Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28, 2014

What a fun filled, busy crazy week this was!  I guess I say that about most of our weeks don't I?
We ate at a great Chinese buffet last Saturday
and this is what my fortune cookie said!
They came!

We were fed way too well and worked really hard and played hard too.  What a great combination!  I guess a bit of self restraint will be used next week to get back on track - I hope.

Elder Soffe demonstrating the correct procedure
in backing a car in his MTC!
This week was busy again with the office.  The new couple, the Knorrs are so great and happy. But it does take more time to get things done when you are training someone.  It will be so nice when they know what they are doing and they are learning fast but it was a bit slower this week.  What is so great about them is their attitude.  They want to experience everything and they enjoy everything they do.  As I was training her on how to put together the physical and proselytizing need for the missionaries she just kept saying how much fun it was to know that she was being instrumental in getting the copies of the Book of Mormon to the missionaries so that they can give them out to all the people who are going to read them and join the church!

Elder Soffe had some people who wanted help and love to build things, build him a car to help him teach how to back up while driving.  He uses it at zone conference and the missionaries love it.  The MTC - Missionary Training Car- as it is affectionately called is a great attention getter to get his point across.  Most of the accidents happen while backing up.  So every time the driver is backing up the companion is supposed to be standing outside the car coaching the process.  Elder Soffe has a darling sense of humor and pulls it off well.  He actually has the missionaries sit in in blind folded and then has the companion try to help him back up with telling them what to do.

It was zone conferences again this week - a different meeting Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The last one is tomorrow.  It is a full day of meetings and instruction with several zones put together.  We had a surprise this week and were told that the missionaries would be able to view the new movie, "Meet the Mormons".  The church doesn't want them to storm the theaters to watch it and make the non members uncomfortable so they decided that they would show them at zone conferences.  So we were able to watch it this week.  It will be interesting to see how it is received.  It is six different stories in a documentary form about amazing members of the church all over the world.  I can see how members will want to see it but it might just seem a little like we are bragging about how wonderful we are to those who are not members.  Interesting.

We had a bit of a scare with Cory this last week.  He wasn't feeling - or looking well and was finally convinced that he needed to go to the Emergent Care to be checked.  His blood pressure was really low and they sent him over to the Emergency Room.  After lots of tests they determined that his heart isn't in great shape but the immediate problem was that he had a C diff infection and needed to get rid of that first.  So he has been on heavy duty antibiotics to get over that and then will address his heart. Pray for him please.

I fasted on Monday for him and we got treated to a wonderful meal of homemade tacos at Bart and Cheri's home that evening.  Not sure if it was the food or that I was so hungry but it was yummy and I ate way too much.  Forgot to take pictures, sorry.  Roger and Bart did some "male-bonding" over some Monday Night Football and Cheri and I had a great talk.  Cheri will be going back to the temple for the first time in years on October 8th.  She was one of the inactive people on our list when we got here.  We knocked on her door about 9 months ago.  Now she is the Relief Society Secretary, the best member missionary and a dear friend.  Now if we can just get Bart to see the light.  He is afraid that the building will fall down if he comes to church!  I tell him that it will  be plenty strong to stand the shock but that the angels singing "Hallelujah" might shake the walls a bit.  We love them and will be eternal friends.

Debra Lincavage in the turquoise shirt and her
husband Frank in yellow, invited us to dinner
along with the young missionaries and others.
What a beautiful evening with the best shepherd
pie I have ever eaten.  
Tuesday was P day and crazy at work as always.  We were invited to dinner at the Lincavages that night.  They were having the missionaries over and invited us along too!  We are always glad to help!  Frank isn't a member and Debbie is a convert and been a member for 20 plus years.  Frank is so good to put up with all of us strange Mormons and support Debbie in all she does to support and strengthen the ward.  It was another wonderful meal and again I ate way too much!  You know, you can't be rude and not eat lots - right?

Wednesday some of the elders wanted to fix us a meal to thank us for all we do behind the scenes.  Missionaries are amazing that way.  So these two amazing Elders, Elder Cardiff and Elder Larson fixed us taco salad and all the trimmings.  It was a great meal and so sweet of the Elders to cook for us.  Great husband training too.  These guys live right by the office so we see them often and really get close to them and love them.  Missions are great for training boys to be men and girls to be women.  I can't imagine a young man or young woman not taking the opportunity to learn this way.

