|Here’s an important skill for moving! When we discovered the needed house key was not on the key ring we brought, Elder Ellestad was the MVP (and right size)! |
This week is another big moving week. We went to Auberry in the foothills of Yosemite Park area at the northeast edge of the mission (lots of curves on those roads) this morning to empty a senior apartment, then took the load down to Porterville at the far southeast of the mission. We went today to dodge rain storms that will be around the rest of the week. Driving a pickup and pulling a trailer is not our idea of fun when it is raining. Getting upholstered or wooden furniture wet is a thing to avoid too. We’ll have to make a second trip to Auberry later in the week to collect items that are unneeded in Porterville and wouldn’t fit in the covered trailer. We are so glad for the missionaries who come to help us load and unload, even on their Preparation Day, on which they clean, do laundry, write emails, and do any sight-seeing they can manage. They are always quick to agree no matter what we ask them to do. We are so glad that we know a lot of them now and enjoy lunch together after or before moves when possible.
The past week we have had perfect California weather – cool, but not chilly, mornings; warm, but not hot, afternoons; plenty of sunshine. Great! The newest color of flowering trees is the vivid lavender-pink of CA redbuds along with something that is deep violet. Really spectacular!
Last week was a transfer week with five missionaries going home and four coming in. Those sorts of numbers are not uncommon in the spring apparently. It is certainly more manageable than it was in the fall. I suppose it could be more fun for the missionaries to be part of a large group, but calm and quiet is fine with us. Len especially enjoys counseling with the departing ones who hope for medical careers and seek his advice. The four newcomers are all from the south – Florida, Virginia, Texas, and Alabama. I guess that might help them deal with the upcoming summer heat – and the reality of cockroaches here.
One of the missionaries who left was a convert from northern Minnesota. Five years ago he was a clerk in a convenience store where missionaries used to come in and buy snacks. One night they left and then felt they needed to go back and invite him to learn more about Jesus Christ. The young man was not religious and really not interested, so he did all he could to avoid them from then on, but finally they saw him again and took the opportunity to ask him to read a short passage of Christ’s words aloud. That short connection with the scriptures spoke to him so powerfully that when they asked him if he would continue to learn, he said, “Yes. I know it is true.” So he went on from there and just completed two years here extending that invitation to others. I always thought he looked older than the others. He applied for his mission just before he turned 26, which is the cut off for young missionaries so now he is actually 28. He has lots of new goals for the rest of his life and we wish him well.