Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Zone Conference 12 / 21 /16

We were in Simi Valley for the southern end of the mission.  We heard from only three new missionaries but their testimonies were powerful.  Hermana Morales was the only missionary leaving in January.
We had more time to talk about the different analogies in the Polar Express.  It was such a treat to hear the thoughts of so many.  Sister Felix put the thought in their minds to write down their version of the Polar Express with it being gospel centered.
The tables were decorated so festive.  We enjoyed ham, potatoes, salad, rolls, a strawberry jello salad and either pumpkin or apple pie.
Elder & Sister Hardy, Elders Johnson, Kopaunik, Dewey, Harris
Elders Allison, Harvey, Hunter, Carter, Hoff, H. Davis, 
Sisters Scott, Houseman
Elders Robins, Mecham, Anderson, Christenson, Huston, Heck, Allen
Elders McCurdy, Gardiner, Powell, Horman, Strom, DeGraw
Elders Swenson, Herrera Loya, Portillo, Taufatofua, Shumway
Elders Alder, Liddiard, Reeves, Pickett, Haslam, Marchant, Avalos, Hiltscher
Elders Hansen, Snider, Pierce, Rodriguez, Plummer, Leckbee, Judkins, Baker
Sister & Elder Cole, Elder & Sister Floyd, Elders K. Davis, Sila, Bunnage, Tanuvasa
Elders Richards, Morby, McLawhorn, Bates, Morgan, Kelly, Whatcott, Judd
Sisters Devitt, Baird, Sister & Elder Iverson, President Morffat, President & Sister Felix
Happy Birthday in November:
Elders Leckbee, Judd, Plummer, Hunter, Dewey
December birthdays:  Elders Huston, Rodriguez, Portillo, Kopaunik, Herrera Loya
Getting ready to sing Called to Serve to thank the Simi Valley Stake Relief Society for preparing the lunch.

It was pretty amazing that out of 77, Elder Heck guessed 60 todler pictures correctly.  It was really funny though that one of the missionaries did not know which picture was of him and it wasn't until I was calling out the names with the numbers he found out.  Part of this activity was so that missionaries would get acquainted with each other.

Elder T introducing Santa (Elder Swenson)

Time for Santa jokes.
Hermanas Arkell and Mullloy singing the Ninety and Nine.
Elder Oakey's district treated us to a skit.  These two missionaries were complaining because they didn't have anyone to teach.  The Sisters walked by on their way to teaching as they had a busy schedule.  
They were being robbed.

Elder Oakey holding the hat was being influenced by the Holy Ghost (dressed in a sheet) and off he went with the sisters to be taught.
Elders Gemar, Wayment, and McLawhorn dedicated their rap to President Felix.  
The office reenacted their skit from Tuesday.  We all enjoyed watching them.
Hermana Cortez sang Beautiful City with Elder Peterson accompanying.
Elder Kelly was the recepient of the onion this day.  He didn't go for it though.

Elders Morby, Leckbee, and Richards are singing Stille Nacht.  We loved their voices and their matching ties.
Elders Powell and McCurdy
According to Elder Harvey this is what you do in Canada - drink maple syrup.  Santa drank one cup and Elder Harvey drank 3.

Elder Nielson is signing (ASL) while Hermana Anstee and Elder McLawhorn are singing Angels We Have Heard on High.  Hermana Lethbridge is making the beat while Elders Avalos, Hiltscher, and Bates are background and showing a few dance moves.

Elder Peterson is playing Where Are You Christmas?  
Elder Morgan was great in turning the pages of music.

 We returned to the chapel to finish up with a more spiritual tone.
Sister Felix shared a story, a poem, and video about THE star.
President Felix concluded the day talking about our responsibility as representatives of Jesus Christ.  He also showed a video of Elder Bruce R. McConkie talking on the divine sonship of Christ.

We had a wonderful time together as we enjoyed a fun and spiritual time.

