Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

     We are a long way from home this Christmas and are doing our Christmas letter a little bit differently.  We are for the next 18 months Elder & Sister Basting.  We have been called to the Canada Winnipeg Mission.  It is a warm winter for the Canadians however we are shivering.   The people are extremely friendly, helpful and kind, hence the phrase "Welcome to friendly Manitoba."  We didn't expect Canada to be a foreign country but surprise, surprise.  We feel fortunate that we don't have to learn another language, at the same time we admire all of you who have done so to serve God.  We have enough trauma navigating their roads.  For now, the roads are generally clear of snow and ice; that is a blessing.  Shana has a blog up and running if anyone is interested in more mission information.  It is  We were blessed with 3 new grandchildren this year.  Our family is such a treasure, so I will start with their news.

          Shana & Tim Heywood family:  Taylor is 13, beautiful, talented, a basketball legend in the making, an excellent student, upcoming scriptorian and just a great young woman.  Jeremy 11, a great young man, so good natured, athletic (multiple sports), an excellent student, involved in student government and the school mascot.  We just happened to be there last year when his (hum) car won the pinewood derby.  Should have seen his dad get air with glee!  Natalie 7, a dancer/comedian, good student and fearless when it comes to theme park rides and kayaking with sharks.  Now there is Bonus Baby-Troy (built). He was born January 22. He has brought great joy to the whole family.  Weighing in just shy of 10 pounds he was tough on his mom.  30 pounds at 9 months and wearing a size 2 or 3, I struggle to lift his giggling, wiggling little body.  Everyone else packs him around no sweat!  Shana is a busy mom juggling 4 schedules, helping Tim every chance she can, and she is back serving in Young Women's. Tim is a multi-tasking dad.  He did buy the family a ski boat this summer.  It is nice to see him get out of his office more often. 

          Pete and Christine Rudge family:  Aiden is 10, a good student, snowboarder, Lego constructor and computer whiz.  Hadley with the big eyes, good student, artist, jump rope expert in the making, and hates to ride in a car.  She doesn't even want to go to grandma's and the beach, she detests car rides so much!  Pete and Christine moved their family to Bend.  Now they are both closer to their places of employment.  Pete is in a new job, I just can't remember the name of the company.  They love to host Thanksgiving dinner and I think that has become a tradition.  Christine continues her long time service to Home Depot.  But now, she is closer to home, got a promotion that allows her to be home more and closer to Mt. Bachelor.

          Seth and Amber Basting family: Last year Seth took a job with an independent contractor who worked like a crazy man and expected everyone else to do the same.  Seth built roads all summer, 6 days a week 14-18 hours a day.  In the meantime, Amber delivered a beautiful Brad Swindle (named after Uncle George) June 4th.  She had to be a real trooper taking care of 4 children with Seth gone so much. Her mother, sister and 1 brother came and helped for a month.  They were a huge blessing. Seth has now taken a job with the Oregon Department of Forestry-the Forest Grove office.   Kase is 6, loves school, plays soccer and goes on service projects with his dad.  So does Grant who is 4, except he is not in to soccer as of yet.  They have a trampoline,  swing set and tree house.  They love the outdoors.  Molly is 2 and cute as she can be.  She is going to be tough with all those brothers, she can already hold her own.  Seth and Amber work all the time.  They have a huge piece of property to maintain.  Plus, they serve in their church callings, so they go non-stop. Oh, to be young again!

          Rex and Britney Basting family:  Olivia Sharen (named after Britney's mother) was born the 1st of April.  She is another beautiful addition.  Annie is 5, very artistic, loves books and so far has perfect form when she runs.  Macey 3, has a giggle that is so contagious you cannot restrain yourself from laughing right along with her.  Who cares why?  This Fall they moved to Cottage Grove because Rex got a job in his field.  Oh happy day.  We celebrated and offered many thankful prayers to God.  He is one of the two counselors for Cottage Grove High School.  He loves his job.  He has also started a mountain biking club and is enjoying associating with students and parents.  Britney is a busy homemaker, creative chef and baker.  She was going to receive a new calling when we left the USA but we have not heard what it is yet.  Rex teaches the Elder's Quorum. 

Well, Jim retired after 42 years of service to the Oregon Department of Forestry.  They gave him a wonderful send off, better than any eulogy I've ever heard! C: We had to move out of the home there on the compound.  We decided to get rid of much of our clutter, put the good stuff in storage and go and serve the Lord on a mission.  We have been called here to Canada as Member and Leader support missionaries.  We have already learned so much.  It is fun to learn new things and be challenged.  This is a place with diverse cultures.  The Filipinos and South Americans are particularly friendly and gracious.  Although everyone (so far) has been kind, helpful and they possess very good manners.  We are not used to a big city yet.  It is very evident that we are small town hicks!  We have enjoyed a variety of foods so far.  I being partial to German and Filipino cuisine.  We miss our family but we have been promised that our grandchildren will be more blessed by our service here then if we were hovering over them.  We feel it an honor to serve the Lord and hope we can do a good job.  We love all of you,  We pray you have a joyous Christmas and a New Year filled with blessings and answered prayers.  Please forgive our form of a Christmas letter-Canada taxes everything, making it impossible for us to mail a card to everyone. 
 We love you, Merry Christmas, 
 Elder & Sister Basting (Jim & Donna).

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