I thought things got a little crazy and stressful at home around Christmas time, but for some reason I thought it would be less stressful out here in the mission field. I guess that is what I get for thinking.
We were busy last week. We had our Senior Missionary Christmas party in Chinle on Tuesday. We were each to bring a $5 gift. All the gifts were put on a long table with the men's on one end and women's on the other end. When it came time to play a game, everyone (around 60 of us) put their chairs in a big circle. Then everyone chose a gift. They played that game where every time the word 'right' or 'left' is used in the story, that is the direction you pass the gift you chose. When it came time for the game to end, much to our surprise, Owen and I both had our own gifts. What are the odds that you would end up with your own package. They weren't wrapped alike, placed on opposite ends of a long table, the two people did not choose their gifts at the same time, the people were sitting on chairs the exact number of people and 'left' or 'rights' away from us in order to end up with us. It is a good thing we had chosen for our gifts something we liked.
We had a nice snow storm on Wednesday. The area needs the moisture so bad, but it sure plays havoc on the roads. We went out to make a visit, thinking with 4-wheel drive we would be okay. Not so! That clay mud grabs hold of you, and you literally have no control over the vehicle. We were slipping and sliding all over the road. We still had about a mile to go; so needless to say, that visit got canceled.
Another time we were driving down a road in the dark. The tracks in the middle of the road were packed down and passable. We had to slide over to the edge of the road to let a car coming toward us pass. Again that good old mud grabbed the truck and we were being pulled further off into the gob. Owen was finally able to get control of the truck and pulled back up onto the road. Within a matter of seconds, we passed a huge deep ravine off the side of the road that has been eroded away. We didn't realize how close we were to it when we pulled over to let the car pass. So grateful that we didn't end up in the bottom of the ravine. Another tender mercy of the Lord.
The Chapter House had their community party on Friday night. It was fun to go and mingle with all of the people. They sure know how to feed you well.
Sunday the Branch had their Christmas dinner and passed out goodie bags for everyone and presents for the kids. They were pretty excited to get a present. It was interesting to watch the kids' different reactions. Some immediately opened their present, while others tucked it away to be opened on Christmas Day. We had over 50 people (no visitors) to Sacrament Meeting, and they stayed for both meetings and the dinner. That is the most we have had to our meetings since we came. There were some of our regular attenders that weren't there either. Looked so good to see the chapel nearly full.
Between preparing a talk for Sacrament Meeting, a Primary lesson, and a Seminary lesson I did a lot of studying and reading during the week. My brain has a hard time doing three major things in one day. But I survived.
Owen has been working with a young man. He is a member, but less active. He showed him how to make arrowheads and work with clay. He has now started making small bowls and Navajo nativities. So Owen took him and introduced him to our friend at The Nugget store. He was interested in buying all the nativities he could make. They are unique and very nice. This will give him a way to help supplement his income.
Our adventures in the Lupton community continue to be many and varied. Everyday we thank Heavenly Father for allowing us to serve in this part of His vineyard among some very special people-the Lamanites.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!