What an exciting Holiday Season! Alisa's family arrived the day before Thanksgiving. We broke with tradition a little... but did eat our Thanksgiving dinner at a 'traditional' English carvery. The food's not quite as good as homemade...but it sure is a lot easier, and cheaper as well.
It was icy cold the whole time they were here, but these Arizona kids enjoyed playing in the snow.
We took them to St. Fagan's Museum of Welsh Life (above), Warwick Castle, Cardiff, and the Church historical sites within our mission. Here they are at Benbow Pond....
They were excited to be here for our December Transfers. No one was going home at this time, and we welcomed just three new missionaries...Sister Whitaker from Nevada, and Elders Tulip and Roberts from England. They are a great additon to the EBM. Elder Tulip's uncle was a past president of this mission...President Munday...so he was no stranger to the Mission Offices or Mission Home.
Here they are on the Rameumptom....joined by Elder Brooke from England on the far left (he came mid transfer), and Elder Larsen from Arizona in the middle. Elder Larsen goes home this next transfer, but told us that since he had come in between transfers, he never got to stand on the Rameumptom....... it was his last chance!
Our other Arizona kids...Jacy's family... came on December 15th. This was the first time Papa had seen little Kendall...now 17 months old. How wonderful to have them with us for Christmas.
This picture was taken in one of my favorite villages in the Cotswolds...Bourton on the Water. Even the name of the town oozes with charm.
We've heard this has been the coldest winter in England in more than 30 years...I believe it!!! But these kids enjoyed the novelty of snow as well.
How do you like their President and Sister Ogden snowmen???
It was fun for them to be here for our annual EBM Christmas Party. (They were also a HUGE help to me.)
The most entertaining part of the day is the Talent show. I wish I could put up a video of the whole show...it was a fabulous variety of talent...amazing, crazy, funny, and beautiful!
Elder Walton and Seale did a great job as Emcees. Our "Islanders" did the Haka dance. Elder and Sister Henry showed us talents we didn't know they had! We had vocal, violin, double bass, piano, guitar, and harmonica solos...one Elder even played the harmonica through his nose! We had beat boxing, break dancing and ballet dancing (I use that term loosely!). We even had a magic act. What a talented and creative goup of missionaries. They are so much fun!!!
The only unfortunate thing was that, along with all of the missionaries, we had lots of unwanted guests. Germs of all kinds spreading through the crowd. Sunday and Monday after Christmas, my phone was ringing non-stop with calls from sick missionaries. I think in the end, we had more than half the mission out sick. The good thing was that most of them recovered quickly, and at this time, we're pretty much back to a full complement of healthy missionaries...all ready to make 2011 the best year ever in the ENGLAND BIRMINGHAM MISSION!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF OUR DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS...