Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Three Weeks in California!

Oh wow!  Have we been here that long - has it only been that long?

We feel more like missionaries and have had some good experiences in this last week.  We were loaded our first Sunday with lots of people to visit and find.  There is a list of those who are on the ward list but haven't been seen at all there.  We have been finding out what is going on with them.  Many really never were active in the church for very long.  They got baptized without really being converted.  Most of them were cordial and kind.  It was fun talking to them and hearing their stories.  Some of the addresses were not even real addresses.  A few are interested in getting involved again and want home teachers and some contact.  It was a grueling three days searching, knocking, driving, talking etc.  A bit of a taste of what missionaries used to do all of the time.  We have enjoyed talking to others from the ward who have been less active and have good hearts.  We still have some that we haven't found home and keep going back to see them.

We were still wondering what we really would do to fill our time once this list was done.  We still had not heard from the Seegmillers or the mission president so we forged on to find other things we might do.  We went to the Family History Center which just happens to be a few minutes drive from our apartment.  Oh my!  We walked in and met the director of the center.  I told him that we were new missionaries in the area and we were just checking out what service opportunities there might be there.  He just lit up and said that he was hearing the Tabernacle Choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus!  They are so understaffed.  He showed us around the wonderful renovation that they have just done there.  They have doubled the size of the center and added two large teaching rooms.  There are 30 brand new touch screen computers with huge monitors on each in a room with a large screen for viewing and teaching.  There is another large teaching room with tables and hook ups for people to bring their own computers and to learn directly on them.  They have a nice library and the regular desks to use the book on and a large screen area there to do MORE teaching.  They also have 20 other "normal"computers and cubbies to do genealogy work and searching on.  They are the center for the whole area to teach and train the young men and young women.  They have youth groups come in the evenings and teach them.  The director really was looking for someone to replace his wife and him and thought we might be that couple.  He kept us there for over 3 hours overwhelming us.  If any of you out there want to some to beautiful San Diego and be the directors for the Family History Center here there could be a wonderful opportunity here!

Finally we heard from the Mormon Battalion director and he said that he was going to ask the mission president if we could serve there.  He would let us know.  So we were still waiting and still looking for things to keep us busy.  We spent time visiting with the list we were given and visited with several semi-active people from the ward.  What a wonderful opportunity that was!  To sit in a living room with wonderful people and teach them the principles of the gospel was so sweet.  We heard wonderful and sad stories, listened to a sweet lady pray for the very first time out loud, invited her to read and pray, made new friends, taught a lesson, went to a baptism in Spanish, helped clean the church building, help a sweet grandma move, ate pancakes with a bunch of wonderful young families in the ward, and finally heard from the Battalion.  We are going to be able to serve there.  We are more and more excited for this opportunity as time goes on!

We went to lunch with the Battalion directors and spent all afternoon learning about what our responsibilities there will be.  We will be giving tours, manning the Mormon Battalion Historic Site, working with civic leaders with public relations, working with tourism to help get more people to the site, and so much more.  Our heads were swimming.  We have been trying to learn our script!  Oh!  Our brains don't memorize like they used to.  We spent an afternoon with the wonderful couple who are leaving in 6 weeks trying to understand what they have been doing on web sites etc.  We have a lot to figure out.  Since then we have spent several shifts in the center training with the other couples there. The Sisters are darling and loving.  And the couples are good people trying to serve the Lord and are doing a bang up job of it all.  The theme of the Battalion story is, "These were ordinary men that did something extraordinary because of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!"  As I was struggling with all we had to learn one of the Elders turned to me and said, "You are an ordinary person who can do extraordinary things through your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!"  And I can - we can!

We spent all day the last two Tuesdays at the Battalion.  Usually the Sister Missionaries are there and we only have to do four hours shifts but Tuesdays are the Sister Missionaries Pday so the Senior Couples do the whole thing.  We are finally learning things and both of us felt that we had the script down pretty good.  So yesterday we did tours by ourselves!  Oh that was scary!  It was so much harder to say when there are people on a tour looking at you and there is all kinds of media that we have to interact with.  It was a little bit of a train wreck my first tour but I told the people that it was my first tour and they were so much fun and got me through it.  All in all I am sure that we will love working there.  On Sunday we had 910 people through the center.  It is slowing down now with kids getting in to school.  Then we start 4th grade tours for the schools in San Diego!  We can't proselyte there unless asked a question.  But there still are plenty of opportunities to teach the gospel.  The Spirit directs these good people in so many ways to our direction and we are able to give them a taste of the gospel.

People make this work wonderful.  Those that know and feel as we do and those that don't.  Good people and good hearts!  We love it!

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