December 30, 2012
Sunday. George and Sharon Peterson are staying with us. They came over from St Thomas yesterday and stayed last night. George is one month younger than I and Sharon is one month younger than Gaye. We get along very well, and it is especially nice to have someone our age and in our own circumstance to talk to. We have enjoyed comparing our experiences, our joys and frustrations. We were all at the MTC in Provo together and flew to San Juan together.
Today we went to the beach at Long Bay and the Kalama family were all there, too, so we enjoyed being around them, riding on their paddle boards, and just soaking in the water for the afternoon. It was partly cloudy but very comfortable. The water was a little cool when we first got into it but we quickly adjusted to it. Following the afternoon of relaxing in the water we cleaned up and went to dinner at a nice restaurant. It was a nice day.
We have three vehicles at our place now. I still want to drive the truck. It is bigger and more difficult to park, but it is also more comfortable to ride in and has more power to handle the steep hills. Today we drove both. We picked up three loads of branch members for church. Then we took them home again after church.
Gaye and I have been trying to help get the Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching set up in the branch. We have able and committed priesthood and Relief Society leaders. They want to get it going, but they don’t quite know how to go about it. So after the meetings were over and the shuttle of members was completed, the branch presidency, the EQ presidency, Elder Peterson and I loaded into the truck and went to visit some of the members who have not come to church for a while. We ended up with a few of the leaders in the back of the truck. So much for that rule. We visited Br St Rose, the father of some of the strong young men in the branch. He and Sister St Rose are divorced and he has remarried. I didn’t know we would be taking our truck so I did not fill it up with gas. I really do not want to fill up the truck and then have the YFTM’s drive it. We got to the top of the ridge and we were almost out of fuel. I had to ask Br St Rose if I could buy some fuel from him. He had a gallon that he just gave to us. That was a nice thing to do, and it got us down the hill where se purchased some more. It was good to meet those members and it was good for them to meet us, but what we need is to get the method of home teaching established in the branch. I have an idea of how to do that.
I will go home teaching with the EQ president to a couple of receptive families, including his counselor. We will visit with the family members, have a message prepared, have a discussion about the message, close with prayer, and leave. Each visit will be about 20 minutes long. Then we will report to the home teaching supervisor. The next night I will go with that counsellor we visited last night and do the same thing as we visit the EQ president and his family. Then we will report. Next I will encourage each of those two priesthood leaders to get with one of the stronger members of the branch and go out to two other families following that same pattern. Reporting the visits and status of each family will be an important part of the visit. Finally, the priesthood leaders will report to the branch president. The same pattern will be followed with VT, with Gaye taking the RSP, visiting the strong sisters of the branch, etc. The idea is to establish a pattern of how it should be done and then have the leaders teach each other.
The visits took a couple of hours so we were late getting home from church. Usually we get home around 1 pm, but today it was almost 4 o’clock. Gaye had dinner waiting for us. It was Sharon Peterson’s birthday so we were going to celebrate. Earlier in the day the RSP asked me if we could spend some time at her home in the afternoon after church. I told her we would love to do that, but then we went on the visits to the branch members so we were later than usual. As we were sitting down at the apartment to eat our dinner I called Sister DaSilva to tell her we would just eat and be right over. She said she had dinner ready and for us to come and eat at her house. I immediately guessed that was her plan from the beginning, but I had missed that essential part of the message. So the four of us loaded into the car and drove over to their house.
The DaSilva family live in a small apartment a couple of miles east of our apartment. There are four in the family. The two boys, Jose (Jo-sie) and Winston, are in one room. The kitchen/living room is small and compact. Br DaSilva works 12 of 14 days and never comes to church. But his wife and his boys love him and respect him, even though he sometimes drinks alcohol. I wish we could get to work with him, but he is always working at his job as a boat mechanic. Sister DaSilva loves to cook and had prepared a big meal of chow mein for us. She also had a nice salad and some hot sauce for the main dish. I decided to try a little of the hot sauce. Holy Cow!!! I think I lost all the skin off the dorsal surface of my tongue for a while. Then suddenly, after about 15 minutes of silent agony the burn was gone and the numb went away. I am sure glad we went overt there. She would have been really disappointed, and besides, we had a nice visit with the branch RSP. We went home and had some birthday cake for Sharon. We will eat the lasagna tomorrow.
|Good Ice Cream|
It is time for some photos of some of the people here. Stay tuned.