Monday: We went into Pittsford for our weekly meeting with the President. It is 70 miles round trip for the weekly meeting. We have reports on referrals, missionaries, missionary health, cars, apartments, and the IPads at each meeting. The meeting was good. We talked about our favorite conference talks and it was amazing how quickly the spirit came into the meeting.
Highlights from Conference (some of the things I caught)
· There are so many blessing from paying a fast offering; righteousness and closeness to the Lord, receive inspiration, and resist temptation. Can change our nature, to serve and help others.
· The Atonement is individual; accept the Atonement and our pains can be lessened.
· Fatherhood is the most important call for a man. We should rejoice in the successes of our companion. We can strengthen our marriage by praising; praying for each other, stop hurtful things, apologize for hurts and chose to be happy.
· Look at the ‘big’ picture, don’t use the keyhole view. Don’t be a ‘gifted pickle sucker’. Don’t be material and set our hearts upon riches. Don’t have a fear of the future, have faith. Align our actions and have hope, not doubt. Each day is our test, choose to believe and follow, don’t give up!
· Our families can be forever, we continue through eternity. Strengthen the family, it is God ordained.
· Faith in Christ takes away fear; Jesus is the source of enduring peace. Trust leads to hope. Look to Christ in everything, build upon the foundation of Christ, and press forward. Godly fear is a reverence, respect, awe, submitting and being accountable in loving and trusting Him. Christ compensates for all our losses!
· We need to keep our lives on the right frequency to hear the music of the gospel and not get out of tune, dance in our homes in love, kindness, meekness, patience, and keep practicing!
· A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying. No failure ever needs to be final. We are becoming who we can be, not who we used to be.
· The Temple is a sacred place of peace and sanctuary; it will help us with temptations and trials.
· Four cornerstones to religion freedom or liberty:
1. Freedom to believe
2. Freedom to share faith with others
3. Freedom to form a religious organization
4. Freedom to live our faith; safeguard for ourselves and posterity
· We must endure to the end. Rules to enduring: Don’t forget to pray, come to Christ and be perfected in Him, Press forward with faith, Read the Book of Mormon, cling to truth and don’t let trials blind us, Don’t be distracted or deceived, Stay by the TREE!
· Average is the enemy of excellence!
· We have responsibilities as members of the Church
1. Learn our duty, accept and live
2. Make a decision, choose good
3. Act accordingly
4. Accept Father’s will
President Francis asked us to go to the District meetings and do presentations on Family Search for the missionaries. We will be on the road again! We had lunch at 5 Guys and got some things at Sam’s Club and returned home.
Tuesday: Well, you know what they say about death and taxes?? We wanted to ignore our taxes, but decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea. So, we painfully wrote the checks and put them into the envelopes and then went to the Post Office. We didn’t think we would owe taxes, but surprise!! We did. It is a great blessing to live in the United States of America—so we paid our taxes! We prepared for our family search training and sent texts to all of the District Leaders, asking them when they hold their meetings and where. The missionaries have low end phones that won’t let us text in groups, so we had to text each one separately. I love my phone!
One of our neighbors has a SUV in our parking lot that had the muffler on the ground. It has been there for 5-6 days without running. When we came home from the Post Office the man (Bobby) was in the laundry room and Dennis asked about his muffler. He said he needed to get the money to get another muffler. Well, Dennis said he would help him wire it up so that he could get it somewhere to either be welded or fixed. We took Haggerty’s some jello salad and apple juice (for the gall bladder—Chris said that he had really helped him when he had an attack) and when we came home Dennis knocked on Bobby’s door to let him know that he was here to help him. When he opened his door –phew!! The marijuana was so strong and his elevator didn’t run to the top (he wasn’t at all focused). They went out and he watched as Dennis wired it up and got it drivable. However, now we aren’t sure he should be driving. We are also wondering if we have the munchies so much because we are directly over top of his apartment. LOL
We took a nice walk and had the best study session. We were reading some of the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon and I think that I finally got some of them. It was so tender and touching. He had such a comprehension of the Mission and life of the Savior. That is why Nephi loves Isaiah so much. Out of the 239 chapters in the Book of Mormon 233 mention the Savior. Wow, that’s why it is called ‘Another Testament of Jesus Christ’.
Wednesday: We made chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes and cookies for our District meeting. We picked up the 4 elders and went to Geneseo. (about 26 miles one way--I’m beginning to wonder if we are here to taxi people and feed them—I guess we know what to do if that is our purpose) It was raining hard and it created a dense fog in some places. Crazy! The meeting was good and the dinner went really well. There are 12 people that go to the meeting each week, and they really chowed today. I came home with a small bowl of soup. That was all! (we started with a large amount of soup) We unloaded the car and went with the country elders to visit a lady named Brenda. She is very open to the gospel, but I don’t know if she has a desire to do anything about it. She is raising several grandkids because 2 of her sons are in prison. She is so good to those kids. They are lucky to have her. She is very busy and weighed down with so much responsibility.