Wednesday night is softball night for Roger.  He goes and helps our friends grand daughter's softball team and helps the pitchers.  It is a good way to hang out with those not of our faith.

Elder Garner - one of the assistants and Roger. He just LOVES
to hug -whether you want to be hugged or not.
In fact, I think that he likes hugging better when
you don't want to be hugged!
Thursday and Friday were days set aside to pay the rent for all of the apartments in the mission.  It really doesn't take that long but with all of the interruptions it isn't easy.  It was our first time all alone and I hope that we did it well.  We checked and double checked to make sure.  We will see.  I push a button at the end of the ordeal and send off over $136,000.  Amazing!  And that is just the rent - not including utilities etc.  Missions aren't a cheap business.  Thursday night was a nice night with our ward friends at our scripture study class and we had a nice group there.  Rita, a lady who is being baptized on the 11th was there and it was nice to be able to see her progress.

Friday was a big day with our friends Pauline and Royden coming to visit.  I thought they would stay for 4-5 days but they only stayed two! So sad for me.  But we packed a lot into that two days.  We had to get up early in order to get the final stuff done on rents so we were up early enough to see the sun rise our our apartment window.  It was a good start to a good day.

They showed up around 11:00.  I got them settled in our apartment and then took them over to zone conference with us.  We were able to eat a yummy dinner prepared by the Stake Relief Societies and then peak in on some of the zone meetings before watching the movie, "Meet the Mormons."  We then took off for home to get ready for the Ward BBQ at Mission Bay.  We made them come meet all of our good friends in our ward and eat a bad BBQ hamburger before letting them come home and fall into bed.  We were all tired.

Saturday started with Pauline giving Royden, then me, then Roger haircuts.  I asked her to bring her scissors and she willingly gave us all cuts.  I have put it off for such a long time and it feels so good to have a good cut.  We went out on our little porch to do it.

Roger has been having me cut his hair and it was a nice treat to have her do it.  I am not good at it and I always have a hard time for a couple of weeks after giving his his hair cut because I am always checking out my mistakes.  He looks good!

Pauline and Me
The Knorrs
We then all met the Knorr's at the beach for an afternoon of pure joy!  It was a beautiful day at the beach - perfect weather and waves!  We all really enjoyed ourselves.  It was nice to totally get out of the mission mode and play for several hours.

Royden and Pauline
Royden and Pauline.  They are celebrating their
40th wedding anniversary!
Our pan of seafood
That night Royden and Pauline took the missionaries (that's us!) out to dinner at a very nice seafood restaurant in downtown San Diego.  Fish Market.  Oh wow!  What a meal.  It was a beautiful setting with great friends and we again thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We topped the evening off with sour cream lemon pie from Crowshaw Pies in St. George.  They brought it all the way for us to have a bit of home away from home.

They left this morning and I am already missing them.  Love those guys!

The sunset from our table

Today was church as usual and then we were invited over to dinner at Cheri and Bart's again.  This time they had prepared a birthday party for Roger.  His birthday is Thursday and he is turning the big 70!  But tonight was a good night - and they thought that Royden and Pauline would be here too.  Oh well, we partied with out them and had WONDERFUL burritos.  Bart makes the best and a tombstone cake with "Surf's up!" on it.  

Now to start a new week and see if we can keep up.  Make sure you all write Roger at and wish him Happy Birthday or call at 801-864-5617!  I am sure that he will love it.  We miss our friends and family.  Please keep praying for us.  We love you all!
Zone conference

Meet the Mormons

Zone one elders and sisters

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

September 21, 2014

Sister Molly Munns - one of my very
favorite missionaries left on Tuesday
and came by to say good bye.  
Ok, as far as the mission goes, this week goes down as the busiest for me.  We really had a full week at the office!  I think all of us were a bit nuts and with good reason.  It was also the hottest week and about the hottest ever for San Diego.  We had temperatures over 100 degree for several days in a row!  That never happens here.

