Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 26, 2014

It has been a great busy week!  I thought that I would include some pictures from the Commemoration of the Mormon Battalion which was Saturday.  What a fun day it was!  We started the day with a Rededication of Fort Stockton on Presidio Hill.  It hadn't been kept up very well for years and because of that had become a place where people felt they could put graffiti and destroy.  We have worked to clean the graffiti and with the help of the ranger in the parks the area was cleaned up, grass replanted, trees trimmed, and the church replaced several signs and plaques.  It is beautiful up there now and we have a wonderful ceremony.  We are hoping that the mischief with be slowed down now and people can go enjoy and learn.  

Some of our Battalion Sisters
The rest of the day was amazing.  The town square was full of people doing fun things.  We had all kinds of booths.  Rope making, cooking a biscuit on a stick, dressing in pioneer clothing and pictures, pioneer games, doll making, dutch oven contests, sing-a-longs, etc.  There was a stage with entertainment all day, a parade and all of it was free.  A fun family day learning about the what life was like in the 1840's in San Diego.  The Mormon Battalion was busy too!  We had a record breaking day of 1065 people through the Battalion.  We were all on shift all day.  We were there from 7:30 am to 9:15 at night and were pooped -  but it was a great day!  

Biscuit on a Stick

Cooking biscuits
We have been busy getting this all put together, advertising for it and organizing the running of it all and it was a great success.  The next thing coming up is a golf tournament that we are helping with to fund the 4th grade program to bring kids to Old Town for their history units.  Billy Casper will be here and a number of other dignitaries.  Last year they earned enough money to fund the trips for a couple of years and they are trying to do better this year.  When they come, we usually get them to come to the Battalion and it is so much fun and crazy when they do.  The kids love it and learn a lot about the beginnings of San Diego.

We have had several wonderful dinner appointments with members etc.  We love going into their homes and feel honored that they would want to serve us that way.  We are becoming great friends with many of the wonderful people here and love working with them.

Rides in wagons
Families dressing like pioneers and pictues
One of Roger's good friends who lives in San Clemente (about an hour north of here) died and we were able to go to his funeral last week.  It was a beautiful remembrance of a wonderful man, John LeSueur and we will miss him.  We have stayed in their home in the last 10 years on some of our trips to San Clemente and always visit with them when we go in to town.  Roger was able to catch up with many of his friends from Burbank and talk to them.  Good day.

Our scripture class is still going well.  Each Wednesday we are in the home of a member in the ward and around 15 people come.  We are going through Preach My Gospel and having great discussions.

We got our new directors for the Mormon Battalion and they are wonderful.  It was sad to say good bye to the Seegmillers.  They did so much good for the reputation of the Battalion in Old Town.  It has been wonderful to meet the new directors Dave and Cherie Barnes.  We love them already.  They are trying to get up to speed with all that there is to know and are slowly getting there.  What a challenge to just walk in and have one day with the old directors before they need to take over.  We are thrilled that they want us to stay on and help with the transition.  We now have a full schedule and have added duties to catch them up.  We have been hoping that we could stay.  It is such a wonderful place with such a strong spirit.  To be involved in what is going on there is both fun and humbling.  The Lord is in the details of what goes on there every day!  Miracles walk through the doors daily.

I have started teaching some Family History lessons to some of the members of the ward.  I am excited to be involved back in that great work.  What a wonderful spirit of peace and joy I feel as I get involved in it.  I just wish I knew it better.

Rope making
Our efforts to find those who have been on the roles of the ward are working and we have the Ward Council and the Ward Missionaries going out to those close to their homes to see if they want any involvement in the Church.  Many have moved and it will be good to clean up the records and find where they are now.  Many others just don't want to be involved with us but still want their names on the records.  Some are coming back and enjoying the beauty of the Gospel in their lives again!  And others want no contact and have totally moved on in their lives.  So many interesting stories.  The missionaries have been doing this leg work and now they are freed up to work with those who need their help.  It feels good to see things happening.

Wow, we are having a great time.  Roger still finds time to get to the beach a couple of times a week for exercise and has made friends in the surf.  We are looking forward to using our little gym here in our apartment complex to stay in better shape too.  We have a schedule now where we can have morning time to work out a bit.  We get time to enjoy beautiful San Diego and its amazing weather.  The stakes here in California are all joining this fast Sunday to fast for the draught to be over and for some rain.  I am having a hard time really wanting rain!??  We have totally loved the sunshine and warmth - especially when hearing about what all our Utah families and friends are having now.  What a beautiful place to be!

