Saturday we had a Christmas party for the missionaries in the Durban area and Richard's Bay.
(On Tuesday we will celebrate with our inland Elders).
After games and food, we went into the chapel where we acted out the nativity (I wrote a script to follow) Several were dressed in character, we showed special video clips, and had music. It was as if we had gone Back to Bethlehem (hence the title of our program).
I made certain that every missionary took part on the program.
It was remarkable that it turned out really well without any rehearsals!!!
Some of our missionaries helped decorate for the party!
Elder Wood is always a tremendous help! Elder Baumgartner opened the church and helped set up tables!
Sister Petersen and Sister Wood helped furnish a snack for arriving missionaries (as well as many other tasks). Before missionaries could get a snack, however, they had to trace their own hand onto a green piece of paper, cut it out, and write a gift to give to the Savior. We hung those in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Love their smiling faces!
Sister Petersen was a tremendous help in getting things printed, among other things!
We started off the part with playing lots of games. There was never a lull!
Unfortunately, there was no air-conditioning in the gym and it was very hot! But the missionaries seemed to have had a great time despite the heat!
We played several competitive games at the tables, and more in the other half of the gym!
The missionaries are lining up to play a muffin tin toss. Each missionary tossed three cotton balls and three coins into a muffin tin to win some candy.
We also played relay games. Above is called fan the balloon!
This game is is called pass the wreath without using your hands!
Here we tossed balls in small circles. At the whistle a question was asked and the missionary holding the ball had to answer.
We broke up into four groups and had the missionaries prepare skits!
We also sang a few Christmas songs!
Getting tables prepared for Christmas dinner (lunch)!
Elders singing some fun Christmas songs!
The skit with the group above performed Silent Night (silently!)
Our Elders decorated the tree for the party!
Lining up for food! Our meal was catered! We had chicken breast, sliced sirloin, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, corn, butternut squash, Greek salad, rolls, grapes, strawberries, and chocolate brownies and cream cheese tart-let.
It just wouldn't be Christmas without a gift! President and I got each missionary a tie. We passed the wrapped ties to each missionary as they sat in a large circle. President asked five different missionaries, who spoke a different language, to stand in the circle and teach the words, "left" and "right" in their native tongue. When the missionary standing in the middle called out the words, the missionaries had to pass the gifts to the left or the right. After learning left and right in five different languages, the missionaries got to keep and open the tie they were left with.
Each missionary traced their own hand, cut it out, and wrote a gift to give to the Savior.
Oh my! Proof that our missionaries work hard!
Brothers in the gospel!
After our special program in the chapel, the Assistants presented a slide presentation of missionary memories over this past year. It included photos of all the missionaries and some of their favorite moments of the year.
This is a Norman Rockwell photo! Notice the expressions on each missionaries face!
Merry Christmas to our wonderful missionaries!!!