Monday, 25 January 2010
We were invited to come along and bowl with the younger missionaries. We felt that we may have been the entertainment value!! It was great fun and very good value . Elders Baker and Harris decided to do under leg bowling, I am sorry I don't have a picture, it really was a sight to see.
We love Elder and Sister Fairbanks, we are so happy that they are here with us. They are in the top right hand picture. Elder Rimmel is demonstrating a very greek gesture. It usually means " I don't know" They are a very strong group of missionaries, we delight in spending time with them and are humbled by their dedication.
Monday, 18 January 2010
There was a wonderful spirit here in Thessaloniki. Sister Johnson tackled the same subject given by Elder Bell in Athens. There was a lot of participation, more role playing and some very good practical advice. I did some role playing with the sisters. Sister Longhurst was very patient as she was taught by myself and Sister Christenson. I was amazed at how much sister Christenson knew of the greek language, the three of us had such a glorious time together. Elder Middleton was a sparkling example as a teacher as he taught us about SYL. ( speak your language) His major point was that we needed to open our mouths. We did some more role playing which helps us gain confidence.
Monday, 11 January 2010
We spent the day with President and Sister Taylor and Elder and Sister Johnson. We visited an olive farm 250 kilometres from Athens. It was fascinating to watch the process of preparing the olives to the point were the oil is ready for those amazing greek salads, that we can now all prepare and love to eat!
While the brethren were in a General Priesthood Meeting we sisters gathered together to do some planning. We sorted out assignments for the Auxilliary Training meeting at the end of the month. We will post pictures of that, we are so excited. Sisters Tolonen, Lellei and Simmons helped us with language training and role playing. We were taught some simple phrases and made up scripts to practice. We feel that if we prepare in this way we can be effective tools in the work of the Lord. The lovely young woman with the ponytail is Sima a member of the Acropoli Branch.
We went to Palio Faliro for our meetings today. Sister Ollerton gave a wonderful lesson in Relief Society about our Heavenly Father. What a splendid way to spend a Sunday morning. It was potluck lunch afterwards, Elder Lauener made one of my favourite desserts, chocolate mousse. You can see it in the bottom right picture, it was delicious.
On Saturday the 9th . of January we had a meeting at the mission home. It was a time of reflection and expressions of gratitude. President and Sister Taylor, Elder and Sister Smith and Elder and Sister Johnson shared with us some of their thoughts and insights concerning their missions.We feel a great love for one another and are so glad that Heavenly Father brought us together.
Friday, 8 January 2010
On the way home from a meeting Sister Smith asked if we could make a detour to take a picture of this decorated boat. In Greece you will see many boats decorated in this way. In times past when fishing was the main trade ,and the men would be gone for long periods their return would be heralded by lighting up the boats. So this came to be a symbol of home. In some homes paper or wooden boats are made, and decorated with small colourful lamps and ornaments . They are usually placed by the outer door or by the fire, and the bow should always point to the interior of the house. These little boats symbolise a full load of riches reaching one's home.
Nancy a dear sister from the Halandri Branch recommended visiting the lake here. We enjoyed walking, skimming stones, just spending the time together was wonderful. On the way back found an ice cream shop , the man was quite passionate about serving the best ice cream made from the freshest ingredients. President Charles got to taste every flavour, it really was delicious.
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
What a wonderful way to start a New Year. Brother Athanasiou was baptised by Elder Gifford. He was so overwhelmed with the Spirit of the occasion, that he found it hard to express his feelings.
He said that when we he looked upon us he saw his brothers and sisters.
We had a lovely Christmas. Missionaries popped in to the mission home to share a bite to eat, and we enjoyed spending time with each other.
There was a division when it came to watching a movie. Upstairs we viewed Its a Wonderful Life, and downstairs that timeless classic Madagascar 2.
Christmas Eve Party for the Greece Athens Mission. It was wonderful to see everyone together. Santa brought gifts and we played the white elephant game and watched a movie. Sister Ollerton shared her gift of dance. It lasted less than five minutes, but in that time she took us to the shepherds on the hill,the heavens opening and finally to the manger.