By the way - the Gospel is a good way to live life.  It is true!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 18, 2014

Happy Anniversary to us!  It is our 15 year anniversary today.  I feel so blessed to have him in my life.  Here's to another 15!

Time just flies by!  We are already half way through January!  They say time flies when you are having fun so that must be it.

We are all moved in to our new place and I hate to admit it but I am so much happier here.  There are many reasons why but the biggest reason is that it is so much easier to get to ward members and ward activities.  We are really glad to be here.  I wasn't sure it would be worth it to move but it really was.  We are on the third floor again.  We have a nice corner apartment so we don't have anyone on one side of us and at this point no one lives on the other side - but will soon.  It is quiet.  We can actually talk to each other in the bedroom and hear each other.  We have had several dinner appointment this week.  What a sweet experience it is to be in the home of these sweet ward members and feel their desire to help missionaries.  It is humbling and a sacred experience.  We feel blessed.  Our complex has several pools, a hot tub, an exercise room, a club house and pool table.  I am hoping that I am disciplined enough to get going on an exercise program here where it will be  so much easier.  I enjoy being able to see green and sky here.  The other place was a bit claustrophobic.

This week has been busy and next should be a bit crazier!  Then we don't know what our future will be after that.  We get a new director for the Mormon Battalion on Monday and we have been working the director's schedule for our old director.  We aren't sure if the new one will want to be doing all of the extra things our old director did or if he will want to start with the basics and know what is going on at the Battalion by being in the trenches.  We are still working with Mormon Channel to get something on there that tells the story and things are starting to happen there.  I was wondering how I would going to learn how to produce an advertisement that is professional!  Amazing what they think us old people can figure out.  But the Lord provides.  Then one of our ward members came in to the Battalion one night as we were working.  We were talking as they were waiting to leave and I asked him what he did for a living.  He teaches Broadcasting at a local university!  He used to be a broadcast reporter ---------- hmmm.  I told him what we were trying to do and he said that he would love to help me -for free - and we got brainstorming on what we wanted the ad to look like.  Then he said that we needed to pray for someone with the equipment because he doesn't have access to it at the university.  So two days later a man came in to the Battalion to take some picture of the Seegmillers before they leave.  He is actually in our stake and I started asking him what he does for a living.  He is a professional photographer and has all of the stuff we need.  Amazing!  We are off and running and I am excited how the Lord is in the details of this work.  We found out the other day that there were over 130,000 visitors last year at the Mormon Battalion!  We love the sisters there and feel so blessed to have them love us and teach us.  They are amazing women.

We were able to finally get all of our information together for the Ward Rescue effort.  We were able to get all of the names of those on our ward list who no one knows and map them out on our huge ward map.  We then added the Ward Council members so we know who lives by our less active members.  Sunday we gave them all two names of people who live in their neighborhood to go visit and find out if they still live there and if they want any involvement in the church.  It is fun to hear their ideas of how to approach the members and we will have them report on what happened next week in Ward Council. This week is Stake Conference.  We will then give them more names.  We are excited.  This frees up our missionaries who have been trying to get around to all 150 plus people to actually concentrate on those who actually have interest.  Our missionaries have a new spark and are excited to be able to teach more.  Our Stake President challenged eight families in our ward to invite someone to be taught by the missionaries in their home.  And then he had them report on that effort tonight at conference.  It was really an inspiring meeting and then he challenged the whole stake to do the same thing.  They showed many small videos from the Hastening the Work section of and everyone was saying that they are excited.  We have over 270 missionaries in our mission now and we need everyone to help more to keep them all busy.  It is an exciting time to be a missionary!

We still have several wonderful people who we are becoming great friends with and hope to keep them as forever friends.  One of the lady's sons in now taking lessons from the missionaries!  We have several people who have become active lately that we are working with.  They need constant love and nurturing it seems and then at other times they soar on their own.  An interesting and fun process.

We had a wonderful surprise when the Elms - Roger's best friend since elementary school and his wife-- came by!  What fun!  We were able to go to lunch with them and enjoy their company.  What a great example of a couple who love and support each other through thick and thin!  We are so blessed to have good people around us to show us the way.

