Monday, December 23, 2013

3rd Week-To Mom & Dad

Merry Christmas (well in a week)! Since I wont be able to say it on the 25th, Merry Christmas.

Mom, It sounds like the concert you went to [Sacramento Master Singers] was really fun. And I have heard that the Stake Christmas Program went really well and that you had one of the best sounding choirs. I know you will do great for the Ward Christmas Program.

Dad, that is so awesome that you had such an amazing survey! I'm glad to here that everything went well. It sounds like the Christmas party was very fun and a lot better this year. I hope you enjoy your relaxation time.

It's been a fairly busy week as usual. Lots of classes and study time.

We had a special Devotional last Thursday that was actually a Navidad en México. They had this [local, native] group come in and perform for us. It was a cultural dance recital of the Christmas [Nativity] Story that apparently is common in Mexico. It was a once in a lifetime kind of experience. For the first number they had all the women do this awesome ribbon number and dance around representing the announcement of the new star. They had a towns people number with the shepherds. Then they had this super awesome stomp number of all these diablos. The three wise men all came and they each had people dance around them representing the different gifts they gave. It was an awesome dance performance of Christmas. The whole thing was just awesome.
Traditional Mexican dance-Women dance with ribbonsTraditional Mexican Dance by Men

Traditional Mexican Stomp Dance
Our Sunday Devotional a few days ago was a broadcast of Elder Richard G. Scott who spoke about prayer. It was super good and I really enjoyed it. Every Sunday we also watch a movie.  The first week it was "Legacy," then the second week was the "Joseph Smith" movie (the one they played at the Joseph Smith Building in Salt Lake City). This last Sunday we watched three short movies.  We watched an eight minute PBS Broadcast about the Missionary expansion that had a lot of CCM clips and Presidente Pratt in it (from before I got here). The "John Tanner Story" and "Unto This End Was I Born" was also shown. Yesterday we had a speaker who was a Member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Benjamin De Hoyos.  He and his wife gave wonderful talks.  He talked about a variety of things.

Last Thursday, December 12, was the Dia de Guadalupe, which is a huge holiday in Mexico dealing with the Virgin Mary.  They shot off a billion fireworks that day about every five seconds. There were also fireworks from Wednesday through Sunday, just not nearly as many.
For our temple trip today we actually got there early enough to go to the 8:00 a.m. session instead of the 9:00 a.m. session (but we really had to hustle). Traffic has really died out around the city because school is currently out and many people are now taking time off work to celebrate Christmas. There are all these star piñatas for sale around here.  These star piñatas are a tradition here in Mexico and represent the star that announced the birth of Christ.
Pinatas for sale
I attended my first ever temple session in Spanish.  I realized that only on our first visit are we allowed to have the audio translation [to English]. It was a little difficult to understand everything, but I got most of it, and understood what was happening the whole time. Because we got to go in early, I had the opportunity to stay in the Visitor's Center for an hour while the others were finishing. We watched the modern day apostle movie; "Venid a Mí,"[translation: "Come unto Me"] and a clip about the Book of Mormon.
Mexico City L D S Temple Visitors Center - Christus Statue

Mexico City L D S Temple Visitors CenterMexico City L D S Visitors Center - Interactive Displays

Mexico City L D S Temple Visitors Center w/ poinsettias poinsettasMexico City L D S  Visitors Center - w/ Poinsettias poinsettas

Mexico City L D S Temple Visitors Center - Interactive Displaysview of Mexico City L D S Temple from theMexico City Temple Visitors Center w/ poinsettias poinsettas

I got to walk around the Mexico City Temple Visitor's Center more and just admire it and take it all in. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera because everyone has to deposit their cameras as they enter this area with the senior couple who accompany us. I am trying to take pictures for you though, so don't worry.

view of Mexico City L D S Temple w/ poinsettias poinsettas
Poinsettias planted on the Mexico City L D S Temple Grounds
Poinsettias planted on the Mexico City L D S Temple GroundsPoinsettias planted on the Mexico City L D S Temple GroundsNativity & Poinsettias on the Mexico City L D S Temple Grounds

Christmas lights at the Mexico City L D S Temple Grounds at night
Tell my youngest brother "Happy Belated Birthday!" I did remember his birthday and thought about him on his birthday a lot. It sounds like he had an awesome birthday.

I'll miss you guys for Christmas and I hope you all have a wonderful time of the season.(written 12/18/2013)

Glossary of Terms (by Stacie Dahl (Mom)):
CCM – Centro de Capacitación Misional México which means Mexico Missionary Training Center (MTC)
Navidad en México– Spanish for 'Christmas in Mexico'
Presidente Pratt – Mission President of the Mexico Missionary Training Center (Centro de Capacitación Misional México)
First Quorum of the Seventy - Seventies are called to proclaim the gospel and build up the Church. They work under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Presidency of the Seventy

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