Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Alan!  And congratulations Kira and family.  Kira just had our 39th grandchild!  That is hard to not be there for those things.  We love you all.  Well, another week and it always seems like I was just writing yesterday instead of a week ago.  We are still struggling to stay busy each day but things are in the works to be cleared and working soon.

Sunday was Easter and was a little bit sad because the Easter bunny didn't come.  We just went to church, came home and heated up left overs.  Really, it was a good day.  We had our Filipino lady we found last week come.  We were able to introduce her to the bishop and introduce her to people.  She is a bit sad that our ward doesn't have a group of Filipinos in it.  Her last ward did and they were able to have  classes in a group of their own in Tagalog.  We will have to work hard to help her feel at home there.  She brought her daughter who isn't a member yet and we tried to get her to come to Young Women's but she was too shy.

Yumm - Mud Pie on the Pier!
We decided since we aren't that busy that we might as well use our P day this week to really have some fun.  So we took off for our favorite little beach town, San Clemente.  We had a gift card for a free dinner at the Fisherman's Restaurant on the pier so we figured we could use that too.  It was a beautiful day, not too hot and not too cold.  I read and enjoyed relaxing on the beach and Roger enjoyed the surf.  We had dinner and then went to see our dear friend Delores LeSuer.  Her husband died a few months ago and we wanted to visit with her.  It was a great day and we were able to unwind a bit.

Roger's Favorite Beach - happiness!
Tuesday is our day to serve at the Visitor's Center at the San Diego Temple.  It was a beautiful day again.  I just have to take pictures as we walk around the grounds talking to people.

What a beautiful temple!

Our view from our little Visitors Center
We enjoy being there.  For the first hours or so there really weren't many people that came by and then things picked up.  We were able to talk with a couple from France for quite awhile and then spent a lot of time talking to two African Americans.  They had seen the temple from their hospital room and decided to drop by and see what it was before going home.  They had lots of questions and one of the men at the end asked if we could have a prayer with them.  He held out his hands for us to hold hands as we prayed and then he took a turn, his dad took a turn so then I did too.  It was sweet and a great spirit was there.  That night we went back and finished off the temple sealings we had on our ward sealing assignment.

We had set it up to start at the mission office on Wednesday but they called and told us to come Thursday and Friday.  So we took our time getting exercised etc and then took off to visit a member of our ward who is in the mental hospital and took her some lunch - it was her birthday and then we had an amazing thing to go to....... a baptism!
Our Elders before the baptism!

It is the first baptism in a year in the ward and then had one the year before.  The lady who was baptized a year ago had an ex boyfriend who she introduced the gospel to and our elders have had the fun experience of teaching him.  He has had drug problems and has been sober for 5 years.  He soaked up the gospel and was so happy!  He bore his testimony after he was baptized and it was actually amazing.  He really has a strong testimony and is excited to experience more.  

 After the baptism we were able to go with some sister missionaries to visit with a lady who is getting ready to be baptized on May 17th.  Her husband is deployed on a submarine and will be back a few days before then.  He almost joined the church when he was 18 and then backed out.  A wife, two kids later he picked up a Book of Mormon while on the submarine and felt the Spirit of that great book and started studying again.  He told his wife and got the sister missionaries over to study with her and they are both so exited.  It was so fun to be in her home and feel her joy as she reads the Book of Mormon and learns it's lessons.  We are most often talking to people who are less active and really aren't that excited to talk gospel subjects or if they do they have many concerns and challenges with the things we talk about - if we even get that far.  It was a nice change to just be able to experience it all.

Thursday was our first day at the office.  We got there and the couple we are helping were so thrilled we were there.  He is in charge of the cars in the mission.  Over 90 cars to make sure they are running right, cleaned, inspected, oil changed, fix accidents etc., and then do extensive reporting on it all to church headquarters!  He came about 2 months ago and had some computer imputing to report repairs and upkeep on cars to the church.  He had just not been able to get in to it and it was piling up on him - among other things.  We were able to go in and work together to get the one report done and papers filed.  We left him a happy man that afternoon.

