Sunday, December 30, 2012

Special Birthday

We found out that Erica Raveau's birthday is December 29 so we celebrated our birthday together.  We ate pizza and played some games.  Xavier made tiramisu and it was one of the best birthday cakes I have ever had.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

 On Christmas Eve, Brother and Sister Garcia invited the missionaries and some other branch members for dinner and games.  The Garcia's are from Ecuador but have been in Italy for about nine years.  They have three daughters in Ecuador and two daughters in Italy.  Sister Garcia is serving up the turkey while Anziano Smith patiently waits for his plate.
These are the Garcia's sons-in-law, Paolo and Stefano.  Paolo's wife, Maria, was not at the party because  she was at the hospital with her baby, Francesco, born that morning at 9:30 am.
 Anziano D'Addabbo and Brother Garcia.
 Daniela is the Garcia's daughter and is married to Stefano.
 Babbo Natale gave out gifts to everyone including Brother Garcia.
 Sorella Jefferies had been especially good all year.  After we ate delicious food we played some fun games.

Then on Christmas Day Brother and Sister Rossi invited the missionaries and some members from the branch to dinner.

 Brother Rossi is the cook for Christmas dinner.  He made tortelli which is similar to ravioli.  The little pasta squares are stuffed with pumpkin, potatoes and cheese and a ragu sauce is put on top.  It was all homemade from scratch.  Wow, this stuff is good!
 There was turkey, homemade bread, peas and carrots and here is Brother Rossi with fried potatoes.  Then there was fruit and cake for dessert.  It took about three hours to eat all the courses. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas in Forli

On Saturday, December 22, we went to downtown Forli in the afternoon to watch the community put on a huge production of the story of Christ's birth.  We got some pictures of the event.
 Joseph and Mary walking to Bethlehem.
 The shepherds in the fields.
 The angels announce the birth of Christ.  The little guy in the lower middle of the picture looking straight ahead is Giovanni.  We live close to his family and they are good friends of ours.
 The three Wise Men.

In the evening of the same day we had our branch Christmas party.
 Deanne put together the costumes for the Nativity.
 Brother and Sister Garcia sang Silent Night in Spanish and Italian.
 The kids decorated a Christmas tree and Babbo Natale visited.
 Even some of the older children sat on Santa's lap.  You can guess who Santa was.
 Of course there was lots of good food.
This nativity cake was the highlight of the refreshments.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


We would like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas.  While we miss being with friends and family this year, we know that we are where we need to be.  We are so blessed to be with our Italian friends and enjoying their holiday traditions with them.   No matter where you are in the world, the message of the season is that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gave us the gift of His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

YSA Activity in Forli

 We all enjoyed a pot luck dinner.
 After the meal we played charades, pictionary and this game which involved two scarves.  Deanne and Angelo won the pictionary game and Miriam and Marco won the scarf game.

We hosted a Young Single Adult activity at our apartment.  We had two from Rimini and three from Forli for dinner and games and a spiritual thought to end the evening.  Left to right:  Marco, Angelo, Anziano and Sorella Jefferies, Arielle, Miriam and Mila.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Valentino's Birthday Party

 These three brothers are members of the Forli Branch.  Maurizio is 13 and the only deacon in the Branch.  Michael is 11 years old.  And Valentino recently turned 7.  Deanne and I went to visit him on his birthday and gave him some gifts.  Maurizio and Michael were baptized last April and Valentino will be baptized in a year when he turns eight.  They are really good boys and we have lots of fun with them.  They like to try out their English on Deanne.
 Then a couple of weeks later after church, Valentino's family invited us and some other members of the Branch to their house for his party.  The table was full of good food.
 While we ate and visited,
 his step-sister, Mila, and his step- mother prepared the cake and goodies.  Mila is a young single adult in our Branch.  She served a mission in the Italy Rome Mission.
 Valentino blew out the candle on his cake and we all sang happy birthday in Italian and English.
Michael and Valentino had fun playing with balloons.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Couples Meeting in Milano

All of the couples of the Italy Milan Mission got together yesterday for a meeting.  After the meeting we had a meal together and then visited and got to know each other better.  This morning we all went shopping at this huge indoor "open" market that had food and merchandise from all over the world.

 Before the meeting, Deanne checked out Prada . . .
 Louis Vuitton . . .
 Gucci . . .
 and Versace.
 While she shopped, I checked out Sicilian pastries . . .
 and handmade chocolates.
 This was our delicious meal with the Mission President and his wife and the senior couples.
 The couples ready for shopping.
 In the German area with a band behind us.
 The band was very entertaining while we ate German food.
We bought these stacking dolls in the Russian area.