First we said goodbye to 2013 by traveling to Camden. That is right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and we parked in the parking lot of the Aquarium and stood on the bank of the River to see the 15 minute firework show that Philly puts on at 6 pm and 12 midnight New Year's Eve. It was a wonderful show. We took in the 6 pm show (of course!) and truly enjoyed it, although it was very cold as you can see from the photo. The second photo shows the Philadelphia skyline in eht background. We were with the Smuin's and Holloway's who serve with us in this mission and we ended up at their home for games and food where we officially welcomed in 2014. New Year's Day we teamed up with the same people for the show "Saving Mr. Banks" which we really enjoyed and then we had a lovely dinner together. Even our mission president and his wife joined us and we played games too. Their job is so very stressful that it was wonderful to see them relax, even for just a brief time.
This week it has been all about the weather. We had a snowstorm of 6" on Thursday night. Elder Jones was getting phone calls from the missionaries regarding their cars, driving in the snow, etc. all evening. He contacted the mission president and all missionaries were told to stay in for the night. That call probably saved some accidents...I think my favorite call for the week was a Sister explaining why she scraped her bumper. This is her story: I was making a U-turn and they did not make the street wide enough so I had to go up over the curb and onto the grass and I hit a snowbank and scratched the car. To avoid having your companion back you up they just keep moving forward...Back to the weather--It was very cold yesterday so the snow did not melt. Then today it rained early this morning and that made the roads icy and slushy and just very messy. They delayed church til 2 pm and we just had Sacrament Mtg. We have to travel 10 miles to pick up a member at a retirement center and we did see a car off the road that hit brush and scraped up his car. Then in 2 days it is supposed to get only to 19 degrees, so we shall see what that does. I ventured out Saturday afternoon and purchased boots--waterproof and fur-lined. Not really attractive, but just what I needed. This is what it looked like on our way home from church today.
As we look back on 2013 we feel so very blessed. We know that Christ lives! We know that his gospel has been restored! We LOVE serving in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission! We love each other! We love our family and so appreciate their support while on this mission. We look forward to the challenges of 2014 and the tender mercies and growth that will come. May you experience this same blessing.