Saturday, March 29, 2014


Sing we now at parting
One more strain of praise.
To our Heavenly Father
Sweetest songs we’ll raise.
For his loving kindness,
For his tender care,
Let our songs of gladness
Fill this Sabbath air.     Hymn 156        
     Yes, it is a bittersweet time.  We are preparing to go home, we are excited to see our loved ones;  friends and family,  BUT we will miss our many friends and "family" here in the California Long Beach Mission, the best mission in the world!!  This week was a whirlwind of activities for "departing missionaries." 

All Senior Couples had dinner at President and Sister Tew's home last Saturday night.  Elder and Sister Barlow and us are the ones going home.
The President was late, so Elder McOmber cooked the meat.
We are saying good bye to many good friends and families.  This is the Edgars from Los Alamitos Ward.  They have been special friends.
We had family home evening at the Reynolds home.  This is one of our guests this last week.
Tuesday we had 9 new missionaries come.  Our transfer day got messed up so they came one week earlier than the departures.  It was fun to meet all the new ones.
Wednesday all departing missionaries went to Los Angeles Temple. 
All departing missionaries and President and Sister Tew.
We all went to this hole in the wall restaurant after the Temple.  They serve El Salvadorian food. 
They are called Pupusas (a pancake filled with cheese and a variety of things.)
Sister Adams and Sister Workman, they will be taking my place.
Dr Pan my oncologist. (I know she looks VERY young).  I had my last visit with her.  She says everything is looking good.  YAAAA!
A few of our wonderful sisters were at the office Friday.  We took pictures for them and for us.
Everyone loves Elder McOmber and all the help he has given to the mission.
Our camp host's wife, Liz.  They are moving on also, they had been camp host for 4 years.  They were the first people that we met when we got here and they just happened to be LDS.  They left today.
Glen Drove Lonnie's pickup down from Idaho.  He is towing Lonnie's old truck with a bunch of other of Lonnie's "stuff" back to Utah and Idaho.
Maci and Avri came down with their dad and will be riding home with us in the motor home.  Today we took them to the beach to look for shells.   We have had fun playing games also.
Elder and Sister McOmber
     We have our departure fireside tomorrow night so there will be at least one more posting after this one.  Our mission has been the most wonderful adventure.  I love my Savior and am praying that our service to Him has been acceptable.  I love the missionaries of California Long Beach Mission, a part of my heart will stay here and our memories are sweet. 
 President McKay closed a conference with these words: “As we come to this parting hour, I hope that the teachings and life of the Master seem to you all to be more beautiful, more necessary, and more applicable to human happiness than ever before. … Accepting him as my Redeemer, Savior, and Lord, I accept his gospel as the plan of salvation, as the one perfect way to human happiness and peace." 
And I say AMEN!!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Serve as the Savior Served

"The Savior is our example of unselfish service. His perfect life was devoted to serving Heavenly Father and all of His Father’s children......One of the assurances that you are being purified is an increasing desire to serve others for the Savior".  President Henry B. Eyring

We do not have sea gulls around our Motor home park because there are hawks.


The hawks are watching for a meal.  They like these ground squirrels that are all over the Navy Base.  Sometimes we see rows of them standing by their holes sunning themselves.
Last Sunday we went to a baptism.  It was awesome and there were many of our missionaries there

Elder and Sister McOmber

Monday we were invited out to dinner with our friends.  It was a Korean Bar b que buffet where you cooked your meat in the middle of your table.  Fun experience.

Fred and Vilma.  They are Phillapino but are American citizens.  He was in the US military.  Some family paid him $2,000. to marry Vilma so she could be a US citizen.  They said the marriage  would only be for a "short time".  They have been married for 34 years.  We gave them a Book of Mormon.  Vilma has a cousin that is LDS also.   She is already serving as Jesus Served.  She would bring us meals when I felt the worse with Chemo.
Elder McOmber is training several missionaries to help with bikes so Elder Olson can supervise.
The mission got 4 new cars, I was able to drive the pretty red one home from the dealer.
I love visiting with the missionaries at the office.  They are really special people.
This is Sister Jan Adams a retired nurse that wants to help on the mission.  She is awesome and I  feel much better with her taking care of "my" missionaries.  We spent one day, orienting her and we will work together this week.  She will do fine!  She already knows many of our missionaries and they all love her.
My 86 year old friend Marvin that I wrote about last week.  He is really special.
Amber and me on my last day of radiation......
Yessssssss,  I am finished with radiation!!!!!!!!!  I have 2 more doctors appointments here, then will transfer my care to SLC VA. 
Elder McOmber's cat Buddy.  He sits out there and watches the bunnies that sit right below him.  The hummingbirds like to hover right above him and birds sit in the tree right next to him.  They know he can not get to them. 

"The Savior teaches us how we can learn to serve others. He served perfectly, and we must learn to serve as He learned—line upon line (see D&C 93:12–13). Through the service we give, we can become more like Him. We will pray with all the energy of our hearts to love our enemies as He loves them (see Matthew 5:43–44; Moroni 7:48). Then we may at last become fitted for eternal life with Him and our Heavenly Father".   President Henry B. Eyring

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Act in Faith

"As we act in faith, we often find that the blessings from the Lord are different than we expected but much better than we imagined." Neil L. Andersen, "A Spiritual Work"

This week was Sister Bradshaw's birthday.  We love celebrating birthdays at the office.  The Elders and Sisters love it as well--we always share cake and Elder McOmber's ice cream.

