Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tuesday to Tuesday (July 8-July 15)


Tuesday ended with an early night because we are getting old. I already reported on what we did last week.

On Wednesday, things began to hop.  MOST IMPORTANT!  Amy had a birthday. I can’t believe that she is an adult, let alone an old adult.  Hahahaha  Just remember, Jon is older than you. From pictures I’ve seen, she had a great time. We love you oldest daughter.

We went to the gym early that morning. I’m telling you I’ve been hurting in my knees and my shoulders for a while now. I’ve never had this problem, and I feel 20 years older than I am. Consequently, I’ve been taking it easy on the knees and shoulders when I exercise. I hate walking slow like I have no energy.  

We were slated to go downtown and visit with a new member of the Church ((TIM LARSON) who works with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. They take care of people’s millions when there is just too much money to spend, and the people want tax breaks. So if I had 40 million, I could keep 12 to live off of (I think I could almost do that) and give much of the rest to this foundation. I then tell them (if I want to) how to give that money to charities or I could just let them decide how to disperse the funds. This goes on forever.  Anyway, Elder Lenhard needed to talk with this member about what resources are available to help the Saints in this area. This man has a good handle on the resources that are already out there and is going to help find those that the Church could tap into when people come to the Bishops for help. Of course, this would have to be approved by the Stake Presidents, and President Cutler (Mission President) has been using Elder Lenhard to find out information like that to report back to the Stakes. This good brother toured us around the facilities where he works, introduced us to several of his coworkers, and took us to the former Milwaukee Men's Club, now the fancy Milwaukee Club for lunch. It was funny. Girls, haven’t we all read books about those men and their clubs. There is a picture of all the men sitting in a room at dining tables (must be 200 of them) and they are all dressed in old-timey tuxes. Quite dashing if I do say so myself. It was a beautiful place, and it is so obvious it was meant for just men. We had to take some back stairs to a restaurant downstairs where we found the table set with all the proper utensils (ok Beverly, stop laughing. I know you think this is just proper etiquette, but this old farm girl has a hard time with stuff like this!).  Elder Lenhard and Brother Larson talked about what was needed and how to attain it. It would be a great help for the leadership in this area to know there are resources out there already set up that is meant to help the people in this area, but many of us aren’t aware of them.

After lunch, we had to scoot home to pick up some food materials to take to the young girl’s home, named Denise, (the one getting baptized on July 27) to help her feed the missionaries. We got home with a few minutes to spare, I grabbed what I needed and then headed to Sams. We picked up a dessert and some rolls and flew to her house. When we got there, it was 3:20. The missionaries were coming at 4:00. She lazily moved around, and I got her working on the spaghetti sauce. As it turned out, I ended up making the dinner (the poor missionaries) while she enjoyed their company. It was just funny, and I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming earlier. We finally got everyone fed by 5:00 (we had one set of missionaries who were 45 minutes late, and yes, we did wait). Do you know how soggy spaghetti can get as well as broccoli that is ready on time while we wait 45 minutes past the time to eat? Then we have to reheat everything. My less than stellar cooking skills just went down the tube. My dear sweet husband declared it the best spaghetti sauce ever. It was two cans of the nastiest sauce you can use (and that was one of the things I did not buy). We made it though and the chocolate cake was at least yummy.

We did not get home until 8:00. By then, we were exhausted. Good thing the day was over, oh wait! I had to do a load of laundry. I’m getting more confident in leaving the laundry and coming back to the apartment while the machine does its work. Sitting and watching it won’t accomplish anything. There appears to be no concerns about anything happening to it. At least when we got to bed, we had clean clothes for the morrow.

Thursday was a complete madhouse. We started the day by attending a lesson with an investigator that we had met a couple of weeks ago. We encouraged him to get into his genealogy, and he has done well. While there, I could show him the Ancestry site, and we found a couple of censuses to support the information he had received from relatives he had over for the 4th of July. It was exciting, and I hope he will take advantage of the genealogy library which is close to his home.  We also pray that the missionaries will be able to teach him the Gospel.

We had to leave the appointment early to race across town and help a brother who has had a stroke get some groceries. We will be doing this every other week or twice a month. He is such a sweet man, and the stroke has had a devastating effect on him. He is a shell of his usually bubbly personality. I feel so sorry for him. He is working hard (and probably too hard) to get back to his old self, and he hates to be helped. I had to insist on some of the groceries. He is living with friends at the present time, and they appear to be really nice. He is from Senagal and was a Muslim. The friends he is staying with are also from Senagal and are Christians.

From there, we had to get home to grab materials and lunch for a Temple class we were going to present to two young men who are going on missions. One is going to Birmingham, AL and the other to Taiwan. It was fun to do, and after Church on Sunday, we are going to do two more, then two next week when their schedules work, and finally, the last one on the 26th.  When we left this meeting, we came home, grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the Pathway program and the genealogy library. It was crazy!  We are thankful to be kept busy, but this driving all over kingdom come and back every day gets tiring.

