We went to the Senior Center on St. Patrick's Day. They were all festive in their green and getting ready to have a party. It was fun to see their excitement and to visit with them for a few minutes.
We continue to meet new people each week. A number are already members of the Church, but for one reason or another, they just stopped coming. Most don't even know why they quit.
We have had some real special visits with various members. Some are struggling with their testimonies and just need support and encouragement. We thoroughly enjoy our visits with all of them. We drove out to Sanders to visit with a couple that comes to our Branch. Our knock on the door was answered by a young elder. We were surprised to see them there. The elders had come by to help them unload some wood, so the family had invited them to stay for supper. We all had a nice visit before they left. We talked to them about helping out with our investigator that lives in Sanders part of the time. Of course, they said they would be happy to do so. Sanders is in their area of service rather than ours anyway
We had to make a trip to Gallup one day to pick up parts for the RV they moved from Bitter Springs to Polacco, AZ. While we we were there, we stopped at the Nugget Store. Every time we visit with the owner, I am more and more impressed with him. He is a member, but was out of the Church for awhile because of the hypocrisy of the leaders. It took him awhile before he finally realized that the only person he was hurting was himself; and in the end, the only one we have to account to is the Lord.
He has a really strong testimony of tithing. He said that if he only had $10 to his name, he would give it to the Lord; because he knew that if he did, by the end of the day he would have $20 in his pocket. When he and his wife were starting their family, there were some complications. They found out that it would cost $30,000 for them to be able to get pregnant. He was working as a policeman at the time in the Narcotics Division. They knew there was no way they could ever come up with the money. He was even trying to figure out how he could work with some of the drug dealers and get the money that way. During this time of total despair in their lives, they were contacted by an attorney. When they met with him, they found out he had some inheritance money in the amount of $30,000 from his wife's aunt. The exact amount they needed in order to start their family.
He says that if we are able to save one person while we are on our mission, then we will have been successful. He told us to not worry about getting baptisms, but to concentrate on strengthening those that are already members. Rely on the Spirit because we are not the important ones and Heavenly Father is in charge of what we do. We felt we had been taught and enlightened by our visit. Our timing was perfect because no customers came in the store while we were having our discussion. It was just like we were suppose to hear what he had to say.
Our Marianya Miracle continues to grow. When we found out that her family needed clothing, etc. for her, Owen made one phone call home to see if they could help out some way. Ron's family were coming down our way, so they said they would bring whatever clothing had been collected. So on Saturday we drove to Blanding to meet them. Their truck bed was clear full of large sacks of clothes. We were both totally amazed at how much the people back home had donated. In fact, I wonder if they have any clothes left because it seemed like we had so much. It really touched our hearts to see their generosity. There is no way we can ever thank them enough. “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my children, ye have done it unto me.”
When we got home and unloaded the truck, we had 31 large bags of clothes and some baby blankets. There were not only clothes for babies, but adult sizes too. We piled all the sacks in the frontroom and took a picture. I text Marianya's mom and told her she needed to come over and see what Marianya had done to our frontroom. She was totally amazed to see all of the bags of clothing
Yesterday, Sunday, was an interesting day. Owen decided to open the gate to the Church yard a lot earlier than he usually does. As he pushed the gate opened, he heard someone say, “Good morning.” He looked around to see where the voice was coming from. There was a guy that had set up camp there by the church yard and was letting his three horses graze the roadside. Owen found out that he is a 'long rider.' He is riding across the country to raise awareness for childrens' hunger. He truly looks like he stepped out of a Louis La'Mour novel. As we visited with him more, we found out that he has a PHD in Philosophy, but has chosen to ride for the last several years. He has now tethered his horses in the Church yard to clean up all the dead grass and so they can rest for a few days. What an interesting person. He is glad to have a home cooked meal and some company.
The blessings continue to pour in and the Lord continues to hear our prayers. We can feel of his guidance in the things we do, the people we meet, and even in the little things (if we listen). Owen had picked up a hasp and a padlock to install on one of the RVs. As he was walking up the aisle to go pay for it, he had the impression to not buy that hasp. He went back to the display area and found another one that was longer which ended up being the one he needed.
I was in a Dollar Store and as I walked by the cookie display, I thought about buying a couple of packages. I resisted the urge and didn't buy any. Sunday morning I found out just before Church started that I would be doing Primary. I scrambled to put the lesson together. When I walked into the Primary room, the children wanted to know if I had brought any treats. I had to send Owen home to see what he could scrounge up. If only I had listened to the prompting and bought some cookies the day before.
Sunday our little Marianya was blessed in Sacrament Meeting. The Branch President gave her the blessing. It was beautiful; in fact, the whole meeting was so spiritual. We had our biggest attendance since we arrived - 49 people. Only six were visitors, and later I counted up at least 11 members who usually come and weren't there. I even had eleven children in Primary – ages two through eleven. The little two-year-old kept wanting to crawl between my legs like a tunnel. I had to keep moving around, stood up against the wall, and finally picked him up and held him so I could continue with the lesson. The other kids were getting quite the kick out of watching the side entertainment. Hmm...and to think that our lesson was on reverence.
Life continues to be great in Lupton.