Time is moving along very rapidly. Brady and his family came to see us and it was great to have family around. We had a wonderful visit but then it was time to get back to work. Then this past weekend we had our two older granddaughters, Riley and Mycol, fly into Oakland to spend a couple of days. It was really fun having them here also. We had the opportunity to take Riley and Mycol to a baptism of an entire family. The Chavez family, mother-father- and two children, were baptized last Saturday. They have such a sweet spirit about them and they will be such a strength to the ward. It was wonderful to be able to have them experience such a special event. We attend all the baptisms that we can because there is such a special spirit there as new converts make covenants. It also reminds us of our covenants and moves us forward. Our mission president, Pres. Wright, also attended the baptism. We were able to share with him the news that one of Mycol’s friends from Lone Peak High School has his call to come to the Santa Rosa mission. There are already two others in our mission from the same high school. Pres. Wright was able to pull Elder McGhee’s picture and information up on his phone. We love today’s technology and all it does for us. Speaking of technology, the missionaries are always sharing great thoughts and Church information on their Facebook pages. Some of them get pretty creative, which I love.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
A couple of months ago, I saw the name of Cleo Jon Woolf on the Vacaville Second Ward roster. Being the curious person that I was, I had to know how we were related because WOOLF was spelled ‘my way’. Bishop McKimsey told me he lived a couple doors away from him and would be happy to set up a time for us to meet. In early April the meeting took place in Brother Woolf’s home. The minute we walked into his family room I noticed the John Anthony family history book on his coffee table. I then knew we were related but I had to know how. Brother Woolf told us some family stories. Growing up was not easy for him. He and his sister were sent to a relative’s home to live because the family couldn’t afford to feed and take care of the whole family. The thought went through my head, I am sure mom would be proud of me for coming to see if we were related. We visited for about an hour and then left. He told us that we could come back any time, but he doesn’t go to church. That’s fine, I was just thrilled to be able to meet him.
On May 8, Bishop McKimsey text me to tell me that Brother Woolf had passed away on May 4, after a brief respiratory illness. I was shocked because he seemed in such good health when we had visited just a month before. We went to the funeral, which was held in a funeral home. He was born March 5, 1931 in Riverdale, Idaho. A nephew, Russell Woolf, gave the eulogy. As introduced family I realized I was in a very large group with lots of Woolf’s that I was related to but I was probably the only active member. How did this happen? What was their story? Who should I talk to? My first introduction was to Russell, who gave the eulogy. I explained how my husband and I were in California serving a mission for our Church and pointed to my name-tag. Then I told him of finding Jon’s name on a ward roster, meeting him, and then figuring out that we were related. He warmed up a bit but then told me that the person I needed to talk to was Sally, another cousin, because she was the family history specialist. Next stop was meeting Sally. I introduced myself to her and told the same introduction story and she told me the exact line and said she would be happy to email me. We gave her one of our missionary cards because that is all we had and it had our email addresses. She then sent me to a gentleman in the corner and explained that he was the one that I would want to meet because he was about the only active member of their line. Off I went again and introduced myself and told my story to . Yes, they are active and could tell us some about the family. He was a very spiritual person but didn’t attend church. He lived in a cul-de-sac, of which they honored him as the mayor because he took care of everyone. He too garbage cans in, treated the kids, mowed lawns and basically watched over everyone. He loved to email people with jokes and had a great sense of humor. It was a delightful visit and we both parted knowing that we were supposed to meet. So here is how we are related:
· Cleo Jon Woolf-his brother Scott and wife Betty were at the funeral.
· Russell-Viola were Jon’s parents
· James Woolf
· John Anthony
I know that in the John Anthony Woolf book that I looked at with him the lineage was easy to follow. So you’ll either have to look it up or take my word for it. When you look on Ancestry it’s a little harder for figure out because of the lack of names. I am so grateful that I connected with Brother Woolf. I am grateful for the persistent feeling I had that we should meet him and then attend his funeral. I feel it is one of those tender mercies the Lord is giving to us here on our mission.
Other than that it has been a normal couple of weeks. I had a wonderful birthday and Craig treated me like a queen. We are beginning to loose many families to new assignments. The bishops are now praying for many more families to move in. The Fairfield Ward bishop thinks he will loose about one-third of his ward. He is loosing both counselors, YW president, and that is just the beginning. Once the new families begin to move in we will be very busy as we try to visit all the military member families.
