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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Driving home from church

This is our view as we drive home from church each Sunday.  So beautiful.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Dad an I give our car awards at each of the 4 zone conferences for the cleanest car -inside and out. We give them a candy bar and a hot wheels car. They all seem to love it!!



Senior missionaries at dinner:  When a new senior missionary couple comes in we get together for a dinner at the President home. We have eaten outside each time on the patio. We each bring something to share and Sister Felix usually provides the main dish. This time we are having French dip sandwiches. Always yummy food and fun talking to each other. Some are serving 2 hours north so we do not see them very often, just at these dinners and at zone conferences.

Oh we got news that we will be changing some of our zone conferences.
We will be having zone conferences every 6 weeks. We have been having them about 3 or 4 times a year. So lots more luncheons to plan!! But we get to see the missionaries more!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hi from Mom

Hi Family, 
It sure has been a busy month! So thankful I had some great talks with my mom before she passed away. I felt very fortunate to be able to spend some time with her before she passed away. She passed from being surrounded by her loved ones here onto being with loved ones in heaven that are excited that she's there with them now. The week before she passed away she had her 71st class reunion. It was a fun time for her to be able to meet with her classmates from years ago and they been having classrooms every year for the past couple years. Then two weeks before she passed away she had a fun time meeting with some of her cousins and they showed old movies when she was a child and of her parents and cousins so it was a fun little family reunion. And then with all of us kids gathering in Minnesota before she passed away I think she felt like she had talked with and greeted all the friends and family here on earth and it was OK to go on. Mom and I have been working on our family genealogy and had gotten a lot of it done and filled in. And we made copies for other family members and mailed those out to them so I think a lot of her family history work was finished for her to do. 
Being in Minnesota again for her funeral, was like a family reunion seeing all the distant cousins and aunts and uncles I haven't seen for a long time. So it was a good celebration of mom. I was flower girl in one of my cousins weddings and she was there. She was the short little 4 ft 10 inch lady that CHRISTIAN helped take luggage to her room. I never thought of my cousins and relatives as being short, they were just taller than me or regular size, but now as I am "taller" I see where I get all my height! Fun talking to relatives. We stayed over night at mark Iverson's when we flew in, then stopped in to se Cheri and stu after we picked up jessica and Claire at the airport. Fun to talk to them again. 

Funny as I landed back in California I thought of texting mom and letting her know that I had landed safely. Just kind of something we always did to let each other know that we were safe back in our homes. So I'm sure there will  be a few more times that we think about writing or calling mom and she won't be there but we love her and she is at rest! So thankful  for the good times and great memories. 

We have a new senior missionary couple in the mission. They arrived this past weekend. They will be making the mission pretty interesting since their last name is also Iverson!!. But they will be serving in another city so hopefully won't be too confusing. but that was pretty interesting to get another couple named Iverson. And they were trying to figure out what to call them the old Iverson's or  the new Iverson's. They're older in age than we are but we're older in the mission here. it is interesting to see them in person. He has gray hair like Dad and sister Iverson is short brunette!! They are calling them Iverson 2! 

We had 13 new missionaries arrive last Monday. And it was one crazy day. I got a phone call about 930 in the morning saying that one of their flights was canceled only to learn that the other 12 werek on the same flight. So then I was scurrying around trying to get different flights for them to still arrive together  because we have orientation meeting the next day. But it all worked out we got them on different airlines and Flights and even came into a different airport. But it all got worked out, but it was a crazy day on the phone making all sorts of calls and arrangements. 
Then we had transfer day where the missionaries get picked up by Elder Floyd and dad and take them to a new church building where they get transferred with the new companionship. He's usually in the van with the assistance as they pick up missionaries for about six hours,  While I am in the office getting lunch for the new missionaries and having an orientation meeting and telling them all sorts of fun things about the mission here.

Well Tuesday started out about 6 am elder Floyd called dad and said the pin had fallen out and the trailer was just hanging by the chains. So about an hour later I drove up to give them a new pin. Sure was crazy trying to get road side help. We just wanted them to deliver a pin but they only wanted to tow the trailer.  So got that all figured out with me driving up there. 

Then Wednesday we had departing missionaries leaving . And we took them to the airport and usually have to take two vehicles pulling a trailer with all their luggage. It is a sad and exciting day, sad for us to say goodbye but exciting that they've served a great mission and going to be with their families again.!!  But long days- we go to the mission home about 6;45 and get to the airport about 8:30. Then back to the office for a full day. 
The Mission presidents wife usually has them all over for breakfast and serves homemade waffles with nutella, and strawberries, and buttermilk syrup. So they usually have a good breakfast before they go on the flights. 

