Like most adults I have a lot of childhood memories of Christmas. For several years my parents would load up the kids and drive to Salt Lake City to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert. The lights on Temple Square, standing in line (in freezing temperatures) and listening to the beautiful music of the choir were all part of the experience. The second memory is of staying up late one night with my dad listening to Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol – played on an old record player. This year I was reminded of both of those on the same night. John and I were able to attend the “Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple Square” concert. There were two special guests: Deborah Voigt, a world-renowned dramatic Soprano and John Rhys-Davies, an acclaimed British actor and voice artist. All I can say is “Wow!” Although, Deborah Voigt has a beautiful voice and a fun personality, my favorite part was when John Rhys-Davies retold The Christmas Carol. It was a great reminder to me of what Christmas is all about – hope, good cheer and redemption. Each of us has a chance, a new day, to become a better person and to make this world a better place. If you have never read The Christmas Carol, I hope you can find the time to – it is one of my favorite books.
I thought it interesting that as I was reminded of Dickens’ message, Nathan was having his own experiences. Nathan is lucky to not only have these opportunities but to recognize them. He told us a little bit more about Brother Fullmer (the older gentleman that the Elders live with) ” he is an absolute saint. Since his wife died and the missionaries moved in with him he has pretty much turned his house, life and car over to the Lord. And he has a really nice grand piano, which I do play a lot. In my last two districts we haven’t had anybody who can play the piano, but I am getting there. Brother Fullmer’s birthday was on Tuesday. He turned 75 and we wanted to do something for him so we got up a little early and made him breakfast. He was so happy about it – I didn’t expect the big deal he made about it. A lot of people called to say happy birthday and we could hear him on the phone, “the Elders got up and made me breakfast and sang to me..” I was so touched by how much it meant to him. . . Another experience we had was with a homeless guy named David who lives at a bus stop on our way home. Sometimes he is asleep when we come by, but sometimes we will stop and talk to him. He is a pretty young guy. He was in a car accident a few years ago and has some physical limitations. Every time he is asleep we talk about how we need to do something for him, and yesterday as we were riding past I remembered I had a Subway card in my wallet. We stopped, wrote a little note and went and stuck it under his stuff. (Funny side note – I looked over as I sat it down and I saw his eyes as big as dinner plates so I think I scared him pretty good). But as we were leaving I was just so glad we had done something. And the third experience was with an older couple who had a disaster of a yard. We went over to help them manage it and while we were cutting down a tree, part of it fell on the old guy and knocked his hearing aid out, (he was fine) and we had to try to find his $2400 hearing aid in a pile of leaves and rubble and stuff. I remember just praying to myself that we would be able to find it for him, and eventually his wife did. That was miraculous – a needle in a haystack experience. They are not interested in hearing about the church though.”
And just to keep everyone updated on Nathan’s online work: “Remember Sasi . . .? (He is a young man from India that our family met while on a cruise a few years ago) I set up a Skype appointment with him and talked to him a little and he said he is going to send me his address so we can send missionaries over there. Man, does he love our family. He said he talks to his family a lot but he hasn’t gotten as excited as he was to talk to me in a long time. I sure don’t hear that too often anymore! He said to tell everyone hi. Boy is he a nice guy.”
Can’t wait to talk to Nathan – next week!