We worked at the mission office all week as usual and had things going on almost every night.
Monday night was a going away party at the Bishop Butler's back yard and pool for the Farleys who are moving to Idaho. We stayed for awhile and then went to Family Home Evening at the church. There we watched a video on "The Plan of Salvation" and discussed it. Then we played "Signs".
Tuesday after work we met the four Spanish speaking Elders from our ward at Hodel's Country Dining to treat them to dinner. It was Elders Thomason, Stewart, Solis, and Atkinson.
We attended the Bakersfield Zone Conference on Wednesday. All four Bakersfield zones were in attendance, so it was a pretty big group. President and Sister Layton focused their teaching on "Faith to Find". It is important to focus on faith instead of fear. When we obey and are all in, our faith grows. Obedience brings blessings, which increases faith. God provided miracles in the Old Testament days to the help the people of Israel gather to a promised land. The gathering of Israel in these the latter days is the culminating event of the world, so we should expect guidance and miracles from God. Several missionaries shared their favorite story from the Book of Mormon that is an example of faith and miracles. We learned that faith involves action, doing, and work.
Wednesday evening we ate dinner with Elder Solis (Chile) and Elder Atkinson (Hyrum, UT) at Melva's house. She and her mother fixed foods popular in their home country of Panama. We had empanadas filled with ground beef, yucca, potato salad with peas and beets, rice and chicken, cantaloupe and papaya. It was all very delicious. After dinner, we took Melva and her mother to the hospital to visit Nilka, Melva's sister. She had been in the hospital since Monday afternoon with a bad infection in her intestines. She has to be really careful with health issues since she had a liver and kidney transplant eleven years ago.
Thursday afternoon, Nilka was released from the hospital and I picked her up and took her home. They do not have a car. On my way back to the office, I had an accident! I was making a U-turn in the middle of the street and a car came out of nowhere and hit our car on the passenger door on the driver's side. It was scary and left me shaking. I don't really know whose fault it was, but we think it was the guy in the other car. Thank heavens, he was very nice. We exchanged information, but did not call the police. The side of our car has some pretty good dents, but since VW is buying our car back in less than a month we won't be getting it fixed. His car did not have much damage. We'll see if his insurance company contacts us.
Friday night was date night! We double dated with Tim and Nancy Layton to Outback Steak House where we had a good dinner and conversation. All of us except President Layton had changed to our casual clothes. He said he only likes to get dressed once a day.
The first heat wave of the summer started on Saturday with a temperature of 103 degrees. Bakersfield will be in the 100's (up to 113) for at least the next nine or ten days. That is all the further my phone shows. We beat the afternoon heat by watching two movies in the nice air conditioned movie theatre. We saw "My Cousin Rachel" and "Megan Leavey". Then we drove the thirty minutes to Weedpatch to see what is left of Weedpatch Camp. It was built in l936 to house migrant workers during the Great Depression and later farmers who came during the Dust Bowl looking for work. These migrants were known as Okies and were discriminated by the locals. The plight of the Okies and a description of Weedpatch Camp were written about in John Steinbeck's book The Grapes of Wrath. There are only three buildings remaining from the original camp; the community hall, the post office, and the library. The Weedpatch Camp continues to assist and house migrant workers.
Sunday was Father's Day. James enjoyed all the calls from his kids and grandkids and being spoiled more than usual!
The Staheli's from our home ward were in Bakersfield yesterday and were hoping to see us. They left a message on James's phone, but he didn't see the message until today when we got home from church and they were already in Los Angeles. Darn it! Their son, Jonathan, served in this mission a couple years ago and he was showing them around Bakersfield and the other areas where he served.
THE LORD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!