Friday, December 20, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 & more Holiday Stuff

Elder McKinney - Thanksgiving Dinner  served on the traditional Thanksgiving
Table Cloth. The rolls and mashed potatoes are about the only traditional items.
We were the only Americans in the area on November 28th. So, even though I tried to teach the children about gratitude during primary, we were the only ones celebrating and giving thanks on that day.  Elder McKinney purchased and barbecued our first real steak and even made the broccoli-cauliflower salad he really likes.  With some mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls, we really enjoyed our dinner and hoped that all our you enjoyed your families and remembering the things you are thankful for.

We have so many blessings. We are grateful to be here and serving in the Prudentópolis Branch.

We used the 1st Sunday in a joint second hour meeting of RS, Mutual, and Priesthood to present the new "Minha Família" genealogy booklets out to the members. Elder McKinney had received a letter from the area presidency asking for them to be presented on the last week in November but we didn't receive them until 2 days before.  He made the presentation using his own booklet with his family line and the pictures we printed of each of his ancestors.  I was able to keep all of the primary children.  We had an introduction to the Christmas season by viewing the children's films of the Angel Gabriel speaking to Mary & Joseph, then speaking to the shepherds, the nativity, the Wisemen meeting with Herod and later the Christ child, presenting the child at the temple, then finally the warning to Joseph to flee with the family to Egypt.  The children were fascinated. We also talked about the prophecies of Christ's birth and colored a picture page of five of the ancient prophets and their scripture reference about the coming of Christ.
The presidency signed the booklets - Merry Christmas 2013

The Elders helped ups pass out the invitations.

At ward council meeting we also planned to have our Christmas Party.  Renato suggested we give the families "3 Simple Ways to Become a Happier Family" pamphlets. So, the presidency signed them and give them instead of Christmas cards. Our celebration was attended by 60 people on the upper level of Mr. Gordon's pizza which he graciously let us decorate and use solely for us.  We sang Christmas songs, ate, watched Mundo Feliz  on the big screen TV, and visited for several hours.  Mr. Gordon's serves about 160 different types of pizza that you have never even heard of in the states.  Everyone could order what they wanted and we all finished with the three different types of chocolate-dessert pizza.
Most of the kids sat on this table. The folder is the menu.

The adults are on this end while the youth gathered
down the line.

Those kids are soooo cute! 
Visiting after it is all over.

The following week we had to catch the 6:00 a.m. bus to Guarapuava for our Zone Meeting. This is what we saw on the street as we walked our mile to the bus stop.

The tree is recycled pop bottles.

We love the new sidewalk--it was all torn
up last year when we arrived.

The São João Catholic Church is on the rua named after it. Note the palms

Araucaria trees and palms in the darkness of the church square - Why do they decorate for cold climates when theirs
is much more authentic to the real day of Christ's birth?
More about our holiday preparation in the next blog!

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