Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014

We have had another amazing and busy week.  Some of the highlights are mentioned below with pictures to prove it.  

We have comforted and cheered up a dear friend who is going through some marriage difficulties and serious emotional problems.  

We have also visited a couple who is going through some severe trials.  She lost her job and because of that, also their health insurance.  He is disabled and needs surgery for a back problem. They have so much faith, hope and trust that they inspire us.    Having the eternal perspective that only the Gospel can bring, helps us in every situation.  They know there are better days ahead for all of us.

One interesting experience we had last Thursday, and one I will never forget, was while we were sitting outdoors, teaching a young boy who lives in a pretty rough neighborhood, a RAT suddenly came running out from under the house and toward my chair.  I jumped up and screamed and scared the rat back under the house.  The others thought it was funny, but for me - not so much.

On Saturday we were blessed to attend a special missionary conference at the stake center near the DC Temple.  Oh my goodness.  I can't even express how amazing it was.  Over 650 missionaries were in attendance and one of the Apostles, Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke in addition to three other General Authorities.  Many wonderful things were said, but my favorite was when Elder Ballard said:  "We love our senior missionaries." 

This is during our - almost weekly - lunch at Gino's after District Meeting.  We at times forget that we are a few years older than these young sisters. 

We have been teaching this amazing ten year old boy the new member lessons.  He was baptized a couple of months ago and is soaking it all in.  He knows the answer to all the questions and we expect great things from him.  His family are all members of the Church.  (This is when the rat came out.) 

On Friday night most of the senior couples met at the Olive Garden for dinner. We were saying goodbye to the Nickerson's and hello to the Crane's.   It was so much fun and we love getting together. Usually the dinners are held in the mission home, but the Richard's were out of town.

On our way to the conference Saturday.  These sisters and Elder Warner rode with us and we enjoyed them very much.

The other five elders from our district rode together in another car.

We're so lucky to have family pretty close by.  It's only a one hour drive for Linda and Clyde and four hours for Sylvia and Fred.  It was wonderful to be able to share a meal with them and spend the afternoon together.

A selfie during our Monday walk. The weather is beautiful now and we love being outside.  

One of the nice views we see on the way.

The view from our back porch.

The traffic noise is not quite as bad now that the trees have leaves, but you can see how close we are to the freeway.

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

Random pictures from our week.

I love picking flowers during our walks .

My Mother's Day table.  

I planted some flowers to have on our back porch.

At transfer day.
Sister Richards is always going around taking pictures of everyone.  See the missions blog.

Our new Relief Society President and my dear friend Natalie.  

Relief Society sisters on Mother's Day.

Amazing refreshments!
There were chocolate covered strawberries under the foil. 

Our Branch President and his family.  They have one son on a mission in the California Oakland Mission.

With the four Elders.

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

The week started out with a bang.  We went to Ikea on Monday, one of my favorite places.  It was good to get out of town for a little while.  We bought a few things and had a nice lunch there.  

As most of you know, the weather here was terrible on Tuesday, and especially Wednesday this past week.  After our district meeting on Tuesday, we were still able to visit a few people and had a good day.  On Wednesday you could say that we got wet and also a little discouraged.  Most of our appointments were cancelled or fell through.  I think we went to five homes and they had either forgotten or were too tired to talk to us.  We did have one really good visit teaching a ten year old boy the new member lesson #3, with his family listening in. It was great.  

With all the rain, the pot holes are now sink holes, and we really have to watch carefully when we drive.  We saw one car with a sticker on the back that read, "I'm not driving drunk, I'm just trying to avoid pot holes."  That about says it.

We have been spending a lot of time this past week helping a couple pack their belongings before moving to Utah.  They both have severe health problems, so we have been doing what we can to help.  It has also been good getting to know them better and we hope the move will be a positive one.

Our Friday "Family Fun Nights" have been very successful.  More and more families and children come and participate.  It's interesting to see how, when given a chance, kids and adults step up and want to help clean up or do anything else that is needed.  

We usually have about 65 attend our sacrament meetings.  Yesterday was especially good, with many members bearing their testimonies and many less actives coming back to church.  When they come back, they always fit right in and are welcomed with open arms. They soon recognize that familiar special feeling in their hearts.  Other churches may have loud music, drums, shouting and entertainment, but the quiet and peaceful whisperings of the Spirit can be much more powerful.  

I love and admire these wonderful sisters.
They are strong, faithful, hard working,
beautiful and just amazing. 
It's always a good time when we have
our four elders over for dinner. Elder Latu was on 

exchange and we had Elder Warner for a few days. 

These pictures are from our Family Fun Night.
Lots of fun going on as you can see.