Friday, February 27, 2015

missionaryMum.8 (Dec 2014)

Mum's first Christmas overseas was amazing. A white Christmas at Temple Square amongst all the beautiful lights and nativities. It was certainly a Christmas to remember.

December started off with beautiful music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the conference centre. To hear them sing live with a full orchestra would be magical.

This was Mum's little Christmas tree in her apartment.

On the 3rd of December the Family History Christmas devotional and luncheon was held in the conference centre.

She also got to catch up with Jen and have tea at The Blue Lemon with her and Sister Huang.

 This is the mall outside The Blue Lemon where they had tea. Absolutely everywhere is lit up with lights.

Looking across the road to the Assembly Hall.

Monday FHE we watched a movie Love Comes softly in my apt. Hot chocolate and cookies and popcorn. Tuesday we had the Family History devotional and lunch...which they apparently put on every year. They had it over two days so everyone could go. The familysearch singers sang..a group of employees, they were amazing. Elder Enrique R Falabella was the speaker on Tuesday when I went. Afterwards lunch was served in the foyer of the conference centre. It was all pretty good. After work we met Sister Ryan and Huang for a meal at The Blue Lemon, a very popular place in the City Creek Mall. Had a lovely meal and chat, she's going to San Hose in California till March 4th next year, so will miss a white Christmas...mind you I might too the way the weather is going. Warmest December on record!!!!
Wednesday had all day T and R as I didn't have one in November. Washed, went to the Temple and did initiatories and then went to Walmart with Sister Hill. We had tea at a pizza place and they gave us 50% off for missionaries!!!!! In the devotional on Tuesday they also showed He is The Gift, very nice. Apparently there is a 9 minute one of it in the visitors centre we have to go and see. 
Thursday the announcement was made of change in team leader, so I'm it now!! Sister Coleman doesn't leave till February though so she's taking it easy!!
Things are a bit slow at work in December as people gear up for the holidays...all two days of it!! Jen came by on Friday and I showed her around where I work. 
Saturday I went to line dancing then sister hill took us to the post office and then to Oquirrah Mountain Temple. It is my favourite I think. Afterwards we went to a shopping outlet near thanksgiving Point, not so cheap though. Oquirrah Mt is not far past Jordan temple. About 40 minutes drive. For tea we went to a Texas grill. Steak was very good. 
Music and the spoken word today was a Christmas special. Tonight was the First Presidency Devotional. President Utchdorf conducted and President Eyring was the main speaker. The choir were full swing. President Monson was there but didn't speak. 
So another week over, they certainly go fast. December has lots of things happening.
Hope Jayme had a good birthday, his first in Japanese

In the foyer of the JSMB, choirs sing from noon until 5 pm each day during December.

Mum went to visit a beautiful temple called the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. (in her letter excerpt above - she thinks it may be her favourite one) The view is breathtaking.

Mum took a picture of one of the many outlet malls to show us what they look like. She was very pleased with herself for not buying anything there. lol.

On the 8th of December, The First Presidency gave their Christmas Devotional.  You can see a 30 second snippet below.

The Christmas wreaths look beautiful.

The next day Mum helped out in a service project packing coats for needy school children, an idea that Sister Williams devised.

They then stepped out to hear the BYU Men's choir singing in front of the nativity. Imagine being able to pop out and hear such beautiful music.

Mum's two favourite young Elders, Elder Menke and Perkins, singing at the zone Christmas dinner.
Outside Mum's window at her work at the JSMB.

Looking down at the Christmas tree from the mezzanine level into the foyer of Mum's work. What a sight.

One of the highlights for Mum was the Sesame Street Christmas concert. The link includes video snippets of the concert. I love Big Bird.

 Here is Sanrio Fontana coming down in the hot air balloon.

And Big Bird conducting.

And Ernie and Bert singing with Santino. 

At 7.15am working to work.

On the 13th of December were Elder and Sister Ossman's last day. They were Mum's zone leaders. Mum said she would miss them heaps.

Packages started rolling in from the family. This is a Christmas card from Toby.

Some of the restaurants over there run theatre restaurants. How cool would that be.

A fun movie Mum went to.

On the 16th of December, Mum went carolling to the sick people and non missionaries in her apartment block.

And then had hot chocolate and treats afterward. I think we have learned by now - it's all about the food with Mormons. ;)

Mum's good friend, Sister Snowden's CHristmas tree.

On the 17th of December, Mum went to Abravanel Hall the home of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. It has four levels with lots of beautiful wood finishes.

There are a male acapella of six men with amazing voices.

Mum got some treats from her home teachers.

And something from another missionary friend, Sister Petersen that she does for her grandchildren each year. gets them to sleep before Santa comes. :)

Mum was spoiled by her friends.

On the 23rd of December, Mum's group that came on their mission on the same day as Mum on May 1st last year had a little Christmas party. They are all such good friends and do lots of social things together.

A message from Mum's Stake Presidency for Christmas.

And some photos that Mum took on Christmas Eve.

And some carolling by the Elders in Mum's backyard in the gazebo.

On Christmas morning, Mum showed us some of her presents. A rug made by Sister Coleman.

Decorations made by all the grandkids  back home.

Christmas morning with Sister Snowden, Frost, Hill and Longbotham.

This was 6.20am Christmas morning with their first settled snow for the winter falling during the night, giving Mum a true white Christmas. Since then Mum said the snow has not settled at all and it has been a very mild winter.

9.30 am Christmas morning.

This was brunch on Christmas Day. I sent Mum my good friend Mel's pancake recipe which everyone loved.

And it kept right on snowing.

Present time from her family here in Tasmania and friends in SLC.

After brunch and present opening, it  was time for Christmas dinner.

Each table was set up with a little nativity scene.

There is no Boxing Day over there so it was straight back to work on the 26th of December. The view out of Mum's window again.

Working to work on Boxing Day.

Who wouldn't want to walk to work to see all this on your way.

You even have views from the bathroom at work. :)

Mum went to see the play/musical, the Saviour of the World on the 27th of December. Sounds like it was pretty amazing. These were her words - "What an amazing event, Words cannot describe it. What a blessing to be able to experience these events".

Mum likes to go for walks, especially when she is sitting at her computer desk Monday to Friday from 7.30-3.45. On one of these walks she got some photos of the Beehive House, where Brigham Young used to live. So beautiful in the snow.

On the 29th of December, Mum went to visit City Creek, not far from Temple Square. It has a shopping mall with 90 retail stores.
Santa's lantern in City Creek where Mr and Mrs Claus live.

City Creek has two sections with the street in-between. At the end of each section is a small lantern with a story attached.

Belgian chocolate shop.

To top off an amazing month for the last Monday of the year, FHE was a progressive dinner.

On the last day of the year when Mum was walking to work, it was -7 and going to drop to -28 that night.

Mum had an amazing month to finish off 2014 and is looking forward to another year and Christmas this year in SLC as she continues to help people around the world find out where they come from. What amazing stores can be uncovered about our ancestors if we do our family history.

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