Wednesday, May 6, 2015

050 Tuesday to Tuesday (April 1-7, 2015)

With April will come spring surely, but judging by the cool weather, it may be a long time in coming. However, we will be grateful for the sun when we can get it. We started out the day helping Denise get settled in her new apartment. It is really a tiny apartment, I hope she can be happy there, but I’m not sure it will happen. It is smaller than our apartment if that is possible. We asked the Church if we could have twin beds to go to Denise’s sister, Christine, so that her sister would give Denise her queen-size bed that Denise wanted. The Church had some missionary beds that they needed to get rid of because we have lost some missionaries and would be giving the beds to the Salvation Army or some other organization. So we went to the storage facility and picked up the beds and then went to Denise’s apartment to pick up Christine to go to her apartment and exchange the beds. Denise also got the dresser in the room. We had the Elders from her area and those that had worked with her before so they did the lifting and helped us take them down and put them up at the respective places. 

After moving, we went to a local grocery and helped the Salvation Army by encouraging people to buy a bag of groceries for the hungry in Milwaukee. We did that for 3 hours. We met a man who after talking with us finally asked us what Church we were from (looking at our tags). We told him we were out here on a mission and what we were doing. I asked if he had heard of the Church. He said we had never asked him his name and if we had we would know of his connection to the Church. I asked if he was a Young, and he said he was. He had been excommunicated from the Church in 1975. I asked if he was ready to come back. He told us his story, and we encouraged him to go to the Bishop and ask how he could return. We don't know if he will, but we have his name and will ask missionaries down in the area to look him up.  He was a nice, older man, who (like many old men) was very funny (or tried to be). We couldn't help but like him.
Helping with Salvation Army's Feed the Hungry Project
Afterwards, since we were at a store, we got Denise some dinner so she wouldn’t have to worry about cooking anything that night. We all know how it is to move into a place the first night.

We started the day on Thursday by going to the gym. I wish we had more opportunities to get to the gym, but many times it is just impossible.  That night we had to prepare for our last Pathway class for this semester taught by a student. Next week Craig and I will teach the class. The sister who did it was not really prepared, and it was almost painful watching her. She has had a couple of deaths in her family in the last couple of months, and her son had to come home from his mission early because of serious back problems. She has been so caught up in the family problems (which she should be), that she has let the math go. But the rest of the students stepped in and took care of it for her. That’s one reason we enjoy the program so much. Everyone wants the others to be successful. 

On Friday, I actually tutored the Spanish sisters again. They only have a week to get it down for the final exam. I feel good about them. 

This being Good Friday, Craig and I decided to go to the St. Joseph’s Basilica downtown and attend a special meeting they have on to celebrate the resurrection. There was a choir that couldn’t be seen, it was located on the second floor balcony out of sight, and the music was haunting. The choir sang the program, and although we (I) had a hard time following it, we could see the devotion the congregants had to their program. They would walk in and before they slid into the pew they had chosen, they would kneel and give the sign of the cross – even the little children. It was very reverent, and when the children got noisy, they were quietly taken out. 
Beautiful inside of chapel
This edifice has a duplicate so they are on both sides of chapel.

This is the ceiling in the chapel. The inspiration for this room is the Sistine Chapel.
 At one point, all of the people pulled out the benches in front of them and leaned on the back of the pew in front (breathing down the neck of those that did not kneel themselves but stayed on the bench). While the singing continued, the people stayed this way. I was afraid to move, and the man behind me coughed on my neck. Finally, they sat back on their seat.
There were two priests up front, and between the breaks of the music (I can’t say that they were singing hymns so that when one stopped another started), one of the priests would come forward from behind the pulpit and snuff out two candles on this candelabra. The candles were on each side of the center candle, and they were set up like a triangle. So one candle on each side would be covered. When all but the center candle was out, all of a sudden the lights went out and while a priest carried the candelabra with the one light burning back through the congregation (down the center isle), the people began to stamp their feet and use their hands and program to beat on the back of the seat in front of them. It symbolized the earth in upheaval due to the death of the Savior. It was so real, I could almost feel the rolling of the floor. The priest carried the candle out, the lights came on, and the congregation stood and began to leave. It was very interesting. 

Of course, on Saturday and Sunday, we were privileged to watch General Conference on TV. What a wonderful experience. I could feel the strength of the Priesthood when they told us not to cave in to the pressures of the world to change our beliefs so that they lined up with the way the world wanted to portray the rights of our human existence. Stand for good, morality, pride in our Christian heritage, and for our families who are the most important people in our lives. I felt so good listening to them, and I look forward to the May issue of the Ensign.  On Sunday, we took Victor some dinner (I had bought a ham because Denise had promised she would come for dinner yesterday to watch Conference – but she bowed out at the last minute).  That afternoon, we went to our friends, the Calabro’s for dinner. It is nice to be invited to other member’s homes which doesn’t happen much. We had a great time, and we were excited to just sit around and deepen our friendship.

On Monday, we started the day at the gym and while there, we got our haircuts because the places are next to each other. We really enjoy the lady who cuts our hair. She and her husband don’t have children, their dogs are their children. We had a meeting scheduled with Denise, but she cancelled it. This can’t be good.

Tuesday, we had a Zone Conference from 10-1 and then afterward I had math practice. The Spanish sisters are so sweet, but they are panicking. They have to finish the final test by this Friday. They also have a test on Wednesday, and they need to do well to help them finish with a flourish on Friday. We didn’t get back to the apartment until after 6 o’clock, and we were worn out.

We started a new scripture for April – 2 Nephi 11:5
And also my soul delighteth in the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers; yea, my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.

What a great week. We are worried about Denise, as we haven’t heard a thing since last week. We pray for her every day.

Elder and Sister Lenhard

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