WEEK SEVENTY-FIVE December 8, 2014
Noticed that we failed to post to our blog the last few weeks of our mission so I am going to try to pull that together and get it completed.
Following the temple sealing with the Two family we were at Fuddruckers with them and the Bishop and his family when the telephone rang. Brother Seventy-nine was on the phone to ask me some questions. Through a set of “coincidences” arranged by the Lord we had encountered his son at a candy shop. Seeing us the son thought we should visit with his father again regarding the temple. We had talked a couple of times. His first question to me was “What do I have to do to come back to church?” I told him “get out of your car and walk in the door.” Said he, “I don’t have to meet with the bishop?” “No,” I said. Later he called to tell me that he was going to be a church the next Sunday. Later he called again and told me of something that would require him to meet with the bishop. Tonight on the phone he told me he had thought about it and was ready to meet with the bishop. I told him the Bishop was with me and would he like to talk to him to set up an appointment to which he said yes. I briefed the bishop who took the phone and scheduled an appointment and began meeting with this brother. A couple of months later, after our mission return, he called again to tell me things were going well with the bishop and “whether I am able to attend the temple sealing of my son or not, I am going to follow through on getting myself worthy.” Well another month passed when I received an excited telephone call from him. “Guess what I have in my hand?” He told me he had his temple recommend was going to the temple on Saturday to receive his endowments and Tuesday to his son’s sealing. His ex-wife has also taken care of her matters and she also will be at the sealing. So starting with this young inactive couple four have now received their endowments and the couple have been sealed for time and all eternity in the temple.
During my study this morning I felt to send something to Brother Four saying “this scripture in Isaiah, when reading this morning, reminded me of you and your service.
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 ¶Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
I received an immediate reply, “Thank you Brother Jerry. I was feeling a little down until you sent me this message. Thanks for the reminder of He who supplies all my needs and to just give thanks. I needed that. Man, I sure am going to miss you. I deeply care for you like a close brother. God bless you and your wife for the Spirit that you guys have and display on a daily basis.”
The wife of one of the ward missionaries in the Aliso Creek Ward has a brother who lives in Lake Arrowhead where Sister Haddock and I celebrated our honeymoon nearly fifty years ago. We were invited to go with them to Lake Arrowhead which we readily accepted. When we arrived to pick up the couple the husband had an impacted tooth and looked like a squirrel with a mouth full of nuts. He was unable to go, but we took his wife and off we went. We had a grand time reliving memories but physically didn’t see much to remind us as the little community up there had burned down some time back and was rebuilt. Still it was a wonderful day and visit to Lake Arrowhead and the folks there were so nice to us. In answering their many questions they concluded they too wanted to serve as seasoned missionaries and were so glad we had come up.
Received from Randy—Jerry, We are now the proud owners of TWO homes. Hopefully, that will be rectified soon. Our Provo home was listed yesterday and we had four showings! Very encouraging! Our move date if December 16th to the Lindon home. Leah and Ben will stay in our Provo home for Ben’s convenience, but living in an empty house will soon change his mind about being close to work. Do let us know your date for reporting. We will be losing the Provo phone number but for now our cell phones will be our number of choice until we get a land line in Lindon. Me: 801-404-8860; Jan: 801-404-7172 [Randy, I never thought I would actually know a plutocrat. Two houses! Congratulations! Could this be the promise given unto Isaiah "I will cause thee to ride upon the high places"? (Isaiah 58:14) Just to show the contrast. We are now homeless. I have the telephone numbers and will let you know when there is a report date and also get together for a more personal chat. Elder H]
Left a message for Bob and Laraine to their son’s address for our Christmas cards that Kerri is handling. Laraine replied: Michael's address is 13070 Quapaw Road, Apple Valley. California. 92308
As a result of a discussion in high priest group on Sunday, Brother Six requested copies of the three articles the church just released on polygamy. I emailed them to him with this note, “attached are the three articles recently released on polygamy. The one entitled Plural Marriage in The Church is the general one. Also Plural Marriage Kirtland; and Plural Marriage Utah.” He replied, “Thanks. So did President Woodruff have a revelation to abolish plural marriage or did he simply abide by the law and not allow any further plural marriages because the "President of the Church" had to approve all plural marriages?” I replied that he said he was shown a vision of what would happen to the church if he did not rescind it. Remind me next time we meet and I'll show you his statement. It's in the scriptures.” Later in the week, on a visit, we reviewed the manifesto and associated statements together and he seemed satisfied.
