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.