Interviews in White Salmon

2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (10)Here we are in White Salmon, where Elder Hoogland, District Leader, and Elder Richardson met us.2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (12)

Elder Whitehead and Elder Bird, serving in White Salmon2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (17)Elder Whitehead:  Every year we go drive around and look at Christmas lights, then have hot chocolate.  On Christmas Eve we read the same Christmas story book, then get new PJs and watch Hallmark Christmas movies with mom.  We write letters to Santa and leave Hostess Ding Dongs and milk.  In the morning we open presents and have breakfast, then go to my dad’s.  We have another big breakfast there with his extended family and the kids exchange gifts.    This year I will turn outwards to serve and help others rather than turning inward.

Elder Bird:  We always go shopping at the school gift store, then on Christmas Eve we sit in a circle and give our sibling gifts.  There are always joke or prank gifts!  We get new PJs and go to bed.  In the morning there are presents all over in piles.  We open them one at a time.  Then we visit both grandparents and extended family.  We eat hoagie sandwiches or burgers, then watch TV.  For dinner grandpa makes fabulous omelettes.  We always watch Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer and Mickey Mouse Christmas House and Elf.  My dad always plays old Christmas records like John Denver.  This year I will have charity for EVERYONE!!2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (19)2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (20)2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (21)2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (22)(I bring my little heater with me these days.  Church buildings are SO COLD.)

Elder Hoogland and Elder Richardson, serving in Hood River2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (14)Elder Hoogland:  On Christmas Eve we have a nice ham dinner at my grandma’s.  There are about 10 grandkids.  We act out the Nativity (I’m usually the mule).  Then home, new PJs and we read a new Christmas story book together.  We have a sleepover with 5 kids in my room (I’m the oldest).  We wake up at 5:00 a.m. in the morning and wait until sunrise to wake our parents.  Then we open presents, eat crepes with berry sauce and whipped cream, then we go back to my grandma’s to open family gifts.  Then we usually go sledding.  My favorite movies are the old Rudolph and The Nightmare Before Christmas.  This year I will visit the lonely, sick and afflicted on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as He would do.  Following His example will bring me closer to Him.

Elder Richardson:  During Christmas time we love to go “Hooky Bobbin.”  Dad pulls us on sleds behind a tractor–up to 6 ropes and 6 sleds.  We go through town (Huntsville, UT) and he runs us into snowbanks and we have sled wars.  On Christmas Eve mother reads us a tender new Christmas story and cries before she reads.  Then we all sleep in one room (7 kids) and watch “Home Alone”.  We get up early, have a big breakfast, line up, march in, singing, and open presents handed out by dad.  We always get a box of our favorite cereal and a chocolate orange.  We have a nice ham dinner later in the day.  This year I will remember Jesus by using His wonderful gift, the Atonement, in my life more.2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (11)

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On the road to White Salmon

2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (3)Here’s a look at the trip from Goldendale to White Salmon in the Gorge.  Sorry these are through-the-window pictures.  There is never time to stop.  We stayed on the Washington side of the Columbia River today instead of crossing to the Oregon side because we didn’t stop in The Dalles or in Hood River.  We went all the way to White Salmon.  It’s a spectacular drive, even this time of the year.

The Dalles Map

2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (9)This Lewis and Clark Highway goes right along the river.  I watched for eagles all the way, but didn’t spot any today.  I saw 2 Golden Eagles last week, though.2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (4)

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Interviews in Goldendale

Here are our two Lovely Sisters serving in Goldendale, Sister Fleming and Sister Turley.  We get to meet with them in the Goldendale Ward Family History Center, which I love, especially since Sister Turley and I are cousins!

2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (2)Sister Fleming:  On Christmas Even we go to my grandma’s.  We re-enact the Nativity there, then come home and put cookies out for Santa before going to bed.  In the morning, our stockings are on the food of our beds.  We have to wait until 7:00, then we take them to our parents’ beds to open them.  There’s always an orange and some Sprite.  Then Dad reads the Christmas Story and we line up to go downstairs.  We open gifts one at a time.  Our sibling gifts are 3:  something meaningful, something joyful, and something needful.  After opening gifts we have a big breakfast with biscuits and gravy and hash browns.  Then the relatives come and we have a huge white elephant exchange.  This year I will try to serve and love others like He does.

