Wednesday, February 25, 2015


 We drove past fields of yellow flowers and many orchards.  California has so much agriculture. Prior to the mission I would think of California as just having lots of people and traffic.  The California Ventura Mission has got to be the most beautiful place in California. 
 Fresno mission home
 President Jeff and Sister Bonnie Clark
We met the Clarks at a meeting before going to the MTC. We were assigned seating by them in our training. At the October mission president's seminar we enjoyed seeing them again.  Dell told them about the possibility of some of our missionaries going to the Fresno temple because it is closer than LA for those in the San Luis Obispo Zone. We had to get it approved by Elder Nielsen.  Of course we wanted to check it out and we needed to talk to the temple president.  The Clarks invited us to stay with them.  Dell said if we can take you to dinner. (We went to Cheesecake Factory. )
We loved sharing stories and ideas.  It was very good therapy. 
 We had a wonderful experience at the temple.  We met with President and Sister Callister prior to doing a session. They are happy to have our missionaries attend. As we were leaving, the Callisters visited with us some more.  They asked me some questions regarding the Salt Lake Temple.  
Years ago he was the mission president in Mississippi.  They took six children and came back with seven. They are delightful people. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Recovering from Zone Conferences

 We realized after we got to zone conference we matched.   It just shows we were on the same wave length.  It's called companionship unity. If you want to read about zone conferences from last week,  go to the blog I do for the parents of the missionaries. 
 Saturday we stayed in Santa Maria for Stake Conference.  We went on a date. We found a new venue to read emails.  We drove to Pismo Beach and then had lunch on the beach. Even though Dell still read and I did thank you notes for the sisters who had prepared lunches for us, the time on the beach was so needed. The change was therapy. 

 Driving back to Santa Maria we passed this field of cauliflower. We pass many green fields  all of the time and wonder what is growing. This time we pulled over to check it out. 

We were asked to speak at stake conference in Santa Maria today. We were prepared to take 15 minutes between us as requested. It is so common that the previous speakers take more time than allotted.  We were to speak before the stake President's talk at the end. I was watching the clock.  When I got up I didn't say anything that I had prepared and took maybe two minutes and Dell took five minutes.  We want to make sure the stake president gets his time. 
We drove to SLO to meet with some missionaries and are now in Paso Robles.  We will drive to Fresno tomorrow.  We're staying with the Clarks,  mission president from Utah.  They started when we did. We will be going to the Fresno temple and talking with the temple president. Our missionaries serving in the SLO zone will be able to go to that temple as the LA temple is too far away.

Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day

One of the missionaries told Dell that today was his day.  What?  Yes, President’s day.  Well his day started off leaving the house at 4:50 to pick up a missionary to take to the Burbank airport.  He was able to help me with my hair prior to going on a bike ride.  (No, we don’t have the same schedule as the younger missionaries.)  We went to the mission office so I could drop off some notes to be sent to the departing missionaries.  Timing was good because a missionary was there needing to talk with him.  Needless to say, we were there longer than planned.  We’re now back at the house doing our own things (emails or zone conference prep for him and blogging, zone conference prep and tags for the birthday leis for me).
We have been listening to CDs recorded from when we were at the MTC in June.  It jumped out at us regarding dates and P-days.  It is important so we will try to do better.  We knew Valentine’s day would be busy with baptisms so we calendared a DATE on Wednesday.  We went to a restaurant we had not been to, the Lure.  We will definitely go back as we really enjoyed it.  We thought we would go there with the Floyds after they get here.  (For those of you reading this besides our family, the Floyds are our friends and neighbors in Cottonwood Heights that will be serving in the mission office starting in May.)  After dinner we met one of the senior couples for a movie.  Yes, we went to a movie and laughed at ourselves.  There were advertisements that were shown prior to even the trailers of other movies.  We were totally entertained.  We could have left after that. 
Dell went to the store to pick up something I needed to make dinner on Friday.  Good timing as he came home with these beautiful roses.
The Wertz surprised us with these fun valentines.  I want to share them with you all.  Sandy is so clever and creative!
Tuesday, we had two of our missionaries return to the mission after being home for just two weeks.  Jared Teeples and Mike Moser stayed with us.  The main purpose for coming back was to attend the sealing in the LA temple on Saturday for a family.  The father went through many missionaries before getting baptized and now sealed. 

Friday night the Moser family came to dinner along with Mike and Jared.
 (We have to learn their first names.) 
Sunday night Jared came back with his guitar to sing for us.  Mike drove home with his family and will be giving his homecoming talk on Sunday.  He wanted to wait until he had experienced the temple with the Falcoa family.  I would like to hear it.  He did such a fantastic job at transfer meeting when he bore his testimony. 
This week I did a lot of scanning of pictures of Christ.  President Felix has requested the missionaries study The Living Christ.  We wanted to put together a video to Kenneth Cope’s song “Miracles.” I really put my whole self into scanning.  The head worked since my right hand needed to prompt the computer.  Saturday I was able to make a “movie” with the pictures.  I really tried to have pictures appear that would go along with the words of the song.  I know I was helped from above.  I was very excited with the outcome. 
Saturday was great with going to three baptismal services which included 5 people getting baptized. The first was very special.  Elder Gardner’s father got permission to be baptized here in Ventura by his son.  He will go back to Pennsylvania for the confirmation.  The room was full with supportive members that Elder Gardner has worked with and many missionaries that are serving in this area.  While Elder and Brother Gardner were dressing the time was given to those who would like to bear testimony.  One of the missionaries arrived late due to traffic.  He told us when they walked into the room the spirit was so strong.  It was amazing!
President had some issues he had to deal with but we were able to get to a 5:30 baptism in Ventura and another in Camarillo at 7:00 where a mother and her two children were baptized.

Landon Wallace, one of the assistants, went home in December and returned with his mother for the sealing and stayed with us Saturday night.  I love being able to hug the missionaries when they come back.  It was so great visiting with them but staying up until midnight and getting up at 6:15 was not enough sleep. Those are giant strawberries dipped in chocolate from our home/visiting teachers (the Jones).  They are locally grown strawberries.  We had breakfast but had to be on the road at 8:30 to go up north to Solvang for 10:00 Sacrament meeting.  I wish you could all take the drive from Ventura up north.  I am in awe of God’s creations. 
As I walked out the front door this morning, this is what I saw.  Do you realize it is February and we get to see so many different kinds of flowers?
We are excited about zone conferences which begin tomorrow and we repeat it three more times.  I am doing a segment on Etiquette.  I hope they accept what is said and that it will help them.  We have wonderful missionaries!  The afternoon will have the focus on Christ.  We hope and PRAY all will go well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I was at the grocery store last week to buy some eggs.  I just couldn't do it.  For 18 eggs the cost was between $6 and $7. I'm wondering if something has happened in the world to cause the jump in price. We don't watch the news.  We went to Costco today and purchased these eggs for $4.99. As we were driving home Dell googled eggs in California.  The increase in price is because the law is now chickens in California have to have enough room in their living conditions to be able to spread their wings. I think it was 114 square inches. That means fewer chickens or farmers have to make bigger areas.  This is crazy.  It is already expensive here,  it's going to get worse. 
On the brighter side,  this is a huge bush that I passed walking yesterday. The flowers are large. We continue to be amazed with the vegetation here.  There are many trees that are blossoming with white blossoms.  We'll wait and see what comes next.