Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May 2017

Hi all,                                                                                                   May 2017

We had our ward conference this past weekend and was good but in ward council before the sacrament meeting we had some good instruction.
Many times we have a list of names they want to visit or have concerns. Some are visited but we never get through the list of 30-40 people!
So the stake president asked each auxiliary president to give him the name of the top 2 people they are concerned about the most. He said I know there may be 20 but just give me the top 2. So each one gave him 2 names. He wrote them on the board. Then asked to us to look.  We saw there were names of families on more than just one list. So primary kids and relief society had the same family. So they need to work together. Then focus our Attention on those families, or individuals. I was impressed that we try to help some and see what their needs really are instead of just visit them once a month. Any way I was impressed and hope we can do this. Like I said we have a list of 30-40 people listed and we never get around to talking about most of them. So hopefully this will help us focus on some and work together on helping them.
I am taking the finance self-reliance class and it is a great program. All the books and manuals are on if you want to look at any of them. But so good to help people write down income and expenses. So many in the class say, I did not know I was spending that much on this or that. So it is good to see when money comes in and where we spend it.  We have about 12 people in our Thursday night class, but we also have 2 more finance classes on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Had a crazy Saturday. One of our missionaries is waiting here for his visa to go to a foreign mission. So we got notified he received his visa on Friday.
But it was afternoon Friday and he was flying out Sunday which is unusual also. Well He did not have his passport as he left it with the MTC or salt lake. And so I went into to the office and called salt lake travel and they did not have it. He was supposed to go to Dominican Republic but he will go to Puerto Rico since they do not require a passport to get in. But I was on the phone for a few hours trying to get him to the right place in time for his flight. The president was at a mission president’s conference. So quite a busy day. But he made it by to Puerto Rico on time and everything worked out. But crazy busy day.

Then Monday some sad news. Dad had put his bike on our bike rack so he could take it to get some adjustments done on it. Someone came and cut off the lock and stole his bike. We even had it backed into the covered parking space so they had to squeeze to get it. It had all his tools and pack for a tire change, co2 cartridges, spare tube, Allen wrenches, and a few other goodies! I know Jessica found her bike that was stolen on Craigslist. The not smart thief advertised it for sale. So many people need and ride bikes here so figured whoever took it needed a new bike. So he got a good one, only a few months old and probably no more than 50 miles on it. Oh well, not sure if we will get another replacement here.

Sister Andrus the new referral secretary here has been having some back problems and has had a hard time sitting at the desk. So has gone home and few times this week to rest. Dad’s shoulder still hurts but went to a chiropractor yesterday so he said it feels better and he is doing some exercises for it so hope that helps. But we are doing well. Staying healthy and I am getting out walking in the mornings. Some pretty sun rises. We have the May Grey now. Early mornings we have a foggy morning coming in from the ocean, and clears off by mid-morning. But it is funny – it almost starts the very first day of May!! The sunrises are pretty but we are not by the ocean to see it over the water, we are more inland by our apt.
So Saturday we have Elder Christofferson coming to talk to the missionaries. He has someone else coming to speak with him but not sure who. He will also speak at the Camarillo stake conference the next day Sunday, so we may go to that also. So I ordered 9 six foot long sub sandwiches, and will get chips and cookies and bottled water for all 180 missionaries to have lunch after our meeting. So hopefully I can get them all picked up and set up at the church before the meeting starts, so I can listen and not worry about the kitchen or food.  But I am sure it will all work out.

I think I told you but at our last MLC – mission Leader Conference we had the pasta bar and they love it so much. We cook 3 kinds of pasta – spaghetti, penne and rotini. Then have 2 kinds of sauces – red spaghetti sauce and Alfredo sauce, also meatballs and chicken strips. We have a big lettuce salad and garlic toast and then had an Oreo ice cream dessert. Kind of like a layered lasagna.  Crushed Oreos, layer of ice cream, fudge, then cool whip and topped with crushed Oreos.  We cooked about 10 pounds of noodles and they ate almost every bite. No meat left and no dessert left either. So it was a good meal!
I am thinking of having scalloped potatoes and ham next week, but making them with hash browns. We have not had that yet so will see. One of the assistants is leaving this next transfer so I asked him if he had a favorite meal he wanted so have not heard back from him so the menu may change. Smile

WE have seen some great blessings while serving here. Jeff J. is coming out to church and stopped drinking. Now he quit smoking marijuana, and he is coming out to church regular and even received a calling to be the class president in our Sunday School class. Fred is our Gospel essentials teacher and he went to the Los Angeles temple last Saturday with us to do baptisms. So fun to see his excitement. Now I am going to help him learn how to research his own family names!! Yeah! He is so excited to get started. And so many others have found jobs so that makes us feel good that we have been able to help them.

