Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 31, 2016

We had another great week.  We began our week by having our weekly office meeting.  It was very good.  We finished the day and had a meal that night at the Spencer’s.  We invited the missionaries over and they ate and then gave us the discussion on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was a nice evening.  Each missionary can present this lesson a little differently because of the Preach My Gospel and it is good to hear how they present it.  Each is unique, but still gives the same information. 
Sister Merrill, Elder Sevy, Elder Anderson, the Spencer's
We went to a Missionary Leadership meeting on Thursday evening at the Westfall building.  Our new Stake President is really into missionary work (thank heavens!).  He has a great vision of how new converts can be retained.  (it is so sad that we don’t retain enough of our new converts here)  His vision is that the members should be doing the finding.  They all have friends and have lived here long enough that they have family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. that they can approach and have to their homes in order to meet the full-time missionaries and hear the gospel.  When they have friends already, it is easier to feel part of the ward or branch.  They are going to do this with their ward councils and home teaching programs.  I think it sounds wonderful! 
We went to the Temple on Friday night and enjoyed the session.  There were 7 men and 12 women.  It will difficult to go home to over-full Temple sessions—but great!  I would love to see the Palmyra Temple filled for every session, but winter has its draw backs.  However, it was 59 degrees today (Sunday) and all the snow has all but melted.  This Temple is busy in the summer with all the tourists that come to the sacred sites.
Saturday was really fun.  We went over to Batavia to a baptism for a young man in our branch.  That was nice.  Afterward we met 8 other couple missionaries at a restaurant in Batavia and ate and visited.  Two of the couples will be leaving for home soon.  The Jones’s will leave on Monday for Fountain Green, Utah.  They will really be missed.  They have been here 23 months working with the Bath Branch.  The other couple will be going to Georgia.  They have worked in Facilities Management.  We went out to Lamb Dairy afterward with the Spencer’s and Aldrich’s.  They were impressed with that dairy operation too.
Sister Merrill--Did you forget your purse?  Yep!
Look Close, there are lots of geese on the bank of canal.  This is outside the restaurant
We had church today and went to Batavia.  Becca’s friend, Tasha Lowd and her husband were our speakers.  They had a subject I hadn’t heard from the pulpit for sacrament meeting before.  It was ‘family councils’.  They did a great job with the subject and tied in scriptures of councils with the Lord from Moses, Abraham, Noah, and Adam.  Our great example for a family council was a long time ago when we met for the grand council in heaven.  A family council is a good time to plan, budget, encourage, and testify.  I really enjoyed their talks.
After church we went to visit a sister in the branch that hasn’t been out lately.  I talked with her around Christmas time and she told me her husband was having trouble with memory and other age related things and couldn’t attend.  She was still able to come, but hasn’t been out for a while.  I really wanted to go and see how she was doing with all of her responsibilities.  They weren’t home, so we will have to try again next week.  Then we went to Albion to see the Long’s.  Sister Long had to go to the hospital on Thursday night, but was home today.  We went to visit with them for a few minutes and give them a short home teaching message.  She will go in for a colonoscopy in the morning, so a long visit wasn’t practical for us.  (the prep for that procedure requires a little private time)  We came home and I made Weiner schnitzel for us and the Spencer’s.  They thought I was making hotdogs.  Ha! Ha!  Turns out that Weiner schnitzel is chicken fried pork.  It turned out really good!
Funny:  Last week Dennis did our email home and I had already posted the blog when I read his email.  I loved it so much that I decided to put down the cute part here on the blog:

“Yesterday we helped at the new Bishops’ Storehouse, which is across the road from the Hill Cumorah.  The church doesn’t do anything second rate.  It is a very modern and beautiful facility.  I volunteered to stock the freezer which might have been a mistake, but Elder Spencer, who is from Arizona, volunteered, so I thought I could do it too.  It was 20 below 0 and after a couple of minutes Elder Spencer moved to the refrigerator and I was left a lone man in the freezer.  Brrrr!”
We saw this interesting window in Mendon Saturday and had to take a pictures.  There is also a decorated Christmas tree to the right of Skeleton Santa/or Grinch Santa holding the Easter Bunny
Creepy, huh?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24, 2016

