Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Here we are on a quiet Christmas Morning , thinking about our family at home and hoping all is well this morning as you wake up to celebrate the Birth of Our Lord and Savior, Creator of the world the person who came to earth to redeem us from our sins and break the bands of death making it possible to live forever if we will simply try to live his gospel and reap the blessings that he promises us ultimately all that our Father in Heaven has with eternal life beside our Savior and loved ones. This keeps us trying as hard as we can to serve our Heavenly Father with all of our heart, might,mind and strength. We love Jesus Christ and know that he loves you for keeping on trying to do what's right. Reach out to others and feel the magic of Christmas love. Remember, don't give up, keep on trying and all things will work out for your good.
We hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!! We love you...Thanks for being you !!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Choir and Snow

We are continuing to be busy in this multi language temple. It can really be exciting at times.
We just returned from singing in a Choir sponsored by the East Madrid Stake which presented a very professionally done Christmas Concert. The Choir Director is a member of the Madrid National Choir and her husband is an accomplished and very creative pianist. It was a pleasure to sing for her but we held long practices each Sunday as she worked tirelessly to improve diction and quality of the people singing. Dick accompanied Sister Leonora Smith,who used to work in the Church temple dept. and help all of us seniors get processed for our temple missions. She has a trained soprano voice and she sang "Gesu Bambino". We came to Spain together in October. Dick also accompanied Sister Patricia Cerro who was here last time we were here and she sang " Oh Holy Night ". It was a delightful experience and we sang all the Christmas Carols. There were other duets and solos and groups, one of which Dick also accompanied on the song of " Estrella de Luz ". This was a group of young people about 10-12 in number. We woke up this Monday morning to a beautiful white covering of snow all over the ground and vehicles. The lights on the Temple Square are still on and it is quite beautiful. This is our second storm. We have a wonderful couple as our Temple President Garry and Lanelle Moore and they enjoy getting together with all of the Senior missionaries and we have several activities planned for the holidays to get through the season without too much heartache from not being near our families. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with 40 + people attending and it was like days of old . We miss you and love you and really appreciate your e-mails. We wish you a Merry Christmas and an even better New Year for 2010!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dear Loved ones,

We have had a pretty slow week in the temple. Last night all the temple workers met together after the temple was closed for a Temple Devotional. Our Temple President Moore and his wife spoke to all of us sharing some Christmas thoughts and moving stories. One of our single senior sister missionaries sang " Oh Holy Night " and we sang a couple of Christmas carols and ate a lot of food and enjoyed one another's company. This morning we went to hear our fellow temple missionary friends Rod & Marcia Ford speak to the new young missionaries in the MTC above. They did a great job and we were invited to go with them after church to the MTC cafeteria for dinner to dine with the MTC Pres. and his wife. It was a nice morning. The rest of the year is to be busy with a large group coming from Portugal. Every day is incredible because people often just arrive here to experience the temple work or accomplish the work of their ancestors and they don't always tell us of their coming. This temple is definitely a 5 language temple and quite often we will have people here in all the languages at the same time. This makes for some very interesting experiences in the different areas of the temple. We have learned a lot about the different languages and the differences between them. We became involved with a choir back in Ocotober. We found out that we were preparing for the Temple Lighting Ceremony and for a Christmas concert. We never knew how much of a commitment this would be. We practice every Sunday at 5:00 and don't finish until 8;30 or 9:00. Sometimes they take a break while the youth go to the fireside and then continue the choir practice. Your dad has been playing for the practices and the first time they took the break for the firerside we didn't understand and went home. When they started again the director asked."where is my nice piano player?" Our friend told her that we must not have understood. We got a laugh out of this because there are many times that we don't understand what is going on. We have started doing the 12 days of Christmas for the Institute couple. We chose them because they have been such troopers and of course they will understand what the 12 days is all about. We have discovered that this is an American tradition and it certainly is one of our personal favorite traditions. I've decided to start a new tradition this year. Today is my mother's birthday. She was born 104 years ago on St.Louis ave. in St. Louis, Mo. So each year on this date I am going to start my Christmas scent of an orange, a lemon, stick cinnamon and cloves. I believe Jared brought this recipe home one year from elementary school. I still have his handwritten note in my recipes. We are missing being home and are trying to think of things to do to keep busy and happy.