Sister Rounds

Sister Rounds
California Arcadia

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ring in 2016!!

What a year 2015 was! Most of it was spent in southern CA on a mission, and 2016 will top that! The ENTIRE year will be spent here. There is still so much more for me to learn and countless areas of growth for my life, I'm afraid. I'm sure Heavenly Father's plan for my life includes lots of discomfort and severe stretching. So let's stretch into 2016 and begin the building!

This year's pre-2016 began on New Year's Eve as I accompanied the missionary sisters to President Yen's home for hotpot. He has been recently released as counselor in the mission presidency, and what a kind pair he and his wife are! So hospitable and anxious to please.

Hotpot is a brewing soup base in the middle of the table on a burner that keeps it at a slow simmer as you add fish and various meat balls, dumplings, interesting vegetables, noodles, roots, and all kinds of stuff I didn't recognize and I'm sure I could not pronounce if I even knew what it was. Hotpots are a Chinese family traditional meal that invites harmony, as all eat out of the same pot, and it emits the feeling of warmth and homeyness with hot soup. That's why the Yen's thought it would be a great idea to start a new year with those symbolic unified beginnings. (Even though the Chinese actually celebrate their New Year in February!)
Chinese missionary family with President and Sister Yen

Which ones looks different than the others?

The next morning on New Year's Day 2016, bright and early, we caught the Metro in Highland Park to go watch the Parade of
Roses. Effy's sister, who lives close to the parade route, had also gone early to set up chairs for us to watch the parade. What an experience to be SOOOOO close to the action!

It began with planes overhead forming jetstream writing. Cool. Amazing to watch their synchronized formations.

I'm absolutely certain I don't know which wonderful parade entries to include, without all the photos becoming so monotonous, because every band, car, float, and horse formation were completely impeccable and beyond impressive, from start to finish.

Though the crowds were insane, we still had wonderful seats that we could see every single thing, and we were close enough to see clearly each beautiful flower on every entry.
The horses and carriages throughout the parade were unparalleled!

For all the Downton Abbey lovers, an incredible float complete with theme song streaming along with it, with Matriarch Cora Crawley sitting in the show's beautiful Rolls Royce, waving to an ecstatic crowd.

Here it comes...
Here it is...

There it goes.

From start to finish, even the back of each float was adorned impressively with flora of all types, colors, and patterns.

Here it comes...
Here is is...

There it goes...
EVERYBODY who is ANYBODY had a parade entry.

Every single entry had won a prize. This particular entry won for best animation, because the flamingos all spun around and around in their umbrellas to outrageous music. So cute!

Of course, what good is a parade entry if you can't zipline on a rope from one end to the other?! Of course!

The overall winning entry in the parade was, not surprisingly, submitted by the Disney Conglomerate. People went crazy because it was S - U - P - E - R  LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!!!

And finally... the end of a very impressive and long Disney float, featuring many of our favorite things and ending with Star Wars.

There was a very cute and very miniature horse...along with great big draft horses.

Included were a variety of cultural entries from various ethnic groups.

And tons of high school and college marching bands.

And a host of parade helpers throughout the entire parade, all in white suits, red ties, red helmets, on white  scooters. It looked so cool and completely uniform.

Even Alhambra City had an impressively beautiful entry which characterizes our fair city.

But that wasn't all that was great about New Year's Day 2016. That evening I had the opportunity to go with Janessa and Sister Plumb to dinner to celebrate the holiday and a new year in this very unique setting.

HAPPY NEW YEAR             TO US!!

And the very next happening just 2 days later was the transfer of some of our "Christmas Chinese Family." Elders Fu and Kron left for other areas, and so did Sister Christensen, the Spanish hermana.
So Sunday Night Treats was like a Last Supper for our little band. How I've enjoyed those young people and we will all miss them.

 Funny Elder Fu, in all his dramatics, was sad to be leaving us all.

Elder Coca (on exchange), Sister Mann, Sister Xia, Tall Elder Kron, Short Elder Huang, Elder Fu, Elder Pao, Elder Ng,
Sister Christensen, Sister Austin
Family Photo
Let the fun (and work!) of 2016 begin!!!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Gayla, I just spent half an hour writing you a"comment" - lots of things! But whoof something happened and it all went away. I have to go tend my cooking so I can't recapture right now. Sorry. Be happy - have a great day and greater week. Nancy is coming tomorrow. We are going to Wash DC next week (hope the snow doesn't hinder) and we will hopefully see you the last weekend of Feb. Let us know if that will work. Love you tons. MOM