Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Day

Christmas Day in Johannesburg was warm and sunny, not a snowflake in sight, and even though it did not quite feel like Christmas, we had a great time helping to prepare and serving breakfast to about 170 missionaries here in the Johannesburg Mission. The mission president and his wife and all of their Christmas "helpers" worked hard to make the breakfast, the fireside and the Christmas gifts special for the Elders. They are all so far away from home and this year, and because of the mail strike, they weren't able to get packages from their families. Generous members and even non-members in the Johannesburg area baked, gathered gift donations and contributed funds so that a gift box could be given to each Elder.  After breakfast, we had a nice fireside which included the first-in-Africa showing of "Meet the Mormons." The film was really well done and did a great job of introducing the church as the world wide church that it has become. After the breakfast and fireside, the Elders changed into their P-day clothes and were free to hangout and play games until they had to go home so that they could make their Christmas day call to their families. In the evening, we had dinner with a South African family here which was also very nice and included a gift exchange afterwards. Unfortunately, I neglected to take any pictures of the event.
 Merry Christmas from South Africa!
Elders are beginning to line up for breakfast.
We helped to assemble & bake 20 of these breakfast casseroles. The elders also enjoyed Cinnabons, muffins, fruits, juice and chocolate milk. I don't think any went away hungry.
 Some of the things that the gift boxes contained--journals, CD's, flashlights, etc.
 Opening their boxes and having breakfast on the lawn--see? no snow!
 Lots of elders everywhere.
 This Santa a.k.a. Elder Hanson, actually turns out to be a cousin somewhere along the line. We are both Kunz's from Bear Lake, and look, he isn't any taller than I am! Must be in the genes.
The chapel was packed to overflowing for the devotional--what a great sight for Christmas day!

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