Saturday, August 30, 2014


 I don't know how to rotate the picture; I won't take pictures with my tablet the other direction any more.  I now have two pairs of earrings,  the ones I had on the day of the burglary and now these pearls.  I should be just fine.  Pearls and silver go with everything. 
Today we picked up a new bike that we ordered last week.  He's excited and I am too.  I just can't figure out a place to hide it if we got broken into again. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Two months

You can imagine my surprise when I cut into what I thought was a cantaloupe.  I had a cantaloupe and wanted a honey dew to go with it for the breakfast I did for the counselors and their wives.  This is called an orangedewlicious.  I thought we were in California not a foreign country with different food.  Has anyone heard of an orangedewlicious? It was delicious! 
 Dell set apart his counselors.  Notice they all have blue ties on. That was not planned. How's that for unity?!  President Record on the left is a past mission president and an attorney. President Moffat is a dentist and I have to say a surfer. We've heard great stories. 
 We are half way through Zone conferences.  The Christlike character trait we are focusing on for a couple of months is charity.  The scripture they will memorize is D & C 12:8.  It goes so well with Charity, humility and love. Along with that begins a new program of Just Serve where the missionaries are authorized to do 10 hours of service per week between Tuesdays and Fridays. We are striving to be a Zion mission.  Part of becoming a Zion mission is to start with unity in their companionship.  I talked on that.  President talked much more including being pure in heart and to not have fear.
Thanks to Doug Bowen and Chris Bateman for making it happen in getting gloves to us for each missionary. The missionaries were pretty pleased. 
A shout out of THANKS to my hiking friends.  The missionaries loved their candy leis. Thank you again for your help. 

I know I didn't say anything about 2 months.  Honestly, I didn't realize it had been two months today until President said it in his remarks. I think I probably won't be counting.  
Is the perception of time relative? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Split Pea

This morning we drove to the airport to pick up a sister who came back from having gallbladder surgery.  She left the middle of June before we got here.  We were taking her up north to her zone meeting but on the way we stopped at the Great Western Cinnamon Roll restaurant.  This time it was better than when we stopped a few weeks ago.  We stayed at the restaurant to eat rather than taking them to go and not eating them until the next day.  They were warm and gooey.  Of course, chocolate milk was good with them.  
We were able to sit in on the last part of zone meeting.  Hermana Miller will be with two others and they were able to take her to the apartment which was about 10 miles north.  That is the upper most part of the mission.
We have heard from several sources that in Buelton, Split Pea Soup is the best.  On the way back to Ventura we stopped for a late lunch.

Can you tell how excited he is to take that bite?  The soup was good and the sandwich we had was also yummy.  It was a lot of driving today.  

Monday, August 18, 2014


Sunday was a full day with going to Carpinteria for 9:30 block of church.  We got there just before 9:30 but helped a family with things from their car to bring in.  Sacrament meeting had begun so we were able to find a seat on the back row.  That didn't last for long.  The counselor in the bishopric conducting acknowledged us and invited us to go sit on the stand.  The missionaries had told them we were coming so I guess he saw our name tags.  During the opening song the bishop passed down a note to President.  "Would you like to say something?"  President responded, "If you want me to."  He was the concluding one to say anything.  He did great.  We went to the Gospel Principles class and then Priesthood/Relief Society.  They had a linger longer and we were invited to stay.  That was a blessing.  I'm not sure the pb&j sandwiches and a pasta salad for later would have kept us full.  
I was so tired and since I was the one driving we stayed in the church parking lot and I took a 20 - 30 minute nap while President read emails.  We had a nice breeze coming through the windows.  
The Youth Devotional was in Sovang about 50 miles north. We got there early enough to review what we were going to do and then eat some pasta salad.  
Our topic was every day missionaries in high school.  President told them how happy we were to be there and started off with our first day in the mission going to a baptism.  He told everyone we forgot our name tags and looked at me -- "You forgot your name tag."  That led into talking about how we are all missionaries...  We got some laughs and it was a good attention getter.  Instead of me giving a talk and then him, we both stood together and went back and forth with our comments.
We showed three little videos from the Church website throughout our presentation.
After the devotional was over, three nonmember boys came up with a member YW to meet us.  They were Juniors and two of them played baseball.  Of course, we took the opportunity to ask about them. One came from a home without religion, one Christian and they read from the Bible every Sunday, and the other said Jesus was a good teacher.  (I didn't ask if he was Jewish). It was really great talking with them.  They enjoyed the devotional.  They thanked us.  Hopefully they will  want to learn more.  The YW played the organ for the meeting and she told me she was just called to be on the youth council.  
President read the whole way home and still had more emails to finish this morning.  It's crazy how it all starts over every Monday.  I don't know if he'll get any read tonight as he's working on his remarks for MLC for tomorrow.  

41derful Years

 Saturday was our anniversary.  We wanted to do something we had not done.  We went to the Ventura Pier and walked. 
 People were fishing on the left side of the pier. The couple in the background were walking down the pier to set up their gear.
 Towards the end of the pier (I wasn't fast enough to get a picture) a bird had been hooked in its beak.  A man went from behind the bird and put a cloth around the bird's head and by holding the neck was able to get the hook out. 
 The fog in the background is called marine layer. 
 We took a picture of the surfer's code so when you come visit and want to surf, you'll know the rules. 
 We were amazed with all of the surfers.  There were more than what you see. The men we saw getting ready to go out into the water were middle age or older.  The bishop in our ward is a surfer.  I guess it is a sport that can be done for many years.
It was a great way to start our morning.  
We cleaned up and went to the office for a 10:00 meeting regarding Just Serve.  This is a program that our missionaries will be involved with. 

