I hate it when I get started on a document, get part way into it and lose it because I didn’t have it saved. This will save you the task of reading the nonsense I must have written before and let us just cut to the chase.
Do you realize there are only three months left to 2014. I am amazed at how fast time moves when you get older. Maybe it’s because our lives are so full that it just seems to go faster, but I remember in April thinking about how it would be in October on our Mission. I guess it’s our perspective. If we are looking forward, it seems to be a long time, in hindsight, it is so short. Our 44th wedding anniversary is coming this month. How in the world do people stay together for that length of time; yet, it seems but a moment.
The next three months are at once my favorite time of the year and my most depressing. I love the colors of the fall. The blue of the sky here is brighter than any I can remember, and the fall colors are unbelievable bright and cheery looking. The warmth of summer (although I can’t really say it got that warm here) cools down, and it is pleasant to be outside. Here flowers are still in bloom, and everyone seems to be making the last clean up touches to their lawns. I do so love Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. These are my favorite holidays because of the decorations and family centeredness (is that a word?). You put one up, take it down, put up the next one and so forth until finally you realize you have to take all the Christmas ones down and no big holidays until next fall/winter. Once all the kids were gone from the house, it was hard because no one was there to put up and take down with us. Oh, well, now they are carrying on the traditions with their kids. Another note, I have always especially liked Christmas because of its hope in the Christ child. I love to collect manger scenes because they present the birth as a reminder that He brought truth, light and hope to the world to save us from our sins.
This time of the year can be depressing because the days are getting shorter which I don’t seem to feel as much as I have in the past. It has been like the dark is coming on so much faster each day that I would just miss the sunshine and evening brought the day to a close. Right after the winter solstice psychologically I start to feel better knowing (maybe a reason for my love of Christmas) that each day’s light was a few seconds to minutes longer. Then spring would come with its gorgeousness, and life was good again.
I guess I’m just saying that this time of year is a bunch of contradictions. While life can be depressing, there are many things that can lift us up if we but look for them.
Let’s get started. On Wednesday (1st), we took Denise and her son, Timmy, to the zoo. He is at that stage of needing a stroller and wanting to walk. Naturally, once he got out and we wanted to move on, no way could we get him back into the stroller. His little legs just can’t carry him fast enough to keep up with even our slow, long strides. We had such a good time though. Some of you remarked that you saw the pictures on Facebook. One of them showed me with Timmy sitting on a bench before the lake behind us. It looks like I have snow white hair. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to look like I have any hair, but my self-concept changed – not negatively, just differently. We had to get them back home by 1-2:00 so she could go to another appointment, so we were pushing Timmy to move fast.
|Oblivious of gorilla.|
That evening Elder Lenhard had to go help the missionaries give a sister a blessing and then take a couple of them to another area where they were changing companions for the night. He didn’t get in until later, and I was worried, but he made it alright without me.
Thursday, we got up and went to the gym. We don’t get to go as much as I wish, but we enjoy it when we get there. That night we had Pathway and spent the day checking grades for the students, trying to contact the one that has not come to class or done any work to see what is happening, preparing the lesson in case the lead student doesn’t show up, and making sure we had all the handouts for next week. I emailed the lead student for that night and got a reply that she was having trouble and would get back to me when possible. I never heard from her and when we got there that evening, she wasn’t sure about the concepts she was teaching. She got through the lesson, but she was struggling some. This is so good for the students. I’ve always said that I learned more as the teacher than my students probably did. Next week, our teacher is a different type – loves to comment on things completely off the subject and tends to ramble when he goes there. We shall see what happens when it is his turn.
On Friday, we took a member shopping for food again. Later we taught Denise her fourth new member lesson, and that evening we fellowshipped with the missionaries and a part-member family by going out to eat at the member’s favorite steak house, Boulder Junction. We could tell why it was his favorite – don’t think we have had that good a steak in a long time; in fact come to think on it, I don’t believe that we have had steaks since we came out on our mission. We’ve eaten a lot of fish but no steaks – which I’m ok with because steak is not at the top of my list for favorite meals.
On Conference Saturday, we were at the Scandia Festival. It was by far the most disappointing in terms of the number of people who came by, but we enjoyed the few who did. The genealogy group was set apart from the rest of the festivities and I don’t believe most people knew we were there. The woman who headed it was disappointed and asked what they could do better. I mentioned to her that Elder Lenhard and I wondered why there was no one at the head of the hallway to encouraged people to come down and look for their histories. She liked that idea and said it was her understanding that it was supposed to have happened, but it didn’t. Next year, we will volunteer to be the ones to fire the people up.
However, I loved the little shops for stuff. There were lots of nice things there, and I could have gone crazy, but I didn’t. I bought a little handpainted egg and a handpainted Christmas ornament. Oh, I also got a thimble.
