Sunday, January 1, 2017

Catching Up: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Now to catch up on past events . . . Christmas Eve we invited our South African neighbors over for singing and food.  It was a good evening.  Kept us from being homesick.  We had also given boxes of chocolates and Christmas cards to many of our neighbors and to the guards at the gate and on the street.  People here don't give gifts or cards so it was fun for us to do that.  The people really appreciated it and I think we are planting seeds of friendship.  I was excited to find the same kinds of Belgian chocolates here that I like to give at Christmas at home.  Our son Craig calls the giving of boxes of chocolate at home "the great chocolate exchange."  Kenyans don't eat a lot of sweet things but the kids really like the sweet chocolate.

Christmas Eve, after our company left, we sang a few carols, ending as we always do with "Oh Christmas Tree," then turned off the Christmas tree lights and went to bed.  No gifts under the tree.

In the morning we got up early to prepare our sacrament meeting talks.  My assignment was to talk about Christ-like love and I told the story of "The Christmas Truce" during World War I.  People here know a lot about war and fighting though not a lot about the World Wars.  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWF2JBb1bvM for an enactment of the Christmas Truce which is actually really good even though it's an advertisement for chocolate!

The Christmas Truce took place near Ypres, Belgium.  We have been privileged to walk on this sacred soil several times.  For a few days around Christmas in 1914, British and German troops (who were enemies) held an unofficial truce during which they visited each other, shared lighted Christmas trees and gifts, played a soccer game, and sang Silent Night/Stille Nacht together.  It's an amazing story of what can happen at Christmas time and how we really should treat our enemies.

Then after Sacrament Meeting, we went to Upper hill where missionaries were meeting to have a get-together on Christmas Day.  I hope I can upload the pictures that LeRon took of that event.  Very well planned by the Assistants to the President, Elder Wafula and Elder Hales.  It was enjoyed by all.




Christmas caroling with our neighbors.  Gerku on the guitar following along with LeRon on the piano, both playing without music.  Good job!

Proud mother and father!

Christmas Eve with our neighbors, Mariska, Jako, Gerku, and Dion.  We had fun singing and eating snacky foods together.  They loved my brownies!


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