Last night I went to sleep in one of the recliners in the living room. I just could not face sleeping in the bed. I’ve been thinking that the bed is one of the reasons I hurt so much. When I woke up this morning, for the first time my knees didn’t hurt, and my shoulders felt better. We have got to find a pillowtop for the bed.

Friday was a free day so to speak. We went to the gym and came home to do some clean up stuff. It was a beautiful day, and we decided to head out to a lighthouse that we have tickets to visit. I called right before and found out they are only open on Saturdays and Sundays. We decided to go to a historic (everything in this area is historic) town called Greendale. On the way, we remembered a botanical garden that we had wanted to visit, and decided to go there instead. Our GPS died on us, just like that, died, dead, gone. Do any of you have any suggestions for another one? We really depended on this one. It is bad to use the phone as it uses data time, and I have to be the navigator which drives Elder Lenhard crazy. He knows I have trouble paying attention to it. He doesn’t want to just listen, he wants to see it, which is a no-no while driving.

The gardens were absolutely beautiful. For those of you familiar with Callaway, you know how they had one building with all the odd flowers that could be found. Then, of course, the whole Callaway experience was one of nature with the azaleas out big time in the summer. But there weren’t very many blooming flowers all over the place. These gardens included a small waterfall, flowers spread out through the woods and landscaped areas. Then there was the rose garden itself. I’ve never seen so many different colored roses in one place. It was gorgeous. There was a wedding taking place later in the afternoon, and I could see that the area of the rose garden was perfect. By the time we got to the rose garden, the clouds had shown up and it was sprinkling. I prayed that the bride and groom would have clear weather for their wedding. We had to get home and get some things done around the house. When we checked out, we got to talk with a woman about genealogy and how we felt about the importance of families. Elder Lenhard did most of the talking. He manages to talk to everyone we meet about the Church in some way. I’m more wait and see if they give me an opening before I really start, but my husband can manage to get any conversation to the Gospel.

The next day (Saturday) we were off early in the morning for a Mexican Fiesta genealogy training. We will be working this festival in August, and the woman who directs it wants us all trained. We both went thinking it would probably be a waste of our time, but we were humbled. We learned so much, not just on the genealogy side, but of the history of Mexico. There were only 8-9 of us there, and we met in the Mexican Cultural Center. It was an old building out in the back of the beyond. They want to get another building that will really give them an opportunity to expand their displays and make it possible for visitors to see what they have to offer. There were some beautiful dresses there that I would have loved to have walked off with, but I realized that I wouldn’t look nearly as good in them as the dummies on which they hung.

We didn’t leave that meeting until almost 1:00PM. It was off to Sam’s Club where we both got our health screening. I love to go to these places and get our blood sugars, BMI, and cholesterol checked. Our sugars were fantastic, our BMIs on the cusp, and while Elder Lenhard has great cholesterol, mine is still high. UGH!  Why can’t mine go down? I will not go on the cholesterol medicine, but I struggle with it. While at Sam’s, I picked up some stuff to feed the missionaries on Tuesday. We also got a pillow top for the bed. I just couldn’t take another night without something to relieve the hardness we have been sleeping on.

We had to get home to prepare lessons for Sunday. The missionaries are teaching the Gospel Principles class, and we had the Temple Prep class to prepare. I took Lesson 2 of the Temple prep lessons and Elder Lenhard the third one. We were on the phone getting in touch with investigators we are working with and encouraging them to come to Church. It looked like we were going to get three there. We called the Quiles family who had gone to the Temple that day, and she was so excited. We will keep in touch with them. The young girl in their family will be baptized at the end of the month, and we hope to be able to go. That is the same time as a baptism in our Branch, so I hope we can make it.

On Sunday, I got up to the best I’ve felt in waking for a while. I could actually get out of the bed without my knees feeling as old as they are. Getting old is not for sissies. Like I said before, I think 25, my body tells me the right age.  I am grateful for the good health we enjoy. We may creak and squeak, but we are able to get up and move around relatively easy. I’m glad we came out on this mission now. I hope we can go more than once, but it helps if you feel good.

We had to get out of the house early because we had to pick up Denise who is going to be baptized later in the month, and then we had to go pick up her baby from the foster home in which he lives. She lost him to the system because of her involvement in drugs, but she is working to get him back. She had to go to Court Monday to report to the Judge and let him see how she is doing.  

After Church, someone else had to take her home because we had to stay and teach our lessons. These young men who are going out, Kohl and Xavier, are really special. Xavier leaves the first of September for the MTC. He will be going to Birmingham. We told him to look up Bear Bryant (can you believe he had never heard of him – and don’t any of you say “Who is that?” You should know.) He comes from a large black family (and I mean large in the sense of his grandparents joined, then their children, and many of their children) who are members of the Church. Back in the 90s, they were active and then they just went inactive. When the grandmother died, several of the grandchildren spoke at the funeral. We didn’t have any idea about their background, but we could tell they were members of the Church. We have had contact with several, and they know they need to come back, but the world has them caught up. Xavier is the first to go on a mission, and they are very encouraging. One young man who spoke at the funeral told him that he made a mistake by not going on a mission when he had the chance. He was ready to do it, and then got scared. There are some really good people in that family, and they are not as close as they used to be. They have expressed the feelings that they want to pull the family together again, and maybe Xavier will be the string that pulls them.

