Who would have guessed that Trump will be our new 45th President of the United States! It was quite a stunning, shocking, and incredible political feat he pulled off. At least, our country will probably never have a dull moment these next four years.
On Wednesday we finished our 65 day mission wide challenge to read the Book of Mormon! We were looking for and underlining the doctrine of Christ as we read; faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. The book is full of references and examples of these
doctrines. They are repeated over and over among the peoples in the Book of Mormon. We also saw the cycle of when things were good, people's pride started taking over and they forgot about Christ. We need to be diligent and not let that happen to us. If we keep having and using our faith, repenting, renewing our baptismal covenants thru the sacrament, and listening to the Holy Ghost we will be able to endure (enjoy) to the end. The whole Book of Mormon really is another testament of Jesus Christ!
Thursday on our afternoon off, we enjoyed a great lunch at the Villas club house for veterans. They had it a day early. Then I got my hair cut (first time since we have been gone) and James went to a pre-colonoscopy doctor appointment. After, we did errands. That evening we had a lovely dinner at Matt and Patty Morris's house along with Ingrid and Bruce Ball. We ate outside on their patio and enjoyed our fancy sandwiches and homemade tomato soup. The huge slices of pumpkin pie for dessert really topped it off.
On Friday, Veteran's Day, my very own veteran was treated royally. He got the oil changed on the car, a car wash, a haircut, hotdog lunch at Wienerschnitzel, dinner at Texas Roadhouse on their patio, and a chocolate custard filled Crispy Crème donut all for free in honor of his service. It is so nice how the businesses honor Veterans on this special day! It sounds like it was a party all day, but we also worked.
James had a sweet potato along with his steak. He thought they gave him a regular baked potato because it was white. Surprisingly, it tasted like a sweet potato. We learned there is such a thing as white, sweet potatoes.
Saturday from 1:30 till almost 5:00 we sat in the chapel of our stake center with all the missionaries in our mission and were instructed by an apostle of the Lord, Elder David A. Bednar. He is an apostle just like Peter, James, John, and others were! He was accompanied by Elder Ian S. Ardern, a general authority seventy from New Zealand. Some of the points Elder Bednar made were: stop taking notes (writing on the large plates), instead just write your inspirations (writing on the small plates); hear what is not being said; pray with expectations to act; just get going; the deeper your conversion the more you focus on the basic doctrines; it is important to observe, listen, and discern before you speak; don't look for big, defining, dramatic moments in your life - it is the consistency of small things which provides the big effect; steadiness thru tribulations is a source of great joy; and being His agents is more important than have agency. Elder Bednar invited the missionaries to answer and ask questions when the Spirit spoke to them. The spirit was very strong all thru the meeting, but especially when one of our struggling missionaries, Elder Watkins, got up and said, "I just want to know what I need not what I want." When Elder Bednar asked him a further question he stood there with the microphone for probably five minutes getting emotional and trying to speak. The room was so quite and everyone was feeling his pain and struggle. I don't remember what he finally was able to answer, but it was so honest. Elder Bednar told him it was profound. Several times before Elder Bednar made a point or answered a question he said, "Buckle up, here we go". Elder Bednar does not have favorite scriptures, but instead he has favorite themes in the scriptures. His favorite theme is the pattern of "one by one". He told us that "one by one" is mentioned six times in the Book of Mormon, is how Jesus ministered, and is how we do things in the church. At the conclusion of our meeting, Elder Bednar left us with his testimony and an apostolic blessing that we would have "faith in Christ to have an eye single to his glory and you will see more clearly who you are, why you are here, and who you will become". After the closing prayer and hymn, Elder Bednar came up to the microphone one more time and said he is not musically inclined at all, but for years he had the music to a song in his head. He did not know how to get it out. At a function, he met a well known pianist and told him his dilemma. The pianist worked with him for a while until finally he had the music just right. Then Elder Bednar wrote the words to his song and titled it "One By One". Elder Bednar hooked his iPhone to a speaker and played the song for us. It was beautiful.
Saturday evening we went to a barbeque with the Ball's at a member's house in their ward, Javier and Petra. It was such a nice evening to eat outside again. They hired someone to come cook tacos for them. James is such a good missionary. Before you know it he was over talking Spanish to that guy and his teenage helper. He gave them each a Pass-along Card.
One day this week a Fed-X man brought in a package and asked if the fruit snacks in the jar on the counter were for the taking. I got brave and said, "Sure, if you share a fruit of your labor with me first." I pointed to the scripture on the jar. He read it and thought for a minute and then shared with me. He said his six year old son has mild cerebral palsy and he was finally able to get him on a soccer team which he thinks will really help him. That was so sweet. I went on to tell him about
how important families are and gave him a family pass-along card. He thanked me.
THE LORD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!