Fast and furious! We are nearing the finish line of our mission and feel like we have really got to turn on the steam to get everything in before we go. So many people have waited until the last minute to say that they want us over "one more time" that it has been hard to fit it all in. But we are doing it and having a great time.
Monday was our dinner with the President Schmitt and his family. Usually the senior couples come over before they leave and have dinner at their home for us. But Roger knew that the Schmitt's oldest son David LOVES to surf and has been wanting to try Black's Beach. That is the beach that you have to have a special key to get into the drive down to it so he doesn't get to go. He invited them to come do a picnic dinner on the beach with us instead and they quickly took us up on it. We had a great time with their darling family.
We are amazed at the amount of time that is necessary to run a mission. And the Schmitt's do it so well. In the meantime they are trying to raise a very active, wonderful bunch of kids. And they do that well too.
It was fun to be a part of the other half of their life for a few hours and to see the love and concern - and normalcy that they have in their family.
Sister Schmitt's mom was in town for the weekend so we were able to be there with her too.
David isn't in any of our pictures because he was out in the surf the whole time. He said that he wasn't leaving until the sun was down. He has decided that the beach has to be a part of his life from now on. He is totally loving the fact that they are here in San Diego. Some of the other kids are struggling a bit. It is an amazing sacrifice that this darling family has made to come serve.
Our little scripture class hasn't liked being swallowed up in Family History so they have decided to still meet but do it on Tuesday so that they won't disturb the Family History class. We are thrilled that they will still meet because it has been a good thing for all of them. New members, struggling members, investigators all need extra love and study. We are hoping that they keep it going after we are gone! We read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and had some sweet discussion. I was impressed again as we read Joseph Smith's testimony of what happened, that it is all true, every word of it! I love the Spirit.
We were invited to Carol's home for dinner on Wednesday. Her son has fixed up several gourmet meals this last year which we have absolutely loved! He decided that they needed to feed us one more time before we left, which we agreed with whole heartedly!
He served us a French meal. First we had heated brie with garlic and rosemary with toasted buttered bread to dip into it. Oh I was in heaven!
Then we had ratatouille. It smelled so good as we entered the house and didn't disappoint us as we ate it.
Chicken bourguignon was the main course. It was so tender and yummy with potatoes in the sauce.
We appreciate Carol and her love and support of us. The members here are great that way and we have felt honored to be the recipients of their service. It is quite humbling and cool!
Then for Roger's favorite part of the meal - we had a flat apple pie. Of course that is not what it is called in French lingo but I can't remember the name of it. But it was so good, flakey, and not too sweet. Yummmmmm!
We took the day off Thursday. We weren't really sure that we should do that because we still have so much to do at the office to be ready for the new people but we did it anyway. Vera and Charles invited us to go hiking at their favorite state park and we haven't done much with them lately. They are our tour guide friends that we have enjoyed so much.
We first took them up to the Institute and had breakfast there. It is final's week and each morning the secretary there at the Institute makes an amazing breakfast and serves it from 7-11:30 for the students. We thought it would be a good thing to show them the Institute and have them meet some of the students. They really were impressed with what the church does for the kids there.
We then had to drive past the temple to get out to the place we were hiking. As we passed by the temple Charles asked us about Moroni and who he was. Roger was able to explain all about the Restoration and Moroni's role in it. We had a great conversation. And enjoyed the rest of the day with them. They are good people and have treated us to sweetly.
They have given us free tickets to the zoo for you guys when you have come to see us. They made the arrangements so that we could usher for the theaters around here. We have been invited to their home for dinners on special occasions etc. We love them and hope to know them for a long time.
We also had a visit from Cheryl and Don Elm. We had an extra apartment in our complex that no one was staying in so they came down to use it. They have their daughter Jacy living here in San Diego so they were able to visit with her family without having to sleep there. We were able to spend time with them Friday which we always enjoy! They are our heroes. We learn so much from them each time we are with them. I can't believe I didn't get one picture.
Saturday was the Relief Society Birthday Party and I included pictures of the sisters there at the party.
I love these women. It is amazing how close you can come to people in only a year and 10 months!
Bart is in one of them. He was there being the Priesthood presence and got to enjoy the yummy brunch that was served.
They all have helped us and affected us in one way or another while here. This ward feels like home and it will be hard to go back in a way. But we have decided that we have to do the same thing back home that we did here. Just jump in and be friendly!
Today was our second to the last Sunday and we were asked to speak. There were three young women speakers with us on the program so they said that we would only have about 7 minutes. But of course the young women didn't take much time at all. We were OK and were able to add in some good byes to our talks. One of the young women is not a member because her father won't let her join the church. We were hoping that we would be able to get him there to hear her speak and be able to see what a good thing the church is for her but he didn't come. She was amazing and did a great job. We were able to be a part of her coming to church and it felt so good to hear her do so well!
We are heading to our final week here. Our new couple is here and settling into their apartment and Roger just talked to them about getting at the office bright and early Monday morning to start training. It will be good to see how adept they are at catching on to computer stuff so we are aware of how painful it might be to train them! We are hoping for the best. It is a little bit strange to think that all of the things that kept us crazy busy for the last 22 months will just stop and someone else will jump on and keep it going. Thank goodness this is the Lord's work because I just couldn't imagine the mission working without His help.
We have been so blessed and only now are allowing ourselves to think seriously about what things we will be doing after we leave here. We love you all! Until next week...............
I included more pictures of our desert adventure: