Monday, May 5, 2014

May 4, 2014

We keep adding things to what we do and it gets pretty confusing at times how we should dress, what name tag to wear and where we are to go.  We have name tags for missionary work, for ushering at the Old Globe Theatre, for being the Recording Secretary at the SD Professional Tour Guides, and should be getting another one for temple ordinance workers.  Plus there are lot of different things we don't have badges for.  The long and short of it is we are getting busier and happier.

I have been able to go on splits with our sister missionaries several times this last week.  What fun that is!  One of the sister missionaries went home a week into the transfer so that left her companion without one.  She had to move in to another couple of sisters' apartment and they have to go everywhere together.  They have two areas to cover and lots going on in their areas so I have been able to save them a couple of times.  I will be able to go with them many times in the next few weeks until the transfer.  It has been fun to go into the homes of people who are being taught the gospel - who are excited about the gospel and to teach them and feel the Spirit.  It is great to be with these wonderful sisters and see how good they are at what they do.  I have been humbled and been taught myself.  What a joy!

We were able to have our friends Cheri and Bart over for dinner this week and then played some games with them.  Cheri and Bart were less active when we came.  Cheri has come back and is enjoying the gospel fully.  Bart is having a harder time.  We love them both and are hoping to help them get to the temple and be sealed forever.  We have developed a great friendship with them and hoped it was mutual.  Today they blessed their grand daughter and asked Roger to offer the blessing.  It was a great honor and Roger was really touched.  

Our tour guide friends are starting to ask questions and be interested.  They are great people and we love them.  They will be our friends forever.  She called the other day and asked us to come to a showing of her husband's watercolor picture.  He had won first prize in contest and was being honored.  I wasn't able to go because I was on splits that night but Roger was able to go with them.  We took them a loaf of bread yesterday to say congratulations and they invited us in to talk.  We had a great time and when we went to leave they had many questions about the church.  They had been to one of the ward's parties and had been thinking about what they saw there.  They asked a lot of questions about missionaries and how they fund their missions, what kind of pressure is put on them to go, how they learn the languages etc.  They were really impressed.  They asked about why Mormons have so many kids.  Does the church make us do that and are we bad if we don't have lots of kids?  They were impressed that we had many people in our ward from other countries and that they were so sharp.  They said that they have more questions.  I am inviting her to a service project that we are doing on Thursday and she will be able to interact with all the good people there.

We have many people in the ward who have problems that we are trying to help them with.   Life is hard: divorce, depression, illness, disobedient kids, sick parents, death of friends and family members, old age, loss of testimony.....and the list goes on.  It is really interesting to see the different ways that people handle their challenges and get through them or don't get through them and wallow in them.  The strength of each of their own individual testimonies is what makes a huge difference.  The ability and knowledge that we can call on our Savior, who knows our challenges and how it feels to experience them, seems to be such a huge difference.  The time we really know what we believe deep in our hearts is when challenges come.  Do we really know how to use the Savior and His atonement?  Do we really believe that he understands our hearts?  Do we believe in His power to heal and strengthen?  Those who turn to God during hard times do so much better than those who turn away and curse God during those same challenges.  It is so easy to see the best way as we walk and talk with those people who are hurting.  Look around you and you will see too.

A sweet little lady, not a member, comes to all of the ward parties and events but never comes to church.  We have grown to love her and appreciate her sweet heart.  She heard me say a while ago that I didn't think I would be able to get the three baby blankets crocheted by the time the babies were born and I felt sad about that.  I did get them done - late but done.  But she didn't know that and she came over the other day with fleece for three baby blankets and we sat here and cut and tied them together - and talked for hours.  She also brought over lots of little things to send on with the blankets.  What a sweet lady.  She is single, never married, about 75 years old, retired, and could be sitting around feeling sorry for herself.  But she runs around doing little things like this all of the time.  She wears an angel pin on her shirt which reminds her to be an angel of good.  Then the other day I got a thank you note from her thanking ME for the wonderful afternoon!  I can learn lots from good people like that.  Thank God for the Siela's in the world.

Roger bore his testimony on Sunday and I wish you all could have been there to hear it.  He said some great things and was very tender.  He told about how his renter has left his apartment in bad shape.  He said that he called home to his son and asked for help and how so many of you have come together to do the hard work that is necessary there.  We feel a bit guilty that we can't be there to do it ourselves but we also feel so blessed to have kids that just jump to help and just get it done.  Thanks so much for willingness to help there so we can be here!  We are so blessed.  He expressed his deep love and appreciation for you all.

We love you all and miss you so much!  We feel blessed to be here in such beautiful circumstances.  It would be so much harder to be away from you all if we were not having so many wonderful experiences.  We pray daily for you to be strong and obedient.  We pray for your happiness and health.  We pray that you will choose good friends and good activities.  We pray that we will all be able to be together in the eternities!  

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