Monday, 4 January 2016

On Saturday December 12, 2015 we went to the Christmas Market in Matakana with Elder and Sister Winters and Elder and Sister Whidden.  It was a little bigger than the usual Saturday market but not much.  We had some good snacks and then headed to a new beach called Omaha Beach. 

Today was the warmest day so far since Winter.  Nada was enjoying walking along the beach.  The waves were very large and the beach was regular sand and went on forever.
It was a beautiful setting.
These Norfolk Pines are so large and very unique.  You just see one here and there
Nada, Sisters Whidden and Winters walked the beach all the way to the wall in one direction and back to where we came down to the car and it took us an hour.

It was a nice day of relaxing and being with friends.

On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 we had the Area Office Christmas Party.  I played the piano for the choir and for all the music.  The choir was the Area Office Missionaries and we did pretty well for only having everyone at one practice.  Sister Neilsen and Sister Bucker sang with us and sang the descant during Silent Night.  We sang Joy to the World for the prelude and Silent Night for the closing song.  The whole congregation sang Christmas Hymns for opening and between Elder and Sister Pearson's talks.  It was a nice devotional and then we moved into the cultural hall for the party.

We had a really nice buffet lunch.

They had tables go up one at a time and another group performed while people were getting their food.

Our Area President Kevin Pearson and his wife.
 Reed and I sat at the table with Elder Neilsen and his wife the 2nd Counselor in the Area Presidency.
They had two or three departments work together to perform.  We had to chose a Christmas song performed by Boney M and lip sync to it.

The group to the left was HR and family history
 The group to the right were transportation and material management.
The group to the left was the Area Presidency, their wives and their staff, the DTA and most of the missionaries from the third floor.
The group to the right was physical facilities.

Our group Self-Reliance, Education and Humanitarian ended up recording it on Tuesday and Renee edited it and played it for the party so we did not perform live.  It was a nice Christmas Devotional and party.  We work with a lot of fun people.  It helped us get into the Christmas spirit.

After family night on December 14th we took Elder and Sister Henderson with us and drove to Ponsonby to see some Christmas lights.  The residents that live on Franklin Street have joined together and they decorate their homes with Christmas lights.  We parked and walked up and down the street for three blocks.  There were hundreds of people there enjoying the lights.  With it being warm it is hard to feel like Christmas but this really helped.  It was nice to walk around looking at the lights and not being cold at all!

 We were glad to see some kind of Nativity.  It was made out of corrugated sheet metal.
Surfing Santa.  People do surf here for Christmas
You could see the Sky Tower from Franklin Street and they have it lit up with green and red lights for the month of December.
Some houses were really decorated up but most of them just had a few lights.

 It was fun to see tropical trees decorated for Christmas.  Other than this street we saw very few Christmas trees in windows or any Christmas lights on houses.
 This house was really decked out inside and out.  They had big screens with Christmas movies playing and Christmas music playing.  The old decorated car below was also in this yard. 
They had an old car show going on down the middle of the street as well.  It was a very happening evening.  We were so glad we went.

Well, we hope you enjoyed seeing some of the different things we were able to do during the month of December to help us feel the Christmas Spirit.  We hope you were able to enjoy the Christmas lights and parties wherever you were. 

Until next time, Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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