Sunday, March 16, 2014

Greetings from LA again. Life as a senior missionary can sometimes be a challenge. There are so many different responsibilities and assignments in the missions for the seniors. I don't think any two missions are alike. Even the things we do each day are different from the other senior couples in our District.

Both of our investigators were out of town this week. The one is in Utah and not sure when he will be back. We didn't have to give any lesson from Preach My Gospel, but we studied and prepared just in case.

Those that we are teaching Temple Preparation lessons are progressing and have such special spirits. We hope that they continue in their desire to have the great experience of receiving their temple endowments and the blessings promised.

In small branches Sundays can be real interesting sometimes. Our Branch President’s family and 1st Counselor weren’t able to be to Church last Sunday.  The 2nd counselor was the only one.  He has only conducted Sacrament Meeting once since we have been here.  The Branch President’s wife plays the organ for Sacrament Meeting and is the President, Counselors, Secretary, pianist, chorister, and Teacher all rolled into one in the Primary.  His ten-year-old daughter leads the singing each week.  He has two sons – one a Priest and one a Deacon.  So their family is really missed when they aren’t there.  Anyway, I got the prelude music started (thank goodness I figured out which buttons to push on the organ), another sister came and took over the organ, so I had to lead the singing.  Owen and the counselor blessed and passed the Sacrament.  The two speakers never showed up, so Owen gave a talk and I gave the closing prayer.  I had checked with the Branch President’s wife on Saturday night about Primary, but she hadn’t made any arrangements.  So  I put things together for that.  I ended up with five Primary kids (ranging in age from 2 to 10) and two young women (because there wasn’t a teacher for them).  Owen also ended up teaching Priesthood. He had two non-members there, so he tried to meet their needs as well as the other men that were there. Things were a little stressful for awhile, but we survived. We were glad to have the Branch President's family and lst Counselor back today. When it was time to start, there were only 14 people there. But by twenty minutes after the hour, our numbers had increased to 41. So glad to see all of them there.

Remember in an earlier post where I told the story of the dog getting our jerky? Well, on Tuesday we had an appointment to go Visiting Teaching at that same place. (No, the dog didn't get our jerky again.) We decided to wait and eat dinner after we got home. As we were walking across her porch, I heard someone say, “Mom, the elders are here.” Victor, her nephew, answered the door and welcomed us in as if we were old friends. We had met him on an earlier visit and visited with him on the porch. He is a veteran, and he and Owen seemed to hit it off. He is a non-member. Eleanor came in and we all sat and visited. Victor's friend (a girl) was making fry bread in the kitchen, but would occasionally add a comment. When the conversation lulled, I got out the lesson. He called his friend to come into the front room and sit down because the sister was going to give a lesson. I thought that was quite interesting. As we were finishing up, we slid to the edge of the couch so we could stand up. Both of us noticed that Victor and his friend did the same, but they folded their arms. We decided quick that we better have a closing prayer. So Owen gave it. Then they asked if we wanted some fry bread. Before we knew it, we had been invited to stay for dinner (chili and fry bread). Then they sent some fry bread and cookies home with us. It was a super evening, one that we enjoyed very much. We had such a nice visit. It was if we have known them a long time. Victor was so friendly and kidding around with Owen. He had come to Church last week with Eleanor. I think the difference was because he came to Church, heard Owen “preach” in Sacrament Meeting and in the Priesthood class, so he got a chance to get to know him better.

We had been here nearly three months before we were invited into a hogan. Now we have been in three different ones. It also took us that long before we experienced fry bread. Then we had it twice in just four days. Yummy! I guess you could say we are getting reservationized.

We had another good Family Home Evening this week. We had our two little families come. We all sat around the table and had a lesson on the creation. I had made numbers and things for the little boys to color and paste on the numbers as we talked about each day of the creation. But, I had to hurry and run off more copies because the parents wanted to color, too. Marianya was asleep in her car seat when they came, so we just left her there and let her sleep. Maybe next time she comes we can have some play time. We have really enjoyed getting to know the two little families. Cassandra hasn't missed Church since the first time they came back. Mina has only missed twice when she had the baby.

Our road trip last week was to Crystal, NM. We needed to check on some things in the Elders' trailer. Crystal is a beautiful place, nestled among ponderosa pine trees. It is a small community, but there is a boarding school there. Most of the people live outside of town. The LDS church house even has a gym in it; that is unusual for small community churches here. It was a nice ride. On the way home we decided to take the loop through Bowl Canyon past Asaayi Lake. It was a beautiful drive through the trees, huge red rock formations, and even the dirt road wasn't too bad.

We look forward to each new day and finding out what it holds in store for us. Some days are challenging, but that is to be expected. We have our low times and high times; but as we look back and reflect, we can see the Lord's hand in guiding us as we strive to do His work in this part of His vineyard.

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