Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Weekend...

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Brian holding Lincoln Glenn

May Kelly giving her best "cheese"

Christmas Eve celebrations

The Choates came over on the 23rd for a pre-Christmas sleepover

May Kelly with Grandpa

It was a whirlwind weekend that started with a sleepover for the Choate kids on Friday night.  We watched Christmas movies like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf, etc. and had breakfast the next morning.  Mindy and Eric came over, Brian, Chloe, Rick and Kelsee and kids and we had our Christmas Eve lunch, then watched "A Christmas Story"-the one about the b-b gun, and then had our program.  Lucy Jo sang, "Gethsemane," we listened to Handel's "Messiah," read the story of the nativity in the scriptures and acted it out, then read, "Twas the Night..." and made Christmas sugar cookies. 

Brian has been working on getting May to like him...Lincoln already thinks he's great!

Yes, we did make an awesome (in my humble opinion) gift for Lincoln: The King of Red Lions. A month or two ago Rick came to Tim and said he would like make a cradle for Lincoln, something like the boat that Link uses in Wind Waker.

Rick used MicroSoft "paint" to make the design and bought all the wood for $5 at Habitat for Humanity. Tim had all the tools, and bought the paint, and so we got down to work on Thursday. We projected the pattern on the wall. Rick held the wood, and Tim traced the pattern with a sharpie. Then we brought in the tools, put down a tarp and started sawing! We got half of the pieces cut out and put together the boat and neck. 

On Saturday we hosted a Christmas eve dinner/lunch. Eric and Mindy and Spencer came over. Rick, Kelsee, May, and Lincoln came over. Rick and Tim assembled the rest of the pieces, sanded it, and put on a first coat of paint. 
Even though we didn't start until Thursday it was all done for Christmas! It helped that Rick had been thinking about it for weeks, and created a great pattern to follow. We have learned that when we're anxiously engaged in doing good, the Lord seems to help everything come together! It was a present for Lincoln, but the real gift was being able to spend so much time with my Rick this week. 

Christmas Day finally arrived...

The next morning Santa came, we went to church where Tim sang with the choir in a Christmas Cantata and then came home for more dinner and then got to talk with Todd.  We had so much fun visiting with him as a whole family.  It really was a terrific evening!  Talking to our missionary was the highlight of the whole evening...

Elder T. Stout and Elder J. Stout

We also got a neat letter to boot...

This week was crazy and miracle filled!! A lot of days only had one or two meetings until then, but the Lord consecrated those moments to be the best possible. All of our investigators made massive leaps in faith this week, and a bunch of potential investigators became progressing investigators!! 

I love that boat. Please send more pictures, it is so cool. 


And I love all of you!! This has been an amazing Christmas. I feel so incredibly blessed, and I feel all of your love, because it is so overflowingly powerful in the emails. I want you to know that I only cried because I love Luke, and I was so happy, I seriously love every day out here, and I am not lying when I say that. I love all of you, and especially my mom and dad. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Stout Christmas Party, Picking up Brian and Chloe from BYUI, May and Lincoln cuteness...

The annual Stout Christmas Party was at Rick and Shauna's this year and man alive, was it fun!!!

We had a yummy ham dinner, with a frozen berry, cream cheese, whipped cream, salad, funeral potatoes, spinach salad, veggie trays and an array of delicious desserts.  We played a super fun game with wrapped toys from the dollar store.  Some of the gifts had money in them.  Each person got to choose to either open a gift, or take someone's gift.  It was hilarious.  Then we had the nativity with Uncle David reading from the scriptures, we sang Allen's song, "Jesus, Lord at they birth."  And then we had a slide show of past Stout Christmas parties.   
It was fabulous!


Three wise men

We picked up May Kelly for the festivities and she loved it.  This is her cute face she makes when I proclaim, "say cheese!"

May is warming up and sat in Aunt Cindy's lap for quite awhile :)

Wendy made it this year.  She's had major struggles with her health for the past 14 months or so.

Fun to get together with cousins.

