"Happy Boxing day everybody! I don't have much to say seeing as I spoke to you all yesterday (on Skype), but I can give you a summary of what we got up to for Christmas Day.
We left from the office and drove into the centre of town to the Acropoli chapel, where all of the missionaries were already there. We helped set up for the meal but most of it was taken care of by the Perrys, Petcheys and Heders, which was very nice of them. We had A. there, and he told me it was the first time since his wedding that he's worn a tie, he said he just wants to be as much like us as he can, which was very nice.
We had a lovely meal with ham, turkey, and vegetables, and everyone really enjoyed it. We then tidied up and the investigators and members headed off whilst the missionaries stayed for the rest of the afternoon. A. says that since he found the church and has been changing so much, things have gotten a lot better.
In the afternoon we played pool and table football, whilst some missionaries did Skype. Whilst Sister Bakewell was skyping her family she had about 10 minutes at the end on Skype with her brother who's in the Alpine German Speaking Mission, and who was with us in the MTC. She called us to come up and speak to him, and it was fun to catch up and see how he's doing.
Later on we played some games all together, like the werewolf game that we played at YSA some times, and a game where you have to swap chairs which was kind of like the board game frustration if you remember that, except with people and you move differently. You have to get four people into the target chairs at the end."
"In the evening we did the "white elephant" gift exchange. which was so much fun. We had all brought a wrapped gift and set them on a table, then we had to draw numbers out of a hat. We then went in turns to take a gift from the table, or to steal a gift that someone else had already taken. Each gift can be stolen three times, and then whoever has it keeps it. I was number three so quite near the beginning, and I got a really nice gift from Elder Perry, which was a treasure chest with chocolate money and things inside. It was one of the better gifts, and I kind of hid it under my chair until everyone had forgotten about it, then brought it out again, and nobody stole it. There was a funny moment where Elder Klestrup has his nerf gun stolen from him so took a new gift from the table, and it was the exact same nerf gun again, which he was happy about, and which started a violent few minutes which ended with Alinda shooting him in the face."
"There was also a pair of angel wings that Sister Vallés really wanted, that was taken by Elder Dagry. She was sat next to me and kept asking me if I think it would be okay for her to steal them (she's way too nice to steal something someone wants), and I told her he would be happy to have them stolen, which he was. But then the next gift he took was a bell, so I don't think he was much happier with that! Elder Peel was last and ended up with some hair scrunchies, which wasn't the best gift ever for him. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the game, it's definitely something I'd like to do next year. Some of the gifts were hilarious, some rubbish and some really good, so there was a varying level of satisfaction with the gifts people took. Elder Mead got a Minnie Mouse oven glove which was funny.
Sister Vallés asked permission from President Heder to wear her angel wings on the Metro home, and then actually did."
"Today (Saturday 26th) we have P-day, and then in the evening we have a baptism! The lady's name is C. and she has been taught by Sister Vallés and Sister Larcher.
During the day I want to buy the sunglasses, and a Christmas jumper if I can find one!"
As Parents we are just amazed at the effort and dedication put in by President and Sister Heder and all the Senior Missionary couples across the mission. They don't just make Christmas like a piece of home, they are literally at home. It is obvious they make the Greece Athens Mission a big family for the time the missionaries are serving,
Elder Teal has experienced 2 wonderful Christmas's now. The first was much quieter with just a couple of companionship's and Elder and Sister West in Thessaloniki. It was much different but equally as good as the group experience this year.
A massive thank you to The Heder family and all the GAM Senior couples, we never have to worry about our missionary! We are grateful that you have all sacrificed to serve and you are a great example to us!
|President and Sister Heder|