Saturday, December 26, 2015

December 24 - 26, 2015 - Christmas Holiday Celebration

December 24 - We worked in the office during the day from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  I needed to finish the report for President Thomas.

At 2:30 p.m. with went with President and Sister Thomas to the Lubumbashi Stake Center where all the young Elders and Sisters of the 3 zones here in the city -- 62 in all --  gathered to listen to a previous First Presidency Devotional. Elder Draper found one online that had been translated in French. Sister Thomas had prepared sacks with small Christmas gifts for them, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mentos candy, and a CD of Christmas music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

We then met up with all the Senior Missionaries and went to a fast food court next to the hyper pisaro. Elder Peterson and I had a chicken burger with fries with a Fanta orange soda to drink. It was really good. Elder and Sister Bennett drove two hours from Likasi to spend the holidays with us. They stayed in the extra room at the Senior Sisters' home. They are from Canada also. They live in a small town 2 1/2 hours east of Edmonton. She taught school for 16 years in a one room school, grades 1-8. They have lived there for about 38 years. Originally he taught school there for a few years, and then worked for the provincial government.

We gathered in the Mission home great room for a Christmas Eve program Elder and Sister Draper uses for their family. We sang songs and read parts. We just didn't dress up for Mary, Joseph, the baby, shepherds, wise men, etc.

Sister Thomas had two kinds of homemade ice cream--vanilla and chocolate. There were several toppings such as caramel, chocolate fudge, M&Ms, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. Sister Draper also made fudge and caramels.

December 25 - Christmas Day. Santa found us in the Congo. He even brought Elder Peterson small blocks of  motzeralla, cheddar and Brie cheese, There were holiday crackers, peanuts, and even jello and pudding. The stocking had an orange, apple, lemon, banana, and a snickers bar in the toe.
Christmas Stockings and food gifts

Presents to each other were the wooden carvings we purchased in Mbuji-Mayi and from a man just outside the mission compound.
4 giraffes, 1 elephant, large and small jar

large jar purchased in Mbuji-Mayi; small jar outside the compound

Christmas Dinner was at the Mission Home.  Emmay, a waitress at Latte 'Licious (the restaurant we ate in the first Saturday night we were here) was also invited for dinner. Her family lives way up north. She hasn't seen them for several years. She is engages to a man who had to go back to Belgium.  He cannot come back here and she cannot go there. Visas to come here or to leave the country are hard to get. So, in the meantime she waits. She works every day except Wednesdays and the restaurant is closed on Christmas Day. She is a beautiful polite woman who also speaks English. She enjoyed dinner with us very much.

These are the pictures from dinner.
Beautiful Table Set

Sister Vance holder a Canadian "Cracker"

Some of these pictures are turned the wrong way and I don't know how to fix them on the blog.

Broccoli with a cheese sauce

Fresh fruit salad


Stuffing with apples and raisins

Glazed carrots and green bean cassarole

My plate ready to eat.

All seated for a delicious Christmas Dinner

Canada and England have a tradition of "crackers".  This is a video of how to open them to see what prize is inside. Every one also includes a paper hat.

Sister Cook and Sister Vance with the bags Sister Mikesell made all the women.

Elder and Sister Bennett

President and Sister Thomas


Elder and Sister Draper

Sister and Elder Mikesell

Sister and Elder Peterson

Sister Peterson, Emmay, Elder Peterson

After dinner we watched the video of the Nativity. The Bennetts came over to our home to visit for a while. Then we went to the office to Facetime or Skype with Jared, Erin, Leslie, David, Sarah, and Rachael and their families. We will talk to the rest tomorrow.

December 26 - This is Boxing Day in Canada and England, a day when people would box things up and take to the less fortunate.

At 12:30 p.m. we celebrated at the Mikesell's home with leftovers from yesterday's Christmas Dinner. A wonderful repeat.

About 2:30 p.m. the Bennetts left to go back to Likasi. They needed to go to the big hyper pisaro to get supplies before driving home. They want to get back before dark.

At 3 p.m. the rest of us, except Sister Thomas, went to the Senior Sisters' home for dessert and visiting. Sister Thomas' stomach  has not been well the past few days.

We went to the office at 6:30 to facetime and hangout with Aleece, Rebecca, and Shayna and their families.

It was wonderful to talk to each of the grandchildren over the past two days and to see what each of them received for Christmas.

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