Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Lyndi-lou and Eddie too...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Joyeux Noël

Sunday, December 27, 2015

This week was Christmas week.  We had some great things planned and were able to accomplish all of them.  Before we get into that, however, today is our daughter Lise-Anne and Jordan's 12th anniversary.  Happy Anniversary you two.  We love you immensely.  
We also had our 6th and 7th December birthdays and there is still one more this week.

Dustin's birthday was December 21 and Wilson's was December 23.  Lynn has begun making a birthday card and sends it electronically.  On the day of the birthday we Skype, phone or FaceTime.  It was great to talk to both Dustin and Wilson.  They had great birthdays.

Of course, though, we also celebrated the most important birthday this week, that of our Saviour.  We did lots of things to do this.

On Wednesday we had a district activity.  We made meals for people in our Branch who could use a boost.  All the missionaries in our district met at our house.  We made lasagnas, tartiflettes (the French version of funeral potatoes) and loaves of banana bread.  We delivered these and also ate some together for a meal.  
One of the meals we made and delivered.
After eating we all went to an International Nativity display which is being held in our "place" here in Charleville.  This was quite awesome.  There was a blend of the religious aspect of Christmas and the commercial.  We were met at the door by one of Santa's elves and Santa himself was inside.  But we also saw some beautiful Nativity displays that were lovingly made to depict the birth of the Saviour.  We were touched by the care and attention that was put into creating these.  
Elder Daines and Elder Nagloo
Elder McDonald and Elder Adams
Following this we had a formation (training) on why we came on a mission.  Everyone shared their thoughts and we had a good discussion.  It was a great lesson. 

We also taught our classes this week as usual but with emphasis on the Birth of the Saviour.  Ed made some games to go along with the French Gospel class.  It was lots of fun and learning at the same time. 

On Thursday afternoon we met the Biver family at our apartment and we went carolling at the nursing home where Laurent's mother lives.  This was a special activity and really invited the Spirit of Christmas to be with us and with the people we sang for.  They were elated and showed their joy by clapping and expressing their appreciation.
From there we went out to the Biver's house for a typical French Réveillon.  Laurent lit a fire where we roasted chestnuts.  We ate waffles, treats and fruit.  We had a wonderful time and ended up singing Christmas carols together.  We read the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus in French from a big family bible.  Again the Spirit of Christmas was all around us.  
We even had chestnuts roasted on the open fire!
Christmas day was a busy one.  We started off the morning by opening our stockings as usual.  That's always great fun to see that Santa had known just what we'd love.  The day before Christmas we received our parcel from The Wilson's in Okotoks.  We had been anticipating it as they had sent it November 15th.  
Us with our gifts from Okotoks
Ed is always happy to receive anything Astérix - a book and a game.
with my new garlic press and our new Christmas CD
We had to make up this picture but he really was excited to receive his first Astérix book!
Elder Daines was equally thrilled with his gifts!
Our good friends Patty and Dave Redd stopped in on their way to Paris.  We had a great visit with them.  They were serving as Young Adult missionaries in Liège and had been transferred to the Mission Office in Le Vesinet.  They were on their way to their new home.  They did not stay very long but we had a wonderful visit with them, nonetheless.   And they brought us some great little red shopping bags from Ikea to use as gifts for each our guests.  We tied some green ribbon on them and they looked nice beside each plate.

For dinner we invited everyone from our Branch who were on their own.  We ended up feeding ten people altogether, including 3 Friends of the Church.  We had a spiritual message about the protection that the Gospel gives us and everyone got a little gift.  

Our Christmas dinner was amazing (As Christmas dinner always is).  We tried to feed our guests in a typical French way. We started with a salad.  This was followed up by our main dishes - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mushroom and chestnut gravy, brussels sprouts, turnips, carrots, corn, green bean casserole, garlic butter shrimp and jellied salad.  For dessert we had a banana-apple cake which was delicious.  We washed all of this down with fake champagne.  We had also purchased bread and cheese but we didn't leave room for this and didn't get to that part of the meal.  Everyone loved our meal and we had a great time.  As a bonus we used our dishwasher which we don't usually do.  
Once everyone had left it was family time.  The young Elders Skyped their families from our home on their I-pads.  We did the same thing with our kids and grandkids.  We had a chance to talk to all of our kids, our parents and our brothers.  What a lovely time it was.  Later in the evening we made some popcorn and watched a movie (The Princess Bride) with the Elder Adams and Elder Daines.  We then ate our bread and cheese and way too many chocolates and other treats.  We had a very enjoyable day altogether full of love and happiness.

Boxing Day was interesting, too.  Ed and the Elders went shopping  for a suit for one of our members who had received some money for Christmas.  This was quite a procedure.  They ended up going to 4 different stores only to end up buying everything at the first store they had gone to.  They bought a suit, a shirt, a pair of shoes and a belt for €73.00.  What a deal!  They had come a cross a half price sale and took advantage of that.
This is their Power Pose!
Today at church we had 27 people.  We had some great lessons and great talks.
We had another meal after Church services today.
We feel very fortunate to have Christ in our lives.  We are especially appreciative of him when we celebrate his birth.  We feel his presence in our life every day but we especially feel it at Christmas.  We are grateful for our blessings, especially our families and we feel love all around us during this wonderful time of the year.

We hope all of you enjoyed this love during your celebrations and that each of you has had a wonderful Christmas and may the Lord bless you to have a marvellous 2016.

Au revoir de la France,
Lyndi-lou and eddie, too.