We then came home and I had a sweet little lady come over and help me make some blankets for the newest babies in our family.  She heard me say months ago that I didn't think that I would be able to get afghans made this year for the babies and she has all of this fleece that she has been saving for years.  She said that she would help me make blankets for the babies but we didn't get together until now.  She is not a member of the church.  She comes to all of the parties and events our ward has but never comes to church.  She is over 70, never married, no kids, and lives what could be a very lonely life.  But she makes sure that she talks to all around her, serves in any way that she can and talks to God every chance she gets.  She wears an angel pin on her shoulder every day to remind her of the angels around her.  It was sweet to make the blankets and talk to her about her life and get some insight into why she is like she is.

Friday was again at the mission office.  It was good to be there and to enjoy the missionaries as they come through.  We were again set to work doing things that have been piling up and clearing the minds of the other couples there.  We are hoping to be able to get so that we know enough that they actually dare leaving for an afternoon and getting a bit of a break every now and then.  They work so hard.  Dinner that night was at Phil's BBQ.  We have been hearing about it for awhile and got invited to go to dinner with Roger's friend from Burbank who is now a stake president in the area.  They brought along a couple who served in their mission when he was a mission president in Mexico City many years ago.  They gave us a lot of ideas of how they did things and it was a nice evening.  Yup, the ribs were great!

In between all of these things we fit in trying to visit people in their homes - inactives, new move ins, ward members etc.  That is hard work to find people home and is a bit frustrating at times.  But I heard a quote that I keep reminding me to think about so that we keep going:  "Don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens."

Love you all.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 19, 2014

Karen and me in our matching PJ's.
Not a great photo but you get the
point! We bought them just
before we both left for our missions.  
Well, we are starting to see things work out for new assignments and opportunities.  This week was a good one.

Pete and Karen Belliston, our friends from home and our daughter Aimee's in laws came on Sunday afternoon just after we returned from church.  We ate Cafe Rio sweet pork burritos and enjoyed catching up with all that is join on in their lives that night.  Pete
Of course, the Mormon Battalion is
a must for any visitor to
San Diego!
and Karen slept on our lovely futon in the living room.  We woke up the next day and were able to sleep in a bit, have some of Roger's good crepes and then go for a long swim in the pool.  It was a lovely morning for Pete, Karen and I had time to talk and enjoy the warm water and warm weather while Roger exercised in the work out room.  We then took off to a few of our favorite spots in San Diego.  Sadly, the wind had come up and it was not just breezy but down right windy and wasn't as pleasant as usual.  But we still had a good time. It was fun to be with them and hear about their mission experience to Africa.

We woke up Tuesday and relaxed until it was time to take off to the temple for our shift at the "Visitor's Center" there.  I left Roger there while I took the Belliston's off to the harbor for their MONTH LONG CRUSE.  (Do you sense any jealousy there?)

Roger- working hard at the wonderful Visitor's Center.
It is really a joke of a visitor's center but it still does the job.  Because the weather is so nice here year round it is possible to actually have an outdoors center.  They have had plans to build one for years and things keep changing.  The last reason why they shelved the plans was the missionary age changes.  Money that was planned for the visitor's center went to new missions and new apartment etc.  So many people see the beautiful temple from the freeway and have to come see what the building is all about.  When they can't go inside they are sad but we are able to show them pictures of the inside of the building and explain about why we have temples and what we do in there.  There are so many people from China - amazing.  But we get them from all over the world there.  In our three hour shift we were able to talk to around 40 people.

I love all the trees that flower here
in San Diego!

I had to take some pictures of the
flowers while there.

We were able to get out and visit many people in our ward this last week.  Most of them didn't want visits from us and it gets to be quite interesting how scary people think we are.  We have a lady who lives in our apartment complex who is on our new move in list.  We have tried over and over again to be able to talk to her.  Last week we saw her lights on and ran over and knocked on her door.  We could see her through the window.  She walked over to the door, turned off the air conditioner and then looked through the peep hole.  Then we heard, "No thank you!" and she walked away.  We could see her walk back in to the kitchen and so we knocked again...... She just acted like we weren't there.  So a few days ago we saw her actually out in front of her apartment so we went over to talk to her.  The second she saw our name badges she said the same thing, "No thank you."  We were able to tell her that we really just were checking up on her and that we just wanted to know we are here if there are any needs that she has.  She was nice and talked a little bit and told us that she has no interest in the church.  We went to another home that had a big fence around the front courtyard and a sign that said, "Beware of Dog!"  I promptly went to the car while Roger went up to the door.  I suddenly heard two big loud dogs barking and I expected to see my husband jumping the fence and running to the car.  Then I heard this man in a very loud voice yelling, "Just LEAVE, just LEAVE!"  over and over again.  Roger just wanted to know if he was our guy but he wouldn't talk to him, he just kept yelling so finally Roger came back without knowing any more than when we came.  We figured the sign should have read, "Beware of dog AND mean man!"  We keep trying to figure out why two little old people should bring on such angry behavior.......  We had a good laugh after.  

