Saturday, November 28, 2015

28 November 2015

At the Mission Home with Reeders and Watsons.
Thanksgiving Day in Naga.
This has been a very nice week.

Lots of preparation for Thanksgiving day on Thursday and we were blessed to be able to spend the day with President and Sister Reeder and Elder and Sister Watson.  It was a delightful day with live BYU Basketball in the morning (for Elder Hoopes and Pres. Reeder) and a real Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and even pumpkin pie or blueberry pie and Real Jello out of Canada.

Cleanup after dinner.  

Thought for the week.

I am thankful for Thanksgiving day.  I/we try to be thankful all the time but the beauty of the holiday is that we come together usually as family and enjoy the time together.  Our daughter, Jennifer, did a Thanksgiving dinner at our home with 3 of her brothers in attendance with most of their families. The rest couldn't come because of other family commitments, and work.  
A beautiful table all ready for our Thanksgiving FEAST!
She told us that it was hard to get the turkey carved and a prayer said because everyone was "talking" to each other.  That was music to our ears!  We are so grateful that our children get together and enjoy talking to each other.  It is too bad that we so often wait for a holiday gathering to get together and talk.  I am grateful that Jennifer did the dinner and encouraged her brothers to come "home" especially since we couldn't be there. She has been keeping the Family (boys) together through 2 missions now. We know that it was a lot of work and expense for her but we are grateful that she wanted to do something for the brothers while we are away.
We are always grateful for our family and the blessings but there is something different at this time.  I think it is a special outpouring of the spirit during this holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving.  The Children of Israel were commanded to recognize and remember many holidays and associated feasts.  They religiously kept these holidays during the time of Jesus and many still do today.
We keep this holiday because it is special to us and it does remind us of the Goodness of God and his great miracles in keeping and preserving us and our families each and every day.  For that I am truly grateful.

From Sister Hoopes regarding the gravy for Thanksgiving dinner at the Reeders. 

This poor little bird (a chicken) became Thanksgiving Gravy.  No, his head and beak are not in the pan, we are not that Filipino yet. But he did make some really good gravy and he is still giving.  Tomorrow will be another Thanksgiving dinner surprise.  Last Sunday Elder Beard asked Elder Hoopes (in the middle of Choir practice mind you), if he could ask a really dumb question.  Elder Hoopes said yes, and then he asked "Have I missed Thanksgiving?  Elder Hoopes replied No, but you will.  Thanksgiving is next Thursday."
Soooo, I concocted a plan. Unfortunately we have far too many missionaries to feed everyone so, I have arranged for our Bishop to have a missionary meeting at 3:00 on Sunday.  We happen to have 2 companionships in our ward, and each companionship has 1 american.  So when they meet with Bishop, he will have them accompany him to our apartment and they will be met with a surprise Thanksgiving Feast, as best as can be here in the Philippines.  
Sister Roberts and companion in for the New Missionary
training meeting on Tuesday.  Sister Roberts on the right is
from Provo.
So Sister Baird and Elder Beard will not miss Thanksgiving afterall.  They and their companions will be blessed with turkey, dressing, Candied sweet potatoes, potatoes and gravy, and Apple Pie and Ice cream.  Oh Yes, and a taste of Pumpkin Pie, because there were two pieces left from our Reeder Thanksgiving. Bishops family will also be joining us.  I don't know if they have ever had a Thanksgiving Dinner.  So, don't ruin the surprise!

Elder Wright from West Valley.  Also in for the New Missionary
training meeting.
The mission office fridge is amassing a lot of dishes covered in tin foil.  An astute Elder would be wondering where the frozen turkey went and what is undercover in the tin foil. But unfortunately, the Office Elders won't be getting anything this time.  But Wait, I made some practice Jello yesterday, with Filipino seaweed gelatine, and they got to eat the rest of the bowl full!  (After Elder Hoopes dumped his down the toilet).  But they assured me, they would eat my rejects anytime!

We had some leftover soup so Sister Hoopes invited these hungry missionaries up
for some soup and cheese cake.

Enough for this week.  Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  


  1. Dear Brother and Sister Hoopes, Thank your for thinking of us and posting pictures of our grandson this past week and for feeding him and the other new missionaries. Cheesecake...Yum! You are amazing!

  2. I love your thoughts on why we celebrate Thanksgiving. To us each holiday is a Holy Day and we try to keep them as such.
    You are doing so much good there (especially the thoughtful food preparation. So kind of you!)