Quote of the Week – “We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see” by Elder Packer.
On the 15th, Wednesday, we spent a deal of the day with Denise. We had to go to a meeting for Denise with her whole social work support team. It was so interesting to attend the meeting and see her reaction to those who control her life at this time. They are working with her to make sure she has the support to get her ready for her baby to be returned to her for good. They held her feet to the fire, and it was obvious that she was not in the best of moods. While they forced her to tell them what they needed to hear, she was trying hard to be amenable without really helping them. We found out we are part of her support team and are expected to see her at least twice a week. That makes it slightly hard to fit into our schedule.
Thursday found us in our usual study time for Pathway. Man, there are some of the best articles involved in the lessons. The lesson given that evening was by a brother who has MS, is in law school, and is constantly putting himself down. He has been married only a couple of years, and his wife is also in the class. He gave a good class, but he acts like he has a target on his back that says, “Just kick me.” We really like him, and hopefully, this year with Pathway will help him feel successful.
Friday found us taking a member for food early that morning. Then it brought us a special Zone training where we (the Missionaries) got to see Meet the Mormons. We loved it. Which story touched you? My favorite was the fighter – I could just see Bethanne in this one. Then there was the Coach – didn’t you love the way he was singing with the Primary children? We can’t forget the Bishop in Atlanta – did you notice the humble home they lived in? The man in Katmandu was amazing – someone said that there was a concert this last weekend that introduced him as a wonderful person who did the work he did. I’m telling you when the pilot was introduced, and he talked about how his life was changed when he went back to the fence my heart was touched. What a great man to have done what he did! Those people were our enemies, yet the children were innocents and needed help. There are great people out there! Finally, the mother who said goodbye to her son going on his mission brought back memories. I can still feel the hollowness that went through me when Adam left. It was like losing a part of myself. I know Elder Lenhard felt the same. It is such a blessing to have your children go on a mission, but it is so hard. We are excited that the movie has done so well, and hope that it will come close to Milwaukee so we can take friends and nonmembers.
After the movie, we began our usual meeting and were interrupted when we got a text from Victor (a new member) who needed a ride home. He stated that he would tell us what was wrong when we got there so we left the meeting and went to pick him up at work. He had gotten sick at work and since he doesn’t have insurance, he couldn’t go to a doctor. There was a free clinic held on Saturday, and he said that if he didn’t feel well the next day, he would go to the clinic. Elder Lenhard gave him a blessing, and we left him going to bed.
On Saturday, there was a big Genealogy/Family History Workshop at the South Stake Building. We had been asked to help, so I worked registration and Elder Lenhard waited at the back of the building to catch anyone who didn’t come in the door for registration. I love to do stuff like this because I get to help people, talk a lot, and hopefully, help them feel comfortable. There were some great classes being offered, and, unfortunately, I didn’t get to sit in on most of them. I met lots of people that I had met at other meetings, and they are becoming friends. One nonmember that I met who knows where asked if I would help her husband find a great grandfather from Germany. He had so little information to go on, and he didn’t have any documentation to work with. We searched some names, but to no success. He was hard of hearing and blind enough that he couldn’t really tell what was on the screen. His wife had lots of information written in scribbles on some papers. I asked if she had her work online. She wants to write books on her work. However, she is way too busy to do it now, and by the looks of her health (she is several years older than Elder Lenhard and I and she was having trouble getting around). I told her she should get it online before it was lost. She told me her children did not want it. I cannot believe there are people like this. Anyway, she said that she was too busy until after the New Year, and then she will see about coming and letting us help her get the information online. The Lord has a purpose in our being here to help others preserve their family histories. There are so many here on whom the Spirit of Elijah has worked and has brought to bear so much fruit. The work here will strengthen the Family Search genealogies, and we are in a unique position to encourage others to get their work online where others can benefit. It is exciting work.