Monday started out early because we had a walking tour scheduled with two of the sister missionaries for downtown Milwaukee. We had to be there by 9:45AM which meant we had to leave by 9:00. The sisters were a little late, and we began to worry that we wouldn’t make it, but we did. We met in the Grand Avenue Mall downtown which was built in the early 1900s. It had been built over a hotel where General Douglas McArthur lived before he became the great general. He called Milwaukee his home, and when it came time to go off to a military academy, he came back to establish his residency (after having lived elsewhere for several years) so he could be nominated for appointment to an academy. In the meantime, the hotel had been torn down, and this building had been erected. It was quite a show place, and we only got to see a bit of it. Liberace played downstairs (this was his home also) in an entertainment area. Unlike most malls, this one had lots of wood and has been well preserved. They are remodeling it to include a theater, and I don’t think it is a movie theater.

A little bitty older woman met up with us (there were 16 gathered for the tour), and she had a tiny voice. I think we all recognized that we wouldn’t be able to hear her very well. While we were in buildings, it was ok; however, outside battling with all the noise from the cars and buses on the street, it was a struggle. The others in the group were fantastic. We introduced ourselves and explained that we were on a mission for the Church.  Some had actually come up to us earlier after having seen our badges from a distance and thought we were the tour guides. While walking, several came up to us to ask us more, and some were actually from this area and had never gone downtown. However, they had a wealth of information they were willing to share when we couldn’t hear the guide.

We walked 10 blocks, stopping on the way to hear the history of the area. We saw some really neat places I’m not sure we’d have seen otherwise. Now, we want to go walk on the riverwalk and visit some of these places in more depth. There is a Pfister Hotel here that someone in the Ward at Layton had told us to visit. It was gorgeous. We didn’t get to see much, but we checked on the room rate, and we were told it is about $200/night. When we left, one of the younger couples in the group told us they were staying there and had bid on Priceline $65 and gotten it. They weren’t staying in the older section of the hotel, but the more modern one. It has a view of the Michigan Lake, and they highly recommended staying there. It depends on what is happening in town if they have rooms to let at a price we can afford.

There is an old Chamber of Commerce building that is huge. It is not used as a Chamber building anymore, but at one time it served as a sort of stock exchange (I think) for those who were involved in the grain business. This was the place to come to bring the grain to the mill and then send it out across the country. At this time, Milwaukee was known as the Breadbasket of the country. However, some kind of bug infested the area and destroyed the grains grown here and then anything that was sent here. It was at this point (in the middle of the 20th century) that the farmers turned to cattle and began the production of milk and milk products (cheese).

The reason I mentioned this place is that you would have to see it to appreciate it. They have a ballroom that is now used for weddings and that sort of thing. It is humongous. The walls are decorated with art you would see in an art gallery. I believe it was the German influence here. There are stained glass windows (as are prevalent in most of these old buildings). Like all the other buildings we have seen, there is a huge bar presence. They were certainly drinkers, and it appears to still have a significant influence here. There is actually only one beer company still here (it used to be the beer capital of the world). I believe someone told us that they are on the brink of having one of the major beer companies move back to Milwaukee. Many of the homes and beautiful buildings were built by the beer barons. We want to go tour the Pabst home eventually. It is crazy big (20,000 sq. ft) and again the architecture is beautiful. Downtown we got a couple of pictures showing the influence of the French style of building. Hope we got a good one to include here.

There are some really rich people in this area who own many of the historic buildings downtown. A lot of renovation has gone on and is continuing to preserve the rich heritage they have. There is another area of downtown that we will have to tour by ourselves I guess (unless we can get a tour on a Saturday which is the only day they have this particular one). It is called the Third Ward. I think it was an area settled by the Irish, but I’m not sure. If we can’t get a tour, we are going by ourselves. It has a wealth of neat looking shops that just beg to be explored.

Today, Tuesday, we have to feed the missionaries. We got a call from Sister Cutler today telling us that the Book of Mormon play was coming to Appleton, WI, in September. They want us to find out what the missionaries have done in an area where the play came through. This is right up Elder Lenhard’s alley. He loves to find out stuff like this.

I have to feed the Elders later today. I had planned on feeding them after the District meeting today, but alas, I did not know that tomorrow is transfers so no District meeting. So now, I had to make a decision on where to feed them. Since we are not located in the City Branch boundaries, only one set of missionaries could come to our apartment (the Hmong missionaries can go anywhere to teach).  We had decided that it is way too expensive to take four missionaries out to eat, so I bought pizzas, had a fruit salad and green salad, and got brownies. I have nowhere to cook them. I’m going to cook them here, wrap them up, and hurry to the City Branch building where I’ll put them into the oven if time permits to warm them up or hopefully, just to keep warm, while the guys set up a table and get other stuff out. I’m anticipating the worse, so no telling what will happen.












Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Outside my dentist's office this morning, I saw a horned owl watching some really dumb (or cocky, confident or oblivious) pigeons. 

It sat there. Stone silence.

I thought: Similary, but unlike the owl, Satan awaits the chance for a sport kill.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Tuesday to Tuesday (July 1-8)

I really hate it when I read something that has so many grammatical and spelling errors in it. With a background in editing, it makes it painful to read stuff that isn’t written with a modicum of correctness. I just reread last week’s post, and I’m embarrassed. I know I read it a couple of times and those errors weren’t there. If I spell “repentance” wrong one more time, I’m going to have to think of a substitute word for it. Any suggestions? I’ll try to do a better job, but since I’m writing off the cuff here, I won’t guarantee that I won't sound like an idiot. I hope you know that someday when I pull it together to pass down to my ggggggrandkids, it will have been corrected. Hahahaha

On that note, let’s get started.

Tuesday was a busy day, and while I did cover it somewhat last time I wrote, I see I left some stuff for this writing (how is that possible?). Craig did get up the last of our curtains. We have these blinds that are great and help with keeping the world out, but the light is so bright in the mornings that there is no sleeping past sunrise. Plus, the window in the living room is so long that they have installed three blinds to cover it. There are gaps between them, and I couldn’t stand that. We got the living room curtains up front, and it makes such a difference, esp. at night. Now I feel like I can turn on the lights, and the world cannot see every step I make. When the bedroom curtains went up, we rejoiced when the next morning the sun did not send its bright yellow beams all over the room and into our sleeping eyes. Do you know that at 4:30 in the morning, it looks like it is time to get up and go to work? It was killing us. Now, it is dark in that room until we have to get up. YEAH!

That same day we had an appointment that was cancelled. I’m beginning to understand how all those missionaries we have known throughout our lives must have felt when they were left high and dry because someone could not meet with them. These valiant young men and women have dedicated two years of their lives at their own expense to serve the Lord by serving others. It is no wonder that when they go home, they aren’t the same. We marvel at their testimonies of the work in which they are engaged.

Finally, on Tuesday, we went to a new restaurant (I have bought a Groupon – the only way to dine) called the Rodizio something or other. For those in Utah, it is like an upscale Tucanos. We really enjoyed it, and we are thankful that we knew when to say stop. The meats were fabulous, and we tried not to eat too many veggies and salads; however, those are my weakness. The Groupon also included a bottle of wine, and we felt like we were something because we could substitute fancy fruit drinks instead. We rarely drink anything but water; however, the way the Groupon was written, it priced the wine at $40 which was technically free. So we said, why waste a technically free drink. The drinks also helped fill us up faster so we didn’t eat as much All in all, it was very nice. It is now on our favorites list.

Wednesday, we ended up getting some stuff done with personal items like insurance and other bills. We had to mail off our car registration papers here. We got the car inspected and filled out a special form for Utah to get the tags for the year. I looked and looked, but it had no mention of money. I knew something had to be up, but I was thinking that maybe we wouldn’t get a new sticker for our tags, we just had the registration done for the year. We’ll see what happens.

That evening we had our usual 5:00 meeting with the young lady who is in a hurry to be baptized. She wants to get the lessons finished so it can be done on the 27th. Our new goal from President Cutler is that every set of missionaries will have a baptism by October. We are seeing the work increase and have been blessed to be in on several discussions with the young missionaries. When they call us, we find out what they will be teaching, and so we have to be prepared to help with any of the lessons. It is fun to watch the different missionaries teach. They all have their own way of doing things, and we are touched at the way the Spirit works with each set.

I have lost my small calendar. I have lost my mind. We have looked everywhere, and it is not to be found. I never realized before how much we can depend on a calendar. I will have to get another one. I have a big one I keep here at the apartment (thank goodness), but the smaller one was so helpful. I just hope I haven’t forgotten things from the smaller one that didn’t get transferred to the bigger one. Ugh!

Thursday, we got to do one of our favorite things – go to the dentist. How can anyone enjoy going to the dentist? I wonder if dentists have a complex about how much people really dislike what they do. Now, we can argue that if we took care of our teeth, we wouldn’t have to endure all the bad stuff that is inflicted on our mouths. I will tell you up front that I have always tried to take care of my teeth, but honestly, every time I go I have to listen to how I need to do more. Every tooth in my head has been worked on. I have more caps than I would like to have, but at least they don’t show up black in my mouth. Before I die, I think I’ll probably have every tooth in capped. My mouth will be worth more than my body to medical science. Do I get another UGH?!

That night we were again at the Pathway meeting and the genealogy library. We will be working at several more of the festivals, so we told the library coordinator what we needed to take with us for the first one. She is really good at what she does. She knows everyone in the Milwaukee genealogy world. She is very generous in wanting to help other organizations in the area and offered to lend a couple of computers to the effort for the Mexican Festival.

