Monday, June 29, 2015


Out with the old and in with the new.

Today we were assigned a new Toyota Avalon that had 8 miles when we drove it off the lot.
Around 50,000 miles the Church sells the missionary car.  When we started a year ago the mileage was 23450.  Today it reached 49085.  That means we put more mileage on the car than when we got it.
It's keyless which the other wasn't and it took Dell a long time to get use to because our Avalon at home was.  The one disadvantage is we haven't been able to locate a prompting (NSEW) of which direction we are going.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reflections of a Year

Today marks one year of being in Ventura.  I am wearing the same dress in this picture as when we arrived.  We may be a little heavier and my hair a little longer.  I was going to say, but we're the same.  I don't think so.  We are learning and growing.  I'm excited to see who we are in two more years.  The Lord is in the details and we feel His love and guidance.  We've definitely learned that we must trust in the Lord.
We arrived on a Friday and Saturday we went to a baptism in Thousand Oaks.  We will never forget that experience and the tender mercy that happened by meeting one of the missionaries.  Later that night her father called telling President that the grandmother had passed away.  A phone call was made to the missionary regarding the news.  We were so grateful she had met us first before receiving that phone call.  
Today, Saturday, we were able to attend two baptisms.  Unlike a year ago when we forgot our name tags, we didn't forget them today.  Two wonderful baptisms.  Daniel has been investigating for about a year.  President Moffat, 1st counselor in the mission presidency, baptized him.  There had been about 6 different sets of sister missionaries who taught him.  All but one sister was in attendance as she had returned back to Utah.  A picture of him with them all was fun to see.
Jonathan was baptized two hours later.  He's 25, a surgeon, and from China.  We met him after he had not even been in California a week when we were hiking to find a suitable hike for the zone activity.  He had already attended church and had been taught a lesson from the missionaries.  He is here for an internship and living with members.  He was so prepared.  There are no coincidences. 
 Reflections on the past year:
We have been asked what surprised us the most since being here.  Dealing with missionaries having emotional issues.  The first couple of weeks two hermanas went home.
The hardest -- sending missionaries home.
The best -- being around the missionaries.  For the most part they are amazing.  These are strong young adults with great testimonies and a desire to serve the Lord in His hastening the work.
Oh, there have been times we'd say "What were they thinking?" Realizing they are young.
I wonder if it will get easier to say good bye as they leave to return home.  Probably not, as we love them and know that we will miss each one.
If I were to live it over again, I would prefer the second 6 months rather than the first.  It's a process trying to figure it out.  
The missionaries make us feel loved.  We are so grateful for their love and respect.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hermana Lopez

We had our first invitation for dinner from a member.  President Felix went out with the missionaries a couple of weeks ago and visited Hermana Lopez.  Her son had just left for his mission.  She invited us to dinner when we could make it.  
We went tonight and enjoyed enchiladas.  Hermana Lopez told me they may be spicey.  Yes they were but I was able to put sour cream and lots of lettuce and tomatoes on them.  They were good.
Hermana Lopez likes to cook but doing dishes isn't a favorite thing to do.  To the resuce -- Elder Davidson and Elder Sorensen.
Elder Sorensen is gluten free in his diet.  Since I made the dessert I wanted him to be able to eat it.  I made a meringue pie and filled it with lemon curd and cool whip topped with raspberries.  We all liked it.  I'm going to do it again.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

LA Temple

It's been such a day!
We have enjoyed having Elder and Sister Grow stay with us during the mission tour. Not only did they do two days of zone conferences but also two different nights of training for Stake Presidencies and their wives, one for the south end of the mission and one for the north.  Also Thursday night spoke at a youth conference in Thousand Oaks.  
They were very gracious and enjoyed the three breakfasts we had.  It was wonderful kneeling with them as Elder Grow prayed before our departure. This morning we drove to LA to "hand" them off to a stake president.  Elder Grow will be officiating at that stake conference and then fly home tomorrow afternoon.  
We picked them up at LAX on Wednesday afternoon.  Again, I feel there was devine intervention as we were trying to approach the airport I made a wrong turn.  Fortunately, because we then received a call from the Grows saying they were waiting at the departing area verses arriving.  That would have been terrible if we had started going in the arriving.  
We took the opportunity to go to the temple.  It was wonderful.  We thought the two pictures below showed some of the beautiful vegetation.

We left and had a day of visiting with missionaries that had "issues."  One of the issues was taking away driving privileges to two sets of missionaries for racing their cars back from zone conference.  Really, what were they thinking?  We are so grateful that nothing happened to them and that they were not stopped by a policeman.  In California they could have been put in jail and one of the missionaries is from Canada and he could have been deported.  We had hermanas who at different times "shut down." Also, a missionary needed to visit with the president so we went to the TO stake center to meet him.  It just so happened that missionaries were getting set up for a baptism.  We were able to meet the gentleman going to be baptized but couldn't stay because of having to go to another building for a baptismal interview.  We stopped at
In 'n Out for a burger before meeting another hermana who was having trouble and then a scheduled interview with another one a half hour later.
Not the day we had planned.  The plan was to go back to Ventura and Dell would focus on reading emails.  This whole week was so full (he even did the driving because Elder Grow wanted to sit in the front) that not many emails have been read.  Not exactly the Father's day tomorrow that I want for him.        

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Popcorn ...

Popcorn popping on the apricot tree; but this wasn't an apricot tree.  We have no idea what kind of tree this is.  It is at the Ventura Stake Center.  A few months ago these were green pods.  Pretty amazing what God has created.

 On my walks I continue to come across flowers I haven't seen before.
I realized that with all of the fresh strawberries we've had, I've not made one fresh strawberry pie.  It was Elder Yager's birthday on Friday but life was too crazy and we weren't able to have him over for dinner until tonight.  I called his mom yesterday to see what dessert he would like.  She said he'd like anything and didn't give me any ideas.  She knew he would like it if I incorporated #56 somehow.  That was his football number when he took state.  I put the numbers on the candles.

Elder Kanenwisher
Earlier today we went to Terry Berries to get the strawberries.  This is what we saw by the stand.  It smelled like celery and sure enough that is what was being harvested.
Dell went over to take a picture and ended up talking to one of the workers.  Too bad the man couldn't get over the book of Revelations where it says there should not any more books be added. He wouldn't accept that that meant the book of Revelations. Dell bore testimony that Christ lives.
This month the outside of the house was painted and one accent wall in the house.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Two nights in a row we've visited with missionaries that once served here.  Last night Hermana Chelsea Eastman, her sister, and parents dropped by.  I forgot to take a picture.  She looks the same (she's only been gone 4 months) darling as ever.  It was funny one of her first comments was I'm in pants.
Elder Soubie went home on Wednesday and is back with his family for a little vacation.
  He still didn't talk much though.  The family was delightful to talk with.