from a Chilean brother Morales(1 of 4 that serve in the temple) about how good her accent is in Spanish.  I am so proud of her. 

Christmas Eve the Missionary couples got together for a FHE and a cookie exchange.  We had a nice time and lots of fun and food!  Then on Christmas morning we had a brunch with waffles, crepes, omelettes, fruit, and juice.  We sat with President Otay and his wife so I got to practice my Spanish on super overload!  They are wonderful people.  This was the first Christmas they had not been able to spend with family and Sister Otay was a little sad!  But hey there were more than a few tears shed by the missionary couples.  We then came and opened the few presents we had and ate the goodies we had.  I especially am hoarding my black licorice from Rachel, Jr Mints and York Peppermint patties and peanut butter from Nellie and Rachel.  And Milie was thrilled with the lotion that will last for the rest of the mission.  Interesting how very basic things can thrill you to the core.  Philip reminded me of when the peanut butter we had sent to him in Ecuador was the hit of their district meeting. 

I hope that we can all remember the true meaning of Christmas and keep that spirit with us all year.

Sweet Sister Johanoson from Detroit her first transfer from Pocuro to La Florida

For Geroge Migliaccio, Dianne and Lisa

Had pulled pork sandwich very tasty!

Millie directing music on Christmas Eve

We acted out the birth of our Savior

Brother Fisher last to guess what we was to be.  Sister Graham helping

White Elephant exchange and Elder Karen was lucky to get the hat Milie brought!

Brunch on Christmas day on the 2nd floor of the hospedaje

Elder Berthrong fell while running.  You have to watch out!  I walk that is dangerous enough!

Sister Berthrong serious!

Sister Berthrong happy side!

Sister Gonzales(greenie from Paraguay) Sister Rhineheart from Bountiful, Utah having Christmas brunch with the senior missionaries

Joe and Dixie Bowler at the brunch

President and Sister Otay Santiago Chile temple president and matron

Millie ready to open gifts

Van and his Chilean soccer shirt

Van #2

Millie and her new sweater

New sweatshirt from you know where

Goodies to eat

Our Christmas tree with all the goodies!

Millie and Van with el Viejito Pascuero in Santiago Chile

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