Today is Christmas - or at least the Sydney North Mission Christmas gathering for the young and not so young missionaries. The meeting is held at the Hebersham meeting house which apparently is one of the larger buildings in the mission area.
About 170 young missionaries and 40 senior missionaries converged on Hebersham. We had to leave our flat at 6:45 am to catch a train from museum to central and then another train to Mt Druitt, and then a bus from the train station to the meetinghouse. We arrived at about 8:50.
The meeting started at 9 am
We held a short meeting and then moved to the cultural hall for some games to get the wiggles out. There were 4-5 stations and Margaret and I supervised the "suck it up" game. The missionaries had to move M7Ms from 1 bowl to another using a straw. The straw was in their mouth and they could not use their hands, so they had to "suck up" the M&M onto the straw and then move it to the other bowl.
We received instruction from President Checketts about Christmas, and what it is all about. There are two G's of Christmas - Giving and Gratitude.
We were also reminded that (per President Hinckley) - without Easter there would be no Christmas. That gives one something to think about.
After our training meeting we were fed - ham, turkey, taro root, kimchi, baked potatoes, salads, sweet/sour chicken&vegetables. We were stuffed by the time we finished all of the food we put on our plates.
The young missionaries then watched "finding Dory" and the senior missionaries cleaned up. We did leave the tables and chairs for the young missionaries put away.
We held a closing meeting which included some of the missionary districts singing hymns as their "talent"
We were dismissed at 5 pm and went out into the hot sun to wait for the bus to take us back to the train station (25 minute wait, but seemed like 2 hours). We made it home by 7 pm and turned on the a/c and rested in bed until it was time to go to sleep. A long day and we were exhausted. We did learn several things that Margaret took notes on and it was a fun day, a good day, a spiritually uplifting day.
m&m game. move the M&Ms from one bowl to the other using only a straw. You have to "suck up" the M&M to move it.
A little help from his friend
the group watching some of the M&M movers
Getting assembled for our North Sydney Mission picture
Oh boy, time to chow down. The line of food was nice and long. Sister Checketts tried to have food from each country/region so everyone had a bit of taste from home
Assembled before or after dinner
One of the talent show groups held after dinner