This is Jeff. He got this super great job as a carpenter working for the union and great pay and then he went to work high or drunk and hit his finger and broke it. Thank goodness they will keep him on the job but he was scared that he may be fired for being drunk on the job. So he is off work now recovering. He had to have surgery on his hand to fix the broken finger. He smashed the bone so had to have pins to put it back together.

Fred is in the middle loving being at the temple with friends.

Love you all so much and miss giving you all hugs!!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Emma asked me if it got cold here. Well one time it got down to 45 degrees in the morning and that felt pretty cold for here. And one day it was only 58 degrees in the day so that felt cold. But yes you are right not like 20 degrees in Utah, and Idaho. But today is 70 degrees and sunny. We had about one week of rainy weather. I know most people do not like having rain but California has been in a drought for about 7 years and no one can water their yards or flowers and very restricted on what water they use. But then they had one week of rain and it flooded some areas but also filled most of the lakes and reservoirs. But California did not save all the water and some ran off into the ocean. Well of course not just water ran off but also the mud with it. So for about another week after all the rain the ocean had about 100 feet into it where the water was brown from all the mud being washed into it. So when the waves came in it looked like hot chocolate and whipped cream washing up!!There were no people in swimming then. It was not dangerous but just not fun to swim in muddy water. Then now it is all back to nice clear water. Oh also when the mud and rain washed into the ocean there were also trees and branches and wood chips. So now there is more of that stuff floating in the water. But the water is still clear in most areas.

This is some of the wood that floated to the shore so people are building fun little huts. This would make a nice big fire on the beach.

We went on a walk on the beach Saturday and saw lots of people walking dogs and even some people riding their bikes and had the dogs in baskets or a baby stroller, not having the dogs walk. But then we saw 2 goats!! Taking the goats for a walk!

We see lots of people taking their surf boards to the beach, but most of them come in cars and trucks with the boards on top. We also see people on bikes carrying their boards. I just thought it was fun to see this man riding his bike with his surf board on the side. He actually had hooks on the side to carry it. Another man had his just in his arm while riding his bike.

A couple weeks ago we went down to the Getty Museum and this is one of the areas. He had a huge area where he wanted it to be like the Roman era and had pools of water and fountains statutes of people. Some of the things he got from doing archelogy digs and digging up statutes from where the volcano erupted in Pompeii.

Not sure if you can tell from this picture but this is way up on a hill so the buildings in the back ground is the Los Angeles city and the highway with 6 lanes of cars going both directions. This is a garden area of cactus plants.

Grandpa and I were just being a little silly making shadow images on a wall.  2 headed sillies!!

This is a friend of mine, Sabina who is in our ward. She invites us to come to her home. It is a small one bedroom trailer and she is from Peru. She was married but her husband died last year and they had no children. She is a wonderful lady and always so kind to me, and gives me hugs every Sunday when she sees me at church. We go to her home, and we talk and she likes to cook Peruvian food for us. Then I help her with her computer- how to print out pictures, how to down load them from her camera to her computer, how to send a picture, all that stuff. She was very scared one day when she wanted me to get some pictures from her camera to put on her computer but there was no memory card in the camera so only a few pictures. Well I gave her my memory card to use but then by the time I was doing other things on her computer I saw her memory card and she was so thankful because there were the only pictures he had of her husband. So we found them and saved them for her and printed them out. So it was a good day!

Sabina wanted our picture too so she took our picture.

