Friday, December 25, 2009

December in a Nutshell

From earlier in the month--

December 5th was a memorable afternoon for piano students in the Cebu Stake and Kevin’s English class. We had a Christmas Carol Sing-along, an opportunity for them to perform their developing skills.

We transformed the cultural hall into a recital hall.

Everyone participated with courage, (music director is Fatima, also a student, and pianist is Russel Patalinghug) and the whole afternoon was a stunning success.

We had a big crowd (100) and robust carol singing.

My treasured piano students.

I thought a lot a about piano teachers everywhere and what it’s like to help your students prepare for a recital, or to have them prepare me, such as when I did my organ recital 10 years ago. It's quite a task to get us ready in mind as well as learn the music, then be with us/them in spirit as they perform their “act of bravery.” This was definitely a first for most of them; we will do it again before our mission is complete.

City Zone - Christmas Zone Conference 2009. These are the missionaries we see on a weekly basis. We enjoy getting to know them while they are near, then watch their service, growth and progress from afar when they are transferred to outlying zones or off island.

President & Sister Hansen at the same Zone Conference. Don't they cut a fine figure together? They are a great team of powerful leaders for our mission.

Kevin and Elder Elmer, a brand new missionary assigned to the Pulambato branch where we attend once a month. We attended their Christmas party--were feasted and funned magnificently.

Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus right down Woolbright Drive--
We decided to take a treat to all the gradeschool kids who are out waiting for the bus at 5:30 on weekeday mornings when we walk. Kevin was way into the Santa Claus spirit. I, on the other hand couldn't bear the thought of the Santa Claus hat in 80* weather.

In league with Old Saint Nick--we made extra trips to the post office, gathering a trunkful of packages for the missionaries every time we went. Thanks to the senior missionaries who joined the Santa Claus League in getting packages back to their areas after our Senior Missionary Christmas gathering. It takes a village to make a mission successful.

A Philippine nativity made out of twigs. Very creative--we wondered for a second whether we could get something like this back to the states in tact...