Other than that, I kept thinking about how we were going to get all this stuff home to Utah. We will have to buy a truck at this rate. We aren’t actually buying a lot, and I’m going to send boxes home when it gets close to the time. The Kringle (pastry) was first brought here by the Swedish group and might I say they are delicious. There are several different kinds, and we sampled two which we loved. There is a place in Racine that makes them so we will be giving them a visit in the future. I had the Swedish pancakes which I didn’t think was much to make over. Elder Lenhard got some kind of veal sausage that you eat off of a stick. It was a glorified hotdog to me, but we will obviously get some more. They got them from Usingers here in town.
|Food area (held in a local school)|
|Music was wonderful.|
We had taped the Conference to watch when we got home. The recorder went crazy and we had 6 tapings for 2 shows. In the middle of a session, it would stop and the next recording would pick up from the first. We obviously missed parts, but we are glad they will be in the November Ensign issue. If you are reading this, tell us your favorite talks. I loved Elder Bednar’s, President Uchdorf’s, Elder Holland’s, and Elder Nelson’s. We missed President Eyrings. President Monson didn’t speak as long as we hoped, and when we tuned in it appeared as if all the talks were about him. I wondered if something had been announced about his health or something because the tone of the talks to me was that he was having trouble and needed our prayers. Evidently, that wasn’t the problem.
Elder Lenhard listened to the Priesthood session on the computer that evening and loved a talk about the dandelions. He was quite buoyed up when it was over.
On Sunday, we picked up Denise and took her and Victor (another recent convert) to the Stake Center to hear the morning session. We wanted them to see another building beside the City Branch. Actually, Victor had been to the LDS Church before and was pretty familiar with us before he joined last month. Denise had never been to any building but City Branch so this gave her another perspective. They came back to our apartment for lunch, Elder Lenhard had to take Victor home, and Denise stayed here and watched the afternoon session with us. She asks good questions. She fell in love with Elder Bednar.
On Monday, we went to Pat’s to help her again with her genealogy. I had another 700 items that I had scanned to transfer to her computer. Also, she had scanned lots of items, but could not get any to upload to FS because they were tifs. Also, her printer would link up to 16 items to each other – one right after the other – and then she didn’t know how to separate them. We spent 5 hours there trying to get stuff done. Finally, I couldn’t do anymore, and told her there wasn’t anyway we could finish by Thursday when they were going to leave for Florida. She said that she would be back next April, and I will send her things as I get them. I’ll also put up things that I’m scanning for her. I still have about 600-800 documents, pictures, etc. to scan so I’m glad I have plenty of time to do them later. My success of the week was that as we were leaving we gave them a Book of Mormon. They gave us a gift card for helping with the family history, and we told them the book was the most important thing we had that we could give them. We encouraged them to read it as a second witness of Jesus Christ. We would love to hear about their experiences with it. She said she liked to read books so we will see.
We had enough time to go to Costco and buy a few groceries, get home in time to pick up the Sister Missionaries from Wal-Mart where they were getting their groceries , unpack and relax for a little while and then we went to Denise’s apt. where she was having a going-away party for her missionary who helped get her baptized. It was very nice, and we stayed for an hour and got home around 9. It had been a full day.
Tuesday, we went to gym and enjoyed a few minutes there. We had contemplated spending the day as a P-day so we washed some clothes which was greatly needed, Elder Lenhard put the sweeper back together which I had disassembled to clean the filters, got some family history of our own done, and prepared for Pathway. I have to say my husband spent some time trying to figure out what was the matter with our heat (since it wasn’t coming on), and going to the office to ask if anyone had turned in his keys that he lost six weeks ago. Someone had, and he was able to get them back. We found the factory where they make Sprechers drinks – absolutely the best root beer, cream soda, orange cream, ginger ale, and cranberry drinks. They use honey and natural ingredients from here in Wisconsin. If we buy the drinks from there, we can save almost 50 cents each. They are expensive to buy in the store, so we got several cases to put away for those times when a root beer is the only thing that works. So good! They told us there are some places in Utah and Texas where you can buy the drinks.
It has been a great week. We have much to do this upcoming week (Wednesday and Thursday) before we leave Friday for the weekend in Texas for Riley’s and McKay’s baptisms. Now, if we want to leave the mission we have to have special permission from the General Authority over this area. He is Elder Martino. He told President Cutler to let us go. When we leave the mission, we are place on inactive status and when we get back we are active again. We think it has something to do with insurance. If we are covered by Church insurance (which we aren’t), they don’t want us in areas they know nothing about or what we are doing. The Church shouldn’t be accountable for anything that happens when the missionaries are off on personal activities. We are blessed to be able to go.
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.
Love you all.
Elder and Sister Lenhard