We experienced true California traffic driving to the LA temple, meaning bumper to bumper stop and go.  We enjoyed being in the temple.  It's been such a long time.
We had dinner at PF Changs. 
I did all of the driving so President could take care of phone calls and continue reading emails.  The beginning of the week did not allow time for him to read until Wednesday night.

When did all the wrinkles appear?
I've looked at Dell many times that day amazed at who he is!

Friday, August 15, 2014


The first signing of our quilt.  The departing missionaries thought it was a great idea.  They each filled out a page with the areas they served,  companions,  and a special experience. (Of course on bright yellow paper.) I will put together a memory book. 

Our New Missionaries

 Santa Barbara airport
 About 5 minutes from the airport we had lunch.  The missionaries were hungry. Unfortunately only 11 missionaries made it for lunch. 

President Uchtdorf shares an analogy of commitment and diving in the water.  Two brothers stood on top of a small cliff that overlooked a lake.  It was a popular diving spot.  The brothers often talked about making the jump.  Although they wanted to make the jump, neither one wanted to be the first.  Whenever they started to lean forward, their courage left.  One brother put one foot at the edge of the cliff and moved forward.  Just then his brother whispered, "Maybe we should wait until next summer."  The momentum of the first brother was already pulling him forward.  "Brother," he responded, "I'm committed!"  He splashed into the water and then the other brother followed.
Commitment is a little like diving into the water.  Either you are committed or you are not.  There's no halfway.
We are anxiously engaged and fully committed in the Great California Ventura Mission and have both feet in. Each missionary committed to having "both feet in" by jumping off the ledge.

The remaining 9 Elders were still waiting in the Salt Lake airport when we were doing lunch and "the experience." The original flight was cancelled.  We drove the van back to the airport to pick the rest up at 9:40 pm. We didn't get back to the mission home until after 11:00. President did a quick interview.  Those that were hungry ate. It was a short night as breakfast was served at 6:45 so we could get to the Stake Center at 7:30.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Broken In"

 I came home from the mission office today to add the sauce to the pork in the crock pot.  Trying to be on top of things for next week.  The plan is to warm up the meat on Tuesday for the departing missionaries.  When I drove into the garage I thought it was strange that the side entry garage door was open.  I went to look at it and realized that the lock had been broken. I then realized Dell's bike was gone and sliding closet doors were open.  I knew we had been burglarized.  My heart was pounding.  I called Dell (which I didn't want to because he was working with the Assistants on transfers) and told him what had happened.  He told me he was coming home.  I went in the house and saw that cupboards were left open and drawers were also. I called 911 and was told to get out of the house that police would come.  The dispatcher wanted to keep me on the phone.  It probably took 10 minutes before one arrived and then another.  They asked me to stay outside while they checked out the house.  Dell got home as the police were entering the house.  I told him what had happened and while talking a policeman came out on the deck.  He was pointing a gun. I was pretty confident that the robbers had left.  
I first went into the bedroom where all of the cupboards were open and Dell's side of the closet was open.  ALL of my earrings and some of my necklaces in the cupboard were taken.  I have necklaces hanging on the wall on the hooks,  one hook of necklaces was taken.  
This is in President's office.  His laptop was taken from there.  They opened drawers even in the kitchen.  They opened my sewing machine cover and cricut but did not take them.  Dell's razor was taken,  both our phones with cords (I am so bugged as my phone had my contacts and pass words), his temple bag (the clothes were dumped out and I think they used the bag to put my jewelry in). They even dumped out the contents of the 72 hour kit; the TV and computer were left and fortunately Dad's mess.   I am sure we will find more things. Whoever did this went through the whole house and opened drawers.  We are grateful the drawers were not dumped out.
A security system was installed between the Castros moving out for 4 weeks and us moving in. It hasn't worked.  A few weeks ago I was feeling uneasy and wanted the alarm on. We couldn't do it so the FM mechanic came and checked it out and said they would get the security people over.  Guess what -- it's happening tomorrow. 
We will survive,  but it's an inconvenience.  I need to be working on my talk, not documenting what was stolen. As time goes by, I find I get more upset.  There are pictures of Christ throughout the house.  What were they thinking?!
The weather is still great at 75° - need to be positive.!

Saturday, August 2, 2014


 I went to my first Spanish baptism today.  This is the "abuela" (grandmother) of the branch. She was so sweet and loving.  She also works in the temple twice a week.  She talked to us in Spanish and she acted like I could understand her.  She let some English slip out.  I told her she needs to talk to me in English.  
Have you ever heard of a baptismal font water being hot.  Typically people complain it is too cold.  "Caliente" said Vanesa.  The branch president had to pour cold water in the font.  Then Vanesa's toe came up so she had to go down a second time. 
The baptism was scheduled for 3. After we got there, Santa Barbara, we were told it was changed to 4. About 5:00 is when it started.  Don't worry,  be happy.  The Spanish are very much not in a hurry and we've been told are late.
This morning we went on a hike for an hour.  This is called marine layer.  This is the worst since we've been here.