On Friday, we went to gym, and while pulling into the parking lot found that they were setting up for a July 4th parade. How fun! We were at the gym by 9:00, and we couldn’t tell when the parade would be because like in Utah, everyone was setting out their chairs and blankets and marking their spots. We did see one sign that indicated that it might be happening at 11:00 so we thought we had plenty of time to get out of the gym and back to the apartment. However, an hour later and the road was blocked. We had to ask a policeman how we could get back to West Allis. The road took us thru and thru a really nice neighborhood before we finally hit an area that we recognized would get us home. Afterwards, we realized that we were going to have to get an oil change because we were going to the Temple on Saturday and weren’t sure if we would be driving. Guess what! This area closes up on the 4th. After trying three places and passing up several others that were obviously closed, we remembered good ole Sears. Got in there and were finished with time for us to walk the mall next door.

It was 2:00 in the afternoon, and we had heard about this city named Cedarburg at the genealogy library last night. We were encouraged to go because it is really quaint and parlays its history into a nice tourist area. It took us about 30- 40 minutes to get there thru some beautiful, beautiful country. The settlers here were farmers. This is the Midwest with red barns everywhere and old silos that are fantastic. I know Heavenly Father planned for this world to be beautiful for us. Sometimes I like to imagine what it would look like without all the mess we have added to it. Take away the roads, the cement everywhere, the buildings, take it all. What would it look like? It is hard to even picture the Garden of Eden, but someday I hope we have our own Garden to tend. I’ll have to ask mom to come and help take care of the flowers. Since Craig has already added several pictures for Cedarburg, I’ll hush about it. We will go back when the shops are open.

Saturday found us up bright and early to head to the Temple. We had to meet the other missionaries at their apartment by 7:00. It was fun to go with someone else, and we learned more about them. They work in the Mission Office. He was an accountant, and she worked in the offices at the mines in Utah. All of us took names to the Temple. That is so special. It is hard for us to find names to do, but if any of our children are going to the Temple, please ask us first if we have names that can be done.

On the way home, we stopped at a place called Apple Hollow. They come up to our local farmer’s market and bring some of the best eclairs (they call them Long Johns). We had lunch/dinner there, and it was good. Craig and I got in on the tailend of their breakfast buffet. We love breakfast, but usually with studying and having stuff to do, I don’t get it made. So Craig fixes a lot of shakes, and I eat what fruit we have. It was late when we got home, and we were tired from getting up so early. It was fast weekend, and I was grateful I didn’t have to make a meal for dinner.

On Sunday, we had to pick up our young investigator who is in a hurry to be baptized for Church. We were told we had a Council meeting at 9:30 so we went early to get her. When we got to Church, there was no meeting for some reason. That was ok, it gave us more time to meet with people. During Priesthood and Relief Society, we each gave a presentation to our respective group on the Pathway program. It has been hard to schedule this presentation, so we had 5 minutes each. There are some who may be interested, and we had some handouts to give those who might actually want to pursue it. We had been told that we needed 15 people in each cohort (15 in the 18-30 year group, and 15 in the 31+ group), but actually, we only need a told of 15 for the program to continue in the fall. That seems possible, but I’m not sure how it will go at this point. We aren’t truly in charge yet, and the service missionaries here have been doing the bulk of the recruiting so they have a better idea of what is happening.

That evening we went with the Spanish-speaking missionaries to visit a part-member family from Mexico. The wife, her mother, and her sister are members. The husband of the wife is not. The reason we were invited to go with the missionaries is to encourage them in their genealogy. The wife is actually going to the Temple with her mother on Saturday. While we were there, I was able to get them into the Family Search site, and we found a name for the mother to take with her. They were so excited. This work is fun. I love it when good things like this happen.

These people are as good as gold. We laughed and laughed at just silly things, and at one point, the husband (when asked if he was a member) quietly said “not yet.” It was a word of promise though, and we could feel that he is a good man with a good heart. The missionaries say he comes to Church more often than some of the members, and his immediate family is very active. He grew up Catholic, and it is hard to tell his parents he feels he wants more. Before we left, we made arrangements to go to their favorite Mexican restaurant on Monday night.

Monday came way too quickly. After gym, I had several phone calls to return, and to get some things cleared up business wise. We had a meeting with some missionaries that fell through, so we went to the zoo again. This time we made sure we saw the lions, tigers, and other animals we hadn’t gotten to see the first time around. It was cool and shady, and we so enjoyed being there.

Before we knew it, we had dinner to go to, and again, we were struck by how much we love this Spanish couple and the family. Dinner was so good. We ordered a plate to share with 4 people and it fed 6, including 2 missionaries. One of the missionaries was Mexican and has been a member for three years. He kept us in stitches. He made fun of the gringos, himself, Mexicans, you name it, he had something to say. It was not mean things that he said, just funny observations. He teased the family we went with, and they ate it up. Evidently, the nonmember brother plays soccer with all the missionaries on Saturday mornings. From the talk, I got the feeling there was no mercy given on anyone’s part.

