We experienced a roller coaster of emotions this week. We were thrilled that we were finally able to drive in to one of our investigator's place and visit with him. He is such a neat man. He is still progressing and still wants to be baptized.
On Monday we taught the first Temple Prep. lesson to another man and had a good visit with him. He invited us to come back later for dinner. So I hurried and made up a batch of bread, and we had delicious beef stew and fresh bread. Yum.m.m.m.
We had another surprise dinner invitation the next day, too. We had been discussing what to fix for dinner that evening as we headed out the door to go make a visit. Much to our surprise, the people invited us to stay for a chicken dinner. There are many ways the missionaries receive blessings as they do the work of the Lord.
We each had dentist appointments this week. Glad those are over with. But, then I also went to the doctor to get some antibiotics for an infection. More trips to Gallup. I think we could about put our vehicle on automatic pilot, we have been over that road so much.
When visiting with one of our dear sisters, we found out she has had quite the month. Her disabled sister fell on the ice and broke her arm. Her other sister who came everyday to help out with their mother and sister had to have her shoulder operated on and isn't able to do much for the next six weeks. Then a wolf got into her sheep pen and killed twelve of her pregnant ewes. Her sheep are just like family to her, so that was a real tragedy. She had a two-day-old bummer lamb in a box in her home. Brought back memories of when Dad use to bring new-born lambs to the house to warm them up and to take care of them.
More sad news we received this week was that our District Leader and his wife would be returning to Idaho Falls, unable to finish their mission. He is the one I mentioned in the last letter that had gall bladder surgery. We heard that he developed septic shock and they had a hard time stabilizing him. Pres. Batt (mission president) said that he needed more extensive care than he could get in Zuni, Gallup, or Farmington. So they left from Farmington, without returning to Zuni for their motor home or any belongings. Their family will see that the motor home gets back to Idaho Falls for them. It was hard for them to leave so suddenly and not be able to see closure to any of the things they were working on, nor to tell anyone 'good-bye' (the elderly missionaries or all their friends in Zuni). We will miss them very much. They are a great couple, and we pray that he will get the care he needs and things will work out for them.
We woke up on Friday to snow and rain – which continued most of the day, just as the roads were starting to dry out and become passable. The moisture is so badly needed for this area, if we could just skip over the muddy days (or roads).
We had a wonderful experience this weekend of taking three young ladies to the Albuquerque Temple to do baptisms. We debated about going because of the bad weather the day before, but decided to give it a try. The roads were fine all the way. When we got to the Temple, they told us that Gallup Stake had called and canceled their baptism appointment because of the weather the day before. Lupton Branch never got that word. So they hurriedly rounded up workers to help us so that the girls could still have the experience. The Matron of the Temple even helped pass out the jumpsuits to the girls. Since Owen was the only Priesthood holder with our group, he was able to do all of the baptizing and also confirmations. I told the girls afterward that because of them there are 30 people in heaven today that are celebrating because they were finally able to receive their baptism ordinance.
I was walking back to the trailer from the church one evening in the dark. I was still on the pavers, but I could hear someone or something walking on the rocks. I stopped and wondered whether to run back to the church where Owen was (but it was locked), or make a dash for the house. Before I could make up my mind, I felt something lick my hand. What a relief to see our old 'res' dog that comes by occasionally to visit.
The work of the Lord continues to move forward and progress, and we are thankful to be a part of it here in the Lupton area.