I’ll take Lizards, Thanks!

Good morning!!
 
Sister Finau and I taught seminary this morning, so we’ve been up for what seems like forever. It was a strange mix of hit and miss. We had 8 students, none of whom wanted to participate, so it ended up being more lecture-based than we had intended. We taught the first chapter of Ether, which talks primarily about “crying to the Lord” and the Lord having compassion on his people. It really got me to thinking about prayer and the answers we receive.
 
We had a lesson in Gospel Principles yesterday about the priesthood, but the conversation ended up talking about the state of the world today. One brother, who is helping his youngest son prepare for a mission, talked about how he had told his son that it didn’t matter if he baptized a single person, only that it mattered that he teach those he came in contact with to pray. I realized that a lot of my generation – and even others in other generations – don’t know how to pray, or aren’t comfortable praying to Heavenly Father. It’s something I’ve been thinking about almost constantly since the lesson, because prayer is one of the foundations of any religion or denomination. I love the verse in Ether that talks about being faithful in prayers, “let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.” The Lord often blesses us beyond what we can imagine when our prayers are fervent and faithful. Definitely something we will be focusing on when we are teaching, both members and investigators alike.
 
This week was weird. We didn’t have any lessons, and didn’t find any new investigators, but knew that we were doing what we were needing to do at the promptings of the Lord. We did a LOT of service, which was a lot of fun. We helped a family in our ward pack up to move to Arizona, cleaned the church, and half a dozen other little projects. I love when we have opportunities to do service – it is one of the best ways to teach and get to know people better. And I love that our primary kids are so on board. We have the kids coming up and asking when we are doing service and if they can come with us.
 
We picked up a ‘third companion’ this week, which made for a lot of laughs. Riley just got home a few weeks ago from BYU, and is preparing to serve a mission. We’ve been helping her prepare and answer all the questions she has, and are helping her get more familiar with missionary work. She even came to zone training with us – she’s a serious trooper, because that’s a three hour meeting sitting in hard plastic chairs in a freezing cold room! It was so funny, we were kidding and introduced her as our new companion, Sister Haycock, and everyone was so excited to meet her.
 
They thought she was a new sister in the mission. Our district leader, Elder Mudrow, actually called last night to check and see if she actually was new in the mission. It was pretty hilarious. We’ve got everyone confused! She might as well get a badge, because she’s spending most of her time with us before she heads to the MTC. We can’t wait for her to get her call – I hope she gets called to the Boston mission! :)
 
The weather has been ridiculous this past week. The Santa Ana winds are my least favorite thing in the world. Sister Finau and I call them the Satan winds – they are hot, dry, and strong. We were getting an oil change this past week and the weather reporter said that it had been getting up to at least 35 miles per hour in Valencia (which is where the mission office is). It got up to 101 degrees this week, and then you add on the hot wind from the desert, and it was pretty well miserable. All the creatures are trying to get in our house. In comparison to the black widow spider that Sister Finau killed yesterday morning, I’m really a fan of lizards! Also, I made the startling discovery that I have developed a serious case of freckles. California missionary problems. ;)
 
After church yesterday, we were able to have dinner with a sister in our ward who we really love, Sister DePrez. She lost her husband a few years ago, and her 11 year old daughter, Jade, is our new buddy. We love being able to go to their house, the Spirit is so strong in their home, and they are such an example of faith and determination. And Sister DePrez may or may not have a hockey stick that was used by Wayne Gretzky when he played for the LA Kings a few years back (don’t worry, I’m still a Bruins girl). Sister Finau was so confused when I was totally awestruck, it was pretty funny. Logan, her 14 year old son, immediately decided to shun her. It’s a first – Sister Finau is still the most popular missionary the ward has ever had. I joke that I’m her see-through shadow because she’s gotten so tan, and I manage to stay so pale.
 
I was sad to hear of Uncle Bruce’s passing last week. I’ve been thinking a lot about him this week, and found a lot of comfort in a verse from the Book of Mormon: “And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father.” (Enos 1:27)
 
I love the comfort that the scriptures provide us in times when we need them most. I was thinking the other day of the day we went up to Tanglewood to see the symphony, and how awe-struck I was at the first violinist. I’m so thankful that Uncle Bruce always encouraged us in pursuing our talents and things that we loved.
 
The weeks are flying by – I can’t believe that we get transfer calls next weekend! I am so thankful for all I’ve learned so far, and all I have yet to learn. I still might not like this California weather, but I love the people, and that’s all that really matters.
 
Until next week!

Sister Redner 

PS – Preparation day will be on Tuesday, so don’t freak out when I don’t email on Monday – we are having our zone conference on Monday with President and Sister Hall.

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