Roger was able to teach our study class again this week.  Each week it seems to get better.  The class is starting to feel comfortable with each other and are willing to talk and ask questions.  We enjoy doing this and are excited about the influence it is having on so many.  It is a nice casual atmosphere and a wonderful ward member's home and all seems to enjoy it.  We have people bring relatives and friends.  There are a couple of women who work in the Primary so they are excited to come and get some gospel interaction.  There are new members who need to know more and then others who just come.  It feels good.

We were planning what we might do today.  The only thing on our schedule was the adult conference meeting tonight.  Then we got a call from the director at the MB and he said that they needed someone to handle the temple visitor's center for the day.  We we hurried and got dressed and then drove up to the temple (now only 5 minutes away from us!)  We were able to spend a lovely day at that beautiful temple visiting with people - members and non-members.  We were able to get several referrals and to talk about the gospel.  It was nice.  At the Battalion we have to be careful to not preach too much.  We are an Historic Site not a Visitor's Center and need to not turn people away with preaching.  But when we go to the temple we can teach and be bold.  It was really fun.  We have a folder with pictures of the inside of the temple and most are really excited to see it.  One girl asked me how much it cost to be married in the temple because she wanted to book it!  Don't blame her - it is gorgeous.  It was a perfect day weather wise too!  About 75 degrees with a mild breeze.  What a fun day!

We have been here now for over five months.  I was thinking that I should be able to discern what I have learned in this five months.  I think that some things that I have learned won't become apparent to me for awhile others are obvious.  I have learned the tour and better ways to say it and be more effective in bringing others to feel the message rather than just enjoy it.  I have learned how to run the desk at the MB and know where each sister is and how to keep them involved and productive.  I have learned how to love with a greater capacity than I ever thought possible.  I am learning how to love strangers too and to try to discover what the Lord sees in them.  I have learned that the Lord is in the details.  I knew that before but I know it better now because I have seen His hand in our missionary efforts in so many different ways!  I have learned to be more grateful for parents that raised me with gospel teachings.  I always have been but I see more vividly how important that is.  I have a greater knowledge of God's plan and how I fit in it and I want to be able to report to Him one day how well I did and feel good about that.  I have learned that I love our sweet family so much.  We miss them all and pray constantly for them and their challenges.  It is nice to be able to pray knowing that we are trying really hard to do His will and that He just might listen better because of that.  I have learned better ways to search out and find those who are lost.  I have learned to be bold and to say what come in to my heart and to go and do those things that come into my mind.  I have learned that the Lord will go before me if I include Him in my plans.  I could go on and on.

Be grateful for the blessings in your life.  And look forward to better things in the future.  We can learn from the past but don't dwell on it.  Look forward.  The best is yet to come!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 11, 2014

We are sitting here in our little apartment for the last night.  Our apartment is a mess with boxes packed awaiting our move.  When we came we had one car full of stuff and we will be moving out with a whole truck full of stuff!  We have to move all of the furniture, dishes, etc. that we rent from the church while here because they are going to retire this apartment and we are opening a new apartment.  We have a lady in our ward with a truck and have elders set to help us get everything down our 3 flights of stairs and out loaded in the truck and then we have ward members and our missionaries from our ward coming to help us to get it back up to the 3rd floor of our new building.  Oh - can't wait for tomorrow to be over!  Don't like moving much.  But having a whole slew of strong young elders ready to help will make a great difference.

OH  I just came on to start a new post and realized that I didn't send the one I made last week… Oops!  So here it is.  The next one for this week will be off soon.

Tomorrow we will start our day with going to a training to be ushers at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.  Then we will be able to usher for plays that are shown there - like we did for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  It will be a good event for us to rub shoulders with lots of good people.  We are in training from 9 - 12:30 and then we will be able to start our move.

This week has been good.  It has been good to be back in a routine after the Holidays.  We have worked a little more at the Mormon Battalion this week.  One of the couples at the MB helps the mission presidents wife cook the meals for the new missionaries when they arrive.  So we were able to do their shift this week on Tuesday.  That is the Sister's P day and so we were there with all of the other couples.  We are able to do tours then and it was fun to take people through.  I had some great groups and it was fun to be one on one with the people.  I gave a tour to a grandma, mom and daughter from the Ukraine.  Such beautiful women and so refined.  They loved the tour and the message of the tour and said they would be back with the mom's husband.  She left her name and email and wants to have the elders visit her in her home but wants her husband to come first.  We talked for about a half hour after the tour about the church and I was able to bear my testimony.  We have been in many meetings to prepare for some of the big events coming up with the MB.

