Monday, December 29, 2014

034 Tuesday to Tuesday (Dec 10-16, 2014)

I’m really behind, and I need to catch up. Sometimes it is so hard to write, and I realize that I’m not very good at this. I write from stream of consciousness (I think that is the right term), but when I go back and reread it, it sounds so silly. I’ve learned to edit it at least once, but it is obvious that I need to do it at least several times. Forgive the craziness of the mistakes and know that I really meant to do it right.
Wednesday (the 10th), we both had our dreaded dental appointments. I really hate going to the dentist. I think it stems from the fact that when we were little I (who was scared to death of needles anyway) knew I was always going to have to have something done to my teeth. I’ll bet we never went to the dentist unless there was a problem. We had no fluoride in our water, and I don’t remember there being any emphasis on brushing our teeth. Sounds gross doesn’t it, but facts are facts. I can remember the work hurting even after supposedly being given the medication to numb the area. I do remember that I did not let the dentist give it to me easily. I almost have a memory of a kick or two. Now that I think about it, it’s a wonder I didn’t get a shot in the brain from the needle traveling up through my gums and into the top of my head.  Hahahaha  Even today, although I brush my teeth religiously, use every pic I can find, and (my downfall) floss several times a week, my hygienist still gives me a lecture on cleaning my teeth. Ugh! I feel like I’ve been taken to the principal’s office. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. I got my annual lecture; Craig has been told that he doesn’t have to worry about plak because he doesn’t have as much saliva or has some kind of enzyme that helps to protect his teeth.  It is so unfair.

Afterwards, we went to a restaurant that only serves breakfast and lunch. (Thanks Adam and Belinda for the card.) We enjoyed eating breakfast because we don’t get to do so very often.  We left there and headed off to Sam’s for some items I needed to get. Then it was home to prepare for Pathway the next day because we had a busier day planned for Thursday.

Thursday saw us heading to an inactive member’s home.  This sister has moved up from Chicago and has several children. Once she got here the Elder’s called us about providing transportation for them, but we had to tell them we had only three seats in our car. We never heard anything else until one day she showed up for Church by herself. We spoke with her then, and she never came back. I think this must have been in September sometime.  I had called ahead of time to make an appointment and to get the address. The Elder’s had her correct phone number which I had to get from them when the one in the roster didn’t work. We are finding that our roster often is not a good source for phone numbers or addresses.  When we got to the house, the sister was not there. A neighbor was keeping her kids while she went to pick up someone. It was a relief when we saw that she had a car. We left there and proceeded on over to Denise’s house where we were able to read some scripture with her. When we got out of Denise’s, we decided to go back to the first sister’s place and just see if we could catch her. As we knocked on her door, she answered, and she was on her way to pick up her children from school. She was late, so we got to say hi, we will come again, as she ran past us and out to her car.  

That night we then had Pathway. It was a great lesson on “giving back” and how to increase charity in our lives. This is a great time in our lives to practice charity more than ever. I will testify that the more we give to others, the better we feel inside. Sometimes in working with people like we do, we have a tendency to want to judge them for their actions and we have to keep remembering that isn’t our job. Do they do things we don’t like or approve of, well, yes they do. The Lord will handle whatever they are doing in His time. We can only try our best to love them (not the things they do), but as the children of God and as our brothers and sisters.

Friday was our usual run to the grocery store with a Church member who needs help. I’m glad we as a Church have a great welfare system that allows us to help others. Later in the day, I briefly remembered it was Krispy Kreme day where you buy a dozen and get a dozen free. We were so going to be Krispy Kremed, but we forgot. It’s a good thing. We truly don’t need those things, but it sure is nice to think about how yummy they are going down. It’s afterwards that we remember why we should stay away from them. We had to go back to Denise’s to get our hours in with her. Her kids were supposed to be there, but they didn’t show up. Their dad wouldn’t bring them.

Our Branch Christmas Party was held on Saturday. This was a big deal. We don’t do much of anything else because we have to have a guard in the parking lot watching out for our cars, and at night, it isn’t safe in that part of the city. We held it at 5:00 so we could get out early. We ended up picking up both Victor and Denise to take them. They have formed a bond because both are recovering addicts, and they can talk the same language. I had thought she wouldn’t have anything to do with him because he is older and a little scruffy man. I’ve found out when you are with people who have had the same experiences with the addiction, they understand each other pretty well. They can talk with ease and are very supportive of one another.

