Next the missionaries were split into 3 groups to go do service. One group went to NAM (sort of like the D.I.)to help sort clothing and do whatever service they needed. One group cleaned up Hafer Road, which is the road the Mission Office is on. There had been a set of mattresses on that road since we had gotten here in August. They filled the trash dumpster of both the mission office and the Employment Center. They picked up a lot of garbage.
The third group went to homes asking for food to give to NAM. They brought it back to the church and when everyone got back they had a big assembly line to put all the food in a truck to take to NAM. NAM told us we'd collected 2,895 pounds of food! Hopefully that helped others have a Merry Christmas.
While the younger missionaries were out doing their service, the Seniors were setting up lunch and preparing for the afternoons activities. Here's Sister Christensen and Sister Walker getting things done in the kitchen. We served pizza (barely enough, next year we need to buy more than 35 pizzas from Sam's Club!!!), a green salad, and lot's of Cuties oranges, with pumpkin bread for dessert.
After lunch there were all kind of games that were rotated to. The AP's were in charge of Ultimate Frisbee, which I guess is like football with a frisbee and no tackling. Elder Stringfellow and Elder Walker were in charge of Pioneer games which consister of a stick pull, tug of war and a "cow-pie throwing contest". This was Scott's suggestion - they threw beef pot pies and the contest was to see who could throw it the farthest, with a Elders division and a Sisters division. It went great until the middle of the 2nd group when the cow's innards started coming out! But no fear, in 2010 we have duct tape! By the end of the 3rd group they were throwing really squishy boxes of duct tape that still oozed a little something! It was great fun!
The winners of the "cow-pie throwing contest".
Elder Walker found a great rope that had NO chance of breaking and hurting anyone! Can you see the dust, these people took this contest very serious!
They also got to make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. I can't believe I didn't put a picture in of the winner. It was a baptism font with little marshmallow gingerbread men getting baptized, the number 60 was by it, reminding the missionaries about the goal for January...I think that's why it won!
Sister Thomas and Sister Marsh did A LOT of work keeping the missionaries stocked with candy and frosting.
After all the festivities everyone cleaned up for Mission wide picture. You should try taking a picture of 170 of your closest friends. Talk about herding cats! I can't wait to see the picture.
We then had a very nice catered dinner of Chicken Enchilada Casserole, rice and beans and a salad. Elder Gifford Nelson, an Area Authority Seventy spoke at a devotional that evening and then we ended the night with ice cream and cupcakes. It was a wonderful day and evening. We felt the spirit of Christmas which is really Christs love and peace. What a great blessing it is for us to be here at this time.
My very favorite part of the mission is spending time with the missionaries, young and old alike. (not that you're older Sister Young-you will be Young forever!!!) The Sister missionaries love to give me hugs and I love practicing my Spanish on them (those who speak Spanish!)
Since I do the Mission history I'd been trying to remember for several weeks to get a picture of the Mission President and his assistants before the end of the year. Yeah! I remembered on this night. I am very grateful for all 4 of these wonderful people; Elder Anderson from Spanish Fork, Utah, Sister and President Hansen, and Elder Galbraith from Sugar City, Idaho. All of these people love the Lord and all of the missionries so much and put so much time, effort and prayer into their callings, they are truly looked up to and their examples inspire all of us.