Thursday: We worked most of the morning, getting things ready to do our next training around the mission. We told one of our home teaching families we would come and help them with their home project. They are painting, repairing, etc. So we drove to Albion and Dennis helped put up ceiling tiles and I painted around windows, doors, etc. (trim). We stayed most of the afternoon and then came home, had supper and studied.
|Dennis on the bank of the Erie Canal right outside the home of the Longs|
Friday: We studied and did a batch of wash. It takes about 1.5 hours to do our wash, so that gives us time to do other things here; vacuum, dust, clean, scrub, and study. This small apartment is sure easy to keep up. The wind is blew harder than it does in Idaho. Hair is definitely crazy!! There were trees broken, fences tipped over, and shingles blown off, etc.
We went to the 2 ladies we home teach and had a great visit with them. They have gotten very friendly and it is much different than the first visit to them. The mother told of being married young with a small daughter and her husband divorced her. She married another man who was abusive and an alcoholic and she divorced him. It’s a vicious cycle!
We went to an appointment with the Elders to visit a lady with several kids still at home. The youngest is 10. She is looking for a different church as she was kicked out the Catholic Church for divorcing her abusive husband. She said she could still attend, but couldn't take communion. She said it was a bad life with him and that she was always bruised and kids had broken bones. However, he has never been punished and is welcome to have communion. Crazy world! She can’t understand the concept of a prophet. She is sure that all prophets are evil and she doesn't know how to figure out if they are good or not. I told her that by their fruits you can know; President Monson tells us to be kind, loving, treating others better than they treat us, being honest, taking responsibility for ourselves and being nurturing to our children. I asked her if those things sounded evil and she agreed that they didn’t. BUT, then asked how we could know if a prophet is evil???
We tried Cindy’s recipe for Korean Beef and had the country Elders over to eat. They loved it! It is so easy.
1 lb. ground beef, browned in 1 t. sesame oil with 3 cloves minced garlic- drain grease and add
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ c. soy sauce
½ t. fresh ginger
Crushed red pepper to desired spiciness
Simmer a few minutes to blend flavors and serve over cooked rice
6 green onions, diced to garnish on top
We then went to LeRoy with them to visit a recent convert that hasn’t been coming to church. It’s hard for people to get to church when they live so far away. The young mother we visited lives in LeRoy (part of our branch) that is about 10 miles away. She is from Puerto Rico and has 2 beautiful little girls. She is divorced and is a seamstress. She doesn't have a car, so she walks where ever she goes. She has been a member for about a year and has had a hard time coming to church. She has to depend on other members from LeRoy for a ride.
Saturday: We went to the Haggerty’s for a home teaching visit. She is feeling a little better, but will have a scope next week. They will look for an ulcer in her stomach. She thinks they will also do the gall-bladder surgery later in April. She asked us to take her to her scope. We went to visit other members of the branch, but didn't find anyone home today. We went to the address of one of the members and found that the building had been condemned, so we don’t know where he has moved. There are so many members on the list for this branch on LDS Tools that don’t live here. They said they can’t take them off unless they have another address for them. It makes it very difficult to keep track of the members living in the boundary. We have also found that some of our members are in jail or prison. We need to go visit them.
The weather is getting better here. Our apartment faces the elementary school and there is a large playing field attached to it. There was a baseball game there this morning. It looked like fun, but it was still cold when they played. We took a walk later in the day and noticed this outside one of the apartments.
|Cigarette butts outside of the sliding door|
Better out than in—as Shrek would say, right? However, he wasn't talking about smoking. Our complex area has 8 apartments in it. The hallway and open area is so saturated with smoke it is about enough to choke a person. I think all of the tenants chain smoke. We spray a lot in our apartment and try to close the doors quickly.
Sunday: We went to church and Sister Haggerty got ill and needed a Primary teacher at the last minute. We taught 1 Sunbeam and he was a smart little kid. The lesson wasn’t very long and we didn’t have any coloring things so we did little rhymes, etc. We came home and the other senior couple assigned to Batavia (they live in Palmyra and drive her on Sunday to give support to the Branch) came over and visited. During their visit Dave Demko stopped by and visited for quite a while. He is very nice and I think he will come back to church. He is thinking of going with us next Sunday. We are teaching a Book of Mormon class at the church this evening, so I am going to have to wrap this up.
Good luck to Brent on his medical procedure tomorrow! We are praying that this will help get his heart back into rhythm.
Sweet Picture: Amanda took this picture of Skyler. They were in the car and he fell asleep reading the Book of Mormon.
Can anyone tell me what this things is? We found it at Walmart--I told Elder Merril that I think it is horseradish--not sure?