Sisters Zundell and Smith

Elders Larsen and Goodale                   
Brother and Sister Smith           

Victor in front; Elder Allen in right back
Brother Woods is Santa

Our Chapel at dark.

On Sunday we had some great talks. It is amazing to me how our little Branch exists to begin with because so few of those who attend are actual members of the Branch. Almost 95% of our members do not come and those who come are visitors (usually people who had been in the Branch way back when it was very active) or people from other units who come to support us. All I can say is that we have more musical talent in this Branch than I have seen before (except our Utah Ward, which is, of course, filled with professional talent).  The main speaker spoke on why the message of the Restoration is important. It is necessary that people know (and most do not) that God still speaks to His children today. The Restoration helps people learn that there is a plan for us while on this earth. He wants us to come back to Him, and he has a plan to get us there. The other speaker had spoken of the two parts of faith:  belief and action. We have to use both to follow the plan. It is comforting to me to know that there is a road map given to us, and if we use our belief in our Savior and act on that belief to do what we need to do, we can go home together as families.

That evening we set out to find another inactive. We did find her place, but she wasn’t there. We were quite persistent in knocking on the door because we knew someone was there. Finally, a young man comes to the door, and when we ask for the sister we are looking for, he says she does live upstairs but she was working a double shift at her job that day. He was her nephew. We told him we’d be back. I had emailed this sister once before, but never heard from her. She was baptized just over a year ago and was so active for a good while. She had a teenage daughter that came to Church with her. Then work came into play, and slowly she just stopped coming. In today’s world, I can see why this happened. We will go back to try to catch her another time.

Monday was a cold and windy day. We got up and went to gym, got home and cleaned up to go downtown to help the Salvation Army unload a truck that was coming in between 12-3:00. It was bringing the supplies that would be used for the Christmas dinner. So, we went down and sat around for three hours, but no truck ever showed up. The woman that had asked us to come did call and told us we could glue old Christmas card fronts onto some construction paper to be used as Christmas cards for all those that would show up. We had gotten the Elders to come down also, and they laughed and told jokes while making the cards. The stick glue sticks we had were mostly dried up, and the woman had told us to stick them in some water to soften them up. It was not pretty, but they did a great job. Finally, the Elders started to leave two at a time when it became obvious no truck was coming in. We felt bad that we had gotten them down there, but they didn’t get to help like they had planned. However, they did meet a man whom expressed an interest for more. Elder Lenhard got his information, and the Elders will be going to see him.

On Tuesday, we had to get out of the apartment early to get to Denise’s place to take her to Court for her final hearing for reunification with Timmy. We got to the courthouse on time and went upstairs to wait for her. We were going to babysit Timmy while she went inside to the meeting. She comes back down the hall and says the hearing was not on the docket. To say she was mad would be a slight understatement. She fussed all the way back to her place. Later she found out that her social worker hadn’t been told also so that made her feel better. Haha  If I understand right, since she and Timmy had already been reunited, there was no need for a court hearing. Good job!

That afternoon we had our last official District Meeting before transfers. It is hard to imagine that transfers are here again. They will start closing down apartments and consolidating the missionary areas because we are losing so many missionaries in our mission. I’m not sure if this time is the time that we have so many going home, or if it will include this one and the next, but we are losing about 60 of our young men and women. One of our young men who went home in September is getting married on January 3rd.  He lives in Mesa. Another young man has written us a couple of times. He was a Spanish missionary. He is still trying to adjust to being home.

Our testimonies continue to grow. There are no accidental encounters when we are involved in the Lord’s work. There have been so many times that we have had opportunities to talk with someone, and we know that it was meant to be.  We love this work. We hope to have a white Christmas, but if not, we can wait on the snow. I think that people who lived through the last winter are grateful the snow is taking its time. We shall adopt that attitude also. Especially, when we hear about places like New York that got so much snow the roofs on their houses were collapsing. I cannot even imagine that and don’t wish to do so.

Christmas is coming. We are excited. There is something magical about this time of year.

Our Scripture for the December is 2 Nephi 25:26 –
          And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy
          of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may 
          know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Elder and Sister Lenhard

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