Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Week of the Practical

It's funny how each week seems to have a theme. This week was one of economics and taking care of the practical things of life.

In our Provident Living class, everyone is either looking for a job or wanting to better their work situation. So we are having the LDS Employment missionaries give us presentations each week to further job skills, enhance resume's, and improve interview techniques—all practical knowledge needed to live in the real world. We are so grateful to these missionaries. They are very knowledgeable and really know how to present a lesson.

We have been visiting partially active families with cookies to invite them back to church. 

We've found a grandmother who has a goal to get back to the temple. She's a third generation member of a native Tennessee family and wants to commit herself to the gospel again. We found a man whose wife died about a year ago who is planning to get to the temple to have her sealed to him - wonderful people with inspirational stories. It is really a blessing to be here.

We are working with several  members who need to find employment. As we were dropping off resume's and applications the other day, I asked one young mother why she didn't bring her children to church. She said she didn't have any clothes for them to wear, and she hated to bring them in Levi cutoffs and tank tops with bare feet.

We went today to gather up some cute Sunday dresses. (I love shopping for little girl's clothes.) We found some darling little Sunday shoes also. That was a fun shopping trip. I like a break like that once in a while.

We have another family that has difficulty getting up in time for church. I leave PEC early and go pick up the boys so they'll be on time to pass the Sacrament, but sometimes the others are an hour late. I bought an alarm clock as a joke to hopefully motivate them. 

They are a sweet family and we love them so much, we want them to gain a testimony of the gospel.

Life is good here and we love our work. Thanks for your prayers, love, and support.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Week of Hope, Healing, and Hard Work

Our Sister with the hip replacement is coming up on three weeks after surgery. She is doing well. She's determined in the things she wants, and the way she wants them. 

She told me I had done enough for her. She wanted the young Elders to come disinfect the shower chair she borrowed from a friend. I told her it would only take me a minute to clean it, but she wanted the young Elders. (That really made more work for us because we had to arrange for the Elders to come with us, go pick them up, and take them to her house.)
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When the young Elders got there, they couldn't believe that had come all the way to her house for a five-minute service project. (One Elder was a good sport and cleaned the chair. The other Elder was impatient with the entire process.) Her chair is clean, and she is happy.

The youngest mother in the large family that was baptized began to have labor pains this past week. Her baby was due mid August. She was in the hospital for several days until they got the contractions stopped. Just as they were about to send her home, her contractions began in earnest and she dilated quickly.

The baby crowned and Grandmother caught her just as she was being born. Grandma rang for the nurse, and it was hectic for a few minutes. But they had a new baby. Named her Mahogany. I think that's a pretty name.
Here are Grandma and Mom—both tired but happy to have the ordeal over.

Elder Monson and a handy man from the ward, along with two of the Elders, repaired this wall. A member's nephew drove into the garage and crashed the wall into the laundry room. They had to replace a wall stud, the door frame, and the dry wall. It's not finished, but at least they can close the laundry room door now.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Zone Conference

Here are some pictures of Zone Conference. It's lots of fun to be with the young missionaries. They are so dedicated and full of life. Here is some of the fun we had.
 This is our district. President Petersen is getting ready to go home, so the meeting was tearful for everyone.

 The Elders and Sisters will be singing at several firesides to be held around the area. The anti Book of Mormon play is coming to Memphis and it arouses interest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Baptisms have increased in other areas where the play has been put on. The firesides will be held to present the truth about our religion and the  Book of Mormon.

 I got a pair of children's sun glasses for participating in a role play. The elders decided to have a little fun with them.

A Family Home Evening in Action

Our large family that was just baptized has accepted a challenge to read the Book of Mormon. Everyone has been working on it, whether reading or listening on their phones. But they have become a little discouraged by the magnitude of the project.
We have been praying for them to have good experiences with their reading. We wondered how we could keep up their enthusiasm.
They had us over for dinner this past week, 
Baby enjoying dinner
 and  the oldest girl decided the family should discuss Lehi's dream. They started out to read, and soon they were acting out the scene. Some people were in the great and spacious building, others were the fountain, the mist of darkness, the Tree of Life, Lehi, Sam, Nephi, and the rest of the characters. 
Starting to read

The iron rod
The midst of darkness

Everyone had a wonderful time—totally involved in the process. By the time they were finished, they could all tell the story and the symbolism. 

Sometimes magical moments like this materialize as an answers to prayer. These are the small miracles that President Eyring invited us to identify in our day-to-day activities. They help us remember that Heavenly Father is blessing us in all we do.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Week of 'This and That'

This week has been full of lots of different activities. We began the Missionary Home Evenings that the Bishop has asked us to do. Elder Monson and I tell missionary stories from the pioneer prophets. We have dress-up scarves and hats, and then play a bingo game with Smarties to mark the cards. It's fun for us, and for the families. We give each family a pioneer prophets book—as long as they last. We should have brought some more with us. (I wasn't thinking.) 

A dear sweet sister had to have a hip replacement this week. She didn't want anyone to come stay with her in her little three-room 4 plex. We felt very uncomfortable about that, but she was insistent. We were hoping that she could get a CNA to come in three days a week for after care, but the insurance didn't approve it. We worry about her, and to make matters worse, she lives almost to the Mississippi River, which is about 45 minutes away from us so we can't just run over there to see her as often as we'd like.
Her surgery was Wednesday, and she's made it this far, but she's in a lot of pain. The Relief Society brought food, and we check on her daily, but it's hard for me to leave her alone. Sometimes life doesn't work out like we'd like it, but we muddle through the best we can with our faith and prayers.
Here's a picture of her in  the hospital after surgery with her sister (who drives an 18-wheel rig cross country) and her step father.

A recent convert we've been working with turned 24. She wanted a purse for her birthday and balloons. We went shopping for her presents and then had a birthday lunch. It was a happy day.

Seminary hasn't been held in this ward the last few years. Since there have been quite a few youth baptized lately, the Bishop asked us to make a list of all the kids interested in Seminary. That doesn't sound very hard, but it really is. There are about 50 names on the eligible list, but many of them have moved, don't have phones, or have become inactive. We're in the process of sorting it all out. We're excited that they may begin the program again. Seminary, as you all know, is near and dear to our hearts.

Oh, and we make the Elders cookies. Always got to have cookies!