Now, this is a week of celebration. In two days, we can count it as one year to the day when we landed in Milwaukee. It had been a long trip, and it was cool and rainy. We got to the Mission Home, and all I wanted to do was find my bed and lie down. Of course, they had dinner for us, and we met other senior couples in the mission. One of those couples is still with us (the Carters), but they will leave in September. One couple (the Booths) left last November, and their replacements (the Barleys) will leave in October. They only came for the year. The brother is not in good health, and he came at the request of President Cutler (they served in the Temple together in Bountiful). Another couple, the Smiths, showed up in April, and I believe they will be here for 18 months. So, we have good friends to work and play with while we are in the mission field.
On the 29th of April, Denise allowed us to come in for a few minutes – just to drop off some stuff we have picked up for her apartment that was donated by Ward members. At first, she didn’t want us to come and made up an excuse about not feeling well, but I pressed her to just let us drop off the stuff. We just wanted to see her to get a feel about how she was doing. When we got there, her sister was there. I told her she needed to get her sister out. She is an addict, and she has no intention at this time of cleaning up her act. She is not good for Denise to be around, and it worries us that she is there most of the time. We brought in the stuff, Denise laid down on the couch; the sister’s children were there. Timmy acted like he didn’t know us. I asked if we could get a hug, and he just passed us by, but the sister’s little girl came over and asked for a hug. Every time we see her, she has this look of need about her. She wants love, and she is not getting it. Denise has told us that the sister has pawned everything she could get her hands on, and now it is too late to get it back. It includes the children’s toys. What a shame. Drugs will destroy families! Denise said she had to keep her sister because she had to help her. We will see who helps who.
On Thursday, I had a doctor’s appointment for my blood work to be done. It was an early appointment, and may I say how much I hate needles. I like this doctor though because he doesn’t believe in giving you anything that you don’t need. Got the blood work done, and hope the cholesterol is good. I know my sugar is good, it is always low. That is a blessing, but that cholesterol is a stinker. I was told that it is probably genetic for me. So, kids, you need to keep an eye out for it.
That afternoon, we had district meeting and interviews with President Cutler. This is the first time he saw us individually. Usually, he takes us as a couple. I think we both had good meetings with him. Craig is so full of ideas about how we can use the materials we are developing for the festivals to reach more people. We will see where it goes.
To finish the day, we had Pathway. The new classes have begun, and that night there was a writing assignment where the students wrote a love letter to something. One wrote to her shoes, one brother wrote to ketchup, one to her bed, etc. They had to read each other’s papers, and there was a lot of laughter going on. Suggestions were made, and ideas tossed about. We so enjoy working with these people. They are truly a group a friends.
May came in with a pretty day. We went to the gym and then over to get our haircuts. We enjoy the stylist; she is funny. There are no children in her home, but dogs are their babies. We always get to hear the crazy stories of their little ones at play.
We met with the Smiths later that day to talk about some ideas for the festival. They are so bright. He is a kind man, but I get the idea that when he makes a suggestion, he has thought about it a lot and he expects the rest of us to pay attention. Very knowledgeable in the techy world, and people oriented. His wife is usually quiet, but I don’t think she would back down in a fight. We are enjoying working with them.
Many of you may have had a Women’s Conference (other than General Women’s Conference) within your Wards. Ours was on the 2nd. There were several lessons; I went to classes on tai che and scripture reading. We had started out with lunch, and we were given a tag with a colored symbol for our seating. Of course, I didn’t know the people at my table. These are the sisters in the North, and we don’t get to work with them very much because their Stake President doesn’t really need us. At the same time, we are assigned to a North Ward, but we don’t really interact with the members there because their Stake Genealogy Director considers her stake off limits to us. She would not be happy if we tried to teach their members. So, it was really awkward. If the sister next to me hadn’t talked with me, I’d have sat quietly and listened to everyone else because they were talking about their pasts together, and I found no way to interject my craziness. After we went back for cookies for dessert, I noticed my friend found a seat elsewhere. Man, to be rejected so bites. Haha I guess we didn’t have as good a relationship as I was hoping. Afterwards, we went to our classes, and I enjoyed them. I can see why investigators often find us intimidating and unfriendly. It is easy to see why they may not want to come back. I know I could have been pushy and gotten in on things, but there are times when I just feel like the fifth wheel among the members here. It’s not bad, so I won’t get into it, but the City Branch was so much more friendly. I miss it.
