Thursday, February 10, 2022

2021 November: Christmas Carols and Wax Figurines

We have been home now for nearly two months and I am still working on putting photos into my blog posts.  I will be finished at some point.

At November zone conferences, Elder Torrie helped missionaries learn Swedish Christmas carols to sing in various locations in December as a service project.  What better way to share the joy of Christmas than to go Christmas carolling!!  

Below are short videos I think you will enjoy.  Missionaries are very fun people and I think you will agree when you watch these videos.  (See especially the 3rd one).  You can watch more videos of missionaries singing on my youtube channel:

At the end are photos of the fabulous Norwegian singer, Sissel, and some amazing wax sculptures that missionaries made from the wax from Babybel cheese balls.  Who knew?!  You have to see them to believe them!

Above: Beautiful Swedish Christmas carol!!  Do you know how hard it is to lead a song in Swedish when you don't know Swedish?  Good job, Elder Torrie.  Elder Lyons is accompanying.

Above: Another beautiful Swedish Christmas carol.  Good thing there were a couple of native Swedes among the missionaries.  Very helpful!
Above: The missionaries absolutely loved this a capella carol.  So fun!!  Lots of finger snapping and missionaries dancing!

Above: This is not a Christmas carol but LeRon and I really like it.  Elder Sherwood, who served in the SSM 2018-2020 and with whom we worked in the mission office in January 2020, translated this English song, I Will be what I Believe into Swedish.  This was a new song to some of these missionaries.  Elder Torrie is on the piano.

I have a really hard time with Swedish pronunciation, but if you can believe it, I sang this song with Syster Owens and Syster Brighton, and with Elders Brown, Gilbert, Hancock, and LaRose as a special number in sacrament meeting in December 2021.  I found it easier to lip-read Elder Hancock than to read the words from the music!  So fun!
President Davis met Norwegian singer, Sissel, in the Copenhagen airport.  He sent me this picture, asking me to guess who he met at the airport.  I didn't have a clue.  But LeRon immediately said, "That's Sissel."  President Davis had recognized her immediately too.  How in the world they could tell, I don't know.  I rarely recognize people who are wearing masks.  President Davis was thrilled to visit with her and found her warm and friendly.

LeRon and I were so thrilled to attend a Sissel concert!  We have loved her music for years.  She has such a clear, sweet voice.

Sissel sings everything from pop music, to folk, to classical, to opera.  She has a diverse repertoire and range.  So great to see her in person.  She sang in Norwegian, Swedish, English, and probably other languages.  Europeans are so linguistically diverse.  They put us westerners to shame.

Sissel will be 53 this year.  Her voice is still as fabulous as ever.

We went to the Sissel concert with our good friends, Per (pronounced pair) and his wife, Elsa, and Helene.  Per had had an accident on his electric skateboard and was on crutches.  He's waving his crutches behind Helene, thereby hiding his wife (with the crutch). 

Before the concert, we went to dinner with our friends.  Here we are: LeRon, Helene, Colleen, Elsa, and Per.  Such great people to associate with.  Helene is undergoing cancer treatments and is such a good example of someone with a positive mental attitude and a love of life.  Per is a cancer researcher, so they had a lot to discuss.

Sing-along and treats time with Elder LaRose, LeRon & Colleen, Syster Capener, Syster Johnson, Elder Hancock, Elder Brown, and Elder Gilbert.  Our tiny apartment gets awfully crowded at times.

I have unofficially adopted these lovely ladies -- Tamara and Helene.

Here we are with Marko, Helene, and Tamara.  They are unofficial members of the Torrie family.

We celebrated American Thanksgiving at the Mission Home.  You should have seen the food!  Must have been 20 dishes.  Americans really go all out for Thanksgiving.  At this table, going clockwise, starting at the front left are Elder Gilbert, Elder LaRose, Elder Hancock, Elder Brown, Syster Wilhite, Elder Wilhite, Syster Johnson, Syster Capener, Syster Torrie, and Elder Torrie.  The other table held President & Syster Davis and the other seniors -- the Johnsons, the Moleffs, the Rackers, the Cowgurs, the Lakes, and the McCauleys.

Look at all the candles for sale!!  Swedes love their candles, and especially at Christmas time.

Now for the wax sculptures. . . .  Elder Hancock is creating a tractor and is modeling it after Elder Torrie's John Deere tractor.

Elder LaRose, Syster Johnson, and Syster Capener are busy working on their sculptures.  Who knew you could make things out of the wax of Babybel cheese balls?

Here's one side of the finished tractor . . . 

And the other side.  Good job, Elder Hancock!

Click to enlarge to see all these amazing creations!

And another view . . . 

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