Tuesday, we were up early to get to Zone Training. WOW, we just had this meeting, and here it is again. Some thoughts that I came away with were as follows:

Matt. 11:28-30 – Christ was able to say His burden was light and His yoke was easy because He kept all the commandments. There was nothing wishy/washy about his work. He knew whose business He was about, and He did it completely in accordance with how our Father wanted it to be done.

1 Nephi 14:14 – We may make covenants, but power and righteousness comes thru obedience to those covenants. If we aren’t obedient, we lose the covenants upon which blessings are predicated.

Did you know the word GRACE is spelled XAPIS in Greek? It means a gift that brings joy. How appropriate!

We are sanctified when the temptations are no long temptations because we have no desire to be disobedient.

In Helaman 3:35, the people became sanctified because they grew in humility and faith, yielding their hearts to God.

Missions are allowed so many Books of Mormon over a certain amount of time (who knew?). In a month, this mission gave out over 700 copies of the book to people who said they would read it. That is amazing. We are over our quota and need more books. Our Mission President had to call Salt Lake and ask for more. They said we are over our quota and couldn’t get more. President Cutler, we were told he said this, “but we are doing the work, and we need more.” Every missionary companionship was goaled to find someone every day to whom they could give a Book of Mormon. This person had to express an interest and were committed to read every day. The missionaries had marvelous stories to tell about their experiences in achieving this goal.

A Sister Missionary told of how one investigator who is reading the book found the story in 1 Nephi 17 that told of Nephi’s efforts to build a ship, not after the manner of man, but after the manner of God. God told him how to build the ship, and it was different than how man did it at the time. This investigator reflected on this story, and he felt that he needed to build his life after the manner of God and not after the manner of man.

We walked away being spiritually fed and ready to work harder doing the Lord’s work. He is certainly filling our schedule and helping us to become more involved in different aspects of the work in this part of the vineyard. We love our mission. It is truly a great blessing. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014








Friday, July 4, 2014


As a 4th of July day trip, we went north to city of 11,000 that is as charming as ANY city we have ever visited! Settled by Germans and Irish in the 1840's because of the rich farmland, roaring creeks and limestone for buildings. The city is Cedarburg!

We sought opportunities to share information about FAMILYSEARCH  and family history. We had a wonderful family history discussion with the great, great grand-daughter of one of the settlers, a Mrs. Fischer. What a sweet and tender lady.

Then we ran into two Sister Missionaries (quite by chance) that are in our Zone. I will share names later. According to the Sister Missionaries, there are several active members from Cedarburg, including a family that had a part in the building of the City Branch in the 1930's!

Sisters Zebley, Lenhard, and Osmond

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tuesday to Tuesday (June 24-July 1)

How can I tell you about the last week without a lot of words?  I can’t.  You’ll just have to take it from me that it was awesome and read all about it if you find the time. Ada says it takes 2 hours to get through one week. She should be the one writing it. Actually, I’m writing from Wed. to Tuesday, but it sounds better to put Tuesday to Tuesday.  Hahaha
Have I lost you yet?

Tuesday – I just had to add this note that I didn’t before. One of the things I learned is if you don’t do something well the first time, then find another way to do it. In Alma (in the Book of Mormon) chapter 8, we read about Alma who was a Prophet of God. He was preaching the word of God in a city called Melek where the people were accepting the Gospel and were baptized throughout all the land. When he finished his work there, he left and went to the city of Ammonihah where he again began to call the people to repentence and teach them the Gospel. Unfortunately, Satan had gotten hold of the people. They recognized who Alma was and reviled him for his work among the people. At one time, Alma had been the chief judge over them, but he had given up the judgment seat to teach among the people again. While he worked among them, they rejected him and told him to leave the city, they wanted no part of what he had to say. Thus, with much sorrow he left the city and headed to a city named Aaron. While traveling an angel came to Alma and told him to go back to Ammonihah because his work was not finished. The angel told Alma to warn the people that if they did not repent, the Lord would destroy them. Alma was obedient and back to Ammonihah he went. This time he entered the city by a different way and as he came in he was hungry and ask a man nearby for something to eat. The man introduced himself and said that he recognized Alma as a prophet whom he had seen in a vision. In this vision, he had been told to take care of the prophet who came to him, and he did so. This man was Amulek. Alma told Amulek of the commandment he had been given and after several days, both went out to preach repentence to the people. Over the next couple of chapters we see that because Amulek was there to verify and testify that what Alma said was true, many repented. Alma entered the city by a different gate, and he was found by Amulek. Yes, it was part of the plan that Amulek and Alma would meet, but because Alma tried a different way, they met as soon as Alma entered the city and the work was begun soon thereafter. In our lives, if we are not being successful with something, then maybe we need to try a different approach.

