Time to write the mission blog again. Sometimes the weeks go by so fast, it all seems like a blur. We had a member of our Branch pass away early Monday morning. She is the mother of our Primary President. She was 80-years-old, but had cancer. Her husband passed away only 14 months ago, so this was hard on the family. They held the funeral on Friday. A number of her children had gone on the Indian Placement Program, so they have been baptized; just not very many of them are active. They held the funeral at the Stake Center because our chapel is so small. It was a very nice funeral – just like a regular LDS one. Then we traveled back to Lupton because she was to be buried on their family property. A reception was held at the Chapter House after the burial. I helped out in the kitchen. When I got there, there were lots of chips, lots of soda, a potato salad, and two buckets of KFC chicken. I thought there is no way we are going to be able to feed all the family with just this much. It wasn't long, though, the door opened and people began pouring in with armloads of food – everything from more chicken and potato salad, ribs, meat loaf, sub sandwiches, several salads, pies, cookies, and even more sodas. I was totally amazed. They didn't just bring a medium-sized dish either; it was the big broiler-size aluminum pans heaped clear full. When there is a need, everyone is willing to do what they can to help. Special, special people!
We had our District Meeting this week in Blue Water (1 ½ hrs. east of Gallup). A former service missionary couple invited us out to their home. We were suppose to go on New Year's, but didn't make it because of the weather. So we finally made it on Groundhog Day. It was so nice to get together and visit with everyone. Our former District Leader called and talked to all of us while we were there. He is continuing to improve. We were all glad to hear from them.
Then we had to go back out that way on another day to Crown Point to help out a member. So between trips to Blue Water, Crown Point, Window Rock, and six trips to Gallup – we were on the road again.
We had some special teaching experiences this week also. We have been fellowshipping a family for quite some time. He is a member, but his wife isn't. We were able to meet with him and his ten-year-old son. We have another appointment this week; and, hopefully, his wife will also meet with us then. We are keeping our fingers crossed. We are doing Temple Prep. lessons with another guy. He started them quite a while ago, but never finished for one reason or another. Now he is determined he is going to finish and go to the temple before we go home. Again, keeping our fingers crossed.
We went to visit four different families one afternoon, but we were able to find only one of them home. I guess that is normal for missionary work.
On Saturday we met two other senior missionary couples at our local truck stop. They wanted to get together for a breakfast since this is the last week for one of the couples. We had a nice visit with them, but I now know not to go to Speedy's on a Saturday morning. Our second counselor works there, and we ended up getting asked to speak in Church the next day.
Owen is getting a reputation for being the community handyman. Last week he installed a new kitchen sink for an elderly couple. This week he installed a new water heater for another elderly person. They are so appreciative for his help. He is also working on installing new water pipes in a hogan for a little family.
A while ago, one of our good friends asked him if he would take her grandson and give him a grandfather's talk. She said that Owen is the closest to a grandfather he has. He was turning 11 on his birthday. So the two of them went off hiking in the hills, built a small fire, cooked their tin-foil dinners, visited, and explored. They both enjoyed the time they spent together. Poor Owen was exhausted, though, when he got home – nothing though but what a good nap would cure.
So we bring to a close another week of adventures in the mission field in Lupton, AZ, and we look forward to whatever the new week has in store for us.