Saturday, December 31, 2016

White Christmas

I realized today that I didn't post about our white Christmas.  It started off with a bike ride last Saturday and this was the sunrise.  Amazing!  
Our white Christmas refers to driving to Santa Barbara and attending a baptism.  The meeting was in Spanish but while waiting for them to get dressed it was opened up to testimony bearing.  One sister bore hers in English which blew me away since she was Hispanic.  I think it was just for me.  

We drove back through Ojai so we could drop a thank you off to President Ashton who helped us with the writing on the water bottles we gave to the missionaries.  He had a name tag made for each bottle as well.  This is the scenery we saw and yes that is snow on top of those mountains.  Very far away but we saw snow for Christmas.
We were loving Christmas eve and the wonderful feeling.  We face timed with the Hales.  We had clam chowder in bread bowls along with shrimp and crangrape.  We didn't do as much with the traditional Christmas eve dinner but enjoyed what we had.  
Six missionaries came by caroling.  I made cinnamon cake roll just in case we had visitors and they stayed for that and hot apple cider.
Just before the carolers came the Assistants showed up and I could tell something was wrong.  They proceeded to tell President about two missionaries that had not made good choices.  The missionaries came so we then enjoyed them.  Our neighbors had told them Santa Claus was scheduled to fly over in a helicopter in two minutes.  They all stayed out to see him but I hurried to get the cider warmed up.  Sure enough I heard the helicopter and the others saw it all lit up.
After everyone left President called the two missionaries but no answer.  We decided to drive to their apartment.  Just before gettinig there they returned his call.  Business was taken care of and we got back home after 10:00.  
Dell woke up early thinking about the missionary situation.  He felt there was more to the story so he asked the two missionaries to come to the mission home after 4:00.
Christmas morning we were able to see Travis' family before going to our Sacrament meeting.  It was a very nice service with a lot of music.  
We enjoyed seeing the rest of the family.
We deviated from the usual Christmas dinner of ham and potatoes and had stuffed lobster.  It was yummy.
Dell met with the missionaries.  We call our sister training leaders every Sunday night and did that.
We commented that next year we will look back on this different Christmas.

Today, December 31, I experienced my first fall from the bike.  We were just in front of the driveway after climbing the hill and I was changing gears so the bike would be ready to take off with a new ride.  The first gear went well but I must have not been moving fast enough and the chain came off.  I stopped but my legs were spent and as I was trying to get off of the bike, I fell on my knee (don't worry, it's only a flesh wound) but I saved the phone. I use my phone to document the rides and time.  
This morning we were able to go to another baptism.  It was in Santa Paula.  He was a media referral.  They had gone to temple square in the Fall and enjoyed it.  The next day he was walking along the Jordan Parkway and loved the fall colors (we don't get that so much in California).  He sat on a bench and began to cry.  He had felt the Spirit and told his wife he needed to get a Book of Mormon.  That's how it all started.  The sister missionaries in Salt Lake kept in touch with him.  Our elders showed up at his door promptly after the referral.  His wife and grown kids were all there to support him.  I'm sure the ward will embrace him as well as her.

We're off to dinner at Cafe Nouveau with the Joneses.

Friday, December 23, 2016


Monday, December 19 Todd from Varsity arranged for the assistants to help take the furniture out.  New couches and coffee table were delivered on Tuesday while we were up north doing zone conference.  We had no idea what was ordered.

We still need lamps and the green chairs will be replaced.

Catch up

December 14 - The Astons stayed with us Tuesday night so we could go golfing on Wednesday.  It was a much needed break and we had a great time.  We played best ball and got an 83 (woohoo!)

We rode by the beach and saw this nativity.  Pretty awesome!
I went hiking at Arroyo Verde.  It surprised me to see this cow. 
On our bike ride yesterday morning we drove to the mission office and then rode from there.  This was the day after our last zone conference.  We loved this sign.
We've wondered what was growing across from the mission office; we got a close look and found out it was brussel sprouts.

An area where the brussel sprouts have been harvested.
Strawberry sign
Pumpkin sign
Christmas tree sign

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Elder Weiss and his parents gave me a necklace and Dell a paper weight made out of high end motor components.  The Weisses manufacture components for race cars.  Sister Weiss made the necklace I'm wearing.  The center is a rotor which is used in an oil pump.  Through the years PRC oil pumps have played a role in 5 Nascar Cup Championships.  I loved the gospel analogies.  Rotors only work together as pairs -- companionships, marriage relationships.  Rotors are manufactured to exact specifications -- Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness, that I may be strict in the plain road.  Rotors must be within tolerances or they are rejected.  Adjustments are made at the machine if tolerances are not being held -- repent and turn ye unto the Lord.  Rotors will not function properly if exposed to dirt and debris.  Filters are used to protect them -- Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.  Rotors must have a coating of oil to protect them -- Put on the whole armour of God.  Sets of rotors, working together in pairs help circulate oil, which is the lifeblood of an engine -- Sets of missionaries working together in districts and zones "circulate"gospel principles, the lifeblood of the Church.  "Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church and the lifesaving blessing to all who accept its message." Ronald A. Rasband
The paper weight is a merged collector which is an integral component of a performance exhaust system.  One of the primary functions is to safely carry exhaust gases away from the engine.  These types of systems are used in all serious forms of power sports.  The pen holder is made from PRC 4 into 1 collector stock commonly used for LeMans series sport cars.  Gospel applications:  We do not generate priesthood power, but by merging our humility, faith, hope, and charity we can use it efficiently to move the work forward.  Merging our faith and prayers with others increases our ability to draw upon the powers of heaven.  Merging the attributes of Christ into lives gives us increased power to move our lives forward.


President Moberly invited us to the Simi Valley sponsered Creche last weekend.  We attended it two years ago when Brooke came to visit.  It is a big event!  Each year when they call someone to be in charge of it they are told to simplify but be elegant.  It was wonderful!

Entering into the church.
This was the display in the foyer.
So neat that there was a live nativity.
These views are looking two different directions.

Videos were played continuously, such as Light the World.
After leaving we drove past this house.  All of the pictures are of the one house.

Saturday, December 3, 2016