Monday, December 14, 2015

077 Tuesday to Tuesday (Oct. 7-13, 2015)

I’m loving reading the scriptures. This is my third time this year, and I have to say, I have learned new things each time. Actually, I think my first time was just recognizing that I could read more than one chapter a day and still be awake when the last verse was read. The second time I was taking time to recognize where I could find some verses that I am always struggling to find when needed. This time, however, I’m learning how to read with more diligence and pay attention to the words. For example, in reading Isaiah, I understood enough to recognize that he wrote for our time. In studying the New Testament Institute material, one of the leaders said that the Jews as a whole will not accept Christ till after the second coming. I thought that when the Jews accepted the Gospel, then the Savior would return.

On Wednesday, we went to the Temple for the week. We love going to the Temple. If we get out early, we make an early session. It is a shame that so few go to the Temple. We have been in sessions with only one other person. We have gotten to be the witness couple a few times now, and it goes a little faster. There are sometimes when there are many workers at the Temple. How could this happen in a place like Chicago? I guess the same way as when we were in Atlanta. The members of the Church are going to have to step up and get to the Temple more often. I would encourage our children to plan on once a month trip. I know it is hard with children, but they live much closer to a Temple than we did when they were young.
Why does my stomach have to stick out? Notice the beautiful flowers at the Temple!

Our Pathway class is getting better each week. It is amazing how they step up and fulfill the roles assigned to them each week. The teaching improves as more is shared and new teaching techiques are presented each week. We love it, and we love our students. We are getting closer to our students, and we are becoming involved in their lives, much more than we did last year. Some of these students are really coming from challenged backgrounds. Their home lives are less than what we think of as members of the Church. It helps us to recognize that there are many in this world who are hurting and looking for something that makes sense in their lives. All but two of these students are passing well. One of the two is passing one class and is close to passing the other. Only one student is struggling, and she is dealing with learning disabilities.

Today, we began fasting as a Mission. Each day a new set of missionaries will fast for us to hit our baptism goal of 75. Last quarter we reached our goal and more. It is exciting to be involved in this work.

On Friday, we had a beautiful day and some free time (we were going to celebrate our 45 wedding anniversary that day). We went out exploring the world. We just got in the car and started driving. When we came to a turn left or right, we just chose a direction and on we went. We actually ended up next to a beautiful park that we have visited before in Waukesha. It was a revelation to us when we got there. How did we do it? We thought we were going in a different direction altogether. Craig got out of the car and went to the lake and met a young man who was contemplating his life. He had just graduated from high school and wasn’t sure what he was going to do. He had never had a job throughout high school and had been applying but had not gotten any response. We got his name and told him that if we saw something in Milwaukee that we would let him know. Eventually, we did this, but we never heard from him again.

That night we invited the office missionaries (the Jepsons and the Barleys) to celebrate. We went to Boulder Junction – that has the best steaks in Milwaukee. Thank goodness we had reservations, which is the only way to go at this place. Even though we had reservations, we still waited almost 30 minutes. It was worth it though. It is hard to believe we have been together for 45 years. It’s like this mission. When you stop and look ahead, time can appear to be so slow; however, when you look back, you have to wonder where the time went. When the Scriptures state that this life is but a moment in the eternities (paraphrasing), you get a glimpse of what is meant.
The Jepsons, us and the Barleys at Boulder Junction - best steaks in Milwaukee.
On Saturday, we not only celebrated our anniversary, but Cohen’s and McKay’s birthday. What a privilege to share our day with our two grandsons. It was a fun day for us in that we got to attend the wedding of a daughter of one of our members. Sister Darlene Boyd-Watts is a black woman, whose mother joined the Church many years ago and led her family members into the Gospel. Her second husband also joined, and they were a driving force in the City Branch. Eventually, many of the family members in the City Branch have left the Church. Soon after we got her, the mother died, and her funeral was held at the Church. Two of her grandsons spoke, and we knew when they spoke that they had to be members of the Church. They appeared to be fine young men. We learned that they had left the Church, and wow, what a blessing it would be for them to find their way back. Darlene is the sister of Bootsie, the sister who lost her legs in a car accident. Anyway, we went to this wedding that was supposed to start at 3:00. It was the third wedding for both bride and groom. The bride didn’t show up until 4:00. We were getting hungry, there were few chairs to sit in (and my feet hurt), and we were two of the only whites in the group so we stuck to Darlene like leaches in a blood pool. By 5:00, it looked like a wedding might happen, but we were truly beginning to wonder. We were in a Sheraton Hotel, and everyone was waiting in a hallway for the door to open to the room that they set up for the Chapel. People from another couple of weddings kept saundering through our crowd. It was weird. When the doors opened, we were allowed to sit in the “family” section because we were with the momma of the bride. 
James and Barbara (Bootsie) Denton at wedding.

