Wow. Christmas has come, and Christmas has gone. We sang a lot of Christmas songs (in Spanish! Awesome!!) and there are a couple of palm trees with Christmas lights on them (I will send pictures of that), but other than that, there have been no reminders that it's Christmas. The weather is like that of late May or early June :) . It's awesome. Anyway, I'll be short because I don't have much time today. Let's see if I can remember what happened today: Let's see . . . oh, yeah, Christmas. That will probably be the highlight for the week. We had some great devotionals on Sunday. In addition to playing the piano in Sacrament meeting, I had the opportunity to play the piano for the CCM choir and also for the branch, who sung "O Holy Night" in Spanish during a musical devotional. It was awesome!! I will never turn down an opportunity to play the piano. They were handing out sodas at the devotional, and I had to take a picture of a can because it was honestly the funniest thing, considering this is México:
Yup. Uber-American soda. I just thought that was funny. Anyway, I was able to call home on Christmas Sunday. That 30 minutes was the shortest 30 minutes of my life. It seriously felt like about 8 seconds. Oh, well. It was good to talk to the family. The other big highlight of the week is that we got to go to the temple this morning. It was the first time we had gone, and we have been dying to go since we got here. Turns out, the México City temple is the largest temple outside the US. It is, indeed, rather large:
It is on the site for the former MTC in México before they turned Benemerito de las Américas, a school owned by the Church, into the current MTC. They use the old facilities for the missionaries who work at this temple. It was an amazing experience, considering that I haven't been to the temple in a month and it was good to get back. Also, hearing everything in Spanish was very interesting. It just goes to show that God loves all His children, whether they live in the US or México or wherever, and that His Church is the same everywhere in the world. I really enjoyed the experience!
I really enjoyed this week. I really learned for myself that God watches out for His missionaries, and that He listens to and answers those the prayers of those who sincerely seek Him. I have loved Christmas in the MTC! This was a Christmas completely focused on the reason for it: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was probably the most spiritual Christmas I have ever had, and certainly one of the most meaningful. It was definately hard being away from home, but it was, interestingly, an excellent Christmas all the same. I learned a very great deal about what Christmas truly means, and what the results of that holy birth have in each of our individual lives. If it weren't for Christ and the life that He lived and gave for us, there would be no hope in this world. The birth of Christ was the first of the fruits of a plan that had been laid out since before the creation of the world. It was the beginning of the fulfillment of one of the most prophecied-about periods of time in all of scripture. It was the beginning of that which would be the single greatest blessing for mankind apart from existence itself. I absolutely love the Christmas season and all that it represents: hope, joy, peace, goodwill, and love. All these are now possible because of the Savior, Jesus Christ, Who is the First and Greatest Christmas gift.
Anyway, I love all of you, and ¡Feliz Navidad y un prosepro Año Nuevo!
Lots of love from la Ciudad de México,