Every year the Mission President and his wife have a Christmas gathering for the missionaries. Since Ukraine does not recognize December 25th as Christmas, it is a regular missionary day for the Elders and Sisters. Mid-December we had our celebration for the Kharkov missionaries. An evening gathering commenced the festivities with a dinner and Christmas messages from the senior missionary couples. The next morning we all met again for a service project cleaning the basements and stairwells of one of the block buildings (apartment buildings) here in the city. There are many blocks in the city which could use the care that was given to this building that morning by the missionaries. It was a good project. We then went back to the Central Branch for lunch, games, and activities. The missionaries love to get together for these big gatherings, and there was such a wonderful spirit among the whole group for both days of holiday celebration.

Hauling basement items away to the dumping place - some of the residents were very confused as to what we were doing.

Inside one of the basements - we're glad the young Elders were down there and not us. Scary and very dirty!

Some old windows find their way to the trash.

The stairwells were swept, mopped, and dusted as best we could.

There were two piles like this of basement items.

Lots of small items for the dump, too

The happy trash haulers and stairwell cleaners

That afternoon after the service project, there was competition as to who could build the highest earthquake-proof tower with spaghetti and gumdrops. The architects and engineers to-be really got into this one!

Human foosball was another one of the competitions between the districts. The two winning teams of the first round had a playoff for the grand championship.

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