Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week of October 24-30

We went to our ward Halloween Party Wednesday evening. It was the traditional chili and cornbread meal, trunk or treating, and games for the kids. However, it was all held outside in the church parking lot. Quite a few investigators and some people from the neighborhood attended.
Thursday afternoon we were pleasantly surprised by sprinkles on our windshield as we were driving. It was enough that we had to turn on the windshield wipers for a second.
Then about 4:00 am on Friday morning we were awakened by thunder and the sound of rain! It actually rained pretty hard for a couple hours. Our neighbor told us the last time it rained here was the first part of May. The rain was so refreshing! Friday we could actually see the mountains
pretty clearly because the rain cleaned the dust out of the air. It rained a little during the next night also. Today, Sunday, it rained again. That will probably be the end of the rain for a while now.

Friday night Melva Arce was baptized. Her sister and mother attended with her. They are from Panama originally, but have been in the United States for 40+ years. Her sister is visiting from Los Angeles, and Melva and her mother live together. We got to the church early so we gave them a tour. The mother and sister had never been in an LDS church. They had lots of questions, so James got to be a missionary and explain things to them. I helped Melva in and out of the font. She was understandably nervous and said her heart was just pounding. After she was baptized, her heart was really pounding, she was glowing, and said she felt so good. Elder Chamberlain was trying to translate for Brother Watson, the bishopric member, and Melva's sister and others were helping him from the audience. It was a joint effort which made for a great teaching moment. Brother Watson pointed out that our ward family is there to help when needed just as they were helping him. Jaylene and Grace, our favorite twins, played a beautiful hymn on their instruments accompanied by Elder Bennett playing the piano.
After the baptism we took Melva, her sister, and mother to dinner at the Olive Garden. They were so appreciative and thrilled. They said they had not been to a restaurant for probably a year because it is too expensive.

Sunday we picked Melva and her mother up for church again. The sister was not feeling well. James had the privilege of confirming Melva and giving her the gift of the Holy Ghost in Sacrament Meeting. Everyone, especially Melva, felt the Spirit and it set the stage for the Primary Sacrament Program that followed.

(Elders Sant, Chamberlain, and Jacobson)

Saturday we saw a "fruit" of our labor as we took Victor and Isabel Romero to the Los Angeles Temple. Victor had never been there because he was just baptized last June. We had helped him with his family history and printed his mother's temple ordinance card. We sat in the beautiful baptistery and watched as our Bishop baptized and confirmed Victor's mom by proxy. (Sister Gonzales from our ward was the proxy.) It was very special! We ate lunch in the temple cafeteria with other members of our ward. Then we spent some time at the temple visitor's center which is very nice. We all had such a lovely day together. The Romero's are from Peru and still have an apartment and car there because they visit every year. They have been in the United States over fifty years. They invited us to come visit Peru and stay there with them. We might just have to take them up on that offer sometime.
This shoe repair shop is a Bakersfield tourist attraction. It has been there for sixty-five years. The current owner is from Mexico and has run it for the last fifteen years. It is pretty cool!