Happy 2011 Everyone!
I'm so excited for the Blessings and challenges of this up coming year. Already it has proved to be an interesting one. I'll start with last Monday. In the morning I had a cleaning hayday. I want to strongly recommend the Mr Clean Magic Eraser. Its the Bomb. After emails The Elders in the zone met up to play basket ball at the stake center while I decided I'd take the time to brush up on some piano playing. Then we went to walmart and I treated myself to a little Christmas gift. I bought a RICE COOKER! But forgot to get the rice... Hopefully today I'll find a suitable brand and maybe some Furikake.
Tuesday I had to drive around town to find estimates on what it would cost to fix the dent in the car. One estimate was upwards of $940, but we also found a guy working out of a much smaller garage who said it could be fixed for only $400. Thankfully all I had to do was get the paper work sent out and I no longer have to worry about it. For a while at least. That Night I gave my very first Priesthood blessing for the sick and afflicted. We've been meeting with Bishop Hinds and his wife to help us get practice in teaching lessons for the past few weeks. The Bishop has been nearly bed ridden for the past few days and very ill. It was a total surprise when he asked me if I would seal a blessing upon him. My time had come. I was a little nervous as I did not know what to say, But the spirit of the Lord guided me in my words and He was exceedingly grateful for the blessing. I'm so pleased to be worthy to use Priesthood authority in times of need.
Wednesday and Thursday were spent mostly at the library doing service work. Friday however was President interviews. I'm always excited for any opportunity to see the Mission President. He's a Brilliant man who always has strong words of advice and comfort to those who he presides over. After the interviews were over we went to lunch with the Salem Elders to apple Bees. Someone had secretly picked up our tab and the waitress who was a less active member herself wouldn't tell us who! It made me wonder if this is what its like to serve a mission in Utah... Also while we were there Elder Pendleton started to feel a little sick. He didn't even touch his food, which I should have taken as a bad sign as he normally out eats me 3:1. When we arrived home it was clear that he wasn't going to be able to go out and work the rest of the day so we settled in for the night. President and Sister Thornock even stopped by to bring him some sprite to help ease his stomach. Later in the Evening the Zone leaders came by so we could give him a blessing. However somehow I was again chosen to seal the blessing upon him. Twice in a week! I guess thats what we do as missionaries though. A little while after it was clear that he might need someone with greater expertise so we called President who was staying in town at President McBrides, his councilor who lived in the area and is also a Doctor! Shortly they arrived and Pres. McBride was able to give Elder Pendleton some medicine that helped him through the night. After they had left I spent my new years watching over him and keeping his fever in check with a cool towel. This wasn't all so bad as it gave me an excuse to break curfew and stay up past midnight! I was even a little apostate and tuned into a radio station for a minute to catch the countdown! Needless to say Elder Pendleton is much better and we'll be back out on the streets in Full force tomorrow!
New years day we spent almost entirely inside as Elder Pendleton was resting. I had time to do more cleaning, Write a letter, and catch up on some more study. I finished reading "Our Heritage", a brief history of the church. The stories of the early saints gave me strength. The Prophet Joseph Smith himself suffered and recovered from three major illnesses in his lifetime. That night after having been cooped up in the house all Day Elder Pendleton decided he was well enough to venture out for a bit and we met up with the District to visit the Roanoke Star! Its pretty much a giant illuminated star that sits above the city as a beacon. Sadly it was too dark to see much of the surrounding landscape but we had a good view of down town Roanoke. I'll send some pictures of the occasion.
Sunday was also fairly low key. It was good to go to church again. Missing just a single week seems like forever as a missionary. And I didn't even fall asleep in any classes! (not that I would anyways...)
I'm Glad that the fam had a good holidays. I miss those kids like crazy. We ate at a family last night who had three little girls. Made me think of the grandkids the whole time. It sounds like I missed out on a great Sunada family Gathering in Lethbridge as well. I'm kinda sad to be missing those crazy storms. It rained on the 1st and the snows pretty much all gone now.
This Morning I found out about the passing of Chirsty Humpherys. As I will not be able to attend her services later this week I'd like to share a bit of what Christy has meant to me. I first got to know sister Humpherys well whenever we'd have a priest camp, or other forms of adventure and I'd go over and petition her to let Ross come and that he'd be safe. She would often contend with my ideas of what was perfectly safe or at least only mildly life threatening. I discovered her quick wit and sharp mind was a force to be considered, but also that she knew that we'd be ok and was only chastening our over confident minds with careful wisdom, which was much appreciated. Over the years as I'd go over to the Humphrey's home to visit Ross I found I'd spend just as much time visiting with Christy and Bruce. We even came to be on a first name basis. I went over on several occasions without Ross even being home and would spend hours talking to them. We even became facebook Friends and she would continue to tease and Chastise me online about being up to late, or that I shouldn't be thinking about girls, or to get more focused on a mission. We grew to a point where we could even call each other Friends and transcend the youth to adult barrier. I can say that I always felt welcomed and warmed by Christy both in her home, and on every occasion when we met. She was one who helped focus and council me in being Faithful to the Lord and preparing to serve this mission.
My Prayers go out to the Humphey's family who have always treated me as though I were their own son. I know that Ross and I will be part of the legacy she left in this life. I can't wait to see her in the next.
PS: This upcoming Monday is transfers. I'm almost positive I'll stay in this area. However I wont be able to write home till Tuesday.