Friday, December 19, 2014

DECEMBER in GRAZ 2014!!

 December means Christmas! We love December!! This is the tiny tree we have here in our apartment. I will show you more of our decorations later in the post. 

 This is after our first FHE for the month. You can see the Elders, Bernhard Kober, and Ben. We are hoping Ben will be ready to be baptized soon. He is alot of fun and he loves being a part of our YSA group.

 Sister Pentz, Lisa, Sister Bishop, Hayli and Sophia.

 Dominic and Haiko. Both Sophia and Haiko are new friends investigating our Church.

 Fun game!! On the front of our paper was a name of a famous character or person that we had to ask questions to find out who it was. We couldn't see the name we had but everyone else could.  It was a thumbs up!! It was a new experience for Haiko. (everything in the church is)

 We always enjoy our Missionary District meetings on Tuesdays. The missionaries are great teachers.

 I do alot of the cooking in our apartment for the YSAs, esp. the desserts. These are cherry squares.

 After Institute night I had to snap this picture.  Some had already left . Five in this pic are nonmembers. We love em!!

 Looks like Christmas! This is the advent wreath that Sara Luschin bought for her Grandma's living room table. The tradition for Austrians is to light a candle  each Sunday before Christmas for the four weeks.

 We visit Sister Luschin on a regular basis. It is also great when Sara can be there also. Sara is a nurse and has to work alot.

 Angel cookies from sweet Sister Gabi Korak in the ward. She made an angel for all the primary children and missionaries.

 Our small Christmas village that we bought. We are taking these home with us.

 Two candles are lit on our wreath so far. We bought this small wooden tree also.Don't worry, even though it looks like the candle is right under the tree and will ignite any second, it is really not that close.  I love the lighting in this picture.

 We were able to get a DVD player for Bro. Haas for an early Christmas present.  Elder Tew got it all hooked up to a bigger TV that someone gave him. His eyes are so bad now that he cannot read anymore or write but he can watch DVDs and we got him some nice Church DVDs to help him. He was so grateful and has such a great testimony. He is a strong member of the Church and does all he can to invite others to Christ.

 This is probably the strangest fruit ever! It is a Kiwano melon. You can see that it is small with semi sharp spikes. Ouch. We had to try it just for fun. I think it is from Egypt. Check it out on google.

 Well, that was a waste of 2.50 euros. Horrible! No taste and slimy seeds with yucky juice. But it was an experience for sure.

 But.. this is still our favorite. The Kaki persimmon. And... we also love the pomelo.

 These are some other treats we had to try. The rice cake smothered with dark chocolate is a fav of mine, Marzipan Stollen with thick powdered sugar, very good also! 

 Christmas in Graz! We love all the lights and decorations here in Graz down the streets.

 The Rathouse (City Hall) and the real freshly cut tree. The colorful projection lights with different designs every few minutes are interesting, like a changing advents calendar.

 Amazing street performers- enjoy being there for the last of one of his songs below:
video

 We love all hanging Christmas trees strung on wires across the streets. We still wonder how they do all that.


 I will post about the Christmas markets in my next December posting.

 The beautiful Alps on our way to Salzburg for Zone Conference.

 A fabulous Conference with two zones of missionaries.

 The Wades and Parkers. 

 We are with Elder Plumb and the Smiths. Elder Plumb was transferred from Graz to Salzburg where the Smiths are.

 We love being missionaries!!

 Later that night the Wades and us met up with the Smiths and some of their YSAs, at the Salzburg Christkindl Markt (Christ child market).

 We stayed over night at this great little Bed and Breakfast. This cute lady is such a nice owner and hostess.

 Fun pic walking back from breakfast.

 Getting ready to check out.

 Ward Christmas Program and Social.

 Brother and Sister Ollendorff

 December 13 was also our annual Family Christmas Party. This year it was hosted at Bryan's house. They had us on Skype and also Brady's family in Anchorage at the same time. Wow, crazy!! We were on the big screen. Thanks guys!

 Elder Sajin Lex, the Bishop's oldest son, returned from his mission in Romania this week. He will be a great asset to the ward and to our YSA group. I wanted a pic with his hat on also but he removed it too quickly. Doesn't he look great in his traditional clothes? He said he plans to wear them every Sunday.

 Our apartment window with our Christmas star!

 This is George on the right. He is another investigator that was approached by the Sisters and decided to come and check out what we are all about. He is 20 years old and from Nigeria. He has quite a story.

 George had such a great time with our group playing some indoor hocky.

 Our new District!! We welcomed Elder Pyle(back left) and Elder Wasden(3rd from left). Elder Oviatt our new DL is the back right. Elder Tew is trying to match the sisters by crossing his left leg!? 

To end this post, here is a Skype pic of our baby Jack. Kristy has him looking at the screen at us which is fastinating to him. We are those funny people that cannot pick him up yet but who love him soooo much.

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