Sunday, December 20, 2015


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Well, we are not even at Christmas yet and the eating has started.  We had 3 major food events this week.

We started off with the Christmas Conference for the Mission.  This was a great event and a very spiritual one.  We heard a great presentation, complete with photos, from Elder and Sister Todd on the Paris Temple.  Each missionary received a Paris Temple recommend holder from the mission.  It is absolutely beautiful and means something special to everyone who received one. 
Primary Children from a Utah sent these little notes to our Mission to show their support for us here.  What a treat it was to see these.

This is our Mission Office.  It shows a traffic circle that is typical.  There are 7 roads that meet here.  We find them very efficient and wish we had more back home in Canada.
Some of the Canadians that were at the office at the same time on Monday.
The temple is going to be a great asset to the members and non members alike in France.  For example, in our branch we are in the London temple district.  To do a temple trip we need to drive for 5 hours and take a 2 hour ferry ride.  Because it is such an undertaking we also stay at the temple for 5 days and do as much as we can.  Of course, it is always a beautiful and spiritual experience.  It is also a time when we bond as a branch and a stake.

When the Paris Temple is dedicated in 2017 our members will be able to go to the temple and back in one day.  Therefore, they can go whenever they want and do not have to go when it is our stake's week for the temple. The temple grounds have a park which is open to the public to come and enjoy the peace and serenity of the location.  What a huge blessing that will be.

Getting back to the Christmas Conference, Ed also gave a talk a talk about his conversion.  This was very well received and touched many of the missionaries there.

At the Christmas Conference we had the first of our 3 food extravaganzas.    As couple missionaries we had the responsibility of helping with the food.  What a great meal this was.  We had turkey with a mushroom and chestnut gravy along with mashed potatoes.  This was our main course.  As an entrée we had a salad made from lettuce, cheese, apples, clementines, cucumbers, cheese and peppers.  For dessert we had a chocolate mousse with lemon sauce.  And of course, we had the ever present baguette.  What a great meal!

We took advantage of being in Paris to connect with other missionary couples and to visit some sites.  We went to Galéries Lafayette, a high end shopping experience in  Paris.  It was a little too pricey to buy anything.  We also visited a cool little section of Paris where there are pedestrian streets and nice little shops.  We went out for crêpes with another couple near Notre Dame and had an ice cream afterwards.  Are you seeing the food theme here?
Ed just happened to run into Père Noël on the Champs Élysées
It's unusual to see a Nativity here in France. 
Little shop with lovely decor for Christmas.
Galeries Lafayette
A M A Z I N G!!! Lynn was in her glory here looking all around at all the Designer clothes etc.
Our second food event was our Branch's "Goûter de Noël" or Christmas snack.  This was a huge success.  We had snacks of every kind, both sweet and unsweet.  There was enough to feed the French army.  We played an awesome game about exchanging gifts.  We had great attendance, over 40 people and about half of them Friends of the church.  Our friend from Sedan read some of his spiritual poetry again and we sang Christmas Carols again.  What a great way to bring out the Christmas spirit and to share it with others.  It was a great bonding activity.
Pére et Mama Noël
As usual for our Goûter de Noël we had Gauffres or Waffles.  They are so delicious.  We got the recipe so we're all set.
Thanks to Isabelle for some great photos of our activity
This is our fun game.  Elder Adams is stressed out about the possibility of loosing his coveted Star Wars box in the action.
Our Carol singing with Elder Daines at the piano.
On our way home we passed Charlevilles annual run called Corrida. Everyone dresses up in something fun and runs 4 times around the downtown area.  It's quite well supported and fun.  This year there were 2000 runners.  Quite fun to watch.  Ed would have liked to have run in it but no such luck.  Too many conflicts.
Today we had a great sabbath day at church.  There were 20  people in attendance.  We had a little Christmas program which involved reading about the birth of the Saviour from the New Testament in French and in English, interspersed with Christmas hymns.  We then heard from our visiting High Councillor, Christian.  It was really a wonderful service.

Following church we had our third food extravaganza.  Whenever our High Councillor is here we have meal.  Today was no exception.  We had leftovers from our "Goûter de Noël" from yesterday.  We also had stew, bread and cheese, corn on the cob, lentils, sausage, sweets, foie gras and veggies.  It was fun visiting and talking with each other afterward.  We sang more Christmas Carols around the table.

On the home front we had one more birthday this week.  Our son-in-law, Tyler, is a year older as a result. Lynn made him a nice card and we tried to phone him and ended up leaving a birthday message.  We hope his celebrations were lots of fun. 
Ed's mom ended up going to the hospital on Friday.  She has been falling lots lately.  So much so that we got her some hip protectors. She has also been quite agitated and had a high fever.  We have been worried.  It turns out that she had and infection and is now on antibiotics.  She is improving.

Since we have moved to the home front.  Ed's mom and dad and Lynn's mom had a wonderful event a couple of weeks ago.  All of our children and grandchildren had a Christmas dinner with them.   They booked the eating/meeting room at St. Therese.   It was a great meal and they had a great time.  Grandchildren gave a little performance, gifts were shared and Lise-Anne gave a little talk.  We were able to be part of the action by phone as we talked to our parents and Kevin while they were at the meal.   What a great tribute to our parents.  They were touched.

Our lessons and visits went well this week and we continue to be blessed in our work here in France.  
As Star Wars is being shown all over this week we think this is a wonderful reminder of the real reason for the Season.  Love to all.
That's all we have for now.

Au revoir de la France.
Lyndi-Lou and Eddie too.