Our Christmas Day dawned sunny and bright! The only hiccup was that we were up long before dawn. Working with the time zones between Bulgaria and those that we love requires drastic measures at times; sacrifices that we are more than willing to make! Sleep is overrated, right? This is the second Christmas we are away from home and we miss our family dearly.
Being so far from home and loved ones makes Skype our best friend. It is so wonderful to be able to see grandchildren open the gifts we sent and watch Aylish plaster stickers all over her new sticker book as well as herself; and so sweet when she wants to take the doll we sent to bed. If she were to never look at it again she has made our hearts warm with her initial reaction. Talking to the older ones makes being far from them much easier. We are able to see how they are growing and changing and listen to the thoughts that they want to share.
We are not complaining about our lack of a white Christmas this year since snowy roads would make travel to and from our dinner appointment more difficult. But on Skype we can see snow falling, making Utah a winter wonderland. Watching the snow fall was even better knowing that we do not have to experience the cold and ice.
Washington was experiencing ‘Seattle Snow’, falling on the ground and splashing window sills, as we talked with family there. Once again it was priceless to watch grandchildren’s joy with the trinkets that we sent. Vince may enjoy the tricky ball that we chose almost as much as I did before I mailed it. It was delightful watching the Covington gang show off their Christmas treasures.
Due to circumstances beyond our control not everyone was able to see us on line, but we were able to hear from everyone expressing joy and love at this special time of year. Our Christmas wishes were granted.
For dinner we were treated by an American family who is here with the US Embassy. They are very kind and generous with all of the missionaries. After a delicious meal and a gift exchange game everyone left with large gift bags of gaily wrapped American food items to bring a little bit of home. Among our treats were Pam, Bisquick, Jello pudding mixes, Blue corn chips and salsa, canned crab meat and crab cake mix and sausage gravy mix – just to name a few.
Although far from cherished family members we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas season! As Jeffrey R Holland said as ‘we keep our faith, look for the good, do something kind for someone, and seek Christ devoid of wrapping and tinsel, we find that despite external circumstances, Christmas—like the kingdom of God is “within us.” We are looking forward to the New Year and the opportunities that it brings! May God bless you all!
Love, Elder and Sister Segeberg