January 13-26, 2014

Thirteen years ago while Paul worked in the CES headquarters in the Church Office Building, Salt Lake City, he was, for a time, in charge of library services for the seminaries and institutes.  On occasion he was sent to evaluate seminary and institute libraries.  He traveled from Cedar City to Pocatello, Idaho.  He would remove books from the shelves that had little  or no value and heap them up on a table.  He pulled 700 such books from the institute library in Pocatello.  He identified books that might be sold to assist the budget.  He also removed books that were controversial and anti-Mormon.  He spent nearly the entire day, the 13th, at the Reno Institute of Religion, pulling over 200 books and numerous audio cassettes. It was great fun.  Some of the shelves looked rather bare when he finished.

The next day, Tuesday, was the weekly district training meeting for the missionaries held in the Sparks stake center.  Gail always brings a treat for the 35-40 there--such as sweet rolls, brownies, apple crisp, etc--in large quantities that are cheap and easy to make to fill up the elders and treat the sisters.  She was left to carry on with that voluntary responsibility when the senior couple we replaced--the Mellors--went home.

The Monday WalMart run

We are still trying to locate families with children who should be enrolled in our Sunday School class.  We found a large family of 8, the Deckers, with 2 boys for our class.  They have been inactive for a time but expressed a desire to return to church.  We picked them up this past Sunday, and they stayed for the entire block of meetings.  They just bought a used van but had not yet registered it.  So they should have a car available in the near future. We had a lot to talk about comparing our big families.  We hope they continue to attend.  Paul was inspired to bring our van  instead of the car on this mission and we have certainly used it--hauling missionaries, mainly, but now offering rides to families.  It reminds me of mother taking all the kids to Primary each week years ago--the Cox family, Michelle and Craig, etc.  Of course we lost the Lexus because we brought the van.  With the insurance money we will have to buy another car when we get home.

On Stake Temple day Gail was able to get many of her baptisms, initiatory,  endowments and sealings performed.  It was Paul's first time seeing the new motion picture.  In the Bountiful Temple he was never assigned an endowment session.  He was greatly moved.  We understand another film will soon be shown in the temples.

One Sunday we accompanied two missionaries who taught a lesson on the Book of Mormon to a mother and two children who are inactive. They live in a run down trailer that has empty pop bottles and other trash laying around on the floor.  Paul was specifically invited to answer questions.   Another daughter, age 14, was too ill to join with us.  The young man, Noah, age 16,  is very bright and had a lot of interesting questions.  Paul did a good job of answering them to his satisfaction.  Noah's sister, age 13, played with her enormous dog (in the small quarters no less) and had on her ear phones the entire time and probably didn't hear a word we said.  But Noah committed to reading the Book of Mormon and we think he will.  He seems to be well read.

At the end of the discussion we all bore our testimony of the book as well as the mother.  Her testimony was very interesting.  She has made some very poor choices in life--a terrible example to her children.  They all have different fathers--none of them married to their mother.  WE really feel sorry for the poor children.

Four missionary sisters from the district came to dinner last week and four elders are coming tonight. The elders like to have Paul to answer their questions.  They are always a lively and energetic group and fun to visit with.  I am always amazed with the amount of food the elders can consume.

Last Saturday we attended our second missionary breakfast at President Johnson's home.  A Hindu man from India spoke briefly.  Next Saturday President Johnson is sponsoring an interdenominational prayer service at the Stake Center in regard to the terrible ongoing drought in Nevada.  President Johnson expects Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu leaders to be in attendance.
 President Johnson's breakfast

Hindu man with Paul

Three new members attended Sunday School class, making an all time high of 12!  The lesson was on the Holy Ghost and they loved Paul's interesting stories.  We had one of the Elders come into class and sit with Michael, (the A.D.H.D. plus young man).    Elder Ruiz even suggested he help us out as he wants a profession as a youth counselor.  It is working very well when Michael has constant  attention and encouragement to sit and listen.  One of our class rules is "If you warm your seat you get a treat"--aimed at young people such as Michael who frequently walk in and out of class.  So every week I bring them a treat.  Elder Ruiz says under these conditions he doesn't mind helping us out!

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