Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Festival of Lights has begun. . . .

On Monday we went into DC to see some more sights. We first went to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Such a solemn atmosphere in the great hall where these historic treasures are held. Everyone was so quiet and the lights are low. I felt such a honor to be reading these documents that helped shape our country.  They also had a huge display of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was very enlightening to hear President Kennedy and the other men who were involved in this critical decision in our country's history.

Our next museum was the American Indian Museum, which was so neat.  It featured all the different tribes of the Americas.. I really enjoyed it also. It was a very fun day. After the museums we walked around DC a little, I just love it.  We rode the Metro into DC and back home.. Really like getting into town this way .. Saves trying to find a parking spot..since the Metro stops at all the important places, it is very easy to get around.

The Festival of Lights at the Washington DC Temple Visitors Center has begun:
This begins our marathon ... 35 days in a row working at the VC from 3:00 to 10:30 each day.
Our first night serving there was on Wednesday.. This was the first night and a special by invitation only.. We were so excited that we got to go.  I met Elder Russell M. Nelson, J.W. Marriott, Senator Orin Hatch of Utah, Ambassador Olexander Motsyk of the Ukraine & his wife. There were 6 congressmen attending and several ambassadors from different nations. It was the night that they pushed the button to turn on the 600,000 lights outside the VC.  Such an exciting evening..

 Ambassador Olexander Motsyk
 Setting up for the event
 Some of the delightful sisters I get to work with
 The Washington DC Mormon Choir
 Senator Orin Hatch of Utah
 J.W. Marriott, chairman and host of the Festival of Lights

Thursday evening was for the diplomats of the various embassy's and their staff and the staffs of the powers that be in DC.  It again was an invitation only.  Both nights the Washington DC Mormon Choir performed. Again an amazing night.

 Friday was the first night open to the public.  The featured entertainment for the evening was Sandra Turley of Broadway. She was fantastic.. Such a marvelous entertainer.. She performed two shows that evening.  The VC is packed as people visit the nativity room with 89 nativity sets displayed. They walk the new displays at the center and admire the beautiful decorated trees on display. 
 I am in charge of the kitchen and getting the dinner prepped and served to the 28 young sister missionaries and the 12 other workers every night.  I don't have to fix the dinner every night, it is provided by various wards in the area.  Sister Wege and I did provide the dinner on Saturday though. We had tacos, fruit and yummy rice krispy caramel treats.  There are two shifts each evening and I get the tables set and dinner ready to be served.. I have great helpers that assist me..  We then feed the young men and men who serve as parkers for the cars.. which are around another 20 people.. It has worked out great and everyone has been happy with the meals. Then we clean up and get ready for the next day..

 dinner time..
 They are all so much fun
 Our kitchen at the VC
 More of those cute sisters

Saturday evening we had Grammy nominated recording artist Jenny Oaks Baker performing 3 shows.. She had a packed house all night. We had just over 4,000 people attend the VC on Saturday.. It is so fun to see so many people I know and meet many new people..
Jenny Oaks Baker
Sunday we started out our day leaving home at 6:45 to be at our first meeting by 7:30, then church, which was great.. then rushed over to another building for another meeting and then off to the VC for our shift there.  Tonight's performance was a young lady who is from DC with a fantastic voice. After her show we all watched the Christmas Devotional from Salt Lake City on the giant screen in the theater.

 What a wonderful week.. Our visits to the sisters during the time we serve at the Festival of Lights is really cut down since we are there every day.. But we still have a few sisters that we visit in the mornings..

 I am so thankful that I have the privilege of working with these 28 fantastic young women serving their missions here in DC. They are amazing and I love them each so much.. Just like having 28 more grandaughters, on top of my 8 wonderful ones back home.
I pray each of you is getting into the Christmas Spirit and having those family traditions that we each love so much.   Have a wonderful week..

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