Monday, December 22, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree

Dear Friends and Family,

This is the Christmas Letter! It's going to look like every other letter except we wish to refer you to our blog for a few pictures we have been collecting of the Philippine style Christmas trees and their creative bent! 

Road trips! Nearly to the top of the mission twice, and nearly to the bottom of the mission once. Quite a bit of driving around in the middle to boot. Deliveries! New missionaries and trainers, boatloads of Christmas packages, and setting apart six brand spanking new Elders and Sisters, then releasing one. It feels like the number of missionaries going out from the Olongapo Mission is rising! Two years down the road there will be a leadership explosion! It has certainly been going on all along to a good degree, but we have met the current outflow, and are excited for the missionary work they will do and the leadership they will provide when they come home! And we will still be here to see them! Wrap your head around that one...! I'm going to have to learn a few new Tagalog phrases in the next two years since I sort of told one I would be practically fluent by the time he came home. Joke lang. Magandang umaga po. (Spell checker is sending off alarms) 

Heading out: Elder Mongroban and soon to be Elder Villegas
Destination: Hong Kong and California

What will we do on Christmas Day? FaceTime. All of our children and grandchildren will be at our house in Lehi for Christmas Eve, which lines up perfectly with our Christmas morning!! It will be so fun to see every single one. This is at the top of the many good reasons Heavenly Father inspired great minds in technology! There will be a hospital visit to an Elder who's sickness timing is particularly unfortunate. He might get caroled. His neighbors might get caroled. We have some miniature candy canes to share with the neighbors, who may also get caroled. The Winters like to carol! We will be back up. Later, Christmas dinner with our senior couples and our Elders at the office.  I'm especially grateful that one of those senior couples is my amazing sister and her sweetheart, Elder and Sister Winters! The Gorringes, Whites, and Wrights have become like family, as have the Elders that do so much to keep our boat afloat. In other words, we plan to get through this first Christmas away with colors! And with any luck, they may even fly.

May your Christmas be full and happy, filled with the truest Spirit! Our gratitude for the Savior and the Plan of Happiness has quadrupled as we have engaged in new ways in His work. Testifying about and relying on the enabling power of the Atonement regularly has given new life to our own understanding and deepened our gratitude immeasurably. We have been so blessed!

We love you! Merry Christmas!

President and Sister Dahle 

Inside the lab... The 'weather' inside is frightful. 

At the window of the hospital lab

Emergency room. Please note the falling snow. 

At the beach