I guess the news is out but we have a release date! It is September 28 th . It is a little bit early. They decided that they didn’t want to pay October’s rent when we would only be here a few days. They also want to have Friday to move furniture from the apartment so we will be leaving on Thursday. It took a while to process this information. It didn’t seem real for a few days and leaves you feeling weird. We haven’t actually heard it from the Mission President, the Office Elder over apartments called us with the news. I guess that felt a little strange too but whatever…. We will be home to watch General Conference in our own home. We hadn’t planned on that!
I always ask Elder Hardman, “What did we do this week?” I was surprised with his answer. We didn’t have a lot of planned activities at the first of the week but we ended up doing many things.
Monday- We went and played at the Institute with the missionaries. I learned last year that if I get the UNO cards out we will have a group migrate towards that activity that don’t want to do the other games. It was true again but we have a new Elder, Elder Clark who made playing UNO the coveted activity. He was hilarious! He would congratulate everyone on whatever they did. I said, “You must have been on a lot of teams at home!” He said, “Yep, a lot of losing teams!” I guess high fives and cheers are very important if you’ve been on a lot of losing teams. Elder Hardman and I quickly gave up our seats for the missionaries that wanted to join the game. It was fun seeing them having a great time.
Tuesday- Best day of the week!! District meetings are always up-lifting. They focused on role playing and we always get to be the “Investigators” or the “Member Present”. Elder Hardman can be mean with his questions but he had the little Sister from Guatemala confused when he said that they couldn’t have had steel in the Americas so the Book of Mormon can’t be true. She started to talk about how after the fall, bad things were brought to the Earth and people would make the wrong choices….. I realized she thought he meant STEAL. Her sweet companion (who is a brand new missionary) had it figured out and sweetly summarized how the truths in the Book of Mormon can be clear when you pray and ask Heavenly Father for the answers. I was so impressed. Sister Escobar bore her testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. Whether the word is “steel” or “steal”, a heart felt testimony always wins!
We have an advantage right now that one of the A.P.s was in our zone so they will invite us to come to lessons. We tell every missionary, no matter the zone that we can come and teach with them. It is a woman that is seeking answers and she is humble and teachable but has very little religious experience in her background. I think of the Primary song, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”. Imagine your life without knowing the sweet stories of Jesus. You know you have an experienced missionary when they know how to break down the lessons to a very simple form. We also were able to go that night with our Keystone Elders to a lesson. Rocio has been taking the lessons for over a year. First she needed to get married and now she needs to come to church so she can be baptized. She works on Sundays but she was at church today. It seems she probably has lost her job so she is planning on being baptized on August 26 th . We have mixed feelings about this!
Wednesday- We made bread and had a “check-in” day. Kathy wanted us to have some keys made for her so we picked up her key, made copies and took her a loaf of bread. We visited Tondalaya. Her tooth is still bad and she is depressed because she can’t find someone to take care of it. We took her a loaf and she had a blessing. We have an older couple in the Ward, the Sister has Parkinson’s. We haven’t seen them for a while. We took them a loaf. The last loaf went to a brother of our neighbors in Draper. They have asked us to go see his family. We had a nice visit but his wife wasn’t home. We hope to be invited back to meet her.
Thursday- We had our morning Food Bank assignment. We are starting to realize that we will really miss our friends from the Mobile Harvests. There is a “core” group and we feel a part of that. We have a good time with these wonderful volunteers. We have a new lady that just retired and this is what she has decided to do in her spare time. She did ask me if I knew what time “Happy Hour” starts, she is planning her retirement party. I wanted to point to my name tag but instead I told her I didn’t know. We are a fun bunch of retirees! We then drove to Carson City to train some new Zone Leaders in JustServe.Sister Wilson keeps sending us emails, reminding us how many weeks we have left. There still isn’t a replacement and she doesn’t want all of the hard work to get “lost”. We don’t need to keep track, Sister Wilson is counting down for us! We love trainings where the Zone Leaders take notes and have ideas. This was one of those trainings. We let them pick the place to have lunch. Missionaries always know where they want to go eat!
Friday- We have learned that if we have a “free” day we can always go to the Food Bank Warehouse so we went for a shift. It was the first time they didn’t give us flowers! Bummer! On the way home on the freeway our car flashed “service transmission” and lost power, scary! The frustrating thing about this is that we had just taken it in 10 days ago for the same thing and they did a computer patch that was supposed to fix it. We drove to the Mission Office where they let us borrow a car, again, and dropped off the Jeep at the dealership. I guess we will be getting a new transmission this time but it could take up to 2 weeks. All very annoying but we are grateful that we made it safely to the dealership.
Saturday- We cleaned the church, I mean that literally. There was us and the bishopric member over the church cleaning. We had help from a Brother from another ward and another member showed up late but he did the bathrooms so that was all right. We knocked doors. We had an address that didn’t exist but we tried a different one from the Search Engine and met a really nice man. This family moved from Utah three years ago, they have been “lost”. He has a cool classic truck that he has fixed up and painted beautifully. His son served a mission and has had a great influence on his Dad. We invited him to come to church. He was considering it. We’re praying that the Spirit will continue to work on him. These experiences are a miracle, everything just comes together at the right time. It feels pretty good! We went to dinner with the Hardings that night. Doug (the non-member) has had some heart issues. They hadn’t been having the lessons and things weren’t progressing for a while but they have started again and said they would go to church today. They have bought a home in Sparks and are moving in September. We are going to be helping them move boxes this week. So that was our week! And I thought we hadn’t done anything!
The Gospel’s true and we love you!
Elder and Sister Hardman