We started out the week by having our weekly office meeting.  I was assigned the Spiritual thought.  Well, it wasn’t even sad, but I couldn’t keep from crying through the entire thought.  Here is the scripture:  Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons, remember, remember, that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereupon if men build they cannot fail.  Isn’t this great counsel to those you love so much, it is beautiful!  I don’t know what happens to me when I start to read out loud—it just starts leaking out.  If I could just hold a straight face or even talk half way normal, but no—I have to squish my face all up and then try to squeak out one syllable at a time.  It’s not a pretty thing!
On Tuesday Elder Merrill had a pick up that needed to go to Canandaigua so I followed him in our car and we drove there.  Yes, I can actually drive in New York.  I still don’t like lots of traffic, but I usually try to go when it isn’t rush hour.  We found a diner there called ‘Eric’s Office’ that had really good lunch.  We shared a French dip and loved it.  We went back to the office and finished our work for the day and went home.
On Wednesday we hurried into the office to get a few things and then we drove over to Amherst (in Buffalo) for the world-wide conference for missionaries.  We had been told about the conference a couple of weeks ago and we all thought that there would be some BIG changes or something else for the church to have all missionaries attend this meeting.  It lasted 2 hours and was really good.  It was a boost or shot in the arm, and there were a few things that have emphasis changed, but nothing drastic or shocking.  We had it in 3 areas for the mission and we volunteered to go over the Amherst so we could see the Aldrich’s and how they were doing.  It was good to see that they were happy and doing well.  I love how he is so good with the young missionaries and always positive and happy.  (she is too)  They told us a story of how 4 elders wanted to ride with them in a 5 passenger car and how the one smallest elder volunteered to be bungie corded into the cargo area of his SUV.  (because that would be the seat belt)  Well, Steve told them that would still not be legal and that he didn’t want to bend the rules, but they were certain they wouldn’t be caught.  He told them that he had seen such a thing at a circus one time when a bunch of clowns came piling out of a car.  He mentioned that ‘someone’ would know about it.  They didn’t catch his drift for a few minutes. 
I have a question—how do you find someone’s phone number or address from the white pages anymore?  I was about ready to scream the other day when I tried to get an address.  I had the name and then when I clicked on it the computer promptly began compiling criminal histories, court records, and many other pieces of information that I wasn’t interested in.  Then, they make you pay for this unwanted information.  I really think we are all being processed way too much!  Of course I didn’t pay for it and then I didn’t get the address.  I tried several googles, and other searches, but they all want to do the same thing.  HELP!  It is very frustrating!  I sure don’t want all of my information posted for the world to buy.  (of course it won’t be very interesting) 
The Haggerty’s came to the office on Thursday and Leslie and I practiced a few musical numbers that we are going to do with the Primary kids.  It was nice and then we took them over to Tom Wahl’s afterward for a burger.  I think that they liked it.
We went to the Temple after work on Friday.  It is so relaxing.  I love being able to go there and feel of the Spirit.  We went with the Spencer’s and Bill and Leslie.  Leslie has hearing aids and has used them for several years, but something has happened and her hearing is getting worse.  She was really sad when she finished the session because she couldn’t hear or understand what the worker was telling her.  It was frustrating to her.
On Saturday we got up earlier than usual and went over to work at the Bishop’s Storehouse.  We were there for 2.5 hours and had a great time helping.  There were some orders that seemed a little excessive in what they had ordered and the amount needed.  One of the people that work there was talking with us and said that it would be easy to be critical of the orders or how they were placed, but it isn’t up to us to make that type of judgment call because it was done by their leader and they know the needs of their people.  (he didn’t say it as a reprimand—just that he had to remind himself of it also)  That is so true, we need to not criticize things that we don’t understand.   
We have a young sister that lives in Canandaigua that needed her insulin.  Today was the last that she had and we got additional medicine in the mail yesterday from home (In the nick of time).  We took her the package right after the project at the storehouse.  I have really been thinking about the trials we are all given and how some have so many difficulties.  Diabetes, heart attack, kidney failure, strokes, injury, blindness, deafness, loneliness, depression, deaths of loved ones, addictions, cancers, etc.  We need to remember that Christ suffered everything and that we can turn to him with our needs.  It’s easy to wish that all of these trials could be removed from us; but we need to remember that trials are meant to be trying.  (I’m talking myself through this hard subject—I need this review)  We need to prove ourselves worthy.  He is there to help us!
The Spencer’s were with us Saturday and we went over to Warsaw to deliver a pick up to them.  (they had wrecked it and we were returning it to them repaired)  We drover to Letchworth State Park afterward and it was so funny when we got out at a viewpoint of the canyon.  Elder Spencer said that he wanted to get a picture of them and then a gust of wind came up and her hair blew straight up and he said, “oh, never mind”.  It was pretty funny!