Grandpa is super busy on the phone many days. He has the office phone where the car shops who are fixing our mission cars call and he gives them the authority to fix or repair the car and then the missionaries call him in the office or on his cell phone so I had to take a picture of him while on hold with one phone answered the cell phone and talked to the missionary.  Of course he had to be a bit silly for the picture. But he does work with both phones every day.  Sometimes I answer his cell phone while he is busy on the office phone.

Jon and Summer, Josie and Wyatt came down to California for a few days. We went down to Long Beach to see them and spend the day. They actually went to Disneyland the next day. It would have been fun to go with them, but maybe another year. Josie got a cute haircut, and Wyatt is walking and growing much more. Goes up and down stairs and likes to explore. They came down from Oregon on a train which was a long ride and slept on the train.  Fun to see them again.
We went to a sea shell shop and saw this beautiful coral.

We are getting ready for our Self Reliance Devotional coming up in 2 weeks. March 26th. There were about 200 invitations sent out to come that evening and they will be able to sign up for classes to help them get a better education for work,  finding a better job, starting their own business or improving finances. So we are hoping 80-100 people come. We have papers, pens, name tags, booklets, and all sorts of things ready for a big group. We have a power point presentation and videos all set! So hope some show up! But we will have classes for the next 3 months for those who want to attend those classes.

We give talks in another ward this Sunday and that will be 7 out of the 8 wards in our stake. The other ward is a Spanish speaking ward so we would not do well in that one. Smile

love you all and miss you!

Friday, March 3, 2017

We have new missionaries coming in Monday, some from Mexico, and others from Provo. So has been fun trying to arrange for both to come close to each plane! Smile. But only 3 hour difference so not as bad as the original plan of 8 hour difference. Smile. I arrange all the flights for the missionaries coming here to California from the MTC - from Provo and from the Mexico MTC. And then also arrange flights for when they fly hone after their missions.
Sometimes we get some missionaries who are waiting for their visas and they stay about 4-6 weeks. We had 2 missionaries stay for 3 months until their visa came. We had 2 missionaries going to India like Elder Connor Carter so I was hoping he would come here for a while waiting for his visa but he went to the Fresno Mission just north of us. We have others who were going to Argentina here - about 6 of them. So they get a regular companion and then when they leave their companion gets moved to be with a new Elder.
We had zone conferences last week. We go to 4 different cities and meet with the missionaries in those areas. While the missionaries are in the morning meeting Elder Iverson, another office couple and myself check and inspect all the cars. Tires, oil, brakes, lights, insurance documents, registration, and about 40 items. Then we give a clean car award to the set of missionaries with the best car. They love the candy bar and the recognition! But one day we go in to the morning meetings to hear the messages from the mission president. Actually this week we had quite the rain storm so we gave the inspection sheet to the missionaries and told them to inspect the car when they could. It was Pouring down rain and windy also so we would have gotten soaked. So it was a good day to go in to listen. And California has been in a drought for the past 7 years so they are so thankful for all the rain. We have had a lot lately and have had mud slides on the hills, but nothing too major, but lots of flooding, but i heard Cache Valley has also had lots of flooding with the snow melting quickly.
The mission President talked about the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Do we listen to the promptings? Those are pretty smart missionaries. So fun to hear their ideas and feelings. Then the mission president wife talked about being awesome and they come up with words that start with each letter of awesome.
They had about 10-20 words for each letter! Amazing, ambitious, attitude, accountable, willing, wise, witness, enthusiastic, energetic, eager, endearing, ambassadors, smiling, spiritual, special, saints, safe, sanctified, obedient, outgoing, outstanding, mighty, meek, messengers, memorable, enabled, example!
They were to pick one to improve and be even more awesome!
The assistants talked about jumping in with both feet. But not just to jump up! But to jump forward. And improve. Take off the blinders that keep us from improving. Are we spending too much time doing things that are keeping us in one place and not processing.
So it was a good conference.
We went to see the Ronald Reagan library museum a few weeks ago on our prep day, and it was amazing! We were there for about 4 hours and saw some great things. When we think of a library you may think just books but this was more of a museum with so many videos and clothing and items from his life and presidency. Not much from his acting career but some from his radio and broadcasting days. They had statues of him on a horse life size. Then they also had the real air force one plane IN the museum. We also got to walk through it and they told us where everyone sat, the press, secret service people, guests and military. President Reagan loved chocolate cake and so had a chocolate cake on board every flight to share and celebrate someone birthday, grand child's birthday or anything. We saw the China dishes the uses to serve food. They also had the helicopter used by some of the presidents but the helicopter they use now is the one also used by President Reagan. We also saw the limo and police cars used. As you can imagine it was huge and very interesting! Also Nancy Reagan's gowns were on display. Videos about the Berlin wall coming down, his radio broadcasting shows, when he was shot and how close it was to actually killing him. They had his suit he wore that day on display also. Really a fun place to visit.
We also went to the Getty museum. Wow that was also huge. He actually had 2 places he made into museums. One was a replica of roman architecture and pools and gardens. Some art work there but the other one had buildings full of artwork! Rembrandt, Renaissance, impressionist, medieval, French, all sorts of art paintings, sculptures, stained glass art, furniture from those periods of time. It was a huge place to visit. There were about 6 buildings and each one was 3 stories tall full of art, and items to look at. They also had 2 garden areas. One was a garden of a wide variety of cactus plants! Some were huge and others smaller. Some were like a small tree! The other garden had a couple small waterfalls and a wide variety of flowers and plants. They were all arranged in a maze type of design. We walked down from higher up so saw the pattern but so amazing the beautiful plants! We were definitely in the minority of people. Hundreds of people from Asian countries. Everywhere we turned someone was speaking a different language. I talked to one man from Peru and he lives here now, but his brother and family are visiting and here purchasing big equipment vehicles for his construction business. Another family here from Japan and visiting some cities on the west coast.

