Monday, September 29, 2014
I cannot believe I am having to start this AGAIN. I had most of it done but had not saved (Ugh!) and lost it. I really hate it when I do stupid stuff like that.
On Wednesday, we went to Pat’s (a nonmember whom I’m helping upload her family history) and worked for three hours. I was tired, and Elder Lenhard had spent the time talking with her husband about stocks and how to make money. We left and stopped at our famous burger place before going home. Once there we had just enough time to rest before we headed out to Denise’s for a lesson on the Restoration. It is the first of her post-baptism lessons. I got to give that one, and Elder Lenhard will be on call for the next. That afternoon, we spent time on individual projects and mine included scanning more of Pat’s materials.
Thursday was really busy. We were trying to gather some Spanish forms for Family History to take with us Sunday to the Spanish Branch where we would be helping with a Family History class. There is another senior couple here and both speak Spanish so they will be giving the lesson. We just wanted to have some of the materials so that the new members (which we have been asked to work with) would know what to do. We had called the Spanish woman who enlisted our help with the Mexican Fiesta and asked her if she had some papers we could use so we waited that morning for her to bring them to us. She is such a unique and exciting person. If you needed anything done and she could do it, I don’t think she would hesitate to help. She dresses like a girly girl in beautiful bright colors, yet she is at home on the back of a motorcycle and loves to do things you wouldn’t expect.
|Our first class meeting.|
Afterwards, we spent the afternoon preparing for the first Pathway class that night. Elder Lenhard was kicking it off and I would teach. After that night, the students themselves will teach the rest of them. Each class we have a new lead student and an observing student. The observing student will be the teacher for the next week. We have to make sure the students have done the work they need to do on Wednesday before class and then the work they need to complete by Saturday following the class. We have nothing to do with grades, but we just keep up with what they are doing in case we see them falling behind and can encourage them to do what they need to do to pull themselves up. As it turned out, the class was wonderful. We have 13 students age 31+. They have strong testimonies although it is obvious that some of them do not have as good a self-concept as others so they are shy at believing in themselves. However, they have a strong desire to do their best, and we are excited about working with them. Three of the students are Spanish speakers – they speak English, but it is not their native tongue. They stayed very close to one another, and we teased them about having to break apart when we do group time. One is the RS President of the Spanish Branch and another is her counselor. We have actually been with the Missionaries and gone to eat with the counselor. She is a marvelous Sister in the Gospel. The third sister had been really hard to get hold of before, and she appeared to be the most reluctant. I hope she enjoyed it and will stick to it, but I don’t feel very confident about it at this point.
The next day, Friday, we had to go to Pat’s again, and while I felt pretty good and had my cough under control when we got there, after two hours I had to call it quits. I was beginning to lose it and needed to leave and stop talking. It was too early to stop at our burger place, so straight home we went. That afternoon it was off to Denise’s for her second lesson, which Craig taught and he used some videos from the new lessons for the Plan of Salvation. It was really good. Afterwards, we went to help someone buy food for the next two weeks.
We got home and tried to get to bed early because on Saturday we had to go to West Bend for a Family History Workshop. We wanted to see a workshop being conducted because on the 27th we will be attending one that we have something to do with, we aren’t sure what yet. Anyway, we set the alarm at 6:15 so we could leave the house around 7:00 because we had been told it would take two hours to get there. In the morning, after dragging around like two old people who had not gotten enough sleep (I must be getting out of the habit of waking at 5:00 every morning), we got out of the apartment around 7:15. By the time I got the GPS going with the address, I told Elder Lenhard it was only going to take 30 minutes to get there. He looked up the directions and found out that we were going to be really early, and for a moment, we contemplated returning to the apartment and sleeping another 40 minutes. However, our better brains decided that we would play the tourist and see what we could see on the way. We knew we weren’t too far from the town when we took a detour and off into the country we went. We love driving through the country here. The further north we went, the more the trees had changed, and we were delighted to see that the reds, yellows, and oranges were out in all their glory. The red maples have turned a dark, dark, maroon-like color, and the silver maples are just that, silver, silver. We accidently ended up on the road we were looking for and drove right by the Church when we saw no one was there yet. We went into town to discover that West Bend has the second largest farmer’s market in the state
(behind Madison). Wow, we saw plants I’ve never seen before. Have you ever seen
a Brussel sprout plant? It has a middle stalk that is quite thick, and then
there are these branches coming off the stalk, but the branches had been cut
short so they were about 3-6 inches long (it looked like a spike with sharp
points sticking out all over it). I was told that the branches were long when
growing and had big leaves on the end so the plant looks like a bush. The
sprouts themselves are stuck on the stalk up next to where the branches grow. I
had to look at it several times before I even knew what it was. How could I be
so old and not know how these grew? I was relieved when my sweetie didn’t know
either. Thought I had gotten a picture,
but evidently I didn’t (actually, I think Elder Lenhard took the picture and
now can’t find it).
