Sister Rounds

Sister Rounds
California Arcadia

Friday, May 22, 2015

Honoring Others

We all have Ingrids around us.  We just may not realize they deserve honor.
While we have a responsibility as walking advertisements of the church with the black badges we wear, to lead as the Savior leads, we also have the responsibility to ourselves, families, and mission to make decisions that will keep us safe.
We had another different kind of experience with a homeless woman, Ingrid, who needed more than what we could safely give.  We fed her, listened to her, toted her around a little, tried to comfort and lend help to her needs.  Eventually we took her to the bus station and paid for her fare to a police station.  But ultimately, because one can recognize a certain level of mental illness sometimes associated with these people, the wisest, safest, and most loving decisions seemed harsh but necessary.  Still, the thoughts that haunted me all that night were those that reminded me that she is also a beloved child of God as much as anyone else.  I have no knowledge of why, where, or what about her situation to bring her to this point in her life.  And so, though we may be limited in the amount of safe help we can offer, she is still a child of God to honor and uphold.
And that is how it is with so many others around us who are hard to love or respect.  Because they are all God's children make each important enough to notice, lead, love, and even honor.  They, too, have the capacity to become gods.

On this memorial weekend, there are others to honor.  So many who have gone before us that have sacrificed more than we'll ever imagine in this life.  Recent passings of others who we love and miss and honor for the impact they left on our lives.

Most days when we take this particular route to work, we pass by a crowded, yet lonely cemetery that is worlds away from the serene setting where we have our dear ones laid to rest.

In this part of this inner-city cemetery, the uncared-for stones and grounds is a stark contrast to the peaceful, serene, and sacred grounds we visit to honor and memorialize our dear ones.  The stones are so crowded together, there is no room for grass between.  So it's all one big cement area with stones very close to one another.  But I have seen in the distance, another part of this cemetery on a small rise that actually does have some grass between headstones. Just not in this place we pass.

How precious those are who have left us temporarily to prepare another place for us.  I'm grateful for a day to remember them and their great impact.  A chance to honor these great ones in our lives.  Please eat a few extra handfuls of peanut M&M's for me, and also some delicious cheetos, while you wash it all down with apple beer.  Please take time to remember. . .and honor.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Still going the ROUNDS...

Still working on Sister Gong's bicycle riding skill, but it does wonders for her when the others get involved in the holding capacity and cheering section.  Even if it doesn't make her ride any better, at least she feels supported.  And that's a LOT to a sister who's misplaced in another country, and the cheering section is made of mostly elders.  Male elders.

The days at ERS are much busier, now that I have a little better idea what I'm doing.  I feel I can be a little more help, and I'm looking forward to the days when I'm SO confident that I'll rely on inspired help, rather than working so hard on trying to get the mechanics down.  I'm still learning a lot and I'm constantly asking poor Sis.Thurgood questions but in her usual, patient way, she responds with a very logical answer and right away.  Because our little front receptionist is gone to a different job now, I'm also the receptionist. Whoooo-ah!!  Gotta check my phone/PR skills, man!  It's a whole new world for me!

We adopt the Jacob Lake tradition of Sunday night treats, but only occasionally, I'm afraid.  We had cinnamon rolls one night which were devoured, and Sis Thurgood made delicious apple cobbler another Sunday night, also devoured.

We went after church one Sunday to take photos at the Alhambra arch, a city icon.

And always the companionship photo ops.

Check out the awesome natural, no-fuss, wild and ferocious locks on that girl! Still trying to figure out what hairdo works best in California climate.

We've had some fun p-days too.  We went to the LA temple again one morning and to Santa Monica Pier in the afternoon.  The beach stretches for miles and is also really deep.  So deep that the pier built on the beach, stretching out into the ocean has amusement rides and games all up and down on it.  Food to eat, musicians, games, rides, restaurants... you name it.  It reminds me of Pinocchio's adventure.

If it seems like I have one p-day outfit, it's the truth.  I didn't know I needed to come prepared with play clothes.  The roller coaster is behind me on the pier.  The kids would love it!

We also spent a p-day at the J.P. Getty villa and research center, all about art.  Very eccentric, and very artsy.  Just saying.

                           Also very lovely and refreshing, high above the ocean, we can look way out over it.

             And finally, high above a sliver of LA from the Getty Art Center, it's all very high and lots to see.

The over-arching events of this past few weeks have centered around the  passing of my amazing brother-in-law, Blayne.  It gave me a new appreciation for family ties that bind.  I felt quite lonely during the ordeal of his passing and subsequent funeral.  I missed family and home so much more during this time, I guess because I was feeling detached from it and I felt like I wanted to wrap up in the comfort of my family, both immediate and extended.  Another new adjustment in a mission, and one I hope not to have to repeat in any form.  I leaned a lot on Heavenly Father and had many thoughts about the joyous reunion in heaven with Arlyn, Blayne, and their dad.  Chances are, they are turning heaven upside down, the dynamic trio they must make!  That is one of the comforting thoughts attending this event.  Even Blayne recognized God's Plan for each of us is always and ever greater than our own.  A truly great man who will be greatly missed!

So... still going the rounds...