This year's icicle contest is officially over!  The pictures doesn't do it justice, but they are from the top of the canyon to the bottom.

We have had a little snow this week.  The east coast is getting hammered, but we are doing great here.  The temperatures are a little colder, but the snow isn’t too bad.  I got out my boots a few days this week, but really didn’t need them.  This is so much different than when we arrived here last year.  It seemed to snow about 2 inches every night for 3 months.  We had plenty of snow and to spare.  We took this picture on Monday of a field covered with geese.  I can’t even imagine how many geese are in this gaggle (gaggle, right?? Flock) There were several fields that had this many or more.  Really beautiful, I hope they don’t just look like snow on the ground. 
The top part of the picture is not snow, it is geese
We have decided that it really isn’t that humid here.  It is DRY!  We kept saying that there was lots of humidity-- and in the summer there was more, but our skin and hair is really dry.  (just like Idaho)  We need not be homesick!

We are starting to see more deer again.  We think that they were hiding during hunting season because we didn't see many, but now they are back in plain view and being hit on the road again.  The picture is of a big bunch grazing out in the field. This was in someones back yard.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

January 17, 2016

This week flew by.  We had our office meeting on Monday and then the rest of the week went by so quickly.   How does time do that? 
Tuesday night after work we went to the mall and walked the hallways for a little exercise with the Spencer’s.  We are enjoying our time with them here.  My question then, does it do any good if you walk awhile and then stop at one of the vendors and have something to eat afterward??
Dennis had to have a car repaired and while he waited he went to the Goodwill and look what he found for $6.00. 

He was so thrilled, it hadn’t been out of the box and since we had one he let the Spencer’s have it.
We went to the Temple on Wednesday night with the Spencer’s.  We had a very quick session.  There were 4 women counting the 2 Temple workers that came into the session to help.  It is so peaceful and relaxing in the Temple; but I didn’t sleep during the session.  (too much) 
I heard that our friends are going on a great trip in March.  They are going from San Diego to Hawaii on a cruise and seeing the islands and then back.  It is a 15 day trip and should be lots of fun.  I am happy that they are going to have that opportunity, but will miss having fun with them.  (no envy or malice—only charity, right? Lol)
On Friday the Aldrich’s arrived at the mission office about noon.  We were so thrilled.  Another couple, the White’s, arrived about the same time.  We are so glad to have them here!  It was so much fun to visit with them about their experiences at the MTC and traveling across the great United States.  They are going to live in Arcade, New York (west of us and south of Buffalo)  There are 2 elders in that area and they are so happy to have a MLS couple they can have help them.  They were ready to be moved out of their car and into an apartment.  It is hard to live out of a suitcase.

