Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 15 - 28

I don't know what happened but I just lost the whole blog post that I spent the last hour writing! Hope this one makes sense because I am tired and ready for bed!!!
Do I say this every post? It has been a busy couple of weeks! I spend a lot of my time with Sister Worthington who is our mission nurse. She's very experienced and very good at what she does. Last week we visited with missionaries  to work out some mission issues. She is wise, kind and a whole lot of fun to work with. She makes me laugh! We call her Nurse Ratchett!
Friday night the  Meyers who are over all the mission housing invited all of the mission office seniors to come to their home for dinner. They live in Mulvane Kansas which is about 35 to 45 minutes from the office. They live in a very old farmhouse with a porch around the front, lots of big trees, green grass,  just a charming, cozy atmosphere! I absolutely love their home. We enjoyed dinner with our office friends and while we were there it was stormy. We had lightning and thunder and rain and the electricity  went off for a few minutes. We ended up having to leave just a little bit early because Mitch had to do a baptismal interview across town and it was going to take us about 25 minutes to get there. On the way there we came into the hardest rain storm I think I've ever been in. There were cars pulled off to the side waiting for it to let up because visibility was very limited. I don't know if I've ever seen that much rainfall at one time. Thankfully we got to where we needed to be safely but we did find out the next day that Mulvane received 7 inches of rain in 90 minutes. They had some pretty severe flooding but thankfully it didn't affect the Meyers home. I guess that storm was one for the record books!
Sunday we spoke in the YSA ward. We haven't been to our ward in about a month And I don't know when we will get to our Ward again!  After lunch we drove out to Garden City with Elder Labrum and Elder Gilliam. We had a mission president's devotional there and on the way we stopped at Dodge City.( Yes, this is the “get out of Dodge” Dodge city!)  in Garden City the mission president gives a message and then we had new converts get up and bear their testimonies. A 10 year old girl and her little brother that's 8 shared their testimonies about how happy they were to be baptized and how much they want to be able to go to the temple someday. Their 6 year old little sister bore her testimony about how excited she is to get baptized in 2 years. I am so amazed at these young children and their testimonies and desire to follow Jesus Christ! We also heard a lot of other testimonies. Testimonies that were very uplifting and testimony building to the rest of us.  We stayed around for a few minutes visiting and then we left because we had to stop back in Dodge City to visit with a couple of sisters there. We didn't get home till about 12:30 a.m. It was a good night.
Monday was a big preparation day because Tuesday we had 29 new missionaries come into the mission. We had to prepare a meal for them for lunch and I did a dinner for them at our home Tuesday night. Mitch interviews every one of them and with that big of a group it took quite a long time. He was totally exhausted at the end of the night. They are such great young men and young women and we are so pleased to have them here in the Kansas Wichita mission. The Assistants  took the elders to stay with them and we kept the 9 sisters here at our home. I went downstairs and visited with them for a while. They're all pretty exhausted at the end of the day because the missionaries coming from Provo MTC have to get up at 2:30 a.m. and the missionaries that come from the Mexico MTC had to be up at 3:30 a.m. It was a long day for them and they were ready for a good night's rest. I had to prepare more food before I could get to bed and a few of the sisters helped me!

Wednesday morning they are picked up and taken to the office by 8:30 for breakfast. The trainers are trained and the new missionaries are trained and then they are placed with their new companions. It's quite special to watch them meet each other for the first time and see how happy and excited they are to serve with one another. We did another big lunch for about 70 people of taco salad. The Meyers are doing most of it I'm just helping them out with my own assignments. After lunch they go into the chapel and see a video of all of the baptisms from the year. It's quite inspirational to watch. Mitch got up and shared a message on the Atonement and then we had one sister and 5 Elders who were going home the next day get up and share their testimonies so these new missionaries could hear the missionaries going home’s testimonies.  After that meeting I came home to finish preparing a meal for the 6 missionaries that are going home tomorrow. We always do a special meal with just them and us and it's fun to hear them reminisce about their missions. After dinner we go downstairs and have a little testimony meeting for them to share their testimonies one last time with us. It's a very special event. The assistance and Sister Training Leaders came and took them for the night and they were back at 7:30am Thursday  morning for breakfast at our home before we headed off to The Keeper of the Plains for their last and final mission picture. Then we went to the airport and sent them off. We only knew them for about seven weeks but really enjoyed getting to know them and we will miss them. I was pretty much done for the rest of the day! Friday I had to clean house and get groceries just so we could live! Saturday evening we had our first stake conference adult session. It felt like being at stake conference at home! Sunday Mitch and I both spoke at Stake Conference. I better get used to it because I think I'm going to be doing a lot of speaking these next three years! As soon as conference was over we took off to Hutchinson Kansas where we had a baptism. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get there but we made it in time. When that baptism was over we headed over to Newton which is about another 45 minutes to see another baptism. After that we left for the Kellogg area of Wichita, the Spanish Branch for the baptism of 2 more people. What a great way to end our Sabbath day by attending these baptisms. We love going to baptisms!

