It’s been a lovely week here in Salt Lake City. It was delightful to see the Ellsworth’s again and to spend time with them for Thanksgiving (we knew the family from church when they lived in Appleton years ago—they reached out to Allen via Facebook and invited him).

It’s been a fairly uneventful week at the Global Service Center as we haven’t been receiving many phone calls for ticketing and people are beginning to be consumed by the holiday rush. I have been able to track down some lost checks but getting in contact with leaders the past few weeks have been challenging likely because of the previously mentioned reason.

This week for the Tabernacle choir was the last time performing in the Tabernacle until January which meant moving all of the percussion, harp, and string bass instruments from the Tabernacle to the Conference Center. The first Music and the Spoken Word broadcast from the Conference Center will be tomorrow. The Choir is also very excited about the concerts coming up next month, especially having Santino Fontana and the Muppets perform with them.

The Conference Center hasn’t been too busy this past week for tours, but next month it is expected to pick up. Many people will want to only go to the roof to see the lights from up above.

Yesterday being the day after Thanksgiving meant that the Temple was closed and bus service was limited. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the temple, so I donated plasma and saw all of the lights on temple square. It was simply breathtakingly beautiful.

One of the Brethren on the Tuesday night shift at the Conference Center shared how he was a structural engineer as a career and hadn’t been a Bishop or really any leadership positions in the Church, so when he started the process for becoming a host when he was told that the Spirit would touch people simply by coming into the building he was confused. Anyways, he accepted it and became a host. The first time he shadowed somebody for a tour, the guests that came in were a relatively young couple. The wife was recently diagnosed with a form of cancer and was about to undergo surgery for it. When they took a seat in the auditorium, the husband received a call and all you could hear was “Yes. What is going on? Ok.” He returned back and his wife turned to him and asked “Honey, what is going on?” The husband handed her the phone and she said the same words into the phone. When she returned to the group, the husband asked the same question as his wife. She was told that the hospital had rerun her tests and concluded that she did not have cancer after all. When the couple had came in, it was cloudy and breezy, but after the tour it was sunny and warm again. The new host made a comment, “It’s turned out to be quite a nice day.” He was talking about the weather. The husband of the couple thinking he was talking about the situation with his wife replied, “Yes it has.” After sharing this experience, he testified that the Spirit of the Conference Center will touch those who come inside.

On Thursday night BYUtv premiered a new documentary about Handel’s  oratorio “The Messiah.” It was a touching story about how the plan of redemption played out in the lives of those involved with the music to bring to us the divine oratorio. The documentary is an hour and a half long and is worth the watch. You can watch it here.

Today I went to the organ recital of Kimberly Moody, one of the guest organists. She performed a great program that ended with Keith Chapman’s “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella” or as Brother Elliott would call it, “Bring a Blowtorch, Jeanette Isabella.” I am now getting groceries.