We are trying to find each member whose names are on our list and make sure they actually live there.  So many of the people have moved away and we feel it is important to get them off our lists, if that is the case and get them on to the lists of where they really live.  If they live in our area we want to make sure that they know where the church is and know we are here to help if they need help.  It really makes it hard when they won't even talk to us!  This week we did find a darling lady from the Philippines who just moved into our ward a few months ago.  She was so excited to see us!  She had a big smile on her face and welcomed us in to her home.  (That hardly ever happens!)  She was baptized 8 months ago and loves the church but she works now and goes to school so she isn't able to attend church on Sundays.  We were able to get her a great visiting teacher from the Philippines who is in our ward and support her and help her.  Those visits make the other visits worth it.  

We were able to go to dinner at one of the ward member's homes.  We love that.  It is always nice to see the sacrifice they make for the missionaries and we are humbled to be the ones that they are sacrificing for.  

Quinn and Kayley's former bishop
and his wife. 
 Many of the sister missionaries after they go home, come back with their families to show them the Mormon Battalion and to meet people from their mission.  They are encouraged not to have family come while they are on their mission.  Several of the sisters came back this week on vacation and I ran over to the Battalion to see them and to meet their parents.  The Madsens came with their daughter McKensie and when they saw my name tag with Goeringer on it they asked if I knew Quinn and Kayley - and Mila of course!  He was their bishop and they could say enough nice things about Quinn and Kayley.  That is always fun.

We had a ward Easter BBQ this Saturday and we were able to take Charles and Vera - our tour guide friends with us.  I wasn't going to invite them because the activity didn't seem like it was going to be a great one and I didn't want their first impressions of the ward to be bad.  But when I was talking to Vera it just seemed right to invite her.  We had a good time at the event and they were able to meet lots of great people.  The BBQ was rather weak and not well organized and I don't know how they really felt about it all but they were sweet.  We went for a little walk through a park with a pond on the way home and played with ducks and turtles.  And then went to their home and saw their back yard renovations and talked.  It was a lovely day with wonderful people.  

Vera talking to the duck
Turtles just waiting to jump
in for a little swim.
The mission president has just cleared us to be able to serve in the mission office for a couple of mornings a week.  As we were trying to figure out what we could do to be helpful here with out the Mormon Battalion in our schedule we thought of those sweet people in the office.  They have more to do than any other missionaries in the mission so we thought that we could help with some of their burdens.  We will now be able to be there a couple of mornings a week for 4 hours.  We are excited about that.  We were also cleared to be ordinance workers at the San Diego temple one morning a week.  That is a bit scary to me.  Lots to learn - but everyone who does it loves it!  

As I look back on the last couple of weeks as we have tried to get over the sadness of not being involved at the Battalion and with the sisters there, I realize that it has been good for me.  We have been on our knees more and asking more what the Lord wants us to do.  We were on automatic before.  We would go to the Battalion and the people would come to us.  Now we have to find ways to go to the people and it is harder - but rewarding.  I can't say that I don't miss the sisters at the Battalion.  They are my adopted family!  But they will be a part of our lives when we get back I am sure and we will enjoy this new challenge.  

Today is Easter and I am thinking about my Savior and where I might be without Him.  I am so grateful for what is in my life because of His Gospel, His example, and His sacrifice.  We miss you all and hope that you have a great Easter and amid all of the Easter eggs and bunnies you take a minute to remember your Savior and what you are because of him.  Take a minute to watch this video.  You will be glad you did.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13, 2014

Its that time again to write and it seems I just got through writing the last post.  Well it was an interesting week.  It was our first full week without the Mormon Battalion.  We really miss that place but we are beginning to realize that it was just a place but that we can move on.  It is just a bit challenging as to what we really should do.  We are looking at getting involved in the office.  There are two couples there and they are the hardest working couples in the mission.  We will most likely be going in there a couple of mornings each week to help out there.  We also are looking at becoming ordinance workers at the San Diego Temple.  They need more help there and we would love to do that.  Family History work is always on my mind and I am sure that we will get to help out in that capacity in some way or another.  All of this is awaiting approval from the mission president and the stake president that we have been assigned to.  We have a meeting with the bishop today and will talk to him about what he might want us to do in the ward.  All still up in the air........