Elder and Sister Bradshaw-a office couple
Elder Kropf is going home 2 weeks early for school.  He is an outstanding Elder.  All our Elders and Sisters are outstanding!
Sisters at the office
The Elders and Sisters like to take Elder McOmber's hat and try it on.  Many of the Elders like "McOmber Straps".  They are the garter straps that attach your socks to your shirt.  They help keep your shirt tucked in.  We get them from the military base.  One Elder even bought some for his brother who is going on a mission.
Last Week I had pictures of Elder Olson.  This is his very charming wife, Sister Olson(on the right).  Elder and Sister Barlow are leaving the same time as we leave (April 1).  Sister Barlow is teaching Sister Olson to  be the referral secretary  A mission office is very "fluid".  Always changing. Elder and Sister Whitaker are coming back to the office to help.  They worked in the office in 2012 at the beginning of our mission.  He was called as a bishop so they had to quit.  He has since retired and is in the stake presidency, so they can help out during the daytime. 
Our home for 2 years.  Elder McOmber is getting things ready to be taken home. 

"Each time you choose to try to live more like the Savior, you will have your testimony strengthened. You will come in time to know for yourself that He is the Light of the World.” —President Henry B Eyring
I love the story in 3 Nephi 17 where Jesus has come to the Nephites.  He says he is going to  the Father and to show himself to the lost tribes of Israel.  He looked around at the multitude and saw they were sad to see him go, so he was "filled with compassion towards them" and stayed and healed the sick and had mercy on them.  I think of this every time I  get impatient and want to get on with my list of thing to do.  I need to be more Christlike and have compassion and patience.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Every Day a Great Day!

Today was a beautiful day!!!  Perfect!  After the Relief Society Women's Conference and Lonnie finished working on an old pick up, we went for a ride along the Pacific Ocean.  It was a relaxing way to spend our P day. 
This week we had the Elders come to dinner. 
Elder VanKammen and Elder Barney
We got a wonderful letter from Elder Barney.  His mother taught him well!  It was very sweet and made us feel very good. 
It is important to let people know how you feel and how they make you feel!
      There are many people that make us feel good, makes us want to help others feel good.  The saying is true: Rather than what they say, you remember more how that person makes you feel.  There are so many people in our lives that make us feel valued. 
     At the VA, going every day, I have gotten to know a few people.  Amber in Radiation is excellent and explains everything and gives helpful hints on dealing with the side effects.  Janessa in Women's Health Clinic is from Columbia, South America (20 years ago) and is a single mother.  She is an LVN and is putting her daughter through medical school.  It was so interesting talking with her.  Marvin is a very spry, 86 year old volunteer who was in WW II.  He loves to joke and makes people smile and always says "My wife asks me everyday, why I get up early and I tell her it is because I can!"  and "God Bless!" to everyone.  He is amazing. He travels the 27 miles of hallways of the VA to help other veterans.  There was a girl, Charity, that I met at the parking lot....she had the same hair style as me. She seemed nervous.  We were able to sit and talk about the side effects of chemo and radiation.   I love sharing my testimony of Christ's love with all these people and so many more!
A friendly squirrel at the VA by the parking lot.  The volunteers have him eating out of their hands.
This week, we have a new Senior couple, the Hackings from Utah.  I forgot to get a picture.  We had a luncheon which was very yummy.  Elder McOmber made his speciality homemade ice cream.  Here is crushing the bigger salt for the freezing of the ice cream.
Elder McOmber is helping Elder Olson (another Sr. Missionary in the office) with his old pick up.  Elder McOmber was in heaven taking the engine out and getting his hands dirty.
Elder Olson is another impressive person.  He is 80 years old and can not even think about retiring.  He continues to build cabinets.  He has so many projects planned--rebuilding multiple cars/trucks and building more things.  He finds it hard to accept help.   He is going to help with bicycles when we leave, and his wife works in the office, both as Service Missionaries.
from our excurtion today
a wind surfer...Catalina Island in the background, can't always see it so good.
The beach was busy.
There was a wedding party taking pictures-we had fun taking pictures also.  There were ALL kinds of people at Seal Beach. They are jumping for joy!
Elder McOmber stops and talks to everyone he comes in contact with.
     Today we had our Relief Society Women's Conference.  Bonnie D. Parkin, past General President of RS (2002-2007) spoke to us about "Stand ye in Holy Places and be not moved".  D&C 87:8  Rise to the Divinity Within You.  Sister Mariann Reynolds knows Sister Parkin and introduced me to her.  A couple of my favorite quotes from today was:
"The fabric of a family is always under repair."  And  "Don't play with snakes, they bite. Weed your garden-root out the bad-repent.  Don't go thirsty--study the scriptures, drink of the living water"   She said we need to share our stories with each other.  That is something that I hear other people's stories. 

"Too often we tend to split the Lord's work into parts that seem unrelated. Whether it is preaching the gospel to nonmembers, serving with new converts, reactivating less-active members, teaching and strengthening active members, or performing family history and temple work, the work really is indivisible. These efforts are not separate. They are all part of the work of salvation."
Russell M. Nelson, "The Work of Salvation: Parable of a Father at Bedtime"