I still am not feeling 100% but doing much better this week. I guess I must have the flu. It just seems to last and last. Just when I think I am doing better, I'm not. This is the first year in a long time that I didn't get a flu shot. Won't be doing that again. There is only one of us in the office who hasn't joined in the fun of being sick and we often cough in unison as we work.
Monday was our Senior Couple Family Home Evening. We are officially the couple who has been here the longest. Even the mission president and Mormon Battalion Director came after us. It definitely is a strange feeling. I looked around the full room at the great bunch of people there and realized that we have seen a whole other room worth of couples leave during our stint here. Wonderful people who we have grown to love and respect! We said good bye to two couples and hello to three new ones. They told us that fewer couples are signing up to go on missions and that our numbers will most likely be decreasing. Oh I wish all could now how great it is to be on a mission. I can't imagine missing this in our life.
Tuesday was a sad day for me. It was the Soffe's last day and it hit me hard. We have loved serving with them. They were such a joy to spend all day long with - and that is something you can't say about everyone. They have left a huge hole and it just isn't as fun without them. There were always smiles and good nature with them. We will miss them a lot. The new couple, Elder and Sister Parkin who are replacing them are wonderful and will do a great job. And they are pleasant to be with - it is just not the same without the Soffes. It is helping to make it easier to leave when our time comes.
We had some appetizers set out for us and the missionaries who came by to pick up things for their zones and tried to have a little party. There were lots and lots of hugs and pictures and even some tears off and on.
Elder Soffe has never worn regular ties in his life. He has always worn bow ties. They wouldn't allow him to wear a bow time on a mission so he dutifully wore the required "uniform". On his last day, he brought all of his ties to the office and gave them away to the missionaries as they came. He walked out that evening with no tie on. Glad to not have to wear one again! Back to his bow ties!
This picture is of the Soffes and our mail man, Anthony. We have worked on him to have missionaries teach him. We has said that he will but that right now he is just too busy. He has a wonderful cheerful attitude and had a great friendship with the Soffes.
We took lots of pictures Tuesday and most of them were a bit crazy like this one. Elder Soffe always has some joke going on with the Elders. They sometimes aren't sure whether it is a joke or not but they all love him and will miss him too.
Wednesday was our Scripture class. I keep thinking that I will take a picture of our class when they are all there. But that never seems to happen, so I took this one with those who were there this time. We have loved our class and the people there. It is always good to make friends with people who you normally wouldn't choose. We have grown to love these good people and to appreciate their hearts. We have learned a lot together through this last year and half. Two of them are planning on coming up to Women's Conference at the end of April and will stay with us. We are glad that San Diego is close enough that we will see our friends often after we are done. Two of our class members are new converts, two have just returned to activity, one has been a member for several years and just went to the temple with us a few months ago. The lady whose home we meet in wanted to have the class in her home because she has worked in Primary for so many years and hasn't been able to go to Sunday School for so long. It is a great group of friends.
We spent Saturday at the beach. We took Bart and Cheri with us along with a couple of the La Jolla Institute kids and went to the private beach just down from the Institute. It was a beautiful day - just about perfect and we really enjoyed being there and just relaxing. A great way to end a busy week!
I love the gospel and the help it gives me. It is true and I know that because it blesses my life. I feel so blessed to know that I can pray to my Heavenly Father and that He actually listens and blesses me. I woke in the middle of the night one night this week and was struggling to get back to sleep. I have been heart broken about some challenges and had a bad dream about it all. It was too real to shake off. I started reading in the New Era a story of a young lady who was an excellent violinist and then hurt her left hand. It was a real struggle for a year or so and she remembered one night where she was having a particularly hard time. She said she had prayed that God would help her get through her trial and be OK. Almost immediately she felt peace and was comforted. That reminded me that I could do the same thing and I dropped to my knees. I was amazed at how quickly the spirit soothed my soul and helped me feel peace. I feel back asleep and got the rest I needed. And I have had that stay with me for the last few days!
Now that is pretty simple and normal in our every day lives. How blessed we are to have that! So many people we meet here don't have any idea of that blessing and how it works. I am grateful that I have been blessed to have my Heavenly Father an active part of my life! The gospel is true.