Monday was the day we prepare for P days.  We get all the needs of the missionaries that they have called in through out the week and put them together for them.  Monday is normally my busiest day.  This last Monday was also the day before departures of 22 missionaries and so it made things even busier with having to prepare all that needs to be done to get the missionaries off.  It is my job to make sure we have the flights of both the arrivals and departures and that we coordinate the trips to the airport to get them and pick them up and make sure they all get accounted for.  That might not sound like a huge job but it is and I have not done it before.  Then we had three groups of arrivals.  One from the MTC in Provo, one from the MTC in Mexico and one from Temple Square in Salt Lake.  All different times and different places.  18 new missionaries in total.  This week also was transfers so there were all the arrangements who will be with who and who will live where and who will have what phone number etc.  Roger has to do all of the behind the scenes work with getting new apartments in the areas where they are opening new areas and closing down apartments where they are closing areas.  That means moving lots and lots of furniture from one end of the mission to another many different time.  He usually gets a companionship or two to help him each time he goes to move so he isn't having to do it himself.  But he was plenty tired this week too.

Tuesday was P day for the missionaries so it is crazy with them all coming into the office to pick up the needs.  And because it is transfer day they were all there early to get "the envelope".  Each zone leader gets a letter that tells who needs to pack and will be moving.  Then each companionship that has someone packing, needs to go to the transfer meeting on Wednesday.  So it is a bit hyper in the office with them opening "the envelope" and then guessing who will go where etc.

Sister Bermudez and Sister Stephens
checking the mail to see if they
got anything!  

It was a crazy day with weather in San Diego Tuesday too.  There was a hurricane that was affecting our weather.  The mission home which is 15 miles from the office had strong wind and lots of rain that knocked out the power.  So it was over 100 degrees and there was no air conditioning in the President's home.  They had the eighteen new missionaries in their home for training plus the presidency their wives etc.  They finally had to move their meetings to the Institute building where there was power and air.  We had no problems with weather where we were.  It was just hot!

Sister from Fiji and Taiwan
Wednesday, I got to pick up two darling sister missionaries at the airport from the Temple Square Mission in Salt Lake.  One is from Fiji and one was from Taiwan.  They are called to serve in the Temple Square Mission and then each get sent to go Full Proselyting for two transfers (three months) out into other missions in the states.  These two are darling little fire balls and I am excited to see what they do here.  I brought them to the transfer meeting and then stayed to hear all of the new assignments and then took off for the airport again to take back Sister Ueno from Japan.  She has been here for her 3 months and was returning back to Temple Square.  I got to work with her and go on splits with her several times and will miss her.  She is a darling missionary.  When we got to the airport they weighed her bag and told her that it was 7 pounds over weight!  She had decided that she would pay the extra baggage until they told her that it was $100!  So we opened her bags there on the airport terminal floor and rearranged her heavy things into her carry on and the light things into her bag and finally got it down to 50 lbs.  Poor thing - she left me a little scared to be without a companion until she gets to Salt Lake carrying more than she ought to have to carry.

We were invited to the Tower's home for
dinner and
their darling grand daughter  was
there.  It made us homesick for
our own crazy grandkids!

Then when we get back from transfer meeting the real fun begins!  All of our phone lists, apartment lists, zone and district lists have to be changed and updated.  New missionaries need to be trained and trainers need to be trained how to train them!  It is quite a process.  We made several mistakes too.  Ooops!  We gave a phone to a set of elders who were opening a new area and when they activated their phone they found out that we had given them the number of Mandarin speaking sisters.  They were getting all these texts and messages in Mandarin.  They also deactivated the sisters phone so they couldn't use it.  It took an act of congress to unravel that mess.  We will try harder not to do that again!  Also, I didn't know that I was supposed to give the pin numbers for the new missionaries debit cards so they were calling all day asking what to do there.  It was a little bit of a zoo.  Roger had to drive to the desert - Brawley. It is several hours east of here and we had two new apartments that he had to take all the furniture, dishes, silverware, brooms, refrigerators, beds etc to.  That was a long day for him.

I went with many of the ladies in our ward
to visit one of our member who has moved.
Ivie in the one on the far right,  It was fun to see
her in her new place and visit with
the ladies.  
Then to make things even more crazy we started Zone Conferences on Friday.  So every other day for the next week and a half we will have a Zone Conference going on.  I was the only one that didn't need to be there to present anything so I stayed back at the office to get some things done and to hold down the fort.  Oh my, I just put out fires all day long!  Didn't get much of the stuff I should have gotten done done but stayed busy all day.

