Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas -- It came and went

We enjoyed our first and only Borneo Christmas.  We are so used to having family around, that we were a little sad, but not for too long.  This is a picture of our tree I forgot to put in with the last blog:
Not a mighty fir or pine, but a nice green plastic.  I found it in the top of the closet and it was already pre-decorated so I didn't have to spend a lot of time on it.  One big drawback -- it had no lights.  What's a tree without lights?  But we still enjoyed this little bit of Christmas.  In all the homes we visited during the Christmas season, and we probably went to about 15-20 homes, very very few of them had a tree at all.  Maybe only 3 or 4 had trees and they were all very small.  None of the trees or homes had gifts around them.  They might have had a Christmas picture of some sort, but that was about all.  We surely are spoiled when it comes to Christmas in the US.  Over here, they do seem to understand the meaning of Christmas and enjoy the great gift that was given to them by their heavenly father.  It was a good wake-up call for me.

On Christmas eve Sis. Karen, a recent convert, invited us over to her apartment for her grandson's 9th birthday.  She said it would start at 7, but in true Malay time, it started at 8:15.  She had lots of food but the highlight of the meal was this:
Yep, a whole roasted pig was brought in.  It was a real porker.  Everyone just kinda stabbed away at it and took pieces to eat.  I thought they would have so much left over, but they didn't.  The whole pig was gone by the time the night was over, so I heard.  We left about 8:45 so we could ready for Christmas morning with the missionaries.

This missionaries came over around 10 am to start skyping with their families.  When you have 10 missionaries who all want to skype and a limited window of time due to the time difference, it can make for an interesting morning.  Here we are all ready for brunch:
Front row l to r:  Sis.Nielsen, Sis. Cabella, Sis. Christiansen.  Middle row:  Elder Parker, Jo Greenwell, Sis. Read, Elder Read.  Back row:  Elder Taddeus, Elder Scheutz, Elder Gottfredsen, Elder Griffin and Elder Glad.  Sis. Parker, Sis. Nielsen's companion was taking the picture.  Jo Greenwell is a member from Perth, Australia.  She owns a condo in the same apartment complex as the elders and sisters.  She is in her late 70's or early 80's, a widow, and comes to KK every Christmas to spend the holidays here.  She was going to be all alone Christmas day, so I invited her to come and spend the day with us.  She has 5 children of her own in Australia, but comes here every year by herself.
Enjoying the Christmas morning brunch. Two of the missionaries were skyping when this picture was taken.

The KK2 branch had Christmas party on Christmas day at 2 in the afternoon.  I'd never heard of a church party on Christmas day before, but off we all went, elders, sisters and Sis. Jo.
All the missionaries had to sing a couple of Christmas songs.  Everyone was supposed to come dressed in red shirts or blouses or dresses.
Of course, what's a Christmas party without Santa.  That is Elder Taddeus playing the part.  Who knew Santa traveled the night in a white shirt and tie?  He made a great Santa and all the little kids loved him.  We played games, sang, had a drawing for prizes and, of course, ate.  It turned out to be a really nice party and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Christmas was a great day for us.  And we hope it was the same for you and yours.  Be sure and tell everyone in your families how much you love them and how grateful you are for them and that you can spend Christmas with them.  Remember, Christmas isn't about the presents, but about the gift.  Love to All  E/S Read


  1. I love you guys, I'm glad you had a great Christmas. We miss you a lot, it just wasn't the same this year. we love you!

  2. I love you guys, I'm glad you had a great Christmas. We miss you a lot, it just wasn't the same this year. we love you!

  3. I love you guys, I'm glad you had a great Christmas. We miss you a lot, it just wasn't the same this year. we love you!

  4. We missed you on Christmas and I'm realizing New Year's Day just won't be the same either without Margaret's chili and her game house. I talked with the couple missionary who just got home in our ward yesterday and they looked back on their Christmas in Philippines with happiness, and now have a new appreciation for this season as do you. We are definitely spoiled here. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure the elders and sisters were so grateful you were there and made a nice Christmas while they were away also. Thanks for your service. We love you,
    Rich Family

  5. We missed you guys a lot! The holidays just weren't quite the same. We're so glad that you guys are doing what you are doing!