Sunday, December 12, 2021

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

We have been busy this year as it has been a full year since we returned from the California Riverside Mission. After purchasing a patio home in a 55+ community at the end of December 2020, my brother Brad came and renovated the place. We moved in officially in April 2021. We have met some incredible people who live here in this community.

Joanne's collection of snowmen

We had a wonderful mission reunion in April with over 200 of our former missionaries. Only about 115 had said they were coming. The word went out, and you all know what happens with social media and texting. It was so good to see all of them and reminisce about the mission and hear what is happening in their lives. Many of them have stopped by with their families, fiancés, and wives and babies. What a treat it is to see them in a different setting and environment. Most of them are going to school, working, and trying to progress in this ever-changing world.

April 2021 Mission Reunion Photo

We were able to spend some time with Hailey, Joseph, Clark, and Avonlea. We went to Riverfront Park in Spokane, played games, watched movies, read stories together, walked the Eastern Washington University Campus, and had an entertaining time with them. Clark and Avonlea are growing up too quickly.

Joseph and Clark
Hailey, Joanne, and Avonlea

It is had been delightful being close to Anna Rose, Christiaan, Emiline, and William. We had the privilege of watching Emiline grow into a star softball pitcher and William play his heart out in soccer. Plus, they both had piano recitals, which were delightful because of the musical growth in both of them. It has been fun to spend time and play games together.

Emiline and Grandma

Grandma and Grandpa, William, and Emiline

The Johnson Family at a recent wedding reception

In August, we also spent some time at Bear Lake with two of our senior missionary couples, Kerry and Marlene Shirley and Alan and Shelly Glaus. The Shirleys own the cabin, and we had such a great time, sitting on the deck overlooking Bear Lake, playing miniature golf (Joanne and I won!), playing lots and lots of games, taking walks and photos, watching the sun set and rise, eating great food, and enjoying each other’s company. It is always a delight to be with great people.

Darrel and Joanne, Kerry and Marlene Shirley, and Alan and Shelly Glaus

We trundled to St. George at the end of September and spent a couple of days with some of the senior missionaries who served with us in the Caribbean Area/Dominican Republic. What a delight to see them! We participated in workshops, went to the new Family History Center, had a picnic in the pavilion by the new temple, and went to “The Count of Monte Cristo” at Tuacahn. It was one of the coldest nights we have spent in a long time. It was a good thing we had brought coats, gloves, and a blanket. It was a very chilly night. The play was well done, and we enjoyed it thoroughly, despite the cold wind blowing across our backs.

The Caribbean group at the historic Pine Valley Church

One of the highlights this year was a delightful evening and dinner at John and Jana Mullen’s home in north Salt Lake in October. They had also invited Mel and Linda Reeves and Paul and Karen Smart. We all served as mission presidents and spouses in the California Riverside Mission and represent four generations of missionaries who served there.

Darrel and Joanne Hammon, John and Jana Mullen,
Paul and Karen Smart, Mel and Linda Reeves 

Having been with all these missionaries, young and more mature, and doing service in any capacity have taught us the important principle of eternal friends and staying in touch.

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with our daughter Anna Rose, Christiaan, Emiline, and William; Joanne's brother John, his wife LaWane and daughter Nicole; and Christiaan's mother Heather. Lots of delicious food and wonderful people we love dearly! 

Thanksgiving at Anna Rose and Christiaan's house

Joanne continues to work as an accessioner at LabCorp and is having an enjoyable time working with blood samples and being the only LabCorp person in the entire Revere Health Building in Provo. She contracted COVID at the end of October although we have had both vaccinations and were waiting for the booster. She is able to sew periodically and is currently working on a quilt that she took with her on our mission but didn’t see the light of day for three years.

Christmas tree and star in Pioneer Park Provo

Darrel designated November as his “poetry month,” and posted an original poem, most of them having been written in November, each day. He had an exciting time posting the poems although some of them were posted much later in the day than he expected. You can read them all at

Pioneer Park Provo

Darrel began volunteering at the Provo City Center Temple. What a privilege it is to serve in the temple. Plus, he resurrected his leadership and life coaching business and is having an enjoyable time with a variety of clients who are doing or wanting to do so many things.

Provo City Temple

We do hope you all experience an incredible and enjoyable Christmas and holiday season, one filled with joy, happiness, and love for all people. We love you and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Blown glass bulb from the Oregon coast

 Merry Christmas and 

Happy Holiday to All!

No comments: