Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 22, 2014

Monday was my birthday and it was a bit strange to be here  on a mission for that.  I was excited to actually get time to swim and get some exercise.  Last week was impossible to do that with all of the early breakfasts.  I also went on a short walk and enjoyed the amazing weather and beautiful flowers.  California has so many wonderful flowering trees and bushes that Utah does not.  I got lots of Facebook Happy Birthday posts and some phone calls and that was nice.  Roger bought me some flowers and some chocolate covered raisins.  We had a chance to get a bit of cleaning in the apartment and some planning and preparing for the week.

 Then we went off to Hodads for my birthday dinner.  Hodads is a little hamburger joint in Ocean Beach that has been on Diners and Dives and is quite famous.  Every time we drive by there is a line waiting to be seated.  I guess it isn't necessarily my favorite place to eat but it is a great hamburger and an experience.  It was fun to go there and do something a bit different than the norm.  We then came back and changed into missionary clothing and went to the La Jolla Single's Family Home Evening.  It was held at the bishop's home!  What a great place to have singles meet.  They have a lovely swimming pool and a nice flat screen TV.  They had taped the World Cup Soccer game and watched that together, ate pizza and wings and swam.  It was fun to meet more of the singles and talk to them.  What a great group of kids.  Many of them are in to post grad degrees or working decent jobs.  There are even some of them matching up!  It was a nice evening.

Tuesday was our Institute class for Mesa College kids.  Three of them showed up and it was a nice discussion.  We are enjoying studying the Pearl of Great Price with them.  It is a great little gem!  Then on to the Visitor's Center at the temple.  It was a beautiful day.  The first half of our shift was busy but it really slowed down and we got some time to study while sitting there.  Then off to our regular Tuesday dinner place - Rubios.  Love those fish tacos!  Tuesday night was visiting.

We were asked to come into the office on Wednesday this week.  Roger needed to help the guy in charge of apartment get an apartment ready for new missionaries coming in this next week.  Roger did that and I helped doing office stuff.  We are trying to come up with an idea to inspire the elders and sisters to keep their cars clean.  We are going to give a certificate for the companionship that has the cleanest car and have a shiny hubcap that is their trophy to have in their apartment until the next zone meeting.  They have asked me to design the certificate and make it fun and cute.  See - its not all drudgery to serve a mission!  We have fun there.  Any good ideas on what you did in your mission or that you have heard of?  As we got home here our tour guide friend Vera was here with a little orchid plant to say Happy Birthday and we stayed and talked.  We had a great talk and I really enjoy her.  She is a positive happy person and I love her as a sister.  She asked a lot of questions about the church, temples, missionaries etc.  She told me all about her life growing up in Europe during the end of the war, the bombings, etc.  Very interesting and I found myself being so grateful for the country I was raised in.  We were able to make some really good visits this week.  Many people who no one has been able to catch previously, we were able to make contact with.  It felt so good to knock on door and have people actually answer and be friendly.  We have invited them to the RS meeting Thursday and the BBQ on Friday.

10:00 Institute class started our day Thursday.  We have the class at the mission office and use the Mission President's office for our class room.  The Mission President is never there - well hardly ever - he usually uses the office in his home.  So after the class we stayed and about 4 hours and helped out there.  It feels good that we are beginning to know things well enough that we can just get in an do things.  I think that the office couples really are feeling relieved because of the things we do to help.  That feels good too.  We got home with enough time to relax a bit before I took off to the Relief Society evening meeting.  We learned about healthy eating and had a Zumba class!  Oh - I am not in great shape these days!  I was able to take a sister from the ward with me.  Then home to cut Roger's hair, and relax a few minutes before bed.

Our friends Vera and Charles
We were able to go on a FAM tour with the tour guide association.  The south part of San Diego has been run down for a very long time and there is a group trying clean it up and make it a great place to live and visit.  They hosted the tour guides to come to the area and see what is there that tours might be interested in.  It was a fun day being with our tour guide friends.  We toured Aquatica - a great water park down there!  It is affiliated with Sea World and is a quality place.  Krista would have loved seeing it.  We also toured an estuary.  What is an estuary you ask?  It is where fresh and sea water meet.  We were told all of the reasons why we need to preserve estuaries and walked through it and saw birds and lots of swamp lands.  I guess to some that would be really interesting.  We then were treated to lunch in a wonderful new restaurant that sits right on the beach and were able to tour the rooms and see the views.  We drove with Vera and Charles and had a great time with them.  We ended the tour with checking out the farmer's market there and bought some bread.  We asked them to come to our BBQ for the ward that night but they declined. :(  The BBQ was well attended.  One of the three that we invited came and we were a bit sad but the one that came was wonderful.  She is a new Philippine member with a daughter who is 12 and not a member.  The father isn't really thrilled with his wife joining the church and didn't want his daughter to join when mom did.  But Elsie and her daughter Danel showed up at the BBQ.  We were able to get some of the young women to come and make friends and the young women president - an amazing lady - came and got her excited about going to young women camp which starts Tuesday.  The only trick with that was we needed to get the dad now to say yes and let her go.  I got a text the next day from the young women's president and she said that Danel called and her dad said yes.  She said that one of the young women wanted her to go really badly so she said that she prayed all night for the dad to say yes!  When she found out she cried and cried.  Prayers are answered.  I think that it will be a wonderful experience for Danel to make new friends and feel the Spirit.  Success feels good and we are really excited!
Aquatica Water Park

Not a good picture but you get the point.  It was a lovely
place to have lunch!
We took off early Saturday to do apartment inspections.  Its always fun to meet with the elders and the sisters in their apartments and try to help them out with problems there.  One the whole they do quite well in keeping things clean. We went visiting in the afternoon to a lady in a rehab center.  Then on to Hometown Buffet - one of our regular places when we have a coupon, of course.  We were asked to see if we could take a Muslim foreign exchange student to a bonfire that the YSA was having last night.  We felt it would be better for him to go with some of the kids so we worked out a ride for him.  It is our Stake Conference this weekend so we had our adult meeting that night.  What a great meeting!  It was all about hastening the work and family history.  All of the speakers were converts and told about their missionary story and some of the things that people did right and some of the things that they did wrong.  It was very informative.  Just what I needed.

Well, today is Stake Conference so we aren't starting at 5:30!  Yay!  We have our Stake Conference at 10:00 and then we will go to the YSA conference meeting at 2:00 this afternoon.  That will be a very different Sunday for us.  We might even get a bit of a nap in!

We love being here in beautiful San Diego and having good things to do each day.  Being a missionary and wearing that tag is a humbling and empowering thing all at the same time.  I have decided that I need to be braver and open my mouth more.  Why not?  There was a lady who spoke last night who had known people in the church for years and that non of them had invited her to come to anything or to be taught the gospel by missionaries.  She had asked questions from all of them and no one invited her!  She wished that they had earlier.  She finally had to beg to be taught!  We have such a wonderful truth!  Let's share it boldly and bravely.  Why not?

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