Last weekend was a long-awaited visit from Ruthe. She told me several times how many people wanted to jump into her suitcase and come. Awwww, that makes me feel very loved!
After yet another wild (but becoming more confident all the time!) adventure to LAX to pick up Ruth from the airport, we did some of the usual things we do when visitors come...
went to the Pier, where Route 66, running all across the country, literally ends at the end of the Santa Monica Pier at the edge of the ocean.
Enjoyed sitting on a bench by the ocean, talking for long periods of time...
walked the beach, where few people actually were -- too cold for Californians!
Ate at Bubba Gump's Shrimphouse. YUMMY!
Spent a significant amount of time at the LA temple, doing initiatory names, and then a quiet endowment session. What we did that was NOT usual, was sit in the massive and beautiful Celestial room for a LONG time, enjoying the peace away from a boisterous city, sharing whispered conversations, and then eating dinner in the cafeteria. I've never eaten there before. We had...get this... in the temple!? Prime Rib! And spent a long time in the cafeteria talking some more.
We visited Santa Anita horse racetrack, had macademia pancakes at Aloha Food Factory, morning walks in neighborhoods and Almansor Park, to visit the fat squirrels, late-night talks, crazy adventure into the Asian grocery store, and mostly enjoyed being together.
Of course, Fosselman's hand-churned ice cream shop is always a MUST VISIT.
The highlight of her trip came quite spontaneously, however. We were coming home from some adventure in the car, when the missionary sisters called, asking us if we wanted to share dinner with them. So we all went to Taco Bell, and then they got a call that a brand-new convert couple, Flick and Ivy (and Eric, their baby) needed to move from the room where they were living in a shared house, to another room in another shared house. Ruth got the chance to see what really goes on in these humble lives. She saw first-hand their plights in coming to America, and without understanding their language, understood their hearts and huge courage. She loved being with all the missionaries, as the entire brigade of Chinese missionaries suddenly appeared to move every personal, physical belonging of Flick's and Ivy's, in all of about a dozen boxes, to their next humble home. She loved becoming, even for a small moment, part of this Chinese event and culture. The Chinese people are SOOOO appreciative of the simplest things we do! She immediately loved them, and they loved her. And when it was time to leave Sunday after having experienced our whirlwind Sunday of English and Chinese ward activity, she was sad, realizing she may never see these sweet, good people again.
I loved having her come!
She helped me to see my mission through new eyes.
Though she participated in some real things, she sees so much through rose-colored glasses. That's one of the things I love most about Ruthe. She sees the world from such a childlike viewpoint, it's contagious when I'm with her. She has the ability to make me see how very special this process of what I'm participating in really is.
It was revitalizing, sharing our vastly different worlds with one another.
|Elder Pao, Flick, Ivy, Elder Ng|
The week before Ruth came, this sweet young couple was baptized. They are already talking of their little Eric going on a mission. They are trying so hard to learn English. Flick is an accomplished web designer by profession, but of course, when they come to America without speaking fluent English, they have to start completely over in barrel-bottom entry level jobs. They are excited that Ivy is preparing to take her test for a driver's license. That is HUGE in this big area of commuting, and the type of job you can actually get, if you have dependable transportation.
What a wonderful couple.