Each day we came home pooped.  It was so hot each day that I would jump in the pool and swim and Roger got to the beach for a quick surf several days.  We had dinner at a member's home one night and our Scripture Study class one night.  I went with some of the ladies in our ward to visit a member who has moved to Rancho Bernardo.  Ivie used to feed us each month so it was EXTRA sad to see her move!  She is a wonderful, strong lady who is a great example of enduring to the end.  We have also helped two new Senior Couples move in this past week.  Our helpers at the office have arrived!  Diane and Kenton Knorr.  Diane happens to be a really good friend of my cousin Jane.  We are excited to have them be in the office with us and help out - to say the least!!  Especially after this week...  The other one lives right with us in our complex here.  They will serve in the MCRD (Marine Base).

Debbie and the elders. Don't you love the cross?
I have to tell this one experience that happened at the base this last Sunday.  Alan, you might recognize Debbie Riggs in this photo.  Her husband is the Branch President there.  Anyway, they had two baptisms scheduled for recruits for Sunday but when they went to get into the room where the font was they didn't have the keys.  They looked all over the place and no one had an extra either.  Finally they about gave up but the Branch President insisted that they could find a solution.  They found another church on the base that had a portable font!  And wheeled it out into the courtyard!  And had the baptism right there for all to see that walked by!  When there is a will there is a way!

KK was in our Institute class this summer.  She is
a convert of about 9 months and just returned
to China.  She sent us a picture of a YSA
activity in China.  So cool to see the church
grow there!  
We feel so blessed to be here and be involved with the missionaries in helping the mission train keep running.  It is amazing with all of the mistakes we make that it is still running but the Lord is in charge and things seem to work out.  Not perfectly but they work!  We love our associations with those in our ward and area.  We love serving and helping and feeling like we are making a difference.  It is different to be in the office and sometimes I get bogged down with the tedious nature of what we do.  But about then missionaries will come in to the office and tell us what miracle or tender mercy just happened to them and we are renewed and strengthened.  They always tell us how much they appreciate all we do and that they love us.  That makes it all better too.  These missionaries are amazing and I am so honored to be working with and for them.  They are as the army of Helaman.  May the Lord bless them.

Thanks for your prayers.  We feel them and are strengthened by them.  We miss you!

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 14, 2014

We just got through giving talks in church today and I am glad that is over!  I can honestly admit that I don't particularly like giving a talk.  I would much rather give a lesson any day.  That way I can get other's thoughts and ideas and it isn't just me talking.  Roger was given the assignment to talk about reading the scriptures.  He started talking about scripture reading but basically said that we should do what the scriptures say not just read them and then talked about home teaching.  Home teaching is a real problem out here.  There just doesn't seem to be the testimony of what good it can do.  Granted, there are so many inactive people on the list that I think the best percentage that we could possibly get would be 50%.  But even that would be an improvement.  I spoke on Baptism.  I gave a lesson a couple of months ago on - you guessed it - baptism.  So it was a little bit of a stretch to get excited about teaching the same thing again.  But we do believe in repetition.  Right?

Our days are 8-5 Monday through Friday.  Every other day we switch off with the other couple in the office and go home at 4 instead of 5.  I am starting to think that I would rather go in late so that I could have time to swim before the office.  That would make my body happier too.  Our third couple will be coming in this next Saturday and we will need to train them for a few weeks and then that will give us some help so that we can go do the other missionary work we have been doing.

The office is a great place to be.  We love the missionaries and enjoy helping them.  Our mission president and his wife are amazing people and we love working with them.  We really enjoy the other couple in the office, the Soffe's!  They are darling are hard workers.  We are a little sad that we aren't able to spend the time we used to spend on helping those in our ward.  And they wonder a bit why we can't just keep helping them.  We are kept busy most every minute we are there and could find a lot more things to do if we wanted to.  There is always something going on.  I have tried to remember while I am there that the work needs to get done but the most important thing we do there is to help the missionaries.  And sometimes that means just giving them our time, listening to their latest triumph or trial and trying to help.

