Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016

The week went by so quickly and now I have to think hard to remember what we did last week.  On Monday we took a drive over to Webster after work and ate at a Mexican restaurant that we had tried before and liked.  We ordered the ‘Hungry man platter’ (which they said had one of everything on it; but I thought of things that were missing; tamales, fajitas, etc.).  Elder Merrill and I shared it, and it was alright.  The Mexican food we have in Idaho is SOO much better; real Tex-Mex. 
We were busy last week taking and receiving cars and I was able to help again.  Elder Merrill has 7 cars for sale at this time and now the church has decided to have a trial period for a company that offers to take care of the sale of the vehicles.  People have to bid on them online and then they take care of the paperwork for the sale.  I don’t know if this will be better or not.  I know that Elder Merrill didn’t have trouble selling the cars and people are anxious to get them because they are in good condition and the price is right. 
We had our ‘MLS retreat’ last Friday and Saturday at the Seneca camp.  We had good meetings, food, and friends.  Who could ask for more?  One of the Sisters told of teaching on the reservation (yes, we have an Indian reservation here) and trying to get the attention of the husband.  She showed them the picture of the tree of life and how there were people eating and enjoying themselves around the tree, those in the filthy water, those holding onto the rod, those letting go of the rod, and those in the great and spacious building that were mocking and scorning.  She explained all of these people and asked that they take a good look at the picture.  Then she asked, ‘Where are you?’  The husband was riveted to the picture and very interested after that.  He asked them to please come back 4 times. 
We were asked to say something at the end as it was our last retreat of our mission.  I confessed that I had been a poor member missionary at home and didn’t seek opportunities of time to share the gospel to people around us.  I also mentioned that one of the top things I had learned on my mission is the importance of home teaching and visiting teaching.  I didn’t have that testimony or felt that importance at home.  I always did my teaching, but I didn’t feel the need for visits or making visits.  Here in New York they are so vital.  They can change people’s lives and bring them back to church.  It does make a difference for someone to care and that is our charge.  If we had members that were committed to those 2 programs of the church, Batavia would be a ward. 
We went to the Grandin Print Shop last night and they had a special open house/tour.  They dressed up in period clothing and gave abbreviated narrative of what had happened there at the shop.  I love that place and it was fun to see the missionaries dressed up.

The lady we pick up every Sunday for church will be moving this week and will live out of town on the other side of Batavia.  She has a friend that lives out that way and she is counting on her picking her up for church.  I hope it works out for her.  She is a long way out of town to be able to shop for groceries or anything else.  She doesn’t have a car and will be at the mercy of other people.  I know her friend will be happy to take her to church, but she still works and has just remarried and her new husband is planning to travel as soon as she retires.  I think she is planning on retiring this summer.  I worry about how she will get to church because there aren’t many willing to give rides. 
Our friends, the Dieu’s, are leaving this week and they will really be missed.  They have been living in Warsaw and have made many friends and helped bring several back to church and helped them get to the Temple.  They are leaving early because of a family problem and they felt sad to leave, but had no choice.

One thing has really bothered me here (and everywhere); the taking of the Lord's name in vain.  So many people don't realize that they even do it.  We are told not to do this in the 10 commandments and in the Temple we commit not to do this.  But--even in our church buildings I have heard it and it has made me cringe.  I know I need to bring this to their attention, but I really don't want to offend them.  It is a life-style word that has become WAY too common on television and it makes me sad!

We have been reading an awesome book.  It is called 'The Power of Everyday Missionaries'.  It is so good and has helped me realize how much more we should be doing.  Our stake president has a mission plan of having the members do the finding for the missionaries.  I believe that he has a great idea.  If the members find others for the missionaries to teach and are involved with the process the convert will have someone to help them fit in and continue on the path.  Our new stake president is really a neat guy, Pres. Howell, and he grew up in Logan.  He is pretty young and is a professor.

Happy Birthday this week to Hayden Merrill and Cindy Merrill!  We love you both so much!

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