Wow, what happened to last year, it seems like it was only 365 days or 52 weeks since the last one! 2016 is gone and dusted (literally) and we launch into 2017. We have been in Perú for a full calendar year now. We have had our second Christmas, with carol singing, and had another a noisy and explosive second New Year’s Eve. We have just completed 12 months in our calling at the Lima Missionary Training Centre. So, many things seem like “traditions” now that we have done them twice.
What this all means is that most of the things this year for which we are most grateful occurred in our absence. Of the most significance were the birth of our youngest grandchild Flynn and our daughter Marley’s engagement and wedding to Angus (for which we were blessed to be in attendance). On a sadder note was the passing of Lesley’s mother Marian, but we were grateful that she did not linger and suffer and that we were able to be in Adelaide for the funeral together with the family. Later that same week we celebrated the new addition to our family of a son-in-law.
We have been both busy and quiet since we last wrote. The week before Christmas was very eventful. We attended a Christmas dinner for the missionaries in the Lima Central Mission (as we did last year-yet another tradition) and it was good to catch up with some missionaries we hadn’t seen for 12 months.
On Christmas Eve we had the “traditional” carol singing by the senior missionaries around our neighbourhood. We started at the MTC as the missionaries were lining up for dinner in the cafeteria, then headed around the streets. Much the same as last year the people greeted us with warm smiles and friendly waves. We gave the children small bags of candy (oops, did we use the “candy” word? We must be infected by North Americanisms!!). We finished at one missionary couple’s apartment. But, whilst the rest of them settled into their hot chocolate to ward off the chill of the snow (in their imagination only because it is summer and the weather has already started heating up with increasing humidity), we headed back to the MTC.
Lesley was in charge of carol singing and scripture reading of the Christmas story for the 120 missionaries, all of whom sang in the choir. All, that is except for four who couldn’t help themselves and were soon joining in with the choir items. It was a good night and we felt the true Spirit of Christmas.
We were back to the MTC early the next morning, Christmas morning, Sunday morning, to be present throughout the day for church services in the morning, classes to teach, and phone calls home to supervise. All of the missionaries called home for 30 minutes using the internet on the computers in the classrooms, with 40 at a time. That would have been easy if they only had one call, but some had to call different parents in different locations, or grandparents who raised them, or there was no answer, or the phone at the other end didn’t work properly, or the dog ate their homework (not sure why that’s in there). Anyway, it all worked out and there were many excited and some tearful missionaries as they said hello and then goodbye again.
Fortunately last week was fairly quiet, since, much like at home in Australia, many have a summer break between Christmas and New Year. Although we did have enough to do to keep us occupied.
Last night we rang in the New Year, with more fireworks exploding from our own apartment building rood and across the sky-line of Lima. We look forward to what 2017 will bring.