The weather is a little colder, but still no snow.  While we were at church it started to snow and looked like it could get really serious, but as we drove closer to Rochester it got lighter and then quit.  It will probably start up again tonight.  The deer have been scarce since the beginning of hunting season, but they are beginning to show up near the roadside again.  It is so sad to see so many of them killed this way, and I imagine it doesn’t make the car owner very happy about it either.  We stopped to help a lady the other night with her flashers on.  She said that she was waiting for the police as her insurance company required a police report when hitting a deer. 
I think I have lost my taste for pizza here.  It tasted so good for the first part of our mission and we had some once a week or so; but it has lost its appeal at this point.  It’s funny how we go through times when something tastes better to us than others.  (chocolate and candy—will that ever lose its appeal??)
Friday about quitting time a set of missionaries called with a car that would not run.  It sounded like transmission trouble or rear end whatever (you know all those guy/auto terms)  Elder Merrill found a wrecker and told the elders we would bring them a loaner car on Saturday.  So we took the drive to Penn Yan and saw the missionaries.  They were very happy to have something to get around in.  I don’t know how they could be very effective without a car as they have so many miles to cover.  This state is so big; it boggles my mind.  The drive was beautiful and the country side was so pretty, even without the green.  There is so much beautiful farm ground here.  We were listening to tapes about the early pioneers and how much trouble they had farming in Utah (and probably Idaho) because the soils are so different.  The soil here is dark and rich without rock.  However, I think that they have to continually take out trees or they would lose their farms to foliage.  The Smiths spent years trying to clear their farm in Palmyra. 
We had a fantastic Sacrament meeting today.  It was on having a Christ centered family/home.  The high councilor, Brother Sageben, asked the 4 elders in our branch to talk about the good and bad things that had happened in their families.  One Elder said that his dad had to work in China for a while.  He would work 6 weeks and come home 2.  He said that it had been a really hard thing for them, but that it had also made them closer as a family.  One Elder said that his parents divorced about 2 years ago and that had been hard, but that he and his brother and mom had gotten so much closer and that the church and the scriptures had come to mean so much to them.  One elder told everyone that he regretted that he hadn’t spent much time with his parents and family prior to his mission and that he missed the times that he had been able to do things with them, especially his dad.  He and his dad had gone to tournaments for horseshoes.  They are both professional horseshoe players.  (I didn’t realize that was even a thing, but it is)  Brother Sageben warned us of things we must stay away from if we want to have a spiritual, Christ centered family and how quickly Satan can creep in and wage war with us.  (he especially addressed pornography and the effects of it)  He is a young doctor in Rochester at the teaching hospital.  He is in his residency.  He is a heart specialist and I was so impressed with him.  His talk was excellent.  He talked about the 12 point program for addiction and how we should all follow this program because we all have problems.  We are all sinners and need help.  Here are the steps:
The 12 Steps of the Addiction Recovery Program Sponsored by LDS Family Services
  • Step 1—Honesty: Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.
  • Step 2—Hope: Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.
  • Step 3—Trust in God: Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Step 4—Truth: Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.
  • Step 5—Confession: Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.
  • Step 6—Change of Heart: Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses.
  • Step 7—Humility: Humbly ask Heavenly Father to remove your shortcomings.
  • Step 8—Seeking Forgiveness: Make a written list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make restitution to them.
  • Step 9—Restitution and Reconciliation: Wherever possible, make direct restitution to all persons you have harmed.
  • Step 10—Daily Accountability: Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.
  • Step 11—Personal Revelation: Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord’s will and to have the power to carry it out.
  • Step 12—Service: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.

Isn’t that great?  Any problem at all can be dealt with using these steps.
After church we went over to the hospital to see one of our home teaching ladies.  She doesn't leave her house (usually) and hasn't seen a doctor in 16 years.  She was in pain yesterday and when she was admitted they thought that she had a blood clot in her leg or was going to have a stroke.  Today she said that they think her problem is diabetes.  Her blood sugar was over 400 and out of whack.  I guess they will keep her a couple more days and help her get feeling better.  

Funny:  One of the sister missionaries got out of her car and her cell phone slide off and landed on the ground and the battery came out and went into the storm drain.  Dennis was able to get it out with a long pole and a piece of sticky tape at the end of it.  Yahoo!  Tape man strikes again!
I have the stray battery now, any other requests?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It is 47 degrees outside and all the snow has melted.  Crazy!  It is supposed to get cold next week.  I can’t believe that the weather has been this nice this long. 

This guy made a neat skating rink out of closet doors he collected from people throwing them away at the curb.  He would stop and pick them up and ended up with enough to make this pond.  They haven't been able to use it yet this year.

This skating rink is a little more professional.  They have leveled the dirt underneath and made the rink with pond liner.  We are wondering is the nets on the end are for playing hockey.

January 9 and there is a tractor in the field--(not sure why) It is a little muddy yet though.

