Monday, September 26, 2016

Week of September 19-25

This was another great week. Monday the temperature was 104, but on Thursday, the first day of Fall, we enjoyed a beautiful day at only 77 degrees. It was a refreshing 57 degrees that morning when I took a walk.

They had the trees on the property of our apartments trimmed and really thinned out. The trees look kind of sad now, but I guess in the end they will grow better. The problem is that some of the limbs were hanging in front of a light outside our bedroom window, but no more. What used to be kind of a soft night light like light coming through the window blind is now like the noonday sun. Well, not quite that bad, but you get the picture. Sadly, they cut one tree down entirely.

James has had quite a week of dreams. One night he screamed loudly and meanly, "Get off of that!" Later that night he was talking out loud in Spanish, but I don't know what he said. He woke up Friday morning asking me if I had seen the rain pouring down. He swears he looked out the window and it was pouring rain. I told him there was no rain and he was just dreaming. When we left the house that morning I did point out a puddle on the sidewalk to him and he felt better. (It was from the sprinklers, but he doesn't have to know). Friday night he was fighting a war and running up a hill to get behind some buildings to avoid getting shot at when "thump"  he was on the floor by our bed. At least we had moved the nightstand so it was not there to knock his head on. I guess we are going to have to move the bed next to the wall so he can't fall off.

Tuesday we had 22 new missionaries arrive in Bakersfield about noon. They were suppose to come on Monday, but their plane was canceled for some reason. President and Sister Layton and the AP's picked them up at the airport and brought them to one of the churches. We had pizza and salad waiting to feed them. Then they went through the orientation stations - finance, vehicles, health, and contact info - we had set up for them to sign papers and get their missionary medical card, money card, and kiwi (driving) cards. Then they had their pictures taken with President and Sister Layton and group pictures. After that they went into a meeting to learn about vehicle safety, housing, medical info, etc. It was fun to meet all of them. One Elder's first name is Eli and James sang him a few lines from the song "Eli's Coming", which of course he had never heard of and probably thought Elder Porras was a little looney. At 5:00 pm we all had a nice dinner at the President's house. The 9 Elders who had completed their missions and were leaving the next day were also invited to dinner. We will miss them.

One day I got a call from a Colorado number I did not recognize. It was sister missionaries asking me if I could accompany them to an appointment at 4:00. It took me by surprise for a moment until I realized they were in Colorado from the Pinery Ward probably going down the ward list. I told them I would except I was in Bakersfield, California serving a mission. I think that took them by surprise.

Thursday evening we took Ingrid and Bruce out to dinner at Red Lobster to celebrate her birthday. We had their four course dinners. It was delicious and fun.

The next evening we met President and Sister Layton and the mission staff at Wool Growers for dinner to thank Elder Moyce, the mission doctor, who is soon to be released for his service. That was an experience. We had about a ten course dinner served family style, which included a cabbage vegetable soup, beans, salsa, bread, tomato salad, green salad, spaghetti, French fries, pickled tongue, lamb, chicken, or beef, and ice cream. Wool Growers is a Basque restaurant that has been in Bakersfield for sixty years. Originally, the Basque people reared sheep in the Pyrenees mountains that run between the border of France and Spain. A group of Basque people settled here when they came to the US.

This week we also went on another teaching appointment to see Serena. She still loves the Book of Mormon and thinks it is pure, but she has been reading some anti-Mormon stuff and has lots of questions and is confused. We also met Vickie and Nora Urinda at the Family History Center to help them get a LDS account and log into FamilySearch. They are sisters from Guatemala who are single and live together and are so sweet. Vickie is the oldest in their family of eight siblings and Nora is the youngest with twenty years between them.

One day as we going to get in our car to go to the mission office a lady was out there and said, "Thank you for your service". We thought that was nice and were on our way. Then another day James was out by his car and a man was getting in his car and said, "Thank you for your service". We finally figured out they were thanking James for his military service, not us for our mission service.

Saturday James participated in the Stake Golf Tournament. He went with Bob Ritchey, the mission housing coordinator, and his son. He said it was fun, but he did not have his best game because he has not golfed for a while.

I listened to the Spirit and invited Serena to go with me to the General Women's Broadcast. I knew she doesn't believe in going to church on Sunday, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for her to go to a church like activity on Saturday. She accepted without hesitation and thanked me for asking her and taking her. I think she felt the Spirit there as I did.  Pres Uchtdorf's talk on Faith was so inspirational and uplifting.

On Sunday we picked up Melva, an investigator, for church. There were several other investigators in attendance as well. Mary, another investigator, came back this week with one of her daughters, her husband, and a grandchild. An additional set of Spanish speaking missionaries joined our ward, so now we have two sets of Spanish speaking elders and one set of English elders. James taught the lesson in High Priests.

It was fun to FaceTime with most of our family tonight. They were at Troy and Crystal's where they had family dinner. They admitted they did not sing our song, "Families Can Be Together Forever" before dinner, so we all sang it together over FaceTime. They had us on their big movie screen. We felt like movie stars!

Something I have really tried to do every Sunday is say my prayers with only thankfulness, no asking for anything or any help. It helps me to be aware of all the blessings I do have and it feels good!