Monday, August 15, 2016

The last two weeks have been crazy busy. We had our Mission Leadership Council on  Tuesday August 2nd. This was the second one since we've been here so we felt like we knew a little bit about what we were doing. I made the food for lunch and did a back to school theme. It was fun for me and I think the missionaries enjoyed it. Wednesday and Thursday were spent on the road interviewing the missionaries from the Garden City Zone and the Liberal Zone.  Once again I got to sit and visit with all the missionaries as they came through and I really enjoyed a few moments getting to know each one individually. On Saturday we were going to attend some baptisms out on the road but things came up and we weren”t able to leave which actually was a blessing for me because I was finally able to get some groceries and get some things under control at home for Sunday. We did  attend one baptism in Wichita which is always a treat.
On Sunday two things happened. It was our 36th anniversary! Where did the time go? It’s been a wonderful 36 years culminating with 6 children and 15 grandchildren! We figure we will celebrate all of our anniversaries when we are released in three years. We drove to Salina to attend church and visit  some elders and sisters that needed a visit. I love Salina! It was the first town in Kansas we stopped in and I love how green and pretty it is. When we got home from Salina I had food to prepare for 2 elders and 2 sisters that were going home that week and having their final dinner with us.  We had Sister Hansen, Sister Furner, Elder Bingham, and Elder French for dinner. Mitch took about an hour with each one for a final interview and then we had dinner together and visited and had them share their testimonies with us. What a beautiful experience and what great people they are!
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was Zone conference. These were the first Zone conferences that we have done since we've been here and I think they went really well. The first one was in Wichita then Junction City and after that Garden City. I was assigned 40 minutes with just the sisters and that was fun for me. We got to just be women for a while. Our drive from Junction City to Garden City was beautiful and green and we drove through Ellsworth, Kansas. One of my favorite Rascal Flatts songs is called “Ellsworth” and I ‘ve wanted to see this little town since we've been here. The road took us right by it! It was so cute!  
We arrived home late Thursday night. Friday I was able to finally clean the house. I think it's been two or more weeks since I've been able to do that. Later in the afternoon Mitch and I took our P day and we went to a movie and out to dinner. I was certainly ready for a change of pace.  Saturday morning we were up at 6 a.m., packed and on the road back to Liberal. We attended the baptism of Humberto. We met him a couple of weeks ago and Mitch told him that we would come to his baptism. After his baptism we went with him, the sisters and the Zone leaders to a taco truck for lunch. The food was good and we enjoyed visiting with everyone. We then went with the Zone leaders to visit some of their investigators. We drove to Forgan, Oklahoma to visit Mary and then back to Liberal to visit Emma. We had to leave by 4 p.m. to get to Garden City for the baptism of Juan Rivera who is an 8 year old boy living in foster care with an LDS Family. After he was baptized he bore his testimony and he was so happy and so proud to do it. As soon as that baptism was done we had to drive to Hugoton, which was about an hour away, for another baptism.  Hugoton has the smallest church building I've ever seen. The chapel and the cultural Hall are pretty much one and the same. This baptism was for another 8 year old boy named Jaden. His 13 year old brother Alex was baptized 2 weeks before him. The missionaries met these two young men and taught them the gospel and they wanted to be baptized. It's amazing to see these young kids feel the spirit and gain a testimony of the gospel and move forward on their own without their parents. Alex the older brother gave his first talk ever. He gave the talk on baptism. I was so impressed with these two boys! We enjoyed meeting President Clark ,the branch president, and his wife and various other ward members there in Hugoton. It's just a branch and they struggle keeping families there. They say people move in and move out all the time. Oh but what great people we met while we were there! After the baptism we drove back to Garden City where we stayed the night. Sunday morning we were up and to church at 10 a.m. We met so many great people. I attended Relief Society and it reminded me of Relief Society at home in Utah. This is a great Ward. Mitch had a coordinating Council with the Zone leaders and the Stake presidency. I sat on the couch outside the door thinking I would not have anything to do but there were so many people that came by and we're friendly and visited with me. I really enjoyed myself. President Clark and his wife were there whom I had just met the night before. They were there to see one of their former young men get set apart for a mission. This young man will be serving in the Ogden Utah mission. When Mitch was done with his meeting, before we headed out to Dodge City, the Steel family brought us a huge plate of chicken, mashed potatoes, pasta salad, carrots, rolls, carrot cake! It was like Manna From Heaven. We were hungry and traveling and it was just what we needed. So thankful for thoughtful people!  We got to Dodge City where Mitch had to meet with two people to do  baptismal interviews. While he was doing that I got to visit with the 4 Elders that serve in that area and they are so fun to talk to. They also had a new convert with them and another girl who was not a member of the church. I told her she needs to look into the church and that the missionary should get the sister  missionaries visiting with her. When Mitch was done with those two interviews  we headed for home. We got home around 9 p.m., pretty much just in time to unpack, do a few things around the house and start a new week! This is mission life and I am loving it! Thankfully this week is going to be a little slower. At least I should say we won't be traveling until Sunday when we go back out to Garden City for a mission president's devotional.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kansas Wichita Mission