I guess we were able to stay fairly busy anyway this week.  We went to the mission office on Monday and helped buy 5 new cars for the mission and then drive them back to the mission home.  I was glad that I didn't wreck them on their maiden voyages.  That took many hours to drive there, sign papers, drive back with two cars to the office.  Get a ride back to the dealership and drive back two more cars and then drive back just by ourselves and drive back the last car.  That night we were in charge of the Senior Couple's Family Home Evening.  We had Roger's best friend Don Elm and his brother come and present the program.  Don's brother Bruce has spent over 30 years studying the Mormon Trail and has pictures and stories in detail of where they went and what happened.  It was great and all of the couples loved it.  It is such a great group of good people that we associate with.  There were over 40 people there that night.  We really appreciated Don and Cheryl going to the effort to do this for us.

We went to the temple to do another couple's Visitor Center assignment but when we got there they had decided to come anyway and forgot to tell us.  So we did a temple session.  We had an ushering assignment that night at the Old Globe Theatre and were able to meet good people and do a bit of missionary work while there.  And then of course, we got to see the play.  All great stuff.  We were able to go with the tour guides on a walking tour on Wednesday of Ocean Beach.  It is a great part of town that was the hippy section of San Diego in the 60's.  The guide told lots of stories of how things were and we were able to walk around town - again with lots of people that we are beginning to make good relationships with and do a bit of missionary work.  Walking tours are great for that.  We ended up at the Farmer's Market that they have each Wednesday in Ocean Beach.  I got my mini doughnuts freshly made and shaken in cinnamon sugar!  Yummmm.  That night was our scripture class and it ended up only being one of the ward members and us.  We were able to have some good conversations about her inactive husband and what we can do to help out there.

One of the ward members has been needing help with Family History and we have struggled together because I just am not that good with Family Search so we decided to go to the Family History Center and get some help.  Roger came along too and it was a good day.  Cheri was able to get many cards to go to the temple with for her ancestors.  Thursday night was the Ward Endowment night and we were able to go to a session with ward members.  Not very many people come but it is good to be with the ones that do come.  We love the people in our ward.  Friday was visiting day for us and we really were able to get some good things accomplished.  It really isn't the most fun thing to go and knock on doors of people who are not attending.  Most of them aren't really happy to see us but some are and that makes it all worth it.  We went to see Paul who has been a member for many years but inactive for a lot of those years.  We stayed over 3 hours and he talked and talked.  We really got to understand his challenges and know his heart better.  It was good and we hope we can be helpful with the information that we now have.  We found that many people on our list have moved and most just aren't interested anymore.  That is sad to think of because at one point in their lives they were interested enough to be baptized and now their lives have changed - and usually not for the better.

I joined the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers finally.  I have always thought that it would be a good experience to go but never took the time to apply etc.  The group that meets here is mostly made up of our ward members so it is a good way to be with them too.  We had a meeting on Saturday and then a fun luncheon.  Then we spent the rest of the day searching for lost souls again.  We stopped to visit an inactive member whose wife is not a member.  He was sleeping but she invited us in an talked and talked for about an hour!  She is from the Philippines and was interested that Mike had gone there on a mission and it gave us something to have in common.

We are excited for today.  The Belliston's arrive here just after our block of meetings and we will take a P day to play with them Monday before they take off on their month long cruise!  It will be fun to have them here.

Please keep praying for us.  We are trying to decide where the Lord wants us and where we will be the most effective.  We don't want to just be busy - we want to do some good.

