The adventures continue to keep coming, and we continue to be stretched in our efforts to do all that is expected of us.
I can remember thinking a couple of months ago that we hadn't been involved in any funerals in the time we have been here. That is a good thing, of course. Well, that was soon to change. Within the last month, we have now had three funerals – two of which were this week. Now I have to be careful what I think because it just might come to pass.
At the first funeral, the family asked Owen to do the dedication of the grave, which went well.
Our phone rang at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning (We are starting to go into panic mode if the phone rings early like that.) It was the Branch President. His wife's aunt had passed away the week before. The family had asked him to do the funeral service. They represent several different religions. They had had an uncle's funeral the week before that had been disappointing to them. Pres. Tom told them he would do the service, but it had to be the LDS way. He was calling to ask Owen to give a talk on the Plan of Salvation at the funeral and for me to lead the singing. We would need to be in Gallup by 9:30. We quickly shifted into high gear, made it there in time, and Owen did a good job on his talk. I had already typed, and ran off a written copy of the service for the audience to have.
Later in the afternoon when we were just leaving the house to go to St. Michaels, the phone rang. It was Pres. Tom again, and he asked us to come to the Chapter House. When we got there, he introduced us to man from Albuquerque. His wife had passed away on Sunday. Since she was from Lupton, they wanted to have the funeral and burial here in Lupton. Pres. Tom had to work on Saturday, so he basically turned all the arrangements over to us, after he asked Owen to give the main talk again.
The first councilor would be here to conduct the meeting, etc., but the bulk of everything else was up to us. We met with the husband and his sister-in-law and got the necessary information, and I again typed up a program for the services. Owen worked on his talk and then worked on his talk some more. He was nervous about giving it to an audience from different religions. The husband was a member of the Church and his wife and two of their children had joined the Church in November 2013, so they were LDS, but the majority of the family members were not.
It was a first for the little chapel in Lupton. They had never held a funeral in this building before. The other funerals have all been held in Gallup at the Stake Center because of the number of people who would be attending. I guess there is a first time for everything. We fretted and worried about it, cleaned the church from top to bottom (with the help of a member), and set up extra chairs. Our chapel normally has 55 chairs, so we added more chairs in the chapel, and also opened up the divider door to the kitchen and Young Women's room and put extra chairs in there. Then we worried about parking because our parking lot is quite small.
When they brought the casket, it wouldn't fit through the classroom door where they were going to hold the viewing. So they ended up taking the door off in order for it to fit.
After all was said and done, and in spite of all our worries, everything worked out really well. They had a nice program, there was room for everyone to sit and even park. The family has thanked us a number of times for our help and for how nice everything turned out. They buried her here in Lupton on their family plot. It is a beautiful setting – in a small valley with red rock cliffs on both sides.
The Chapter had taken their backhoe out on Friday and dug the grave, but no one was around on Saturday to fill it back in. So the family grabbed their shovels and did it themselves.
In between funeral arrangements, we were able to visit with several families and even got to hold Marianya's new little brother, Sasuke.
We were excited to see one of the non-members that has been coming to Home Evening come to Church today. There is lots of work for us to do – people to visit and places to go.
Looking forward to another new week and whatever adventures the Lord has in store for us.