As we were driving back to Ventura in bumper to bumper traffic, the assistants passed us.  We started laughing so hard.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Zone Conference 12 / 20 / 16

Monday night as we were assembling things for Tuesday's zone conference, President made the comment "This is Christmas Eve." It truly was like Christmas Eve as final preparations were being made for the big event.
We began the morning with our mission song, Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise.  Nine new missionaries were given the opportunity to bear their testimonies and four missionaries that would be departing after this transfer bore testimony.  After everyone stood to sing Oh Little Town of Bethlehem Sister Felix did a presentation on the Polar Express.  The missionaries were asked to look for gospel analogies.  We had a great discussion.

When the missionaries entered the cultural hall they saw pictures displayed of themselves as toddlers.  They were to see how many they could recognize of the others.  They seemed to have a good time.
A BIG thank you to all of the parents.  Every missionary had a picture.
We enjoyed salad, green beans, augratin potatoes, pork, and either pineapple or chocolate cake.  It was so yummy!

Elders Slaugh,  Blaylock, Ward, Ballantyne, Atkinson, Still, Elliott
Sisters Coleman, Hopkins, Elders Levis, Gardner, Thurgood, Holm, Regalado, Betts
Elders Cannon, 'Iongi, Campbell, Jo, Liddiard, Seui, Gray, Crook
Elders Hamelin, Chesley, Lallatin, Reichman, Routledge, Shaw
Elder Herrera, Hermanas Wiles, Scott, Peterson, Wright, Sister & Elder Iverson
Elders Turley, Suarez, Peisley, Hales, McLane, Brodie
Sisters Greding, Besendorfer, Elder Palmer, Sister Campbell, Elder Willis, Sisters McClure, Fisher, Adamson, Elders Deason, Jones
President & Sister Ridgeway, Sister & Elder Richardson
Sisters Bosshardt, Mortimer, Hardy, Page, Christiansen, Lambert, President Felix
Sister & Elder Clark, Hermanas Gomez, Gonzalez, Alder, Grandstaff, Ames
Hermanas Torrico, Puertas, Flores, Fernandez, Rodriguez, Hirst, Hallows, Kneip
Elders Mata, Barrios-Vega, Taufatofua, Swenson, Bronson, Olacsi
Sisters Capener, Dye, King, Coulon, Elders Emerson, Matthews, Bradley, Peart
Sister & Brother Vance, Sister & Elder Floyd, Elder & Sister Aston, Elder & Sister Iverson
Elders Castro, Cook, Lemus, Bundy, Endicott, Stevens, Valladares
November Birthdays:
Hermana Gonzalez, Sisters Greding, Iverson, Elders Deason, Matthews, Holm
Elders Mata, Brodie, Palmer, Iverson, Clark
December Birthdays:
Hermanas Kneip, Puertas, Fernandez, Sister Campbell, Hermana Grandstaff, Sisters Dye, Hopkins
We really are excited for the program (apparently some didn't want to show their excitement).

Santa (Elder Swenson) and Elder Taufatofua were the MCs.

Santa Barbara Zone sang the 12 Tribes of Israel.
The office couples did a spoof on their responsibilities.  They are all in a car and Sister Floyd is backing them up
Elder Iverson is the voice of Tiwi.
Bottom line though is "Don't worry, be happy!" 
Hermanas Rodriguez, Hirst, and Flores sang Burritos Savenero.
Elder Turley's district sang Silent Night in Spanish.
Elder Jones sang Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.
Elder Barrios-Vega's district sang Reyes Magos.
Elder Olasci had us laughing because of elephant jokes.
Elders Cannon, Peisley, 'Iongi, and Suarez sang How Can I Be?
While Sister Bosshardt was signing Silent Night, Elder and Sister Mortimer were singing.
Sister Dye and Sister King sang Mary Did You Know?
Elder Liddiard ate several bites out of an onion when he was blind folded.  He thought it was going to be an apple while competing with Sister Christiansen and Hermana Peterson to see who could finish first.  We were all amazed that he kept eating it.

Each missionary received a water bottle with their name attached on a tag. I think they liked the tag better than the water bottle. In the gift bags were Christmas cards from the First Presidency,  one from us, a picture of Christ with the inscription Adore Him, a poem about the Star, a star cookie, and hot chocolate mix with a bell (reminder from the
Polar Express).