Monday, December 23, 2013

December 22, 2013

Christmas is almost here!  Amazing.  Can it really come with no hint of snow or cold?  I get moments where I fell all Christmasy but most of the time I am totally not believing that this is Christmas time. I guess it totally is because I am so far away from what has always been my focus for Christmas - my family!  We are having a wonderful time though doing different things this year.

The other day we were close to the beach and we had some free time so my surfer boy had to check if the waves were up.  They were looking good so he jumped out in the water.  It was a beautiful day and I was wondering what I should do while he was there - walk the beach, talk to people, go get some stuff at the store.  I finally decided to just sit down and relax.  It was a good choice.  It is so hard for me to sit and just do nothing while out here.  I feel that I should be using all of my time to do good!  As I sat I looked over and saw a man with a guitar, wearing an Hawaiian shirt singing Christmas carols!  So cool.  So I moved over closer and listened as I watched the beautiful blue sky, the waves, felt the warmth of the sun on my face.  He also sang one of my favorite songs that starts out, "slow down, you move to fast.  Gotta make the moment last…. Feeling groovy!"  and I was able to relax more.  When he started singing, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" I had to smile.  It was a delightful hour and I felt the love of the Lord in my life.
Roger the Soldier!

We have been still spending plenty of time at the  Battalion.  There always seems to be extra things to do there.  We have  many tours of 4th grade kids come in for their unit on California history.  So much fun.  About 70 kids show up at the same time and we have to split them up in to three groups.  One starts the tour, the other goes out to gold panning and Roger takes the third group into the theatre room and teaches them about the 1816 flintlock musket that the Mormon Battalion was given in the army.  We have a 12 Days of Christmas program for 12 days before Christmas.  At 7 each night there is a different musical group performing in our theater.  That has added lots of people coming through each day.  The sister missionaries had had many opportunities to sing in the town square or at functions around Old Town and they have really impressed so many with their talents.  It is a fun time to be at the Mormon Battalion.

Our ward has been fun too.  Christmas parties with the ward, the Relief Society etc.  Lots of good opportunities to rub shoulders with good people and for them to be able to bring friends around too.  We continue to have good study classes on Wednesday nights.  In an eight day period of time we had three dinner appointments with members of our ward.  Each time they invite us and our Elder Missionaries.  That is always fun to be with the missionaries.  We really love them and admire their determination to work hard and be successful.  They are great examples to us.  Roger teaches the Wednesday classes and I taught last week in Gospel Principles and will teach again this week.  We have been trying to clean up the list of members of our ward.  There are so many that no one knows that they really exist or not.  We are plotting them all on a huge map of the ward and then will split them up with others that live around them and try to find out if they really live there and if they want church support and love.  It is a monumental task but it needs to be done.  I am so used to looking at our ward list and knowing everyone on it.

One of the other senior sisters and I spent a day baking inedible gingerbread men to give to the senior couples living here in our complex.  They turned out cute.  We made a girl one and boy one and put missionary badges on the front with the couples names on them - tied them together with a bow and gave them out.  It actually was fun.

At the missionary office they keep track of which elders and sisters don't get packages and then try to make sure that they get something.  There are five sisters at the Battalion who are foreign and poor and won't be getting anything from home and the couples there have split them up to give them a few things.  I was thinking that it would have been fun to do that as a family event from us and our kids.  But they just let us know two days ago.  So we went out and did our one and only Christmas present shopping trip for this year!  Two days before Christmas is not the time to go out!  It is amazing to see the circumstances that these sweet sisters come from and their sacrifices to be on a mission.  We really enjoy them.

Christmas Lights at the Temple
We have had the opportunity to be at the San Diego Temple several nights lately too.  It is beautiful there with a great spirit.  They have assigned more missionaries to be there because of the increased number of people there just to see the lights etc.  We have talked to people from all over and have had the opportunity to show pictures to many of the inside of the temple and explain what goes on in there and why we have temples.  Most want to go inside and we have to explain why that doesn't happen.

The weather here has been amazing.  During the day it is sunny and beautiful but by night it gets quite cold - way down to 55 or so!  It is strange how cold that can seem.  At the temple, I wear tights with leggings over them, my clothes, my coat, gloves and a scarf!  They keep telling me it is because it is a moist cold that it gets me.  Maybe I am just getting used to this warm stuff here and becoming soft.  It is 77 degrees today!

Balboa Park's Art Section
We are taking the opportunity to go to Balboa park most Tuesdays to visit the free museums there.  Each week there are different museums free.  It is a huge part close to downtown with lush greenery.  Last week was extra fun with all of the Christmas decorations up and many people enjoying what is there.  It was a great atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Sunshine makes me happy.

We are seeing good things happen with people we have made friends with.  More and more doors are opening and we are feeling their love and appreciation.  This is hard work but I have felt the "burdens on my back lifted" as we have tried to do all we should.  There are days when we are out the door by 8:30 am and don't get back home until 9:30 pm. being busy all day and changing clothes many times by the time we are done.  I have felt better than I have in a long time even though I am VERY tired by the time we fall in to bed.

The Mormon Battalion tree with pioneers and covered wagons
We feel the Lord hand in our mission and pause to thank Him for His life and example to all.  What a blessing it is to put that tag on with His name on it and represent Him.  I still don't comprehend all He did but I know that I will feel better about standing before Him because of being here on a mission.  I understand more fully His love for each of His children and His desire to help them.  How lucky we are to know He lives!

Merry Christmas too all!

No comments:

Post a Comment