Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 6, 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Chrsitmas!

Our week started with an amazing Sunday!  We have been working with Cherie and Bart to help them back to church.  Cherie has come back and has been to the temple, accepted a calling as a RS counselor and is going great guns at being a member missionary.  It has been one of the great joys of our mission to be a part of that.  Bart has held back but has been coming around in the last few months and this last Sunday he came to church!  We told the bishop that he was going to be there and he decided that they would give him a calling!  He called him to be the person in charge of the cleaning of the building - and he accepted.  He said, "At last they give me a calling that I am good at."  He is really excited about doing it.  Amazing.  They also asked him to set up the chairs in the cultural hall once we go to 9:00 am church.  That means that he has to be here EVERY Sunday before church and set them up.  He accepted that too!  We are so excited.  It has been fun to see the change in his demeanor.  He looks people in the eye and his posture is more erect.  Everyone was so cute to him when during the day at church too!  They did their job in making him feel welcome and a part of the church family.  Wow!  Prayers are answered.  There is more during the week with Bart too.

Monday evening was our FHE for Senior Couples.  We had a really nice meal and wonderful entertainment.  We really love our association with these wonderful people.

President Morgan and his

President Schmitt and son Clayton
A counselor in our mission presidency, Marty Morgan gave a wonderful musical presentation.  His two daughters sang with him on one of the songs and it was beautiful.  Our mission president then spoke to us and his 7 year old son played a couple of his piano Christmas songs for us.  He was so darling.  7 years old and there was no nervousness.  He stole the show.

We had a quiz that all were supposed to guess the answers to and then they gave out teddy bears to those who were the answers to the questions.  We got TWO.  We didn't realize that we are the couple who has been here the longest.  We have seen a lot of great couples come and go.  Most who come anymore, come for a year, so many who came after us have already gone home.  We, of course, won the one for having the largest number of posterity!

We got our Christmas tree up in the office.  We made it a "He is the Gift" tree.  We took the "He is the Gift" pass along cards and put a sticker on the back that says "I will share the Gift by______________________."  The missionaries have filled that out in many wonderful ways and have signed their  names to it.  They inspire us in so many ways.

A very unusual thing happened this week.  It has only happened about 5 times on our mission - if that.  IT RAINED!  Just in cast you don't believe me I took a picture.  It was really amazing to see how the San Diegans handled it all.  They hardly know what to do when it rains.  Many didn't go to work!  Seriously.  Most decided to wait until the horrible weather changed to do things - because it is always does get better quickly.  The rain actually lasted TWO whole days and everyone was depressed with the grey skies.  I found myself actually enjoying the rain for a change.

We got a real treat on Friday of this week.  One of the senior couples works with the Marines at the MCRD (Marine Corp Recruit Depot).  It is the base camp for Marines.  There are about 500 recruits that graduate forty two out of fifty two weeks of the year.  They receive a new group of recruits each week and are responsible to help with the LDS meetings for the group.

They have many, many baptisms and reactivations.  The boys come pretty cocky and excited and within two days are crying and wanting to go home.  By the time their 12 weeks here are done, many have grown up and become men.  Many realize that the gospel can bless their lives and come back to activity in the church.  Many are great missionaries to invite their friends to come realize that too.  We were invited to come along to the graduation ceremony for this week.  It was quite a sight!  Over 500 Marines graduating.  They had a great Marine Corp band who played off and on through the one hour graduation!  Pomp and circumstance!  Lots of marching, saluting, protocol etc.  So organized and precise.  I couldn't help compare this training and the training our missionaries are getting.  We really enjoyed being there.
The Marine Corp band!  Wonderful!

Some of my favorite people in our ward.  The lady
in the middle with grey hair is my
adopted mom, Sister Guyman!

Friday was our ward's Christmas party.  We had a great Christmas meal and then had the tried and true Christmas Nativity with the Primary children.  Oh my, they did such a good job.  I was in Primary helping out last Sunday as they practiced for the program.  They were so horrible and naughty.  I couldn't imagine how it would ever go over.  But the thrill of being on stage must have sobered some of them.  Of course, they were darling!  We had a great turn out and filled the whole cultural hall with people.  Lots of the members invited friends and family members who are not members.  It was a great event.

Bart - SANTA!
One of the best highlights of the evening was that Bart was Santa!  He really was excited about doing it and was so darling with the kids.  He was on cloud nine by the end of the evening.  And the kids just loved him!

Elder LeMmon and Elder Smith with Santa.

Our ASL missionaries with Santa

Saturday was a great day to go to the softball fields and watch the team that Roger has been working with.  They lost the game in the last inning but went on to win the next one.  Bart was in charge of his first cleaning day in his new calling.  He really has changed and it is so cool to see the confidence and joy that comes from him now. 
Today was exceptionally great!  Bart bore his testimony!  I was sitting by Cheri and she was planning on getting up and bearing her testimony but was a little nervous.  She was so afraid that she would cry and not be able to say anything.  She has been so pleased with Bart's coming to church and accepting a calling.  While she was waiting to go up, Bart stood up and walked to the pulpit!  What a great thing it was to hear him bear his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel!  We feel we have been a part of a miracle!  Yay!  We love the gospel and the joy it brings to those who embrace it.  

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