Today was a perfect day.
Really and truly it was. I can't think of anything I would have changed about today (almost, ahem the three hours it took me to make pizza ball monkey bread, but I'll forgive you because you're bread and you ended up being delicious).
Among other things I was able to help at a bridal shower and catch up with old friends, attend a baptism, pretend to study with a friend, grab dinner with another, go see a play, and see even more friends at a winter party.
I hadn't been to a baptism since my mission three years ago. This baptismal service, though held mostly in Spanish (which I was able to surprisingly understand fairly well), had such a sweet and powerful Spirit in the room. I am so happy for Gabriel and his decision to be baptized.
Tonight I went to a local community theater's production of "A Christmas Carol." A friend was a part of the production and he was gracious enough to offer me a ticket to his cast's opening night performance.
(Guys, if you do nothing else this holiday season, go see a version of "A Christmas Carol" near you. I'm sure you can find a production. Or rent one of the various movie versions. I had forgotten what a powerful story of change it is. Though Dickens wrote to his time, imploring those in his society to love a little more and judge a little less, we still need to hear and apply the same message.)
This story touched my heart as I looked introspectively to see what I needed to change to be more like the reformed Scrooge. It also reminded me of the reason we celebrate Christmas: Jesus Christ.
I can think of no better way I could have started off this month of service and love. We all have things in our lives that can turn us bitter if we let them. But we can also choose to look outward and love and serve and improve the lives of those around us.