This tree didn't look this miniature in the store, but it suits our rather smallish (and uncomfortable) living room furniture. It cheered us during our second Christmas away from family. We baked the usual Christmas cookies and made our traditional peanut butter balls and gingerbread. The gingerbread was less than stellar, but was a taste of home. Even the carmel corn turned out, so we had an abundance of Christmas goodies. Mike made some fabulous chili for the missionaries on Christmas eve and we topped it off with delicious cornbread, vegetables and dip. It wasn't our usual Christmas fare, but made us all more than comfortably full. Hermana Batschi (Washington) and Hermana Canfield (Utah) are both serving in the office.
Elder Little (Utah) handles the missionary travel, transfer updates, phones and other challenging tasks. Elder Nunez (Honduras, sorry no Spanish symbols) handles all of the records for the missionary baptisms and other assignments that are seasonal. They are constantly lugging mission supplies from place to place, plus arranging for a bodega outside the office for storage.
When we went to Panajachel we brought the sisters back some woven purses that are tucked in these bags. I think they were a hit.
The missionaries here love ties made out of corte cloth, so these packages have ties in them that I had made for them-plus chocolate. One can never give missionaries packages that don't contain chocolate.
Part of Christmas day is spent at the mission home, first with some healthy outdoor games. Volleyball is played with a giant rubber ball, which surprisingly didn't end up in the neighbor's yard this year. There is a billiard hall next to the mission home with a junkyard dog, so the president usually keeps a spare ball on hand. This little building in the back is an extra apartment behind the mission home.
This is the sad remains (an apt reminder) of the last ball that attempted an escape. Nothing gets past this razor wire!!
These guys are on the roof of a casa just down the street from us. I think they are attack reindeer. If you were to start a business in Guatemala, razor wire would be a good one.
The hermanas had some adorable corte Christmas stockings made for all of us. They were filled with cookies, alcohol prep pads, soap towelettes, candy, Pepto Bismal, pain relievers (they are nurses, after all) and a note: Proper use of these products does not include healing temporary or long-term homesickness, major or minor dog bites, bad flea bites, Guatemalan stomach or parasites. We are always touched by their clever and thoughtful gestures.