Another week of adventures in the Lupton area has come to an end. We had a hard time believing it was January because we had rain showers for four days. On Wednesday it rained all day. It didn't even freeze at night. The rain has stopped now and our temperatures are in the low 20s at night and high 40s – low 50s during the day. Not exactly the type of January weather we are use to.
Owen was sick with a head cold during the first part of the week. So because of that and the rain, most of our contacting was made by phone or text. We did do service for some members a couple of days.
Our 'Nativity maker' came by one day to drop off another Nativity for a senior couple. He ended up staying and having an art lesson. Owen showed him some of the techniques he uses when he paints scenery and shared tips about coloring, etc. So now, not only is he making Nativities but has also decided to try his hand at painting. It has been so fun to see the creativity in him begin to blossom.
We had another awesome Family Home Evening this week. We had 12 people come (14 with us). We still had two chairs available, I just don't know where we would have put them because we meet in our trailer. We had ages all the way from six months to 65 years old. The little one is starting to learn to crawl, hasn't quite got the coordination down yet, but sure is determined. After the lesson, those that wanted to play a game (the young ones and me) convened at our kitchen table. The others visited and enjoyed each others company. It is so neat to be able to enjoy these times with these wonderful people, whom we have come to love like our own family.
This week we had a Zone Conference held in Monument Valley. Our District decided to go the day before, tour Monument Valley, and stay overnight. The Senior Couple that live by the church at Monument Valley agreed to be our tour guide. We took a couple of hours and toured a small section of the park – what spectacular scenery! It is amazing to see the different formations and colors and to realize they have been thousands (maybe millions) of years in the making. It is truly a mecca for artists and photographers. The weather even cooperated, which made the visit even nicer. After our tour, we all had dinner at “The View” restaurant. It was a special day.
At our Zone Conference, Pres. Batt mentioned that we have 65 senior missionaries serving in our mission. That includes all of the different assignments – office, CES, gardeners, MLS, employment, etc. He told us that with the Church's creation of eleven new missions, they are going to try and have 200 missionaries in each mission. Our mission has seen a decline in the number serving and has had to combine or close some areas. They are expecting it to increase again, however, in the summer time once school is out. He said that the Church is having a hard time finding enough Senior Missionary Couples to meet the demand. Many more couples are needed.
He told us that we will receive blessings for ourselves and our families as we serve the Lord. He shared an example of one of the young elders who called him one day in tears to tell him that his mother was going to be baptized. As the time approached for the missionary to return home, Pres. Batt asked if he was excited to be able to go to church with his mother. The missionary's reply was that he didn't know because he had never seen his mother without a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other. I know that the Senior Couples in our District have also been the recipients of many special blessings and tender mercies of the Lord, from a 12-year-old grandson receiving a kidney transplant, to miraculous healing from an accident that could have been tragic, and numerous other examples. We each have seen the blessings through our service.
For three of the couples in our District, this was their last Zone Conference. They will have returned home before our next Conference in April. For the other four couples, the April Conference will be our last one. Unless we see some new couples coming in (not predicted) before July 1st, the Window Rock District will cease to be. Sad to see that happen. We have enjoyed some special times together and have become close friends. Maybe we will all just have to extend.