I love you guys and miss you lots.  We really are lucky to have the great family that we have.  Thanks for your love and prayers and let us know what is going on in your lives - please!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 6, 2014

Last shift at the Battalion
We are sitting in our little apartment after spending the day watching conference and I thought that I would take a few minutes and write.  It is a beautiful day and all of the conference sessions have been wonderful.  I love what my daughter-in-law Mandy said, "This weekend makes me feel like I have a bunch of old wise grandpappies."  I have felt loved, listened to, taught, inspired, humbled, directed, chastened, appreciated etc.  I really do feel that we are so blessed to have conference and all that it gives us!  I look at others all around us who have no idea of the flood of inspiration that is coming from God yesterday and today.  I look at those of us who know that it is here and aren't listening because other things are more important.  I look at myself who really doesn't use what I have been taught as well as I should.  I have two challenges for myself.  I have written a list of things that I felt were being said for my sake.  Answers to my questions.  I am going to make a plan now to implement those things by tomorrow night.  My second challenge to myself is to pray and read each talk again in the next month.  I love conference.  "Did you hear what God had to say today?"

Well, this has been an interesting week.  I remember thinking during the last month or two that it was getting harder to think of things to say in this blog.  Things were pretty much getting into a routine - a busy one - with the same things over and over.  Battalion, scripture class, visiting members and helping them etc. with a big event here and there to add spice.  All fulfilling and great.  Things now have changed dramatically!  And I think that it will be good for us.

Women's Conference Cupcake Table
We had a wonderful Women's Conference Meeting at the Stake Center.  I decided to go there so that I could take 3 sisters from the ward with me.  Two of them cancelled on me just an hour before but one went with me.  The chapel was full which surprised me because you could stay home and watch it on TV.  And they had wonderful food and goodies after.  I enjoyed it lots.  Sunday was our last shift at the Battalion with the sisters and it was a bitter sweet day.  It was quite busy with lots of spring break people so that made it go by fast.

We did our last shifts at the Battalion on Tuesday with the couples.  It is the girl's P day so we do all of the tours.  I gave 5 full tours and one short tour.  Whew!  We sent off six wonderful sister missionaries back to the world and one senior couple at that same time.  The emotions of that were hard but the emotions of leaving the sisters who we love and who depend on us so much was really painful to me and even to Roger.  We will be able to see them off and on as we bring people to the Battalion or substitute but it won't be the same and we know it.  I was in tears at any given moment.  We are both really sad about that.  But we are trying to just be grateful that we had the opportunity to serve there.  So many would love to be there and no that isn't called there gets to serve there - but us.  So we just really got lucky and we know it.

The six sisters!
It is good to have all of that crying and feeling sorry for ourselves over and now we are trying to figure out what we will do to be productive.  There really a lot of things to choose from and we are trying to be prayerful and find out what the Lord wants us to do.  It has been interesting to see the changes in ourselves.  With the Battalion, we were pretty much on automatic.  We had shifts, we show up and have to be prepared for what ever happens there and then we go home tired.  Now we have to actually pray, prepare, plan and be pro-active.  We are more humble.  We are able to have a schedule that includes exercise, study, prayer, breakfast etc. every day!  Now I just have to learn how to study and what to study.

We had a Stake Temple Chapel Session this week.  In the San Diego temple there is a beautiful chapel that I never had seen until Thursday and we had over 100 stake people there for a half hour meeting.  The Stake President spoke and then the Temple President and his wife spoke.  It was a wonderful place to meet and the spirit was so strong.  We then went in and did an endowment session.  I looked around at all of the good people we have grown to love in such a short time and felt blessed to be there.

Many of the couples at the Robinson's farewell
Friday was a farewell party for a couple that we used to live by in our first apartment complex.  Michael and Judy Robinson.  They live in Pleasant Grove so we are hoping that they will still remember us when we get home and want to play!  We love them and will miss them lots.  They were so helpful at introducing us to people when we first got here and we have done lots of fun things with them off and on.
Michael and Judy Robinson

We had a couple over to watch the last session of conference with us and then served Cafe Rio food for them.  They are San Diegans and have never tasted sweet pork.  Imagine that!  The wife is an active member and her husband is less active.  It was good to have the time to cook and to have them in our home.  We played a game after and had a good time with them.  I think that we will be doing more cooking and sharing now that we have time.  I even baked wheat bread to share with some in the ward who have birthdays this week.

So - What did God have to say to you this conference session?  There are things we all can use.  We just need to recognize them and then have the courage to do what we know we should do.  If you didn't listen to conference you are in luck.  It is on line and easy to find on  See you next week!