Monday, June 5, 2017

Letter #60

Holidays only exist for missionaries on the morning when you realize you can’t email somewhere because it is a holiday. Monday we received some panicked calls from missionaries in the zone that needed a place to email. I didn’t mind except they can have an hour and a half to email so when you have several companionships come it takes a LONG time! That is how we celebrated Memorial Day.

Tuesday was District meeting. We no longer have zone training meetings so every Tuesday is District meeting now. I love Tuesdays. We are starting to get to know the new missionaries in the Zone. That is always fun.

Wednesday we went to the Mission Office to help. Elder and Sister Douglas went to Fallon to a Zone Conference. Sister Douglas was ready for us this time. We have 22 new missionaries coming in August and she is already getting ready for them. We collated, stapled and filed. I did arts and crafts by cutting and pasting their information for the Rolodex. It was fun to have something to fill the time, it went by much faster. We still didn’t receive too many phone calls. That is good because we don’t know how to answer their questions anyway. We are warned every time what to do when the transient people come in, what the right protocol is. When a young man walked in in the afternoon and we quickly jumped up to see how we could help him he looked so confused and told us he was the janitor and needed to do the cleaning. I think we scared him. No one warned us that he was coming. It was a better experience this time and it was fun to do something different.

Thursday we did a different Mobile Harvest. These darn companies are getting too many people to volunteer. Smith’s grocery store comes to the Pantry that we like to do on the first Thursday of the month. They had every slot filled so we went to the later Pantry. They don’t have many volunteers at this one. It is the busiest pantry we have ever gone to. You never have a slow time for 1 ½ hours. We finished off two pallets of food. It was fun to see some of the “old timers” there. There is one man that loves being there when the young missionaries come. He loves to tell stories about them. He told us about a day when it was so windy. Then he said, “But if one of those missionaries blow away it’s not a big deal, I know they’ll just replace them for the next time!” He has worked with several of the young missionaries and doesn’t like that they get transferred. He told us how much he admires them and the good stuff they are doing. He also told Elder Hardman that there are two sections of Reno, the downtown area and everywhere else. He said the problem with that is 89% of the people that come to Reno only visit the downtown, so they think that’s what Reno is all about. He is sort of right. Then he talked about how awful 4 th Street is and how no one should ever go there. Elder Hardman told him we spend the majority of our time on 4 th Street. He got quiet, not sure what he was thinking about that!

We suffered two great losses this week. Our lady that lived in the hospital that we would visit was moved to a rehab facility in Idaho. Pam left on a trip to New Orleans and when she gets back her house will have someone else in it. She still doesn’t know where she is going to live but her house is cleaned out, the kitties are in a kennel and what little she kept is in storage. We went to tell her good-bye. I will miss her. She is a little different but fun. She told us she will keep in touch. She told us that except for her aunt and uncle she has never seen a good marriage, she now added us to her list. She thanked us for helping her think about what she believes in. I hope she finds some time in her life to investigate the gospel and let it have a place in her heart.

We were asked to check on a lady (4 th Street) by a member of the Bishopric. We were given the wrong address but we found her (and her boyfriend). When we knocked on the door they let us in and they both started to cry. The lady (Dawn) said she had been praying for help. The boyfriend asked us if we could take him to Walmart to pick up a prescription. He had fallen off his bike and hurt his leg but he was going to walk to Walmart (probably about 4 miles) on crutches. We took him and waited for him. I realized how vulnerable these people are. They don’t know us, but they have to trust us to help. This is another person with a very sad story. We have met so many of them!

Tondalaya, the lady we thought was dead in her apartment a few weeks ago, called and asked if we would pick her up for church this week. She had gone to California to visit her son and her boyfriend in prison. She didn’t have her blue dreadlocks this week but her hair is still blue. She is a lovely lady. They did a cute invitation to the High Priests Social in Relief Society and she asked if she could go to that! It is pretty fun to have someone that is excited to come and keeps her commitments.

Other than that we had a missionary that had surgery to check on. He had surgery when the mission “nurse” and the Mission President were in Elko for conferences. They were nervous about this so we promised we would go look at him. He is doing well and tolerated us looking at him. These missionaries are “counted”, if one blew away in the wind it would definitely be noticed and the troops would be summoned to find them. They are well-loved and cared for.

We took a drive around Buck’s Lake (California). It was so beautiful. I haven’t seen so many dogwood trees in bloom since my youth in Mississippi. The region holds their girl’s camps here. We didn’t find the Church’s site but it was a wonderful day of sight-seeing.

Guess what we get to do this week!? Yep, it’s another meal week.

The Gospel’s true and we love you!

Elder and Sister Hardman

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