We had our first mission tour with Elder Von G. Keetch of the Seventy and his wife Sister Bernice Keetch! What a treat it was for us to be with them for two days! They were so kind and personable. We appreciated their approach to our mission.
|Elder Von G. and Sister Keetch (of the Seventy); President and Sister Hammon|
On Sunday, November 12, 2017, Elder Keetch presided over the Moreno Valley Stake Conference and then came to our home. Once they arrived, we ate a delicious dinner of chili verde and all of the trimmings and had tres leches cake. Divine! We had a wonderful discussion!
One Monday morning, we had a delicious breakfast and then headed to the Grand Building where Elder and Sister Keetch greeted the missionaries from the Riverside, Mt. Rubidoux, La Sierra, Moreno Valley, and Jurupa zones and learned their names and where they were from. It was wonderful to watch the interaction. We followed, and gave each of missionaries a hug, and chatted a bit.
|Elder and Sister Keetch greeting the missionaries.|
Once we were finished, we began the Monday session of the Mission Tour.
|Riverside, Mt Rubidoux, La Sierra, Moreno Valley, and Jurupa zones|
Sister Fortin and Elders Patterson, Dew, Balls, Rodriquez, Dundon with Sister Marks as the accompanist sang “Gethesemane.” It was beautiful and touching.
Sister Hammon and I trained on "Mission Elevated: Spiritual Self-Reliance." Our six principles of spiritual self-reliance included:
Principle #1: We gain spiritual self-reliance as we ultimately understand and come to know and feel we are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.
Principle #2: We gain spiritual self-reliance when we come to realize that the Lord will require hard things of us.
Principle #3: We gain spiritual self-reliance as we come to know, understand, and incorporate the Doctrine of Christ into our lives.
Principle #4: We gain spiritual self-reliance as we become worthy and stay worthy
Principle #5: We gain spiritual self-reliance when we read, feast upon, and ponder the scriptures daily, particularly the Book of Mormon.
Principle #6: We gain spiritual self-reliance as we come to recognize, know, and understand how the spirit works through us.
Once we finished, then Sister Keetch spoke about President Hinckley’s ten gifts missionaries need to bring home. She was delightful. Then, we had a musical number from the Mt. Rubidoux Zone. They sang “Lord, I Would Follow Thee.” Elder Treviño accompanied them. He is one of our new missionaries from Mexico. He is a concert pianist, and it definitely showed.
Elder Keetch took the rest of the morning and expanded on what we taught in the morning. After he finished, it was time for lunch.
The Relief Society sisters from the Menifee, Riverside, and Jurupa stakes provided incredible meals for both days--yummy enchiladas, chips, an incredible baked potato bar with all of the trimmings, desserts of all kinds.
|Relief Society sisters and brother who prepared lunch for us|
|Sister Hammon and Sister and Elder McCracken|
|Sisters Loranger, Reagen, Hammon, Caldes, Fountaine, and many others enjoying lunch|
|Elders Mounts, Briggs, Casper, Thacker, Ostler, and others|
|Elders patiently waiting their turn.|
|Elder and Sister Keetch with Elder and Sister Thorne, Elder and Sister Power, and Sister Fuller|
That afternoon, the American Sign Language (ASL) Elders Match, de Mare, Shurtleff, and Gallacher; Sisters Barschi and Winters with Elder Steed as the accompanist provided a musical number using sign to begin the afternoon session. It was wonderful.
Elder Keetch then asked for questions from the missionaries. They had already sent to me 30+ questions. He added a few of them to the list. Then, he and I took turns answering them. What an experience that was!
Once we finished the question portion, we had a closing hymn and prayer. Elder Keetch began interviewing a few missionaries while we readied for Mission Leadership Council (MLC) and had pizza. During MLC, Joanne and I trained on gifts of the spirit. Elder Keetch discussed why we obey, some leadership principles, rescuing, extremes, weaknesses/challenges, and many, many other topics.
Elder Keetch's theme was this: "Heavenly Father wants His children home.. You and I have the opportunity to do that. What an honor! We get to bring His children back home!"
|Mission Leadership Council (MLC) with Elder and Sister Keetch|
On Tuesday morning, we were back at it early after a delicious meal of baked French toast topped with apples and carmel sauce, juice, and fruit. We headed to Sun City to be with the Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, San Jacinto, and Corona zones. We repeated yesterday’s trainings, and the spirit was strong once again. The musical numbers were a musical number with Sister Van Quakebeke’s arrangement of “Meditations of Oh My Father,” with Elders Beal and Ly singing; Sister Bryant’s piano solo “Nearer My God to Thee”; and the Menifee Zone sing a hymn with Elder Esobar at the piano.
|Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, San Jacinto, Corona zones|
Another delicious meal!
|Elders Heward, Baum, Saxton; Sisters Fountaine and Price; Elders Laws, Perata, Hansen, and Morris.|
After the meeting, Elder Keetch interviewed six more missionaries. Then, they and we sat down and had a wonderful conversation. They said such nice things about us, our training, and being mission president and spouse. It was nice to hear. I asked him what we need to do, and he said that it seemed like we had been out for 18 months. We just hope we can continue as strong.