Sister Turley:  On Thanksgiving Day we all drive 3-4 hours in the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree (Arizona).  During Christmas, we love to drive around looking at Christmas lights while singing Christmas songs.  We watch The Polar Express and drink hot chocolate while we watch.  On Christmas morning we wait until 6:00, then line up old to young (7 kids).  We open presents, play with neighbors and friends and then go to grandma’s for a special dinner with “Eggs on the golden rod” which is hard boiled eggs in a white sauce over toast.  Grandma bakes about 40 loaves of bread and gives one to each family  member.  Then we watch movies with our cousins before going home.  This year I will remember Jesus by telling everyone in Goldendale about Him and His love.  #LightTheWorld  #LightUpGoldendale2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (3)Loving this Family History Christmas Tree!2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (4)You might want to know this:2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (5)2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (8)

How Sister Turley is related to me and to our Elder Turley:2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (1)2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (10)2017-12-8 Interviews Goldendale (11)Drive by photos outside of Goldendale–large open spaces here:2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (1)2017-12-8 Interviews White Salmon (2)Next stop:  White Salmon.

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Christmas Elves at the Mission Home!

We are preparing for Christmas in every spare minute at the Mission Home!  Brother Ray Smith generously donated and pressed enough apple juice to share with every missionary again this year.  He also gave us boxes and boxes of apples to dry for our missionary gift bags.  My wonderful elf helpers, have been busy for weeks drying these apples.  It’s wonderful to live in the heart of apple country.2017-12-8 CMS Prep at the Mission Home (2)This morning we took the frozen apple juice out of the freezer so it will be ready to pour into smaller containers on Monday.  Our Christmas gatherings are next week, Tuesday and Wednesday.  We have lots to do to get ready!2017-12-8 CMS Prep at the Mission Home (1)2017-12-8 CMS Prep at the Mission Home (3)These are Secrets, so PLEASE DO NOT TELL YOUR MISSIONARIES about what you see here!

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Interviews in Quincy

2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (1)Quincy is in the Ephrata Zone.  We have 4 Spanish Elders serving here.  They do both the English and Spanish work, and they Love Quincy!

Elder Jensen and Elder Thiel, serving in the Quincy East area2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (3)Elder Jensen:  On Christmas Eve day we have breakfast with our family friends, then we go snowmobiling and sledding.  In the evening we have a dinner with crab and shrimp.  Then we act out the Nativity, get new PJs, before bed.  In the morning we take a picture on the stairs, then open presents.  Breakfast is an egg casserole and French toast.  We lounge all day, then have a ham dinner.  This year I will pray, read the scriptures and go to church.

Elder Thiel:  At Thanksgiving we pick names out of a hat for Secret Santa gifts.  Dad makes sugar cookies and we frost them.  On Christmas Eve I usually go golfing with my dad and 3 brothers.  Then we come home, help prepare food, and open the Secret Santa gifts.  In the morning my grandparents come, we eat waffles, open presents, then later we have a nice prime rib dinner, and open gifts from the grandparents.  This year I will teach as Christ does in Matthew and Luke.2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (5)

Elder Olivas and Elder Parkin, serving in the Quincy West area2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (8)Elder Olivas:  At Christmas time we go to Park City for a day and night and a day with our friends who have a time share there.  We also go to Temple Square to see the lights. On Christmas Eve we go to Provo and have dinner with friends (tamales and posoli).  In the morning we open presents and then visit friends all day.  This year I will remember experiences and times when His Atonement has helped and strengthened me.

Elder Parkin:  My grandpa’s birthday is Dec 20th.  We have a big family gathering and have a catered Greek dinner to celebrate.   On Christmas Eve we have a prime rib dinner by candlelight, then we read from the Gospels and get new PJs.  We watch the Muppets Christmas video during Christmas and have a ward/neighborhood food bank drive party with treats afterwards.  Christmas morning we watch The Nativity DVD, then open presents, then have a breakfast egg casserold, then we visit family, hang out and relax.  My favorite treat:  oatmeal fudge bars.  This year I will live His teachings more in my life.2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (10)

As we were finishing up, the fun Quincy Relief Society Ladies were setting up for a Christmas activity–a Pajama Party with breakfast food and The Polar Express with a spiritual twist.  It looked like loads of fun!2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (11)2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (12)2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (13)2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (14)2017-12-7 Interviews Quincy (6)

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Interviews with the Ephrata Zone

The drive this morning was through this frosty winter wonderland.  No snow yet, just beautiful frost!2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (8)2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (7)2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (4)2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (10)2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (13)2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (14)2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (12)2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (15)

2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (19)Loveliness at the end of the church hallway:

Sister Boehmer, Sister Lowham, Sister Judd, Sister Castle and Sister Fox:2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (20)Sisters Boehmer, Judd and Castle are Companions, serving in the Ephrata 2nd Ward and Sister Lowham and Sister Fox are companions, serving in the Ephrata 1st Ward.

