My friends, Earl and Mary Louise Bunker, have become an active part of my mission life. I find them interesting, and they seem to enjoy my company so it all works well. The 4 of us like to go to dinner and the theater in Glendale quite regularly now. They know the best places to eat, and they are a built-in GPS because they know how to get EVERYWHERE.
They are good sports to take photos everywhere for me, but they are iconic in my mind because of their energy and ability to keep getting around at 94 and 93 years old. And they're fun! They talk of adventures they've had traveling around the world.
Memorial Day 2016 was spent at a patriotic program at Alhambra Park, where I located the Bunker's, since Earl is a WWII veteran, and one of the last left. This was one of the rare times they really wanted to take photos so they could use one for their Christmas card. Minus ME in them!
They were also totally ready to meet Mom and Dad when they came to visit and we went to dinner at a traditionally Chinese restaurant, The Jasmine House. Chopsticks again. And YUMMM!! The geriatric folks seemed to get on very well. Mom and Dad could see why they are so special.
June brought a treasured evening out in another area of the mission when we went to Glendora to take Sister Xia and her new companion, Sister Maughan out to birthday dinner for Sister Xia. How wonderful to be with her again! This tiny little Chinese firecracker sister is now strictly in English work and loving it. We miss her a lot, but the people of Glendora need to have this treasure of enthusiasm for awhile.
|Elder Kemsley's birthday|
|Eddy Marroquin and I|
Other treasured events are ongoing birthday dinners for missionaries at our apartment, including personal birthday readings of Dr Suess;
Lunch at a Salvadorean restaurant with my little friend, Eddy Marroquin. We walked there with umbrellas to keep the sun off of us (!?!?)
|Sisters Mann, Martin, Huang, and Rounds|
Mission conference with Elder and Sister Gavarret was a treasured experience. One of the fringe benefits about conferences is seeing all the past missionary friends that have gone on to new areas. When I see them, it makes me remember why I miss them, but I also realize the growth that is attached to new areas in which they move in to serve;
|Senior Missionaries with Pres. and Sister Villanueva and Elder and Sister Gavarret|
An FHE activity that included a drawing competition depicting the passages about being clad in the armor of God. The Chinese characters that label each part are beautiful. I love to watch people write complicated Chinese characters so effortlessly;
Birthday celebrations, outgoing service missionaries, relocating directors -- all reasons to regularly party with lots of food at the Employment Resource Center.
There was an extra-special treasured June event when Mom and Dad came to visit and we did so much in a short little weekend. They saw the sites of Alhambra, San Marino, Skid Row, ate pastrami sandwiches at The Hat, and watched with delight ducks, birds, and turtles at Almansor Park.
Though there wasn't much resting, Dad managed to catch a few treasured winks occasionally. We kept busy visiting with the Bunker's, seeing Auto Row, and going to a baptism in Alhambra Ward, where they got to meet many contemporaries in their age bracket -- the Luneke's, Greenwood's, Dana's, Bunker's, and many others. We attended an unscheduled Stake Conference session releasing our stake presidency and installing a new set, so we had visiting authorities. It was a sweet conference full of testimony treasures.
One of the favorite treasures of our hearts during their visit was a temple session in the Los Angeles temple. We just happened onto the ASL session, and it was very unique and inspiring as we witnessed the treasured way hearing-impaired and deaf brothers and sisters do temple work without being able to hear or talk. One of the associates I work with regularly from DI was there in the session. How great to see him and introduce him to Mom and Dad using hand gestures. He was waiting outside the temple for us with some of his friends to take photos afterwards. Sweet!
|Jose Madero and Sister Rounds|
Two of the best people in the world, and what a treasure for me that I belong to them forever. We enjoyed treasured times of the heart that none of us will forget for the rest of this life.