Last year when I had more time, I shared some of my favorite Christmas music every day in December. Life is a bit more hectic this year, and I’m only getting to thinking about Christmas this week, and even then, it’s very passive thoughts. If anyone wants to come wrap presents, let me know …
One of my favorite memories of childhood Christmas time is dressing up in our Sunday best, piling in the station wagon with all of our cousins and Grandparents, and driving over to Grady Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, Arizona. Every year Ballet West would come thru town and perform the Nutcracker Ballet. We went every year. Gammage was magical, the Nutcracker was magical, and planted in my childhood heart a love of Russian classical music.
This weekend we’re going to watch the Nutcracker with our kids, on the TV, as we’re far away from Arizona, Gammage and have no station wagon to pile into. Enjoy this performance of the Bolshoi from last year.
When I hear good things like this, my heart swells with gratitude for the years of hard work by missionaries and for their sacrifice. I also have a deep appreciation for the members of the Church in this part of the world. They face persecutions and sacrifice so much to be members of the Church, and yet they continue on, because they know the Gospel is true. I’m also very grateful for the protection the Lord has given to those in his service and for the ongoing march of the Gospel into all the nations of the world. We have witnessed another miracle with the organization of this stake. Finally, if you’re looking for a bit of history on the Church’s presence in Eastern Europe, I’d recommend, Mormon Missionaries Enter Eastern Europe by Kahlile B. Mehr. It’s out of print now, but can be found in the used book marketplace on Amazon.com.
My hope is that each of us will rejoice with the members of the Church in the new Russia Moscow Stake and continue to pray for the gospel to go forward in the world. Miracles happen all the time, and they are right around the corner. I know the Lord still has many more miracles to reveal in different and unexpected parts of the world. Let’s be ready to go when they present themselves!