That afternoon, we set out for Best Buy and turned in our phones which continually lost our numbers and other information. I was beginning to hate the fact that it would never do anything we expected. We feel we got a good deal on our phones. They gave each of us $70 for turning in our old phones, then we each got $100 for the new contract. We got the new Galaxy Note. We like that phone. I played all night trying to load up the apps and restore games, etc. It is really a pain to have to get a new phone. These better work really well for the next couple of years.
On Sunday, we had two appointments with two different Wards to talk to their Ward Councils about the Pathway program. Both Wards are in the same building. We met with the first and waited for 20 minutes for the next to begin. We had to get back to our regular meeting because Craig was going to give the Priesthood to Dave Armstrong after Church. The second Ward did not get out in time for us to get back, so we had to leave and not have the meeting. Craig has talked with that Bishop since then. They are on track and very aware of the program.
On Monday, I got to attend a women’s luncheon. Several of the “older” ladies in a couple of wards meet at a restaurant agreed upon the month before. We just sit around, eat, and find out about each other. I can always talk to old ladies. They are so interesting. I went to the luncheon with Jane Orne, the South Stake Genealogy Director. We love working with her. The restaurant was down in the country – still within ward boundaries, but a good 30-40 minute drive. I got to see some country I hadn’t seen before, and afterwards, she took me to see the lake where she is always going fishing. They are going to build a house on the lake, or at least that is what she said; however, I found out that she really means they are going to remodel a home already on the lake. She and her husband are just down to earth, and they will help you if at all possible. He buys and sells gold and silver. He once told Craig that last year he lost several million dollars when gold and silver tanked. They have a lot of history behind them and by that I mean they have a lot of family mementos that are displayed all over the house in which they currently live. They have a antique store/flea-market type business up north. He is buying storage sheds to rent out. If he can make money on it, he finds a way. They have about 10-15 old clocks in their living room, the kind that look like little houses. They are just fun to be around.
That evening we had FHE with the Armstrongs. We had asked if they wanted to do it, since we don’t have anyone to do it with and they agreed. I took a pie from Baker’s Square (which are delicious by the way) and we talked about the Priesthood that he had received and hoped to expel any misconceptions she may have had. I think it went well. We just want to make sure she feels part of what is going on, and we weren’t sure how much he knows since he was inactive for 20 years before coming back. We had a good time, and we asked what they would like to discuss the next Monday. He had been reading the Beatitudes, and he had some questions. So that is our agenda next week.
On Tuesday, we met at Jane’s with Elder and Sister Smith to discuss ideas that Elder Smith had come up with on the festivals and how they can contribute. When we talked with them last week, I suggested that we needed to involve Jane because she was really in charge of the festivals. So, we got together, Elder Smith presented some ideas, and we are off. There are so many possibilities that it is amazing. Elder Smith is very talented, and he had a story board and the bear bones for a video that can be used to introduce Family Search. We are very impressed. We will meet again after talking, and he will have proceeded to develop the video in more detail. Jane and I will do some scripting for some of the talking points on Thursday evening after Pathway.
Our first week in May. The weather continues to tease us, one day cold and windy, the next sunny and windy, and then sunny and warm. We love it.
Our scripture for May is Doctrine and Covenants 67:10:
And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have
been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears,
and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you
shall see me and know that I am – not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.
Elder and Sister Lenhard