Each year Bishop Guenther and his wife have the missionaries come to their home to put together Christmas packages to take to less actives and new members homes. We always love the gatherings at the Guenther home.
December 6th, Friday - Tonight was our Ward Christmas party. It was a packed cultural hall with a dinner, traditional turkey, ham and all the trimmings. A fun night, a great night visiting the members and talking to the less actives who attended.
December 7th, Saturday - Temperatures dipped to -5 Celsius and no hot water this morning. Talking to a few people here in the park, Elder Neese learned he needed to crawl into the baggage/storage area, heat up a 12 inch plumbing pipe and insulate good so it doesn't happen again. No money spent,, 1 hour later we were good to go.
December 8th, Sunday we had Stake Conference weekend today so due to the snow everywhere we didn't dare take the chance to travel to Abbotsford to the Stake Center for this session.
We won't take the time to tell you about all the less actives we visit and have made friends with other than to say they are children of our Father in Heaven, we love them and enjoy each visit. The Christmas packages we put together at the Guenther home we took around through the week to their homes and were enjoyed by all and we wished them well.
Our study time here in the Mission Field has been so enjoyable, reading and studying together and on our own. We read the Book of Mormon together, and I have two Book of Mormon study books and Jesus the Christ by Talmage which I enjoy and Emily has been reading Church History for LDS Families (loaned to us by Sister Guenther). Plus working with our Elders and Sisters on all levels, ward, district and zone levels is choice. Our future church leaders in these young people looks very bright.
December 22nd, Sunday --This evening we had a video cam visit with all of the Family at Spencer and Kimberly's new home. Jeff and his family, daughter Michelle and family and the star of the evening was McKay, our newest addition to the family. He is Spencer and Kimberly's first child.
December 24th, Tuesday -- We spent our Christmas Eve at the Guenther's to enjoy their family and of course a table filled with all kinds of goodies to eat. We watched LDS Bible videos, talked about family traditions at Christmas and had a great time.
December 25th, Wednesday -- Christmas Day, we opened our gifts from kids then Skyped with the Corbin family later that evening. We had so much fun talking with them it went on for more than an
|Some of our presents|
|Sister Neese with some of the presents we got (see 3 shirts above her head).|
|Skipper enjoying the celebration?|
We had a very nice Christmas dinner at Lyn Smith's home in Agassiz. Her daughter, Chelsea and husband Tony were there to enjoy with us. She is a very giving sister we have been working with for some time now to reactivate her again. The Elders were able to join us for awhile before going to one or two other dinner appointments.
|L-R Elder Bradley, Elder Whited, Chelsea & Tony (Lyn's daughter with husband)|
|Elder Bradley & Elder Whited (new Elder)|
January 1st, Wednesday-- Happy New Year. Our day started with a District Meeting. Came home to study and plan our visits for the next few days.
January 9th,Thursday-- Thursday nights are our regular nights to meet with our investigator, Jane Lu. It was no regular visit however. We have been working with Jane about 3 months and tonight our mission President, President Karl Tilleman joined us for Jane's baptismal interview and we set a date for her baptism for next Friday night the 17th. It was nice to have the President there with us. He is incredible the way he travels all over the BC mission to do these interviews when needed.
January 17th, Friday Baptism. Tonight was Jane Lu's (Jing Bo Lu) night. An exciting time for her and us and the Sister Missionaries. Sister Neese gave the talk on the Gift of The Holy Ghost with Elder Neese baptizing Jane. President Tilleman confirmed her then Jane bore a beautiful touching testimony about living the commandments and knowing the Holy Ghost will help her in her life. She was so grateful to have the church in her life. Born and raised in China, she was not familiar with the Christian ways and teachings. So we went very slow teaching her of our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. She loved everything she heard and was so excited to become a member of His church. She is such a sweet lady. This makes a mission so worth it.
|Elder Neese, Jane Lu and Sister Neese|
|Us with Jane Lu, Sister Strumpler & Sister Dockstader|
|Sisters, Zheng Lu with his mother Jane, Sister and President Tilleman and us|
|Zheng Lu with his mother Jane and Sister and President Tilleman|
|Elder Neese explaining baptism method again.|
|Bishop Dale Guenther presenting Jane with a Chinese 3 in 1|
January 18th, Saturday-- We were invited to dinner at Jane's home the following night to show us her appreciation for being her friend and teaching her the gospel. Authentic Chinese food prepared by Jane and her husband Lu. The Sister missionaries were also invited to dinner with us. The food was spectacular and more then we could eat. An evening to remember.
|Table setting of all the food prepared for our dinner.|
|This is Lu who helped to prepare the food. He is a good cook!|
|Jane with her mother who is living with her for awhile.|
January 21st, Tuesday we were invited to dinner with Carol Koch and her family, where her daughter, Michelle, wanted to cook a meal for us. We had a fondue with shrimp, scallops, baked salmon with sliced potatoes as a base, rice, broccoli salad and baked carrots. It was our first fondue dinner and was fun to experience this type of dinner.
|Andrew Morriss (Carol's son) Elder and Sister Neese|
|Carol's husband Shaun, daughter Michelle with her son Joseph|
|Michelle's birthday celebration, Carol holding the cake|
A variety of foods to eat.
Tomorrow was going to be Michelle's 19th birthday. Joseph, her little boy loved smearing the icing on his mom's nose.
January 22nd, Wednesday, Elder Neese teaching the Seminary class for Chilliwack 2nd ward. This was our second time to teach Seminary with these young people. They love the gospel and are a delight to teach and work with.
|Owen Tinney searching for an answer|
|Ryan Nelson making a comment (red hair)|
We are already half way through our mission, 6 months and we feel like we have only been here about a month. This mission for us has been the best way for 2 seniors to grow and extend ourselves beyond our comfort zone and we are having fun doing it.
Yesterday we celebrated, along with the Corbin family, the return of Elder Brandon Corbin after serving 2 years in serving a mission in Mexico. The Corbin's now have 2 other missionaries, Sister DaeNeese Corbin serving in Guatemala and Elder Brett Corbin serving in Oklahoma. Conner Corbin will be putting in his paperwork for a mission in the next few months by this time DaeNeese will have returned from her mission.
Look for our next blog about the end of February, hope you enjoy this last entry. We send our love to you all. Elder and Sister Neese