On Wednesday, I got to transport a sister missionary to the doctors. I actually used my GPS and found their apartment in a part of town I didn’t recognize and did it all by myself. The sisters live in a charming house that is divided into two apartments. I got there on time and got them to where we were going without any problems. It was later that day that we were with the male missionaries as they taught a young lady who has put us off and on about the Gospel for several weeks. Usually when we got there, she would keep all of us off task and no teaching was taking place. Yet, she would continue to ask for the missionaries to return. This time, however, Elder Lenhard and I worked hard at bringing the lesson back to the topic and handing it off to the missionaries to teach. When they challenged her to come to Church this past Sunday, she said she would come. Then, I told her that we would be there at 9:30 to pick her up (we did this one other time and she slept in and forgot). I also told her to not make me have to come in that apartment and pull her out of the bed. She would not want that. She laughed and said I reminded her of her mother who passed away this past year. She then asked if she would have to wear a dress. She had no dresses. We told her that a dress would be appropriate, but if she has nothing but pants then to come on. Try not to wear jeans if possible, but if that’s it, come anyway. I’ll tell you what happened when I get to Sunday.

Thursday, we had to have the car inspected so we could send the report back to Utah for registration purposes. Elder Lenhard took the car over and talked with the mechanic about genealogy. Elder Lenhard said that the man was so very nice, and he was a potential investigator. We need to follow up.  At 2:30 that day, Elder Lenhard had to take a male missionary to a doctor who is in his ward. The young man’s foot had something terribly wrong with it. When he first called, I thought he was telling me he had broken his foot. When he finished up, the doctor could not believe the missionary was even able to walk. It appeared that his arch had fallen, and he will have to wear prosthetics for the rest of his life. He showed the missionary how to wrap his foot each day. He will be leaving for home in a couple of weeks. We just hope he is taking care of his foot while he is still here.

That evening we were off to the Pathway program. The sister missionary who coordinates the meeting (her husband was out of town) was late, and the class was beginning to start without her because they all wanted to get to part of the Summer Festival that is all about bands, bands, bands, for a couple of weeks. We were told they have about 11 stages and everyday there are 6-7 bands on each stage. Then the big names come to an arena next to the rest of the festival. These people know how to have fun.  We also went to the Genealogy Library for a little while and the nonmember I’ve been working with came in again. This time we worked on her family, and it appears that her father does not acknowledge her nor does any of the family on that side. We were coming to a dead end when I suggested that we look to see if one of her “brothers” were in Family Search. When we searched on his name, we were able to locate several fathers and grandfathers beyond where we had gotten before. It was amazing. We had to stop at that point because time to close the library. What a great way to help someone.

I need to also stop at this time because over the past week, Elder Lenhard has been discussing several things with the Mission President and others in the Church about possibilities in this area. I will let him tell you what he has been doing.

On Friday, we started the day with breakfast at an investigator’s house. With the Elders, we had ham, sausages, bacon, eggs, oatmeal, biscuits, juice, and I can’t remember what else. It was so much fun. She works for Time Warner Cable who is going to be taken over by another company, probably Charter. When it is a done deal, they will all be laid off because Charter has all the call centers it needs. She has a little boy that stays with her mother and sister much of the time because she works nights. It is hard for her to have to let him go, but she is working on the future and something better for her and her son. She is very intelligent and asks very thought provoking questions. It is obvious that she is truly earnest in her study of the Gospel. Once we had eaten and cleaned the kitchen, the Elders taught a great lesson on the commandments. She is goaled for a July 26 baptism date.

Afterwards, we went to the main library downtown and joined the Milwaukee Genealogical Society, and we got ourselves put on everyone’s calendar for the various festivals that will be coming:  German, Irish, Indian (American), Spanish, and seems like there is another one. We will only be working one shift for each. That is enough to help others see that we want to work with them in our genealogy efforts. They are good people. One woman I met had gone to Auburn University, long before Elder Lenhard, and she was a true southerner also.

That evening we went to a Serbian restaurant for the fish fry reported to be the best. It was Serb Paul. The fish was ok, and it was a buffet so we could have had lots, but it wasn’t like I would die without it. However, the restaurant itself was not really fancy, but the youths who waited on us could have all been LDS. They were clean, neatly and modestly dressed, worked quickly and very attentive. We would go back just for the atmosphere.  Afterwards, we turned around in the parking lot to get a picture of their Church building. It was beautiful.

Saturday found us out and about for Elder Lenhard to get his hair cut and for me to get my manicure/pedicure. Oh, how I love to soak my feet in that hot water and let it swirl all around. Elder Lenhard got through before me and came in just in time for him to go back to the car and get my stuff that I always take to these places. I want stuff that I know is clean. This is a good place, and they take good care of me.

We got out in just enough time to realize that we had to be at a Genealogy Library across town (or so it seemed). We hadn’t eaten lunch, so we stopped and got sloppy chili dogs and then off to the library we flew. As we got there, yeah for us, we realized we didn’t have the keys to get in to the building, let alone the library. Thank goodness someone else was in the building and I went in while Elder Lenhard had to fly home, pick up the keys and my genealogy notebook with all the rules. I went and set in the foyer hoping and praying that the head of the library wouldn’t drop in and find that the very first time we were in charge, we had made a mess of it. As it was, the Lord blessed us and Elder Lenhard got back in fast time only to have not one person show up in the three hours we had it open. I guess it was a good thing, because Elder Lenhard got on the computer and found more of his own work.

