Monday, December 30, 2013

We hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We also hope your Christmas was very Merry and awesome and you were all able to celebrate with your family!
We wish you very Happy New Year filled with blessings and happiness!

We are reminded each day of the many blessings we have and the amazing experience we are having here.  The beautiful South African people that we have come to love, and the Elders  . . . oooohhhhh the Elders!  The choir we are in, the investigators we are helping to teach, the less actives we are trying to help renew their blessings of living the gospel, and also the new members who are striving so diligently to live the gospel! 

We miss you all and our family!  It's a good thing that we can Skype our kids and grandkids every single Sunday and we are still able to see them grow and change.  We have been here for 1 year now, and all our grandkids are a year older. Even little Kate is now 1 year old!

Part of November was filled with an incredible visit from some of our wonderful friends from St. George.  We then had  a missionary couples conference the week of Thanksgiving.  Here we are, with our friends, getting ready to do the Zip Line near Knysna, South Africa.

 We also went on a game drive and saw this female leopard.  It walked along within 10 feet of us.

We arrived back in Cape Town on the 23rd of November.  We all climbed Table Mountain on Monday morning.  This is a rigorous hike that took us 2 hours.  It's not for the weak or feeble!!  Table Mountain is a land mark for South Africa and is one of the new 7 wonders of the world.   Everyone who can, will climb it, when they come to South Africa.  It's on the right side of my head in this picture.

We spent the week at the Mission home with the other couples and President and Sister Wood.  We all pitched in and had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, with all the trimmings.   we spent some time learning and studying with President and Sister Wood.  They both know the scriptures very well!  All the couples shared wonderful experiences and tough times as well!  If was an uplifting week!

Then we returned home to East London to take care of things here.  We were missed by the Elders, and we had a lot to catch up on.

We decorated our flat for Christmas as you can see in the picture below - yep - that's it! This is extent of our Christmas decorations and it all sits on our kitchen table!

We had a car wash workshop and BBQ for the Elders in Mdantsane and East Londaon Zones.  They all brought their cars and we taught them all how to keep a car clean and how to wash it.  They all did very well!  Not sure how long their cars will remain clean, but they sure looked good when they left!  This is East London Zone - Denise and Dave can you see Elder Potter - 5th one from the right in the grey shirt.

We also began planning for our Christmas Zone Conference.  It a conference for all 3 of our Zones, East London, Mdantsane and Queenstown.  The Conference is from 9 in the morning till 8 in the evening, and the Elders look so forward to this Christmas zone conference.  Ours, with our 3 zones was on the 17th of December, we had teachings from the Assistants, President and Sister Wood, and we were also asked to share with the Elders our experience with the Living Christ and the invitation to memorize it.  We actually toured the whole mission that week with President and Sister Wood inviting every Elder in the mission to memorize the Living Christ.

We just heard from the AP's and they told us that they are almost done!  This was an unforgettable experience!

Here are pictures of our meals.  We did a snack for breakfast, and a lunch and a dinner.  It was a BIG day for us!  Then we set out the next day to tour the rest of the mission.

This is our car - loaded to the hilt!

This is our snack - a water, banana, in the green sack are a huge muffin, granola bar and a little pack of skittles!

  This is the table with the gift bag that we prepared for each Elder - notice the candy kisses scattered on the table - We sisters can't give the Elders a hug but I can give them a kiss!

The meal was roast beef, potatoes and gravy, beans and corn, homemade rolls, 3 layer jello, (that was so fun to make and the elders loved it!), for deseret we had a brownie with a scoop of ice cream and homemade hot fudge, with a candy cane stuck in it!

We had a great time planning and preparing it.  We had 3 other couples that helped us!  One couple made cookies for the gift bags and homemade hot fudge, one couple did amazing potatoes and the 3rd one made rolls.  The Elders loved it all and were very appreciative.

The evening meal was Pizza and ice cream bars, by then they weren't even hungry - well . . maybe . .

After we were done with that, we left East London to complete the rest of the Zones in the mission.  However, we did not have to do the meals for the other Zone Conferences!  We just gave them the Living Christ and invited them to memorize it!

After visiting each Zone in the mission we took a day off and climbed Lion's Head with President and Sister Wood!  Another great hike in Cape Town South Africa.  These are not the most appealing photos so look at the view and not the old people!

We also had a Thank you dinner for the YSA Choir - we did a concert for our friends and the Choir put in many hours preparing for the concert so we thanked them with a dinner.  That's one thing about YSA, they love to eat!

Christmas Day we had an open house for the Elders.  Of course food . . . and they were able to Skype their family.  We had about 20 of them at our home.  It was a fun day.

After they left we were able to Skype our kids and grandkids!  It was fun to see them on Skype and see their excitement of Christmas!

One of the most memorable and exciting thing about this Christmas are the SMS (Texts) we receive from the Elders as they tell us about their experiences of memorizing "The Living Christ".  They share with us how it makes them feel, how it has change their life and how it changes the way they look at the Savior and how it has changed how they look at Christmas.  It has also helped them as they teach the gospel to investigators.  They are working so hard and some of them are so fast at memorizing, yet some say "it is much harder than they thought but has been well worth it!"  It seems that every SMS we receive from them brings tears!

We thank you all for the support, love and prayers you send our way!  We love what we are doing and are having an amazing time doing it!

May the New Year bring blessings and hope to you and your family and may you, like us, have an increased appreciation for all the blessings that are bestowed upon each of us from our Heavenly Father each day!

Happy New Year and "Go Well"!
Elder and Sister Boyce

1 comment:

  1. I sure love you and Pres. Boyce!! year!!!!! Oh goodness. They are never going to let you leave.

    I can't imagine the number of lives you've touched. You two are wonderful!!!!

    Have a Happy New Year. Miss you.