About a month ago we went up North in our mission area and went to the Hearst castle. That was huge. He had 39 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms! They have an indoor pool with gold on the bottom and the outdoor pool could have 200 or more people in it. Just huge. He had lots of movie stars stay there and not in the regular house but in guest houses. They have 3 guest houses and each one is 3 levels and bigger than a regular home. He was able to purchase many art pieces and items that we cannot buy any more since they are historical artifacts. He even had a small zoo on his property. When they were gathering the animals to sell to zoos after he died some of the zebra got loose and so when we were driving back to our apartment we saw a herd of about 6 zebra!! Just out like the cows in a field! 

Our stake self-reliance job is going well! We have helped about 20 people with their resumes, interviewing skills, computer skills, and 95% have gotten full time jobs. One is working on some classes to be better trained. We have a big devotional coming up the end of March to introduce all 4 classes to the stake so they can get more education, attend a class on how to start their own business, a class on family finances and budgeting, or a class on finding employment. We sent out 200 invitations so hope at least 100 or MORE come!
Oh we had a man come to our class last week who works for Technicolor and has some great skills but knows people ate buying less DVDs with all the streaming so is looking at other options. Usually we have people who have been unemployed for a long time so interesting to work with someone who has lots of skills and options. This man Derek is looking at working for DreamWorks. But also in other fields so we will help with his resume this week.
We are staying busy and loving the people.
I picked 10 avocados from a friend’s tree last week! Lettuce, cabbage, kale, strawberries are growing all over here! I think California us finally out of their 7 year drought! We have had lots of rain and some flooding and must slides.
The monarch butterflies come here to stay a bit and so we went to a park and saw thousands of them in the trees.

We went on a whale watching trip out of the harbor here and saw lots and lots of dolphins but only the water spouts from about 10 whales. But it was still pretty fun.

Love you,
Sister Diane Iverson

Monday, January 23, 2017


These were all taken at the Ronald Reagan Library.

This is a podium with the teleprompter and we can see words on it and it shows how fast to move depending on how fast we speak but also moving our hands.

Grandpa getting applause for his speech!

Ronald Reagan walking the halls in the White House.

This is Air Force one inside the building. It is the actual airplane and we got to walk through it and see where everyone was assigned to sit. The secret service people had special seats and the press would sit in the back. They always had military people on board also. And I think I told you but Pres. Reagan liked chocolate cake so had a cake on every flight. Always someones birthday or anniversary to share cake! Yum.

