Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

We loved using Skype, Facetime and Google Plus to talk to family and friends over the holidays - what marvelous technology!  And we thought a Vonage phone was awesome . . .

We had fun little events and gatherings to celebrate the season - wonderful memories.  I think I will just make a list of random incidents and events so we can remember them:

- I needed tissue paper and ribbon - had to buy tissue paper by the single sheet and cheap curly ribbon by the yard.  Wanted to buy the whole roll of ribbon and she just looked at me really funny.  Finally I found out that if you show most stores your receipt they will wrap things for you . . . ok, so the wrapping looks like what Chuck might of done . . . but it was wrapped! 

- We and the two other senior couples that work out of the area office took cookies around to all of the employees singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" - they loved it!  We needed 300 so we each made 100 cookies and they got a napkin of three each.  
Taking cookies around the office for Christmas

- The Area Presidency had a devotional and catered lunch for all the senior couples - there are many that don't work at the office - all of the institute personnel, area office, temple workers and employees - about 220 of us.  It was a great event.  Two buffet tables of all foods Dominican! 

- Two Family Home Evenings . . . First was an acapella group of men made up from several stakes that sang to us for an hour w/great gusto and we loved it!  Christmas Eve Vickie sang in a double quartet - it was an "entertain ourselves" program!  New Year's Eve was

- Our kids and grandkids sent us a box of 12 envelopes to open for the twelve days before Christmas . . . along with our favorite jar of chocolate/carmel macadamia nut clusters - LOVED each day of that - was bummed when it was over! 

- A group of about 15 couples went to an orphanage and took gifts.  Counted our blessings! 

- Couples again met on Christmas morning and we each took "37 of 1 thing" - it was like Santa's workshop as we piled 37 plates full of goodies - one of each from all of us and wrapped them in cellophane and ribbon.

We had made baggies of carmel corn.  Then we all went "not so quietly" up 4 flights of stairs to burst into the classroom of the 37 missionaries at the Missionary Training Center.  We figured they each had at least 6,000 calories on the plate!  We sang to them and they sang to us - glorious time. 

- Aunt Shirley sent a few white shirts and the MTC was grateful for that donation. 

- We have gathered in apartments with others for food and visiting - wonderful holiday season! 

- We went to Samana on the northeast part of the island for an overnight with 6 other couples.  Moregoreous views of the ocean you wouldn't find anywhere - fantastic!!

We don't want you to think we play all the time.  The big project we have been working on for about 6 weeks has come to a "Loss and Defalcation Report" that is almost ready to send in.  We don't know what will happen.  It has been quite the experience to meet several times and have the security guards outside the door because we weren't sure of the state of mind of some involved. We feel blessed to be trusted to do this work - certainly not quite the same feel as our previous humanitarian work!

Chuck did a fantastic joy of figuring out the two boxes/puzzle of contrived paperwork that was involved to hide all of the expenditures.
It is hard to think we don't even go home this year!  But, we are at the 5 month mark - safe, comfortable and blessed more than we probably deserve. 

Love to all always . . . we think about and pray for you and your concerns.

Keep the faith!! XOXOXOXOXO  Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Chuck and Vickie

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