Yesterday – the 23rd – 27 Christmas packages for missionaries came in to the office. The office couples decided that for part of our P-day we would play Santa’s Helpers and deliver them to the missionaries so they would have them on Christmas morning.
We took the Southern route with Hialeah, Homestead, Miami and Miami Beach zones because we had never been that far South before. Although even with a GPS we managed to get lost a couple of times and found out that you do not want to get in the express lanes on the freeway unless you want to go 5 or 6 miles out of your way, we had a wonderful time delivery our packages to the grateful missionaries along the way. Truly one of the joys of serving a Senior mission.
Thursday the 22nd was a wonderful and exhausting day for the couples. It started at 8:00 when the men loaded up the van with a few hundred packages, took them to the stake center and arranged them alphabetically for later pick up. The last part could not have been done without the help of some of the sisters and elders.
Preparing food and getting it served to over 150 missionaries took a lot of time and effort but by noon it was ready for them. The missionaries each brought a $5 white elephant gift which they stored in a room until after dinner and the conference picture.
Â Â Â Â Â
It was a great sight to stand on the stage and see the missionaries eating and chatting to their friends. The middle picture is just before the senior couples were asked to stand on the wings and I took the last picture from my far right position. It took a major effort by the assistants and President Anderson to get us all arranged for the picture. I doubt if they taught this in the MTC.
Â Â Â
The missionaries were arranged around 8 tables and shared their gifts…elder Clark got Hermit the Frog. After a marvelous video of Elder Holland giving a talk to missionaries at the MTC they got a parting gift from Santa and Sister Claus before coming through and getting their mail and packages. They then departed for their areas so they could teach for a couple of hours before calling it a day.
The senior couples stayed and cleaned up before coming home and collapsing…at least this senior couple did. It was a wonderful and spiritual Christmas Conference.
Yesterday I looked out and saw this laughing dinosaur over the trees and managed to get Â a shot before it disappeared 2 minutes later. A week ago I took the center picture with all the beautiful blue sky with just Â fringe of clouds to the West. Not many mornings look this way here. The last picture should have been a video. The egret was walking along the hedge and every so often it would put its foot on a branch that would not hold its weight and would kind of fall into the hedge. We seldom see egrets on hedges for that reason.
I finally made it to the mall to finish my Christmas shopping. As I passed this circle of chairs I realized that all but one was filled with men obviously waiting for their spouses to finish shopping. Some were asleep and the rest looked very bored. Christmas – bah humbug?
The other picture is a familiar one near mall entry doors. They provide covers for wet umbrellas so that the floors do not get so wet. That gives you some idea of how often it rains here in Southern Florida – and they say they are having a drought. If it starts to get wet again I wonder if they provide boat service for getting to and from your car?