It is already December and the wonderful Christmas Season. We are so grateful for a computer which allows us to listen to the music which we love so dearly. John Rutter is my favorite composer of the last 50 years. His creations, Candlelight Carol and Wexford Carol flood me with emotion. I remember other pieces, Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming, In the Bleak Midwinter and O Come, O Come Emmanuel and can understand why Good Christian Men Rejoice. Tom and I listened this morning to Messiah with the London Symphony, Sir Colin Davies conducting. It was the most appropriate way to begin our Sabbath. We hope you all have access to the inspiring music of the season.
It is always humbling to hear what people here are grateful for. A brother this morning referred to his fear of Christmas and New Years. Many leave the city during this time to visit their childhood village homes in the bush. He said the roads are so bad that there are always many accidents and deaths. His wish for all the congregation was the blessing of living through this time. Another said, “This is all I have to eat. What will I eat tomorrow?” In his mind, his response was to be thankful you are still alive. He concluded with “For me and my household, we have lived through this year". Another testified that he knew that eventually all would be well.
I am grateful that my brother Jack, has lived through quadruple bi-pass surgery and is beginning the road to recovery. As I walked around the temple one evening, I was trying to imagine my world without Jack. I could not. He has had an immense impact on my life and I am relieved that he may be with us several more years.
We need to renew our passports to have enough pages for some planned travel on our way home next year. This was our visit to the local passport photo vendor. He also carries a lot of textbooks and other school supplies because of the high school nearby. On the right, you have his studio, with the bench in front of the white background for the photos, next to the motorcycle. And just behind, next door, is the "shoemaker" who repaired my dress shoes with a couple of stitches and fixed a loose strap on one of Sue's shoes. Their prices are very reasonable!
We were most interested in the #LighttheWorld campaign ( https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/light-the-world-christmas-initiative-encourages-christlike-service?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LDSNewsRoomTop15+%28RSS%3A+LDS+Newsroom%29 ) encouraging service and giving in new ways each day of the season. We especially liked the vending machine in the JS Memorial Building in Salt Lake where one can donate to buy a goat or chickens or eyeglasses through NGOs and other charities around the world. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865693511/Introducing-the-vending-machines-selling-goats-on-Temple-Square-this-Christmas.html
These are wonderful opportunities to share and serve if you are looking for ideas. We should also remember that sometimes those in greatest need of a kind word or deed are next door or across the street.