You've been pretty busy with our stake employment calling. So far we have found some good jobs for at least five people so far. And one of them is a Carpenter and he got a job doing framing work  So he's pretty excited about that. We're working with a couple other families and searching for jobs on the computer and helping teach them how to write a resume, and working with them on computer skills. Keeps us busy but is so rewarding to be able to help people find a good job, or help them get more education or training for future jobs. 

I know this may sound strange to you, but we're kind of missing the fall weather. It's still really nice out here and we have the windows open, and don't wear jackets. But kind of missing that nice cool fall weather. But I guess the evenings are cooling off a little bit more too. 

We had a ward Halloween trunk or treat night at the church Friday night. People signed up to bring chili or corn bread and then they judged the chili. I got 2nd place! And yes there were more than 2 entries. There were 15 different kinds of chili. I wanted to try more but had enough. There some really good corn bread. Some dry regular ones but others were moist and had bits of corn in it more like a corn pudding. And even some with jalapeno  in it. That was good. 

Oh a funny thing... Well that is funny to some and a headache for others. One of the missionaries had an accident and no injuries but the car had major repairs so they totaled the car. We finally got a brand new Malibu 2017. Came in and looks great. They put the tiwi gps in and the car died! Come to find out the tiwi computer system did nit work with the car computer so they took the car back and had to fix it so they both would work! But has been so frustrating for dad to figure out what was  wrong. . But it is all good now! 

We are doing great and staying busy. The stake president wants us to speak in each  of the wards talking about the self reliance program so working in those talks. So far we have 4 wards scheduled. Whew! We had our first one today and went well. But then they asked us to stay for the third hour to answer any questions. Well we got there had the opening prayer and he turned the whole time over to us. Wished he would had gotten it started with an introduction for the ward but we did ok and did use the whole time. Not as many questions as I would have hoped but it all worked out well. I want to revamp my talk and add some and delete  some. But after giving it once I see what they connect with and what to add or change. 

Tomorrow is Halloween and seems so strange not to have school parades and costumes and treats. Just regular office work. And no dressing up. Well dad will wear his Halloween tie with a big pumpkin on it, but still suit and missionary clothes. So hope you all have a fun and safe evening!, 

Love you!! 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dad just catchin up

Hi all,

I haven't written for awhile (Bad Dad!! 😫) so thought I'd catch up a little.
I had an odd but actually fun experience on Friday.  Late in the afternoon I got a call at work from two of my Hermana (Hermana = "Sister" in Spanish) missionaries.  They were in rush hour traffic at a particularly busy intersection in town and their car stalled!  Well, I got a tow truck called for them and a garage ready to receive them once we got the car towed to them.  I headed to them myself in our Mission pickup also.  I called the police to see if an Officer could go there and help block traffic but they asked me if this was really an emergency because they only had one officer "available" and he was headed to a call where someone had a gun!

So I got there and they had put on their flashers but were just sitting there like I told them to.  I pulled up behind them in my pickup, parked, and put on my flashers.  At least now if someone crashed us from behind, it would just be the pickup and not them!  But then I put on my old MP personna and got out and directed traffic around us!  I was standing there in traffic and directed two very busy lanes of traffic to go around us for probably 20 minutes or so!  It was so much fun!  I had two people flip me off but I also had several people compliment me, laugh for (at?) me, I had brief (like 20-second) conversations with a half dozen drivers, one turned up his radio music just for me, and three drivers that wanted to quickly change lanes when I was directing them to stop and I had to move right in front of them to stop them!
I was hoping that I was looking odd but sort of official; a big guy in a dark suit with white shirt and tie and some kind of "badge" (missionary name tag) on. 

Finally an Officer arrived and he helped stop some traffic so that we could push the car off the road (across three lanes of on-coming traffic), to a parking lot where it was much safer.   Anyway, it turned out fine and we go the car to a garage without me or the Hermanas being hurt!

I ALMOST got to swim with dolphins!  We were invited to a member's beach house for a BBQ/swimming a week ago on Saturday.  While there, I was out swimming kind of with the kids. They played in shallow water.  It's still a curious thing to me that Californian's just typically do not actually go swimming much.  They eat and socialize on the beach, play with their little kids with sand castles, or boogie board or surf, but don't go out swimming!!  But at one point I decided to just swim out into deep water just for fun.  Later, they told me from on shore that they had been watching me and they saw that a pod of dolphins had appeared about a hundred yards or so out in deeper water and they thought that I had seen them and was swimming out to be with them.  But I had not seen them; Dang, I would have swam out there if I had known they were there.

