WEEK FIVE August 5, 2013
Early in the week we were treated to Kerri, Mark and family stopping by for lunch on their way to spend some time at the beach in Encinitas. It was so good to see them. Kerri mentioned they had completely changed the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center and wondered if we could go there with the family on our next P-day. We checked with the mission office and found that we could.
I had noticed at the first district meeting we attended a lack of energy, passion and engaged hearts. So this week following the presentation on “hope” I asked the district leader if I could share a few ideas which he welcomed and afterwards asked if he could call on me in subsequent meetings to make presentations to which I readily agreed.
We spent the morning Thursday meeting with the Four family, he evangelical and she LDS. We had a lot to talk about with him pointing out that the stories in the Book of Mormon were the “same as” those in the bible just the names had been changed. I pointed out that since we are dealing with the same God we would expect similarities and chose not to challenge his assertion, to which he said, “Yes, that makes sense.” He raised a couple of issues that bothered him which we attempted to put to rest. I think we could have weekly discussions with this brother for our entire 18 months. So I was surprised he didn’t make it to Church on Sunday. He expressed a great love for Jeremiah, one of my favorite OT prophets as well, so after we left I decided I would put together a discussion comparing restored gospel principles with the teachings of Jeremiah.
Friday evening we were invited to dinner by the Five family at the California Fish Grill. Yummy!! I had shared with him by email the things I had found in ancestry.com on his grandparents, including the surprise revelation that his grandfather had been previously married. He had marked up the pages I had sent and had a number of family history questions and seemed quite excited about finishing up this project. I shared with him the purpose the Church is so into family history involving the sealing of families together. He said he liked that. He then began about thirty minutes of questions, all in the anti-Mormon vein, which he said I had satisfactorily answered. With our rotating ward assignments we were not able to make contact with him on Sunday so we are not sure whether he followed up or not. I also encourage him to get back with the missionaries for the additional discussions they had prepared for him.
Saturday I set about writing up a discussion comparing parallel teachings of Jeremiah (brother Four’s favorite) and those of Joseph Smith. When I actually got into it I was surprised at how much of the gospel was taught by Jeremiah and look forward to meeting with Brother Four again. I spoke with his wife on Sunday and told her what I had prepared for her husband.
We also met the Six family this week. He a non-member who wanted to host us at Church. We attended the Lake Forest ward block on Sunday with Brother Six introducing us around and sitting by us at Sacrament, Sunday school and in the high priest group. During the course of the Fast and Testimony meeting the impression swept over me that we should propose to teach them the temple preparation lessons. I shared that with the elders who had told us about fifteen sets of missionaries had given discussions but no one had considered temple preparation. Hopefully they will be receptive to the proposition. We met with a number of families and secured some more names for us to visit and they are going to put together 10 names for us to visit to introduce them to a Family Missionary Plan.
We were invited to a break the fast for empty nesters on Sunday evening and met the Foster family whose son David had been a defensive force for the University of Utah basketball team before having foot problems. They used to live here but are now in Tehachapi. David is trying to catch on with a European team.
On P-day we traveled to San Diego and spent the day in Old Town. The entire building we knew at the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center has been razed and a building more contemporary with 1847 has been built. The tour is more geared to the Battalion rather than the Church message and is done very well. We really enjoyed it. Cooper volunteered to be the recruit that was fitted with all the gear and Mark took a picture of him.
The brother of my second great grandfather, William Strong became a member of the battalion when my third great grandfather was too ill to accept his appointment. Interestingly the brother of Jan’s second great grandfather, Orin Mortimer Beckstead was also in the Battalion, both separated out to Los Angeles, both on to Sutter’s Mill and both in the same company returning to Salt Lake City.