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.