Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day

We invited the three Elders who live in our apartment complex to come to our apartment to make their Christmas internet calls home.  They can walk to our apartment rather than drive a half hour to the church building.  After having a Christmas brunch of bacon and waffles (served with fresh FL strawberries, bananas, and homemade buttermilk syrup - Renee's comment) they made their calls.

Elder Bowden was so excited and nervous about calling home he could hardly eat.  This was his first call home since he just arrived on his mission about 4 months ago.  He said that he was as nervous as before a football game or wrestling match in high school.  However, he was fine after the call.

We received a brief FaceTime call from our grandson, Grady, who modeled his new BYU football helmet for us.  We miss being with family for Christmas so the missionaries become our family!  And, we are so grateful for Skype and FaceTime options!  (Renee)

The Elders told us that Brother Igarta, University Park Ward mission leader, took them shopping yesterday and purchased $400 worth of food for them as a Christmas gift!  I love it when people help our missionaries!  (Renee's comments)

The Elders invited us to go with them to a teaching appointment following their calls.  They had an appointment with a single woman.  They are not allowed to teach a single woman without another man being present.  This woman lives in sort of a care center.  One of the employees is a member, and he had spoken with her about the Church.  The lesson was about the Book of Mormon.

Following the lesson, we didn't have anything scheduled.  So I suggested we go to the beach.  I was curious about how many people would go to the beach for Christmas.  We went to Lido Beach, which we like and is more of a locals beach.  We learned there are a lot of people who go to the beach on Christmas Day.

On the way back from the beach, we stopped at a neighborhood restaurant, the Lazy Lobster, where we had eaten Thanksgiving Dinner.  We didn't have a reservation, but they said we could sit in their outside dining area.  We discovered why that area was available -- mosquitoes.  They put an electronic insect zapper on our table, but we still were swatting while we ate.

The Christmas wreath inside our front door with pictures of our grandkids on ornaments sent to us

Our Christmas card display

Our festive Christmas tablecloth from Maile and David

Our Christmas tree, presents, and "decorated" apartment

Elder Bowden calling home

Elder Casperson calling home

Elder Gardner calling home

Elders Casperson, Bowden, and Gardner, aka the Three Nephites

The missionaries took off their shoes when they came to our apartment.

The Nativity figurine given to us by Elder Casperson, our only nativity 

Busy Lido Beach

Look what we found - Sand men!  Someone had a sense of humor - one is "nice" and the other is "naughty".  Brent took this with his camera and did a little editing of the background - very nice.

Another picture taken with my iPhone and is Florida's version of a "white" Christmas.  We may not have the white snow of Provo but we have the white sand of Florida.  Temperature was 84 degrees and felt like 90 degrees due to the humidity - can't complain about that!  (Renee's comments)

A beach Christmas greeting
The use of "Xmas" used to bother me (Renee) until I discovered that the abbreviation is at least 1,000 years old and was not meant to be disrespectful.  What appears to be an X in our modern Roman alphabet is actually the Greek letter chi, the first letter of the word Christos meaning Christ.

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