We had a short lesson about "Faith" at Family Home Evening tonight. Sister Hall, a single mother of six cute kids, said she has to have faith everyday to be able to take care of her family and raise her kids. Sister Medina shared that she has a strong faith that Heavenly Father will be with her when she needs His help and then she acts and goes forward. She had an example of just that last week when she took her hard earned money she saved all year and went to the flower markets to buy flowers armed with the faith that her good intentions, purpose, and hard work would pay off and bring results. It did. They were able to make the money to feed her daughters next year in college. Then we played "Mafia" for an activity. We had cookies and mandarins for a treat thanks to Elder & Sister Porras.
Wednesday morning we got up super early, drove to LA airport, and flew to Denver. Our flight was delayed more than four hours and we would have been late for graduation, so we bought tickets on another airline that got us to Denver earlier. We took a "leave of absence" from our mission for four days to attend our granddaughter's, Jackie, high school graduation. We were also going to attend another granddaughter's, Chloe, graduation, but as it turned out she was not even there. Chloe was already in the Dominican Republic with ILP (International Language Program) for the summer. Delane picked us up at the airport. We were surprised as we were walking out of the airport by Ruby, our four year old granddaughter, coming up behind us and taping James on the leg. We thought they would be at the arrival pickup area in their car. That was fun! Then we went to the school to pick up Delane's two boys. She hadn't told them we were coming, so it was a big surprise to them when they opened the car doors and saw us! You should have seen their shocked faces! It was kind of weird, but very exciting to walk back in our own house after ten and a half months of being away.
It was so nice to be at Jackie's graduation and see her family. The graduation was moved up two hours because of the bad weather coming in. It did rain during part of the graduation ceremony and was cold and windy. We enjoyed dinner at Mt. Fuji with Troy's family after the graduation.
Thursday morning we woke up to snow! It snowed all day and into Friday. We probably got about six inches of heavy wet snow and the temperature was only in the 30's. However, it was kind of fun to find my boots and have a chance to wear them.
We were able to attend Savy's science fair, spend time with Melissa, go bowling with Tony's family, shop with Nadezda and Amelia, play UNO with Greta, watch a movie with Troy's family, watch videos Ivaras made, go mudding in Austin's jeep, and just spend quality time with most of our kids and grandkids. (Sierra was in Logan, Chloe was in Dominican Republic, Mark, Robert, and Martin live in Prague, and Janel was in London, Gaby was there thru Wednesday and flew back to Hawaii Thursday morning.) James enjoyed seeing how the restoration of his '68 Corvette is coming along. I enjoyed pulling a few weeds.
Saturday morning we had a family breakfast for everyone at our house. We sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" before Cesar blessed the food. We loved every minute of being with our family and catching up on all their comings and goings and news!
Troy took us to the airport early Sunday morning for our return flight back to Bakersfield to finish the last six weeks of our mission. There was the longest check in line that anyone had ever seen. It snaked back and forth in front of the counters like usual then went to the end of the building, turned the corner past the bathrooms, turned the next corner, and went halfway down that hall. We were in line for about 1 1/2 hours. The flight was delayed about 40 minutes so all was well. Anyway, it gave us time to visit with our neighbors in line. There was a sweet girl going to Orlando for work for the week. She just got married five months ago. There was another very nice young couple going to Cancun for a vacation. They are Mexicans who live in Denver. They speak both Spanish and English, but James mostly spoke Spanish to them. We talked about family. Her mother came from Mexico to stay with their two small children. They showed us a picture of their kids and we got to show them a picture of our family. We gave both the couple and the working girl pass along cards.
THE LORD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!