Monday, May 16, 2016
I LOVE the examples we have in Ammon, Aaron, Omner, Himni, and their brethren. Besides the fact that they were probably the best missionaries ever, their patience amidst their afflictions, their humility, and especially their love of God and their fellow men led them to reap a great harvest as they testified with all their hearts of the redemptive power of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. They left the land of Zarahemla with the desire and hope that their labor among the Lamanites would lead to the salvation of a few souls, but they were the means of bringing thousands unto salvation. Verse 12 particularly sticks out to me, in which Ammon says, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God,for in his strength I can do all things..." As missionaries, this should be on our lips in every prayer we say because we can do nothing unless we have the strength of the Lord with us! We are instruments in His hand, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to learn this these past 17 (almost 18, yikes!) months. More than anything, I have come to know that when we rely solely upon the strength of the Lord, we truly can do all things. We can climb every mountain, forge every sea, shoulder any trial, and (yes, I do have the Sound of Music running through my head) be patient in the midst of any affliction because the Lord is EVERYTHING to us and He has GIVEN EVERYTHING for us. Sister Moore's favorite scripture is 2 Nephi 22:2 which says, "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also has become my salvation." When we trust in the Lord we need not fear because we have faith, "an assurance of things hoped for and not seen..."(Hebrews 11:1). That faith can make future blessings a reality as you "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father, ye shall have eternal life." That joy can become real to us now, through our faith, just as the Nephites faith in Christ made His atonement a reality to them before He came to earth.
I love you all, I hope you are all doing well, and I can't wait to be with you again! Have a great week!!
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
This month has really flown by. We sponsored our third ‘All Military-Active Duty Member FHE.’ We listened to our speaker inside the base chapel and then went outside and enjoyed our beautiful weather. The park by the chapel has a very nice playground and picnic tables and volleyball net. The children played, there was a competitive volleyball game, and lots of visiting and eating going on. We were pleased with the evening and now begin planning our July FHE celebration. It has been challenging to create these activities when we don’t have our own things. We have to try to get by with whatever we can.
On April 23 we drove to Santa Rosa, California for an all mission conference. Elder Bednar was our teacher. It was a very inspiring morning. He had given the missionaries four of his talks to study in preparation. He narrated the discussion and then opened the time up for questions. I had previously told our mission president, President Wright, that Elder Bednar would expect the missionaries to be prepared for discussion and questions. Elder Bednar didn’t let me down. He was absolutely in great form. Three and one-half hours absolutely flew by. The elders were in awe of his humor and his wisdom. We all got to shake hands with him at the end. Because of where we were sitting, we were almost last. He gave us both a hug, asked how we were doing, and asked about our family. It was so good to feel of his spirit and be taught by him.
Another highlight of the mission conference was being able to hook up with our great-nephew Sam Nordfelt who recently arrived in our mission. It was fun to visit with him, get a picture, and send an update to his mom. We also found out the Sue and Russell Fay’s granddaughter is in our mission. We are going to have to find her next time. We were a bit surprised because Sister Julander’s parents were in Craig’s ward when he was a bishop on campus. Can that really be? Where has the time gone?
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Sometimes when I begin writing an update I think to myself that nothing new has happened. Then as I write, I know that our missionary life is full of many small missionary experiences.
Ian is an investigator that has gone through four sets of missionaries. A couple of months ago the elders asked us to come and teach with them. Ian is a very smart young man preparing to exit the military. He studies the Bible, Talmud, Koran, Book of Mormon etc. Most of the time, he hasn’t had time for the Book of Mormon but can quote to us all the things he has learned through his other studies. I hope you feel the gist of what he is like. When we go with the missionaries he loves asking questions and telling us the new things he has learned through his studies. During a recent study he finally had made some strides in reading the B of M. As the evening was coming to a close, Elder Nordfelt asked him if he would pray about the Book of Mormon. Ian told us he doesn’t really pray but he meditates. So, we asked, as you meditate will you spend time pondering the Book of Mormon. The elders also challenged him to attend meetings on Sunday, of which he did. Our next visit was two weeks later. Ian proceeded to tell us of the good feelings he had and said he thinks the Book of Mormon is true. However, in the same breath he continued to tell us that he didn’t think he could join because he wouldn’t be able to do three hours of worship on Sunday. If we had our services on Saturday he would be more inclined to join. The evening proceeded forward but we both felt like this was not going to go much forward. The elders then asked him if he could see himself joining the church one day. Ian answered them in the negative and the maybe. The elders then told Ian that they would not be able to come by as often as they had been because there were others that were more ready to accept the gospel. The thing that I think Ian will miss is being able to have the missionaries to discuss religion with and showing us all the knowledge he was gaining through his studies. So now we haven’t been back to Ian’s and we have moved forward to other investigators.
We have a new single airman at the base from Gillette, Wyoming. We took him to lunch the other day and had a good visit. He is a very nice young man with a girlfriend back in Gillette. They hope to get married in October. We invited him to church on Sunday and he said he would if he didn’t have to work. We found this young man because of his bishop contacting the YSA bishop and then the bishop contacting us. We never got him to answer the phone but we did get him to answer our text. We are really hoping that he will come and attend the meetings with us because he seems to be a really nice young man and would be a great asset to the ward. This is an example of how the Church’s network can and should work to help all members.
While volunteering at the Airman’s Attic last week, another volunteer approached me and stated that she had been raised Mormon. She recognized our name tag and wanted to share with me her feelings about the ‘Mormon Missionaries’. She proceeded to inform me that she was never baptized but her aunt always took her to church until her aunt moved to Utah. No, she didn’t want missionaries but she was very favorable in her memories and feelings toward the Church. She said she always loved the missionaries coming over to their home. This is another example of seeds being planted and how each of us don’t really realize how little things in our daily life are being watched and how we each plant seeds along the way.
