Sunday, December 15, 2013


This is a festive time in LA, especially on Temple Hill. The Visitors' Center has a Christmas concert or devotional every night this month. Some nights, twice. They usually fill their multipurpose room and have overflow viewing in other smaller rooms. (They really need to have a large auditorium, as they do in the Washington, DC, Temple Visitors' Center.) We went to a concert by the Torrance Stake Youth Choir last night. They were quite good, with children from about eight to eighteen.
Looking to the Northeast

The back of the Temple
The Christmas lights around the Temple are very beautiful and interesting, especially the lights on the tall palm trees. Here are a few photos we took last Tuesday after we went to the Temple.

Sister Evans is in this one

The Family History Library was closed on our P-day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so we went with another couple and the three single senior sisters to the Los Angeles Science center. They have the last of the Space Shuttles, the Endeavor on display there. I made this picture. It is actually three shots stitched together to get it all.

The Science Center has a lot of great exhibits and films. We saw a 3-D IMAX film, The Flight of the Butterfly. It was beautifully done; very educational and entertaining.

One P-day was spent mostly Christmas shopping. We were going to walk on the beach, but it was too cold. The weather here is generally very nice, so we can't complain.We went to the Skirball Cultural Center last Wednesday. It is a new museum of American Jewish history, built above the Getty Museum in the mountain pass between the LA basin the the San Fernando valley. It's close to where we live. It has a well-done exhibit on the history of Judaism, especially in the United States. It also has a permanent children's exhibit, Noah's Ark, which is a lot of fun, even for old children like us. The also have a temporary exhibit on the works of architect Moshe Safdie, who designed the Skirball and the new Salt Lake City Public Library, as well as many internationally important buildings. Sorry, no pictures.

Like everyone else, we've been having parties. We had a Thanksgiving party with the senior missionaries one Monday night. There was a pot-luck Thanksgiving diner with those who were staying in the Patron Apartments, followed by a left-over dinner on Friday. We had our ward Christmas party. Since our ward is the center of missionary activity among the Iranian people in the mission (in the United States, actually), a Persian restaurant catered the dinner. It was delicious. I was sitting with the Farsi-speaking missionaries and some Iranian investigators who had been the U.S. for just 20 days. They said the food was very authentic. We also had a Christmas party with the Family History Library missionaries and volunteers. One volunteer is Jewish and she shared with us the history and traditions of Hanukkah. Everyone brought a pot-luck dish. Sister Evans went to the Relief Society Christmas party at a member's home high on the mountainside in Bel Air. It was outdoors, but in a heated tent. Elder Evans worked the late shift at the Library that evening. Mary and the Sisters from the Library got together with the Senior Sisters from the Mission Office to learn how to make miniature Christmas trees. They are made of hangers, lights, and garland, with an angel on top.
Our Christmas tree and Nativity
We are making plans to make the long drive to Salt Lake City next week. Let's pray for good weather as we travel. We will be home for a week while the Library is closed for Christmas and will return in time to go to the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena on New Years day. We are looking forward to seeing everyone.

Has anyone seen the movie, The Sarakov Approach, yet? We want to see it when we are in SLC. It doesn't open here until January 10. The producer, who also plays the part of one of the kidnapped missionaries, is in our ward.

You must think we play all the time. We don't really (just as much as we can). But we also work in the Library five days a week. Sister Grandma is amazing at finding sources for her family and keeps extending the line. The young Elders and Sisters are busy finding, teaching and baptizing, but Sister Evans just finds and baptizes - in the temple. We make it a point to go to the temple every week. Elder Grandpa is busy cataloging the Jewish Genealogical Society's collection of books and periodicals, which we keep for them. He also is getting ready to teach classes at the Library and at the Roots conference in March. President Weidman asked us if we have time to help the office Elders with organizing the referrals. We will start that after the new year. The most fun we have, however, is helping patrons one-on-one, both LDS and visitors, find family members. It is often a puzzle and sometimes we don't succeed, but we never fail; We just learn what doesn't work. We do enjoy the challenge and the patrons are all so very grateful. The days and the weeks go by quickly.

We love you all and wish you a Merry Christmas,
Sister and Elder Evans