Christmas in Sousa for us started on January 23 and January 24 with parties at the church for the Sousa Branch and then the Estação Branch.
We began the evening on the 24th by going to the outskirts of town to pick up several members for the party. We had to figure out how to get a dozen people (plus a lot of food for the party) into our minivan that is designed to hold 7. We designated several of the youth as 'baggage' and stuffed them into the back for the 15 minute ride to the chapel. On the way, we taught them to sing Jingle Bells in English. By the time we got to the chapel they were doing a pretty good job. There certainly was no lack of enthusiasm!
We had been recruited to be Papai and Mamãe Noel at the party. We had a several people, old and young, who wanted to take a picture behind us or on our laps. Everyone had a great time at the party that included a dinner and music for dancing.
|Sisters Bee and Haygood|
When I asked one young girl who is about 7 years old what she wanted for Christmas she responded, "I won't be getting anything for Christmas." I asked, "What is the most wonderful gift of all at Christmastime?" She answered, "Love!" I then asked, "What is the source of love?" She wisely answered, "Jesus."
I then said, "The greatest Christmas gift of all is from our Heavenly Father who loved us so much He sent His Son, Jesus Christ so we could feel His love." Her response: "Yes, that is the greatest gift of all and it is for all of us. We all get the same love from Jesus." It was a wonderful insight from a girl whose family can't buy gifts, but reflects the love of the Savior which is more precious than any material gift they could give.
On Christmas day we were invited to lunch with the missionaries at member's home where we enjoyed their love and a delicious meal. In the afternoon and evening we hosted the missionaries from Sousa at our apartment. They used our computers to Skype their families at home and then we enjoyed a great dinner prepared by Sister Petrie. It was atypical Sunday meal we would have at home and the missionaries loved a dinner that didn't include rice and beans.
We were able to Skype all of our family as well. It was a thrill to see and visit with all our children and grandchildren on this most special day!
|Elders Walton and Jay, Sisters Bee and Haygood|