|The group photo at the T's Christmas Eve. It was a lot of fun!|
We had a pretty great week! I mentioned how wonderful training was, but the week after that continued to move forward. We spent all day on Christmas Eve running all over Brno. We only ended seeing a couple of the people that we had wanted to see, but we had a couple of great visits inviting the Christmas spirit. Christmas Eve the T invited us over to their home for dinner and an evening together. They really put on a show for us! We discussed the Christmas story, cut apples, had carp and potato salad (I liked the carp), acted out Luke 1 and 2, opened gifts that they gave us, sang Czech Christmas carols, learned some Czech folk dance steps, and learned some Czech children's rhymes. It was really great! They really prepared a wonderful Christmas and made us feel like a part of their family.
Christmas morning and early afternoon we spent at a nursing home. Immediately when we arrived the woman in charge began to apologize because there weren't going to be a lot of people coming to hear us sing. She said that many people had gone home for the holidays to be with their families. After we arrived at the space where we were to sing, a group of almost a dozen people filed in to hear us. The woman continued to apologize for the small group! We had a wonderful singing and then visiting with them afterwards. I was frankly really glad that we were able to be with the people that had no family to be with over Christmas, because I figured that those were the people that needed us the most.
Boxing Day we didn't sing together as a district, but the Y family invited us out to help them move their piano. When we arrived they informed us that the program would also involve a small soccer game and soup, but we had a good time and helped them to move their piano into a trailer. After we continued to try to visit some members, but like Christmas Eve we didn't end up seeing most of the people that we stopped at. We did have a good experience with an elderly part-member family, though. The husband is losing his health, and we hadn't had much contact with the wife in the past. From what I understand she would never take part in meetings. We had a great visit with her, though, after we tried (and failed) to change a lightbulb, and she seems to really like us now. We made a great bond with her.
Sunday night we went over to an active member's home. The Sisters had tried to visit him on Christmas Eve, but he said to come back on Sunday. We ended up going because he lives alone. He is a yoga baptism, and he wanted to tell us all about how he found the church (like most yoga baptisms, he was looking for truth). He is the only member in his family, and he told us how for twenty years his wife gave him anti information and berated him for being a member. She died just a couple of years ago, and I was really touched when he told us how he felt when he went to the temple and saw her proxy ordinances performed. He really hopes that she accepted them! He's had a difficult life being the only member in his family, but he is VERY committed to the gospel. I was impressed by how strong he's been for the past twenty-five years.
I'm just about out of time, but lots of love and Happy New Year!
|This is our fried carp with potato salad. It was tasty! There were a lot of little bones, so you can see the flaking method in action there.|
|After dinner we had spicy peppers. Most of us just had a tiny, tiny piece (and almost died from it), but Elder Esser and the member's son Petr had two whole ones each. I got video of the whole experience, but I can't email it!|
|After dinner we acted out Luke 1 and 2. Here's Elizabeth with the imaginary baby John the Baptist (Sister DuBois) and the expectant Mary (Sister Stokes).|
The shepherds greeting the Christ child (I was Joseph, but I don't have a photo of myself)
|They even gave us presents!!|
|They made us t-shirts that say "I am a child of God" in Czech. Classic.|
|Then we sang Czech carols and learned some Czech folk dances (the kind that you don't need a partner for!)|
|Christmas night we had a gift exchange and white elephant with the other missionaries. This was the favorite white elephant!|
|It's our beautiful central tram stop.|
|It started to snow Friday night (I was going to put an exclamation point there but I'm really sure how I feel about the snow)|