Wednesday, March 7, 2012


December 13, 2011
   Last week was great! We started off by enjoying Sunday at Bishop and Haileigh Vance's home for dinner and the evening. They have five children, three girls and two boys, so I was able to get some Grandma fixes. Bishop Vance's full-time job is to play saxophone in the Army Concert Band and Haileigh teaches violin and viola lessons.
  Each Monday and Friday in December and Christmas Ever, we will server as hostess' at the Visitor's Center for the Festival of Lights. The temple grounds are decorated with over 500,000 multi-colored lights on the trees and bushes and has a life-size nativity. They begin stringing the lights in August in order to have them finished by the first of December. Inside the Visitor's Center, there are about 20 trees that are at least 25 feet tall that have been decorated by the surrounding stakes and have themes ranging from representing different countries and embassy's to a storybook by a Czek author. There is a nativity room with at least 100 creche's from different countries all over the world. This year the Ambassador from Brazil flipped the switch that turned on the temple lights, so Brazil was also featured in the nativity room. There was a tree representing their country that was decorated with orchids, glitter fish and sea life to look like Brazil's Christmas in Summer. Each night there are concerts performed in the auditormium of the Visitor's Center. It holds about 550 people, and many nights the concerts are repeated two or three times. Friday, we were priveledged to hear the "Bells of Mt. Vernon", a group of 11 players with 37 bells, that played beautiful Christmas music.
   Wednesday was our day for the temple, which also means it was raining and I was driving. It was raining so hard by the time we left the temple at 7:30pm, that the route we normally take to the freeway was flooded,so we had to find another way. Thank goodness one of the other sisters on our shift knows the area and was able to give us directions to get to the freeway going another way. It was raining so hard that instead of driving the usual 70-75 (speed limit is 55), people were actually going 40-45. The closer to home we got, the worse the rain got--the raindrops were about the size of quarters, I couldn't see the lines on the road (they don't have any lights on the roads), and it was raining so hard that the windshield wipers couldn't keep up with the rain on the windshield. Needless to say, we were very happy and grateful to be home!!!      
   Thursday we spent the day working on Christmas cards, presents, and other holiday frivolities like getting our hair done-YAY!  That evening was the WP1 Relief Society Christmas party. We each took cookies for a cookie exchange and a white elephant. It was really fun to sit and chat with all of the great friends that I have made in the short time that I have been here; friends that I know will last through eternity!
   I pray that we will keep in our hearts the reason we celebrate Christmas and be especially kind to one another.