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.


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