Our newly weds:  Brian and Chloe and Breanna and Preston

The hosts:  Rick and Shauna with Chelsey and Trevor

One of the gifts was a small ukelele

"Say cheese!"

Can't get enough of this little one...

Little Lincoln came over


He is 9 lbs. now and 21 inches long

We moved Brian and Chloe down to Lehi. They are staying in our basement, at least for a few weeks until they can find jobs and better housing. 

Friday we picked up Chloe's father's truck and trailer, and headed up to Idaho. It just happened that on Friday there was a winter storm warning, and it was dumping major snow as we started off on our trip! We were very blessed the whole way, but we saw four or five cars that had slid off the road on our way up, even one semi truck that had slid off the road and was stuck between the northbound and southbound lanes around Pocatello, ID. 

The hotel was fun. We all went swimming and then all soaked in the whirlpool, which was steamy hot! Felt heavenly. Then we went back to our hotel room and everyone got showers and got into our beds to watch a little TV. Funny thing was there was a weather channel program called "Roads through (H E double hockey sticks)" and there was a program all about how they tow semi truck out of the snow when they slide off the road--haha. There was also a fun Christmas show about the donkey that Mary rode on to Bethlehem.  His ears were too long and he was bullied by the other animals, but he ended up using his ears to wrap around Mary.  It was a darling show!

We were tired so we clicked off the TV at midnight, but before we did I noticed that Luke was already asleep--with a great big smile on his face! Such a cute kid! 

When we woke up Saturday morning the temperature said it was -10 degrees! And it was a frosty day! We literally had to run back into Brian and Chloe's apartment to try and thaw out our fingers and toes between moving boxes, because it took 1 min to start loosing the feeling in them! Even with gloves, coats, and hats, it was a very frosty day! 

The trip home was scary--we passed a bunch of accidents again. This time there was a black car on the right of the road that had completely flipped upside down. I hope the passengers were okay. The accident stopped traffic for a few miles. But then we got going again. And we saw the same semi truck still sitting there between the freeway lanes. Of course the driver had left it, and was probably getting help to get it towed back onto the road. 

It took Luke and Tim much longer than usual to get home because they had to go so slow with the trailer. But we felt blessed to arrive safely home. LaNae and Amy arrived around the same time (we left the car at Waterford and the van at the Chloe's house)--which is another story. Including Brian and Chloe's two cars, you could say we went up to get them in one vehicle, and returned to Lehi with five! 

Just before we left Rexburg, Brian, Chloe, and Amy ran to the top of the stadium and dropped a parachute--just for fun!  They have so many great memories of this place where they met each other...

Now on to their next adventure...BYU!

Letter this week from Elder T. Stout...

We have had a snow storm! One. REALLY big one. Me and Elder Stout stepped out of the Niigata Elders apartment after a split at 7:00 am (The train leaves earlier bound for Nagaoka) and we had to TREDGE through snow! Literally the night before, there was NO snow! It was way crazy. Since then though, all of the snow melted and it is actually around 10 degrees most days, which as Dad knows in Celsius isn't even really that cold. I don't know if it'll snow enough to have a white Christmas. Which is weird because last year there was literally meters of snow. I have pictures from Elder Law, my MTC companion who served here last winter.

Me and Elder Stout are still basically what you'd expect from our companionship. LEGENDARY. And by that, I mean that I think most other companionships think of us as the companionship with the best relationship. Elder Stout has literally been there for me in every single situation so far, and we haven't really had any moments where we get mad at each other. Sometimes we discuss how we would have liked something to go differently, but that's about as far as it gets into something someone might consider negative, but I think of it more as just progression. He is a great missionary!! 

We had a Christmas party in Nagaoka this week, and it was SO FUN! President Nagano and a bunch of missionaries came up and performed! It was so fun to see a bunch of missionaries I knew from before, and I was happy that I was able to communicate fairly well with all of the Japanese people there! Speaking of Christmas parties. Pray for me and Elder Stout.. We are performing this week at our Branch's Christmas party.. So.. That is gonna be interesting!

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