This week has been filled with torrential rains, beautiful days, interviews, trainings, dinners, a Tongan fireside, and baptisms. It keeps rolling, and we keep rolling with it, just a bit ahead of the rolling.
|The rain and the fog|
|The beautiful, sunny days--the reason why people live here|
We had interviews this week with the following zones: Hemet, San Jacinto, Corona, and Lake Elsinore zones. Just delightful! Yes, they were long days, but the interviews are some of the best moments spent with you all. Elders Baum and Moon who was on exchanges came in soaking wet. They didn’t realize it was going to rain so much. Nonetheless, they came in with a smile on their faces and were happy to be doing the Lord’s work, even if it were in the rain.
|The wet missionaries: Elders Moon (on exchange) and Baum. |
It really does rain in southern California
We love this Trainer-Trainee Training! The new missionaries, now in their fourth week, came prepared to discuss their experiences. We discussed their purpose, trainer and trainee expectations, how to come unto Christ. Three companionships presented on topics such as “How have companionship inventory and companion study helped us establish a positive relationship?” (Sisters Harris and Reese); “How have you utilized the Book of Mormon in your studying, finding, and teaching?” (Elders Royce and Moon); and “How have role plays helped us in our teaching, finding, and studying?” (Elders Brown, Francis, and Johnson). Everyone answered this question: “What do we enjoy about diligently following The First 12 Weeks for New Missionaries and Trainer and role plays?” Wonderful trainers! Wonderful new missionaries now in their fourth week and beyond! You will make this Mission even greater.
|New missionaries (Trainees), Trainers, and Assistants|
After the Trainer-Trainee Training, we moved to the chapel and watching the funeral of President Thomas S. Monson with some members of the Riverside and Mt. Rubidoux zones. It was wonderful. Ann Dibbs, President Monson’s daughter, initiated the funeral. Some of her words I recorded: “We don’t need to be a prophet to paint a bright spot on someone’s soul.” President Monson said on numerous occasions: “I feel I’ve done some good today.” President Uchtdorf followed. His message was tender and sweet. He said that President Monson loved to get “eye-to-eye” and that he was “truly a prophet for our time. He was a man for all seasons” who went “about doing good.” President Eyring quoted Doctrine and Covenants 84:88. “The love of God and the love of God’s children permeated his life.” Plus, he said, “There will never be another like him.” President Russell M. Nelson, spoke last, signifying, I believe, that this is the order of the Church and the transition is happening.” President Nelson said, “In a world now saturated with selfies, he modeled selflessness” and “Never let a problem to be solved become important than a person to be loved.”
|Our beloved, President Thomas S. Monson|
After the funeral, I asked the missionaries who were there to share any feelings they had about President Monson. What an incredible learning experience it was for all of us! We were overwhelmed by their comments! It was one of the most tender moments we have had on our mission. They spoke from their hearts, some through tears. They love President Monson. He was their prophet. He was the one who signed every one of their missionary certificates they pack with their in your Missionary Handbook. It was just an impressive few moment, which we enjoyed thoroughly. We thank them for sharing such poignant thoughts and feelings. Then, we enjoyed a quiet lunch together in the cultural hall.
On Saturday evening, Sister Hammon and I along with the Mission Presidency hosted the stake presidents in our mission at the Mission Home for dinner. They are so appreciative of the service the missionaries provide and their willingness to help stakes bring Heavenly Father’s children home.
|Stake presidents and their wives getting ready to eat.|
|Get to know you game!|
|Stake Presidents and their wives and the Mission Presidency and our wives|
We had the incredible opportunity to attend a fireside in the Moreno Valley Stake on Sunday evening. President Eric B. Shumway was the keynote speaker. President Shumway was the President of BYU-Hawaii for many years. President Shumway and his wife served as President of the Tonga Nuku’alofa Mission and the President of the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple. So, the Moreno Valley Stake invited all the Tonga saints from the surrounding area, their friends, two Tonga church choirs, the Methodists and Baptists, and others to the fireside. The Hiva Kuaea Choir also sang. It was a marvelous event. I was able to bear testimony of the gospel and what our missionaries are all doing here. Afterwards, we were able to greet and visit with the choirs and their members and the Tongan saints and sample some of the food. What wonderful people they are! Elders Braunstadter and Dalmas were there to answer any questions that the visitors had.
|President and Sister Hammon with Tongan leis--gorgeous!|
|Tongans in line for delicious food!|
We had baptism this week in Hemet, Mt. Rubidoux, and Moreno Valley. We attended the baptisms of Alva, Ana, and David (Hermanas K. Hernández and Whitaker and Hermanas Coffeen and M. Hernández). We met them just after we arrived at one of the first baptism we attended in Hemet. Such a wonderful family! Every time we went to Hemet and saw them, David made sure to say “hello.” President Norman attended Rafael’s baptism (Elders Loveridge and Bailey) in the Nuevo Ward. He said Rafael is a “humble man who the missionaries found street contacting.” President Hansen attended Jon’s baptism (Elders Jackson and Carlisle). He said, “His sister introduced him to the Church a few months ago, and tonight he was glowing and so grateful for her and all of his new friends.”
|Alva and her children David and Ana. Plus, Hermanas Whitaker, Hernandez (M), |
Hernandez (K), and Coffeen; and Hermano Garcia.
|Elder Loveridge, Rafael, and Elder Bailey|
|Elders Baum and Jensen did the restoration talk for Alva and family's baptisms|
How exciting it is to serve the Lord!
President and Sister Hammon