Sunday, August 26, 2012

One thing I've forgotten to mention that those from the Cornerstone area will smile at is that the ward we attend here in Reno uses one of those tiny little microphones that hook onto your shirt like we used to.  However, theirs isn't broken and it still has it's clip.  They must be the only ones who use it.  It works just great!  :-)

Memo to prospective and current young missionaries:  Just why do you want to go on a mission?  Or why are you on a mission?  Do you plan to listen to leaders and obey rules or is your mission just going to be a 'party'?   I really wonder about this and would love to ask certain missionaries exactly what they are thinking.

Memo to everyone:  Mission time can be one of the greatest growth periods of a person's life.  It has the potential to really refine and develop qualities that will make a huge difference in a young man's life in every area.  The things he learns about self-discipline and responsibility can make a difference in the kind of a job he will choose and be qualified for, the kind of an employee he will be, the kind of husband and father he will be, the kind of leader or follower he will be in the community, church and many other areas.  Young men just don't have any idea how much rests on their doing their best and following the rules on their mission.   I have come to realize that teaching and baptizing are wonderful part of the mission experience, but not all of it.

Things happening lately in  our mission:

Tuesday we get 24 more missionaries.  There are more in the MTC who will come to us in 6 weeks; they aren't coming Tuesday because they are learning Spanish for 6 more weeks.   This time we are blessed enough to have several families who qualified and offered to have missionaries live with them.  I hope, hope, hope that the missionaries treat these families and their homes well. 

Our President is trying to decide if he and his wife should make 'surprise' apartment inspections.  I think they should.  If your apartment is basically aways clean what is to fear?   He has given notice so far and in some apartments it doesn't seem to have mattered.  Most are good but some are just plain filthy and messy. 

We had a couple of missionaries who called to say they were driving 15 miles an hour and hit a speed bump they 'didn't know was there'.  They didn't know it, but this caused them to lose the bracket holding up the radiator.  They drove on home.  Meanwhile, the radiator drained out all the water from the hole the loss of the bracket left.  They also 'didn't know' they had a flat tire.  So the next morning when they went out to go in the car it wouldn't start.  I wonder why with a frozen  engine and the tire and rim ruined.   They want a 'new car' and not the 'junker' they were driving.  It had not even 50,000 miles on it and was 2 years old. 

Next they called to tell us they needed a new vacum.  The "piece of junk" they had didn't work any more.   It is pretty new, too, but the canister in it was most likely not emptied, so the air couldn't get through and burned up the motor.  Since Monday is P day and when they should have wanted to use the vacum, we wondered why they just realized it wouldn't work and it was Thursday.  Hmmmm...

I wonder what call we'll get from them this week?

Another missionary and his companion were out doing service at their local library and had his wallet stolen.  It was in his pocket and either fell out or was 'lifted'.  He and his companion looked everywhere, through all of the garbage, all over the ground.  He was so respectful and polite when he called to ask Elder Lynn to call and cancel his church card.  Poor kid - it is the end of the month so his companion didn't have much money left on his card and now between them no money to speak of.
They said they had 'maybe 2 weeks of snacks' so they'd do OK.  (This in a town quite a ways from where any of us could get to - and it was Thurs. night.)

We have a set of missionaries who have been responsibile for our ward and one other ward.  Today the two wards found out they each get a set of missionaries.  Everyone is excited.  No one knows who the 2nd set of missionaries are and they both want to keep the set they are familiar with.  In our ward they sent around a list to feed the missionaries and one person signed up said, "If we don't get to keep the missionaries we already have, take my name off the two times we signed up."  The Bishop from the other ward is coming in to see the President tomorrow to make sure they stay in his ward. 
Oh, dear......

The President has a magnetic 'transfer board' in his office.  It has a 3X4 card with a photo of each missionary, his name and where and with whom he served on it with magnets on the back.  Everyone likes the board to look as good as possible. Missionaries LOVE this board and will do about anything they can to get to look at it.  Because we change the 'where and with whom he served' every transfer, I laminated the cards, put the magnets on the back and put them on the board.  It all looked sooo good - until the cards started coming loose from the magnets and falling down.  Back to the drawing board...... 

Every once in a while we get someone coming in to ask for money and food because we have the words Nevada Reno 'Mission' on the outside of the building.  Tough to tell them we don't have food or housing for them.  We have developed a list to hand them telling them where they can find help.  We hope that helps.

We are so grateful and happy to be serving here.   We have been very very busy and love being here. We know our Father in Heaven lives.  We know Christ atoned for us and loves and cares for us.   Have a great week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012
Today I have been thinking about how blessed we are with luxuries like warm showers.  Out of all my ancestors I think I am the first who could just get into a warm shower when I want.  Perhaps my parents, later in their lives, had this luxury, but for most of their lives they just had a bathtub - and that later in their lives.  No one before them, out of the thousands of ancestors of mine who have been on earth, had such a wonderful and easy blessing as a warm shower!

We love our ward here.  One of the women said to me today as she sat down, "We have assigned seats."  And laughed.   Most of us in the Church have 'assigned seats.'  And single sisters.  They have their own rows and sit together in every ward I've been to.  Here, too.  I love these enduring and faithful sister's.

We love the office.  We are so grateful for the other senior couple.  They have really taken over their
jobs.  Sister Smigelski is making a big difference in the mission.  Among other things she is over sending baptisms to Salt Lake so there is an offical record made of them.  She also calls the missionaries about how referrals are going.  This motivates some missionaries to follow thru on the referrals they get.  Referrals are some of the best kind of people missionaries can find and teach.  So this is good.  Elder Smigelski takes care of cars.  What a huge job.  Thousands of dollars invested with cars and young missionaries driving them.  Teaching them how to care for these investments.  More luxury for our time.  Recently we had two 'rabbit wrecks.'  Missionaries driving home in the
dark from the long distances they go to teach here - and hitting rabbits.  It is amazing to me how much damage a rabbit can do to a car.

We have just finished zone conferences all over Nevada - that takes a lot of travel for Pres. and Sister Hermansen and the Smigelski's.   We hold down the office while they are all gone.  In about 10 days we have 24 new missionaries arriving so we are busy.  No departures yet.

I wish older couples understood how wonderful it is to serve missions.  They are so needed and seniors can do what they are asked to do.  There are so many ways to serve and so many are needed.  I stop to think about how hard it would be to stand in front of  Heavenly Father and say I was scared or didn't think I could do what was needed.  If any of you knew how many times we call Salt Lake in a day and say, "Ok, what do we do now?"  Salt Lake is wonderful to help anytime.  Plus I think of our 47 grandchildren - about half of whom are boys.  How can I ever ask them to serve a mission when their incovenience will be so much greater than mine?  If only we understood how much joy and happiness comes from serving God - it would be so much easier to serve.

We love you all and you are in our prayers - family and friends and other missionaries.  He can take so much better care of you than we could if we were with you.

Dad and Mom,  Dee and Lois Ann