Dear Elder ,
Hi! How are you this fine December day? I hope that you are doing very well. This morning I was thinking about you in La Paz and about how things are going a bit slow as far as missionary work goes, and I am hoping that things are getting better. Even though the greatest service that you can give to Heavenly Father’s children is to bring them into the fold of His son, Jesus Christ, there are many other ways to go about doing good as Jesus did. He not only taught but served. In October’s general conference, the President of the Relief Society, Linda K Burton reminded us to “first observe and then serve,” so keep your eyes open to the opportunities to serve all around you! I just deposited $50 into your checking account as a Christmas gift from your very sweet and loving grandparents. Added to the money that you already had, that brings your account total to $177.00. It’s not much, but it will help you as you look for opportunities to help others have a merry Christmas not just by sharing your means, but also your time and talents to bless their lives.
I just got an email from Grandpa that made me chuckle. Here’s what it said,
Dear Family and Friends,
Since many from all around the world have asked, here is what I would like for Christmas 2012:
- The world not to end before Christmas (that would be really nice)
- A bigger lump of coal than last year (so at least I can burn it)
- A winter cold enough to kill the bugs (but not so cold as to kill any
trees or vegetables of course)
- More rain (but only at night, or when I haven't washed the car)
- Peace all around the world
- Success to each of you
- Freedom for all
- Enough food for everyone
- The president to be as good as he sounds
- A tube of Shoe Goo
- Lots of good friends like you
Merry Christmas and (don't forget why we celebrate)!
A very nice Christmas list, don’t you think? I wrote him back with a hope that he gets everything of his list, except the coal, of course!
Anyway, we’ve had a nice Christmas-y week. Last night we were at the Beyer’s where we ate (of course!!!) and visited and sang. It was a wonderful evening. Tonight we are getting together with the Teicherts for a Christmas family home evening where I think we will read Luke 2 and watch the Teichert kids act out the nativity. Oh, and we’ll eat. Of course!!!
Saturday we saw the Hobbit. Meh. It was okay. Why they ever thought that they should stretch out the story into 3 movies three hours long each, I’ll never know. I like the Hobbit. It’s a nice story. In fact, I read it to Grandma in the last months of her life (I have no idea what she thought of that, but she liked having someone there keeping her company), but the Hobbit is not the Lord of the Rings, and justice could have been done it in one well-done movie. It was fun, though, going to the movies with the fam.
Jon came over Saturday night and Dad and I enjoyed visiting with him. He is so interesting to talk to! He’s been working hard, so it was nice to see him for a while. It was also nice to help him fix his shirts the other day although putting in button holes is not my speshiality, ha ha. I also talked to Cassandra for just a sec last night which was nice and we also have seen quite a few videos of Lily on both Emerson’s and Cassandra’s Facebook. She is such a cutie! I wish I could send you one of those, especially the one of her “reading” a book. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought she was really speaking in another language :)
Saturday night we watched Thomas be Mr. Cold Miser, and Miriam and Katrina sing “I’ll have a Blue Christmas” in the neighborhood play. They did a good job, of course, and it was fun to be with the neighbors. Our neighborhood was getting pretty oldy moldy with all the kids growing up, but a new influx of move-ins has brought more children to our street and to our annual play and we loved seeing them sing and act for us. Derek was Santa and made the cutest Santa I’ve ever seen! I got a video of Thomas and the girls, kind of. It’s pretty sad, actually. I am going to try to get it to you one way or the other.
Thomas also tried out for the junior high play this week which is “Little Mermaid” and he made call backs for almost every male character, so he was at the school most of Friday afternoon, evening, and night. The rest of us went to the ward Christmas party. Miriam and Katrina went early to be Santa’s elves. They were dressed like elves, and looked very cute! At dinner we sat next to the missionaries. It was nice to see them since they cover half of Spanish Fork, so seeing them is kind of rare. They are working with fifty families right now! We ate and watched the program. The primary children were on the stage acting out the Christmas story as each of the other age groups (the men, the women, the young women, and the young men) took turns singing different songs depicting Christ’s birth. We Relief Society sisters sang “When Joseph Went to Bethlehem.” Thomas got there in time to sing with the young men and of course Miriam and Katrina sang with the young women. It was all very nice.
Other things we did this week to celebrate Christmas were Carols and Confections at the high school and Thomas’s jazz band concert at the junior high. This year’s Carols and Confections was the best ever! Tear streamed down my face the entire second half as they sang about our Savior. I grumbled (as always) about the ten dollar tickets, but it was worth every penny. Miriam was right in front and we got to see her sing the whole time! Thomas has his breath back and did a wonderful job on the trumpet at his jazz band concert. I’m so glad that we could see him play. I am so excited to hear Katrina and Thomas sing at their children’s choir Christmas concert on Tuesday. I especially love the song they sing called “Angels are Making their Rounds” which I’ve hear them sing 3 times so far. It celebrates Gabriel’s visits to Zachariah, Mary, and Joseph and is a beautiful song. They sound like angels when they sing it! On Wednesday we get to go to see Miriam’s choir sing again. We are so blessed to be put in the Christmas spirit every year through sacred music! Dad was just commenting on the fact yesterday.
Wow, I just looked up the current time in La Paz, and it’s the same as ours. That is so weird, but it sure makes planning easier. We will want to Skype on Christmas day because Jon has to work on Christmas Eve. The missionaries are coming to eat at Cassandra and Emerson’s house on Christmas evening, so let’s plan on Skyping at noon if that works for you. Let us know!
I love you, Matt! I hope I didn’t write too much and take up all of your time. It is so nice to hear from you every Monday! I am sending you pictures, and I am going to try and send videos of the Neighborhood play. too.