This cute, little snowman is our lone January decoration.
We started the New Year and this week off by getting back to exercising. While exercising in the club house we watched the Rose Bowl Parade. It hit me kind of funny that it takes place in Pasadena on Colorado Blvd, since we used to live in Pasadena, Texas and now in Colorado. We only went into the office for about an hour on Monday because it was a holiday and everything was pretty quiet.
Wednesday, January 4th, marked the 1/2 way point of our mission. It is hard to imagine that we are on the downside now. We are trying to do everything we can to help our mission run smoothly and efficiently and take advantage of any opportunities that come our way to help in other ways. We are trying to be more attentive to the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost and follow any and all promptings we receive.
Thursday we went with Elders Vellver and Stephenson to a teaching appointment. They taught the Word of Wisdom lesson to Teodore and his son. Teodore is probably around fifty years old and does not read or write. His son has some kind of mental disability. They live in very humble circumstances in a tiny house with barely anything.
Friday we met with Mario, the guy we took home from church last week, and Elders Jacobson and Barney at the Family History Center at the church to help Mario. While we were waiting for the elders to get there with the key, Mario was telling us about gang life in and out of prison. It was all very interesting and we got quite an education. It is amazing that he has been able to break the cycle of gangs and violence that he grew up in and his family is still somewhat involved with and get on the right path.
Saturday we went to watch the movie "Hidden Figures". The movie is the true, inspirational story about three brilliant, black women in the 1960's who worked at NASA and helped to launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit. It was one of those rare movies where the whole theatre was clapping at the end because it was so good and inspiring!
In the evening we went to the baptism of Shelby Etheridge. She is a 13 year old girl whose two younger brothers joined the church recently. Her father and mother are also investigating the church. It is a real inspiration that children and teenagers can feel the spirit and know the truth and make such an important decision for their lives.
Sunday evening the Laytons invited us, the Ball's, and the Morris's over to the mission home for dessert. They are constantly on the go traveling around the mission for zone conferences, interviews, MLC, district meetings, meetings with stake presidents, etc. Sister Layton, Nancy, says she feels like they live in their car and hotels. They do not get into the office very often, so she says she misses us. We didn't know until we got there that it was Nancy's birthday. They are also going to start having potluck dinners at their house once a month.
James has been reading an autobiography of Steve Young and really enjoying it. He doesn't read many books so this is kind of a rare sight.
This statue of Father Francisco Garces is a historical landmark in Bakersfield. It is located in Garces Circle, the only traffic circle in Bakersfield. It was sculpted in 1939 and stands over 22 feet tall. Garces was the first white man to enter the region back in the 1700's. He was a Catholic priest and explorer.
THE LORD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!