December 24 – 7:30 am and Mary finally found the Christmas window decorations so she could put them up. 8:00 am – we arrive at the office and we are the only vehicle in the parking lot. But that will change!
8:30 am The mail person called and asked if we were going to be open. She was greatly relieved when we were. About an hour later she showed up with 54 packages. Elder Rippstein carefully put them in zones while keeping an eye out for a package for him. Sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 help arrive in the form of young and slightly older elves…I could not pass up taking this picture of sister Stegelmeier with sister Bare, her daughter who is visiting and elder Sommerfeldt in the back ground. After elder and sister Evans and Mary put labels on all the packages the four sister elves – Herrera, Holyan, Stegelmeier and Johnson, helped elder Evans put them back in zones for delivery.
We went on our Christmas Package tour at about 11:00 and sometime after noon found us in Belle Glade giving elders Palacios, Edwards, Maki, and Krafton some packages. They invited us in to see their apartment…nice and tidy. Notice the interesting ornaments on the tree. Missionaries are very resourceful. Elder Palacios is probably one of four elders who is shorter than I am, but he has a much better smile.
We had lunch at Popeyes and then it was up to Okeechobee where elders Bowen and Duncan are being so successful that their chapel will not hold all those who come to the branch on Sunday so they have to put people in other parts of the building. When I went in to look at the chapel I saw this beautiful Nativity set. Our last stop was in Jupiter where we met elders Shaffer, Toeava, Grant and Doman outside the bowling alley that they thought they were going to have a P-day activiity but found that it was closed. We hope the packages we brought helped make it a better day. Elder Grant truly hit the jackpot for packages – at least those we delivered.
The Evans, Sommerfeldts and Bares also went out delivering to other parts of the mission so that if at all possible the wonderful Fort Lauderdale missionaries had packages to open on Christmas. I asked them to take pictures so I could post them later so their families could see that their sons and daughters got their packages. Of course most of them plan to Skype their families tomorrow – one of the two times during the year that they get to contact them directly.
We arrived back at the office at about 4:30 where I found the mailbox filled with letters and a few more last minute packages. Unfortunately these will mostly be delivered some time during the coming week. But there it will just make the holiday season last a little longer.