Monday our mission picked up twenty-four new missionaries (19 elders and 5 sisters) at the airport. They arrived around 12:45 pm and were taken to one of the stake centers where we feed them pizza that James had ordered and picked up. Then they were in orientation meetings, went tracting, and had interviews with the mission president until dinner time. It was fun to meet them. One of them, Elder Pyfer, is from the Founders Ward in Castle Rock and knows some of our granddaughters. We all ate dinner at the church. On Tuesday they all came back to the stake center for more meetings and to meet their new trainers. It was transfer day, which happens every six weeks, so lots of missionaries were moved around and got new companions. Then early on Wednesday morning we had fifteen missionaries return home because their missions were completed. It is amazing to get a look at what goes on behind the scenes. Thanks to the Assistants to the President (we have four) things ran very smoothly.
Friday night we had dinner at the Morris's house (he does vehicles and she does referrals and the newsletter) along with the other office couple, the housing couple, and Pres. Layton and his wife. They feed us tri-tip with salsa on top - a local favorite. Bakersfield is also known for its tri-tip sandwiches. It was a nice evening.
Saturday night we went to a baptism for Kimberly Medina, a 20 year old girl. It was partly in Spanish and partly in English. They asked James to be a witness.
Sunday we gave talks in Sacrament Meeting. Mine was on "Family History" and James talked on "Families". I gave the congregation a "Will you. . . . .?" invitation like we learned to do at the MTC. I said, "Will you do some family history of some kind today before the day is over?" I had them raise their hands if the answer was "yes". Most of them raised their hands. The rest hymn was "Families Can Be Together Forever" per James's request. (That is our special song that we always sing before our family dinners.)
Fun Fact - Bakersfield's Bolthouse Farms and Grimmway Farms together produce almost 90% of California's carrot crop. Those "baby carrots" that everyone likes to munch on were developed right here. The next time you buy carrots look at the bag and I bet it will be from Bakersfield!
MIRACLE - One day the mission president came into the office with a request. He said he wished he had something to give to the departing missionaries. He said he thought it would be nice to give them a temple recommend holder with our mission logo on it. He asked us to look into it and order enough for his three years as mission president. Later that afternoon, I was sitting at the front desk. Sister Ball had left the office to do an errand. I finished up doing the forwarding mail labels for the missionary mail. As I was cleaning up I saw something on the floor under the desk and picked it up. It was a temple recommend holder with a picture of the Los Angeles temple on one side and the California Bakersfield Mission logo on the other side. I thought maybe Sister Ball had it. When she got back and saw it on the desk, she asked where it came from. I told her I had seen it on the floor and picked it up. We asked everyone in the office if they knew anything about it. No one did. In tiny, tiny writing the recommend holder also had the website where you can order them. That was amazing! The angels are alive and well!
The Lord loves you and so do we!