Friday, June 27, 2014

Tuesday to Tuesday (June 18-24)

Who out there can believe that almost half of 2014 is over? We will never live this period of time over in all of the eternities. In the past, it has amazed me when I realize how time passes so quickly; however, some days it just appears as if time is going so very slow -  when will the day end. Now, I can feel time flying by. We start out the day early and think, “We have a whole day and lots to do.” By 1:00, we realize the day is half over and the next thing we know it is 5-6:00, and we are ready to get home. I don’t particularly like to be out at night because I don’t know my way home very well. July, here we come, ready or not. Elder Lenhard and I will be facing a time warp of 67 and 63. Can you believe we are that old? I can’t. In my mind, I’ve never gotten past 25; in my body, I’m well on my way to 100.  Hahaha  When we are young, we can afford to look at the high numbers with incredulity. Somehow, those days just add up really quickly to years.  I do feel the aches and pains more than in my youth. I’m a healthy adult, and we stay active. I’ve never been one to sleep much, but now, I value my sleep more. I know my girls also value sleep, you miss so much of it. When the time comes, and your babies are finally realizing that sleep is more important in the morning, you get to deal with Seminary! Hahaha  It’s your punishment for keeping them around so long.  The Lord has a plan. One day you will be allowed to send hubby off with a wave and a smile and head back to bed. It is your payback for all the times you got up with babies, trying to spare him and allowing him to sleep because he has to work.  Oh, did I mention that by that time you are so trained that you wake up early anyway. It’s the cycle of life.  I love it.

After our meeting with President Cutler , who encouraged us to study more scriptures on the Atonement, we have been working on that each morning, then we have our own personal scripture reading, and whatever else we decide to read – like the Ensign, Conference talks, Mormon videos, etc. That takes an hour or so each day, and for the most part, we can do it in the morning. Some mornings, we don’t have time for it all, so it gets spread out through the day.

Our time just keeps getting busier.  Wednesday, the 18th, was mom’s birthday and Elder Lenhard’s Uncle Joe’s birthday (85).

Mom would have been 86. When I counted it up (hey, I was a math teacher – I can count), I was astounded to realize how old she would have been and that she has been gone six years. I think of her often and miss her.


We got to sit in on a lesson with the Elders to a man who is interested in genealogy work. He has four chickens out back in a cute little pen, and he was very proud of his pets. One kept walking around the pen, and I don’t remember its name, but she was the town crier. It was raining and cold, but she paced for quite a while before going into the nesting area. Soon, we heard all the chickens clucking loudly, and the man announced that one of them had laid an egg. It was obvious that he enjoyed having them to care for and an added bonus was the eggs they received. 

I lost the train of thought I was heading for when I got on the chickens, but Elder Lenhard and I learned a valuable lesson that day. It took us longer than we thought it would to find the address we were looking for, and when we arrived, the man said, as he opened the door, something to the effect that it required a lot of us today. It came to me that maybe he wasn’t expecting us. Anyway, he was very gracious, and very nice. When we came in (we had been specifically asked to come talk about genealogy), he first told us about his chickens. Then when we were directed to the table where the Elders were sitting,  I just launched in with asking about his genealogy and Elder Lenhard and I took off with the lesson. At some point, I came to myself and while the man was distracted by something he was looking for, I whispered to one of the Elders, “What had you planned to talk about today?” He said the Book of Mormon. I then felt obligated to get the talk to the Book of Mormon, which we did a little, but by then we had spent a lot of time on his family. My point is that when we left, both Elder Lenhard and myself realized that while we had been invited there to talk with this man about genealogy, we just took over when we came in and we weren’t too concerned with how the Elders wanted to use us as they taught the lesson. Note to us, find out more before we enter a teaching situation. Get more information about what the Elders want to cover in the lesson, and how they want us to proceed. Quite frankly, I don’t think they had a clue on how they wanted us to contribute to the lesson, but we will get more information on the ground rules before we go into a lesson again on genealogy. We are getting more requests all the time to talk to people about how to get started.  We have a request for next week, but as I questioned the missionaries, the person they want us to visit (with them) has no computer. I can see a problem here. We have to work out the process. We so want to help them, but I don’t particularly want to lug my computer everywhere (especially in some areas of town). It’s such a wonderful problem to have to worry about how to accommodate people in our teaching process.

