Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Spoonful of Christmas Cheer


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Snail mail has been excruciatingly slow here in Florida.  As a result it seemed like we waited forever until the "three amigos" could be reunited, and now our Christmas tree is happy :)

Our closet door is decked and we even have presents underneath our tree.


Even though it it Christmas time some of our favorite people (Janie included) celebrate their own very special days in December. This is a picture of Sister Hansen, one of our Senior Missionaries, assigned to the Cocoa area celebrating her birthday with our district.

On Friday, December 20th, the Florida Orlando Mission held a Christmas Devotional
 for all 200+ missionaries at the Oviedo chapel.

Elders Smith and Ferguson spreading the Christmas spirit in matching ties.

Sisters Jamison and Baker enjoying  a brief reunion.

The Christmas Devotional included inspirational talks by President and Sister Berry and beautiful musical numbers from many of our very talented missionaries.  Elder Bevans and Kirkham both on guitar, Sister Moffitt on the piano, a duet with Elder Dearden on the piano and Sister Low on the flute, a trio with Sister Fisi, Sister Monson and Elder Finai just to name a few. 
Sorry picture taking isn't allowed in the chapel so you will have to take my word for it-awesome!

Following the program we had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and enjoy some delicious 
finger foods. 
But before the evening was over each missionary was asked to stop by Santa's mail room to see if 
they got MAIL...

This is just a small sampling of the mail we have received in the past few days. 
Think 200+ missionaries times? 
The room was filled and this was only mail from Wednesday and Thursday. You might also notice a can opener, mop or random cake pan.  These "gifts"are the result of specific needs identified from our recent housing inspections.  Since our mission encompasses such a large geographical area I thought I would take advantage of everyone being together at the same location.

I wish I could share with you some of the Christmas miracles I have seen recently, but many of the experiences are very personal to me and some miracle need to remain confidential for various reasons, but be advised that the Christmas spirit is alive and thriving in the Florida Orlando Mission.

On the first day of winter Florida appeared to me...

The day actually got warmer as the afternoon wore on :)  I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas...

Yes, we wash our cars, rain or shine, and sometimes they occur within minutes of one another.

I really wanted to include pictures of the last minute Christmas shoppers, donned in their gay apparel,sunglasses, flip flops and shorts, but I still haven't figured out a way to take pictures discreetly, so you will have to use your imagination.

In closing, I just wanted to share with you some words of wisdom given to me by Sister Gordon, another one of our incredible Senior Missionaries...

The Spoon

     "Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth?"  Traditionally that means you have come to earth with privileges, blessings and opportunities that most people don't receive.  Or, it can mean that everything you try automatically turns into success.  Whatever your impression of that quote, it all depends on perspective.  Is it you or someone else that always seems to land on top of things and have everything turn out perfectly?  Perhaps everyone has equal access to that silver spoon.
     Interesting object, a spoon.  It has been the topic of many famous quotes such as, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down;" or, "Do not put that spoon into the pot which does not boil for you;" or, "When eating with the devil, you must use a long spoon;" or, "A spoonful of honey will catch more flies that  gallon of vinegar."  No matter what connections we may have with spoons in story, legend, or song, the actual object itself is really quite intriguing.
     The simplicity of a silver spoon  is its beauty.  It is shiny.  It is useful for nourishment like soup of hot cocoa or your favorite cereal.  It is the best part of what's left in the bowl when making cakes or cookies.  It can measure all the ingredients needed for a particular recipe, and let's not forget how well it stirs all of that together.  Perhaps it is the design of the spoon that makes it so invaluable.  But really looking at a spoon can reveal truths that may have gone undiscovered before.
     One side is concave or curved inward; the opposite side in convex or rounded outward.  If you look into a shiny silver spoon on the concave side, notice that your reflection appears shrunken inward and the image is upside down.  But turn the spoon over and look once again at the convex side.   Your face now is right side up, and your expression is so inviting that it makes you smile.  The difference is that the concave side turns your image inward, whereas the convex side turns your image outward.  Concave makes you look serious, even sad, and convex makes you look happy.  The same is true of our lives.  When we allow our thoughts and actions to turn inward towards ourselves, we are not as happy as when we focus our efforts on others and how we can help them.
     During this holiday time of the year when we love and service are clearly what the Lord wants us to give to others, it might be well to remember the silver spoon.  Turn yourself outward and think about others and you will be much happier that if you turned inward and only think about yourself.  It turns out that we are all born with silver spoons...maybe in our hearts?  Keep a special one in your life just to remind you of that"...when you are in the service of your fellowmen, you are only in the service of your God."

Wishing you a ............


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