Len & Kit's Missionary Adventures in California

Monday, May 29, 2017

Two weeks have sped by since the last update.

The men’s choirs for Zone conferences May 6-8 were all good sized and sounded great singing, ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’. We were invited to stay all day at the Fresno conference.  After lunch the missionaries were divided into groups of about 8 plus a pair of seniors.  The companionships took turns explaining some facet of the gospel in their own words, using at least one personal example to illustrate what they were teaching.  Ours all did a great job.  It was especially great to hear their personal anecdotes.

Last Saturday we went to a grove of sequoia trees near Yosemite that the Bradshaws knew about. We thought about going to Sequoia Park but there were several days with highs in the 20s there and some snow during the week. In addition to the enormous venerable trees we saw, we also caught sight of some bright red things popping out of the earth close by.  We thought they must be fungi.  A quick search on the information highway identified them sarcodes sanguinea, Snow Flowers.  We were glad for the opportunity to see them since they are limited to high mountains of the western U.S. for a couple of months after snow melt.  They feed off fungi that attach themselves to the roots of large trees.  Weird, eh?

Last Sunday our Ward Men’s Choir performed in Sacrament Meeting - a 4-part (TTBB) number, ‘Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy.’  We had 12 singers involved, plus Kit as pianist, and got lots of compliments.  Singing in and listening to a men’s choir was a new experience for many.  They have already been invited to sing again next month.

Observations from our travels:  Monday’s apartment checks were in Porterville, our farthest zone to the south.  Highway CA99 is the major artery we use.  For many stretches of road there are 10-12 foot hedges (mostly oleander) that are blooming now – many tints of red, pink, and white – beautiful!  Rivers are high from hot temperatures melting the still considerable snow pack in the Sierra Nevadas.  We pass several large dairies on our route.  Holsteins are most evident, but also Jerseys, Guernseys, and maybe some Brown Swiss.  There are lots of trains around here, too.  They often specialize in types of cars.  Often there are container trains.  We have seen some short cars that may be called “mill gondolas”, according to my search.  Much grass in the hills and along the highways has been ripe for a month.  There was already a big fire near Coalinga.  It has reached 100 degrees several times by now.  It is not unusual to see umbrellas used as parasols.

Len’s knee is coming along well.  He saw an orthopedic surgeon Tuesday morning and had x-rays that helped us know we should continue with the current treatment plan (rest, ice, compression, elevation).  He will begin walking a modest amount when it gets healed a little more.  Since exercise has been markedly reduced, Len has stopped sampling the missionary treat cart in the mission office.

Stacie and Nick stopped by on Tuesday to take us to dinner and spend the night.  It was a great treat to have them here and do some catching up!  They went on their way Wednesday after breakfast, listening to Cannery Row in preparation for a day in Monterey.

Kit is now trying to replace some of the oldest or worst apartments.  There are also some we have had for a long time that owners are improving.  There is at least one place Kit is trying to improve in a town where the rental market is incredibly tight.  We are taking some inexpensive drapes there tomorrow.  I think every housing coordinator wants to leave all good apartments as much as possible. 

Have a great week!
Love from Len and Kit