What a unique Christmas Day we had here in Jordan. This was our first Christmas away from our family in 42 years. Strangely, neither Reed nor I experienced any deep feelings of loss not being with friends and extended family Christmas Eve or Day. Maybe it’s because it didn’t really feel like Christmas. It is warm, few signs of Christ around, no music and no shopping, wrapping or cooking frenzy. We are grateful for the families and people we were able to spend Christmas with. I enjoyed being able to cook some of our family’s traditional Danish foods and Skype with all of our children and their families back in the states. Reed and I gave no gifts to each other, but I did get a pair of slippers for the cold floors of the apartment.

We had a meeting with District President Penrod, where we discussed the cultural challenges we will need to adapt to. There is no separation of church and state in Jordan. The Muslims value faithfulness and modesty, and they view all their dealings through the prism of Islam. There are many similarities with Mormon culture. We talked to him about potentially learning Arabic for some basic communication skills.


We had a district conference with the Tolleys on Dec 23 to discuss the implementation of the new wheelchair program in January.

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Homemade Christmas specialties… Frickadella (Danish meatballs), Nana’s potato salad, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cheesecake, and of course divinity!

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2015-12-25 Servicemen

We had Christmas dinner with these 3 service men stationed in Jordan. Each are returned missionaries who have left their wives and children to work in the Embassy as language specialists. We are grateful for their service to our Country.


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We are trying to get everything organized, we inherited several binders from 2012 and we continue to try to update our contacts and keep all this new information straight.

2015-12-26 Kafa?2015-12-26 Lubna, Raad & Haya Kildani2015-12-27 Eating at Le Royal Hotel2015-12-27 Father Haddad, Reed & Sandi Phillips2015-12-27 Father Nabil Haddad

Father Nabil Haddad, founder and executive director of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center. He will be working with us on developing some programs that include Christians and Muslims. He will be part of the family conference we are planning.


2015-12-27 Mohammad Al Ateeq Le Royal Hotel

Our contact at Le Royal Hotel for rooms and services for guests who are overflow from the apartment facilities here. For example, in February we have 12 people from Salt Lake coming to do some assessments and meetings. The hotel will host these people. Mohammed gave us a complimentary dinner at the Lebanese restaurant within the hotel, which can host 1000 people at a time.

2015-12-27 Morning Walk 1

2015-12-27 Morning Walk 3

We are enjoying the food here so much that we’ve decided to go on a walk every morning. We are enjoying this time together. We hope to walk 3 days per week and study Arabic the other 3 days.

2015-12-27 Reed & Sandi eating at Le Royal Hotel