To My Dear Family,
As you know it's my favorite day of the year, and I'm certainly thinking about all of you and wondering what the last minute things you might be doing are. I'm sure you are all enjoying the Festivities and I'm so proud of you for all the preparations you have made to make sure your family has a very spiritual Christmas this year.
We loved the call from Bryce telling us about your Patriarchal Dinner and also the message from Cindy that told us of your family getting together between Christmas and New Years to have your dinner. It's been such a blessed tradition and we are so glad that you choose to carry on with that tradition, even when we are gone. Of course we miss it and also just being with all of you, but we are sure proud of you and happy that you know about the really important things in life.
We had a father of three of our YSA members pass away this week and his funeral will be tomorrow morning (Christmas Day) at 6 AM so Yes, we will be getting up early in the morning and being at the church to support all of them. This family has 8 or 10 children and the three oldest are all in our YSA group, the oldest is a daughter Nthabatha that is beautiful and knows the gospel like the back of her hand. The 2nd is a returned missionary son Kgotla that is a wonderful young man with a girl friend from Durban but they can't get married yet because her family wants an exhorbant amount of labola and Kgotla is in school trying to get an education. This young ladies father is in the Stake Presidency in Durban????????????? Then there is a 3rd child in this original family I'm talking about that is also beautiful and smart but I'm not sure she's (her name is Patience) making really good choices right now and we haven't seen her for a while. Anyway, they are a great family and the parents were putting in their papers to go on a mission when the father got sick. They thought he was improving but Tues. he called all the family together and told them he wasn't going to make it and he proceeded to put things together and tell them exactly what he wanted them to do for the funeral and set things in order and then passed away. They don't do embalming here so a couple of days is all they can wait for the burial to take place and they always do it really early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day so we plan to go pay our respects and then come back home for the day.
We had been invited to a families home for Christmas Eve dinner but they are also involved with helping for the funeral so that got cancelled. The Elders and Sister's in our District called to see if they could come over and cook dinner for us, so of course we said "sure" and they just left. We had mashed potatoes, rice, chicken and a fruit salad and then cake and ice cream. It was delicious and fun to be with them. They even cleaned up the kitchen so we are set tomorrow. We are having about 25 missionaries all come here for dinner tomorrow, but I'm not doing all the cooking. I was about cooked out from this past week with the interviews all scheduled here at our house and then the big Christmas dinner for 44 of us at the church on Wednesday. I told the missionaries they could do the Christmas day dinner at our house, but everyone had to help; they are bring over a Braii (Barbeque grill) that someone has at their flat and they are all bringing their own meat. I'm making a big potato salad and the rest is whatever they bring. They can come (Open House Style) between 12 and 4 and then they will go home and make their Christmas calls home to their families. It should be a good day; with enough going on to keep my mind in Botswana most of the day until time for us to call you. We'll try to catch all of you sometime tomorrow or in the next few days if you're not at home.
We love you all so very much. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful day with your families.
May the giftts of love and happiness be abundant in your lives this season and throughout the coming new year.
Gift giving is a major part of this wonderful Christmas holiday. We too often, however, get so "wrapped up" in the preparations of Christmas that we forget the greatest of all gifts given from God, His Son, Jesus Christ, for whom we celebrate. As each of us try to focus more on our Savior during this beautiful season, we will be more grateful for His birth and more importantly, His life and mission in our behalf.
Tell your kids how much we love and miss them today, but we LOVE our Savior also and He fulfilled His mission and we will fulfill ours.
Mom and Dad Granny & PaPa Lynn