Monday, April 8, 2013

Conference Weekend!

We always hear from Josh on Mondays.  He told us that in a week where they should have had many fewer appointments than normal, because it was Semana Santa (Easter week), he had 20 lessons during the week with members, the most he has had his whole mission.  Wow!  We were thrilled to hear that!
Here are two pictures that he sent home this week.  One is a picture of a lady that he and his old companion found a few months ago.  The other Elders taught her, and now she is getting baptized.  Isn't she beautiful?

And here he is all ready in the morning, except for his shirt, which is still being washed.  :)
This picture really makes me miss him, for some odd reason.  Just like I could walk up and put my arm around him and talk to him, just sitting there like that.

Well, it's Springtime, and with spring time comes farm work.  We went out on Monday night and our family home evening activity was to lay pipe out at Bruce's Dad's farm.  I was going to say parents, but as of Feb, 5th, his Mother is no longer on this side of the veil, so technically, it's Dad's farm now.  This is still a little bit of a shock, every time we think of it.  Bruce and I, Jesse, Mary, Peter, Libby, and Libby's friend Macy went with us.  We put out the pipe on the house zone, around the lower edge of the lower field, on the upper field, and a few pipes at the top of the lower field.  It took about 4 hours to do it.  Afterwards, we went to Arctic Circle and grabbed a bite to eat.  These guys were great farm workers!

On Tuesday, we got a great letter from Joseph.  He said this,
"Being a missionary is amazing. Every day the Lord puts people in our path that are in need to talk to us, and it amazes me every single time. For instance, somehow we always seem to run into people who just had something traumatic happen, or are in need of comfort, or were looking for someone to talk to, to help them have more good in their life. Totally awesome, and I'm getting a stronger and stronger testimony that the Lord really does prepare people. I love this area, and I love the people. Mom, you're right, our experience in the Spanish Branch really prepared me for what it is here, and it's helping me to realize what needs to be done, and how it needs to be done.

It's been an amazing experience helping, serving and blessing people one at a time. I've met some of the most troubled people I've ever met, and so I've come to understand the Atonement and Christ's sacrifice in a way that I've never been able to do before. I've also come to feel His love for each and every person as an individual. We've had lots of experiences just testifying of God's love for people, giving blessings, comforting and blessing people. I love it!"

On Thursday night I had the privilege of going out with the Spanish speaking missionaries in our area.  The appointment fell through, so I said, "I know some people we can go visit!"  Just that day, I had facebooked my friend Cindy and told her I wanted to go visit her and her baby.  She responded almost immediately, and gave me her apartment number.  Cindy is one of the converts that the missionaries baptized when we were serving in the Spanish Branch.  She and her sister came to live with us for about two months in 2007.  When we left the Spanish branch, they were without transportation and support, so eventually they stopped going to Church.  Both Joshua and Joseph, within a week of each other, wrote to me and said, "Mom - you've got to get in touch with Cindy and her family".  In fact, I had already had that impression months earlier, and her name had been on my "to-do" list for awhile.  So when this opportunity sprang up, I had no doubt about what I could do with the missionaries.  We went down to their house, and they were home eating dinner.  They welcomed us in, and the missionaries were able to teach a short lesson about the basics of scriptures, prayer and church attendance.  Cindy was completely ready for it.  It was WONDERFUL for me to see her and her baby, Amor, who is 3 months old.  When I left, I started to cry, and said to myself, "I forgot how happy this makes me!"  I love bearing testimony and witnessing of the truths of the gospel en español!  I called her again on Saturday to make sure she know about Conference.  She was excited to watch it!

Early Friday morning Bruce left to go on a business trip to Tel Aviv.  He is always deeply missed when he goes!

On Friday afternoon, Peter had his first soccer game!  He played great in the midfield, and also was keeper for about 1/3 of the game.  They won 5-4!  This is a new league they are playing in, and it went well their first game.  Peter is across the field in orange cleats.
 After the game, we had to pick up one of our horses from our friends' pasture.  I was more than a little worried about how we were going to make that happen without Bruce.  Just when I was feeling pretty desperate, Scott, one of our friends that also has Blazer horses like we do, came by to pick up a binder that his son had left at our house.  I explained our situation, and he offered to come by and help us pick up Stormy.  Oh my word, I was so grateful for his offer.  We took a bucket of hay with us, and as the horses gathered around to eat, Peter managed to slip in right by Stormy and get a halter on him before he knew what was happening.  After that we got him home with no problem.  I was SO grateful!  I knew it was a tender mercy from the Lord, and I felt his kindness and love wrapped around us.

Earlier in the day, Mary traveled down to Conference with our friends David and Elysia and their family.  On Saturday after the first session of conference, I got a text from Mary saying that she was with the Elders that live with Joseph!  I called her and she said, "Mom - we're on our way to see him!"  Oh my word!  I couldn't believe it!  Mary said it was so great to see him.
And then, lo and behold, I get this picture from my nephew, Devyn!
This was the same Food Court where Mary saw him, too.  Devyn said that he was standing in line at the Food Court, and someone tapped on his shoulder.  He turned around, and there was Joseph!  I just love these pictures.  While I was talking to Devyn on the phone about seeing Joseph, he said, "Oh, there he is, just going up the stairs.  I'm waving to him right now."  Oh, man, that just weirded me out!!  "You're seeing him right now?", I yelled into the phone.  ha ha   On top of that, our friend Jaylen got to see Joseph at the Priesthood session.  AND, if that's not enough, I got to see him in this clip on KSL News TV, singing in the choir at the MTC.  He's on minute 1:03 to 1:06.
 I don't know how long it will work, but there's the link.

Between all that commotion with Joseph and listening to inspiring and wonderful conference talks, my heart was full of joy on Saturday afternoon.  Peter went to the Priesthood Session with our neighbor Norm and his boys.  I was so grateful they were able to take him.  We got "the report" from them afterwards.

The Sunday sessions were just as good.  In the afternoon session, I always feel a little lonely, feeling like, "Is it over already?"  And this time I also felt that something was "incomplete", and then I figured out that it was because Bruce was gone, and I missed him.  :)

On, they had the video and audio recordings of the talks up in record time.  I have already watched or listened to six talks!  I LOVE these talks.  I love to ponder them and think about them and soak them in.  I love to integrate them into my teaching and my conduct and behavior.  I love to meld them into my goals and expectations.  They are life-changing.  They are truly a feast for the soul!

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