Found out later in the week why the temple was so confused in the instructions they gave the Two family for the sealing. Turns out the temple somehow concluded there were there to get married rather than sealed. The temple had asked them to bring their marriage license which confused Sister Two greatly. Heard from Brother Two, “It was awesome to be with you at the temple. It was very special. Once in a lifetime.” I told him we think the world of his family and considered it both an honor and a blessing from the Lord to be able to be present at their sealing. We also heard from Sister Two, “Thank you for all your support on the day of our sealing. We would never have made it to the temple of the sealing without you. Thank you for all your sacrifice for our family.”
This week had a wonderful meeting with the Four family. We have spent a couple of seeks discussing Mormonism 101 from Elder Holland and Brother Four was thrilled to realize the last verse of Revelation does not read as he thought as there was no Bible at that time to reference. Then we spent a couple of weeks discussing Elder Holland’s, “The Only True God,” Oct 2007. Tonight we started the third talk of Elder Holland, “My Words Never Cease,” and April 2008. As before we alternated verses read and again, as before, the spirit seemed to arrange it so Brother Four read the most powerful paragraphs. As we left I asked for a copy of his “Rapping for Salvation.” He had heard the minister say when dreams or ideas come to you to get up and write them down. So one night he had thoughts on a rap, got up and wrote this down. The next day when he showed it, the minister’s comment was, “God had all this to say.”
Learned that our son-in-law was to have nose surgery so we included his needs in our prayers this week. I can remember all too well Sister Haddock’s black eyes and pulling the gauze out afterwards. But oh the relief thereafter.
Brother Four sent us this note he wrote: Merry Christmas World.
Whatever happened to Christmas?
It's not on sale at the store. Let me remind you once again.
I'm sure you've heard it before.
Buying gifts for the family? Yeah, that's a little fun
But let's remember that God gave us His one and only Son.
Born to Joseph and Mary, Jesus laid in a manger,
God's angels announced Him. He was never a stranger.
Give all glory to God, the angels sang unto the Lord...
Then they went back to heaven, they knew what God had in store...
We seem to take the Christmas season as ho, ho, ho, here's your present.
It only happens once a year, that's why it's easy to be pleasant
We give to the poor and then we feast and as we do,
We tell the kids fairy tales about Santa Claus too!
And we do this every year but what we really ought to do
Is tell them about the birth of Christ, Book of Luke, Chapter Two
So when our children ask the question, "What is Christmas all about?"
Let's not tell them fairy tales, let Jesus Christ come out your mouth.
This season belongs to the Lord, Let's speak up and take it back
And tell that jolly old fat man that he can ho, ho, ho on that!
I replied, “Yes, He is the Gift.” At our next meeting I presented him with a little one sheet of version of the poem with full color manger scene and took it to him. I said I had this neat poem and handed it to him to read. He started reading and after a few lines said, “Wait, this is mine.”
Here is Brother Four’s two raps he sent me. Of course reading them is nothing like hearing him recite them with all the enthusiasm he displays
Rapping for Salvation
This is not only for the young, it's for you grown-ups too
And because it's the truth, count your blessings when I'm through
We have to look at ourselves while there is still time
The way we're killing each other, nobody's life is worth a dime
It's the way that we're thinking, there's so much we ignore
Like this love we get from God can't be bought from the store
Don't wait until you're old to give your life to God
These are our last days, now some may laugh and call you odd
But it's revealed through the Word and God showed me a plan
To help many souls with a bible in my hand
So I'm working for my God, I think you better start too
He blessed me with these words, now I'll tell them to you
As I was lying in my bed giving God my praises, I found myself quoting some familiar phrases that I'd been hearing in my church in worship and praise
And they're stored in my brains for the rest of my days
As I was giving God worship and believing in my heart that He is 1st in my life, the most important part
I began to concentrate on these words I was saying and God showed me a vision while I was still praying
I was shown to imagine that I am a spirit, I couldn't see myself thinking, but God let me hear it
Saying you are only flesh, you have to put that aside, it's only temporary, let My Word be your guide
You've been blessed to have Jesus, My one and only Son, but you take life for granted, you think you're here for having fun
You've been blessed with the chance to save your own soul, you'd better take it while you can, no guarantee you'll grow old
Give your life to God, there's no chance to be shy, God's mercy is forever, but only till you die.
