Silly Sister Zambrano rescued a stray cat and apparently kept it in her apartment for about two months. The housing inspectors saw the litter box and asked about it. The secret was out of the bag. Sister Zambrano called James to have him call her mother to see when she could come pick the cat up. President Layton asked James if we could keep it for a few days. He said no, so Bob & Vicky Ritchie (the housing coordinators) took it home with them. The cat is in the travel case, but you can't see it.
James picked these pretty flowers for me off a bush at some apartment building where he was and brought them back to me at the office. What a nice surprise!
My sewing machine has gotten a workout lately. I took in the sides of Elder Olsen's 7 short sleeve, white shirts. He has lost some weight and didn't like how baggy they had become.
Friday during our staff meeting I asked President Layton what would be the appropriate attire for us at Disneyland. He said they were told that on their Friday night date and P-day to take off their name tags, wear their jeans, and get lost in the crowd. He said he often likes to wear his name tag because it gives him opportunities to talk to people. We were thankful for the clarification again because we always wrestle with that question. We came home about noon, changed our clothes, and grabbed our suitcase. We ate lunch at Too Fat Sandwiches before we left. It was a nice sandwich shop with painted murals on the walls and a bureau full of a pig collection. We found out later the restaurant is owned by Mormons. (You can see our reflections in the mirror.)
Then we drove to Anaheim. Traffic was terrible when we got to the Los Angeles area. It took us two extra hours to get through it. We don't know how people can handle that everyday. Sometimes we were going five or ten miles per hour. When we got up to twenty miles per hour, we felt like we were speeding. We finally made it to our hotel by about 5:30 pm. The hotel was right next to a Disney parking lot, so we were able to just walk over there and get on the tram. We made it by the appointed time of 6:00 pm to meet Xyla, our granddaughter, at the front gate of Disneyland. She came to California on a four day trip with her school band. We were so excited to see her; she is the first family member we have seen in 8 1/2 months since we have been on our mission. We ate dinner with her at Rainforest Café and caught up on all the news.
That evening in our hotel room we heard what sounded like explosions and gun shot sounds. We opened the drapes and enjoyed the Disneyland fireworks.
Then on Saturday we entered the gates of "the happiest place on earth" and spent the day there. Disneyland really is a happy place. We did not see anyone fighting with each other. People love the music playing everywhere and skip, dance, sing, and move to the beat. Families are having a great time together. It was "the happiest place on earth" for us that day because we got to spend some of the day with Xyla. We saw the Sagewood Middle School Concert Band perform. They are really good. Xyla plays the flute.
Xyla and her friends let the "grandparents" tag along with them. We enjoyed walking around and riding the rides with them. Our name tags did cause us to be noticed; after all we were the only people walking around with missionary name tags on. Mostly it was members of the church that said "hi" and introduced their selves. We met two different couples who had recently returned home from their missions; one to Hawaii and the other couple served in Australia. Another couple wanted their grandchildren to meet us. A missionary from their ward is serving in Parker, Colorado. A young man stopped us and said he had served his mission in Anaheim, but they were not allowed to go to Disneyland. We told him we were thankful that we have special privileges. We talked to another nice family that had a bunch of kids, some of which you could tell were adopted. The mother said they would make a good Mormon family and that many of her friends were Mormon. When we were standing around with our lunch trying to find a place to sit, a cute little girl came up to us and invited us to sit at their table because they had some extra chairs. We accepted and had a very nice visit with her and her mom and dad. We found out they live in Palmdale and the man works at BJ's Restaurant. Next week, we will be in Palmdale, so we hope to see him again. The man sitting next to us on the tram said his sister is a Mormon living in Florida and he is an Orthodox Christian.
Sunday evening we had a very nice dinner at the Ball's apartment along with Matt and Patti Morris. (They are church service missionaries. Matt is the other half of the vehicle team and Patti does referrals and the monthly mission newsletter.)
Our mission office got a face lift the last couple of months. The walls were painted and we received some new artwork and a new bulletin board. I fancied the bulletin boards up with borders. The baptism board represents some of the stories of the many people who have come unto Christ.
One of our missionaries pointed out that this painting of Christ's triumphal return to the earth looks like He is returning to Bakersfield. The landscape at the bottom of the picture looks very similar to the landscape around here. That was a very interesting observation!
THE LORD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!