The missionaries in our mission get to go to the temple twice per year, in June and in December, with members from their wards. Then a couple weeks before they finish their mission they get to go to the temple with the other departing missionaries. In addition, it is new policy that they can go with their new converts to take them to do baptisms. Well, last Tuesday and Wednesday were the all mission temple trips. On Tuesday we went and Ingrid Ball went with us. Her husband opted to stay at the office. We went to the Los Angeles Mission Office in the basement of the Visitor Center. We met the office couples and had a tour of their office. It was fun to see how another mission office looks and runs. We saw many of our missionaries coming out of the temple as we were going in. They went earlier. We ate a late lunch in the temple cafeteria before going to a session. It was past 5:30 pm and dark when we walked out of the temple, but the Christmas lights were shining brightly. We walked around and enjoyed them before our drive back.
On our afternoon off on Thursday, we delivered the fifteen microwave potato bags I made to some of our neighbors and friends from church. It was fun to spread a little Christmas cheer.
Friday was the Christmas "Morningside" for this side of the mission at our stake center. We had breakfast, watched the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", passed out the Christmas treat bags, played a fun game with the gifts the parents had sent, had a couple special musical numbers, sang Christmas carols, were taught by President and Sister Layton, and ended with a picture video of the missionaries and their activities. Everyone had a wonderful time!
Christmas Eve, the Morris's invited us over for a Mexican dinner. We brought bunuelos and pan dulce that we bought at Vallarta's Mexican grocery store. (It was so busy there this morning. Everyone was buying masa to make tamales and their food for the holidays.) After dinner, we had a fun "white elephant" gift exchange. Then Patty Morris read a touching Christmas story. It was so nice being there with some of their family and friends. It distracted us from missing our own family and Christmas traditions.
On Christmas morning we found our stockings all filled with goodies and opened a couple gifts. Then we went to church and enjoyed our Christmas Sacrament Meeting. We loved talking to our kids and grandkids and hearing about their Christmas.
We had Christmas dinner at the Ball's house with them, Elders Colburn, Egbers, Casper, and Waters, and John from their ward.
Below are some of the Christmas lights and trees around Bakersfield that we have enjoyed this season.
The article "The Holy Ghost Our Personal Guide" in the January Ensign tells about the adoption of our own sweet Sister Hayes in our mission. She was adopted from an orphanage in Asia when she was four years old. The article is written by her mother.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
I guess it is true that some Mormons have horns!
THE LORD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!