February 8, 2014
The Sabbath was really good. We were pleased with the number of people who spoke about the importance of feasting each day by reading and pondering the Book of Mormon. As a group we are reading about 1 1/2 pages each day, asking guidance through prayer to help understand what we are reading and how it applies to our own personal lives.
As we listened to each testimony, the Spirit conveyed a message. It was wonderful to see how strong they felt about the things they were sharing. The “iron rod” is powerful. It is straight and always firm in its direction with answers and feelings of peace, regardless of where are lives are or what we are dealing with.
The discussion of our Temple Preparation Class included reassurance that we can do this. We can live to the standard that is required to enter the House of the Lord. Our Father in Heaven does not require any thing of us that is not possible. He will help us.
Mom had a little lunch for Lucky and his family and a celebration of his birthday at our place after church, Tortilla Soup. It was the best mom has every made. She had all the fixns; avocados, cheese, sour cream, chips, and tomatoes. Lucky hated it. Their diet is bland and simple. No spices, and very little variety. The look on Lucky’s face, just before he spit it out, made me think of the day my mom replaced the sugar with salt. She had been telling me that I put too much sugar on my cereal.
One day I loaded a few too many scoops on my cornflakes. I held it in my mouth until she left the kitchen, and quickly ran outside to find a more suitable place for it. I guess maybe I was using a little too much sugar after all. I did learn my lesson after that.
We picked up Mary and Ruth, part of the Relief Society presidency, to take them with us to visit Sister Bambi. Sister Bambi welcomed us warmly and we had a nice visit. The presidency didn’t know where she lived so we now hope that some seeds of friendship have been planted. The day was good.
You think you have challenges at home? Let me tell you about some when you live out in the village. Bernard and Batsirai have a big lot and have a need to be self sufficient, so, mom said how about planting a garden? They grew up in “Zim” having to raise what they needed to eat. Both of them know how to garden. Problems: no tools to garden with, no money to buy plants and not even water containers to transport the water necessary to water the plants.
Solution, a little service will make a big difference. So, Monday was filled with a trip to the nursery to buy some plants and then to the hardware store for some tools. We invited the 6 Elders to spend the better part of the Tuesday preparing and planting the garden. To keep the moisture in the ground, Batsirai showed us how to dig a 1-foot trench about 18 inches wide. You then take the weeds you have cleared off the land and fill the bottom of the trench, cover with dirt and then plant.
The four trenches were hard to dig and it was hot. We all worked hard and felt good about how thrilled Bernard and Batsirai were. Batsirai told us she could hardly sleep, Monday night, knowing of our plans for planting on Tuesday.
After getting the garden planted, Mom and I took the Elders for pizza at Cappuccinos’. It was a great day and the Elders said they had really enjoyed getting out and working that way. It was a nice change for them! We sure enjoy these young Elders. They all love the Lord and are willing to work very hard.
We promised Elizabeth, one of our members, that we would take her for the day to meet with relatives she did not know. She wanted to gather information for some genealogy and temple work. We drove for about 2 1/2 hours with only vague directions.
After asking lots of questions, a real effort for me, we arrived in a remote village. A phone call later, we traveled over what I would call a cow path. I really did not think it was a road, but what do I know. I was a little concerned about the cows with the long horns. I did not want to have to explain to the mission home any horn holes in the car. We even saw a cow up on the porch looking in the window. This seemed to be a friendly place. Metz is a tiny village and really peaceful.
Little did we know that when we met the first Aunt, we were expected to meet ALL the family? So, we traveled from home to home, village to village and on and on. It was friendly, peaceful and very rewarding to see Elizabeth find a feeling of belonging with aunts, uncles and cousins whom she had never met.
Even one of the distant uncles, a retired minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church needed to meet Elizabeth. We were not sure how interrupting the leader’s prayer meeting would go over, but they stopped everything, had us introduce ourselves, in turn they introduced each of the ten members and then asked if we wanted a picture of them.
From there, we got the keys, and went to the cemetery. As we tromped through the weeds we had no idea we would find a real Bonanza…10 direct decedents on the head stones. As you can see, they often put items on the graves that were personal items of the deceased. The day was long, but very successful. She wrote down tons of information from her living relatives. This should keep her busy for a while!
We read 3 Nephi 18 with Patrick this week. We had an inspiring discussion about the Sacrament and the invitation and explanation of why we go to church (vs. 25) “that ye might feel and see.”
Patrick and his family will be coming to church on Sunday. We are praying that Mary might be able to do just that, (feel the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and see clearly the members and their love of the Gospel of Jesus and each other).
Our numbers at Institute continue to grow. The feeling there is always sweet and inspiring. Elder Winward taught this week. His testimony is always powerful and feelings close to the surface. I just hope everyone will put the effort in to come prepared to feast on the Book of Mormon.
We have five being baptized on Sunday, so today will be a big get everything ready day…”prepare everything needful thing.”
We will share the big day on next week’s letter. We hope everything goes well.
I thought including the Mormon Message: Trials: Look to the Light with Elder Jeffery R. Holland might remind each of us how trails help us grow.
We love and miss each one of you. We are proud to be your parents and grandparents.
MOM & DAD