Yesterday, Sister Iverson and I went on a temple double date withe Floyd's (the other senior couple in the Mission Office with us).  Just by chance, we happened to get into a session that was Spanish-speaking!  And it was a huge session - probably 200 people!  We, along with several other English-speaking people, were given headphones.  One channel in the headphones was the session in English but there were 8 channels and each channel carried a different language (German, French, Portuguese, plus others). One effect on me was that I needed to really concentrate more than I have before and so this session was one of the best I have attended.  Partly, I've come to learn or realize that when Adam and Eve were married in the Garden, that at that time, there was no time limit to their lives; they were still immortal.   So they were married for "all eternity"; now, of course, we are mortal and so we are married "for time (and for all eternity.)".  

Later we were able to talk for about 10 minutes with a Temple Presidency Counselor and he answered a couple questions for us.  

I have had experiences in my life when I came way from them with this intense feeling like I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to never sin again.  It's intense and I love it.  But I've had more such experiences while serving on this mission than any other span of time in my life.  Now my task is to develop that intensity of righteous desire to be with me all the time!  

We had kind of a downer night last Thursday that I'm trying to make more positive for me.  we held out first Stake Self-Reliance training meeting.  We felt we "advertised" it enough and were trying to think of how many handouts to make, chairs to set up, etc.  Should it be 30 or 40 or whatever??  But we were ready and 7:00 came and went and no one wa there! ?Finally at 7:15 one person showed up.  We did teach him what we intended (I had a "Me in 30 Seconds" job search tool to teach) but only one person from a total of 8 wards showed up1  😒 Mom observed that maybe that's a sign that no one in the stake needs a job!!!  Good news!!  

Had a talk with our Stake Presidency Counselor today.  I think we just have not laid a good enough "foundation" for Stake Self Reliance Specialists or bishops of what we're trying to offer and who should do what.  We're going to order more supplies, talk more with the bishops - we are now on the agenda for next Sunday evening at a Stake Bishopric training meeting, to give a "Us in 300 Seconds" lesson to them all!   This is the typical way new start-up ventures go.  We agreed that the doctrine of true self-reliance needs to be taught more to our members.  

Well, gotta go.

Love you all. The gospel is true and Heavenly Father loves each of us. Mom spent 20 minutes on the phone last night with one of our investigators - Lindsay! We also got a really sweet text from Jake Miller's mother who said that our efforts with her son to prepare him for death in the Plan of Salvation has positively affected not only Jake (she is sure) but many many others, especially her.  We have not received a reply from Devin's mother yet; I pray for her to soften her heart a bit to let us socialize with her son.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Iverson's Update


Dear Bishop Carter,

Wow, it’s been six months ago today that we checked in at the MTC!  The time has just flown by and it’s been exciting.  We do love the physical environment here as the temperature here is consistently in the 60’s-80’s.  Contrary to our expectations, the skies here are not sunny all the time; it is typically overcast in the morning and then clears to sunny skies mid-day.  Oh well, our lives are busy enough with mission activity that we very seldom get out to recreational activities such as the beaches, etc.

California continues to be in a drought; we had rain the very first day of our arrival on March 12th but not a single day of rain since then!  Forest fires are again plaguing us. 

We have had some poignant news with one of our less-active members who we got very close to, a man named Jake Miller.  Jake got heavily into drugs and alcohol in his late teens and well into his 30’s when we met him.  However, he was beginning to show real interest in renewed activity when his body just gave up from all the alcoholic abuse it had received.  He died here but we, as well as the Bishop and the EQ President, did have some success in teaching him of what to expect when he died.  Sister Iverson especially was able to assure him that he wasn’t going to the traditional “hell” that he believed was his fate.  He died with some peace that Jesus Christ loved him dearly.

We had another investigator, Devin, who we and the proselyting missionaries met with numerous times and taught him lessons all the way through his commitment to baptism.  However, his mother, a practicing Buddhist, stepped in days before his baptism date and told us to stop visiting and teaching him.  He does have somewhat of a disability and she does control his life in many respects.  We’re trying to have her reconsider to the point of letting him just continue to socialize with us without us teaching him one-on-one.  Pray for her to have a softening of her heart.  I know that he wants it. His life has improved and we hope that his mother realizes it and lets him continue with us.  She’s a very loving and protective mother; a good woman I’m sure.

We’ve had great success with three other investigators who have been baptized and who are totally active and are on a steep curve in having their testimonies grow.  Anthony and Loreen Godinez (married) and Fred Ward (single man) have callings, pray in Sacrament, are Ward missionaries or Gospel Principles class teachers, and on and on.  Very fun times!

