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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016

We hope everyone enjoyed Christmas day. Having Christmas on a Sunday is always extra special. We attended a wonderful Sacrament Meeting with combined Constant Spring Ward and Boulevard Ward here in Kingston. We then went to a lovely luncheon at the Stake Patriarch's home. Every year he and his wife graciously host a luncheon on Christmas day for all the missionaries in Kingston. They have a beautifully landscaped backyard with an amazing variety of Jamaican plants.


 Crown of Thorns plant

  In the picture above, the Mission President is taking pictures of a most beautiful hummingbird called the Doctor Bird, Jamaica's national bird. We saw it several times. This was our first time to see one in the wild. 
   (Can't take credit - this is a Google image.)

Our "work" this week was mostly devoted to cooking and serving Christmas dinner to all the missionaries in the Jamaica Kingston Mission. Even the off island missionaries serving in Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas were flown in for the special Christmas feast. The senior missionaries divided the cooking responsibilities and cooked for all four days, but we took turns serving at the mission home to serve 2 of the 4 daysOver the four days, we personally made 7 baked hams and 12 lbs. of frozen corn. We used 8 bags of small carrots, 12 cucumbers, 4 heads of celery, 6 cans of olives, 4 bunches of broccoli, and about 24 tomatoes. I made 5 - 9"x13" pans of a strawberry pretzel dessert (I heard several, "Oh, yay, my mom makes that."), and on the last day I added a crock pot full of sweet basil carrots. We also took a big tin of those yummy European fancy cookies and candy canes each day. Other senior missionaries made baked chicken, funeral potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, brownies, banana pudding, spritz cookies, Jamaican Christmas cake, and we had a local sister bake tons of rolls. Every day was quite a feast; there were few if any leftovers each day.

The missionaries shared musical numbers, played Christmas games, and just all around enjoyed being in the comfortable homey setting. As they left, missionaries were given their gifts from home with instructions not to open until Christmas. We love being with these young people; they are incredible.

Everything went very smoothly all four days - well, except on the very first day I dropped the strawberry dessert just as I was taking it out of our refrigerator! The inside of the frig, the freezer, and the floor were covered in sticky strawberry topping. Luckily, the pan landed flat, right side up, and I had enough extra topping to fix it. But what a mess. Our refrigerator and freezer are cleaner than ever now inside, outside, and under.


The Area Welfare Manager for the humanitarian work we do here in Jamaica lives in the Dominican Republic. He sent the above as a Christmas card (although his was in Spanish). We loved it and wanted to share the beautiful sentiment with you. Truly the greatest gift we can give to Jesus is to partake of the Sacrament, and as we do so truly remember and reflect on our Savior's great atoning sacrifice. 

Our prayer on this Christmas evening is that we can all hold on to the memories of this glorious Christmas time and continue to share the "glad tidings of great joy" with all of God's children throughout the coming year. 

We bear our solemn testimony that Jesus was the precious babe of Bethlehem and is the resurrected Lord, the Prince of Peace. 


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an awesome week! I am sure those missionaries were so grateful for all your hard work and service and for the yummy food you all provided! That bird is very pretty! We had a wonderful Christmas missed the family but good to be together with our little crew!