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Missionaries and Christmas

The missionaries came over for dinner at our house a couple of nights ago.  My oldest served a mission to Japan, so one of the missionaries was asking him about what it was like in Japan, what foods he ate, etc.  The other missionary was fairly quiet, which was completely understandable, as he is from Cambodia and still getting acquainted with English.  (He speaks very well, however, considering how new he is.)  He did laugh, though, when we pointed out that he will be having similar conversations when he returns to Cambodia:  "What strange things did you eat in the United States?" 

I don't know Cambodian cuisine, but I made a guess that rice and curry wouldn't be completely foreign to him, and served that.  Dessert, however, was probably a bit strange.  I found an idea for Snowmen Sundaes here, and thought it was a cute, quick dessert.  We used pretzel sticks instead of licorice for the arms, though..

The missionaries try to keep themselves busy and focused on the true meaning of Christmas during December, perhaps in part to help stave off homesickness.  The elder from Cambodia is primarily experiencing culture shock, though, I think.  He said that he converted to the church about 5 years ago, and his family is Buddhist, so he did not grow up celebrating Christmas.  He said he enjoys seeing the Christmas trees.

Moms of missionaries look forward to Christmas (and Mother's Day), because the missionaries are allowed to call home on those two days.  I loved hearing oldest son's voice, and loved hearing just how much he was enjoying his time of service. 

Service, love and Christmas just seem to go together, don't they?

Thankful thought:  Thanks to missionaries worldwide, who give their time in service to others.  Thanks also to those who are kind to them, regardless of whether or not they want to hear their message.

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