Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28, 2013

I forgot to write last week.  Here is part of what I sent the family last week:

We were able to spend the day Tuesday with the tour guides I talked about last week. We have been going to meetings with them since we got here and they invited us to go to the zoo with them. They are in their 70's and are from Switzerland. What a fun couple. They are still giving tours often, volunteering all over and loving life. We had a fun time with them and feel like we are making friends that will last forever. We found out that they actually live in our ward boundaries. Imagine that! We are going to volunteer with them and try to spend more time with them. The zoo was amazing. It was a little cooler that day and the animals were more active than usual. We saw a rhinoceros playing in his pond with a huge ball just like a little kid. So cool. 

We worked a little more than usual at the Mormon Battalion this week. We had to take a shift for one of the other couples. She cooks for the elders and sisters as they leave and arrive to the mission and Friday was their day to do that. So we added an extra 4 hours on to our 22 hours per week this week. 

We had our first Scripture Class in the ward this week. Roger gave the lesson on the Apostasy. He did a great job. We had about 10 people there - hope to get a few more but too big wouldn't be what we want. We want it to be a safe place for those who have questions to come get them answered. There are many there who are excited about the class. We had it in the home of one of our members and it was nice to be in that kind of atmosphere. All in all it was a success.

It is bitter sweet at the MB this week. We are loosing six sisters from our group of 28! If I had known they were going to leave us I just wouldn't have grown to love them! It is so hard to see them go. I was adding them to my Facebook friends and realized that there are people that so anxious for them to leave and come back to them - their friends and family back home. I forgot that for a moment. It is strange to be on the other side of things. 

We had a farewell testimony meeting Thursday night. Oh I wish that I could have taped their testimonies! They talked about how strange it felt when they first got here, that they grew to love their mission, to bear testimony with courage and conviction, things that they wished they had done better and things that they learned to do well. They bore such strong testimonies and challenged us all to "step it up" and do more. Don't leave with regrets. They told us to not be afraid to "open our mouths" to everyone! The Spirit there was sweet and nourishing and I was overwhelmed with love for these girls and a stronger commitment to our mission. There were lots of tears and hugs and pictures and hugs and love going around. More hugs.

The next day we went to check apartments early in the day. We got through with a few hours before we had to be to the MB and not enough time to go home and back again so Grandpa was able to stop off at the beach for some exercise. I was debating if I should do some errands or just relax. Then I remembered the sisters challenge to step it up and open my mouth. So I went out on the walkway by the sand and talked to people! OK that was scary and I don't think I did a great job - but I did it! One man from Minnesota just was nice and went on his way. Another young man from Israel talked to me for about 10 minutes and asked questions. I told him that he needed to come to the Mormon Battalion and found the information on his phone for him. I bore testimony of our Prophet and felt my testimony of him grow. I am not sure what the young man thought but I hope that he thinks about what we said. I came back and talked to the sisters and had told them what happened and they gave me great pointers on how to do better! I will keep practicing!

Ward Council will be good tomorrow. The auxiliary leaders will be coming with their lists of all of the members and what they know about them. It is amazing how many on their list are totally not known by anyone. We will sort them out and try to start the rescue mission of the church by focusing on a few at a time and organizing our efforts in Ward Council. All will be working together to make it happen. 

Well, we just found out that we will be working lots more this next week. One of the couples just had their mom die and they will be going back to Utah for the funeral right after Thanksgiving so we will be taking care of their shifts as well as our own! Wish us luck! 

Gotta run. It is late and we are tired! Loving this mission thing!

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