Sunday, October 2, 2016

Week of September 26-October 2, 2016 (General Conference Weekend)

We have a new addition to the mission office; a jar of fruit snacks on the front counter. When our missionaries come into the office we tell them that if they can share a "fruit" of their labors with us, they can have a fruit snack. We have heard some amazing, inspirational stories from them. Even a kind of funny story. Sister Hays and Sister King were out of toilet paper and "P" day and shopping were many days away. They prayed that they could get some toilet paper somewhere somehow. They had a dinner appointment with a family that night and before the sisters left the family asked them if they could do anything for them. Hesitantly, the sisters said they could use some toilet paper. On the way home from work, the husband called his wife to say he was stopping at the store to buy toilet paper. She asked why, and he just said he felt they needed some. It was an answer to the sister's prayers.

Tuesday James stayed in bed and slept most of the day because he got a cold last weekend and it was only getting worse. The rest really helped, and he was back to work at the mission office on Wed.

Friday we picked Melva up and joined her for a lesson with Elder Rocha and Elder Jacobsen at the church. She is planning on being baptized soon. She says she feels so happy and she wants to learn everything in one day. It makes us happy to see her so happy. On the other hand, our hearts were broken and we felt so sad when Elder Bennett told us that Serena does not want them to come teach her anymore.
After our teaching appointment, we went to Victor and Isabel's house to put on her desktop on her computer and showed her what to do to be able to watch conference. Victor turned 80 on Monday, so we took him a birthday present, his mother's temple ordinance card ready to take to the temple. We figure Victor can baptize his wife or someone else as proxy for his mother. Then we took them with us to the High Priest social at the Nation's house. It was a Mexican dinner. We took pan dulce. A few days ago we were talking to Victor's relative Noe, who lives in Herriman, Utah, about their family history to try to help Victor. James asked Noe if by chance he knows Freddy Munoz, who we knew from Houston, but now lives in the Salt Lake City area. Remarkably, he does and they are quite good friends. What a small world!

Saturday we watched conference in our apartment on our computer. Sunday we went to the stake center for both sessions of conference. It was mostly missionaries with just a handful of members watching. However, the Relief Society room had quite a few Hispanic members listening in Spanish.
I loved the question President Uchtdorf asked, "What shall we give for receiving so much?" I also loved President Monson's reminder that Heavenly Father gave us the perfect plan for peace and happiness here and in the world to come. Elder Brian K. Ashton's talk on the doctrine of Christ; faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end reinforced the things we are looking for and underlining as we continue reading the Book of Mormon for our 65 day challenge (27 days so far) in our mission. We will always be trying to "gear down and power up and put it in compound" as Elder Carl B. Cook told us. (He is coming to visit the California Bakersfield Mission in about ten days.) James especially liked Elder Quentin L. Cook's talk about stumbling blocks that we see people encounter and get caught up in like philosophies, extremes, and not acknowledging sin. Then Elder M. Russell Ballard talked about similar things like not letting doubts and questions you may have push you away from the church. He said to "have faith to believe".

The Hispanic members carried on their twenty-five year tradition of having a potluck lunch at the church between conference sessions. I took Italian Chicken Pasta salad. (As I was making that big bowl of salad it almost felt like I was making food for a family dinner.) They invited all the missionaries also. They asked James to say the blessing.

                                                             These are our substitute "granddaughters", twins Grace & Jaylene Martinez. They are seniors in high school competing to be the valedictorian and salutatorian 

  ?, ?, ?, Vicky, Nora, & Melva (investigator)

It was such a nice, cool (76 degrees) day that we ate our dinner (zucchini bread and drink) on our little front porch. How do you like our fancy chairs ($5) from Walmart?