Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 28, 2015

Another week gone!  It is just going way too fast.  It is a good thing that we live so close and can come back.  There are so many people that want to have us for dinner one more time or do something with us before we go.  I remember as a mom having kids out there that "all by themselves".  It is fun to be on this side of things and to realize that a missionary is not alone at all.  They are surrounded with so many good things.  I see how hard our mission president works to connect with each one of the missionaries.  They each have a companion, a district leader, two zone leaders, assistants, people in their wards, bishops etc.  And EVERYONE loves missionaries.  Then there is the Lord and the opportunity to represent Him and to feel his love.  Nope - not alone.  Even as senior missionaries we have had that same wonderful bunch of support for us too.  What a wonderful experience it has been. We will truly never be the same.  I can't imagine missing this opportunity.

It has been a pretty uneventful week.  Sister Parkin - the new sister in the office got sick and was gone two days.  The other couple in the office was gone lots this week and I found myself alone trying to do it all in the office many days this week.  I actually enjoyed it.  I really have a hard time when there isn't much to do there.  I love being busy and involved.

We had our scripture class.  It was our last one in the Pearl of Great Price.  Boy it has been good to teach those wonderful scriptures and go through them again.  We are now going to start the Book of Mormon.  With all of the new members and newly activated members in our group we feel it will be a good thing to do.  We are hoping that they will keep it up when we are gone.  I doubt that another couple will be given to our ward so they will have to continue it without us.  I feel that they might.  We have made great bonds there and love those people.

Friday was a wonderful day for us.  Another one of those milestones.  We went with the other missionaries that are leaving this month to the temple.  There are three senior couples and four missionaries - a very small group.  Pres. and Sister Schmitt were there too.  We first took pictures on the temple grounds and then went in and dressed.  We were treated to be able to have a message first from Sister Schmitt in the temple and then President Schmitt.  Pres. Northcutt of the temple presidency and his wife then talked to us.  Pres. Northcutt talked about Christ when we was walking on the water.  He reminded us of Peter and his amazing faith to just jump out of the boat and starting walking on the water to Christ.  As long as Peter had his eyes on the Savior he was able to stay on top  of the water.  But as soon as he looked away from him, he started to sink.  He reminded us all to keep our eyes on the Savior.  We should always do those things that help us have Him in our hearts and minds.  Prayer, scripture study, attendance at church, the sacrament, etc.  It was a sweet experience to be there together.

Next transfer there will be 22 missionaries leaving and the transfer in May will have 31 missionaries going home.  These are the missionaries who came out with the new age changes.  What is sad is that we are not getting back any where near the amount of missionaries that we are loosing.  Two years ago the mission was struggling with getting enough apartments for them and opening new areas.  Now we will be faced with pulling missionaries out of areas and apartments.  We are now at about 250 missionaries and we think we will be down to about 200 in by the end of the summer.

So we loose those 4 missionaries on Tuesday along with a missionary who is transferring to another mission.  And we get 6 new ones that day.  Then transfers are Wednesday.  There are lots of changes with the mission leadership so things should be a bit crazy.  Tons of things have to be done between now and the end of the week and we are gearing up for that.  I think we have finally figured out how to do what needs to be done for transfers and how to not mess up too badly.  Now it is time to go I guess.  Isn't that how it is?

Well, keep praying for us.  We want to sprint to the end and come home tired.  We are working hard and loving the blessing of being missionaries.  We love you all and will see you soon!

Sorry, I didn't take many pictures this week.

This is a picture of Brenda Wu.  She came to our ward five weeks ago and was alone.  I went up to greet her and found out she is from Argentina.  She is here with a group of 25 students learning Spanish.  They are here for 6 weeks, going to classes and enjoying the sights and sounds of San Diego.  It was her birthday and she had just turned 18 so she asked if she could come sit with me in Relief Society.  I told her that she could probably go to Young Women while here and then start RS when she got home if that felt more comfortable.  She said that she had found in her life that she gets blessings for following the church the way it is set up!  We have become good friends.  She is a concert pianist and a beautiful daughter of God!  So proud of her!

This was taken on P day in the office.  Four of my wonderful "daughters" from the Mormon Battalion came in and we had to take a few pictures.  I love these women and am so proud of them.  I remember each of them as they first came to the mission and now I see them so much more confident, more committed and more beautiful!  They have taught me so many things by sharing their love and their stories.  They each have changed and refined.  Life hasn't been easy for them.  One's brother committed suicide the first day she was here in San Diego.  All have learned through those struggles how to accept challenges and find the Lord's will in their lives.  Missions are great things!  And so are missionaries!

 This is Elder and Sister Riley.  They serve in the "valley".  About 2 hours to the east of San Diego is the Imperial Valley.  It is out in the middle of nowhere and an interesting place to serve.  It was the place we were so afraid that they would send us ---  just way too far from the beach!!  But everyone who serves there loves it.  There are 12 companionships out there and 8 of them are Spanish speaking.  They say that the members are such great missionaries.  They are building the kingdom out there quickly and get many more baptisms because they have members that are doing their part.  They came in for the day and took us to lunch!  What fun!

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