We haven't posted for a month so have a lot of catching up to do.
The Elders have been teaching an investigator they found in our ward area. Her name is Barbara Summers. She wanted to be baptized but her husband wouldn't allow it. We always try to talk to, and fellowship, the investigators and Gail would take Barbara to Relief Society Homemaking meeting each month. In April we were thinking about what we could do to soften her husband. Paul said food always does the trick! So Gail, while making pies, decided to make him a big blueberry turnover. She dropped it off when she picked up Barbara for the RS meeting. The next Sunday the Elders announced he had given his permission for her to be baptized! We're sure the turnover did the trick. Whatever it takes!!!
She has difficulties reading because of hearing and eye problems from birth. Gail is now working to arrange for literacy lessons and will probably help teach her. Remember Jay Thiessens--the member we lived with for the first two weeks here in Reno? He did not learn to read until he was 65 years old. Barbara, however, is blind in one eye but does see enough with the other to read some. She's a fiesty little thing and is anxious to learn more. And by the way, her husband is now taking the lessons. She tells me he is very shy, doesn't talk a lot and she was surprised he agreed to let the Elders teach him.
In spite of Paul having a great amount of dental work done before leaving on this mission, he spent several sessions in the chairs of Scott Weed, an endodontist, and John Childs, a traditional dentist, during the last part of April and most of May. Both men are active Latter-day Saints. Several weeks ago Paul had a very sore tooth. Dr. Weed found the need to do a root canal. He also implanted two fiberglass rods to stabilize the tooth so that it wouldn't break off! He filled an adjacent tooth that had major decay and discovered extensive cavities in Paul's four lower frontal teeth. He went to Dr. Childs for that work. Dr. Childs' first preference was to pull all four and do implants, but our insurance could not bear that burden, so he heroically filled them, then cemented a wire behind the teeth to hopefully keep them in place until we can complete our mission. Both men are active supporters of missionary work. Dr. Weed's parents preside over the Benin (sp?) Mission in Africa. Benin is a very small nation. Two weeks ago, two of Dr. Childs' sons returned from missions, and a third was preparing to leave. Both men kindly chose not to charge their normal fees because of Paul's missionary service. The extensive problems are the result of a condition known as dry mouth. Bacteria thrive in dry mouth. The solution? Buy a pound of Xylotyl, a SUGAR manufactured from field corn, mix a teaspoon in water, and drink the solution throughout the day. Xylotyl does not cause decay but actually neutralizes the "bad" sugar bacteria on the surface of the teeth. Paul called around and finally found a health foods store that carried the package. A one pound bag sells for about $8.
The second week in May Elder and Sister Teh, from the First Council of the Seventy, toured our mission. He held zone conferences and firesides for investigators throughout the mission. While he was in Carson City he invited several of the senior couples to have dinner with he and his wife. We drove down (about 40 miles) and enjoyed a great evening eating at Chili's. We visited until about 10 PM. Elder Teh's parents were born and raised in China. We learned a great deal about the Philippines and the Teh family. He spoke of the great devastation that occurred recently on one of the islands. Elder Teh is very humorous and quite relaxed for a general authority. Paul sat next to him and they visited throughout the evening. Paul told him something of which he was unaware--that Richard W. Young, a grandson of Brigham Young, assisted the Philippine government in writing their constitution. Richard was a graduate of West Point and an attorney by training. When he was in the Philippines he served as a general over the troops from Utah.
|With Elder and Sister Tey|
Last Saturday night the Spanish branch connected to our ward held an Hispanic Heritage night with dinner and a program. We all helped with food and it was a fun evening with the largest turnout of any ward party we've had. We and the Elders invited all our newly activated members, our inactives and our investigators and so many came. We were thrilled to see them at the party (even if many won't attend on Sunday).
It's rained several days this week (hooray!) so we have been transporting elders and sisters here and there. None of them have cars and it's hard to bike in the rain. We've put a lot of miles on this van. We took one set of sisters and two sets of elders to zone conference yesterday and an additional three sets of elders to their apartment from the meeting. We had to make two trips.
Many thanks for all the remembrances on Mothers Day. We hope all you mothers also had a great day. We love you and are amazed at how fast this one year mission is going by.