Do you understand this message that I'm giving to you? I was once in your shoes, Now I will tell you what to do
Ask God for forgiveness for all of your sins, and confess you want Jesus to be your best friend
And believe in your heart that He was sent from above, to save our souls as a show of God's love
Jesus died on the cross but when He got home, He sent the Holy Spirit and we will never be alone
He returned in 3 days through God's glory and love, to show the whole world God's power from above
You must believe these words, now pay attention and hear it, don't be concerned about your flesh, be concerned about your spirit
Raise your hands in the air, God knows where you've been, Receive His mercy and grace and give Him praise...Amen.
He also sent me the one he did on the end of the world. Which I had really liked.
There's a story, here's the topic...it's the end of the world and you can't stop it
Angels descending, bringing destruction, God's kingdom now under construction
No more dying, no more sickness, God's kingdom has come and it's come with quickness
Dead's arising, angels flying with wings on their backs and faces like lions
Alpha, Omega, it's the beginning, it's the end. Mass destruction because of our sin
No use looking for your next of kin
You'll be running, screaming, wishing you were dreaming,
Time to stop all your lying and scheming
Now you're crying, now you're praying, now you know God was not playing
Trying to remember what the Preacher was saying
Falling to your knees like you're under the Spirit, God sent a witness, but you didn't want to hear it.
He sent family, friends...and enemies too! He sent everybody to witness to you
But you were partying, singing, learning new dances...now you're begging God for last chances
Doctors, lawyers, all professions, all have to bow down and confess Him
Time for God to teach us a lesson
Time is love and love is time. Too late for you to make up your mind
Your million dollars won't be worth one dime
Hearts are happy while some are grieved. Some heard the Word and we believed.
And now we receive our great reward, as we praise God on one accord
He is our Father and our Lord
So remember this story and this topic...the world is coming to an end and you can't stop it. Pray.
The Bishop of the Aliso Creek ward is putting together a farewell dinner of sorts for us and requested a list of 10 people. Sister Four sent out the invitations.
We had our next to last session with the Twenty-one family. We are going to miss them so. Were able to answer some question about sealing that had troubled her for some time. So much so she wanted her husband to ask me the question rather than herself. She was concerned about being sealed to a father who was so abusive. We talked for a bit and I pointed out to her that her sealing now was with Brenden. “Oh, I had never thought of that.” He chimed in the same and both seemed satisfied.
Sister Two called to tell us how much she enjoyed and appreciated both the temple sealing and us being there with them. It appears she is becoming stabilized slowly but surely. She is so grateful for what we have meant to their family and all the comfort Sister Haddock has given in her efforts to progress.
Heard from the Mission Secretary that a couple from the Edgemont North Stake is coming to our mission a few weeks after we return. We were asked to make contact with them, which we did. We sent off this message: Welcome to the California Irvine Mission. From your address it looks like you are in the Edgemont North Stake, as is our daughter and her family. They live in the Edgemont 10th Ward. We live in Edgemont 3rd Ward, Edgemont South Stake. Has the president told you where your assignment is going to be? We have been assigned the entire time to the Lake Forest and Aliso Creek Wards in the Santa Margarita Stake. If you have any questions about the Senior MLS Missionary guidelines I put together please let me know. The past 18 months have been the fastest period of time in our lives. We are nowhere near ready to come “home” as we have become too attached to the many we truly love and serve here. It’s not always mild weather here, a week ago we had a cold snap and it dipped into the 60s. We didn't even bring out coats and haven't needed them. Oh an alert regarding traffic. The rule seems to be among California drivers: If someone is ahead of you, pass them. “We also provided our contact information.