A couple of people who we have worked with several times at the different festivals asked Elder Lenhard if we would mind if they got some of their congregants to come visit our services. Do you think we turned them down? Hahahaha
On Sunday, we had a wonderful Sacrament meeting. It is so interesting that this little Branch has some of the best speakers we have ever heard. One of the newest Elders here in our area, Elder Larsen, spoke on temptation. We must not yield to the enticings of the evil one. In the BOM, we find the story of Lahonti. He and many Lamanite soldiers ran away from their king’s army because they did not want to go to war with the Nephites. The king was angry and a man by the name of Amaliki tricked him into making him (Amaliki( leader of the armies. The king sent him out to bring the Lamanites back, but Amaliki had other plans. Lahonti and his men went to the top of a mountain where they felt they would be safe and able to defend themselves, but Amaliki comes along and entreats Lahonti to come down off the mountain and talk to him. Lahonti refuses (for good reason), but Amaliki comes back and actually goes part way up the mountain and calls upon Lahonti to come down and talk with him. Lahonti still does not want to come down, but then Amaliki sweetens the pot. If Lahonti will come down in the morning, he can surround the Lamanites that Amaliki brought with him, and they will give up. Then Lahonti will be the leader of all, and Amaliki will be second in command. Lahonti got tempted by something he could not resist. He brought his men off the mountain the next day, surrounded the Lamanite army and captured them. He became the leader of all, and Amaliki became the second in command. What Lahonti didn’t realize was that the law said if the leader ever died, the second in command would succeed him. Amaliki had a servant poison Lahonti a little at a time so it wouldn’t be obvious and then Lahonti was no longer in the way. Amaliki took over and led all of the men back to the king. When the king saw them coming, he thought Amaliki had done what he was asked to do. Amaliki sent several men out to meet the king out of respect, and they bowed down to the king. Unfortunately, they also stabbed him. Guessed who became king. He even had the audacity to go into the Queen and gain her favor and married her. So the moral of the story, “Don’t come down from the mountain!”
Another brother spoke about peace and where we find ultimate peace is in the Temple. Outside of the Temple, where do we find peace? Phil. 6:7 says to not be anxious in anything, take it to the Lord, peace is attainable (words not precise). Christ is the Prince of Peace. This world is temporary, we can be in the world but not of the world. If it were not possible to return to God, He wouldn’t have allowed us to come here.
The last speaker served in the Ukraine. He said that the Restoration was still going on in some countries. Freedom of speech is unavailable without freedom of religion. I think we can see what is happening in the world as religion is attacked on all sides.
On Monday, we took off for Port Washington after spending four hours at Pat’s home working on her genealogy. They were unable to leave for Florida like they wanted because Bill, her husband, had a heart attack. So, they put two stents in (not really sure what that is – but have a pretty good idea). They were waiting around to see how he did. In Port Washington, we went to Duluth Trading looking for winter coats. Their best coats were not in, so they let us try on some so we could get an idea of the sizes that would be needed. It is surely getting time to be looking for these things. We will call next Monday to check on what has come in.
While we were there, we walked down to the lake and watched the water for a few minutes. I saw a bird in the water and thought it was a duck. I saw it for a few moments, turned away for a second and looked back, and it was gone. I thought I hadn't really seen it, so I stared at the water some more and looked a little down from where I had seen it and there it was again. I watched and turned away and glanced back and it was gone. I asked Craig if he had seen the bird. Then we both saw it and suddenly it disappeared. We asked a man taking pictures nearby if he knew what kind of bird it could be. It was a Horned Grebe, and I've included a picture or two here. We couldn't get close enough to actually take a picture ourselves, but you can see what they look like. They can dive deep in the water for fish to eat. It was amazing - like seeing a ghost.
|Beautiful Horned Grebe|
|Another picture of the bird|
The 21st found another grandchild, Kennedy, celebrating a birthday. What’s the matter with these kids that they have to grow up. Kennedy was pretty excited about it, and we were able to talk with her for a little bit. She is fun to talk to, and she loves to send us interesting pictures and pictures she makes.
We had District Meeting first with the Spanish Elders to tell them about a dinner to be held Friday, the 24th, to thank them for their help at Mexican Fest. We have a new Elder there who will be leaving in early 2015, and he has served here before. He indicated that he felt he was being punished by having to come back here. That is so sad. He has four months left and feels this will be his last area. I’m sorry for him. We then went over to our own meeting and our Christ-like attribute was Obedience. Chain-mail is made up of little pieces of metal linked together to protect the wearer from harm. When we build a great armor around us like chain-mail, we are protected from the world. We build that armor by obedience or we could say that our obedience will be our armor against the world. LOVE IT!
We have been given the challenge to read the BOM by December 25th. Our purpose is to come closer to Christ. I’ve read it already one and a half times this year. Adding this to our reading of the Pearl of Great Price and the Gospels, and we have a lot of reading to do. Now, if I could just hang on to some of it. One Sister Missionary said that every time she sees the words, “Come unto me,” she marks it. I think I will begin to do that also.
We love you very much. The weather has gotten colder, but we are hoping for a few more days of warmer weather. It is exciting to see what is happening in this area. We love it.
|Just a moment of bright color. It is everywhere!|
Elder and Sister Lenhard