Things have been going about the same in seminary and the temple. Nothing new to report. Took a bike ride with Papi. Saw lots of deer in our yard—mostly bucks with racks. When we took pictures, they hardly moved. It’s deer hunting season. Maybe the bucks thought it would be safer to hang out in our back yard than in the mountains. Lots of leaves are falling and our grass is covered—hardly showing any green. I rode the tractor over the leaves to vacuum them up, then blew the rest off our patio. Still more leaves coming down, which means more work to do.
Sunday night we celebrated Gram’s birthday at the Dunns’ house. Ate a delicious dinner and Maddi made a cake. Amy couldn’t find candles but we sang “Happy Birthday” and then made her tell us the story of her birth. It was during World War II when her father had been drafted into the Army and deployed to Belgium. It was an interesting story. Some of the details I hadn’t heard before.
I gave my seminary student a book of sign language and taught her to make some letters. She liked it and kept turning pages and practicing new letters. I found out that she can type. I need to get permission from Brother Weaver, but if he says yes, I’ll let her use my phone to write a message. I wouldn’t trust most of my students with my phone because they might throw it or destroy it. But this particular student is calm and can be trusted.
Papi and I have been working to rip up carpet, tack strips, and baseboards getting ready for the new wood to go down in a week. I’m glad to help because it’s a lot of work for my 72 year old grandfather to do alone.
After work I whacked some weeds at the missionaries’ house. The house belongs to a woman who is 108 years old, and can you believe she is still living? But she moved away to live with her grandson, so the missionaries live there now. As I was finishing the weed-whacking, the missionaries arrived and thanked me for the hard work, and said, “Is there anything we can do to help you, Elder?” I told them, “As a matter of fact, yes—we could use your help moving furniture next week.” Missionaries should serve each other when they can.
Today one of my seminary students had something in his eye and it was bothering him, so I said, “Let’s go in the break room and wipe it with a wet paper towel. It will make it feel better. “As I was leading him into the break room, the director ran after me saying, “Elder—wait!” He told me that students weren’t allowed in the break room because of the food in there. Some students have food allergies or uncontrolled cravings. So, I learned a new rule today.
I taught the Plan of Salvation lesson to John Lilly today. He is a great man. He gave me a framed picture of the motorcycle he used when he was on the highway patrol in California—CHIPS.
Working with severely disabled students is really hard. They can’t help it, and I love them, but they’re really hard to manage. I have to learn different techniques to use with each one. I can’t mention names and specifics because of confidentiality. Some are obedient and easy. Some are stubborn. Some are hitters or runners. One day, as I was walking one of my favorite students from the school to seminary, he got frightened by the noisy lawn edger going along the grass right next to him, and he held his ears and fell down and was kicking and screaming. This student doesn’t like loud noises. I can’t believe the lawn guy was allowed to edge during school hours. Seems crazy to me.
I really love my mission. I’ve been pretty busy this week. I started Monday working at the Dan Peterson Seminary. These kids have severe disabilities, so I help them get from the school to the seminary building, and sit with them during class. And assist with whatever they need. I’m getting used to some annoying behaviors that they can’t help. Sometimes I sign when they can’t speak. Then I take them back to school and pick up another student. That’s what I do at the seminary. Haha—that’s a picture of me in a wheelchair with a restraint, which protects students from falling during transport.
We cleaned the church Friday. My job was to use the biggest vacuum called “The Beast” to clean the halls. Guess who I got to meet? Lloyd Newell was on our cleaning team. He’s actually famous. He gives an inspirational message on the program called “Music and the Spoken Word” every Sunday at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. He’s done this for 27 years. His voice is familiar because he also introduces General Conference on TV.
It’s been a busy week. After serving at the bishops’ storehouse on Monday, I helped Papi mow the lawn, and then we went to dinner with the Chens, our neighbors from Taiwan. We ate traditional Chinese food. My favorite was sesame chicken.
Tuesday after work I finished weeding our neighbor’s big flower beds. I didn’t finish until dark—actually, I was still working when it was pitch dark. But it’s done!
Wednesday was my last day at the bishops’ storehouse until summer. I will miss helping the patrons fill their orders. But Elder Young and I will be working in the temple baptistery together.
Papi and I attended a training meeting at the Dan Peterson Seminary. I will start working there on Monday.
My first day working in the temple baptistery was Saturday from 8 to 1. It was a good day.
I have a new church calling. I will choose and print the hymns that the priesthood brothers sing during opening exercises for priesthood. Brother Gee said we probably won’t be singing, “As Sisters in Zion.” Haha!
Every morning we have companion scripture study at 6:45. I’m already showered and dressed in my shirt and tie. Reading the Book of Mormon is a good way to start the day. After scriptures, we pray and have breakfast—waffles with buttermilk syrup, my favorite. Then I make my sack lunch.
On Monday it was really busy at the bishops’ storehouse. We were flooded with so many patrons, the service missionaries were called up from the warehouse to serve patrons in the store. Patrons always come first—that’s what we need to remember. When patrons need to be served, we drop what we’re doing and go help them. I’m looking forward to getting certified to use the forklift. I have to take a course in Salt Lake which I’ll probably do in May.
My grandfather (I call him Papi) and I cut up some dead trees with a chain saw and loaded them in the Toyota to take to the green compost dump. It was hot and sweaty work. We came home really dirty.
On Wednesday after work I pulled weeds for a sister in our ward. It was getting dark and I was only half finished, but I scheduled a day to finish up next week.
Friday is P-day and apartment check. I passed! Papi and I went to our ward “Fathers and Sons” activity in Midway. It was held on the property of a brother in our ward who has horses. It was really fun up there.