HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Yay for 2014!! We hope that you all had the most wonderful year, and that the holiday's were fantastic.:)
I (Evie) am going to be writing the blog today, and I get to talk about all things Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and everything in between!!
Thanksgiving seems like such a long time ago, but we really had a super fun time. Here is a sketch my great grandpa fetzer made in 1934 on his mission:
Personally, I was really worried that I was going to be homesick during Thanksgiving, because this is one of our most family oriented holidays. In the morning (actually 2 days after Thanksgiving), we gathered with all the missionaries serving here in Prague, and had a Turkey Bowl game that had been anticipated and prepared for for weeks. One of our AP's had split up all companionships onto opposite teams, including the six of us McConkie's. The game started and although it was freezing, we laughed hard and a few people "accidentally" were tackled even though it was a flag football game. If you are not familiar with the missionary white handbook, there is a section in there that says that when playing sports and other games, missionaries are not to keep score in order to keep things light and fun, and not to be overly competitive. So, Hyrum and Wilson kept score secretly, and here is your winning Turkey Bowl Team.:)
And here is everyone else that played!
After a hard core game, we sent all the missionaries home to get cleaned up, and we kept preparing for our Thanksgiving dinner that all the missionaries would be attending.
My Mom made photo nametags for each place at the table:
We welcomed all the missionaries into our home, and it was just like having a big family dinner with turkey and pie and the whole sha-bang. Everyone brought foods to share. One of my favorite parts of the night was when we all went around the table and said one thing that we were grateful for, and the answers ranged from the guidance of their companion, to the basketball hoop now in the back parking lot.
We had a nice dinner the Sunday after Thanksgiving, hosted by some sweet friends from our branch.
Anyway, we also had a missionary transfer happen right after Thanksgiving, and we said hello to a bunch of brand new missionaries fresh out of the MTC.
We also said goodbye to some of the most amazing missionaries in our mission, who we will miss so much.We had all of the leaving Elders over to dinner, and then had a really powerful testimony meeting afterward.
This group going home included one of our AP's, Elder Sewell, who has been with us since the beginning of our whole adventure. On the day of his departure, our mom and Elder Peterson and Elder Sewell took us out of school so that we could say goodbye to him at the airport.
It was so, so sad saying goodbye to him, but we know he will do great things wherever he goes.:)
My mom just told me that I should stop writing such long sentences so that I 1. Don't bore you all too much and 2. Don't have my hand cramping up. Thanks Mom.
Hyrum's violin recital!!
Our Mom picking out the Christmas tree! She met a mountain man who sold her the tree, and she liked him so much that she went back and gave him a pass along card and chocolate!
TTIFD (The Tree Is From Denmark)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!75 years old!!!
Another birthday, this time celebrating Sister Munro, our senior sister missionary who works in the office. She turned 60, so we wrote a list of 60 things that we love about Sister Munro!!
OK. So, one of my most favorite parts of the month was having great visitors come to visit us. This included Stewart(dad's old counselor in the bishopbric) and Andrew Gray, along with Stewarts parents, who flew all the way from Salt Lake to see us.
The boys had a fun friend to play with...
...And so did my mom and I (those are my gloves).
Thanks for coming and making us laugh Grays!
Fun times at the foreign police. Three hours waiting for visa work to be done.
Hyrum's creative art project at school.
The most important things in his life.:)
And Georgie got to meet St. Nick!
OH CHRISTMAS TREE
OH CHRISTMAS TREE
Traveling across the street to go see the live Christmas carp in the middle of the city. Trying to learn about Czech traditions.:)
A walk to the castle.
I'm going to start writing more now. I don't care if my hand cramps up. This cute creation was a gift from Sister Rosenvall and Sister Smith, two sisters serving here in Prague. They made it and gave it to us on Christmas Eve, and I just can't get over the adorable m & m's roof and sprinkle chimney! So cute!
Who knew that mistletoe was a parasite? It grows like crazy here, all over trees and they look like oversized oranges.
Speaking of fruit, this is Hyrum and George killing time in the airport, throwing a clementine back and forth.
Yay for Grandparents! Grandmother and Granddad arrived in Prague and we LOVED having them here!
We got to tour them around the city, and it was so much fun showing them all of our favorite places.:)
Reading Christmas stories.
And making dessert!
