Well, what can I say? I'm a flake for sure! We have been busier than a 16-year old with a new car!!!! I'm just going to start posting pictures and talk about them.
You'd think that this sign would some how be associated with our mission, right? But, no. It is posted at the end of the driveway of a church in Bedford NH. But it is such a cool sign, I'm going to pretend that it belongs to us!!
The Bedford Town Hall is just down the street from the Mission Field sign. Bedford was established in 1750 and this building sits on top of the hill with many other buildings of the town.
Thanksgiving Day we worked in the office. Got a lot done since we were there alone most of the day. We came home and had soup! We got to talk with our kids so that made it a really special and different Thanksgiving for us.
On Sunday, December 23 (Joseph Smith's and Diann Hokanson's birthdays) we were invited to a Nepali wedding by Suk. She is from Nepal and being taught by 2 of our Elders. She is about 44 years old and just the nicest lady you would want to meet. Her husband is still in Nepal and should be arriving in the US in about 6 more months. She has had us over for dinner twice--first time was goat meat and second time was mostly vegetable dishes. Anyway, we arrived at her apartment, and it was crammed with relatives--wall to wall. When we got there (Elder B, 2 Sisters, 2 Elders, and myself) it was standing room only. The bride (Suk's daughter) and groom were seated on the sofa and everyone else found room around them.
You can see the red dish on the table? That is sticky rice and food coloring. The relatives say things to the couple, paste the rice on their foreheads, and give them gifts or put cash in the grooms hand. All the while there is loud Nepali music going on all over the apartment. I took a video of many of the guests dancing with Suk including the Sister missionaries who really looked like they knew what they were doing. I got up and participated, but I sure didn't take a picture of myself doing that!
The little 5-year old on the left is Suk's niece, Shearyea, pronounced like sheedia. She loves to come to church with Suk, and she just loves Primary. She is one of the happiest little girls I have seen in a long time. She's happy about everything and so good natured. And she loves dark chocolate! Needless to say we have bonded.
This is Suk and Shearyea at Stake Conference. Shearyea sat very quiet the whole 2 hours, so when there was about 45 minutes to go, I gave her a Dove chocolate and and wipe! She loved it.
After attending the Nepali wedding, we and the four missionaries drove to Bishop and Sister Dickson's home for a prime rib dinner that was delicious. I have to admit though that I think Elder Hatch has a hollow leg. I couldn't believe how many kielbasas he put away. And that was part of the appetizer! Then he ate dinner. And all of that was only 2 hours after the Nepali wedding lunch!!!!
Christmas morning we picked up our 4 missionaries and drove to Deerfield NH for Christmas breakfeast (sic) with the Lahr family in our ward. They do this every year. We were so fortunate to be there. They had sausage, bacon, french toast, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, and juice. They gave each missionary a stocking with goodies in it. So sweet of them. They have 3 children, Elizabeth 17, Eric 14, who looks like Hoss from Bonanza, and Jake who is 8. They live the farthest out in the ward. Brother Lahr has a transmission repair business and said that he is keeping very busy because he pays his tithing. Great family.
Christmas Day after Skyping and FaceTiming with most of our children and grandchildren, we went to President and Sister Wilkey's home for an 8-course French dinner. There were 12 of us--Wilkey's, Stake President Anderson, his wife, and two children, Elder and Sister DeLoach (senior couple doing records preservation in Concord NH) and 2 sister missionaries, and ourselves. It was great and delicious fun. President Anderson's 17-year old daughter, Mary Alice, played a beautiful arrangement of Silent Night on her violin. We chatted and talked about the Savior and his love and left all warm and fuzzy. It was a wonderful day!
December 27 was the first big snowfall and the next day there was even more snow. We are not supposed to get anymore snow for about a week. We are amazed how the plow trucks just stay busy and keep all the streets clear. Almost every house has a snow blower. On the way to church this morning, many people where out clearing their sidewalks and driveways. Normal course of events here in New England in the winter.
It is hard to believe that we have been out on our mission for 11 months already. Time is flying by. Salt Lake is sending us a bunch of new missionaries. Many of the Elders are 18 and some of the Sisters are 19. We are excited to have them come here. We have been very busy making preparations for them. Elder Benjamin is scouting out new apartments in all three states, and I have been doing all the paper work for 32 new arriving missionaries over the next 3 months. Wow, it is fun though. We love staying busy serving the Lord here.