Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Holiday Season in DC

The beautiful lights at the Temple
Sister Bullock with one of the beautiful trees at the VC

I told you last week about my car, that it wouldn't start.. So before I called AAA to come tow it to the garage I thought I would just try once more to start it.  First I said a prayer that I could get it started and not have to have it towed. Since I park in the lower level of a parking garage, it wouldn't be an easy thing to get a tow truck in and my car out.  It was a tough start, but it did start, so I could drive it to the garage myself. I had talked to the mechanic on the phone and he knew my problem. They said they would check it all over, but didn't want to just start replacing un-needed parts..which I thanked him for.  They kept it over night and it started right up every time they tried.. He called on Tuesday morning and said they can't find anything wrong with it.. can you say BLESSINGS....

 Being assigned to work in the kitchen and get the meals out for the missionaries and workers at the visitors center each day has been so much fun.  The meals that are being provided for us are amazing and the wards bring so much food .I have had enough to share.  We were having sloppy Joe's and the ward had provided 2 huge pans of sloppy Joe mixture and buns and salad and dessert. We try to feed the young missionaries and the men who help with the parking if we have enough food left each evening and so far it has been going great.. That night I counted the buns and there were 44... we serve 40 in the two shifts of sister missionaries and senior couples each evening.. I had Sister Hardy count the buns just make sure my count was right..she agreed 44.  I told Elder Hardy who is in charge of the parking that we wouldn't have enough to feed the elders that he said he would give them hot chocolate and cookies.  Well the girls loved the dinner and everyone had a bun with with sloppy Joe meat on it and so did the seniors.. when everyone had finished I looked at the rolls and we had 12 left.. I contacted Elder Hardy and told him to send in the young men missionaries and we could feed them.  After they all ate I still had 4 buns left.. It was the miracle just like the loaves and fishes in our kitchen that night..

 Our mission had a mission conference on Thursday. Elder Allan F. Packer of the seventy and his wife were the special guests for the conference.  We got to meet with Sister Packer before the meeting started and she shared some insight to just the sisters.  During the conference we were privileged to hear from Sister and President Matsumori as well as the Packers. Each gave us words of wisdom and inspiration and counsel.

  • President Matsumori shared thoughts on member retention and re-activation through fellowship, friendship and working with the active members of the wards to help bring those back who have strayed.
  • Sister Matsumori talked about how to be a more powerful missionary by being in tune with the spirit, every day.
  • The Assistants to the President had a training session
  • Sister Packer shared thoughts on how to have and keep the spirit with us by being worthy through daily scripture study, prayer and keeping the commandments.
  • Elder Packer shared with us many of the things that the leaders in Salt Lake City do each week to serve. He said that there will be an additional 20,000 to 30,000 missionaries in the field soon.  He said that the trainers are the most important position in a mission. They train the new missionaries when they first arrive in the mission and set the example for them. 
I love to visit with the young missionaries when they come in from the parking lot on break to eat.  I was talking to a couple the other night from Idaho. Since I grew up in Idaho we had fun talking about the great places there. One was from Boise and the other from Idaho Falls.  I asked Elder Dillon what he was going to do after his mission and he said he was going back to school.. I said " the University of Idaho".. he said "yes how did you know".  We talked about Moscow, Idaho and how much I love going there to visit my sister and her family.  We have missionaries from all over the world serving in DC and it is really fun getting to know them. We have 4  young sisters serving from Arizona, so we have the "Zonies".  I was talking to a young elder from Australia the other night and he told me that he has lost his accent since coming on his mission.. I just laughed and said I don't know who told you that but you still have a wonderful Aussie accent.... It is really fun to talk to the missionaries each evening and get to know them each a little better.

 The darling sister missionaries at the VC
I was asked to come meet a young man who had something he wanted to make for the sisters. When I came out I met Jovino Barrientos, he is from Lima, Peru and brought Peruvian hot chocolate and Panetone for the sisters. I shared with him about my grandson Dylan who has just returned from his mission in Lima and we talked for a few minutes. He is the only member of his family living in the US. He came here to go to school and work. He doesn't have a car and walked to the VC with the ingredients for the special treat in his backpack. What a special act of service..
                                                               Javino and me
 Sister Wege's sister Mary Ann came for a visit on Friday and will be here until next Wednesday. She came last year during the Festival of Lights and wanted to come again this year, since she had so much fun. We have been having a great time with Mary Ann.