Our role in the Ward is changing in some ways.  Sister Iverson and I have been called as the new Stake Self-Reliance Center Specialists Coordinators.  The Self-Reliance program is gradually being instituted in place of the LDS Employment program.  The employment program has been non-existent in the Stake for several years so this is a new experience for the Stake as well as Sister Iverson and myself.  Very exciting and challenging.  With this new responsibility, we will be visiting other wards quite a bit so our time with our Ward will be changing.

We continue to be totally active with our Mission Office duties.  We work with another great Senior Missionary couple, the Floyd’s, who also work in the office with us daily.  We have the best of worlds in one way; most of our waking hours are in association with either the other Senior Missionaries, the Mission President and wife, and the proselyting missionaries.  All of them are people with vibrant energy, priesthood experience, and testimonies.  I spoke to a lady at a local fruit stand recently.  She is a seasonal worker and will shortly be looking for more work.  I gave her a pass-along card (sort of my church business card) attached to an instruction sheet.  I only know her as “Linda from the fruit-stand” so far!  I hope to hear from her sometime to help her with employment.

While we certainly knew that Californians surf a lot, it’s been a surprise of how very common it is with all ages here.  I believe surfing here is much like snow-skiing or snow-boarding is to Utahans.  We see surfboards on car tops all the time here.  It’s also a bit different here of seeing so very many tattoo shops and we see many many people here with extensive tattoos on them.  With the warm temperatures here, clothing is a bit sparse and so tattoos are very evident.  However, our friend Jake was also one that had major tattooing, some rather indecent clothing, and looked like a pretty rough character.  We grew to love him as a brother. He also was a child of God as are all others here.

We do love our missionaries here so much.  In our contacts with them, they are such an obedient group.  They report to me with their vehicle situations and letting me know when they’ve complied with some task I’ve given them.  They’ve called me when they’ve gotten a traffic violation and feel very broken-hearted when this has happened.  We’ve had accidents but, thankfully, none with injuries.  I have 74 vehicles to manage.  Sister Iverson continues with her Mission Secretary duties and is super with it.  Our missionaries love coming to the Office mainly to see Sister Iverson I think!  She is always a step or two ahead of the requests from President Felix or his wife.  I think that Sister Iverson and Sister Felix almost are competing to see who can be the first to think of something the furthest ahead of in the calendar to plan for. So far, Sister Iverson is winning!  I believe she now has letters to missionaries, their parents, Stake Presidents, and Bishops ready for the Mission President to sign as far out as November!

It’s been curious to watch the development of Sister Iverson and me working together in a sort of professional setting.  I have gradually been learning how to delegate some of my duties to her to help me stay abreast of my duties.  We work well together.

As I know you’re aware, the Flandro’s will be moving out of our house in a week or so and the Bruce’s moving in.  We’ve heard that the Flandro’s may be able to move into another house within the Ward boundaries.  That would be so great.  They are such good people.

Our families are doing well.  Little Henry is coping with his cancer. The recent surgery went well with about 95% of the tumor removed and he’s now coping with the rigors of radiation treatment.  It’s tough but he’s developed into a very tough little boy.  We’ve seen the Lord’s hand in tangible blessings to our family members with better and best job developments, successful house moves, and spiritual growth, evidenced even in our youngest grandchildren. 

When I consider that we have four Senior Missionary Office Specialists (the Floyd’s and us) who put in about 160+ hours per week and that some missions have to use proselyting missionaries to try to do what we do, it’s so evident of how valuable Senior Missionaries can be to a Mission.  We free up the time for our missionaries to do what they do best – find and teach – while we do what we do best (admin tasks).  Whatever the specific assignments that Senior Missionaries receive, we so highly recommend any Senior in our ward there to make that commitment.  Whether their circumstances are such that they serve an at-home mission or can serve away from home, Seniors are vital to the work of the Kingdom.  We do indeed feel so very needed and useful here.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a six-month period of time fly by as quickly as these past six months have done.  We do admin duties, we visit the sick in hospitals, we’ve visited a prisoner in jail here, we’ve helped an alcoholic find peace, and we’ve helped a man with a mental illness feel more at home in social situations as well as with his relationship with God.  We will be helping people find means to be more self-reliant.  Perhaps most of all, we’ve increased in our testimonies and our love for people. 

Our ward here does something different than what I’ve seen before.  There are almost zero announcements at the beginning of Sacrament service.  But after the closing prayer, the Bishopric member conducting takes about five minutes and makes basic announcements.  I believe the intent is to keep a smooth transition of reverence before and into Sacrament and to save the temporal announcement time for after the Sacrament service is done.

Enough for now.  Please let the Ward know of how much we miss them but of how much we’re enjoying being here and serving. 

Elder and Sister Iverson

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hi from Ventura California