Saturday, December 27, 2014


Well this Christmas was unlike anything I have ever experienced!  Craig has had three similar to this before - on his first mission he arrived in Fortaleza a couple weeks before Christmas, then left Brazil a couple weeks after Christmas two years later, missing three Christmases!
This is in our little courtyard - our groundskeeper put
up these decorations (look hard) which is more
than we had in our Apartment--- Go big or go home!

Besides pondering the birth of the Savior on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I was preoccupied with feelings of gratitude for being alive and safe.  A few days before, something happened that could have dramatically changed our lives.  I have shown you pictures of our "sidewalks," so you can understand that on our way into the office each day there are segments where we walk in the street.  Because of the CRAZY drivers (details another day...) we really do try to be careful.  The Omnibuses, whose drivers own the road and like to get as close to people as they can, just to scare them to death, were coming up the hill as we were walking on the street the other day, so we were hugging the cars to our right as we walked.  Just as the buses were about to reach us, a man in a car (which had been parked for some time) suddenly opened the driver's side door fast and hard.  He obviously didn't check his mirror, or he would have known the oncoming bus could have taken his door off.  The timing was impeccable, hitting me so hard that I lost my balance and became disoriented.  Fortunately, Craig was right behind me AND the guy has incredible reflexes (thank you, years in sports!) and he grabbed me and kept me out of the pathway of the buses.  It really was very scary and I sobbed the rest of the way to the office - partly from pain, partly from being scared, and partly from gratitude that I wasn't hurt or killed.  Thank you for your daily prayers for the missionaries!  They work!

The smallest of the bruises, but the only one
I can comfortably photograph!

Although we were invited to be with others on Christmas Eve, we declined since the other missionaries couldn't be in members' or investigators' homes on that night, and we enjoyed watching the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and other videos.  It is so much easier to serve a mission far from home now when we have access to such amazing programs and videos, directly from the Church.

We had a lazy Christmas morning, then spent some time with our Zone - The Mission President didn't want the missionaries to be with families on Christmas, but Craig was able to talk him into letting them be together in their Zones.  I love these cute missionaries - Our wonderful office Elders cleaned the Church kitchen and prepared the grill for some good Brazilian Churassco.   Unfortunately, the Zone Leaders came about 45 minutes late and the meat they brought was frozen, so we had to leave before it was cooked.  
The Elders without ties were trying to build the fire - it finally
started after Craig suggested adding paper towels soaked in oil!

Sadly, we didn't leave before someone dropped my I-Pad (my lifeline to the outside world) and broke it!  Hopefully the one my kids send will get through!!!

We left for the highlight of my day - Skyping with OUR very own darling missionary, even though she was very sick! (Oh yeah, and there were a few others in on the Skype call too! :) )
Oh I am so grateful for current, awesome technology!!!
And for a valiant, amazing missionary daughter!
Thank you for your emails, cards and gifts (some of which we got, some we didn't!)  We really appreciate your love and support.  We hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas, and that 2015 will be a healthy year for us all, where we can grow individually and collectively as we continue our efforts to Hasten the Work of Salvation and become closer to Him.

We love you all!


  1. Okay, Mom. That is scary! I am so glad you're okay!!! We will make sure to keep praying diligently for you! I love that Skype picture too. Love you both!

  2. I'm glad you're okay--- and you are Craig are so sweet to spend your Christmas the same as the missionaries since they didn't get to be with families. (What!?) It was fun to see you for a few seconds on skype:)