Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Padres Stadium on tour with the Millers, another Senior Couple

Sunset on the porch of the Mormon Battalion

Some of our wonderful Sisters

Blooming flowers in October!

October 21
Wow ten days since last post.  Things are good here in sunny California!  We have had wonderful weather which has been so nice.  Our hot little apartment has turned into a more comfortable place.

I have had several people ask what a normal day for is like.  There really is no normal day because things are changing all of the time.  Here is what we do:

Five days of the week we spend 3-4 hours a day at the Mormon Battalion.  Every now and then we serve on Tuesdays all day from 9-5 so the sister missionaries can be off for P day.  We have Friday and Saturday with no commitment to the MB unless one of the other Senior Couples need help, have a doctor appointment, have kids in town and need time to play with them etc.  So basically we have a schedule but it is always changing.

Along with the Mormon Battalion schedule we have assignments there to work on Public Relations and Tourism.  We have meetings off and on with other members who are called to do the same thing.  There are about 8 people called from 12 different stakes in the area to work with Public Relations for the church here in San Diego.  Their calls are for 10 years so that they can make relationships of trust with the community and not have people keep changing and coming in and out of callings.  We have just had a whole new group of people called and they are excited about getting the word out better than ever before that we have wonderful things going on here and that others should come participate.  We get to be the liaison for the Mormon Battalion and Old Town for that group.  They are planning big things to help bring others to Christ through great events, entertainment, patents etc.  Exciting.

Also we are involved with Old Town merchants, tour guides and chamber of commerce with the things that they are doing to promote and make Old Town better.  We are able to enjoy people from unique walks of life and get to know them, help them and be involved in Old Town activities.

The added joy of the Mormon Battalion is working with the Sister Missionaries and loving them!  Oh how we enjoy learning from them and learning to love them.  There are 28 Sister Missionaries called to the MB and they serve half of the day there and then have the other half to go proselyte in their area they are assigned to.  At any given time there are 3-4 of those sisters who have been called to proselyte full time for two to three transfers (transfers are every six weeks) and then they come back and trade with others.  We also have 4 other couples we get to work with and love.

Then we have the ward - which is our primary calling.  We go to Ward Council on Sunday and the whole thing now is dedicated to missionary work.  We then have a Missionary Council meeting with the Ward Mission Leader and the missionaries.  We are excited about M Russell Ballard's challenge to have every member of the church introduce the gospel to one person before Christmas as a Christmas present to the Savior and are focusing on that to help members be more involved.  Members are the key to the new "Hastening the Work" programs.  Missionaries aren't as effective by themselves.  Then we have our block of meetings with us attending Gospel Principles class.  Sometimes we have had lots of people and other times it ends up being the leaders there with no new members or investigators.  There are other things like the Relief Society night things, ward BBQ's, ward parties, ward endowment sessions and baptism sessions, cleaning the church, helping people move etc that we are involved in too.

We have several people we are seeing regularly.  People with mental and physical problems and those who have problems with their testimonies.  We want to interact with good members too so that they will know us and feel comfortable sending people our way.  We don't do much teaching of the lessons. That is done by the Elders in our ward.  We have had opportunity to be involved with investigators too in mostly a friend shipping effort.  We fit all of that in between Mormon Battalion stuff.

It is good to have both or we wouldn't be able to keep busy enough.  We have had opportunity to exercise at the beach, go on sightseeing tours, play with friends and family when they come, go to events and play with other wonderful Senior Missionaries and to enjoy each other's company.

We have had a good week - busy one and we are loving our mission!

Friday, October 11, 2013

October 10

What a fun week this has been!  Two sets of visitors in two days!  Yesterday my sister Kim and her darling family came by the Mormon Battalion and visited.  We then went to lunch at one of the yummy restaurants here in Old Town.  Then today Bethany and Kevin brought our handsome, beautiful, darling grandkids with them to see us!  Roger got to make his famous crepes and then they took off to the zoo.  When they were good and tired of the zoo, they came and let us take them through the tour at the Battalion.  Then off to dinner together.  Tomorrow they will let us fix them crepes again and then we are going to play at the LaJolla Shores Beach!  ..........a little taste of October at the beach house - without the beach house of course!  Thanks for coming.  We feel not so far away from home now!

Saturday we had our neighbors the Robinson's over for breakfast before General Conference.  They are a wonderful missionary couple from Pleasant Grove and have been a their mission several months longer than we have.  We were able to watch the second session of conference at another couple's apartment and then had a spaghetti dinner with five other couples.  It was so nice to be with those wonderful people.  Most of them are serving at the military bases and are having such a great experience with lots of baptisms etc.  All of the girls went shopping while the men watched the Priesthood Session there at the apartment.

Sunday was a great day because we got to stay home all day!  We had a new couple, the Van Ormans who just arrived in the mission last week over for Sunday dinner.  Roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, cheese rolls  etc.  It really was the first big meal that we have cooked since being here.  It was nice to have the time to cook a real meal - - and to eat it!  We really fooled them - they thought we did this ALL of the time.

The Senior Couples have a Family Home Evening every month and Monday was the night for it.  Unfortunately we had to work a shift at the MB.  Fortunately it was in the theatre rooms in the MB so we were able to still visit before and after with the couples.  There were over 20 couples there and we are starting to know them all and love them so much.

Tuesday was a tough day.  Training was at 8 am and then we were on shift from 9-5.  It went really quickly though.  It is Arizona's and Utah's fall break and we have tons of darling families coming in.  We would take a tour, come back to the lobby and there would be another tour waiting.  Just as we were ready to drag ourselves home at 5 the director at the Battalion asked us to go to a dinner with them.  It was at Cafe Coyote here in Old Town.  There is a man who is running for mayor that he is supporting.  He will be good for the tourism industry if he wins and Elder Seegmiller wanted us to go with them to the event.  There were many restaurant and shop owners in Old Town there and we were able to meet them and the mayoral candidate.  Interesting.  Three more hours until we were able to drag home.