That night, we went to the North Stake Genealogy Library and worked because they only had one worker available, and she needed someone with her. We were there by 6:30, and no one came, so Elder Lenhard and I got to know the sweet Sister working and we worked on our own genealogies. Elder Lenhard is getting better all the time, and he is beginning to find some links that are exciting.

On Thursday, we had some errands to run, and later that afternoon, our apartment complex had a picnic. We went as did the Sisters in our complex so we could meet our neighbors. The people there were so nice. The Sisters knew so many of them, and it was obvious that they were known and respected by their neighbors. We were able to meet many people that lived in other buildings. There were many there who are older like we are, and they couldn’t have been nicer. Elder Lenhard talked to several about genealogy and had some good responses. On an up note, both sets of missionaries won door prizes. We got a 25 dollar gift card to Target, and the Sisters got a certificate for rent. I don’t know how they get to use it, but it was exciting for us all.

We have officially begun our training for the Pathway program. We have 10 lessons we have to take, including a quiz after each one. Unfortunately, we had to get thru the introduction first. It had 21 pages of meat and that didn’t include the first 3-7 pages of introducing the introduction with a quiz at the end of that one. The purpose of the quizzes is to prove that we actually read the material. Can you imagine that? I have to admit that I thought there was a quiz at the end of the 21 page section. So I took great notes.  No quiz. I thought that meant that maybe we only had the one quiz.

Friday morning, we missed gym to get to a genealogy library in the South Stake. I am so totally messed up as to where I am. We live in the South Stake, but our unit assignment is the North Stake, and we can work everywhere. I’m so grateful for Elder Lenhard who is geographically literate. He can get us anywhere (though, admittedly sometimes I get a little car sick with the twists and turns to get us there – hahaha). I can finally tell when we are on certain roads that if we go one direction or the other, I know we will hit a road we need – but that is about it.  Anyway, we had to be at the library by 9:00 to learn all about it because on Sat. the 28, we will be in charge there by ourselves. By 11:30, I was ready to run out of there screaming that I’d had library overload. I’m sure we won’t remember half of what we learned. When we said we had to go (Elder Lenhard needed to eat because of his diabetes), the Sister who was teaching us, looked at us and said, “Well we haven’t learned anything about the computers!” I just knew I was walking no matter what, so it was decided that on Saturday when we came to work, she would come and teach us then.  There are a lot of programs on the Church computers that I didn’t know we could access, so I know we need to be taught about them. One is Fold3, which is a site that provides military records for anyone who has served. I have a free basic membership, but if I want to see any document, I have to subscribe. I hope the one at the Church allows us to access those documents.

In the afternoon, we worked on more of the lessons for Pathway. I was wrong, there is a quiz after each lesson. All the notes I take won’t help on the quiz because the questions are so general. After the first 100, I’ve made 85s on the next three. It takes a while to do these. I tend to lose my mind after a little and have to remember I’ve only got a hundred of them to go (just exaggerating).

Saturday, we spent working on Pathway, taking care of some bills, and preparing talks for Sunday. I worked on a talk that I felt relatively good about and let Elder Lenhard read it while I fixed dinner. I could see on his face (he looked so much like his dad) that he didn’t like it, but he was looking for something good to say. Ugh!  Just give it to me straight. This was about 4 in the afternoon.  When we got ready to go to bed late that night, he says to me that he didn’t really like the talk. I was ready to pound him in the bed.  WHAT, you wait until 11:00 to tell me you didn’t like it? Really!!!  I wasn’t really mad, I just wish he had said it earlier so I could have taken care of it then. Anyway, off to sleepy land I went and knew I’d get up the next morning and rewrite it.

At 4:30-5, I woke up and realized it was light as day outside. I didn’t know what time it was, but it was time to get up if I wanted to rewrite the talk. At first, I was just going to rework the first one, but I realized that I didn’t feel prompted to redo it. It did not seem appropriate that morning.

