I have been putting off doing this because there is so much to catch up on and then there just gets more to catch up on by waiting. So here we go….
I have been missing the fall leaves. I had to get on my photos on my computer and look at the leaves in front of my house last year so that I could pretend to enjoy them. But then when I heard it was snowing back home I have been just fine to enjoy our weather here. We are missing kids and grandkids more and more. But luckily we keep busy and try to focus on what we are doing here.
We love our mission and what we are doing. We wish that the missionary work in our ward was going better. We realize that the folks here that are active in the church are doing so much more than we do back home. As the High Priest Group Leader said, "Ten percent of the people here are doing ninety percent of the work." That was evident when we went to help with the ward's church cleaning assignment today and there was the wonderful lady in charge - who does a hundred other things in the ward and stake, the Relief Society President and her counselor and us! The missionaries aren't kept busy enough teaching and they are so amazing. It is such a shame and we are trying to figure out how to be missionaries ourselves so we can teach them how to share the blessing of the gospel better with others. We love the people in our ward. We had a dinner with a sweet widow, her non member friend and the missionaries and were able to hear Elder Johnson bear his testimony of Joseph Smith with great humility and strength. A highlight of my mission! We had another couple invite us to go to dinner with them and then pay for the whole tab. Something we didn't expect. They are great examples in the ward and want to share their love for the Lord and they gave us great insight on how to work with the ward members. We brought an investigator, a single lady, to the Mormon Battalion the other day so she could see the Joseph Smith movie with us and the missionaries. Again I was able to hear our amazing Elder Johnson bear his testimony and feel the Spirit confirm it. I am in awe of the maturity and depth our missionaries gain while serving the Lord! Another highlight. We feel at home here already and feel the love of so many.
We have realized that it is really hard to do what we should do in our ward because we live quite a ways from it. So we have been looking for another apartment closer. Our apartment is about 15 - 30 minutes away from the Battalion depending on traffic and then it is another 10-15 minutes away from the ward. Wish us luck. It would be nice to be in a place that isn't quite as noisy as we are here too. Sleeping is something that is hard for me when things are quiet!
The Mormon Battalion is quite slow and some shifts are a bit challenging to keep busy. We are supposed to keep the Sisters there doing good things too. I have been taking the newer Sisters on tour and practicing with them without any guests. It is so fun to feel their desire to do well and to help them. I remember not too long ago going through that and feeling my heart beat out of my chest with anxiety. I am getting some time to actually study the books we have on the Mormon Battalion and that has been so inspiring. We are gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas when we have lots of visitors. We have a Twelve Days of Christmas program every night at 7pm starting on December 12th and we are getting things put together to advertise and plan those events.
We went to a Facebook for Small Business Seminar with the director and his wife this last week and learned a lot about what we can do to get our Facebook page better received and advertised. We don't have control of what actually goes on there because the church needs to keep control of that but we now have better ideas about what kinds of pictures to send and what to ask for. We have had meetings with the creator of Internet sites to try to get our presence on their sites to be more effective. That is interesting and way over all of our heads. The 12 Stakes in the area have called representatives for 10 year callings to work in Public Affairs. They are to build relationships of trust in the community and to get the word out about things that the church does in the area. A big part of what they do is work to share the story of the Mormon Battalion. We get to work with these wonderful people and help them.
It keeps my head swimming to try to remember all of the different things that we are working on. We are constantly changing our clothes to match our assignments! Pioneer outfits to missionary clothes to service clothes to public affairs clothes and back again! It keeps things interesting and fun. We are amazed at the things those around us think that we can do so we just study and pray and stumble along the best we can and things seem to work out.
We love what we are doing and I am so happy to be here with my companion. We are blessed to be where we are doing what we are doing. Thanks for your prayers and love.
My biggest problem with doing this blog is that I don't really know if anyone out there really is "listening". Every now and then drop us an email and let us know you are still alive too, K?