Wednesday was amazing at the MB.  It was raining and cooler so all of the families from Arizona and Utah came instead of the beach.  It was crazy!  We then went off to visit many in the ward.  It is really sad to see the how the gospel has slipped out of people's lives and they hardly knew it was happening.  It is also heartwarming to see those who the gospel keeps blessing their lives.

Thursday was another good day.  More families during our 9-12 shift.  That's when my sister Kim and her family came.  We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Miguels.  The best cheese sauce for chips and I over did - but oh so good!  We then took off to help a blind couple get some things at the store.  She is such a sweet lady with a good baptist testimony.  She prays and loves the Lord.  It was good to help them and feel their appreciation.  We then took off for a session at our beautiful temple.

I am not sure it is legal to be having this much fun on a mission!  It is hard, fun, happy, sad, and so rewarding.  One of the lessons learned from our Mormon Battalion tour is that if we follow the Prophet with faith we will be blessed.  I know that is true and see it happening in our lives and in the lives of so many people we meet here.

Friday, October 4, 2013

October 3

Hi Everyone,
     This week has been crazy busy.  That's good.  We finally got a fixed schedule for the Mormon Battalion.  That will help us with so many things.  We can plan better now.
     We work Sunday night, Monday middle of the day, Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  That gives us all day Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday for ward things, an actual P day etc.  Plus the time in between and before and after shifts the other days.
     We had to say good bye to two missionary couples this last week.  But we received two new ones!  We are gearing up for loosing SIX of our wonderful sisters at the Mormon Battalion in November too.  Oh it is hard, we have already grown to love them so much.  But going home is as much a part of this whole missionary thing as being here.  Learning to use what we all have learned here and be better is huge.

Roger, Sister JoAnn Jensen, Me, Debbie Bullock, Graham Bullock, and Elder Ron Jensen
     I had the fun opportunity to have dinner with Debbie Riggs Bullock and her husband this last week.  Debbie was my neighbor growing up and her family was my second family.  They had mostly girls and it was so fun for me to be there and get away from all of the boys in my house!  Her mom was so good to me when my mom died.  Debbie and her husband live here in the area and are doing a mission from home in the military.  I hear from all of the Senior Couples how respected and wonderful they are.  We were able to catch up and compare notes.  It was so fun to reconnect.  We rode up with another couple from the mission here and had a fun time with them too.
Sunset at the beach after dinner

     We worked at the Mormon Battalion during the Relief Society General Conference.  I was excited to hear that they were going to turn on the broadcast in one of the Theatre Rooms but soon realized that if there were sisters not doing much they needed to be the ones in there.  I can watch it later online and they can't.  So I have had to try to watch it in our "free" time!  What a beautiful conference session.  We are looking forward to watching conference with no interruptions!  We don't have to be anywhere then.  We are actually buying a roast, cooking it and having a real dinner Sunday because we will be here to actually cook it!  Yeah!
     Saturday we went to a Fam tour with the Professional Tour Guides Association.  It is a tour that one of the tour guides does for the other guides to show them new things and get them fam-iliar with new things.  We were in the downtown area of San Diego, by the Padres stadium, into hotels that over look the stadium, into restaurants and business there and ended up at the opening of the new library in downtown San Diego.  We were going to go through the library but the lines were amazingly long so we all decided there were better times to go.
The new, amazing library in San Diego! Yup that domed roof thing is a library!

The coolest little sidewalk garden in downtown San Diego.

Padres Stadium
     Sunday was ward council at 9, church at 11 to 2, drive home and fix a quick meal and eat it, change our clothes, drive to the Mormon Battalion by 4 and work there until 9, drive home and fall in to bed.  Monday was sleep in a bit, late breakfast, MB at 1 to 5, and home to get some things done.  Tuesday was Training Meeting at the MB at 8, a meeting with the director of the MB from 9 to 11:30, off to visit a lady in the ward who is in the hospital, and I can't remember what else. Wednesday was Roger's birthday - MB from 9-12, meet the elders from our ward and took them to Hometown Buffet for lunch and tried to encourage and help them, went to visit a couple who are both blind non-members to invite them to watch conference, a session at the temple and then home.  Thursday was MB from 9 to 12, a little bit of shopping and home, then back to the MB for a planning meeting at 6:30 to 8:30 with the director of the MB and others who have been called from the 12 stakes that are in our mission boundaries.  There are many big and small events planned for the next 6 to 8 months to enhance the Mormon Battalion experience and to bring attention to it.  We get to be a part of those things.  Friday - today was P day! We really enjoyed just playing - I guess we will have to fit in P day stuff in the rest of the week.  We went to the beach and enjoyed the day together.  Dinner and then visited with friends of Roger's and listened to part of the BYU game on the way home and after getting home.
     I hadn't been able to shop for anything for Roger's birthday (he is ALWAYS with me!) so I asked the Sister Missionaries to help me make it special.  They were so cute.  They made him an apple crisp and brought it to the MB that morning.  They hid in one of the tour rooms behind all of the rocks in there and then jumped out and sang Happy Birthday!  One of the sisters brought him a pumpkin cookie and they kept reminding him that it was his birthday all of the time we were there.  I am sure that it made his day!  I will post pictures as soon as I get them from the sisters.  I didn't have batteries in my camera that day!
     We are missing those back at home.  That is the biggest challenge of being here.  We love you all!