Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lonnie is a Hero

We love watching the birds near our "home".
On our way home from the office one day this week, we saw flames between two houses.  The flames were as tall as the houses.  Lonnie jumped out of our car, jumped the 6' fence, someone threw him a water hose and he put out the fire.  The fire trucks got there just as he had it out.  The man in the house had no idea what all the comotion was all about.  He had had someone varnish his fence and they had put all their rags/compustables in the garbage can and they had caught on fire.  There was little damage to either house, but the garbage can was a puddle of plastic. 
We are starting to get the lay out of the city/mission.  We have visited many apartments, with many left to go.  We go during the Elder's and Sister's lunch so we try to get 3-5 in each day (of the 67 we have to visit).  We are finding streets don't always connect and the names of streets sometimes changes 3 times along it's route. 
We had two elders that needed surgery and were allowed to stay on their mission for them(of course in different hospitals across town, on the same day).  We went to see both Elders and was impressed with the physicians, hospitals and staff.  Makes me a little homesick for my EIRMC family.  I was very impressed with the Elders also.  There was a TV in the waiting room, but the elder would not even look at it.  I gave him my scriptures to read .  I wish I was that obedient!
Yesterday was our "P" day.  I still get calls all day, but we were able to go to a swap meet that was huge!!!  We walked for 2 hours and still did not see it all.  We got some fresh fruits and vegetables that were very nice.

Some of the wet lands near our "home"  That is a military ship in the ocean.
You can see one of the white heron  standing in the swam.
Sunset at Seal Beach
We cleaned, did laundry, etc in the middle of the day.  At night we went for a drive along the ocean.  I wanted to see the Queen Mary.  We saw it, but did not go into it--it was too late.  We walked along a park by the ocean, I was planning on watching the sun set over the ocean, but I forgot the ocean is south of us here in Long Beach.  It still was pretty.

The Queen Mary                               Looking at Long Beach across the Bay

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Worldwide Leadership Training MeetingWhat a way to start our mission!!  The first person we met when we got to the campground, was the host.  Lonnie was having problems with the water hookup.  (Which broke and spewwed everywhere--we had to move to a different site.)  The host and his wife came over to help.  His wife said she was LDS, but her husband was not.  She told us about a stake conference in our mission area where Elder Holland was speaking to call a new stake presidency.  Our Mission President gave us permission to go to this both Saturday and Sunday.  It was wonderful; to be in the presence of one of the 12 apostles and hear him speak!!!  On Saturday he spoke about our "troubled times",  He said that we need to remember when tough days come, and they surely will,  1.  God loves broken things, there are so many of them and God knows he can fix them.  Broken clouds=rain, broken ground=wheat, broken wheat=bread, it is all for our good.  His wife says "Faith isn't faith until there isn't anything else to hang onto."  The thing God loves most in us is a broken heart and contrite spirit.  He said that Christ died of a broken heart.  We have to go where Chirst went , which means we will suffer.  We signed on for the whole tour of duty.  Trust in God and walk with Christ.  Then 2.  Don't ever say that "God must hate me" when dark nights come.  (or that the "church is not true").  When you are struggling, God is closer at those times.  In the middle of the storm "stay in the boat".  The storm will pass, and we can never make it alone.  "I believe in Christ so come what may....."   Don't be so fearful, have more faith.  Christ is the only answer. 
On Sunday, Lonnie talked to Elder Bassett, Elder Holland's companion and told him that one of the reasons we are on our mission now is because of Elder Holland's talk in Oct. 2011 Priesthood.  Elder Bassett told us to wait and tell Elder Holland himself.  As he was walking into the chapel, he shook our hands and talked breifly to us.  He was very tender and you could feel the spirit!  It was a very special experience for us.  He talked on Sunday about 1.The gospel of Jesus Christ is evidence based,.  2.  When you join this church you get alot more than you bargained for.  3.  Nothing can stop Christ's work.  Then Elder Holland gave everyone present and anyone associated with anyone present an apostlic blessing, "as if his hands were on our heads".  So each of you received a blessing by proxy....through us!  God Bless Each of you!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our campgound is helping me to keep sane!  There are 2.25 MILLION people in our mission.  It is "quite" crowded!!   We are able to live on Seal Beach Navy Base at a campground right next to a national wetlands.  When the tide is high, we have pools of water with heron, and a bunch of other wetland birds out our front window.  We have rabbits and ground squirrels running through our campground.  It is fun to watch them chase each other.  We have a laundrymat, carwash and "fun fitness center" within walking distance as well as nature trails.  It is a piece of country in the middle of the city.  We are only about a mile from the ocean. 

Our first week is complete and I am feeling even more inadaquate.  I am starting to know the names of some of our Elders and Sisters. We only have 151 (one Visa Waiter) of them, with 67 apartments.   I am on call 24/7, but there are more busy times, usually around 1030AM and 9:30 PM.  We work with 2 wonderful couples in the office, the Warburton's from Utah and the Whitaker's from here in Long Beach.  Lonnie and I will be visiting the Elder's and Sister's apartments to make sure they are healthy(clean, no science experiments in the fridge, no roaches, adaquate carpets, etc)  We are going to talk to the Elders and Sisters about good health as we visit and answer any mediacal questions.  I have alot to learn about the medical system and medical providers here.  They say that using your mind helps prevents alzheimers--I hope this works, but I sure am using my mind alot, learning alot.  We are only 15 minutes from the office, but we take a different way home each day, trying to learn the lay out of the city. 
     Today, Lonnie and I went to Newport Beach Temple:  very beautiful!
     Elder McOmber and I left Rigby, Idaho in the rain, just about how I felt, sort of dreary and sad, but a new adventure and we were doing what we were suppose to do--serve the Lord!   Alot of excitement and apprehension in the air.  I prayed that I had everything we needed, but it is not a good trip unless you forget something.  We also prayed that we could do all that we were called to do-be a medical specialist to the missionaries in the California, Long Beach Mission and Elder McOmber is to be a jack of all trades and help as needed.
     Our start at the MTC was shaky to say the least.  I developed a very bad cold/sinus problem/virus.  I don't remember the first 3 days and spent 24 hours in bed one day--nothing but time seemed to help.   Lonnie got the same bug as we were driving to CA, but we both are starting to get better now--3 weeks later.