WEEK FIFTEEN October 14, 2013
Zone leaders called to say “Thank you for your comments at the Zone Training meeting last week. We apologize for saying some things we didn’t mean about being led by the Spirit.” They also offered to give us any assistance we may need. Sister H thought it was interesting that the ZL who hadn’t made the comments was the one who called to apologize and wondered further why would they need to apologize to us anyway.
This week Elder Enrique R. Falabella, of the First Quorum of the Seventy toured the California Irvine Mission. On Thursday half of our mission (three zones) met with him in a joint training session from 8 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Elder Falabella is from Guatemala where he was a manager with Bayer before his call in 2007 to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
The attached picture is not of an alien, but rather Sister H at her eye exam.
Called on a sister, the Eighteen family, who hesitated and then invited us in telling us we were the first members of the church to be in her home in quite some time. Raised in Arizona, spent the last few years in Salt Lake City. Parents served a Senior Couple mission about five years ago and remain active as does her married daughter still living in Utah. Husband is Catholic and she seems fearful any interest will affect her marriage. Has an eight year old daughter who was blessed as a baby who, she wants to be baptized. Accepted our invitation to find a Primary pal for her daughter, promised to bring her to Primary, and gave us her email address so she could receive the ward bulletin. Hasn’t had home teachers or visiting teachers but said that was difficult with their very territorial dog.
Followed up that meeting with a visit to the Nineteen family. We had attempted to visit them a couple of times previously but never found them at home. We finished up with the Eighteen family and I was driving to get something to eat when Sister H suggested we go the other way and try to see the Nineteen family again before we eat. Turns out they were leaving for a movie and we would have missed them had we eaten first.
There is behind a locked gate about fifteen feet from the front door and the gate was on about a 30 degree angle from the door so when we rang the doorbell the way we were standing they could not have seen Sister Haddock. The wife came to the door and I explained that we were missionaries for the Church and wondered if they would allow us to share a message with them. She said, “Just a minute and went back into the house. At that moment I had the impression to move Jan closer to the left so she would be in plain sight from the doorway. I could overhear the woman telling her husband that they had a show to go to so she was going to turn us away. When she came to the door and saw Sister Haddock her just dropped and she retreated back into the house telling her husband she was going to invite us in and ask us to pray with them about a Sharon and another family whose name I didn’t catch. She came back to the doorway and told us they were leaving soon but just couldn’t turn us away and she opened the gate and invited us in.
They sat us in the living room and were very gracious. She is a retired English and Spanish secondary education teacher, for over 30 years, and he was an auto body repairman. Turns out they have studied the church with sister missionaries some fifteen years ago they had been introduced by good friends to the church over the years, that family has now moved to St. George. When I mentioned I had a brother named Greg he said, “If you do then you will never be able to spell my name.” Without evening thinking and while writing something down, my mouth began speaking and I was surprised to hear me using a very odd spelling to which he said, “You are the first person ever able to spell my name.” I suggested it was prophetic.
Wonderful couple, good spirit in the home. We had a terrific visit for over an hour and shared some thoughts about the need for a restoration and the plan of salvation, answered some questions that had never been resolved before and in doing so he asked if we could come by and have a discussion with them. So we set up an appointment. The husband said, “Let’s meet at 3 p.m. that way it won’t you’re your whole day.” I couldn’t figure out what he meant by the comment so I inquired. Said he, “Oh it will probably take three hours to answer the questions we have.”
Since I had overheard her comment about praying with them, I suggested we pray for those they knew who had needs. She was overjoyed and asked me to be voice praying for the Albrect family who had just lost their mother and Sharon, an atheist suffering from cancer. As I began praying I felt a powerful spirit and was given the words to speak. When I concluded both of them were wiping tears from their eyes. We said warm goodbyes and Sister H and I floated out of the house. As Jan and I drove away we were fascinated by the timing that brought us there, her response in seeing Sister H, and my spelling his name correctly, my overhearing their need for a prayer, and the power of the prayer and its effect on them. It will be interesting to see what purposes the Lord desires to accomplish with them through us. Later we learned that our daughter Kerri had that day put both Elder and Sister Haddock’s names in the Provo Temple.
Following is a photo of a 213 year old painting that captured our son’s imagination at four years of age when he loudly announced in the Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano, “Oh so it was the Catholics who killed Jesus!”
Dashing couple of missionaries at Mission San Juan Capistrano
This week we also were privileged to attend the baptism of the wife of the Fifteen family and serve as one of the witnesses. Family and ward members filled the room to overflowing and a sweet spirit prevailed which I am sure was felt by other family members in attendance.
We concluded the week with another terrific discussion with the Six family, our eighth discussion with them. I reminded them that they were first door to open to us on our mission and he said, “And how happy are we that you came to our door.”