One of the best parts of having them here, was that they took us kids on a three day trip to Vienna!! This is all of us on our 5 hour train ride.
This was taken for Anna Jenkins, one of George's most favorite cousins living in Utah.
Love you Anna!
Back in Prague, working on a puzzle from the Jenkins
On the tram!
Eating lunch at the home of some wonderful members of the Prague branch.
Feeling the Christmas spirit...
...In our own special way.
My Granddad and I have study sessions every week over factime, but this week we got to do it together in the same room!
Something I am very proud of, are these little tarts crafted by my grandmother and I for Christmas Eve dinner.:)
Reading more Christmas stories.
Feeling crafty as usual, I made each sister companionship a fabric banner to hang in their apartment.
This is us enjoying the splendors of czech cuisine.
This was our missionary conference where we had a talent show, a slideshow of the year, and talks given on the nativity story from dad, mom, granddad, and grandmother.
And the fantastic four of us got to pass out packages to each missionary depending on what zone they were in.:)
I know that this has become severely out of order, but I am back to Christmas Eve. These are the place settings.:)
Are here is us toasting Merry Christmas!!
One of our very talented missionaries, Sister Roubicek, played for us a song that she wrote on the guitar, and her voice is absolutely lovely!
AHH CHRISTMAS MORNING
Just for a minute, I was booted out of the favorite child seat when Wilson gave our mom and dad a slideshow that he had spent weeks working on. It included pictures that spanned all the way back 6 months, when we first got here.:) It made them cry really hard. In a good way.:)
Hyrum's democrat donkey gift for Granddad and Grandmother
Thanks for the mini basketball hoop grandmother!
And Christmas afternoon.:)
Walking through the park.
I want to see who can get their eyes that big and their mouth that wide at the same time.
James Wilson McConkie the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
Such a pretty Christmas.
This is awesome Elder Guymon, who had his own little private farewell dinner and testimony meeting!
While we were in Vienna, our parents travelled around to different spots in the mission, where they got to talk and be with some of the other missionaries and church members!
Hey! I took this picture. A sneak peek of how deeply my parents get into a conversation(And how easy it is to eavesdrop).
P.S. Nice jeans dad. Live it up.
Playing at the castle near our house. Notice the sword and battle ax in hand, purchased conveniently at the gift store with Christmas money from grandma and grandpa springer!
The six of us just enjoying the 3 1/2 weeks off of school!
With Grandmother near charles bridge
Climbing baby statues outside the Kampa modern art museum.
What fun we have.:)
Which brings us to another flag football game, this time called the Santa bowl. People were out for REVENGE.
It was a tie this time (Not like we were keeping score or anything).
I don't know why, but somehow we didn't get very many pictures of New Years Eve. Everyone except for me stayed home and watched a movie and had a nice dinner, but I can't give many details because I wasn't there. I went over to the Sister missionaries apartment, where the 5 of us had so much fun! We had to be indoors pretty early, because the commotion around the city rises to its peak on New Years Eve. At midnight, we looked out the window, and there were dozens of spots around the city where fireworks were going off. People just kind of go for it here, and there are not many restrictions preventing you to just blow up fireworks at your hearts content. It was kind of pretty though, and the sky seemed to light up in the middle of the night.:)
Anywho, that was our December! Such a great time of the year, but now I just have school to look forward to tomorrow, and for life to go back to its same old schedule. Sad but true. I loved spending time with the missionaries and with my family, and this was such a memorable Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, that I know that I will never forget it!
Love you all!
The McConkie Clan
P.S. This is Laurel now, and I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you friends and family who we love so much. I think of you and pray for you. I hope you are feeling the love of the Lord every day! Thank you for your Christmas wishes and letters and love you have sent our way!
I have been amazed at the power and courage of our missionaries this month. They worked so hard during the week of Christmas and New years, visiting home after home, sharing the message of Christ and His teachings. They served in soup kitchens and visited elderly homes on Christmas day, and hospitals and care centers. On boxing day, the 26th, they stood in town squares all over these two countries and cheerfully sang Christmas songs. For James and for me, it has been an incredible Christmas season because of all the miracles and stories that the missionaries report to us day after day in texts and emails and calls. We love being part of their army for good. I am grateful to be here and love the Spirit I feel in this missionary service. All my love to you, Laurel