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.”

Nathan Christmas 2013And 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!

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7 Responses to

  1. Verla Brennan says:

    This brought back so many memories! The trips to SLC, the Tabernacle choir, and of course all the memories with our children when they were younger and then with their souses and children! It is still Grandpa’s and mine tradition to watch Dickens Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve! The message in that is superb and always brings me down to earth and appreciate all I have and all that I can give!

    Nathan is truly living the Spirit of Christmas and I am sure Brother Fullmer’s life is enriched by Nathan and his companion. The thought of Nathan giving his Subway card to a homeless person brought tears to my eyes. His kindness, live, and his ability to accept people and not judge is awesome and I am so proud of him! He makes my heart swell with pride! God bless him and all his devotion and hard work!

  2. Verla Brennan says:

    You do such a great job and really inspires me! Nathan will cherish his Blog! Love You!

    Sent from my iPad


    • Ron Brennan says:

      I can only say amen to Verla’s comment. I would add only that Elder Wainwright learned what what he lived. It is obvious from his commitment and experiences he shares in his weekly messages that his testimony is only growing stronger. Makes a grandfather’s heart swell with joy.

      • camille1287 says:

        Makes a mom’s heart swell! I continue to be touched by Nathan’s example of compassion. When he was in high school he noticed a homeless man with a sign asking for help so he went into the grocery store and bought him a loaf of bread and some peanut butter – and he is allergic to peanuts!

  3. Ron Brennan, says:

    Camille, I too remember listening to A Christmas Carol with you and trips to Salt Lake City to attend the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts. Very special memories. But I also remember around the same time Mom and I got a letter from Santa which we still have. Still do not know for sure, but we were quite sure Santa’s helper played a part in it and the word was that her name was………..

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