Monday, June 23, 2014

Week Fifty

WEEK FIFTY   June 16, 2014

This week I made a missionary donation to the Red Cross blood bank and was treated like royalty. Have often thought what an easy thing this is to do and apparently very useful.

We enjoyed lunch this week with one of our Ward Mission Leaders and his dear wife at Empanada Man. He had served in Argentina as had one of our daughters and son and all three have raved about empanada’s so we tried the beef, spinach & cheese, and saltena empanadas. As well as gnocchi, all of which were delicious.

Heard a message each day this week from the son of the Two family and his observations in reading the Book of Mormon. One of which was about
3rd Nephi chapter 4. “It was talking about before the Nephites went to war they prayed to God for his protection and his mercy upon them for their sins. There was a great slaughter during the war it says it was one of the biggest ever. The Nephites destroyed the leader of the robbers and drove n them out the land. The robbers had chosen a new leader. The new leader was hanged and more of the robbers were killed. Great chapter. It was only by God’s grace and the people repenting for their sins. Awesome Ch.”

Had a meeting with Brother Forty-Two who is leaving for two weeks to preach at the Church of God in Queens, New York on Daniel and Revelation and is very excited about it. The discussion was very positive and uplifting. Again he referenced that he needed to know the truth if he was going to get baptized. That comment almost seemed out of context with his joy for leaving. He did share three more anti-Mormon DVDs he wanted me to watch and explain to him when he returns. While he was away he sent the following: Received from Paul Jung, our Church of God minister—“What name Elohim?” I replied, the Hebrew plural noun Elohim is translated as gods. Sometimes used as a name – title for God the father with the plural sense understood as a payroll of majesty or excellence reflecting all of the qualities and characteristics possessed by God the father. Often it is impossible to know where the term Elohim is referring to God the father or to Jehovah. At other times it is clear that Elohim is intended as a simple plural noun meaning gods. By attaching “El” the Hebrews were reminded of their dependence upon God and his importance in their lives.

Had a very sweet meeting with the Twenty One family tonight in preparation of his ordination Sunday. What a joy it has been to associate with them. We shared a very animated discussion about how to mark scriptures showing them my study version and others as well, my reasoning for what I did, and reminding them they do it doesn’t matter. We also gave them marking pencils, rulers, and color markers which they were grateful to receive. With his earlier struggles with Isaiah, we suggested he start in Mosiah and end with Nephi.

Father’s day was a first for me. I think it was the first time I have ever conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained a brother an Elder on this glorious day. So Brother Twenty One is now Elder Twenty One. We had renewed there a truth we have learned as Senior Missionaries. We may not be the youngest, the fastest, or even do all the things we once did as young missionaries over half a century ago, but there is still a vital place in the Lord’s work for us old codgers to get out of our easy chairs and venture forth as Nephi, not knowing beforehand the things we are going to do. At the ordination the Bishop noted, “Elder and Sister Haddock have been like lightening from heaven. Just as lighting brings clarity in a dark forest glade, they have brought spiritual clarity to your lives. It’s as if they have become your spiritual parents now.” When Elder Twenty One was asked to share his testimony he said, with great emotion, “We are so grateful for Brother and Sister Haddock. They are the parents we never had and the grandparents our children never had. What a great blessing they have become in our lives. We will never forget them.” Wow, how can you resist the impression to get up, get out, and get going?

We also picked up a copy of Elder Richard G. Scott’s book, Finding Peace, Happiness and Joy and gave it to Brother Fifty-four who has made a complete turn around and is entering the MTC shortly on his way to Ecuador. I told him this book was one of the most profound I had ever read, save on the scriptures and that reading it in preparation for his mission would broaden his understanding of just what the Savior is offering to all who come unto him and just what it means to be a disciple of Christ and in turn help him to receive the peace, happiness and joy a loving Heavenly Father and His Only Begotten Son have in store for him.

Brother Six left for a week to pick up his daughter in the East and was appreciative that we would be looking in on Sister Six in his absence. We met with Sister Six alone in his absence. She brought us up. We shared a video on father’s doing things with and for their children but really showed our need to trust in the God that he is there even when we don’t see him providing for us. Tried and tried, almost to the obnoxious stage to get her to let us serve her and all we could get was an invitation to call her each day and to have lunch together on Wednesday. How often it seems that those who are so great at serving others have such difficulty in being served themselves.

Received some sweet notes and remembrances on Father’s Day this week and then forget to wear the hand-printed tie my grandkids had given me. We have had a family saying, “Remember Who You Are” that our children heard as they were growing up and in each letter I wrote them on their missions. Kelly send me a card that read, “Remember who you are!” Then in small print below read: “Otherwise they’ll take you to the hospital and check for brain injuries.” Kelly opined that the card makes “your saying more applicable to your age.”

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