Sunday, July 4, 2010

Busy Saturday and Sunday

Saturday morning we went shopping and bought gifts for prizes and food the the missionaries to come over to out apt and celebrate the 4th. The Soeurs had asked me if they could come over and party and we happily said yes.
In the afternoon we went to church for 3 baptisms. Celine and Cedric Boumendejel and Iris BenFaour. Celine is a French woman and her husband, Cedric, is . They have 3 children. Elder Dohrman and Elder Anderson taught them the gospel. Iris is the daughter of Hussein BenFaour. She just had her 8th birthday and so she was ready to be baptized. Her whole family looked so beautiful all dressed in white. Our mission President Staheli has told us that every baptism is a celebration for each missionary and that is how we feel. It is always so exciting to see someone accept Christ and His church.
The first picture is of Ben and his family. Esther is the Mom and she is a lovely lady- always put together just right. Ines is the oldest girl and her sister is Iris. Then there is Esau a very lively little guy and the baby is Iona.

Next are pictures of the Boumendejel family.

After the baptisms there was a small, but very nice buffet. Esther made some really good Lebanese appetisers that everyone really enjoyed.

Here is Ben with his head chopped off.

Elder's Anderson and Navarro with Soeur Pobst. Saturday we found out who is leaving on Wed. for transfers and Soeur Pobst will be going to Paris Nord. We will really miss her and her fun personality.

As kids all over the world, these youngsters couldn't wait for everything to be set out before they began nibbling. They were, after all, very hungry.:)

Elders Anderson and Dohrman had a hard time waiting too.

Here is a series of shots that the missionaries tried to capture of all of us.

Elder's Navarro, Anderson, and Soeur Christensen.

The happy family with Elder Dohrman who has become like family to them. Whenever anyone is taught the gospel by missionaries, those missionaries become very dear to them because they have brought them the most important thing in their life... the gospel of Jesus Christ and His church on earth today with a living prophet and apostles.

Here they are with Elder Dungan who will be leaving us for Brussels. We will miss his happy face and his good lessons at district meeting.

This darling family are Jaques and Celestine Duez with baby Rose. Jacques is in the VNA bishopic.

Elders Neidhart and Dungan.

Here they are with an amie.

Beautiful Emilie is holding Ben and Esthers adorable baby who fell right asleep in her auntie's arms.

Ines and Iris.

These little girls are so cute. They always talk to me and they even understand my poor French.

In the evening we went with Soeurs Pobst and Curran to visit Manuel and Viktoryia. Manuel is from Portugal and Viktoryia is from Russia. We are teaching the gospel to this couple. Her 9 year old daughter, Alyana, is in the French Olympic prep team for gymnastics. Manuel is very nice and very hospitable, but also very hard to teach. He is quite learned and his mind is made up on almost any subject we have discussed. Viktoryia is very very nice and so fun to talk to. Her French is soooo good and she speaks super rapidly.
Ohgi is their little Shim Tzu.

They have a tiny, but really pretty garden. She calls it her little bit of Eden.

After we got home from our days work, I set about preparing for receiving the missionaries on Sunday. Of course there's always the cooking. I also needed to get all of the presents wrapped and ready for the game that I planned.

I also wrapped presents for them to take home as a little (party favor) treat. I got these really cute fake flowers that could be used as a pin or a hair ornament for the Soeurs and bath and shower gel for the Elders. It took me a loooooooog time to wrap and decorate everything. I wanted everything to be just right for them. I stayed up very, very late doing everything and getting it just so. Now, I am so sleepy and tired that instead of reading I will be going right to bed.

After church I had to stay to translate for the Petrovs. They were being taught by a young woman and so we stayed. As it turned out one of the women in one of our wards, Lilianna, from Tahiti was having her last day here. So Emilie and her companion were saying good-by, taking pictures, etc. It took a long time for the lesson to even begin. Finally we did have the lesson which turned out to be great. We were all very spiritually uplifted.
When we were finally ready to go home, we drove the Soeurs with us.
All of the missionaries brought stuff to supplement what we were making and we had a great meal. We had hamburgers, hot dogs(with french style buns) with all the trimmings, potato salad(French style), and jello/cheesecake style salad which I forgot to serve until we were having dessert. Luckily it is very sweet and really like a dessert.
For dessert we had chocolate/peanut butter cups dessert, apple cobbler, and a berry cobbler.
There was a bowl of candy too. I also had Belgian chocolates for all to enjoy.
Everyone loved the delicious food and eagerly ate it all up.

We played lots of fun games. We began with a quiz on subjects related to the 4th of July. Many of them did quite well missing only 1 or 2 questions. Our European Elders didn't fare quite as well although Elder Neidhart did great missing only 1.
We played Loup Garou, of course. They are crazy about that game and actually played it 5 times. We also played the game where you have to guess who you are. They actually made a name for me too. I had a hard time guessing that I was Harriet Tubman. I did eventually get it. Phew!!!!

Elder Perez is leaving for Paris area. We are sad to see him go. He is a wonderful Elder.

We played the present game where the person with number 1 picks a present and opens it. Number 2 can steal or get another present. A present can be stolen 3 times. Usually there is a lot of stealing going, but not this time. I think they all pretty much liked what they ended up with. At the end of the game, I gave them 5 mins to exchange gifts with each other. They did some quick exchanging and this way everyone was happy with their loot.

Elder Dohrman's family has a tradition of playing Pin the tail on the Donkey. He really wanted to play so Soeur Curran made a donkey and they were able to play. Oh my gosh, we laughed so hardd at everyone trying to pin the tail in the right place. It was funny to see the difference between the girls and the guys. Each girl would put the scarf on her companion's face so gently. The Elders on the other hand tied the scarf so tight that some had to be loosened so as not to loose one's eyesight.

We all had a wonderful day celebrating the independence of the United States of America. I am personally so grateful for the freedoms that I have. I am grateful to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I love America and appreciate the life I live here.

I wish a great 4th of July to all of you.


The Texas Bakers said...

I love reading about all the wonderful people you work with and seeing their happy faces. What a wonderful experience you guys are having!

Connie said...

Those missionaries must LOVE you! I'm sure their parents do too!

You did have a busy Saturday and Sunday. My favorite pictures of all time are the pictures of people dressed in white, ready to be baptized! What a blessing for all of you!

Yvonne said...

I agree with "The Texas Bakers"--I love reading about the people you are working with. So exciting to read about baptisms and teaching investigators. I love it.

And, I also agree with Connie--the missionaries must REALLY love you. And, I'm sure their families are so happy to know they are being shown such love and concern.

(I hope you are feeling better)