Monday, January 6, 2014

The start of 2014

2014 has arrived. We are excited for another great year in the mission field. We are starting to send home and transfer missionaries who have been a big part of our lives for the past 4 months.  It is sad to see them leave.

This picture is of the "Moulton Boys". The assistants, Elder Hicken and Elder Thomas and office Elders found out that they were all descendants of the same Mormon pioneer, Thomas Moulton. It has been a fun 6 weeks with them in the office. We will miss Elder Thomas, the shorter one, who is returning on Saturday to his home in Colorado. He wants to stop by and see Terrell and Tracy.
On Wednesday we went to a New Year's Day dinner at the Hiatt's apartment. We didn't know that there was a traditional Southern New Year's Dinner so Sister Hiatt (who cooks one each year) wanted to cook and share it with us. Elder Hiatt found the history of the meal. It seems that following the civil war, food in the South was difficult to come by. Southerners created special foods to take advantage of what they had.  
Their meal consisted of fried cabbage,  black eyed peas, hog jowls (they are missing in the picture, as they were all gone by the time it was taken) and sometimes rice and greens. Sister Hiatt asked me to bring meat loaf and mashed potatoes in case we didn't like the food, but we all enjoyed it.  She served a strawberry cobbler and ice cream for dessert. It was delicious and fun to have friends to share the Holiday with.
On Thursday night we went to a baptism. Harold got baptized. We drive him to church. He has a cute young son and daughter. Sister Jensen, on the left, is going home on Saturday and Elder Gallager is probably being transferred next Tuesday.
Friday night we went to the temple with the missionaries who are heading home on Saturday. They will be going home a few days early to get back to school. They are leaving Saturday instead of next Wednesday.  6 elders and 6 sisters are going home. We drove 5 of them to the temple and enjoyed hearing them talk. We learned a lot about missionary life.
The picture is of us with Sister Navarro. She is from Panama and still barely speaks English, but we got to see her each week as she came into the office with her district. We will miss her now that she is going home.
It was beautiful, crisp, clear night outside the temple and there was a crescent moon. We tried to capture it. The moon is that little crescent in the right corner.

Sunday, after church, we had another baptism.  Jamella is the one in the white shirt. We missed getting a picture of her in her baptismal clothes, because we were setting up food in the other room. She is a twin and her twin sister arrived at the baptism right as we were singing the closing song, so we were glad to get her in the picture.  We have enjoyed going with the elders to teach her.
There was little push this week to get the baptisms performed before Elder Johnson gets transferred on Tuesday. He is the taller elder. The other one is Elder Beecroft from Redmond, WA. We get to keep him a little while longer.  These missionaries getting transferred were both here in the branch when we arrived. It will be different without them.

We love you and hope all is well. We love to hear from you and your families and see your pictures.  We are expecting a big ice storm and cold spell tomorrow. We will see what we wake up to. We have 11 new missionaries flying in tomorrow- so we hope they will be able to get here ok.

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