We are happy and healthy.  We had a great week and are enjoying a few minutes at home on Sunday afternoon.  We had our weekly meeting on Monday and it was great!  Things at the office have slowed up a little without the packages arriving for Christmas. 
We went to Batavia after work on Wednesday night to a Book of Mormon class given by Brother Brockenshire.  (he is the one that has written the books regarding the ancient Nephite civilization being here in New York, Ohio, etc.)  It was interesting.  He told us about a young missionary trying to preach about the Book of Mormon to an older Jewish man and how the man told him it couldn’t be true because it didn’t have chiasm’s in it.
Definition of Chiasm:
A chiasm (or chiasmus if you rather) is a writing style that uses a unique repetition pattern for clarification and/or emphasis. Chiasm is pronounced ky′-az-um. Often called the chiastic (ky′-az-tic) approach or the chiastic structure, this repetition form appears throughout the Bible yet it is not well known. The way you approach the Scriptures should be dramatically enhanced as you learn what a chiasm is, how to recognize chiasms, and how to glean a fresh application from these New or Old Testament passages.
Simply put, a chiasm is a repetition of similar ideas in the reverse sequence. The importance of the chiastic structure is found in its hidden emphasis. And it is not insignificant – I suspect there are more than two thousand examples in the Bible!
A chiasm organizes themes much like a sandwich: A) a piece of bread on top, B) mustard, C) a delightful piece of meat, C′) another savory piece of meat, B′) more mustard, and finally A′) another piece of bread on the bottom. Chiasms generally focus on the flavorful meat, but the bread and mustard are necessary for a complete sandwich. Some chiasms do not have a mustard layer, other chiasms have lettuce on both sides of the meat, and some have just one piece of delicious meat.
When God inspired the Hebrew and Greek writers to inscribe their portions of the Scriptures, the chiastic structure was often used to add emphasis. He could not use techniques such as bold, italics, underline, indentation, bullets, or 
font size to help the reader understand what is important because these were not part of the ancient languages at the time. Instead He often used the structural arrangement of repeated thoughts or phrases to accomplish this emphasis.

I thought that was very interesting!  However, the young missionary went home discouraged and began studying the Book of Mormon and found many examples of chiasmic writing in it also.  While we were reading we found several.  It reminds me of how we are taught to teach a lesson with an overview at the end of the lesson to secure retention of the message.
We have been reading the New Testament lately and have really enjoyed it this time.  The scriptures are to help us build our relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  They helps us to know where we need to improve so we can become more righteous. 
Sister Spencer told us more about her dad.  She said that he was nuts about visiting cemeteries and taking pictures and notes.  He felt pushed to go everywhere he could and do this.  He wasn’t a member of the church at the time.  One day he came to her house and begged her to start doing genealogy/temple work for their ancestors.  She thought that was odd as he wasn’t a member of the church.  She asked him why he would want that and he said, “so I can get some sleep, these people won’t leave me alone.” (I guess the other side isn’t that far away, right?)
We went to Henrietta yesterday with the Spencer’s and went to a restaurant supply.  She found a few things that she wanted and I tried to find a scraper like Chris uses.  I had brought one with me, but lost it at the Christmas party.  I don’t know what happened to it.  We got the ingredients at Sam's Club to make 3 lasagnas; one for us and 1 for each set of missionaries in Batavia.  They had looked at the sign up list for meals for them and there were about 3 for the entire month.  They slyly mentioned—“I don’t see your name here on the list Sister Merrill.”  I told them I would bring them some the next Sunday. (today)  They were pretty tickled.  I made ‘the’ chocolate cake on a sheet pan and gave them shares of it.  I think they should like that.
We are excited to see the Aldrich’s here next Friday.  They are on their way now and are going to take some time visiting with some family members across the United States.  I think that they will be a great addition to the missionary effort here in New York.
We officially passed our 1 year mark this week!  Jan. 5---we went to Tom Wahl's and had a burger! Yahoo!  I guess we should have burned a tie or something, but we like them all.  We shall see when another 6 months have gone by.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Jan. 3, 2016