I am going through a little bit of a learning curve.  There is always a problem with finances - rent, bill payments, missionaries loosing their debit cards, utilities, credit card charges being attributed to the wrong account etc.  If I was working with a regular accounting program like Quick Books I think that I could figure things out but we work with IMOS and it is a very unique animal!  I finally called Salt Lake to ask about how to untangle the problems that were created before we were even in charge and they realized that I really hadn't been trained right.  So they took over my computer and taught me a lot of cool tricks and things are running much slicker!

The set of the theatre
The Festival Theatre
In the evenings, we usually have stuff going on.  One evening this week was spent ushering at the Festival Theatre in Balboa Park.  There are 3 theaters there and this one was a wonderful out door theatre where they do a Shakespeare Festival each year.  The play was Two Gentlemen From Verona and we both amazed ourselves by actually understanding what was going on!  We were there with our tour guide friends and enjoyed them.  Wednesdays for the next while will be full for Roger.  He is helping to coach Vera and Charles' granddaughter's softball team -helping especially with pitching.  Our scripture study class is Thursday evenings.  We will be having more people come each week which will be good.  With the new people in the ward we have a lot more strength and support.  We had Rita, a lady in our ward who is getting baptized in October come along with the regulars this week.  It has been so fun to see the light of the gospel come into her as she begins to understand and feel the gospel in her heart.  Any other spare time we had this week was spent planning the lesson for Thursday night and planning our talks for today.  Did I say that I am glad that is over?

We are happy and extremely busy and that seems to be good for us.  We are both feeling good.  Roger gets to the beach several times a week and that keeps him smiling.  We love the work out here and still love San Diego.  It is a beautiful place to live.

Keep praying for us.  We feel your prayers and are strengthened by them.

Sorry not many pictures this week.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 7, 2014

It is Fast Sunday and that means that we get to be lazy a bit today and don't have to be to church until 1:00 pm!  Yay!  I think that we needed this.  Sundays used to be the craziest day we have and now that we are only involved in one ward we are able to actually call Sunday a "day of rest".  We are anticipating our ward changes and how we will fit in to those changes.  We will have lots of new people to meet and it sounds like our ward will now actually have about 6 young men!  We have had none until now.  The ward is have a "Break the Fast" dinner after our meeting schedule to give everyone a chance to socialize and meet each other.  We won't be able to stay very long because we have our very last MLS (Member and Leader Support) meeting.  We have had four other couples in the mission with our unique missionary calling and we have met together each month to encourage each other and find out how good ideas of what the others have done.  It has been such a wonderful experience to share and become such great friends.  We should have already gone with our original call of a year but with extending we will see them all go before us!  We will miss them.  I will fill you in on our day at the end of my blog.

Monday was Labor Day but there is no holiday for us.  Labor Day is a great missionary day.  So we were at work at 8:00am as usual.  We start our day with a devotional with Elder and Sister Soffe.  I enjoy this moment to remember what we are there for - not just to pay bills and organize the mission - but we are there to encourage missionaries, set the spirit of the mission, make it possible for the work to move forward.  I gave the message on Monday and used a book that Grandma Judy gave me for my birthday, "What Would a Holy Woman Do?"  But I changed it up a bit to include the men.  We put up a sign that said, "WWAHPD?" to remind us all to think about what would a holy person do.  It was interesting as the missionaries came through out the week and tried to guess what it meant.  We were able to talk to them about it and share our challenge with them.

We were also able to go buy two new cars!  Amazing how many cars the mission goes through.  We picked up Chevys.
We would have rather had Toyotas but when a car reaches 30,000 miles, the church wants it sold and a new car bought.  For some reason Toyota wasn't selling Corollas this summer ??? so we had to get the Chevys.  We have so much less problems with the Toyotas and it is so much easier to sell them used too.  I picked out which car I wanted but Elder Soffe didn't think that the church would go for it.  The dealership was cooking hot dogs and hamburgers so we even got a free lunch.  It was fun driving the new cars back to the office.

