AT THE JOHANNESBURG TEMPLE WITH ELDER JOHN HUNTSMAN - PHILLIP AND JENNIFER'S YOUNGER BROTHER WHO IS SERVING HIS MISSION HERE
Merry Christmas From Africa. We celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ today. We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Years.
We are grateful for the love and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are thrilled to be serving our mission at this time. We know that this is where we should be.
We miss family and friends this year, but know that we are doing the Lord's work.
ELDER AND SISTER WEBB, FROM LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON - OUR HOSTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
We are still refugees in South Africa. Our refugee camp is not all that bad. We are being housed and hosted by the Africa Southeast Area. We are staying in a very nice flat across the street from a nice mall with many nice restaurants and grocery stores - and a movie theater. All things we do not have in the DR Congo. The new Mission Impossible is playing at the theater. I really wanted to see it, but questioned if it would be appropriate as a missionary. Then, our mission president told us that they had just seen it at the recommendation of the area president (a member of the 1st Quorum of Seventy), so we saw it also.
We miss the DR Congo and the people. We hope to return on Wednesday.
If you are following the news, you know that the presidential elections did not go smoothly. The incumbent was announced the winner, ratified by the supreme court, and sworn in. The opposition has dis-avoid the legitimacy of the election, and sworn himself in as president. So, now the country has two presidents, both claiming victory. It is a little tense in the DR Congo right now. We stay in close touch with the Embassy, the news, and with our associates and church leaders there to know what to do. At present, we will try to fly back on Wed., but will have to monitor what is going on on Monday, after the Christmas holiday.
While, here in Johannesburg, we have had the occasion to visit the Temple.
Also, we have seen some South African sites. Our friends, Norris and Carol Webb, from Lake Oswego, Oregon, have been our hosts. They are also Perpetual Education Missionaries, so we have been going into the office with them and working.
We have visited a game reserve, an African Cultural Center, African War Museum, and other sites of interest.
We call South Africa, Africa-lite, as it is more European than African. (the locals don't like that we say that). It is a very modern city with many points of interest. It seems funny to drive on a road that actually has pavement on it. We live not far from the Zoo, and walk mornings around the outsides of the Zoo. (It also seems strange to be able to actually walk around the city with out fear).
Oh, by the way, it is 80 degrees here. Christmas has been a little different this year. Being refugees, we have not decorated or anything. Saturday, the senior missionaries who work in the area offices (about 40 couples) held a pot-luck brunch. It was good. Then in the evening the four couples from DR Congo got together for pizza and Christmas eve time. This morning we went to Church and then this afternoon, the mission president and his wife will host us to a turkey and ham dinner (not a lot of turkey and ham int he DRC), so that will be nice.
Suzanne is in the kitchen making her famous and delicious rolls for the dinner.
We wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a most HAPPY NEW YEAR