Sister Rounds

Sister Rounds
California Arcadia

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tenderest of Mercies

I'm discovering tender mercies almost daily, allowing me the realization that Heavenly Father is aware of even the smallest and most insignificant details of our lives, because they seem huge to us in the moment.

  They often come as I'm reading scriptures and can amazingly apply one from that very day to my current intriguing situation.

Or when I'm talking to a friend from home who needs a shoulder or asks for counsel, and I suddenly know the right words to say.  Somehow.

Or when I need some quick alone time for personal reasons, and it's suddenly there.

Or when there is overwhelming joy in Sister Xia's home life because of the upcoming, long-awaited baptism of her father, and a thought comes to me of something that I might offer her that might be meaningful for this wonderful event that she will miss, because she is on a mission.

My busy, but very attentive sister Susan, who provides inspirational words each week with a letter in the mailbox for me to retrieve on usually just the day I need her wisdom.

A very special tender mercy came in the form of my little Sierra, with whom I can now exchange knitting of our hearts, as we offer prayers for each other in certain special moments for the specific trials "which do so easily beset us."  This has been a HUGE tender mercy!  It makes me cry with gratitude for her prayers.  A LOT.

Of course the day the cheerful FedEx man came and rescued my package on some random East LA street, as I stood there, forlornly wondering what to do next with it...

My sweet past companion, Sister MaryAnn, who seems to sense the moment I need a positive word from her, and she calls or sends a card or treat.

Ever and always, the person I run into who knew Arlyn by some arbitrary way.  Through the sale of a tractor, or through insurance, serving in their bishopric, or any other number of ways.  They know him and still remember him.  I love that!

Or any one of my children or grandchildren, who also send me emails that give me the right lift at exactly the right moment.

The words I hear from prophets and apostles through my ear phones on beautiful, early, quiet mornings that I walk by myself through the neighborhoods of Alhambra.  And then when I get to BUSY Huntington Drive, with so much morning traffic already whizzing past me, I get to intentionally listen more carefully to the quiet, uplifting words coming into my ears, though the busy world around me keeps trying to distract my attention.

My sweet sister-in-law Jolene, who sends me weekly letters that bear me up.

Memorable p-days that rejuvenate my soul and add to my sense of adventure while I'm serving a mission in Los Angeles, CA.

This last p-day included a single sister, Sister Beck, from the mission office, who works with missionary housing.  She lives here so she knows the way to stuff and what fun things to do.  We went to Newport Beach, the actual beach of Corona del Rey, and enjoyed walking along the sandy water's edge. 

We enjoyed an exceptional lunch at an old bank building built during the Depression, turned into Crab Cooker.  They keep their fresh fish in the old bank's vault.

Then we had a nice, quiet session at the Newport Beach temple.  What a fun day!  Sister Beck will be leaving on her own full-time mission soon, so we better hurry if we're going to get another p-day in with her!

One wondrous tender mercy is a lazy Saturday to sleep in and catch up on housekeeping, journals, and blogs, and no hair to fix! And a chance to remember so many of the tender mercies that fill my life continually. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Nuggets of Wisdom, Events, and So Forth

D&C 100:4  "Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls."

"When we know why we serve, it won't matter where we serve."  Pres. Howard W. Hunter

Epiphany this week:  Though I don't love the actual physical place I'm serving, which feels so foreign to me, I know that there is an exciting reason I'm here.  In this time of the world's history, one of the last groups of people on the earth to receive the gospel is the Chinese people.  It can't happen on their own soil right now, but as they flock in droves to America, they come with instant and full appreciation for the freedoms America offers.  That means their souls are already fertile to hear the gospel, which makes their freedom complete.  They are very open to hearing the gospel, with many receiving it.  It is an astonishing and humbling realization to watch our pioneer missionaries, some of whom are the only and first members in their families, to teach the gospel with such conviction to their own culture.  And I get to see firsthand this part of the hastening process, in this particular time of the world's history. That's the best part of my mission so far.

Another best part is when my family comes to visit!  AJ and Emily came and what a blast!  We went directly to the LA temple right after they got off the airplane.  After that, off to the beach and Santa Monica Pier, which was totally fun!

 We had good workouts, awesome morning walks, birthday breakfast with macademia pancakes and evening birthday pizza party for Sister Martin.  Which included the missionaries.

We had frozen yogurt, vintage creamy ice cream, cool church tour with missionaries, and toured the local exotic Asian supermarket.  Who knew you could eat frozen armadillos and turtles?  We visited Hollywood's Walk of Fame and the hundreds of sidewalk stars.  Our personal favorite was the Mickey Mouse star, and it took serious walking to find it!

We checked out Santa Anita Park, the huge horse racetrack in Arcadia, and visited the Arboretum while we were in the neighborhood. When we tried to find the squirrels at Almansor Park one evening, we discovered they are morning people, while we also discovered turtles are evening people!  We saw GOBS of turtles in the lake!

 We packed a lot in to a little bit of time and loved every fast second of it!  Thanks for your love, support, and now -- memorable visits !!

 This is my dear little Sister Huang, the Younger.  She's an awesome missionary, though she doesn't presently serve in my area.

And here is my dear little Sister Huang, the Elder, as she is just leaving her mission to go home to Canada.  I will miss her so much!

For Labor Day, we went as missionaries for a quick afternoon of bowling.  It was lots of fun, and considering our p-days normally do not match to do fun stuff, it was a rare day we could do some playing as old and young together.

Sister Martin and I are invited frequently to dinner at peoples' homes, both Anglo and Chinese.  We appreciate the kind hearts and hospitality shown us and we are making some cherished friends.

Sister Martin's expertise in blindness is serving her well, because we are finding multiple times she's needed for her help and knowledge.

And my mission in Arcadia goes on with "so-on's" and "so-forth's."