I am later getting the blog written this week, but for a good reason. As you look at the pictures above, I can blame it on them. Who wants to write a blog when you can be playing with grandchildren?
We worked hard on missionary work the first part of the week. Found a family with three children who haven't been baptized. We set an appointment to begin teaching them. We did a lot of visiting of Branch members. It seems like between the RVs and the missionary work, we never lack for things to do.
Wednesday evening one of our sons, his wife, and children came down to visit us. We were so glad to see them. I realized how much I have been missing their hugs and snuggle time. They arrived in time for FHE and got to play a couple rounds of Thousand Aces with some of the members.
Thursday we went hiking on the hills with one of the members, went shopping at The Nugget trading post in Gallup, and went through Window Rock on the way home to see the Window Rock arch and Code Talker Memorial.
Friday was a trip to the Petrified Forest National Park. We took one of the boys from our Branch with us. He fit right in with all the other boys. We took several of the hikes to see the different sites. It is a pretty fascinating place. The Agate House is ruins of the ancient ones that built their dwelling out of petrified wood. The older boys ran everywhere – didn't seem to be any stopping or slowing them down. The youngest one (almost four-years-old) kept up pretty good. He doesn't want to be left behind, no matter how tired he is.
Saturday they got to ride one of our friend's horses and play with their kittens. Then we went to Window Rock to the museum, the little zoo, a flea market, and shopping. Our friend called in the afternoon and said he was home if they wanted to come out and hike on his property to some Indian ruins. That was really interesting to be able to see the ruins and walk through them. It is a good thing their family likes to hike because we did a lot of it in order to be able to see some of the special things around here. Course, there wasn't enough time to do it all, so now they will have to plan another trip to come back.
Owen had asked the Branch President earlier in the month if he wanted our kids to talk in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. Of course, they graciously accepted the invitation. After Church some of the members came over to visit and to tell the kids good-bye. We had a member come in the evening and share some of his life experiences and things he learned from his grandfather with them. It was very interesting. He has had quite the life.
Our daughter-in-law made the comment that Owen told her she would fall in love with the people here. She didn't think that would be possible in just the few days they were going to be here. But, their family got to spend some time and do some activities with some of our special friends in the area. She was surprised how easy it is to love them when you get to know them. The boys would ask me which ones were Navajos or how many of the people at church were Navajos. When I told them they all were, they commented, “Wow! Navajos are awesome!”
Monday was a sad day because it was time for them to head back home. We decided to follow them as far as Chinle and see the north rim of Canyon de Chelly. The canyon is massive and so pretty. At one of the overlooks, you could see a hogan, a couple of fields they were farming, and then at the base of the mountain (not too far from the hogan) were ancient ruins. Imagine having something like that in your backyard. If you stayed on the main road, you wouldn't even know the canyon existed because you can't tell it is there as you drive along. Time for good-byes and then we parted our ways. It was so good to have those few days to spend with them.
We had a District Meeting in Tohlakai in the evening. As we were leaving, we found out that the Elders were locked out of their RV. So we spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how to get their door open because their key was locked inside the RV.
Now we have to change hats and get back in our missionary mode. We have several appointments this week, RVs to visit, and a Branch pot luck dinner the evening of the 4th. We continue to be blessed in our work and to receive blessings in our family as we serve the Lord.