Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Party (Tuesday) San Juan, Villa Mercedes, Alvear, Mendoza, Guaymallen, San Luis

A Christmas party on a mission is all about being with your friends you haven't seen for months, or old companions, or zone leaders.
You play silly games, and you eat too much, and you remember for just a few hours what it felt like to just be a boy (or girl).
You are reminded that relationships are far more important then gifts.
And future friendships are right around the corner (on Right-Elder Martin soon to be new AP)
You get to sit next to a stranger you have never met, but yet you know he is really your brother.
Whether you like the roast beef, mashed potato and gravy dinner it doesn't matter (our latins don't like the gravy).
You talk about your areas and who has lived in what "horrible" pension (apartment). And does the toilet still need to be flushed with a bucket of water, or your water heated by burning wood?
Or you ask who has served with who and how they are all doing.
Some are headed home and you just need to give them your last bit of advice.
And some are brand new and you fill them in on everything you think they need to know.
If you are a sister, and always out numbered, you are just glad to be with other young women who will share with you where they found the best hair conditioner for the best price.
And if you are Adriana Rastelli who is our famous mission cook, you are thinking about how much food you made for todays party (100 people) and how you need to hurry home to cook up another 25 eye of round roasts for your party tomorrow.
But before you can eat, you first have to watch the Christmas Pageant put on by your own friends.
The music accompaniment is provided by Elder Petersen and Elder Jarvis on the accordian.
Our famous actors did a wonderful job reading their scripts and telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. They realize that because of this story they are here in Argentina, trying to convince souls that Jesus Christ is head of this church and because of his wonderful gift to us we can all live again as families with our Heavenly Father and He. But grace is not sufficient. We need to work out our salvation through our righteous decisions everyday.
(Left above- Elders Naranjo, Workman, Castellon, Hermana Arrieta, Elders Alfonso, Bateman, Alvarado, Hawks)
Let the games begin. Three circles of 33 missionaries each. First the white elephant game.
The Apostacy game (we only broke one chair this year!) Musical chairs with four prophet names, but when you yell apostacy everyone has to change chairs- but whoops someone took out three chairs. It is bedlam.
Then there is the Preach my Gospel game where you have to match up the chapter numbers to the chapter names. This game went very smoothly because they had all studied up.
Elder Patterson and Vazquez showing off their winnings at the White Elephant game.
The hot potato game with a twist- you write a number on your hand, and if you have the hot potato when the music stops, you count to the right to the number you have on your hand and that person is out also. No matter how smart some of them were at moving that potato out of their hand, some were still taken out by the number on their friends hand.
Relay races, which created a whole lot of energy, and wore them out.
Ready set go!
Talent show after the banquet.
Elder Roberts singing and dancing with his backup singers Elders Peterson, Fowler and Stevenson. "All I want for Christmas, is YOU" (pointing to Sister Lindahl-and thank goodness it wasn't any of my sister missionaries or we would have some trouble)
Tongan dance lead by Elder Malaikai- and they were really scary, can't you just see the violent energy? I can just picture them all practicing in front of a mirror, loving every minute of it.
Some of the zones skits were about missionary work.
Some were making fun of us Senior missionaries in a kind way.

And the we sang Jingle Bells and Santa came running in.
Elder Brown was the brave one to put on the suit and say Ho, Ho, Ho, in spanish (O, O, O).
The missionaries received the stocking stuffed with gifts, their Christmas card from the First Presidency, and DVD of all the movies we have made in the mission, and the missionaries favorite landscape photos of the mission.
Sister Brown, Jarvis, and Lindahl cooked for a week making typical Christmas goodies for the missionaries.
The tables at the beginning of the day.
Some of our local Hermanas who came the night before to help decorate the trees. Left- Hermanas Bonilla, Warren, Alvez, and Hermana Adams (who left the next day for home).


Sarina Thomas said...

It is AMAZING what you pulled together! Those missionaries are well taken care of! You are wonderful! I love you!

Anna Lisa said...

You ROCK Elder Fowler! But what bet did you lose to have sing?!!