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.