Winter TimeMy, my! When I look back at the last post I realize how long it's been and am amazed at how much time has passed. The holidays came and went and here we are in the middle of a bone-chilling Pennsylvania winter. Single digit temps are the norm and the windchill factor dropped us all the way down to a -22 a few days ago. The snow hasn't been deep yet---just three or four inches at a time, but it seems like every morning we wake up to a new snow fall.
The view from our front porch every morning.
Even the statues are looking frigid! BRrrrrrr...
The weather has definitely had an effect on the number of people who come and visit us at the site, so we have to be creative and find things to do to fill our time productively. The Church had an initiative called "Light the World". They asked people across the world to look for ways during the 25 days in December leading up to Christmas day to find ways to cheer, serve and bless others as the Savior would do if He were here....thus bringing light to the world.
The missionaries put our heads together and came up with a few ideas that we could do.
Here is our list:
One of the most enjoyable things on the list was to go caroling. We took cookies to our neighbors and to the mayor of Susquehanna. On another evening, we joined with the Methodist Church and loaded up a bus and went caroling at a care center and also visited some shut-ins. This gentleman served in WW II and was so grateful and delighted that we came.
Some homemade cranberry bread for our new friends.
All of the missionaries worked hard and made 20 knit beanies and 15 lovely fleece blankets that we took to Philadelphia and donated to a charity that helps clothe and house new refugees to the area. They were thrilled with our small offering and it warmed our hearts to be able to help.
Dean and I also put together some wreaths to place on the graves of Emma Smith's parents and Joseph and Emma's first child who are buried near the Visitor Center.
Christmas Eve found the Senior missionaries at our home after we attended a mass at the Catholic Church. We enjoyed a dinner together and then read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and sang some carols....reminding us of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on that night over 2000 years ago.
On Christmas morning we had a big breakfast with the young sister missionaries, Sister Spackman and Sister Carter and we all opened our gifts together. It made if feel almost like home to have their bright smiles and enthusiasm around our home.
We're so grateful for all those who remembered us and sent their love, gifts and good wishes to us during the holidays. We know we are truly blessed!