Fourteen year old Brother Two has sent us several messages like this since his baptism, all of which have been so appreciated by us. “Today's the big day. I have that final test today and tomorrow. Will you pray for me that the Lord would give me the confidence to do my best on the test? Thanks, you are the best!” Later in the week we visited the Two family and this young brother told me, “I really felt the spirit in the sealing room. If confirmed my testimony in joining the church, also the role of family and personal obedience.” Frequently I would receive text messages about his scripture reading. One this week read, “Hey brother Haddock like this is Jakob. I wanted to share my thoughts with you on 1st Nephi Ch 7 and 8. In Ch 7 I was very surprised at Laman and Lemuel that they would try to take Nephi’s life, after he preached things that were true. In Ch 8 I found what was interesting was, how Laman and Lemuel were the only ones who did not partake of the fruit. They went to the dark and spacious building. This was something I thought that was pretty cool to ponder about. Thanks.” I replied, “I see all of us in the story. Look at the four groups of people and see how they respond. You are right, neither Laman nor Lemuel even make the effort, but there are four groups who do, but only one succeeds. Ponder why they make it.” He said he would.
Visiting the temple this week, I enjoyed one of those experiences were I am given considerable instruction on how to do certain callings in the Kingdom. They all have been very interesting to me and I hope to learn some day the reason for these very specific instructions.
Sent to the Aliso Creek executive secretary, “We visited with Brother and Sister Twenty-one last night. Bishop had told me a couple of weeks ago a home teacher had been approved for them, but they have yet to make contact. Sister Twenty-one Jan is six months into her pregnancy and is on a special watch, not allowed to lift 10 lbs. because of early contractions. So she needs help even in shopping. Encouraged them to ask about their home or visiting teacher but we left with the feeling they are too embarrassed to do so. Could you put on the agenda a note to follow up to make sure the HT and VT have been assigned and making contact? We can take care of things for the next couple of weeks, but then we are gone so we are concerned. All the best, Elder Haddock” Well this good brother immediately hopped on the matter not waiting for ward council to make the appropriate contacts and within a day HT and VT had been assigned and visited the home.
This is the little sheet I prepared in training new senior couples in our mission and shared with the mission president—
SENIOR MLS MISSIONARY SUGGESTIONS
Ask to speak to introduce yourself
Meet with Bishop, WML, HPGL, EQP and RS as soon as you can
Ask how you can help, not what the ward can do for you
You are serving as a turbocharged home teacher
Your special skill: T.I.M.E. – Time, Island, Members, Enable
Meet with Stake President and HC over missionary work
Assure young missionaries you are there to help them
Quietly attend District Meeting and Zone Training Meetings
Become part of the ward
Always attend Ward Council
Always attend Missionary Correlation meeting
Report by email every couple of weeks to bishop and WML
Never become a burden to the Ward
Sustain the Bishop, recognize his keys, and WML with all members
Dinners, not regularly only as they desire
Attention given to new members, but don’t overwhelm
Get on ward email lists and programs
Make friends with less actives and new members; invest time in them
Family File Folders and current ward list
iPad or DVD player
Carry Notebook with scriptures
Become familiar with videos, pamphlets, Family Search, and PMG
Distribute a card with contact information
Blogging? We use numbers not names
Current ward list
Mentor new and less active members
Tonight we picked up Brother and Sister One and took them to see Sing Noel at the Santa Margarita Stake Center. The stake puts this event on a Saturday and Sunday evening in December each year. Last years was spectacular and this years was even better. They thoroughly enjoyed it and were able to connect with members of the Lake Forest ward who were there. The program features individual performers, quartets, an adult choir, young men and woman’s choir and a Children’s choir.
Received from Bishop Smith—Can you meet at our house tomorrow night to practice our musical number for the LF Christmas party? At 8 pm!! [We will try. Have an earlier appointment. Won't be able to make sure until I can call tomorrow] Ok!
At Sacrament meeting today I bore my testimony. I mentioned how my heart was torn, that I didn’t want to leave those I now love so much and the importance of relationships. President Gregson of the stake presidency was there. At the end of the session he too bore his testimony and spoke of the remarkable blessing the stake has received in having Elder and Sister Haddock in our midst for the past 18 months. He said, “Elder Haddock, your desire to stay is a direct result of the love and service you have given to this stake.” Following the meeting he came up and shook our hands to personally express the appreciation from the stake presidency for all that we have done.
Sister Two wrote, “Wow, I can’t believe you are leaving so soon! Can we help you with anything before you leave? I think you are going to have a going away dinner. We will definitely be there!