Sister Boehmer:  On Christmas Eve we make and eat lots of treats and watch The Grinch.  We can pick any present we want to open on Christmas Eve.  When we wake up, in the morning, we get to open our stockings while we wait for our parents to wake up.  We spend the day relaxing, watching movies and having a ham dinner.  This year I will be home, so I’ll make a cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Sister Judd:  On Christmas Eve we go to grandma’s and watch Rodeo Team Roping in the arena while we visit with our grandma and aunts (the boys do the roping).  Then we have Mexican food–tamales, tacos, salsa, etc. at my Aunt’s house.  In the evening we watch Nacho Libre, then do a Christmas pageant, acting out the Nativity.  In the morning we open presents with my siblings, then we have a big family breakfast with pancakes, eggs and bacon with all the family.  We usually have a missionary phone call, then spend the day at grandma’s with a big ham dinner.  This year I will learn more about who Jesus is and the things he taught.

Sister Castle:  Every year we get an ornament representing something we did that year, then we gather together as a family and put them on the tree in order.  On Christmas Eve we take turns guessing presents, writing our guesses down, then on Christmas we see how close we are!  On Christmas morning we go to IHOP, then open gifts, eat, open more gifts, and eat.  This is my dad’s deal with Santa:  “You don’t bring a puppy, I don’t shoot your reindeer!”  This year I will remember Jesus by actually doing Light the World and reading more about His life and writing down what I can do to become more Christlike.2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (21)Sister Lowham:  On Christmas Eve we make sugar cookies and frost them for Santa.  Then we watch the Christmas Story video.  Sometimes we work on puzzles.  When we were little we slept in blanket forts.  On Christmas Eve we open one present (usually a game or a video).  In the morning we eat monkey bread, open stockings and watch videos.  We wait until afternoon to open the presents when everyone is here.  Christmas dinner is tri-tip and ham with pretzel salad.  This year I’ll remember Jesus by working on my Christ-like attributes.

Sister Fox:  We do 1000 piece puzzles throughout the Christmas season.  We also go to see Christmas lights at the Mesa Temple.  They have Nativities and a gallery.  We get hot chocolate afterwards.  Our Christmas dinner is ham and we have sparkling cider.    This year I will actively participate in Light the World and study His life in the scriptures.2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (31)

Elder Ramirez and Elder Beaumont, serving in the Ephrata 3rd Ward Spanish Group2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (37)Elder Ramirez:  My mom decorates early in November.  On Christmas Eve we drive around and look at lights, then Dad narrates the Christmas Story and mom and we all add in, singing Christmas songs that go with the story.  Then we debate what time to wake up in the morning.  Christmas morning we get to eat boxed cereal (the only time of the year we get to).  We open gifts after a picture on the staircase.  We open gifts slowly, in order, giving thanks each time.  We have a competition to see who gets the most (mom usually wins).  Then we play and watch video games (which we only get to do on major holidays at my house).  This year being away from family will allow me to focus on my relationship with Christ instead of all the regular traditions.

Elder Beaumont:  We put up lights, watch Hallmark movies, have dinner with grandparents, and take snow trips to go sledding (Shaver Lake in California).  We always get a chocolate orange in the toe of our stocking.  This year I’ll focus on Light the World.

Elder Hunt and Elder North, Zone Leaders in Ephrata, serving in the Ephrata 3rd Ward2017-12-7 Interviews Ephrata (36)Elder Hunt:  The first FHE in December, we put up a manger.  All month we add straw every time we do service for family members.  We draw a name each week and focus on that person.  On Christmas Eve we make homemade eggnog and watch The 3 Amigos movie.  Then we read the Christmas Story and open one gift–PJs, then we go to bed.  Christmas morning we take a picture on the stairs, then open gifts, going around the circle.  This year I’ll remember Jesus by participating in Light the World.

Elder North:  Christmas Eve we go visit all the widows in our ward and bring them banana bread.  While we are out visiting, my dad has a big truck with 6 tons of ice delivered to our front yard.  The ice is put through a wood chipper and we have fake fluffy snow in sunny California!  We get out sleds and make snowball makers and play in it!  It’s usually lasts a few days.  One year even the mayor came to see our yard!  In the evening we go to the Orange Circle Train and talk to Santa.  In the morning we open presents. Every one has the same paper for each of their gifts.  We open oldest to youngest, then eat Swedish pancakes “Egg Thing.”  This year I’ll be doing Light the World every single day and finishing my New Year’s Resolutions.

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Othello Stake Correlation Meeting

2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (3)Here we are ready to go into our Othello Stake Correlation Meeting with the Othello Stake Presidency.  These are monthly meetings where the Zone Leaders review the missionary work in the Stake with their Priesthood leaders.

President Christensen and President Allred (left).2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (4)2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (5)2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (6)2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (7)2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (8)These are our excellent Othello leaders:2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (9)And Elder Nunez and Elder Veropalumbo:2017-12-6 zStake Correlation Othello (11)We love being in Othello.  These men are salt of the earth goodness.

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