what fun it was to see your faces and talk to you on skype. the kids look so grown up! it was a perfect christmas present.
this week was a whirlwind. we had exchanges with the Nogent soeurs, Soeur Didier and Soeur Sabatino. Sister exchanges are super complicated in this mission.... It took a total of nearly ten hours of train time to get there and back and there and back again! It was such fun, though, to work with Soeur Didier for a day. We had a miracle happen our first night in Nogent:
Soeur Didier and Soeur Sabatino had received an online referral of a woman named Hilde. We took the hour-long bus ride out to pass by her house and meet her. She was home (miracle #1), she let us in (miracle #2), and she was really interested (miracle #3)! She told us about how she had met with Sister missionaries a few years ago, but then she moved and lost contact. She talked about how she had researched a whole bunch of Christian churches but was never satisfied. She said the first time she prayed with the Sister missionaries, an indescribable feeling swept over her, and she just felt so good. We gave her a "Joy to the World" dvd and fixed a return appointment. She said she would read some chapters in the Book of Mormon beforehand and prepare a list of questions to discuss. um, GOLDEN! Soeur Didier and I hopped and skipped away from the apartment building. Such a lovely Christmas exchange miracle.
Soeur Larsen and I had a picture-perfect missionary christmas. On Christmas Eve, we had dinner at Chris and Maria's house. Chris is from the Congo, so we had a full-on African dinner! (including fish with the heads still on them... I was horrified when he brought those out! he had fun teasing me and scaring me with them :) ) it was really fun, and so nice of them to invite us. Afterwards, we went home, put on our Christmas Eve pajamas, and made a little "couch fort". We read "A Christmas Dress for Ellen" (aka cried our eyes out) and then watched the Joseph Smith movie in our fort. I know, i know... a very missionary christmas!
Christmas day, we woke up, opened gifts, then headed to church for sacrament meeting. There were probably only 20 people there... it was really fun. Afterwards, we headed over to the Gatay family for lunch. This is what we ate:
Crackers & cheese with fake cocktails
shrimp and smoked salmon
(they were nice and let soeur larsen and i eat foie gras instead)
creamed ham and mushroom ramekin- things
(i don't know the name of it)
after all that, Frère Gatay informed us the appetizers were over.
roasted chicken with gravy,
potatoes, and green beans
and of course, a bûche de noel with fake champagne.
I felt like i was going to pass out... they fed us to the brim! They also gave us each a little pile of gifts. And then, of course, i got to talk to YOU! santa claus was very good to me this year.
a happy & joyful new year to all!