Last week we were on the road from Tuesday to Saturday interviewing missionaries. Our first stop was Salina, then Manhattan, Topeka and we ended in Lawrence Kansas. Every day was a new day talking to the elders and sisters of this Mission and what a great group of missionaries they are! Once again while Mitch interviewed each missionary I got to sit and visit with them as they waited their turn to go in. I am so grateful for an opportunity like this to get to know each one a little bit individually. I also enjoyed  driving to each of these cities and seeing how beautiful and green it is here in Kansas. It was my first trip to Manhattan and Lawrence. Both  are college towns and they are really pretty, green and with lots of trees. In Lawrence it was about 10 degrees cooler and that was a nice break from the heat!  We got to have dinner with President Knapp and his wife from Manhattan and President Averett and his wife from Topeka. Such wonderful people. We also had dinner with the Brinkerhoffs who are our senior couple out  in Junction City and when we were in Lawrence we had dinner with the McBride's who are serving with the CES institute in that area. Because we were already there  we stayed Saturday and went to a baptism in Lawrence for Rae and Robert. I'd like to post their pictures but we've been told unless we have written permission from those being baptized we're not supposed to post their pictures. Hopefully I'll have some pictures that I can put up of our new members next week. We got home at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon I was pretty much done and just wanted to do something different. We were able to go to dinner and a movie. The movie we saw was the new Star Trek movie and it was pretty good and entertaining. It was a nice break for us. After the movie when we got home it was cool enough that we took our first walk around the neighborhood. It's been so hot here and doesn't cool off much at night that we haven't taken the opportunity to walk around the block so we really enjoyed being outside again! (Haven't been able to do it since then though....)
    Sunday I went to my block of meetings at my ward while Mitch and the assistants drove back to Junction City to meet with some Elders they needed to meet with. While Mitch was gone I went and visited with some sisters that needed a little counseling. Don't know that I helped much but I loved the opportunity to visit with them. Madison, a guy we met when we bought our new mattress for our bed, came to dinner that night along with the assistants He's like our first friend in this area that's not involved in the mission!
Monday morning we always have an office staff meeting from 10 to 12 in the foyer of the church where the mission office is. This Monday it smelled so bad in the foyer that we had to meet in the primary room. We all thought it smelled like a dirty diaper but there was not one to be found. The stench pretty much lingered all day! I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening purchasing food and preparing it for our Mission Leadership Council for Tuesday. It seemed extra hot and I hated going anywhere and being outside. We didn”t get to bed till midnight and we were both pretty exhausted.
Tuesday was MLC. Once again the hallway at the church smelled awful and there were people there trying to figure out what was going on. The Church had been baited to kill mice and rats and so we wondered if there was  something dead lying around and rotting. Finally one of the FM workers noticed that a ceiling tile was soft and squishy and figured something was wet up in the ceiling. Look at what they found!  

That is a dead possum!!!! And look at the size of it! No wonder half of the building smelled so bad! Hopefully this possum didn't have a family living up there too. That was an exciting start to our day.
MLC went really well I am always amazed that we can have a missionary meeting that starts at 9 in the morning and ends at 4 in the afternoon and the time flys by.
Tomorrow we head out again for the last of our interviews.  We will only be gone 2 days this time!
Just a little FYI for any Mesa 15th warders out there.  One of our missionaries is from Mesa and as we spoke we figured out that his grandpa was my Sunday school teacher when I was about 14/15, Ken Rowley!  I also met the sister of my 9th grade core teacher from Kino Jr. High, Mr. Davidson. She lives here in Kansas and her younger brother married the girl that introduced the gospel to Mitch’s sister which started all of this!  SMALL WORLD!!!!!!