Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week of Aug 15-21

Wow, we have already been our mission for a month! We are feeling more comfortable in our roles and jobs. James has been spending a lot of time on the phone talking to the Elders and Sisters getting their driving info into the computer correctly, figuring out who has what car, scheduling oil changes for them, etc. Talking to the missionaries is a real blessing to him. He is very good at engaging them in conversation. He says he can feel their spirit coming through the phone. He took the Assistants, Elder Tasi and Elder Holmgren, out to lunch one day last week. I have been helping Sister Ball go through the file drawers in the front office, organizing the files and labeling them, and throwing out the old stuff. I also enter the convert baptism and confirmation records every week in the computer. I love doing that. I almost feel like I know them after I enter their name, birthdate, place of birth, address, parent's names, spouse's name and birthdate, marriage date and place, children, etc. It is interesting to see if they are the only member of their family or feel the joy that their family must feel if they are members. Our mission averages six to seven baptisms per week.

We found out that one of our missionaries, Elder Allen, is from Aurora and knows Gaby. James was talking to him the other day about his car. Then the next day he called and asked me if I knew Gaby Porras. I said that she was our granddaughter.

I had the thought to compare our mission to a great play. The play would not be great if it did not have all the people behind the scenes doing their jobs. We feel like we are some of the people behind the scenes helping the mission run smoothly so the missionaries can do their great work in bringing souls unto Christ. Our personal mission scripture is D&C 64:33 which says, "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."


Two mornings this week we went out early and helped with the garden at our complex. One of the residents, Don, took on the project of a garden a couple years ago. We helped him pull out the old plants and weeds to get it ready to rototill and plant for a fall garden. We miss not having a garden this year, so it was so fun. We'll take another picture in a few months when it is planted and growing.

We have good Christian neighbors here and everyone is very friendly. In their conversations they say things like "The Lord really blessed me . . ." and "Have a blessed day".

Friday, for date night, we went to the movie, "Florence Foster Jenkins". It was a very good movie based on the real life of Florence, played by Meryl Streep, who was a rich wanna be singer in New York in the l940's. Her husband, Hugh Grant, called her "bunny" and "bunny rabbit". We couldn't believe our ears since we call each other "bunny" and James calls me "bunny rabbit" sometimes. What are the odds!

Our P-day is Saturday. We usually do the washing, clean the apartment, get groceries, and then try to do something fun. Last Saturday we drove 35 miles to Taft. We drove around and walked around. They have a cool oil workers monument and a very nice, interesting Museum, West Kern Oil Museum. Many movies have been made in Taft including Thelma & Louise, Five Easy Pieces, and Too Young to Die.

We have been trying to exercise more regularly, but it is hard to get up and get going when you don't have someone else keeping you accountable, like when we would workout with Troy and Crystal. We go to the fitness center at our complex sometimes or just exercise in our room. I have gone for a walk a few mornings. Sadly, the calluses on the palms of our hands are nearly disappearing since we don't do kettle bells anymore.

Everything in Bakersfield is covered in a layer of dust because it is so dry and then the wind blows the dirt from the fields and empty lots. It is terrible. Also, we have noticed there are no big temperature signs on banks or other buildings like most towns have. I guess they don't want to scare people with the numbers. Last week we were between 100-106 everyday. Something else kind of unique about Bakersfield is that it is a U-turn town. There are small medians on most of the roads so you can not pull out and go left. You have to go to the next stop light and then make a U-turn and go back the other direction.