Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Gifts of Christmas ~ 25 December 2014

He is the Gift....

Our Christmas was spent celebrating the gift of our Savior.  We are grateful to our Heavenly Father for his only begotten Son, who came to this earth to die for each one of us, so that we can live again.   All of the Elders came over for some food and fun and we received a wonderful surprise when our President showed up with his family to spend the next 10 days in Pointe Noire.  

Our daughter-in-law Stephanie and her family sent us a scripture-present each day of December.  Each present told of a "gift" the Savior has given to us.  We loved focusing on the real meaning of Christmas and what the "gift" of our Savior means to all the world.

Back:  Elder Mbikayi, Elder Etheringto, Elder Muamba, Elder Sperry
Middle:  Elder Bulendolo, Elder Johnston, Elder Nzoronka and Elder Andri

The Pointe Noire missionary team!

President and Sister Monga and their family with all of the missionaries ..........  We loved having them for our Christmas Devotional and dinner.

Each of the Elders took one of the Scripture-Gifts and read it to all of us and then wrote what gift the Savior gave us on the "white board".

President kept checking to make sure all of us had the right gift written down.

Elder Andri's gift was found in D&C 84: 36-38 "everything we have".....

The Gift of Food....

We prepared a wonderful chicken dinner for 16 people.  Because we now have 5 African Elders, we have to try and fix things they will eat.  They have a very "hard time" with American Food, but seemed to enjoy the chicken.  We whipped cream for the fruit salad and Elder Nzoronka said it was wonderful on his Avocados and onions..........!  We just set the food out and the African Elders just mix everything together and love it.   They ended up putting the Banana Cream Pie on baguettes.  

Elder Etherington got a phone call right in the middle of the dinner.  He has not been feeling well, so he just settled for some mashed potatoes and gravy.

Everyone ate everything that was put on their plate....  We have to say they eat much, much less than the American Elders!

Elder Mbikayi and Elder Muamba tried American food for the first time.  They were a little hesitant, but President Monga told them they have to try "new things".

We bought a "Yule Log" to celebrate Elder Bulendolo's birthday today.

We made oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies and fudge for dessert.  By the end of the night we only had a few left.  

Our entertainment for the night was Elder Mbikayi, Elder Etherington and Elder Sperry singing Away in a Manger.  It was beautiful.

The Gift of Snow....

Elder Johnston and Elder Muamba practicing for the "snowball fight".

We asked each of the Elders to tell us of some of the "traditions" that they do as a family each Christmas Day.  One Elder said that they always had a "snowball fight".  So Elder Sperry helped us make "snowballs" during the week and we had a competition between the Mpaka and Aéroport Elders and the Loandjili and Pointe Noire Elders. 

 Get ready...... Get set.......

We put a line on the driveway and put the teams across from each other.  The goal was to see who after one minute had the least amount of "snowballs" on their side of the line.  

Elder Etherington took one to the face!!

Elder Johnston trying not to get snow in his face!

President Monga has never witnessed a snowball fight!

Time is running out....

Times up...............!

The Loandjili's and Pointe Noire's snowball's....

The Mpaka and Aéroport Elders snowballs.....

And the winners are.......................
Elder Muamba, Elder Sperry, Elder Mbikayi and Elder Johnston.

We made African socks to give to each Elder... We filled it with essentials like a tooth brush, toothpaste and a black writing pen also some caramels and chocolates...

Our Zone Leader Elder Johnston with President Monga and Elder Muamba.

It was a very fun and wonderful Christmas day to be together with our dear Elders as they called home and were able to talk with their families.  We love them and love serving with such fine, dedicated young men who are dedicated to the "work of salvation" here in the Congo.


The Gift of our Savior....

We are so grateful for the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Some days our testimonies of what he has done for us, is what helps us make it through the day.  We know that because of Him we can accomplish anything even when things are hard.  We are so thankful this Christmas Day for the special season of celebration and the focus we had on who Christmas is truly all about.  It is one Christmas we will always remember as we serve the Lord here in Pointe Noire Congo.

The Church Is True!!!!

Until Next Week.........................


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