Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Post Christmas!

Life in the mission field doesn't slow down during the holidays!  The Tuesday after Christmas we took 12 departing missionaries to the temple before they left to go home on Wednesday.  It is always so good to be with them in the temple.  We really cherish this tradition with our departing missionaries.  Following the session we came back to the mission home for dinner and then our testimony meeting.  I know I've said this before, but I wish you could all be at this testimony meeting because their testimonies are so powerful and touching.  This was a great group of missionaries.  The sisters slept here at the mission home Tuesday evening, and the elders stayed at the Sefcik's home.  Then we took them all to the airport on Wednesday morning to fly home to their families!
Then Wednesday evening we went back out to the airport at 11:00 p.m. to greet most of our family!
Everyone but Mike and Jillian were able to come Wednesday night, and Mike and Jilli were able to come on Friday night.  It was sooooo fun to have them all here and spend a little time with them.  We laid out pads on the floor downstairs for 4 of the boys to sleep on--just like the missionaries do!  They thought it was great--and every night there was a lot of giggling and goofing off going on before they would finally fall asleep!  On Thursday we took everyone sledding at a hill right by our home.  Luckily the weather warmed up from the -20's to only -2!  It was great!  We had such a fun time watching the little boys (and grown ups) sled.  And we took hot chocolate with us to drink, and had a great time.
Friday morning Steve and I had a training meeting for our missionaries that are going to be new trainers for the missionaries that arrived yesterday.  It was a great meeting with these new trainers, and as I sat there while we had discussions with them, I thought to myself, 'I love this work!'  It really is so rewarding, and we love these missionaries.  We had our family come over to the church where we had the meeting and greet our missionaries--that was really fun.  Some of the little grandsons were a little shy shaking hands with the missionaries, and then Drewbie was out doing 'ninja kicks' in front of them.  We loved showing off our incredible family.
We also celebrated Steph and Jordan's birthdays on Friday.  So Fun.
On Saturday while I stayed home with little Wy and Beck so they could nap, everyone else went to the Olympic Park and went tubing and the adults rode the bobsled.  They had a great time.  And I had a great time tending my two youngest grandsons! Even Wy warmed up to me while I spent the afternoon with them.  When you leave these little ones you wonder if they will remember you and if they will be afraid of you when they see you!  And miraculously, they all remember me!  I just ate up every minute of having these little boys with us--and I loved having all of our kids here.  We are so blessed with such an amazing family, and I am so grateful for each one of them.  They are a huge support to Steve and I, and it was so fun to be here together--all 16+ of us.  We can't wait to find out what this new baby will be that Brad and Katy are having!  Will we get another grandson, or our first granddaughter?
Monday morning we said good-by to everyone (and of course I tried to fight back tears, but they always come!), and then we were right back to work!
We welcomed 6 new missionaries yesterday--we think that is the smallest group we have had come in.  And they were just great.  We love them already!  We have had our regular training with them, and sent them off this morning with their new companions to their areas!  It's always so exciting.
Tomorrow is our regular transfer day, so we will drive to Lethbridge with that, and then we are going to stay down because we have our Mission Leadership Council meeting on Friday there.  Then we will drive back up to Calgary to participate in the Calgary Stake Conference this weekend.
We are excited for this new year, and are ready to push hard!  This year we will begin having interviews and zone conferences every transfer instead of every quarter, so that makes us twice as busy, but we think it will all be so beneficial.  We are excited to be able to have zone conferences more frequently and have more frequent trainings, and be able to follow up better.  The time is going to fly by I think.  We begin traveling for interviews on Monday, heading to Medicine Hat...and as I look at our schedule for the rest of the month, it is going to zip!  We are doing some creative scheduling to be able to fit eveything in--and it will be good to get one round under our belts of doing it this new way.  Then we might have to re-evaluate and re-adjust.  But we are excited to go for this second half of our mission!
Tubing at Olympic Park

All 6 grandsons with their new 'toques' (beanies)

Jord with Beck at the sledding hill

More sledders!

Elders Moffitt & Stringam taught us a lesson following Sunday Dinner, and Drewbie sat right between them!

Finn, Miles & Sam sitting by Elders Manarii and Miller

Our 6 new missionaries from the MTC- Elders Fonseca, Fish, Sisters Hatch, Bodily, Elders Vea, Tung

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