That evening was the Senior Couples Family Home Evening.  We had a pot luck dinner at a church in the area and it was a nice evening to socialize with each other.  We feel so blessed to be here with so many amazing people.  They really are the salt of the earth and we love them.  There are 23 couples in our mission.  We got two new couples this month and are loosing three!  So the end of our meeting was the wonderful opportunity to hear the testimonies of all of those good people and then our mission president.

The Scotts are the new couple taking over at
the La Jolla Institute of Religion.  She is in the
middle of cancer treatments!

The Painters are from Nephi.  They are leaving soon.
We will miss them.  They had such a hard time with
the "big city" and struggled with it all for awhile.
But they grew and were such a blessing here.

The Jensens have served for 18 months at the MCRD.
(The Marine Corps Recruitment Depot)  What a wonderful
assignment they had.  They worked with young men in
boot camp.  They have seen so many miracles and
baptisms with these wonderful young men.

The Van Ormans came right after us and
lived by us for awhile.  We became good
friends quickly.  They have served in a
multi-cultural ward.  They have Tagalog,
English, Spanish, and Tao missionaries
in their ward.  

President and Sister Schmitt!  We love them.
Don't they look young?  They are both 40!  

We love the Assistants.  It is a great part
of working in the office, to be associated with
them and the other missionaries.  
Part of the group
Tuesday was a wonderful day for me!  Yay!  It is P day for the missionaries and the Mormon Battalion sister were meeting for lunch and invited us to come along.  Roger didn't get to go but I did and was in heaven.  I love those girls and it was so fun to be in their midst.  I do miss them and it is nice to be in the office where I can see them more.  They are like family to us!

Sister Wells

These sisters are all Mardarin speaking sisters.
The mission is getting ready to have a
Mandarin branch.
La Jolla Playhouse
We were able to finish off the week with ushering at a play in the La Jolla Playhouse.  We were assigned outside duty.  Roger was in charge of getting a golf cart for handicapped people to ride into the theatre on and I was in charge of helping people use the parking machine. We enjoyed standing out in the beautiful La Jolla weather talking with people.  Roger even handed out Mormon Battalion cards!  The play wasn't that good this time and we even left a bit early.  But it was nice to be there and to enjoy the people.

Roger doing what he does best.

My job - the parking machine!

Saturday was full!  It is supposed to be our P day but there are always so many things going on that day that it is hard to get much of our stuff done.  One of our ward members was moving to a different apartment in the ward.  They are a couple where the husband is not active and the wife has become active while we are here.  Bart and Cheri.  We love them and made sure that we were there to help them.  There were three missionary companionships and several ward members there but it was still quite a process in the heat.  Roger had to leave a bit early so that he could help coach a girl's softball team.  We are excited about this opportunity.  Vera and Charles are the tour guide friends we have enjoyed so much here.  They just happen to live in the ward boundaries and their son does too.  His daughter plays in a league and when they found out that Roger knows the game they asked if he could help.  It will be a fun and wonderful opportunity to work with them!  The Lord works in mysterious ways!  What could be more fun missionary work for Roger than softball?  We hurried and changed after that and went to a retirement party for a single lady in our ward who just retired from Deseret Book.  It was a lovely evening.  Shoot I forgot to take pictures of it all.  

Well, the ward changes were made and it was really cool.  We now have some young men!  We also have some great active young women.  The chapel was full and we met lots of good strong people.  It will help so much to have a bigger group of people running the ward and helping out.  
Our MLS group men.  Elder Painter, Roger, Elder Brown,
Elder Van Orman and Elder Van Alfen
Our whole group together for the last time - here!
After church we went to our MLS dinner.  It was bitter-sweet.  It is the last time we will all be together here on our missions.  Two leave in a little over a week and a third couple leaves in a month.  We have all committed to keep this group together over the years.  

We asked them what they will miss the most when they get back and the answer they all gave was the people!  We all feel that we have made friends and loved ones that will be hard to not see on a regular basis.  

One of the couples gave us a quote that says, "You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.  That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."

Our MLS group women.  Sister Painter, Sister Van Orman,
me, Sister Brown and Sister Van Alfen.

Well, another week is about to begin!  Always new adventures around the bend.  We have to speak in church which will make the week that much busier with having to prepare along with all the other things that are going on.  Any good ideas on Scripture Reading and Baptism would be greatly appreciated.....