Another week gone and sadly not much has changed here in Goochland County, Virginia. The main highlights of this week mostly happened during the week-end but there's been some good throughout the week.
Last Monday, we had a Zone preparation day where we went downtown to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. There was a wonderful exhibit of the work of Dale Chihuly who is an artist who works with blown glass. The rest of the museum was filled with art from around the world and extending from ancient to works made within the last decade. I rather enjoyed the section they had on the oriental and asian arts as well as some work from the Victorian Era.
Friday was Zone meeting which was attended by a guest trainer, Brother Anderson who is the Richmond Stake High Councilman over missionary work. The meeting was really good with trainings from Brother Anderson and our two Zone Leaders. Following the meeting, we helped to blitz the Downtown Elders' area and were able to meet a couple cool guys that were open to learning more so we passed their contact information to the Downtown Elders. That evening was the Gayton Ward Christmas party which was very nice. We had a couple less active members that came out for that. It was a very good mix of fun and spiritual entertainment with a program which involved all of the primary age children leading a Christmas sing-along with our very enthusiastic organist, Brother Cheshire, on the piano, followed by a live nativity set to music.
Saturday was a long day for us. The Stake was putting on a nativity exhibit which included a guided walk-through of a multi-room live nativity with the shepherds, wise men, king Herod, and the manger scene all being in separate rooms that guides would take groups through providing the story as is found in the Bible as well as some minor historical aspects surrounding the nativity. The exhibit culminated in a concert of Christmas hymns. Brother Maldonado was asked to bring down some of his animals to create a sort of "petting zoo"/shepherd's exhibit which could entertain the children. Of course, we got enlisted into helping him do this so that morning we reported to his home where we cut wood and carted it down to the church along with hay and straw to make a small enclosure. Then we had to go round-up the animals. We started with the easiest of them, his two kid-goats. We simply threw some food into a dog kennel and they walked right in peacefully. Then we caught two of his geese, somehow managing to avoid their sharp pinches and loaded them into another dog kennel. The harder part came in chasing down and roping his ram and one of his she-goats. His ram can jump at least five feet in the air so it was very challenging trying to corner him. But we got them and loaded them all up in the truck. The children thoroughly enjoyed it at least. Then that evening we were enlisted in helping to dismantle the exhibits and to help cart them down to storage. It was a good long day of hard work.
I hope everyone is doing well as we prepare for the Christmas holiday and the celebrations of our Lord's birth which it entails.
I love you all, and wish for you the best.
-Elder John Y. Roberts