We have so much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is coming up, and we have some things we want to do. We are looking forward to a blessed holiday.
Wednesday was transfer day. It is sad that you get to know some of these great missionaries and then we have to say goodbye. Hopefully, the day will come when we can see them again. We have 15 young women leaving and several young men. They are ready to start their new lives. We have been in the field about seven months. Is that something or what? When we put it into words, it makes it seem so real.
While we didn’t actually go to the transfer meeting, we had said our goodbyes to some of them. We will miss those we have worked with. One of the first Senior couples that we have worked with, the Booths, who worked in the Mission Office, will leave next week (24th). They have been such good hard-working missionaries.
We had started the morning by walking. We can walk in the building; the basement or garage is cool and we can walk without being disturbed. Then we can climb the stairs on each end of the building and just keep going. We ended the day with Denise. She is getting harder to teach. It seems like every time we show up, so does her Social Worker. We don’t get any teaching done then. Plus, if Timmy is sleeping, she is compelled to wake him up. Sigh………..
That night we were called by two of the missionaries in our district. They were at the hospital, and it was late. One had been shot in the neck with a B-B. His companion had been shot in the back, but it hadn’t gone through to his skin. The missionaries had been standing at a bus stop talking to two young black men. They heard two pops, and one of the young black men began jumping around, yelling, “Dude, you’ve been shot.” The hospital said it wasn’t really able to remove the B-B, so they sent him to an ear, nose, and throat surgeon that could do so. They told him if the B-B had been less than ¼ of an inch to the left, it would have hit his carotid artery, and he would have been in big trouble then.
We took the Elders back to their apartment. They hadn’t had any food all evening, and we stopped and let them get some burgers. We could tell they were in shock, very subdued. One of them always jokes about everything. He wasn’t joking that night. When the Elders got to the specialist the next day, the surgeon was out of town, and when he/she gets back, they’ll do it then. It was this Elder’s first night in Milwaukee.
Thursday brought us the Pathway meeting. We prepared much of the day. It was really cold outside, and we did not feel compelled to go out. We left for Denise’s place at 4:00 and then on over to Pathway. It was our last meeting for a couple of weeks. We would not meet on Thanksgiving Day.
On Friday, we had been asked to work the Family History station at the Holiday Fest. We had been asked if we would work at this one back in October. However, the woman who was our contact never got back to us. Then finally, just a week or so before it, another woman called us and said she only needed us. She didn’t want any of the missionaries because she would have enough with just a person or two at any one time.
We had to be there early that morning and work until 3 or later. What a fun festival. All the different ethnic groups you could ask for were there. I bought some Christmas snowman (actually, I thought they were penguins) ornaments made of gourds for each of the children. This woman was so talented. I’ve never seen so many articles that can be made from the gourds that she used.
|See the Apple Gourds|
|Congregation of the Great Spirit|
We got to talk to more people about the Gospel at this festival. It was so much fun. When we were getting ready to leave, the woman who was over the venue holding the festival asked why we didn’t bring the young men with us. I told her we were told that they weren’t needed. She looked at me and said, “Oh, yes, they are needed. Could you bring some tomorrow?” We were able to get in touch with a set of sister missionaries who agreed to come.
We weren’t expected to go to the Festival on Saturday until 3:00 in the day, but we decided to go early at 1:00. We picked up two Sisters and headed out. We again had several opportunities to talk with nonmembers about the Gospel. I had one man tell me that we had a noble cause to do the work for those who could not do it for themselves. He asked what would happen for all those Muslims. I just told him I guessed we would be working harder. It was fun. Such good people are here. Elder Lenhard spent some time talking with one of the Polish dancers. That evening we went looking for food and sat next to a really nice couple. As we talked with them, they had traveled much of the world in his business, and they were both very interesting to talk to about their travels. He began to talk about his son who was a Polish dancer and up comes the young man as his dad was talking about him. It was the same young man Elder Lenhard had been talking to earlier. The couple asked if we could meet again. It would be fun to keep up with them.
On Sunday, we actually got to City Branch. It was a great meeting as usual. Our High Councilor and someone he had asked to accompany him were our major speakers. One of them used the fishing analogy to illustrate how Satan works. When you go fishing, you throw that hook in the water, expecting to get something to take the bait. That fish will fight against the bait as long as possible, but eventually, it tires and gives up. The fisherman pulls it out of the water, and it’s fate is sealed. Satan also throws out his hook, moving it slowly to catch our attention, and continuing to keep the hook loaded with the attractive bait that causes us to look and look again. Eventually, if we don’t swim away, we get caught, and after much fighting we finally get tired and give it up. Our fate can be sealed, but unlike the fish, we can walk back and repent and start again.
I ended up helping in Primary because they only have a couple of sisters taking care of it. One goes to the nursery, and the other has opening exercises. I stayed with the opening exercises, just trying to keep them in their seats. Man, that was a treat. There were only 8 kids in the room. One sat in the front and was the perfect little doll. Four of them were Hmong children who felt they should comment on everything, and it was ok to walk around the room and keep everyone going with them. Two were really smart black boys whose mother would wring their necks if she knew how they were acting. I was the bad guy and had to keep telling them to stop, stop, stop. Did I tell you I was really glad I don’t work with the little guys in Primary?
Monday brought the most unbelievable snow storm I think either of us had ever seen. It started with small drops of rain floating down and then the wind got involved and all of a sudden we realized that it was snowing. It was vertical snow, and it was blowing so hard. We had gone to the gym, and on the way home, we found it hard to see.
Today was Denise’s reunification date with Timmy. She has a 90 day probationary period in which they will continue to monitor her. It has been a hard road, she has overcome so much. We will keep saying our prayers for her.
Tuesday was our district day with our new district leader, Elder Goodall. He was the one who had been shot last week. He is a good missionary, and he is learning his way. This is the first time he has been a district leader, and he started off on a good note. We could feel the spirit of his leadership.
After the meeting, we were going to Denise’s for our meeting, but it didn’t work out. We had a 4:00 meeting on family history with the West Allis’ leaders. They wanted us to present at the 5th Sunday Priesthood/Relief Society meeting. We encouraged the High Priest Group Leader to do most of the program, and we have some things to present also. We are so excited by the work that is being done. After our meeting, we found a new program called Relative Finder from BYU. It is a fun program to play with and is free to download. You can find out who you are related to using your Family Search accounts.
Another week has come to an end. It is the last week of November. The weather has changed, and winter is here. We are loving it. Yes, it is cold; yes, there is snow; yes, it is fun to stay in and sip hot chocolate; but we are always conscious of the need to do more.
Love to all,
Elder and Sister Lenhard