Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My parents the missionaries

In May my parents headed to New York to be full time missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They have been running non-stop ever since. All senior missions are a little different according to the needs of the area, and there are a lot of needs in theirs. They are blessed that my little brother and two nieces live somewhat near them and they get to see them occasionally for a quick lunch or dinner, but honestly, they work from sun up to sun down serving the people of New York.

Here is an email I just got from my mom explaining just one part of one day out of their 18 month commitment:

Hello dear ones.

I got a facebook message from my dear friend last night who said it sounds like we are on a second honeymoon. I almost started laughing hysterically.  Let me recap yesterday from 3:15 until 9:30.  

3:15 I was to meet the English sisters at the church to be there while they gave an investigator a tour of the church. I went, they weren't there. Meanwhile one set of the Spanish sisters called and asked if Elder Waterman could give one of them a blessing. There were two English men missionaries there and I almost asked them to come and help but decided to ask the sister first. 

3:20 Spanish sisters arrived and said they just wanted a blessing of comfort from Elder Waterman by himself.  This dear little sister (must weigh 95 pounds) is a beautiful black sister from Mississippi who is the only member in her family and they are giving her a hard time about being here. She was in absolute tears. She came to the perfect person who knew how she felt. 

3:25 English sisters called and said they were almost there and could I go in case their investigator arrived before they did. I left before Elder Waterman started giving the blessing.

3:30 Started the best church tour I have ever heard. Love those sisters. The investigator loved it.

3:45 Came back home and visited with a very comforted sister missionary.  Everyone was all smiles.

4 Sisters left and I finally got my homemade carrot cake in the oven for home evening.  Needed 40 minutes. Started dinner for two elders that I had really wanted to have a nice long visit with. One of them has come to the end of his mission and is going home in a week and a half.

4:40 cake out and cooling, house in order for home evening, table set for 6 PM dinner.

4:45 Same set of Spanish sisters call me from the church with a problem too big to address over the phone.  I went over. (the church is almost next door, thank heavens) They had an hysterical mother of 5 who told them that she needed help because she and her husband and children had been locked out of the room that they have called home for quite awhile.  They have been subletting from someone. He had told the oldest daughter that he was leaving town for awhile and he had changed all the locks and if her parents were not there in five minutes he would be gone.  I recognized the mom as a former investigator that the two previous sisters had been so excited about. The parents were from Mexico. The children all born here.

5 We called the Bishop of the Spanish ward and he started calling around to see if anyone would be willing to rent them a room. The Dad has a job. We called the RS president and she said call 311 and they would help them get into a homeless shelter. The family has no car. The mother said if they went to a shelter her children would be put into foster care. She did not want to involve any police or city official.

5:10 An English elder came in and asked if I had any Pepto Bismol at my house. I took him home and gave him medicine and made frosting for the cake. 

5:30 went back to the church and met some of the children who looked and sounded very American. (The mom only spoke Spanish). They said their Dad was out with the two little ones looking for another room to rent. Spanish sisters were looking like they were in over their head. I gave the oldest daughter my cell phone and told her she would not sleep on the street but not sure how we would solve this as we didn't own our home and would need permission to bring in anyone else. The high priest group leader from the English ward came to the church for some reason.  He is from Ecuador and began a rapid conversation back and forth with the mother in Spanish. 

5:50 I came home to start frying tortillas for quiet taco dinner with our two elders. 

6 our company arrived and helped get everything on the table. We started eating about 6:15

6:25 An older lady, a middle aged lady, her two sons ages 8 and 10, and her 3 year old granddaughter arrived more than half an hour early for home evening.  They come by bus so it is hard to judge how long their trip will take. I had told the older lady that I had a bag of quarters for bus fare that I had not used on Saturday. I was prepared to pay for the bus coming and going to get the two teenage girls to and from Women's Conference. We all got rides home in a car.  At that time I told this older lady if she wanted to come to home evening I would give her those quarters so she could pay for the bus. Anyway, the two boys immediately asked if they could have tacos and I got up to fry up some more tortillas. We still had plenty of makings on the table so I thought it wouldn't hurt. But our quiet dinner had come to an end. 

6:30 with the two boys added to the table I told everyone that I needed to go back to the church to see how things were progressing.  I asked Dennis to spread the frosting on the cake.  I found the before mentioned high priest group leader there who was still trying to help but the mother did not like his suggestions.  The teenage children went out to find their father. The Spanish sisters looked like they were in over their head. More talking, and trying to calm the mom.

7 A very hassled Dennis came over to see if I could come back to help with home evening.  It turns out the high priest group leader was there at the invitation of the English elders who had asked for the Pepto Bismol. The three of them came back home with me. Fortunately the English teens who had the lesson and the game had arrived.  The song leader had not but we started anyway.  I found out later that the kids had been all over the house. They had asked for all kinds of food.  The older lady and the middle aged lady had both asked for tacos after I left so Dennis had fried up tortillas and let them fill them with whatever was left on the table. The two elders who had been asked over for a quiet dinner were wrangling the kids, doing dishes, setting up chairs for home evening, etc. Den did get the caked frosted.  The song leader came half an hour late. We also had one of our regular families-- a wonderful single woman from the Ivory Coast and her 9 year old son and 3 year old daughter.  The two 3 year olds hit it off.  21 people in all.

8 Everyone enjoyed home evening.  I asked the sister missionaries to serve the cake and I headed back to the church.  The high priest group leader said I should not go alone and he directed the two English missionaries to come with me and he would join us shortly. I didn't feel any fear and wondered why I needed help. 

8:15 the Spanish bishop called and said he had called every possible person in his ward and no one had a room to sublet and suggested we call 311. Brother R. had been talking to the mom about calling the police. She was not behind on her rent. The man had all their earthly possessions behind locked doors which amounted to theft. The teenage daughter arrived and said the Dad had convinced the superintendent of the building to pick the lock and let them in. They found their possessions had been thrashed and money stolen.  The Dad had called the police.  At this news the mom let out a wail and said that was a mistake. Brother R. gave her his phone number and said he would go to court with them if they wanted. He would help however they needed.  Apparently they got to go back into their room that night and also were able to collect their belongings.

8:30 I hugged the Spanish sisters and sent them home. I locked up the building and headed home to take one of the girls home. We had a hard time getting the crowd out the door who were heading to the bus but I was too hassled to drive by myself.  I really wanted Dennis with me and it turned out to be a good thing.  I almost went into a one way street the wrong way, but he caught my mistake and I made a NYC u-turn. 

8:50 arrived back home and got Debbie Yancey's email about our second honeymoon. Smile. I sent her a brief note back about the kind of day it had been. 

9:30 fell in bed, thanking my Heavenly Father for the miracle of Brother R. being there. He has never been to our home evening before but his presence kept us all sane and he really knew what to do.

PS we got up at 5:15 this morning to take a girl to early morning seminary. It is time to fall in bed again for the same reason. We are supported through all our ups and downs by the Lord.  Sometimes I think we keep a whole fleet of angels busy!!

Love you all.  Mom/Lois