Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tuesday-Tuesday (May 27th-June 2, 14)

Well, here it is a week later, and a lot has happened.  It appears that as we keep working, things are beginning to pick up.  YEAH!  Unfortunately, we have begun also to experience some of the frustration that the younger missionaries go up against all the time. There have been several instances wherein we have been on the calendar to meet with someone with the missionaries, and it didn’t happen. Not answering the phone appears to be a common tactic.

Tuesday became P-day because Memorial Day was on Monday.  We fed the four missionaries from the City Branch that day since they didn’t get asked to celebrate the holidays. It was a good day. At the time, we also got them on the computers to see what they knew about Family Search. We have to teach them how to get in and help others when we go to the Polish Festival on June 13-15. A couple of them knew what they were doing, and they already had accounts. If they didn’t have an account, we got them to set one up.

 If you do not have an account now with Family Search, please go in and create one. Then when they roll out the free accounts, you will be part of that, and you can use both sites. There are advances everyday. It is amazing how fast things are changing. There is another link on Family Search now called Find a Record. We can go in and find the holes in our information that needs to be plugged up. In the past week, I’ve probably added 100 people to our tree on my side of the family. Craig continues to look for his, and he is certainly gaining ground.

We had District Meeting on Wednesday. The missionaries were excited about the upcoming transfers that were coming out. Even though they did not know who would be transferred yet, they had a good idea because of the length of time each had been serving in Milwaukee. On Saturday, evidently, the missionaries would receive a text telling them who would be transferred, not where they would go, but just that they were going. Our meeting that day was on the bridge, meaning how do we bridge the gulf of meeting investigators and introducing the Gospel to them.  We are in awe of what   these young men can do in spreading the Gospel here.  This meeting usually takes up most of the afternoon. Then we took one set of missionaries to an appointment they had. It was in a scary part of town, and we just let them out on the street. They feel perfectly safe during the day, but they told us the two streets not to get caught on come sundown.

Thursday, we were off to our Pathway meeting and Genealogy Library meeting also. We have spent some time this week getting our materials together for the Pathway program. This is going to be a big part of our work come fall. Right now recruitment is going on in both the North and South Stakes. We live in the South Stake, but we work in the North Stake. Go figure. We will be taking care of the 30+ age group of students. They have so much fun when they come together to help each other once a week. We will open and close the meeting, but each meeting has two leader students (they change each week). These students cover some of the ideas they had to address during the week. This quarter they are working on writing. Each week it appears that the leaders are trying to outdo each other. One time they will come and sing songs (while one plays the guitar) and goof off getting the program across. The next meeting, one of the ladies played the bagpipes while the other read a poem (almost too good to be original – but they appear to be quite smart).  This last week, only one sister spoke, but it was very effective.  It seems that there are quite a few who are going to continue with the program. They now have to have interviews with their Bishop and Stake Presidents for a worthiness interview. They have to be worthy (and the focus of the program is to bring inactives back and to help those who need it to be worthy to live the honor code at BYU-I) to continue the program with the University.

After leaving the Pathway program, we went to the Genealogy Library, and I worked with an investigator that I had worked with the week before. I’ve encouraged her to get her records together, but she is flying by the seat of her pants and chooses those she thinks is in the family. She is moving along, and I hope her tree is accurate, but I’m afraid she is going to hit a brick wall and will be disappointed when she has to start rebuilding the tree.

On Friday, we began to plan our funerals. I know, we never thought we would be old enough to think of this kind of stuff, but we all die. We will always be grateful that Mom Walton and Dad Lenhard had taken care of their arrangements. It made it easier for us because we didn’t want to have to make decisions at a very emotional time.  I hope no one will object to a very plain and cheap casket for each of us. As I told the man on the phone, we’ll be dead, who cares what the casket looks like. I just want to make sure my hair looks ok. Please, I think it would be fun to make a recording (this is what I used to tell mom) where I welcome everyone and thank them for coming to look at me before they put me in the ground. I could say something like, “I’ll be waiting for you.” I could also assure everyone that I could see them when they least expected it, so they better be doing good things. I could have so much fun with the recording, with my southern accent, it would be You-Tube worthy.