Darlene Boyd-Watts, Mother of the Bride

By this time, I was wondering if we would be there until midnight. When the bridal party started coming in, the bridesmaids danced up the aisle with their partners. One of them was concentrating so hard, a turtle could have beaten her going up the aisle. The music had a beat that they had to step forward and twist their hips and kinda kick the back leg forward a little. Oh, my! Then the wedding was odd. It looked like a high school play where no one had practiced. It was without emotion, the bride looked like she was bored, and the groom looked like he needed to get back to work.  Hahaha  I couldn’t imagine getting married like that. Now, I wonder if that’s how Craig and I looked at our wedding. I don’t remember practicing ahead of time. What a difference when compared to the ordinances presented in the Temple.

Finally, the wedding was over, we were sent out of the room while they prepared it for the dinner. It took another hour. We didn’t start eating until around 7:30. The food was ok, I got salmon and Craig got chicken. The cake was great, but it took too long. They started taking pictures during the meal, and since we were with the family, we were in a place that we couldn’t leave easily. The bride and groom had a dance, but again, they were so bored or looked like it. I guess they had been through it enough that this was old hat to them.

On Sunday, we were able to go to Church that morning and then we headed out to visit our friends (Mary and Guy Porth) in Reedsburg, up near Baraboo. We enjoy visiting with them. They served their mission in Arizona, and now serve in a Branch not their own at Richland Center. We went there back in July or August. Good people but few of them.

We spent the night there, and it was a time of beautiful weather. That night we actually went outside and looked at the stars. It has been a long time since I’ve seen the Milky Way. What a sight. I hope when we get home we can go camping and find a place where we can see the stars and ponder on the vastness of the Lord’s creation. 

On Monday, we went to breakfast at a small diner that had good food. We sat right across from the cook, and took our time enjoying ourselves. 
Unassuming diner

We sat across from the kitchen.

We started at Devil’s Lake (which we had visited before), and there were some people on the beach. The train came by just for us, and I could just imagine a similar scene from my childhood – a slower life.

Beach House at Devil's Lake
Beautiful fall trees

Taken by the Porths at Devil's Lake

Train going through Devil's Lake State Park

Then we took time to travel throughout the countryside. Some beautiful sites, especially seeing the fall colors in full bloom.

Beautiful fields preparing for winter.

Ponzai looking tree in valley

Fall foliage over the valley

We went by an apple-packing area and partook of the apple wares in a place alled Ski-Hi. They surely had good apple cider. 
Great place out in the middle of nowhere.
Apples on the belt for sorting.

Great food to buy

As we traveled, we saw some sand cranes in a field that had been cleared of its corn crop. There had to be 100+ in the field. 
Look at the cranes in the field - can you see them!
As a result, we ended our trip by visiting the Crane Conservatory. It was going to cost us until I mentioned that we were members of the local zoo, and this was one of those places that has a reciprocal arrangement that allows us to get in free. We love free. We will pay more attention to this perk, because it is good in Utah and other states. I never had an idea that there were so many cranes. First off, they can get really big; they have beautiful coloring; and they are not afraid. It was beginning to look like it was going to rain, but we were sure glad that we were able to get in and see the cranes; however, we had to move through the conservatory quickly because it was mostly outside. 
Craig being eaten by the hippo!

Once we got back to the Porth’s home, we had to leave pretty quickly because bad weather was moving in and we didn’t want to get caught in really bad rain. We had a great ride home and enjoyed the time we had spent there.
On Tuesday, we had our usual District Meeting. Sometimes we feel we don’t have much to offer because we don’t do mission work like the younger missionaries do. But, we love to watch the missionaries in action; especially as they assume leadership positions. It is marvelous how the Lord helps these missionaries grow in the Gospel and in leadership.

Our scripture of the month:

3 Nephi 9:14
“Yea verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.”

Elder and Sister Lenhard

No comments:

Post a Comment