One of the couples who work in the temple are the Cardall's.. their son Paul Cardall is performing next Tuesday at the VC.  He and his daughter arrived in DC a few days ago to spend some time with the Cardall's.  There is a room next to the kitchen that has a grand piano and Paul has been practicing in there and it is so magnificent.. A real perk to have a International recording artist playing at the center and I get to hear him practice.  He has recorded 6 albums of beautiful piano music. 

 Paul Cardall & me

Sister Wege and I have been working on a book of remembrance for Joyce Hall.. Sister Wege wrote and typed the story of Joyce's life and I created the book. We took it over to her on Saturday along with the Dickey's. She is such a special lady and the Dickey's are very involved with Joyce and bring her to many activities and are being such a wonderful support to her.
 Joyce and the Dickey's and us
 A few of the pages of her book

After we left Joyce's on Saturday we drove over to see a house that one of the members of our ward was working on that is for rent. As we walked into the back yard we saw 2 deer, a doe and an 6 point buck.  They were just standing there looking at us.  I went to get my camera and I missed the doe but got this picture of the buck as he stared at us.


Saturday we had over 6,000 people come into the VC.  Both performances by the DC Mormon Choir were packed with great admirers.  The main floor of the center was so packed and I was sent on searches to find certain people and it was almost impossible.. We had bus loads of people come from all over the area.  Our friend Barbara that we visit every Thursday was able to come with Linda (the receptionist)  from the assisted living facility. Linda had gotten Barbara a new dress and she had a beautiful scarf on and looked so pretty. Barbara was so excited to be able to come and loved every minute of it. We were so happy that Linda brought her for the evening. Such a wonderful act of service and love.  I got to see several of my friends from Southern Maryland on Saturday evening and it was such a delight to reconnect.. 

 The theater when it is empty.. we have 550 seats and they all fill up

 Our performances this week were fantastic:

  • Monday: The Olney Big Band is back at the visitors center by popular demand.The award winning group of volunteer musicians has performed in Europe as well as across the US. The bands festival performance consisted of Christmas music played with swing, jazz and dance beats. It was so much fun to listen to and I couldn't help tapping my feet through their performance.

Olney Big Band
  •  Tuesday: The Young Colombians Glee club:   They were amazing and the show could have been on Broadway for sure. They sang songs from the 20's, 30's, and each decade and had costume changes and dances to go with each one.. It was one of my favorite performances so far. The voices of these young people who ranged in age from 10 to 17 were incredible many could be recording artists.
  •  Friday night we heard from the "Singing Sensations Youth Choir" : The Singing Sensations Youth Choir was founded with the expectation of exposing youth in the Baltimore Metropolitan area to the diverse and multifaceted aspects of the performing arts. There are about 60 of them, chasing a dream. They range from age 6 to 18. They are from all over Baltimore. They come from broken homes, have ADHD, victims of led poison, experience seizures, but they want and love to sing. We provide a myriad of performing opportunities to students, ages 5-18, exposing them to other people, cultures and musical experiences in Maryland and throughout the country.
                                                  The Singing Sensations

·       Saturday we had the Mormon Choir of Washington DC.. Founded in 1980, the choir is composed of singers and musicians selected by audition with a current membership of 80 from approximately 50 congregations in the Maryland and Virginia regions. They are the spirit of Christmas thru song. What a wonderful show they put on. I know 4 of the sisters that sing in the choir, so it is really fun to see them. 
  • Sunday was the Mormon Orchestra of Washington DC.. This is a group of some of the finest LDS instrumentalists in the Washington Metro Area. Originating from the Suitland Maryland Stake Orchestra, (started by Haleigh Vance, of White Plains 2nd ward)..  it has grown to include musicians from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The orchestra has performed numerous times at the Washington DC Temple Visitors' Center and at various stake firesides around the area. The members give freely of their time and talents and enjoy opportunities to praise the Lord through music.
    Wishing everyone a wonderful week and a blessed Christmas season..

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