I love seeing all the flowers blooming in California.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Fun 46th Anniversary

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Great week

Hi all, 
As some of you may know we had a special fireside for just the missionaries this past Saturday. All the missionaries were together in one building, and that had not happened for the past three years, so this was a pretty special time together - everybody together. We had Elder wilde, and Elder Hallstrom, and Elder Ballard come to our meeting. We were there in our seats about 30 minutes to 45 minutes early listening  to one of the elders play some piano music, mostly Christmas songs. So that was really wonderful also. Many of the things that they talked about were for the missionaries, but they can also be applied to our every day lives also.

Elder Wilde said that our main responsibility is to your companion. When they have harmony and unity they work together better so I was thinking that applies to us as married couples also. Or anybody we work with when we work with harmony and unity we get along better and work things out. Work smarter as a team and as companions. Keep a journal. He was saying keep a journal of the people that you visit because you never know how they may come up again in your life and he told a story about a young missionary who did keep a journal and added the names of some people in the mission and then years later he came across them again. Another point he said is work until the very end. And I was thinking about our elder who baptized us was going home in just a few weeks. So he kept teaching and finding people. So good that he didn't quit early, and found us!! 

Elder Hallstrom talked that he travels with Elder Ballard a lot and what a great representative he is of the saviors love, and joy and happiness he shows. He was saying that when people join this church they're asked to do a lot. We ask them to pay tithing, don't take drugs, stop smoking, give service to others and he said it's kind of a miracle that anybody joins this church. Ha ha. But we and they do because the Holy Ghost reveals that it is true. He said we should all be striving to continually improve in our lives by developing and improving keeping on going. We need to instruct and help others. Also we need to be put ourselves in positions where we can to be taught by the Spirit. Go to church. He said there's always people that will go to church and they say they feel nothing and others to go to the same meeting Will come out and say wasn't that a wonderful meeting. So we need to prepare ourselves to be willing to listen. So then he asked, after this meeting what will you change?  
what will you improve? Maybe it's to give up something up,  you have a habit that you need to let go of- a bad habit.  
Maybe it's something you need to do- study more. Or to be obedient. 
And this is a question he asked the missionaries - am I willing to change and willing to put my life in the Lords hands? 
And I think we can say the same thing of ourselves am I willing to improve and do the things that I need to. And then also said to us missionaries - what you learn here on your mission you can take into your life after your mission , so build strong good habits of study and prayer, and attending church. 
The kind of person you are on your mission will be the kind of person you will be forever. Good mothers and fathers, good companions working in unity and thoughtful of others. 
He also mentioned the missionaries are prayed about or prayed for every single day. By the general authorities by moms and dads, by family members, even those people who are hoping that they will come into their lives and teach them about Jesus Christ. that was pretty powerful for our missionaries to hear.

For our opening song we sang oh come let us adore him. And Elder Ballard used that song as a theme throughout his talk. He said he had a special calling to tell others about Jesus Christ. He said we know about Jesus Christ more than most other people do. We should adore him - it's a privilege to think of heavenly father and Jesus, and the gospel and for the plan of salvation. 
He told the missionaries talk to more people than you do. You have knowledge they want to know. 
I have not had a problem talking to others. But fun to hand someone a card about the church and tell them more. 

He said our confidence builds with knowledge so study and pray. The power of your smile is great also. Your smile radiates from your eyes also. Radiates through your spirit because you adore him! Do all you can each day because you adore him! 

Then he took questions from the missionaries. One question was how do I know if I am doing enough? He said if you go to bed tired and feel you have done your best then you have done enough. 
There will be hard days but don't let those hard days stop you. The lord loves you and cares about each of you! You are never alone! 

It was a powerful 2 hours. 
Then at evening we went to a different stake and they had a stake wide Christmas visit the nativity program. There were over 200 people singing, playing instruments and it was beautiful. Some jazzy tunes, hand clapping songs, spiritual songs. Primary age kids, youth and adults. One guy played a bass fiddle, some one played drums, guitar, violins, trumpet, quite a variety of songs and music. We were sitting mid way into the cultural hall and they had kids and youth along the aisles walking in and scenes along the sides. Really quite a production. Reminded me of all the scenery and people josh and liz had at their ward a few years ago. 

