Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our Second Christmas in Bolivia

December began with calling for help to decorate the Mission home. The sisters were delighted to come - but were saddened to learn that all the packages were just for decoration. They know this is a great month to share their testimony of Jesus Christ- which is the greatest gift of all.
Sonya and I baked and baked to be able to give cookies to each of our missionaries.
Our Christmas stash was organized. Many items appeared in the mail from kind and generous parents, some of the items we brought down when we arrived on our mission, (again donated by others).

 Two of our secretaries came to help me stuff the stockings.

I filled our largest suitcase with stockings for our missionaries down south. Another second large suitcase carried hundreds of cookies. Off we went, to bring Christmas to Sucre, Potosi and Tupiza.

The Plaza in Sucre was decorated beautifully with lights.
The Tupiza missionaries

Potosi had one of the best nativities in our hotel.

I loved the creative way the missionaries took their group photo. All these cameras were on timer and the camera owner then ran to be in the photo. I wish I had a video as it was super fun to watch them do it.

This ward taught me a great lesson this year. We had a Christmas Fireside with them and following the fireside the Bishop asked everyone to go to the Cultural Hall for a surprise and a photo opportunity. My North American culture kicked in and I wondered - will they have Santa here? Well, eventually they opened the curtains  and this was the surprise and the photo op. A beautiful nativity scene. This is just another thing I love about Bolivia. The focus is where it should be, on Christ. 

My brother and his family came to visit for Christmas. It was wonderful to spend time with them. This time our adventures brought us a toucan. What a beautiful world God created for us!

With the wonders of technology, I received this photo Christmas eve.   These are some of our grandchildren following family tradition and enacting the story of the birth of Christ. The photo arrived just as we were going to bed, and I knelt thanking Heavenly Father for the faith that is being passed down through generations.

Christmas day. I watched as a mommy rocked her babe to sleep in this home made cradle on her clothes line. It touched my heart. This little one may not have many earthly possessions but he has a mommy who loves him. 
Feliz Navidad