Wednesday, March 7, 2012


December 18,2011
   This has been another fun week in the Washington DC North Mission. Monday was our Zone Conference and mission Christmas Party. We all met at the Visitor's Center at 8:45am to have a mission picture taken. Sister Matsumori told a Christmas story then several of the sister missionaries sang a Christmas song, followed by a musical number by a string quartet and a some stories by President Matsumori. The Senior Missionaries presented President and Sister Matsumori with a Christmas gift; a framed picture of each zone around the edge and a mirror with the words "Merry Christmas 2011" in the center. We then watched "Kung-Fu Panda 2". They had it flown in from Australia, since it won't be released on DVD in the states until Friday. It was so fun to laugh at the young missionaries (127) watching a child's cartoon show...after the movie we went over to the stake house (next to the Visitor's Center) for a full-fledged turkey lunch and visit from Santa Clause. It was a great way to start the week and celebrate the holidays with the rest of the mission!!!
   Tuesday, Sister Haleigh Vance, the wife of the bishop in the WP 2nd ward invited us to a strings concert at the LaPlata Manor, a senior apartment complex. Her students ranged from age 4-14, and played a variety of Christmas carols. They were very talented and everyone enjoyed the program.
   Wednesday was a special day at the temple. Sister Harper was able to do the ordinance work for her mother; her son is doing it for her father, and when she returns from her mission, they will have them sealed for time and all eternity. Each week that I serve in the temple I learn more, and I feel such peace while I am there. After we finished at the temple, we went over to the Visitor's Center to see the program that was playing that night. It was a group of 60 women ages 14-75 called the "Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus". They sing all over the states and internationally--a wonderful and very entertaining show!
   Thursday, we were honored to help at the luncheon after the funeral of Sister Maura Hendrichsen, a sister in the WP 1st Ward. She went into surgery last week for a problem with her pacemaker and passed away on the operating table. We only met her once for a few minutes, so decided we could be of most help in the kitchen, and serving the family. At first we were told that they would be serving 80-100 people, but when we got to the church, it was set up for twice that. Selina Thomas, the compassionate service leader was really in a panic; she had worked so hard to make sure everything came out right and that all was assigned according to plan. We told her not to worry, that everything would be alright; that it might be like the "fishes and loaves of bread", but that it would be okay. We put a salad on each place setting, and after everyone sat down and ate, not only was there enough food, there was quite a bit left over. Coincidence? I don't think so--miracles still do happen! I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father who gives us tender mercies every day...
   We have been asked to serve on the enrichment committee for the nighttime Relief Society meeting and help coordinate snacks, tasting trays, etc. that go with each months theme or activity. We had a meeting Thursday night with the enrichment leader to discuss also how to get the sisters more enthused about using food staples they have at home, etc., by bringing in new recipes and ideas for using the food they have.
   Friday, my back was really bad so I went to another doctor. They took more x-rays and couldn't see much change from the ones in August, so they are sending me to and orthopedic doctor who will prescribe an MRI. I'm not excited about this at all, but I need to get to the bottom of this...
   On the positive side--our daughter Courtney made and sent a wonderful advent calendar; for each of the days 1-24, there are scriptures to read having to do with the life of Jesus during His ministry on this earth. I want to thank her for this marvelous gift--it has really helped us focus on what Christmas is all about!!! 
   Also, those of you who know the Brown family, know the tradition of "T'was the Night Before Christmas", read with a 'few changes'. Ron's father, Keith, started this, then Ron took over at his passing, and now our son, Dave, is carrying the torch. This year Dave sent me a book that he had read and recorded "T'was the Night Before Christmas". Thanks so much for keeping traditions alive and well even at times when everything seems different...