When I got to the living room, Elder Lenhard was there, and I noted the time. I was wide awake, so he went back to bed, and I began a new talk. I now have two new talks in my repertoire.  I really am going to re-give talks in the future. Elder Lenhard liked this one on President Uchtdorf’s talk about gratitude. I love that talk. I have been so guilty of being grateful in proportion to the number of blessings I could take an inventory of, meaning things. I was reminded again (I was struck by it when I first heard it in Conference) that gratitude is an attitude. We can be happy if we adopt an attitude of gratefulness for our very lives and the wonder of what Christ did for us when He paid the price for our sins. It is not about things. We can be poor as field mice and be grateful. I was glad Elder Lenhard encouraged me to change my talk.

On Sunday, we headed to Church. We thought we were having a Branch Council, but it turned out we weren’t. We knew the Stake President was coming, so maybe that’s why we didn’t have the meeting. We gave our talks, they were well received. Have any of you ever given a talk and afterwards couldn’t remember a word you said?  If the paper wasn’t in your hands, you would never know you had talked.  Well that’s me!  Afterwards, we had a pretty good Gospel Principles class. One of the investigators who came left before the class. She is planning on being baptized at the end of July. There is to be a baptism next Sunday. Good things are happening here.

We left the church building before the last meeting and headed to another building to attend a Pathway recruitment, meeting. Somehow we missed a road and were a little late. The meeting was short, but those who attended appeared to be interested in the program. We are supposed to give a presentation in our building soon.

On Monday, we spent the morning studying and heading to the gym. We spent the day getting lots of loose ends tied up. I found a doctor. Do you know how long it takes to find a doctor that takes new patients and your insurance, is close by, has an affiliation to one of the best hospitals in the area and the state, and who has been highly recommended by other patients.  I can tell you about 3 hours.  On top of that, I got an appointment to have our car inspected. Elder Lenhard worked to get some information about some money matters taken care of by calling our accountant and getting advice. He is also working with a Brother we know who has some immigration issues. Elder Lenhard would like to help him, but he isn’t sure of how to do it.  So he made some calls on it.

It was a long day, and later that afternoon, we went to pick up the Sisters at Wal-Mart. They are so fun, and we enjoy living in the same complex as we do. It seems the ride they would usually get to bring home their groceries has fallen through. Thank goodness we are here to help. We came home and ate and the Sisters came by later that evening.

We had our regular District meeting schedule for Tuesday. Before the meeting, we were planning on meeting with the man with immigration issues. However, we got a text from the missionaries that he was on the hospital. Our meeting was on finding investigators. What a great meeting! We don’t do what the younger missionaries do which is to actively seek out those who would be interested. However, we get to help them with those they meet. This next week we have one meeting scheduled most days. That is getting big.

We are loving the work here in Milwaukee. The Lord will either bring people to us to teach, or He will take us to them. We are finding that to be so true. We meet so many people who ask us about who we are (they see our name tags) or they are interested in genealogy work. We love to help them. It should be busy. I think the lesson I’m learning more is to listen to the Spirit. I believe Elder Holland said that we should quit worrying if a prompting is from the Spirit and just do it. If it is from the Lord, then He will bless us to do whatever we are supposed to do. If it isn’t, then we have done a good thing and shouldn’t feel bad about it. So, I am listening more to the Spirit when I need an answer. It is interesting how he answers. I am not quite as surprised by the answers now as I once was because I know those answers come as a result of prayer. It is a wondrous thing to realize that the Spirit is answering prayers, and we just have to pay attention to get the answers.

How are all of your families? We miss you so much, and love to talk to you when we can. We pray for all of you, and we know the Lord is paying attention to all that you do. Please keep holding your families close. They are very precious to us.

Just a note:  In 1997, while on a visit to BYU-Idaho, Elder Maxwell stated “God has reserved spirits for this dispensation who have the courage and determination to face the world, and all the powers of the evil one, visible and invisible, to proclaim the gospel and maintain the truth and establish and build up the Zion of our God fearless of all consequences. He has sent these spirits in this generation to lay the foundation of Zion never more to be overthrown, and to raise up a seed that will be righteous, and that will honor God, and honor Him supremely, and be obedient to Him under all circumstances.”  

Furthermore, he stated, “The youth of this generation have a greater capacity for obedience than any previous generation.”  Now, how’s that to make you feel awe over your little ones.

Love to all,
Elder and Sister Lenhard

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