Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week of January 9-15

Sometimes in the evenings I knit for awhile. I brought a big bag of yarn with me on our mission and have used it all up now making hats. I made a total of about thirty-five hats.

Elder Beckstead and Elder Labrum came into the office on Friday. I complemented them on their pretty flower ties. They said it was "Floral Friday". How could I not know!

James and I went on a teaching appointment again this week with Elders Vellver and Stephenson. They taught Bonafacio about prayer. Bonafacio is another humble man in his fifties from Mexico who does not read or write. He collects cans and bottles everyday to sell. He says he makes from $30-$50 per day. He also finds clothing and all kinds of things in garbage bins and cans that he cleans up and sells. He said that is how he was able to raise his family. His wife was at work. We don't know where she works. He had many pictures of Jesus around his apartment scattered among all of the stuff.

I am learning how to use Excel with James's help. I made this pretty chart of the baptism numbers by stakes and months for our mission last year that President Layton wanted.

I was able to help Elder Chamberlain find a family temple name to take with him on Friday to the Los Angeles Temple. He went with the other missionaries who are going home on the 25th. Last week when we were at the Family History Center with him he was trying, but had no luck. I told him if he didn't mind giving me his login info I would try to find him a name. I spent several hours looking and finally messaged three different people to ask them to share a name they had reserved. All three responded yes, so Elder Chamberlain ended up with three family names. I also helped Sister Ball find a family name for her to take. We and the Ball's and take turns attending the temple with the departing missionaries, and it was their turn this time. Just an interesting side note:  Elder Chamberlain had two car accidents in one day a few weeks ago (no one was hurt, just the car got banged up), and he had his driving privilege taken away. What a way to end a mission. He is a great missionary!

We went knocking on doors Saturday; not as Mormon missionaries, but we participated with the American Red Cross as "Home Fire Campaign Volunteers" to celebrate the Martin Luther King National Day of Service. We had two other people on our team; Jessica, an American Red Cross employee, and Anthony, a 16 year old high school student. We went house to house asking homeowners if they had smoke detectors. If not, we told them we could install free ones for them. Nearly everyone took us up on the offer. I turned out to be so brave and was the one ringing doorbells and telling the people about the program. Then I taught them a little bit about fire safety, gave them some printed information, and filled out a form. If they were only Spanish speakers, James took over. Then James and Anthony worked together installing the smoke detectors in the bedrooms and living room. James actually climbed the little ladder and used the power drill. Anthony handed him the screws, drill, and detector. We worked from about 10:00 to 4:00 with a lunch break at the fire station. We installed 39 smoke detectors and made quite a few homes and families safer. In total about 700 were installed by all the teams. It was actually VERY fun and rewarding.

We rushed home after, changed our clothes, and went to dinner at a member's house. They were celebrating their daughter's birthday and graduation from BYU Idaho. We had to leave early to go pick up some investigators,     C. J. and his son, Cash, to take to a baptism so they could see what it is all about. A seventeen year old girl was baptized. All of the youth in her ward and a lot of other people came out to support her. They had to move out of the regular baptism room into the chapel to accommodate everyone.

We kept seeing these weird looking, knobby trees around and wondered what they were. We found out they are Fruitless Mulberry trees. They have to be trimmed every year. The one on the left has not been trimmed yet. In the Spring they grow tons of branches, get pretty blossoms, and then have lots of leaves.