What a crazy week we had!  We expected 13 new missionaries to arrive in our mission on Monday evening.  We had made a great meal of ham, potatoes, salad, and dessert.  The Spencer’s and Merrill’s were ready and waiting at the mission home with the food prepared and President Francis called and said they would be a little later.  Well, this call became 3 calls and then he and his wife came back with 1 missionary that had arrived from Mexico City.  We had a nice supper and he expected the other 12 around 11:00 p.m.  We cleaned up and went home.  President asked that we have a lunch at the office on Tuesday for the new missionaries.  Well, he called later and said that they wouldn’t be here until Wednesday at noon.  There were 7 sisters and 5 elders sitting at the Detroit airport, wondering what to do.  The church found them all hotel rooms and they were able to stay there for 2 nights.  The Detroit mission president had some of his missionaries go and get them the next day and they got to do work with them.  I felt so bad for these kids—they had their MSF (missionary support funds) cards but not their pin numbers so they couldn't use them.  However, all of them had some type of credit card from home.  They finally arrived before noon on Wednesday.  They were so happy to be where they belonged.  We had a nice lunch (taco soup with chips (because we had so much Mexican food left from the Christmas party) and cookies.  We had our meeting after/during lunch and they were on their way to the Sacred Grove around 4:00.  They met their new companions at the Hill Cumorah and had another meeting and were then on their way to their areas.  I hope they are doing alright.  We saw one of the new missionaries yesterday at Costco (they can eat cheap there and they don’t have to have a membership to go in to eat)  He is from California and said he was freezing.  I hope that REAL cold weather doesn’t do him in.
They gave me their luggage fees after our meeting at our office.  I couldn’t believe that Delta had charged them twice to get here.  They had taken their bags in Detroit to the hotel.  So they had paid $60 in Salt Lake City and $60 in Detroit.  I pay them back for this charge, but didn’t like paying it twice.  President Francis asked me to call Salt Lake Travel and I did.  They didn’t want to bother with it at all.  The lady told me that it would be up to the individual missionaries to call for their own baggage fee.  I told her, “they don’t have time to do that”.  Anyway—I called for all of them.  I told the lady that we had expected them on Monday and they hadn’t arrived until Wednesday at noon, and we understood that the weather couldn’t be helped.  We also had to pay for 2 nights hotel for at 6 rooms, and we understood that also, BUT, I couldn’t understand why they had charged us twice for baggage.  She didn’t even complain or anything—she just asked me for their receipt numbers and she began refunding the 2nd charge to their credit cards.  It was so great!
We attended the Temple Wednesday night and it was a nice evening.  It was the first time that I had seen the women’s side of the session full.  That is good! 
Elder Merrill kept busy all week with moving cars around and taking parts to places that needed parts.  On New Year’s Eve we went to Applebee’s with Spencer’s and enjoyed a meal.  Our Stake (Rochester Stake) was having a dance that night and we debated about going—but seeing how much Elder Merrill loves to dance we went home after supper.  The Spencer’s went to the dance and said that it was quite fun.  We are just party poopers, I guess!
On New Year’s Day we had a brunch here of baked eggs and sausage waffles.  It was really good and the Spencer’s and the AP’s came.  (Assistants to the President)  We ate, visited, and played a couple of games.  I had bought left, right, center and then I asked the 2 young Elders how they felt about gambling.  I wish I had of videotaped their faces.  They stuttered and stammered—they were really speechless.  Then I told them that we were going to play the game and pretend that someone would win the money.  We had $30 in $1 bills and played it—Elder Merrill won.  (1st time—no money changed hands)  they wanted to play again and we used the same money—Sister Merrill won (1st time—no money changed hands)  We had a great day of visiting and playing other games. 

Yesterday we got busy and took down our Christmas decorations.  (it took about 12 minutes or less)  We cleaned and then we went with the Spencer’s to Costco and then over to Ontario Beach and then to Mexican food like we are used to in Idaho and Arizona.  They like it and we had a good meal.  We were able to study when we got home and afterward Dennis colored my hair.  Hair—it just doesn’t stay like you want it to; it gets gray or too long—just can’t stay how you like it.
Elder Spencer and Elder Merrill on the shore

Elder Spencer caught a fish (dead for quite some time) 
Selfie--not a great look!
We went to church today and it was very good.  The branch members have great testimonies.  One sister told of her children (non-members or inactive) that have asked her recently to pray for them.  She told them, “I have never quit praying for you, but will pray more.”  Isn’t that the truth?  We never quit praying for our families and loving them.  We love our family members so much and want only good for everyone.  (a mother’s worry is never done—it’s our jobs!)

Congratulations to Eliza Merrill and her wedding to Mr. Lucero on Saturday, Jan. 2!  Happy Birthday to Rob Jagielski, Jan. 6 and Max Harris Jan. 9!
Neat thing!  Some people put lights in every window for friendship