The next one coming up is the Commemoration of the Mormon Battalion on the 25th of January.  It will be a full day!  It starts with the rededication of Fort Stockton.  It is the fort where the Mormon Battalion lived while in Old Town.  There is a huge mosaic mural there depicting the Mormon Battalion as they arrived here in California on January 27, 1847.  There are also a couple of monuments honoring the women who marched with the Battalion.  A while ago it was vandalized and we have worked hard to get it cleaned up and looking good.  After the rededication we will have a parade reenacting the Mormon Battalion entering the area. Lots of missionaries will march in that along with descendants of the Mormon Battalion soldiers.  Then there will be lots of booths - biscuit on a stick, dutch oven cook off, rope making, doll making and lots of other pioneer activities.  It will be a fun crazy busy day and we are looking forward to all the people it will bring in.

I'm tired.  Excited to move!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wow! It is a new year. This last week has been the holidays and it feels a bit strange because it was so different from any Christmas I have ever had. It was a good Christmas but with none of the traditions that I have always felt had to be a part of Christmas. Christmas Day started with us at the Mormon Battalion on shift. The sister missionaries were down at the MCRD - which is the military base camp and they were performing for the soldiers as a Christmas service project so it was just us and the director and his wife there to handle what might come in for a tour. Amazingly some people came! Mostly Chinese people. I actually gave a tour in Mandarin Chinese! I spoke English and then all of the video etc. was in Mandarin. It was interesting but I know the tour well enough I could fake it. I actually got a referral from the tour I gave. It was a couple from China who were here on a honeymoon and they were very interested in what they heard and felt. It was a nice way to start Christmas. 

We were in charge of the Christmas dinner at the Battalion so I decided to serve Cafe Rio Pork. Oh the girls loved it! I had the other couples there help and it wasn't too much work. There are three of our sisters leaving soon and so they had a farewell party for them after the dinner and a white elephant exchange. We had one of our tour guide friends show up with her son to the dinner. We have been able to get the son hooked up with the elders in a singles branch and they actually taught him in his home and then got him to go to church on Sunday with them! We might be able to see a baptism soon. He is a great young man and maybe if he joins his mom will see the light. 

Aimee and family showed up the day after Christmas and we had so much fun with them. Our other tour guide friends Vera and Charles, knew we had family in town and offered to take us all to the Safari Zoo and got us in free! In order to do that they had to come with us for the day. They were so pleased that the kids enjoyed the park and that they were so well behaved! At the end of the day little Zach came up to them and told them thanks for inviting them to the zoo and that melted their hearts. It was so much fun to have family around and it felt a little more like a holiday! Even though it was in the 70's! We spent time sightseeing several times too. We got to show them all off at church on Sunday and then Ryan and family arrived. We were able to take them through a tour at the battalion and have them meet some of our sister missionaries there. And then we took the girls home with us and had a "girls sleepover". Of course we had to paint nails and watch a movie! It was so much fun for me to hang out with our darling granddaughters! 

We had Grandpa's famous crepes several mornings and fed each family some of the left overs from Christmas dinner Cafe Rio, played some great games of Nines and Monkey Bridge, Rummikub etc. Aimee's gang left on Sunday. Vera and Charles called that day and said that they had found more tickets to the zoo and that we could take our other family there too! So we were able to go to the San Diego zoo with Ryan's gang. That was a really fun day. We played games on New Year's eve here at our little apartment and played again tonight. What fun! We feel sad to see them take off tomorrow for Knott's berry Farm and then home. But it was so great to see them all and we don't feel quite as homesick now. 

We will have to sprint a bit to catch up now with all that we should be doing for the ward missionary effort. It has been a bit slow with the holidays anyway but we feel a bit like we have not been missionaries much for the last week. 

We spent the evening finishing our map where we are putting the people who no one knows on the map and then we are going to have those who live around them go visit them, see if they really live there and find out all we can about them. We are sure that we will find that many don't even live there and then we will be able to clean up our ward list a bit. There are 126 families on our list and that's with us and the other missionaries already finding many more of them. I would say there were over 170 before we started finding them. I just couldn't imagine that ever happening in Utah. We will have a meeting where all of the ward council get together and split up the names and start the process. 

Happy New Year! We love you and hope all is well with you! We will be moving on the 13th and our new address will be 3730 Southview Drive #417, San Diego, CA 92117.