Surrounded by Him

Dear Friend E,

I figured that by today after all of the excitement of coming home and catching up on rest that you might start to miss the people and places that you've seen for the past 18 months.

We did indeed attend the Nativity Display.  I am so sorry that you missed it.  You would have loved to see all of the nativities beautifully displayed.  They were spread throughout all of the rooms in the church.  One room was devoted to nativities from other countries.  Many in the Spanish branch displayed theirs from their homelands (Peru, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Columbia, etc.) while there were others from Japan, Kenya, Germany, and other countries all around the world.

They also had a live nativity.  The babies were always so cute.  I know that they knew they were depicting little baby Jesus.  They were gurgling and making such cute little noises, "talking" to angels probably :).

Daughter personally loved the Children's room.  There they had crafts for the children to make, nativity coloring sheets, and biblical clothing for the children to be able to dress as Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, Wisemen, and angels.  We took Daughter 3 different times and she never tired of it.  The last night we had to drag her kicking and screaming from the building.  I know she loved it.  She would dress as Mary and sit quietly by the manger.  I approached her once and she turned and said to me, "I'm having a good time with baby Jesus."  I just smiled and backed away, because what is there to say to that?  I am grateful that Daughter was able to have such a sweet experience.  We promised her that we could get her some "Mary clothes" at the fabric store, and so everyday she would wake up and ask for them.  It took a few days to make it there, but now she loves to wear them at home and sit by our shoebox manger with either Bear or her baby wrapped in white paper (her idea for swaddling clothes).

At the Nativity display, I signed up to play the piano for a half hour time slot.  As I practiced and selected the songs that I wanted to play, I thought about choosing songs that spoke of the Savior.  I played favorites like Away in a Manger, and The First Noel.  I decided that I wanted to end my program with the hymn "I Believe in Christ."  I knew that it wouldn't be recognized by visitors to the display, but I really wanted to express my testimony that I DO believe in Christ.  There's been a lot of media in the past few months about if Mormon are Christians (you might have to ask your Mom), and so I just wanted to publicly take the opportunity to share that yes, I, Lindsay, believe in Jesus Christ, that He is my Savior and Redeemer and I am a Mormon.

When I arrived at the Church, there were actually zero people that were listening to the music.  I felt bad for the previous time slot as they were faithfully playing and completing their responsibility.  I have no idea how many people came through as I was playing because they had the piano arranged so that I was facing a wall with my back to everyone.  I did hear some voices, so I do know that there were a few (including Husband and Daughter), but it felt good to know that I was giving of my time and talents.  I played my program (which I thought was quite delightful, meaning I loved all of the songs), and before I knew it my half an hour came to a close.  So, I took a deep breath and started to play "I Believe in Christ."

It was amazing.

I've played this song many other times, but this time was different.  As I played and focused on each note conveying my testimony about Him, I realized that I was surrounded by Him.  There were hundreds of nativities (657 to be exact) surrounding me that all depicted our Savior's birth.  They were big.  They were small.  They were ornate.  They were profoundly simple.  They were carved into coconut shells, and painted on grains of rice.  They were made out of paper, plastic, crystal, and porcelain.  They were all so unique and beautiful and celebrated Jesus Christ.  They all testified that He is our Lord who came to humble circumstances, and is the Savior of all mankind.  I will never forget having the opportunity to make it 658 testimonies as I added mine about Him.

I believe in Christ.  He is my King.
Good works were His, His name be praised. (Hymn 134)

Merry Christmas!

Miss you,


waqar qureshi said…
I liked it and really it is so interesting and wonderful information, too!
Anonymous said…
What a neat idea, I don't know if I've ever heard of setting up that many displays and inviting the community to come see it. I wish our stake did something like this. I love picturing your daughter dressed up like Mary and remembering baby Jesus. I hope you had a very merry Christmas!

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