Christmas with Our Savior in Mind

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December 15, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Here it is, Sunday again. We are in the John Taylor home waiting for visitors to come. Very few visitors are in town right now, so we have brought things to do while we wait. Right now Elder Campbell is taking pictures of the cute decorations here, while I write our letter.

Today the mission choir practice went really well. It was our last practice before we sing next week, so everyone was intent on getting their parts right. This has caused a little “panic” in the rehearsal in the past, which I recognized today as we were practicing. Since I was not nervous about their getting it down, I did not let it bother me and just kept the rehearsal going smoothly as I had planned. They got their parts ironed out and everything is in readiness! We will sing three songs for a special Sacrament meeting program next week.

Friday was the community of Nauvoo production of the Messiah. A lot of people traveled from neighboring towns to participate. The soloists and several of the orchestra members came in at the last rehearsal to add depth to the small-town orchestra. I was privileged to play 1st violin in the orchestra. It was held in a Catholic cathedral, and the sound was wonderful! The choir did really well, and the orchestra, too, for that matter. I was glad I was able to participate and meet some nice people.

On Wednesday Elder Campbell sprained his ankle at work, so he has been babying that for the past few days. It is improving and he is able to walk on it, so that is good. He and the rest of carpentry crew are working hard to put up the new walls in the home down by the Mississippi.

On Wednesday evening we were invited over to Elder and Sister Gneiting’s home to play Christmas music. I took my violin and guitar. Elder Pixlar took his clarinet, Elder Taye his mandolin and recorder, Elder Ballard his harmonica, Elder Bennion his saxophone, and Elder Fullenbach his guitar. Everyone brought their companions. A few other couples came, too. Sister Gneiting played the piano. She picked out some Christmas songs from her book, and we played and sang. It was fun, because everyone could participate. Most of the time we didn’t have the music, and just played by ear. I did most of it on the violin and enjoyed making up my own part. The final song was “Birthday of a King.” Most people didn’t know it, so since I knew it well I stood up and played it as a solo. Afterwards we visited and ate.

Sister Mendenhall is still at the hospital in Iowa City. She is at the burn center and will be there for a while. She is in a lot of pain, and so is heavily sedated, but well cared for. We hope to travel there to see her next week-end. We were going with Elder and Sister Gillespie on preparation day, but because of a big snow storm our trip was postponed.

We send our love and well-wishes, that you will not be stressed out with too many holiday preparations. May you be able to prepare for Christmas with our Savior in mind. What would He do in preparation for this Christmas celebration?

Elder Campbell would like me to add a quote by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.

May we take time this Christmas season to renew our covenants to follow the Savior and to do His will, just as He did the will of our Heavenly Father.

We can’t fully understand the meaning of Christmas unless we understand the meaning of the Savior’s life, Atonement, and Resurrection.”

We send our love with this letter,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Carpenters at the remodel home by the Mississippi
– #1 carpenter
– Sister Campbell in orchestra in Cathedral
– Working on letter in waiting area of John Taylor hom
– Nativity in John Taylor home
– John Taylor home
– After the snow storm

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