Love you all so much!! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Thank you and Merry Christmas from the Iversons

Dear friends,
Thank you so much for The merry Christmas letters. It was fun to see so many fun notes from all of you. Sounds like you had a great ward Christmas party. 

We have had an interesting fall here. Maybe I should put fall in quotes. We see a few trees have some colored leaves and the few leaves on the ground and it is getting cooler. It got down to about 55° one morning. So I thought I better wear a sweater. But we are enjoying this beautiful California winter. There are still oranges and lemons growing on the trees, and people in the fields picking strawberries and also lots of other crops. They have three seasons of growing here so they are able to produce lots of fruits and vegetables.
So I will enjoy not shoveling snow this winter. But you are welcome to come visit if you need to get away from any of the snow shoveling. Smile.

We get to work with these cute, fun missionaries. And we just had 12 more arrive from all over the world. It's fun to see their enthusiasm and desire to serve the Lord.
So every six weeks we have new missionaries coming in on a Monday. And then on Tuesday we have transfer days where the missionaries get transferred to new companions or new apartments or new cities. And then on Wednesday we have the returning missionaries departing. So on Mondays we are picking up missionaries from the  airport and and then on Wednesdays we are driving groups of missionaries to the airport for their return home to their families. So exciting times and busy times that week.
Then my job as mission secretary gets busy as I am making new rosters and changing phone directories of all the new companionships. But it's a great job and great people we get to work with.

As most of you know my mom passed away in October and then Steve's sister passed away in November. We will miss those sweet ladies in our lives, but also feel fortunate to have great memories of both of them. We had some very good talks with family while we went up to Minnesota for the funerals. Steve was asked to speak at his sisters funeral which is a very uncommon thing in the Lutheran Church. But he was able to put in a few LDS scripture quotes and quoted some ancient (Mormon) prophets. We were telling some people what we do on our mission and more about our church. So it was quite a missionary opportunity to share our beliefs and what we're doing. One of our young nieces about 12 years old told her mom that if more people shared their beliefs about Jesus like we do, there would be a lot less hate and crime in the world. So she was happy for what we were doing. So that made us feel really good.

We have a missionary fireside coming up this Saturday that we are all excited about. Elder Ballard and brother Hallstrom are coming to have a fireside conference with just the missionaries. So he wants to shake the hands of all the missionaries so that will  be fun to be able to have a general authority come and speak to us. He is also attending the stake conference in our mission on Sunday. But we get the privilege of having him on Saturday, so the missionaries are pretty excited. 

We have another fun experience coming up. We and some of the other senior missionaries in our mission are going on a whale watching cruise at the end of the month. So we are pretty excited to be able to see if we can find some whales  out there. As you may have guessed, the senior missionaries have different rules than the young missionaries. We can go in the water and even in a boat. The missionaries here are not even allowed to go on the beach, unless they are teaching someone at the beach.

If anybody is thinking about serving a mission anytime soon, our mission president has been told that there aren't as many senior missionaries volunteering to serve missions. So he is looking or trying to find people who are interested in serving a mission. We have a senior missionary couple who are going home in April and they work in the office With us. 
  So if any of you are interested in serving a mission or know of  anybody who might be, this is a great place to serve a mission.

We are also enjoying our stake calling as the self-reliance employment specialist. We have helped a number of people find jobs. And that's very rewarding to see the people get better jobs or to find a first new job. We have help people write resumes, given them a class on how to present themselves as you're going for an interview, how to budget some of their money, and what to tell the interviewer as they're being interviewed for a job. But it's really fun to be able to help people in that way. We gave a youth fireside a few weeks ago to the priest and Laurel's about how to present themselves for a job interview and also where to go to find a job. So that was fun to be able to work with the youth again.

Hope you all have a great holiday season and a merry Christmas. Thank you again for all the cute notes that you sent in those letters.
If you are following the light the world 25 days of Christmas, maybe you will recognize on December 16 our son, Seth and our grandson Henry on that video on that day. Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers on his behalf. He is halfway done with his radiation therapy and is doing better. Thank you so much for your prayers and faith on his behalf. We know prayers are answered and miracles have and are still happening. Thank you so very much! 

Merry Christmas! 
Love from,
Elder and Sister Iverson