Monday, December 31, 2012


 Elder McMurrin and Elder Mortensen taught a lovely young woman, Chelsea, the gospel.  She readily accepted and was baptized.  The baptismal was so powerful.  We all really felt the spirit.  Our numbers are few, but the Word was mighty.
 Chelsea recently moved here from Hati with her family.  Her brother is a member and turned 12 en route to Canada.  He will be getting the Aaronic Priesthood.  He is excited to be able to pass the sacrament.   Whenever Sister Lemble plays the piano she always has 2 helpers.  If someone tries to take the children and distract them, they cry.  And so, they get to stay with her.

 The talks were really wonderful and inspired.  It is always wonderful to hear about our Savior and His plan for us and for all mankind.  When Chelsea came out of the waters of baptism, she had the biggest, happiest smile on her face.  She was practically glowing.  How awesome is it that her testimony is already so strong at such a young age.

Friday, December 28, 2012

After the storm

 The day after the storm we drove to the office and saw many cars buried under the snow.  Lots of cars were parked at an angle and there were people shoveling snow everywhere.

 Above is the office parking lot.  Before we made it to the office we were stuck once more.  Thanks to two very helpful guys who pushed us out we were only 12 minutes late and that was after leaving early.  When the car was stuck, I got out of the car and walking back to the car my foot sank into the snow clear up to my hips.  Of course I kinda fell over and twisted my leg.  I also tweaked my shoulder. Oh well, that's what happens in the snow                                                                                                 Here we are in the little waiting room by the office.  The door behind us is the door to the                        conference room.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Storm

 Today we had a big storm here in Montreal.  We picked up Sister Conway because her hubby was sick and we drove to the office.  There was such a huge snow drift blocking the driveway that we couldn't get in.  We had to drive around several blocks and drive into the lot through an alley.  The weather just got worse and worse.  After the missionaries finished their zone study and had lunch they got ready to go home.  Most of them took the metro because of the weather, but those that had cars were stuck.  Every single car was stuck in the parking lot.  It took the missionaries and Elder Arhets about 40 minutes to clear out enough snow to get those few cars out.  John phoned upstairs and told me to come on down with Sister Conway that we were leaving.  We did go down right away after closing down the office, but by then he had to leave because of the cars behind him needing to go.  He got stuck several times just going around a few blocks trying to get back to the office.  Meanwhile we were waiting in snow that was quite deep.  After we got in the car it was stuck again.  The Elders had to give us a push.  We started driving home only to find many streets closed down because of the snow.  We got stuck again and had to wait quite a while until a little snow plow came and got rid of the snow in front of us.  Even then the car wouldn't budge.  It took two people pushing the car and John accelerating to get it to finally move.  We got stuck several times more and people kindly would come and shovel out snow in front of the car and then push the car.  It took us about 50 minutes to drive 1 mile to our apt.  All throughout the streets we saw buses and cars that were stuck and everywhere we looked there were people helping each other out.  We were sure glad to get home.
 The previous day was boxing day in Canada.  It originally began in England when the wealthy people would box up their old clothes, things, and food and give them to the poor.  This tradition was continued in Canada and now it is a day of sales in all of the stores.  It is like American black friday on steroids.  We went to a huge underground mall with the Howards.  We ate lunch and then tried to shop, but it was wall to wall people in the stores and in the mall itself.  It was just crazy.  We decided to go home and play games instead.  In the center of one of the wings was this beautiful huge Christmas tree.

 Christmas day was quiet for us.  We did go out and have lunch with several of the senior couples.  We ate at Miami Deli.  It was nice to go out and visit with good people.  The rest of the day we spent Skyping with our kids and grandkids.  That was the best part of the day.  We sure do miss them a lot, but know that we are where we should be, doing the work of the Lord.

 I ordered a Greek plate, but was disappointed with the taste.  The chicken-k-bob was dry and not very tasty.  The salad and rice were good, but that's salad and rice.  Can't go to wrong there.  The huge potato chunks on the left weren't too tasty either.  Oh well, one of those things.  The important thing was that we could think of the Savior on this special day and that we could remember His great gift to us and to all mankind

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Some Christmas Events

 Shortly before Christmas the Branch R.S. had an activity.  Here is a photo of the attendees.  There are more members of R.S., but it was a very snowy day and these are the only ladies who showed up.  The activity consisted of us making snowflakes and snowmen to be used as decorations for the Christmas party the following week.  We also wrote Christmas cards and notes to be distributed to the less active ladies.  Little finger sandwiches, cupcakes, cookies, hot cider and hot chocolate were served.   We had a really nice time together as we visited and crafted.  The party was a 2 ward and our branch combined party.  It was really nice.  The Spanish ward was in charge.  There was a reenactment of Christmas story which was done in scenes with singing in between each scene.  The primary sang and at one point a group of about 10 Black sisters came walking in from the side singing Hallelujah.   They all wore black skirts and red blouses and they walked their little Caribbean saunter swaying and singing as they walked across the stage.  It was wonderful.  I just loved it.  They sounded so good and they were just fun to watch.  Sadly I didn't bring my camera. :(  Papa and I cooked about 20 lbs of potatoes and made mashed potatoes.  They turned out really yummy although they nearly broke my little hand mixer.  
 The day after the party we had the Senior's Christmas dinner at the mission home.  We all gathered around 5:00 after church and had a big dinner together.  Everyone had an assignment.  Papa's and mine was mashed potatoes again for about 30 and also Southern Style Yams for 30.  Both dishes turned out great.  The table and the entire house was all decked out so prettily.

 The company was great.

 We sang a hymn and we also played the white elephant game which was so funny and a lot of fun too.

 While we were playing the seminary class from the Spanish ward came and sang several songs to us.  They sounded really good.

 Then they handed out a plate of goodies to each couple that they had personally made.

 When they were done, they walked around the circle of Seniors and each one shook hands with each of us and told us Feliz Navidad.  It was so, so very nice.
 Tuesday and Wednesday we had parties for the missionaries.  Each day the seniors did all the cooking for the missionaries.  It snowed on the way to the church.

 This statue is just around the corner from our apartment.  It is a guy squatting with his hands on his head,  I always think it looks sad as if he's in despair or something.
 We had 3 zones meeting on one day and 2 the next.  There were about 90 places set the first day and 70 the next.  The missionaries ate a ton, had a little act that each zone put on, watched a movie, played games, and had a gift exchange.  I know they had a ton of fun.

Cute little reindeer cupcakes were at each place setting

 I know most of these missionaries and they are all awesome young men and women.

 These 3 from the right are all from France.

 These 5 come into the office almost every day.
 Tons of desserts.       Elder Laguan wanted to take a picture with me so I was happy to oblige.
                                            We worked really hard to make it nice for them.

 Carving the turkeys and getting food ready.  Elder Arhets was not in a white shirt because he and Elder Conway had gone up the day before 51/2 hr drive to get some of the missionaries from Quebec City.  After the party, they had to drive them home.  The drive home was even worse because of the weather.  In fact they had 2 near misses, zero visibility and a horrible storm to drive through.  They ended up getting a hotel room and returning the next day.  It just wasn't safe to drive home. I was happy that they decided to stay instead of taking chances.

                                     Elder Osorio is from St. George, but originally from Mexico.
                              Here we have Spain, US. US., Chili and Mexico represented.
 These 3 are the California three.  Elder Fronk from Temecula, Elder Williams from Irvine and Elder Meng from Temple City.
                         Elder McMurrin is from Arkansas and Elder Fernandez from Utah.