|This was at the beginning, and it goes on for several blocks.|
|Window Front Seeking Helpers for Troubled Youth|
|Wide streets and you can see the damage of the hard winters.|
West Bend is another beautiful town, well kept, and clean; they have done a good job preserving the old buildings and maintaining their usefulness. We were so impressed. We had to leave to finally get to the workshop, but we vowed to go again. The workshop was great, and Elder Lenhard can tell you about a special experience he had there.
In the last session of the genealogy workshop at West Bend, I had an usual experience. In fact, I only recall having one similar experience and that was in 1972 when I received my patriarchal blessing. I will be brief:
The presentation was on the topic of how to involve your children and family members in family history and genealogy. It was well-organized and fun. Two young ladies who were sitting directly in front of me, 8-10 were happily taking notes. (Imagine that!)
I sat toward the back; there were some rows behind me but they were empty. At first. Several minutes into the presentation I realized that others had come in and were sitting behind me, but I hadn’t seen or heard them enter. They were there and they were quiet. In fact, so quiet that when I finally turned around to see who they were, the seats were empty! Several minutes passed and they were behind me again. They were there until the close of the presentation.
While there is more to the story, I will conclude with this: When we are involved in family history, even something as simple as learning how to be more effective in the work, the veil is sometimes very thin. I know we can sense our fathers and mothers attending if we are faithful!
|Meeting Elder Pew|
Sunday, off we traipsed (I love using fun words – I hope I’m using the right ones – hahaha) to the Spanish Branch. We had asked the Spanish Missionaries to call all the new members and give them a special invite to be there because we are trying to get them to do their work. None of them came, and that was a little disheartening. But, the lesson was well done (not that we could understand a word), but everyone appeared to be uplifted and enjoyed it. They have a Temple trip planned for the next Saturday. When we asked for a show of hands on those who had done Family Search, the majority raised their hands. Most indicated they had taken their family names to the Temple. These people are good people and are working for their families. Again, we felt the Spirit so strongly during their meeting, and it didn’t matter that we couldn’t understand their words. We could understand the Spirit.
Now, Monday was P-day. We love P-day because we get to explore just because. So, we picked Port Washington as our destination point. That morning we went to the gym first. Then we made some phone calls to check up on things for the week. It was early afternoon by the time we got started, and we had to be back by 6:30 to meet with the Armstrongs and the Missionaries. The drive was in country we hadn’t seen before, although we did pass by the exit to Cedarburg that we had visited before. We just hadn’t taken this route before. When we got to the city, we were so impressed. Downtown, there are no parking meters because they want to preserve the feel of the old city. While everything was so clean, neat, and just inviting to the visitor, it was obvious that there is a lot of pride in these historic places. We pulled up to a parking place, and I looked out my window to see a woman walking by me, or so I thought, but then I realized she wanted to talk. She asked if our car was a rental or if we were really from Utah. She knew all about our missionaries and at one point she said they had sent them on to others (we couldn’t tell if that was an insult or not), but she was so friendly. She is an avid genealogist, and she talked a lot about her work and how she loves it. She told us about the town, and she pointed out where we could get a good fish dinner. She welcomed us wholeheartedly, and it was genuine. It made our trip even more enjoyable.
After she left, we started up the street. You can see in the picture that at the head of the street, it curved around to the left, and to the right on a hill was a beautiful Catholic Church. We decided to walk up to
|St. Mary's in the background|
|St. Mary's Catholic Church|
the top of the hill and see the Church up close. St. Mary’s Catholic Church has been placed on the list of historic buildings, but we could find no date on it anywhere. It was beautiful inside and out. On the hill where it sat, you could see out to the Lake and it was really something. We walked around, and there was such a feeling of reverence as we walked from the Church back under the trees that shaded the steps leading to the road. The sky was this amazing blue color, and as we started down, we could see Lake Michigan in the distance. Our hearts were full at the beauty of it all. The song that came to my mind was “Be Still My Soul” and it was such a feeling of lightness and peace. I told Elder Lenhard that when surrounded by so much beauty, I could not imagine being with anyone else, and that was but a taste of what the Celestial Kingdom will be like.
Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on
|Looking out to the lake|
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
|I love this picture, so peaceful.|
Truly, the hour is hastening on, and how fast it goes all depends on our perception. The Lord loves us so much, and I truly felt that we had glimpsed a moment of Heaven. Every one of you has at some time seen something so beautiful that it took your breath away. Wow, what a feeling.
|Beautiful, different looking building|
|Looking down the street|
|Port Washington Harbor|
|Fun facts about the lake|
|Fresh fish is their bragging right|
|Another unique building|
We had a great meeting with the Armstrongs that night, and we were blessed to be there with the Sister missionaries. We love this couple, and we would love to have you pray for them that Sister Armstrong will be able to overcome her fear of being baptized. She goes to Church every Sunday and is more faithful than some members. She needs to be able to recognize the Spirit when He whispers to her.
Tuesday was another great District Meeting. We love these Elders and Sisters. Young though they are, they have much to teach us old people, and it is a joy listening and being taught by them. They are out there every day looking for those who will listen. It is not easy, and often they are disappointed by those who will not keep their commitments. We pray for them every night that they will be successful in finding those who are seeking truth. We have been going with the Elders to visit Victor who has committed to baptism on the 27th. We won’t get to go to the baptism because we have a presentation on Family History to do in Burlington, and we won’t get back into town in time. There is a baptism of a young Spanish man on the 27th also. The first time we went to the Spanish Branch, we got to go pick him up for Church. His parents are inactive members, but he wants to join and has a testimony of the truth. That is wonderful news.
Our discussion at the District meeting was on the Christlike attribute of humility – willingness to submit to the Lord, give Him honor for all blessings, thinking of others before yourself, acknowledging need for the Lord’s help. The enemy of humility is pride – manifested in the lack of obedience and a refusal to admit our sins.
May we again say how grateful we are for our mission in Wisconsin. The Lord truly has sent us on an international mission in our own backyard. We love it here and can feel the Lord’s hand in the work. Take care and remember we think of all of you and pray for you each day.
Our scripture for October is from Doctrine & Covenants 20:37:
And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
Elder and Sister Lenhard
Sunday, September 21, 2014
I know, I know! Don't ask how I got this on another blog where it did not belong. I don't know how I do these things. But here it is where it belongs. I think???????
I know I’m behind, but quite frankly, I’ve been sick and just haven’t felt like doing much of anything. Fortunately, on a mission you don’t have much time to lay down and die, so you have to keep going. However, there was at least one day that I went back to bed after calling off an appointment and stayed there until noon when other things were pressing and had to be done.
With that, I’ll get down to the particulars. On Tuesday (9th), we went to our Zone training meeting. There were lots of missionaries there, and we got started at 9:00. It went until 3:00 that day, and what a great meeting on the importance of studying the scriptures. Why do we have more than one book of scripture? In Ezekiel 37:15-17 it talks about the two sticks (one for Judah and one for Ephraim): two testaments of Jesus the Christ. By two or more witnesses shall we know the truth. One of our Spanish Elders told the story of when the Europeans came to Puerto Rico the natives welcomed them as Gods. However, they soon became disillusioned because the Europeans were two cruel. They captured one and drowned him, then waited three days for him to resurrect. Guess that didn’t turn out too well for the Europeans.
The scriptures ask us to find out for ourselves the truth of the Gospel. Reading is one thing and a good thing, but reading and praying to know the meaning enhances our learning and will strengthen our testimonies. We should include our Patriarchal Blessings as part of our individual scripture for our lives. We read the scriptures because (a) we are commanded to (Christ told the Sadducees to search the scriptures because in them ye think ye have eternal life);
(b) we can gain knowledge and faith; (c) we can gain a testimony of Jesus as the Christ; (d) we can prepare us to teach others; (e) we can receive revelation and answers to our prayers; (f) it will bring peace into our homes; (g) we can feel closer to our Father in Heaven; and (h) we love him.