The Santa Rosa mission does not currently have a senior couple over the apartments in the mission. We have been asked to do several things for the missionary apartments in our area. Friday, March 4, was a trip to Davis California to fix the toilet seat for the sister missionaries there. Then from Davis to Rio Vista California to assess an empty apartment to see what we need to do to clean it out and close it down. The elders were moved from the Rio Vista branch a while ago so now the apartment will be closed. We did a walk-through and determined what was worth keeping and what was worth transporting back to the mission home in Santa Rosa. We’ll visit with the mission office on Monday and see what they want us to do.
Now you can really feel the diversity of what we do. One day we repair a toilet and the next we are trying to get an investigator to pray about the Book of Mormon. We love it all.
Friday, January 1, 2016
- This will be the follow up to Whitney and Jake Thompson's story or Thor's death. On the way to the UC Davis Children's Center, Thor passed away. The para-medics who transported him told Whitney that they believe he had been brain dead for several hours. Everyone is devastated by the horrible turn in events. I can;t even begin to understand what the Thompson family is going through. We spent the next week visiting Whitney every day. I'm not sure if we did any good but we hope that we were able to bring some peace. Because of the death circumstances, the coroner's office will be doing an autopsy. The autopsy came back that Thor died from shaken baby syndrome and being dropped on the floor. Everyone is in disbelief as to the events that are unfolding. A second autopsy was ordered because it not changes Thor's death to a homicide. WOW! I can't believe what Whitney will have to go through. On December 23, the Thompson's flew to Salt Lake City, Utah to bury Thor. They are not sure of when the body will be released but they want to get out of Fairfield. The breaking news on Monday, December 21was that the babysitter was being charged with homicide. We arrived at the Thompson's just as they had received the phone call. Whitney was totally in shock. She is such a sweet person that this thought never entered her mind. This babysitter watched the children often as Whitney works. Others have since told me that they too have used her for a babysitter. She does a lot of tending and the entire base has been torn apart. We are in hopes that when the Thompson's return we will be able to help in some way. I have often thought that I don't know how the loss of a loved one can be lived through without the gospel.
- We had Kit come for Christmas. He arrived at the Oakland Airport on Monday evening about midnight. Tuesday morning Craig and I went to District meeting and then went home to begin our week of touring with Kit. After our meetings, we went to the JellyBelly factory, showed him around the wine country like Napa Valley, then around the neighborhood and places where we frequent. On Wednesday we got an early start to take the ferry across the bay to San Francisco. We had pre-purchased tour tickets to Alcatraz. While we waited we visited Fisherman's Wharf and the multiple shops. There is also a place where sea lions seem to all come together. Then back to our tour boat. Alcatraz was really interesting. It was something that Kit really wanted to do and I totally enjoyed it. I know that when Craig and I go places like this we tend to take our time and read most of the information. However, I felt like I was being rushed through everything. I had to just be content that we were seeing things as fast as possible because of our limited time. We did get to have clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl that San Francisco is famous for. We walked around and saw the trolley car museum. We decided not to wait in line to ride the trolly car because it had a 1 1/2 hour wait. We meandered back to the wharf where we went through a 'market' and the shops. Craig taught Kit to eat oysters and Kit loved them. They ended up having two helpings. Then they both tried the trout eggs. As for me, I took the pictures and tried hard not to gag. On Thursday we were up again early to drive to Muir Woods to see some redwoods. It was a rainy day so we all had to take an umbrella. The rain made it beautiful for some of our pictures. These redwoods are not as big as the one's Craig and I have seen but they are still impressive. We then drove to take pictures of the San Francisco Bridge. Again Kit got some really great pictures of the bridge. It was here that we could also tour some gun hideaways from early days. Craig fell while we were there and scraped/bruised his leg. Kit then took over the driving because Craig was in pain. It was then off to Chinatown. All I can say is that it totally reminded me of China. We had a good authentic lunch at a place called Shon-Li. We didn't buy anything because we never looked long enough. Maybe when Mindi or Brady come to visit we will take our time. We drove down Lombard Street and it was cool. We looked for a place to have fish and chips by googling to see what was around us. Kit said we needed to try new things. So, as we did, we were in a very questionable neighborhood. It wasn't the best fish and chips but we did step out of our comfort zone. Friday morning was Christmas. I hope it wasn't a let down for Kit. I didn't get much for him because of the luggage weight. We gave him a couple little things and cash. We watched some football and spent the day relaxing. Kit flew out the next morning. His flight was at 6:20 am and had to be there two hours early. Needless to say, by the time we got home we were in need of a nap and so that's what we did, we had a nap. We loved having Kit here and we hope he enjoyed and appreciated the time and energy we put forth to try to help him have a good visit.
- For New Year's Eve we went to Modera California to watch BYU play St. Mary's. It was really quite disappointing to see them lose so badly. Craig is a BYU fan through and through. I was hoping it would be a good game but they really got walked on. We had very little traffic coming home. I'm hoping for a very Happy New Year. Next year at this time, we will be getting ready to go home. I'm guessing for a busy and great new 2016.