Saturday, November 28, 2009

My 2nd Thanksgiving in Riga

This one is of some of the kitchen help. Sister Gubler at the stove, Sister Humphrey turning toward the camera and Elder Carson reaching for something--probably crackers and cheese--he really enjoyed that.

A year ago, I arrived the afternoon before Thanksgiving. The next evening President & Sister Dance, the other senior missionaries and I went out to dinner (not turkey nor anything like an American Thanksgiving dinner) and then to the opera.

This year was quite different. The senior missionaries in Riga worked together to provide soup and bread/crackers/dessert for the missionaries serving in Riga and Imanta. Each district came at a designated time. The 3 couples, Sister Humphrey and I each made a pot of soup and we ended up having to made a 5th pot. They came hungry. It was so enjoyable to see them gathered together and to visit with them.
Aren't they a great-looking bunch of young people! Turns out it was Elder Hatch's birthday and his 2 companions (they are all 3 Assistants to the President since last transfer) made him a birthday cake and brought it for all to enjoy. I'm told it was delicious but, since it was chocolate, I have to take the word of others.
After we bid goodbye to the last group of Elders, we walked home, picked up the rolls I had made last Saturday (and put in the freezer) and the cranberries we made the night before, and caught a bus for the apartment of Mischa Brewer. She is the young LDS woman who works for the U.S. Embassy. She has a large apartment and had invited about 15 people for a traditional turkey dinner. Included was the new secretary to the new Ambassador and a Latvian couple (she is LDS), as well as the senior missionaries. It was a relaxing and enjoyable evening with lots of good food.
One of the items on the menu was new to me, but a tradition for some others. Homemade noodles, boiled in turkey broth (from the neck of the bird). It is served as a gravy over the potatoes. They were tasty but I don't think I will adopt that tradition.
Just over a year now in Riga and I have so very much for which to be thankful. I wondered why I was called to serve, at this time of my life, and in a foreign land, but I have seen the blessings of the Lord in great abundance. Mostly, I feel His love for me and have come to know why I needed to be here at this time.

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