Sunday, September 20, 2009

More Adam News!

Today Adam was the youth speaker at Church. Unfortunately, he had forgotten that he had said "yes" to that assignment. He finished helping with the Sacrament and came to his seat beside me. I had been sitting there wondering if he knew his name was on the program. I quickly pointed it out to him. He had forgotten. I told him he could just give his testimony. I was proud of him that he would march up to the front of the Chapel and take his seat beside the other speakers. He was the first speaker. He explained that he had forgotten he was to speak. He then proceeded to give a wonderful extemporaneous talk on the assigned subject of forgiveness. He told a story of how a young Nazi prison camp survivor was able to forgive one of her tormenters. He then bore his testimony. I was so proud of him!!! I was getting a lot of compliments about him throughout the rest of the three-hour block of meetings.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hello family and friends. We are still alive and kickin' out here in Southern California! President Martin (Jerry) and I just returned from a mission president seminar in Newport Beach. It was wonderful!! We learned from many of our Church leaders (Elder Christofferson one of the 12 Apostles, President Clayton, and Elder Arnold of the Seventy, and Brother Allen who heads the missionary department) how to be better leaders of our mission. Our testimonies have grown and we are excited to implement our training.

I did promise that most of this blog would be about Adam. He seems to be doing great!!! While we were gone Camie and her two boys (Benjamin and Joshua) came over to stay with Adam and get him to Seminary and school. He loves his little nephews.

On a typical day Adam gets up at 6:10 and gets ready for seminary and school. He goes to Seminary at 6:30. From Seminary we take him to Hart High School. He stays in school until 3:00 p.m. when we pick him us (unless he walks). He has a sweet job filming the football games from the end zone. He is considered part of the coaching staff. I will learn to attach pictures so you can see him in his staff shirt. There is generally one game/week. He travels to some of the games. Adam also takes a video productions class. Get his autograph now--he may be a big director or producer one day.

On weekends Adam enjoys doing things with his Dad or the missionaries. He keeps up with a lot of friends on Facebook. Adam's favorite fast food is In N Out Burger. He loves his burgers "animal style." ("Animal style" means the burger is covered in sauteed onions.) He likes steaks. They are probably his favorite food. Almost every day Adam goes swimming in the community pool which is about 5 or 6 houses down. Occasionally he plays basketball with his Dad and has even won a game of one-on-one with him. (He is the only child to accomplish this--Jerry has tied his dad.)

Adam is not impressed with the dessert. He does not like going North of our valley (through the Joshua trees) to Palmdale, Lancaster or Ridgecrest. He can't understand why anyone would live there. It even makes Moab, Utah look good to him. Adam much prefers the city and suburb areas.

One great story on Adam. We had Elder and Sister Hafen doing a mission tour with us last week. We had just finished a debriefing session with the Hafens where they complimented us on the things we were doing well and gave some helpful suggestions on what we could do to make things better. Both the Hafens and Martins were exhausted from a long day. We said goodnight to each other and went into our separate bedrooms when we heard Adam's bedroom door burst open. "Aren't we going to read the Book of Mormon tonight? Adam queried. Talk about being called to repentance by a 17 year old. We read one chapter. We wonder what we will do in two years when we no longer have Adam here to keep us on the "straight and narrow."

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Busy Week

We are heading into the busiest week of our mission so far. We have transfers today. That means that all the missionaries who are changing areas, apartments, and companions, pack and move to their new location.

Tomorrow all of the missionaries being released (about 10 this time), will go to the Los Angeles Temple with us. Then we will come to the mission home for lunch. The missionaries will have their exit interview with the mission president (Jerry), and hang out with us for the afternoon. Then, that evening we will serve them dinner and have a testimony meeting here at the mission home. The missionaries will then retire (some in beds, some on inflatable mattresses, and some on sofas). I was told they don't actually go to sleep, but last time we only had four elders stay with us and they actually did go to sleep. The next day, they are taken to the airport where they will travel home and into the waiting arms of their families who haven't seen them for 18 months (sisters) to two years (elders).

The incoming missionaries are usually picked up in the same vehicles used to drop the outging missionaries off. They will return to the mission home with about 16 excited missionaries fresh from the MTC (Missionary Training Center), in Provo, Utah. They will begin an orientation process by the mission office staff, the APs (Assistants to the President), Jerry and me. Jerry will inspire them. I will give them a medical lecture on how to stay healthy while on their mission. (Yes, I know this goes in one ear and out the other). At some point we break into the training and feed them their first non MTC meal in two months (cooked by yours truely). They then are interviewed by their new mission president and photographed with Jerry and I and by themselves. At about 2:30, their trainers (first companion assigned to teach them how to be a great missionary) arrive to take them to their assignments. After they are photographed with their trainers, off they go.

Generally I would fall into a heap on the sofa at this point, but this time we have a visiting general authority and his wife arriving for a mission tour. I will be scurrying about changing beds cleaning a bathroom and getting ready to serve dinner to Elder Bruce C. and Sister Hafen, 14 missionaries, and three Martin's. The 12 Zone Leaders will go through a training which will be attended by the Hafens. We will eat dinner, and the missionaries will leave.

Zone Conferences will be held the next two days. We will be combining three Zones for Thursday, and the other three for Friday. We will receive intstruction from Elder Hafen, President Martin and me. I will have only 10 minutes of instructions to the elders and sisters. I get a break feeding lunch to the groups (of approximately 80 each day). Others have been assigned to cook and serve us.

Thursday evening we have a staff dinner with the office staff, their spouses and the Hafens. I will have help cooking and serving this dinner. All I have to make is the salad and bake the ham.

Friday the Hafens leave and President Martin and I WILL take a P-day (preparation day)!

Sorry this blog was so long. Next blog, I will write all about Adam. He is doing very well. He likes school and has a sweet job video taping football games.