After the meeting, we took two missionaries to lunch because they had a meeting close to the Chapel and would not have time to get to eat until late in the day.
Wednesday saw us again going to the nonmembers home (Pat) and working with her on her genealogy. We spent four hours there, and finally, I had to call a halt to it. I was worn out, but we got lots done and I showed her more about getting on Family Search. Craig spends his time talking to the husband. Every time I see him, I think of Pappy, but even more of his brother, Joe. He used to be on the police force here and worked with Romney’s dad when he was here at one of the car company. Under Marion Romney, the Rambler came out and pulled the company out of the red, if you can believe that!!!! I’ll bet most of you don’t even remember anything about the Rambler. Hahaha Age has its uses.
That evening we went to our monthly PAF meeting. These people know how to do genealogy and many of them work in our genealogy libraries. They are marvelous in serving others. We learned that you can use Skype to send large data files (any size) that cannot be sent by email. There were also a couple of other forms that could be used such as dropbox, box, ooVoo (can conference up to 12 individuals at a time – we should try it) – ooVoo also has a Display 3-D effect which I have no idea what it means but……. There were other examples they gave of technology that can enhance our study of genealogy. WOW, our heads expand every time we are at this meeting.
After our last meeting at the Spanish Branch, we set our ducks in a row to return and teach them about Family Search and encourage them to get to the library (especially the new members). On Thursday, we met Elder and Sister Linsley (who speak Spanish and will help us at the Spanish Branch) at the genealogy library to help them learn more about Family Search, and to discuss with them our meeting that has been set up at the Branch. They are going to teach the lesson for us. While they were at the library, both of them worked on their own families while I helped them find new resources. That evening we had to come back to the library and work with the genealogy director to make plans for a workshop she has asked us to help with on the 27th in Racine. Every year the three Church units, including Racine, Burlington, and Kenosha, tradeoff who will sponsor the workshop. This year it is Racine’s turn, but we will not be meeting there and right now I can’t remember where we will be going. We spent some time discussing materials and just talking shop with her and Bob Hecht, the man who is head of the PAF group which will be cosponsoring a workshop on Oct. 18 in the South Stake. We will be helping with that one also.
Friday morning Elder Lenhard had to take one of our Elders to a doctor (who is a Branch President) in Kenosha. They were gone most of the morning, so I spent the time getting stuff together for Pathway. We had a 4:00 appointment with some Elders to teach a man named Victor. He was being interviewed for baptism when he disclosed that he still had a problem with chewing tobacco. We had seen Victor at Church for several Sundays, but we just hadn’t got to know him yet. He appeared to be a nice man, a little shy, but nice. He can’t be above 5’3”. He has had an addiction problem for many years, and he lives in a half-way house for alcoholics. We had to pick the missionaries up early and ended up getting there in good time. However, as Elder Lenhard would say, this was the first time we really were worried about leaving our car. As we got out, another car pulled up behind us and kept their lights on. It was a little spooky, but we were fine. Victor has had quite a life. He has known members throughout his life, and so they had been really good examples for him. He told the Elders that he hadn’t touched tobacco since the time he was counseled not to do so, and he reset his baptism for the 27th. We enjoyed getting to know him. He works at a Wendy’s part-time, but he is looking for better work closer to where he lives. He is ready for baptism. He lived in Utah for a while, just never investigated the Church. The time wasn’t right yet. By the time we took the Elders home, we were ready to lie down for the night.
Saturday saw us getting some things ready for Pathway. The students portal opened on this day, and they could actually get in to do work by Monday. They have a religion class online that we have nothing to do with, but the one we work with is a class orienting students back into the life of studying, learning, testing, and attending class. The material will help them (ages 31 and older) learn to adjust to being a student again. The next semester we will be working with them on a basic math class (while they take a religion class), and then in the spring it will be a language writing class. I have been writing all of the students to make sure they know what is expected of them and to see if they need help we can provide. Most everything will be done by the Pathway program, if they have a problem, they get in touch with their professors.
