Sunday, September 21, 2014

Elder & Sister Malm

 Elder Per Malm is in the 2nd Quorum of Seventy and Assistant Executive Director in the Missionary Department.  He and Sister Malm were with us from Wednesday to Saturday.  We had a mission tour in three days.  On Wednesday they joined us in MLC and did some training for our leaders.  We picked them up from LA Wednesday morning. It was our first trip to the airport.  The traffic was terrible getting there. He called us just as we got to the airport so they met us at the curb. We drove back to Ventura and got lunch at Urbane Cafe (we like that place) and brought it back to the house and ate out on the deck.  
 After our conference up north we drove to Solvang which is a Danish community.  The Malms are from Sweden. Dinner was good but we were disappointed in the abelskevers.  They were too salty and heavy but served with strawberry jam. 
 Elder Malm has responsibilities for visitor centers and invited us to go with them.  This picture is the back of the temple and the visitors center is across the street. 
 D wanted a picture of this because he knows Ricky who is in the wheelchair.  He is from the Dominican Republic and D fit him for the wheelchair. 
 This room was so fun.  Every quilt was made by a non member.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Santa Maria Stake Conference

No pictures today but I wanted to share my experience with the Santa Maria Stake Conference.  Since we were going up north, we took a missionary that returned to the mission after having to go home and have her gallbladder removed to her new area.  It was about 20 – 30 minutes further north but we allowed enough time to get her there and return to Santa Maria to check into a hotel before I took President to the 4:00 meeting.  The stake provided a dinner for the general authority, Elder Carlson and his wife, us, and the stake presidency.  So I drove back to the stake center and had dinner just after 6:00.  We sat with the Carlsons.  He was a 4 star general in the air force.  A month after his retirement he was called to the 70s.  I don’t know the timing but the government came to him wanting him to come back.  He declined but apparently the brethren were contacted and told Elder Carlson to return but that he would still hold church responsibilities of traveling to stakes on the weekends.  He is a very kind person.  We had been told by the stake president several weeks ago that we no longer had a speaking assignment for stake conference since a general authority was attending but that the G.A. may call on us.  Well you know me, of course, I prepared a thought that I could share just in case. President was called on at the 4:00 meeting to share remarks for about 10 minutes.  When we went on the stand to sit, Elder Carlson said he would like me and or president to take some time and that he would let us know how long.  I was naughty and would not look down the row.  That didn’t work, prior to the announcement of a special musical number the counselor in the stake presidency came to me and said Elder Carlson would like you to take 5 minutes.  Actually ASKED me IF I would take 5 minutes.  I said I would.  Oh my!  I had prayed earlier that if called upon I would know what to say, especially if it wasn’t what I had prepared.  My heart was just pounding!  I went up without notes because I had felt when the opening song was sung, Joseph Smith’s First Prayer, that I would be saying something about Joseph Smith.  I know I started by reciting James 1:5.  I talked about the courage he had.  I followed the Spirit.  So glad when it was over.  I share this with you because after the meeting one of our Elders came up to us and shared that they had an investigator there and he was struggling with Joseph Smith.  My testimony was what the investigator needed.  I was very excited and a testimony to me of listening to the Spirit.

Elder Carlson said to President he wanted the missionaries to hear from him Sunday morning and that he had 10 minutes.  He decided he would talk on prayer.  I was looking forward to going to conference and just taking it all in.  When we got on the stand Elder Carlson said to me “I would like you to speak this morning.”  Without thinking I opened my mouth and said “I talked last night.”  He said a nice thing to me and I said OK.  It was interesting because at the hotel I reviewed my notes that I had for “my talk.”  My thoughts were oh, I’ll just talk about what I had prepared on Gratitude.  I sat during the meeting through 4 speakers and a musical number.  It was my turn.  I didn’t take any notes again to the pulpit.  I talked about Beginning with the end in mind and my experience with becoming an ordinance worker.  I know that my experience with that calling is enriching my understanding of it’s not just being baptized but going to the temple and eternal life.
 comments of it’s not just being baptized but going to the temple and eternal life.  President followed me and he used some of what he prepared but he was guided by the spirit as well.  Elder Carlson’s remarks added to President Felix’s.  It was awesome. 

I drove back and grateful the traffic was not so bad.  President had a 3:30 coordinating council meeting which we’ve been told could last 4 hours.  I thought I would use my time wisely and write this and call some of our kids.  I have things to still get ready for the mission tour so I should keep busy while he is gone.

Friday, September 12, 2014

2 years

It was two years ago yesterday that D had both knees replaced.  I am grateful for modern medicine and for his recovery.  Last year we went on a hike to celebrate the anniversary.  We decided we would do something physical every 9/11. Well it didn't happen yesterday.  President was off to surprise two disobedient missionaries in the morning. They are consistently sleeping in. Even went back to bed yesterday after talking on the phone with President at 6:30 a.m. The district leader is in the same apartment but the missionaries are not respecting him enough to correct their ways.  President felt the visit went very well. He ended the visit with hugs.

Ben and his parents stayed with us last night.  He is here to serve a mini mission.  He will be here for a week with his brother who is one of our missionaries. He is so excited.  They left this morning so they could get to his brother's in time for companionship study.  They had just under 2 hours of a drive depending on the traffic. We asked Ben to come and say hi to us when we are at stake conference this weekend. We're looking forward to seeing him again. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Bagleys

Steve and Janice dropped by to see us.  For lunch we went to Ventura Pier and had tacos at the Beach House taco restaurant.  It was yummy so anyone reading this blog should come visit and we'll go to the pier. 

We knew they were coming on Thursday.  Friday we were having leadership training for the mission (Zone, District and Sister Training leaders -- a total of 60) in Santa Barbara.  I was sure the Bagleys would want to help me in preparing some food for it so I saved things to do when they were here. The menu consisted of breakfast casserole, fruit, muffins, juice and of course chocolate milk. Steve fried up all of the sausage, President cut up the ham, Janice cut up fruit,  I had the muffins already made (pumpkin chocolate chip, bran and blueberry). I was glad I made 11 1/2 dozen because only 8 muffins were left.  All 6 casseroles were finished and very little melon and grapes were left. 
Heavenly Father even answers prayers as simple as making sure the food turns out. The brunch was a hit. 
Thanks so much Bagleys for your help. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

 We went to the mission office this morning and took off for the afternoon at 3:00. The Jones picked Dell's bike up to put in their truck so we could ride down by the beach.  I borrowed a bike from them. 

Quite the hair do!  Yes, it was windy.  My visor came off 3 times.  In this picture you see only a couple of kite surfers.  There were many more.  It is fascinating to watch. We had fun riding (I'm sure my legs will feel it tomorrow). On the pier was a taco restaurant.  We ate outside and loved it. We'll for sure have to do this again.