Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The last few days have been a blur so before time gets totally away, I will update everyone on the last weeks activities and experiences.
Now that we have elders instead of sisters in our stake, Elder Castleton has been doing a lot of transporting etc. with the missionaries. It is a switch since Sister Castleton went frequently with the sisters when they needed help.
Sunday Ruth gave a Family History presentation to the fifth ward combined Relief Society and Priesthood.That took a lot of time to put together her thoughts and she went even further and made a power point presntation along with a bundle of handouts for the class participants.
  We have had some wonderful visits with people in the area. Our big challenge is to find people home during the day time hours. Most of the time, we have plenty of people to see during the evening hours after dinner. The members have been very kind inviting us to dinner, we really enjoy getting acquainted with them and especially the children. Where there are children, we try to fit the message to them We find many of them are excited when we show them the Family History video presented by children and then talk to the children about the book MY FAMILY.
  Thanksgiving was different for us. We are usually able to have a lot of family around us on that day but this year was a little different, we mostly worked from home during the day and then in the afternoon we spent time with Kaylene, Ron, and Collette. Then we had dinner with them and Hallie and TeTe. Friday night we had a great meal and enjoyed the family of one of our ward mission leaders with his wife and four neat children
  Saturday was a real special day. Ruth's nephew Jonathan is going to be married next month. There was a shower for his fiance so we stopped in and met her and saw some family there. That was a nice experience.
  Later in the day we had a young man who had been investigating the Church with the sisters that went to the bishop and told him he wanted to be baptized. Our new elders went and met with him and he was excited to follow through on his commitment. He was interviewed and the arrangements were made for his baptimsm on Saturday afternoon. The ward was very supportive and he had a nice group to celebrate his baptism.
  Following the baptism we were invited to have dinner with another neat family with three children 13,11, and 9. They have been here about three years and previously lived in Nevada. They said it seems that a lot of people in this are are realated and it is more difficult to get to know people. Their previous exerience was that they would invite several families for a barbeque and would have a good number show up. They have tried that here and no one has come because they have had their own family gatherings. It seeems we are not as willing as we have been in the past to get acquainted with new people in the area and include them in our gatherings. That is sad but true in many instances.
Following dinner we talked to them about their family. The children were quite aware of things about their family and were excited to talk with us about the MY FAMILY book. We really enjoyed the eveing with this family.
Sunday was a big day for the First ward. We went to the sacrament meeting for Hadden's confirmation which was very special. During the meeting their bishop was released after serving for about six years. It was a special meeting and there was a wonderful feeling of love expressed for the outgoing bishop as well as the new bishop. We then went to the fifth ward where our new friends Chris and Holli had their baby blessed. Chris was just ordained an Elder so he was able to bless his child Cooper. What a great experience to be asked to stand in the circle for the blessing. We then attended the combined meeting where Ruth did a great job presenting Family Search changes and answering questions from those in attendance. We attended a ward missionary meeting and then our regular stake coorelation meeting. Then we had wonderful meal with a delightful family and presented them the new Christmas message that was just released on Saturday. It is called "A Savior Is Born." It is a wonderful reminder of why we celebrate Christmas. President Monson said, "The Spirit of Christmas is indeed the CHRIST spirit. May each of us recognize Christ as the reason for the Christmas season!

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