That afternoon we went over to Denise’s place to be there with the Elders so they could teach her three oldest boys. She had fixed dinner, but we had put on a soup so we’d have an excuse not to eat. The boys never showed up. After the Elders had eaten, and we read scriptures with her, we went home to our soup. I might add that it was really good beef and vegetable soup. Every now and then I convince myself to do some cooking. When it turns out good, it’s a plus situation. Poor Elder Lenhard bears it with Grace when it isn’t good, and I encourage him to do it next time. Hahahaha
Sunday, we actually went to City Branch. We are still on our two-hour block. Makes the time go fast, but we miss Sunday School. I believe we have a General Authority coming in November. Word is, he will take care of our problems. Lots of ideas are being bandied about, but nothing is done yet.
Monday brings the opening of the Pathway program for students to begin their work. The enrollment in the program has gone from 7,000 last year to 12,000. As you can imagine, the site was having lots of problems. I kept getting messages that it was not working, and I’m trying to find out what is going on. Finally, I called Pathway and after being on line for a while waiting, was told that they are very aware of the problems, and they will be working with individual students to get it straightened out. So it was back and forth just about all day. We are getting excited, and so we started to make out list of items we would need for the class – chalk for some rooms, whiteboard markers for others, sticky tags for names on the first night, etc. We are praying that we can have a good time with these brothers and sisters without it getting out of control. After the training we have gone through, we can see that when we visited the younger group back in the spring, they were not on the plan. Their regular instructors were not there, and they took advantage of it. We don’t want that to happen with our group. They are enrolling in college courses, and they need to be serious about it. Doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, but we can just let anything go.
On Tuesday, I knew I wasn’t feeling well – not really bad, just not well. We had District Meeting that afternoon, and it was great. We love to watch these young Elders and Sister take the leadership reins and lead us according to the Plan. We have been told several times (maybe they don’t want us there?????) that we really don’t have to come because we don’t do the same things they do. However, Adam once counseled us to go to every meeting, and we would be blessed. We certainly are blessed by the sweet Spirit that enters that meeting and teaches us.
Getting ready for bed, I was on Facebook and found the announcement of the death of one of the last two aunts on my dad’s side of the family. Aunt Polly was always so kind. I remember when we were young and would have family reunions (meaning just our grandparents and dad’s brothers and sister and their spouses). The house would be full of kids running and screaming and getting into all kinds of things. My two cousins, Karen (Uncle Wallace’s daughter) and Becky (Uncle Howard’s and Aunt Polly’s daughter) were the same age. Karen was a year older, but she was one of our group. We enjoyed getting together and being pals for a little while. Aunt Polly was famous for her lemonade. She knew how to make it so that we couldn’t get enough). After mom died, Elder Lenhard and I went to visit her a couple of times before we left Georgia. She was getting on in years and had trouble getting around. Becky and I had communicated just a month ago, and she had told me her mother wasn’t doing well. I had to get up and go to Family Search and Ancestry and get her put into place on the tree. I looked up her obit online and while there decided to look for her oldest boy’s, Bobby, obit. The same funeral group had taken care of both, as well as Uncle Howard. While reading Bobby’s obit, I read that there was another daughter, Ruth, who had died earlier. Did anyone else know about this? I had certainly never heard of a Ruth. Now, I’m curious to find out what I can about her. Becky’s husband has not been in good health for a while, and he is experiencing a setback lately.
The reality hit me before finally closing everything up that we have one aunt left on mom’s side and one on dad’s side. Other than that, our generation is almost the seniors in the family now. How could this happen? You think you are awake to the changes of life, and then something happens to make it all real. My favorite play is “Our Town.” I was always struck with how the play dealt with the idea that life is made up of all the little things. It isn’t the big ones that come and go so quickly, but the everyday give and take that brings us to the end. I know, morbid, but has always made me appreciate the little things we do that seem so insignificant. When you get to my age, we tend to remember so many of those little things.
By the time I went to bed that night, my sinuses were going crazy, my head hurt as did the rest of anything that had a joint in it. I did not sleep well and coughed all night. Poor Elder Lenhard finally gave up and went to the living room to try to get some sleep. It was a miserable night. I had forgotten how bad a cold felt. Ugh! No fun.
We are quickly coming to a close of September. The trees are beginning to change colors ever so slightly. The weather has definitely gotten cooler. It isn’t cold by any means, but it is enough to remind us that summer is going to leave us, and fall in all its glory will come quickly. I love this time of year.
Our scripture for the month is Omni 1:26:
“And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.”
Great scripture. Sounds simple.