Sunday, December 14, 2014

Broomall Ward Christmas Party
 Last night was our ward Christmas Party.  It was a most wonderful dinner.  We have a rather new
Relief Society President with Hispanic roots, so we had a Mexican Fiesta Dinner with homemade tamales, enchiladas, rice, beans, tacos, quesadillas, 7 layer dip and lots of desserts.  The Primary did the nativity and Santa came.  There must have been about 150-200 people and lots of food.  It was really good.  Our ward has grown exponentially since last spring.  We have many professionals moving in with their families taking new jobs in this area or going to additional schooling for advanced degrees in medicine.  It really has added to the ward, as they have families.  I think maybe the Lord is preparing this area to receive a temple.  We are blessed to have the General Contractor head man in our ward.  He just got put in as Elders Quorum President.  He is terrific.  The shot above is of the table where we sat.  The decorations were elegant.  Below is Sister Tammy Christiansen on the right.  She leads the music in Primary and the kids love her.  She helped with a wonderful Primary Program a couple of weeks ago.  She is also a registered nurse and works in surgery.  Maggie Mortimer is on the left.  I love to give her hugs.  She is from Haiti and speaks Creole and French.  When she sings--and she loves to sing--she usually sings in French.  She feeds the missionaries lots.  We got invited last month but were off with the other senior couples and unable to attend, but I hear she makes good spicy Creole food.   We have a really good ward and feel quite at home here.
Below are the 2 service missionaries who also serve in our ward.  Elder Nieman, (r) is getting transferred this week, so we will have a new service elder to get to feed.  Our sisters are also leaving--one is returning home and the other will be transferred.  Elder Jones had a busy Friday and Saturday organizing the service elders.  We are getting another senior couple this week.  The sister cannot do stairs, so we traded apartments from the 3rd floor to another one on the first floor.  The elders had to move everything, then go into Camden, NJ and Philly to pick up all of the luggage for the outgoing missionaries as well as those who use public transportation.  We are releasing 23 missionaries to go home and receiving 16.  That means that there are 5 areas that will be closing, each connected to a phone, a car, and an apartment.  For us that means getting all of the furniture and cleaning out apartments, keeping track of the actual addresses, etc.  It is quite challenging, but a good workout for our brains.  The next transfer is also lop-sided, so more closures are in the works.  Since May we have closed 38 apartments and opened 32.  For me that means transferring utilities, setting up vendors, and keeping everything current.  
The Christmas packages are beginning to really appear.  This past week we received over 200!  Beginning Saturday, Dec. 20 we will travel around to have our Christmas devotionals, talent shows, and distribute the gifts to each area.  We do that for 4 days.  On Wed., Dec 24 we will be in Nazareth for their devotional.  We plan to travel home via Bethlehem...Last year it was too early for the lights, so we hope we get to see the Christmas decorations.  We have heard that they decorate nicely.  We will be watching the movie "17 Miracles" this year.  Last year it was "Hyrum's Rescue"--so Corry got to enjoy this movie about his forefather, Jens Nielson.  Same for this year!  We are grateful this week that although Elder Jones has had a really bad cold that he can still function.  He has slept in a chair the last 5 nights and his cold is even in his eyes.  But today he feels quite a bit better and we are grateful.  We will end the week by going back to the church for the Messiah Sing-a-long.  We did so enjoy it last year.

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