Friday, December 27, 2013


Ana is leaving for Fiji tomorrow so we headed into the office this morning to make sure that we were up to date on everything that needs to be done before she leaves. She is our right hand lady and we will miss her while she is gone. We are grateful that everything has slowed down for awhile. Things really come to a stand still in Tonga at Christmas time. There are people shopping, especially on Saturdays, but most people don’t have that kind of money to spend so it is more about trying to sell something than to buy something. What money they make they use to by special food for their feasts. They spend the last of December and the first two weeks of January eating! There is one celebration after another and they are all about the food. In a week or so you won’t be able to buy eggs so you have to stock up early. There is more demand than supply on a lot of items. We just hope we know which ones to buy and store. We are trying to plan ahead for our Christmas Eve dinner and our Christmas Dinner.

We gave Ana her Christmas present today. We had the Schneblys bring her some large print word game books. She really likes those - find the word ones. Tiff tried to get some to me but they never made it. The Schneblys were able to bring 5 with them. She was THRILLED!! You would have thought we had spent a fortune on that gift. And we were THRILLED to see her so happy. These people are not used to getting presents and to see the joy and excitement on her face was priceless! It made our Christmas.

In the afternoon we went to a Christmas party at Service Center. It was for all of the employees of the Service Center and the Senior Missionaries that work in the Service Center. It was interesting. The first thing we did was an impromptu skit. We were divided into groups and given items that we were to use. Each group received some letters that in the end spelled out Christmas. We also had to use a scripture and a song. Our group was first. Our letters were C and H. We used the scripture. “Be of good CHeer.” and then we did a cheer spelling out CHRISTMAS, certainly something to CHeer about. We sang the CHristmas Carol “Joy To The World”. We CHose to CHeer about CHristmas because CHristmas is all about CHarity if you CHoose to focus on CHrist. (guess who got to be the cheerleader!!) It turned out well and people seemed to enjoy it. Some were good, some were pretty sad but funny. Then they had some musical numbers, gave some awards to the workers and those who are retiring and then we ate a HUGE plate of Tongan food.
We were in charge of FHE tonight. We had asked everyone to bring 2 dozen cookies and a small sack of candy. We made 20 boxes of cookies and then went to the village across the street from the temple to do some Christmas caroling and give the cookies to the widows and the families that have lost a family member this last year. We gave out all 20 boxes of cookies and we handed out the candy to the children that we saw along the way. It was really a wonderful activity. We had a great time singing to everyone in the village, the sweet widows and families that we gave cookies to were really touched and grateful and the kids in the village LOVE us!!!