Saturday, February 22, 2014


"The trials and tribulation that we experience may be the very things that guide us to come unto Him and cling to our covenants so that we might return to His presence and receive all that the Father hath." Linda S. Reeves, "Claim the Blessings of Your Covenants"

       This week was transfers.  It is a busy time with the Elders and Sisters moving, sometimes changing companions, sometimes moving apartments.  It can be quite stressful!!!!  Change is stressful!  On a Mission we count not in months or weeks, but in transfers. There is a transfer every 6 weeks.   There seems to be quite a bit of sickness during the week before and after transfers.  I feel this is because of the stress that the missionaries feel.  Stress can do strange things to our bodies!  We had a Specialized Training last week on that very subject.  Stress is a part of all of our lives, these young people are learning how to handle stress and change in their lives.  Sometimes it is painful.
The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish?"  Thomas S. Monson, ""I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee""

      This is the last transfer time for Elder McOmber and myself.  We go home to Idaho in less that 6 weeks.  We are starting to feel the stress and excitement, just as our Elders and Sister do.  We are very anxious to go home to our family, friends  and ward, but we now have friends and a ward that we love down here.  Coming on a mission was hard, I cried the first month, I was so homesick, but now I am going to miss these wonderful people and our "home" down here.  Saying good bye is always so hard. 
      We had to say goodbye to a good friend a little early.  Russ and JoAnn Baker have become good friends.  Russ Baker a native of the area, died February 12, 2014.  There was a memorial service for him this Friday.  He was a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on November 4, 2013 (while we were here).  He loved going to church and handed out programs each Sunday, greeting everyone with a big smile.  He loved jokes and played them on everyone.   He loved the departure firesides with the testimonies and music. We missed him this week at the departure fireside.  JoAnn had the missionaries sing at the memorial service.  He had been a "fixture" at the bars before he joined the church.  Many of his dear "bar" friends came to the memorial service.  I hope they could feel the spirit in the talks the young men gave.  Russ set a great example of how lives can change!

Hard to say "good bye-see ya later"  to Russ Baker.
These are wonderful young men that we respect a lot!!  Elder Walker(who goes home from his mission in 1 week), Cole Carter, Kenny Williams, and Wade Toleman, all previous missionaries for California Long Beach Mission. (and all AP's)   They are giants in our eyes.  This is JoAnn Baker.  She has a heart as big as all outdoors.  She and Russ have loved all of our missionaries and taken good care of them. The 3 elders that have already gone home, flew back to speak at Russ' memorial  service.  It was so great to see them all.  They were all here at the beginning of our mission and have been a great example to us. (and teased with Elder McOmber a bunch).   They bring tears to my eyes, it has been our privilege to serve the Lord along side of them!!!
Elder McOmber does sometimes wear a suit.  With Cole Carter, Elder Bledsoe and Elder Walker.  Those two elders were suppose to go home last Tuesday, but they wanted to stay 2 extra weeks to help with training.  They are awesome!
This transfer was much different than those in the past.  We got one sister and 2 Visa Waiters.  (Different than the 30-40 that we got last spring!)  This cute sister that smiles all the time is from Mongolia.  We had 22 missionaries go home in the last 2 weeks for the end of their mission or medical reasons.  Our numbers are going down now--we have 221 missionaries now.
To take care of their stress, some of the elders write in their journals or study.  We talk about having fun on our P day, not just doing the necessary clothes washing and shopping. 
      Elder McOmber was extremely busy this week.  He has gone into work at 0630 most days and some evenings worked until 10:50 PM.  He is helping to close 10 apartments.  He transports the "stuff" and teaches the elders how to  terminally clean an apartment so to get the deposit back.  He still has some more "stuff" to take care of this week.

This is what Elder McOmber does to "unwind" on his P day.  He is working on his 1950 Chevy.  He is actually doing things to get it ready for transport back to Idaho, but he loves working with mechanical stuff.
Dave Boodry, our son-in-law was here for 2 days for his work.  He drove down to take us out to dinner--it was wonderful.  We went to Joe's Crab Shack.  We enjoyed the visiting and the food!  Thanks Dave.
 As President Joseph Fielding Smith said, "We came here to be tested and proved by coming in contact with evil as well as the good. … The Father has permitted Satan and his hosts to tempt us, but by the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord and the commandments given through revelation, we are prepared to make our choice." 
… choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:2, 15).

1 comment:

  1. Elder McOmber you look even younger than you did 22 months ago! We love hearing about everything going on in Long Beach. We love, admire, appreciate you and pray for you every day!