Hitchhiking is very common out here. We hardly go anywhere but what there is someone hitchhiking. On Tuesday we drove out to the Bitsue's home to visit with Bro. Bitsue. He wasn't home so we decided to go to another place and check on them. As we were driving, we could see two women up ahead walking along the side of the road. Owen commented, "Oh no. More hitchhikers." When we passed them, we recognized Sister Green that we knew from the Senior Center. So we turned and went back. She and her niece were hitchhiking to Gallup to pick up a few things and some chips and dip for Bingo day tomorrow at the Center. Do we tell them to have a nice walk or give the 70-year-old woman and her niece a ride? We all had a nice ride to Gallup and a great visit along the way. We asked the niece if we could come and visit her the next day and she said it would be okay. Alas, when we went back, she wasn't home. Hopefully, we will be able to visit her another time.
We were finally able to find Bro. Bitsue at home. He is a silversmith and a potterer. He makes all shapes and sizes of pots out of coils of clay. He showed us some he had made. He and Owen spent a lot of time talking rocks. He rode with us in the truck to show us the remains of Anasazi dwellings. They were a ways away on the other side of a huge wash. He said that in the spring when the weather is good, we will hike up to them for a better look.
We are still trying to find out where different people live, knocking on doors, and visiting when we can. We have met a special man, Jay Burton. He is around 37 years old and was baptized about 20 years ago. He has been ordained a Priest. He wants to meet with us weekly. We have asked the Branch President about teaching him the Temple Prep. lessons. We think that is something that would really help him.
Friday was our first Zone Conference. It was held in Chinle (about an hour and a half away). The couple serving in Zuni met us here and we took our truck. It was fun to visit with them. They welcomed the five new couples since the last Zone Conference to the mission. There are also five couples and a single sister that are finishing their missions, so they each bore their testimony. One couple has been here since 2011. They will finish this mission on Feb. 14th and start their next mission on February 15th. I guess when they finish their mission, the President calls them on a six month service mission, during which time they submit mission papers and are called right back to the same area. So basically, they never leave. The couple in Tsaile are planning on doing that. She told me that they want to serve at least 10 years (probably right where they are).
We heard wonderful messages from the Zone Leaders wife, the Zone Leader, Sister Batt, and President Batt. We recited the Missionary Commission: "I am called of God. My authority is above that of kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him - to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; My words are his words; My doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in work and in deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous Latter-day work. How great is my calling! (By Bruce R. McConkie)
These RV trailers are getting to be rather stressful. We went to Tsaile again on Saturday and are going again in the morning. In fact, we are going to also check out the one in Chilchinbeto, too. That will be a long day.
We are enjoying our mission more each day, especially since we have met a lot of people, are learning the area, and where the dirt roads go. The weather is cooperating - we are in the high 40s or low 50s every day. Course that isn't good for the water situation later on in the year.
We love you all and are so thankful for our many blessings and especially this opportunity to serve.