Saturday, January 23, 2010

24th Post Mon. Jan. 18 - Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010

What a difference a week makes. Last week it was cool and this week it has been in the 70's & 80's. We had Monday off as it was MLK day. We met the other senior missionaries up at the mission office and we all road out to Brenham, which is about 1 1/2 hours northwest of us. Brenham is the home of Blue Bell ice cream. Texans say it is the best ice cream and I have to say it is very good. The factory tour was very good, we got to see a lot of the operation, even ice cream sandwich making. They give you a cup of their ice cream (your choice of flavor) at the end of the tour. It was very interesting and I have to say a whole lot better than the Ben and Jerry's factory tour. The drive there and back was interesting as we were out in the country side most of the time. We also stopped at Washington which is where Texas first declared independence from Mexico. It was fun to be with the other missionaries and to visit as we travel (not unlike our 15 passenger van trips). When we got back to the mission office to get our car we decided to drive over to where the office missionaries live. We maybe should not have done that. Their apartments are not "missionary apartments" like ours is - for sure! But we have all that we need.

Tuesday we went into the Bering office at 8 AM as Alex was at the Broadway building training a new church service missionary. We spent the day calling and emailing those who have registered on line on the new employment website. We also made a new list for next weeks career workshop and invited those folks.

Wednesday we were back to the Bering office. We called one of our engineer candidates and he has found a full time job so we were both very happy about that. A fellow came in today that has been on the list even before we got here. He has a learning issue of some type, but is taking a class or two at the community college and working at a fast food place. I think he just wanted to talk to someone, so we talked for over an hour. He rode the bus and then walked to the church in the rain to see us. He was not what we expected from talking to him on the phone. I enjoyed my time with him - a very pleasant soul. We drove up to the temple this evening. The traffic was not bad at all. We enjoyed the drive and the session. It is a blessing to have a temple this close to us. Melissa called and told us Susan Taber died this morning. What a great soul she was. We will miss seeing and visiting with her. We always enjoyed her talks in sacrament meeting, her messages were always good. The thought came to us tonight that Michael, Christine, Jessica and David were priviledged to be involved in the Christmas orchestra that Susan did for years. It was a Newark Ward tradition. She will be missed.

Thursday and we were at the Broadway building. Alex was suppose to come and continue training the new church service missionary today, but he called and could not make it. He asked me to help Sister Rios with a few things. We went over the new web site and how to help people register and other follow up details. Sister Rios only can work mornings, but she will really be a great help to us. We had a young lady come in this afternoon. The missionaries are teaching her uncle and they told her about the church employment center. She is originally from Columbia, but has been in this country for most of her life. Her English is very good and she has good computer skills. We spent some time showing her the church employment website and getting her registered. Hopefully she will come back. She is a very nice person - seemed very young to have two children.

For Christmas Steven gave me some cash ($5 bills) that we just keep in the car. We see so many poor people with signs and cups asking for money at intersections and I always say "I wish we had some cash" so that is what I got for Christmas - cash for the poor. Well, this morning (Friday) on our way to Bering at an intersection there was an older black man needing help so when Steven put his window down and we handed him the money he was so appreciative. We were in missionary clothes so he asked Steven if he was a preacher and he answered that we were missionaries. He said "may God bless you and please pray for me" the light turned green and we started to leave and again he asked "please pray for me, my name is Tony". There are so many good people who are struggling - we pray for all the "Tonys" in the world.
We had a young sister and her husband come into the Bering building today. She is originally from Sri Lanka. She has been a member her whole life, attended BYU-H and Provo. She graduated in computer science, but has had a hard time finding work. We spent a lot of time going over her resume and suggesting how it could be improved (a lot). Also talked about interview skills, net working and on line job searching. I suggested she attend the career workshop, but she said she did not need another class, she needed a job. Well, that took another while to explain how the class would help, I mean how successful have you been to this point! Anyway it was a good day to be a missionary. This afternoon I went back to the skinner (dermatologist) to have some more hide removed. All went well and I am really thankful for the care and treatment I am receiving. The spots he removed last time were all fine except one that was a minor question. I go back next month for another round.

Saturday morning we wrote letters to grandkids, activity day girls and a youth SS class back home. We were invited over to the senior sisters apartment here in Colony Oaks, for lunch and get together with the senior couples from the Houston South Mission. We had a good time with them. So many stories of faith on how they got on their missions. It really makes us thankful to be serving at this time.
We attended the Westlake Ward this morning. It is about 20 miles west and north of us. It is a smaller church building but the ward about fills the place up with seating into the culture hall. Very friendly ward, they really made us feel at home. They introduced us in sacrament meeting and gave me a few minutes in priesthood meeting to tell about our mission and what we are doing. The ward employment specialist was at our last training meeting at Hafer Road office. He seems to be on the ball and has had conversations with the two people on our list from his ward. We also met Chris Atkin (Elder Atkin) who was a missionary in the Newark ward back in President Fillmore's day. He also was the one who taught Devorn Harris. It was fun to catch up with him and his family (wife and one son). The Sunday School and priesthood lesson were very good and we enjoyed sacrament meeting. Seems like a really nice ward. The weather is in the high 60's with no humidity so it is really nice today.

We continue to be very blessed to be missionaries at this time. We enjoy our mission very much and feel we are guided and blessed every day.
We love you and thanks for your prayers!
Love Dad & Mom

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