The Christmas season in Pittsburgh actually starts before Thanksgiving. We had a very fun night on November 20th. Gregorie is one of the members we are very close with and he is a very talented young man. One of his talents is playing the drums. We were able to attend the Pittsburgh "Light Up Night" downtown to watch Gregorie play the drums in a jazz band. The atmosphere and weather were wonderful and we had a really good time taking it all in. We have never been walking downtown at night before so it was a new experience for us. The large tree in the PPG plaza was lit and it will have ice skating around it all winter. A German Christmas village of shops is also set up and of course we did a little shopping. We don't normally like crowds and traffic, but we found a great parking garage and then took the "T" (subway/trax) to maneuver from one place to another. There are actually other tree lightings and fireworks and just lots and lots of fun things going on everywhere during this celebration. Last year we watched the city from a viewpoint at Mount Washington, but it was fun to be a part of things even more this year.
Quite a bit of preparation and coordination in travel plans are always necessary for these temple trips. Each of these sisters has a few health concerns so it was especially gratifying to be able to help with the preparation and see them all be able to accomplish this goal.
We also recently heard a great story from the elders at district meeting. Our district leader, Elder Kocherhans, and his companion, Elder Gull were out walking in a neighborhood here called Braddock. It's a steel mill town that still actually has a functioning mill. They came across a group
Thanksgiving dinner was held at a restaurant on the Northside and we, along with 4 elders, were invited to attend the dinner. We met so many warm and wonderful members of the family that day. a Margaret said it is only a small part of her large extended family. It was great to see Janet introduced to all of the rest of the family. We missed having a more traditional dinner with all of our family, but we will definitely chalk it up as one of our very enjoyable and memorable holidays. We felt very honored to be included.
The next part of the story is that Janet soon realized that Margaret was a member of the Mormon church. Janet says she actually studied with the Mormon missionaries many years ago, but became distracted and didn't continue. She is very knowledgable with the Bible and has really enjoyed having two lessons with the elders that we were able to attend. She is excited to get connected with the church in North Carolina and to continue taking the lessons there. She is even considering baptism if she continues to feel as positive as she does now about the things she is learning. She feels that the teachings from the Book of Mormon fits in so well with her present knowledge of Bible teachings.