We visited a sister in the Branch who is disabled. While there, Craig kept himself busy while I worked with her on her genealogy. She had nothing in Family Search but her name. Then she had children, but she had no idea who the father was for them (I’m amazed at the number of sisters we find in this position here). These are sisters whose lives brought them to the Gospel. So, I showed her how the only part of the tree she would have would be her side. We got her parents in and her grand and great-grandparents. It was hard because the information she had was written over about 20 pages that we kept having to go back to in order to verify what she remembered.  Finally, I’m typing away and get these 7-8 kids into this family, only to tell her and she looks at me and says, “Oh, no. Those kids belong to another set of parents.”  UGH!  I’m pretty sure she probably told me that, and with all the confusion, I got it mixed it up. We had been there already 2 hours. We had an appointment right after, but the girl called the missionaries and cancelled it (thank goodness – she asked the missionaries to ask me to call her, which I have done 3 times, and she never picks up).  Anyway, I brought the sister’s work home with me to move the kids to the correct parents.  I will say Family Search is not the easiest to make corrections in our work. I hope they add a few delete buttons that won’t wipe out all of the work when we just want that one mistake to be deleted.

We then met with a sister and her roommate who is not a member who is investigating the Church. We attended the meeting with the missionaries and had a great meeting with this young woman. She is from Warner Robbins, GA, but I think she left when she was young and doesn’t remember much about it. It doesn’t matter, she is really nice, and she has a desire to know the truth.  You can tell by the questions she asks that she is sincere about finding out the if what she is being taught is the truth. She has a background of being in and out of Churches searching for the Gospel.

On Saturday, we went to the Chicago Temple. It is a small temple that resembles the Dallas Temple. We were supposed to meet a couple there that we went through the MTC with, but no such luck. We got there early, and they looked for us, but I guess they forgot what we looked like because they could not see us in the session. We looked for them , but couldn’t see them either. I guess we will just have to set up another meeting.

Sunday was a beautiful day until later in the evening when the Heavens opened and it poured. When it rains here, it rains hard. We started out the day having to go pick up a Hmong family that lived quite a ways from us. We didn’t have too much trouble, but only the two young boys came, no parents. Do you know how hard it is to talk with two teenagers who are not really good with English and also appear very awkward with strangers (can we blame him)?

We had a really spiritual Fast and Testimony meeting. We don’t seem to have any problems with no one wanting to speak. Craig taught the Gospel Principles class on honesty. We had good Relief Society and Priesthood meetings.

After we took the young  boys home, we ran home and fixed food for a vegetarian family who had had a new baby a couple of weeks ago. We fixed baked potatoes, salad, squash, and strawberries. I thought it was a good meal because we also had the same thing.  By the time we got home, we were worn out and then the rain started.

Today, for P-day, we decided to go exercise, but as we got on the road, the rain started again. You can’t go in the gym in your street shoes if it has been raining, so we turned around. Afterwards, it rained hard, thunder was involved, and we were glad we weren’t outside. When it finally stopped, we went to the Zoo. If any of our grandkids were to come visit, they can get in for free. It is a great zoo, but it was obvious that school is not out yet, and they are still trying to gear up for a busy summer. We loved it because it was still quite cloudy, cool wind blowing, and nice time to be at a Zoo when not many people are there. It is spread out, but well done. We didn’t get finished, so we have things to see when we go again.

It has been an eventful  week. We found out that our District Leader is leaving, but one of the Hmong is leaving that we expected to stay and the one expecting to leave will not be going anywhere. One of our sisters is also transferring out. We will miss working closely with these young people, but we will continue to see them around. One day we can say, we worked with them when we were first in our Mission.

We love you all. We are still trying to memorize some of the things we need to know. They are long, and just when I think I’ve got it, my mind goes blank. I think Craig is doing better than I am, but we are studying and have determined we will have them down pat very soon.  We love being on a Mission, and we love where the Lord sent us. It is truly beautiful here. The people are very nice, and we enjoy working with them. We have been told that something is happening in our Stake with our Branch. We don’t know what it is, it may be they will disband the Branch and send all of us to a Ward somewhere or will redo the boundaries to include more of the actives. What we do know is that we have such a unique Branch with many cultures represented. It is a loving group of people. We are blessed.


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