On our way home, we stopped at a family restaurant where they had all the ribs you could eat. Elder Lenhard got some on a white shirt so on the way back we stopped to pick up some detergent to get the shirt clean. We went to Sam’s and also picked up some cookies for the baptism on Sunday.

That night we got a call from the two sisters in our apartment complex. They asked if we could come get them. They had been at a member’s home for dinner, but when they went to the bus stop to come home, the bus did not come to the stop. People were going crazy in the streets, and they were uncomfortable with all the ruckus. As we went to get them, we were traveling down a street and I remarked to Elder Lenhard how nice that all the neighbors were coming out on their porches to mix and mingle at night. What a great neighborhood! However, the further we drove, we saw police cars blocking off streets, people were driving like crazies (with girls sitting on the top of their front hoods), screaming, yelling, acting like they were celebrating. We thought that maybe they liked one of the soccer teams in Brazil and it had won. Turns out they were celebrating the day Puerto Rico became an American Territory. It was crazy time.

On Sunday, we had to go pick up that young lady we had told we would pick up (on Wednesday).  When we got there, we waited a moment, and I went to the door. She came out in a long black skirt with a white shirt. She looked so nice. When we commented on her outfit, she said she got her sister to take her shopping. I guess I need to mention that this woman had a terrible car accident when she was 15. She had severe brain injury from it, and it is hard for her to remember things. When she reads, her comprehension is very low. Even easy words are hard for her to understand, and reading the Scriptures is a challenge. 

Anyway, we got to Church (there was a baptism scheduled after the meetings) and Elder Lenhard and I had a commitment to attend another Ward to watch the present service missionaries present the recruitment program for the Pathway program. We learned still more about what we will be doing next year to help with the recruitment of students. We have to have 15 in a cohort to have a class. Our class this year had about 30. The younger class had fewer. So, back to my original story.  We had a sister at the Sacrament meeting who sat with us. I asked her if she would take care of our investigator until we got back. When we returned, the girl was so excited. She had made a new friend, and you could tell that she was just soaking it up. Afterwards, when the baptism took place, she paid particular attention, and when Elder Lenhard and I took her home, she said that we had to stop wasting time during our meetings with her. She wanted the lessons done because she was going to be baptized and needed to do so before the present missionaries left. She is on fire. We are so blessed to be involved.

On Monday, this young lady texted me to say that she needed help on chapter 3 of 1 Nephi and Genesis 3.  She is reading both books simultaneously. She reads the same amount so she won’t forget where she stops, but that will change when she starts new books in one but not the other. Since this was our P-day, we had planned on taking the sister missionaries in our apartment complex downtown for a formal tour. But the weather threatened and we had to make reservations. The reservation people didn’t answer and haven’t called me back all week. We took the sisters to the library for them to write their families, then picked them up, went to eat and delivered them to their chapel where they played sports with other missionaries. Then they caught the bus to Wal-Mart where they picked up their groceries, and we went and brought them home.

By that evening, the storms began. I have to say, I’ve never been in a place that has as much rain as this place does. The weather is cool, but not too cool; it starts out usually sunny but by the afternoon storms come through quickly. There is a lot of fog here which people say is unusual. Elder Lenhard read that it is caused by the unusually cold temperature of the lake here. The lakes around Wisconsin were frozen for much of the winter, and they have not warmed quickly.

That evening we had a meeting with a part-member family. The sisters in our District had asked us to go because we were their ages. He is the member and is trying to do everything to get himself in order to go to the Temple. She is a sweet woman, but afraid to make a decision about the Church. He is interested in genealogy, so I got him set up with a Familysearch account, and I showed him just enough to be dangerous. When we left, he had found his grandparents in a 1930 census and was excited to get into the work. I invited him to a genealogy library and if he would let us know, we could be there to help him. However, he doesn’t need us, there are plenty of skilled people there who would help. They were nice people. We would like to do something with them.

And so, that brings us back to this Tuesday.  That morning we also had to go to Target to get some money for laundry since I hadn’t had a chance to get it done before, and we were running out of undies. We got home and did the laundry. Just in time to get ready for the District Meeting. These young people have a lot of leadership, and their experience is so cool. We talked about record keeping and the type of records they keep aren’t meant for us. It was interesting to listen to how the Lord has it planned out so these young people can know what they are doing when they move from one area to another. God does not do things haphazardly. We, as mortals, can make a mess of things, but His plan is perfect. We just have to remember what our part is in the plan.

Elder Ballard said that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master them, we will not reach our full potential. It is no wonder that these young people go home having grown a great deal in maturity. Their spirituality is awesome. As President Hinckley once said, “Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in the cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. . . . Stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hand down. Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

And with that, what more can I say. Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You are all in our prayers. We are blessed to be on this mission. It was meant for us to be here at this time. Great things are happening and we love being a part of it.