Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week of September 12 - 18

We were given more zucchini from Jilleen, a lady in our ward, as a thank you for fixing a hole in her skirt. This time I made zucchini carrot cupcakes and took them to our Tuesday staff meeting. It took a while to bake them because I only have one cupcake pan. They were a hit!

We had a lot of missionaries come and go in the office on Tuesday and Wednesday because President Layton was doing interviews. Two came hobbling in on crutches. Elder Casper tore some ligaments in his foot playing Frisbee and the other Elder hurt his hip jumping on a trampoline. Boys will be boys! It was fun to visit with all of them. I decided that instead of just idle chit-chat I would ask them, "What is the best thing that happened today or in the last few days?" Elder Duncan told me about how a dragonfly kept circling around him and almost landed on his finger. It reminded him of where he grew up and all the dragonflies there. Another elder was excited about his 90 year old investigator who came to church. One elder turned the question back around to me and asked, "What was the best thing that happened to you today?" The first thing that came to my mind was the cool, refreshing air this morning and how we opened our patio door and let it in. It was so nice.

Both Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we picked up Melva, an investigator, and took her to the church where we met Elders Rocha and Toluta'u for lessons. They taught her about The Restoration and about Chastity and The Word of Wisdom. She said she feels so peaceful when she is around all of us and at church. On Thursday, she said she had not had a cigarette all day. She gave the prayer at the end of the lesson. Even though it was in Spanish, I could tell it was very good and natural to her. James agreed.

Friday, we had the opportunity to go to the Los Angeles Temple with the nine missionaries that will be departing soon. Pres & Sister Layton, Matt & Patti Morris, and the Assistants also went. We took pictures, had a chapel session before our endowment session, and ate lunch at the temple.When we were in the Celestial Room, one of the workers came over to me and asked if this was a group of missionaries. I said yes and that we were from Bakersfield. She thought James was their mission president because of the way he was going around talking to all the elders. I told her we worked in the office and pointed out President Layton, who was also visiting with some of the elders. Next to being in the temple with our own family members, this was a great experience being in the temple with these young elders who have served the Lord so well these past two years. Even though we have only known them a short time, they almost feel like family. It was a tender mercy. It was a great day!                     
Elder Nicholes, 4th from the left, is from Heber City, Utah and my cousin, Jay Niederhauser, was his Bishop and then his stake president. He is thinking about going to Utah State University.  
It takes a little over two hours or more to drive to the temple depending on the traffic. The Los Angeles Temple is the 2nd largest temple. The largest temple is Salt Lake City.
Elder Porras likes to play around with the missionaries. He has a good relationship with all of them. These four are the Assistants to the President. They are in the office several times a week, so we get to see them often. (Elder Rojo, Elder Holmgren, Elder Porras, Elder Tasi, Elder Larsen)

I made another batch of zucchini carrot cupcakes on Saturday. To keep from eating them all ourselves, we took plates of cupcakes to three families we went to visit Sunday afternoon after church.  First, there was Serena, an investigator, and her husband. She was busy helping her cat give birth to kittens. Then we visited April, a new convert, and her boyfriend. Lastly, we had a nice visit with Victor, who was baptized about two months ago, and his wife, Isabel, who just had skin cancer surgery on her face.

We have noticed that most of the streets in Bakersfield are very wide. They must have taken notice of streets in Utah cities .Some parking lots at schools, churches, movie theatres, etc. have covered parking spaces to help shield from the sun and heat I guess. Most of them also have solar panels on top so they are doing double duty.