Monday, April 25, 2016

From Baptist Preacher to Mormon Teacher

We just got back from an excellent fireside and wanted to share with you. 

The man's name is Wain Myers. He is LDS and wrote the book From  Baptist preacher to Mormon Teacher. He is full of high energy and loved his story. He was raised in the Baptist church and actually our fireside started out tonight with a lady singing the lords prayer so was not sure if that was the prayer, but we had a regular Mormon prayer after that. He was so entertaining and full of high energy. He told how he prayed to see if the two churches he was thinking about joining were true and he asked the Lord which  of these should I join. Sound familiar? And he got the answer none of them. 

And so went on preaching in the baptist church but then quit because he felt the Lord did not want him to do that any more. He then started dating a young lady and asked what she was reading and she said Rs lesson. He did not know what that was so she told him she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. oh that's good. She said you know the Mormons? oh that church...
He wanted to know more but she said I have some friends who can explain it better. smile  ... of course the missionaries. Wain is a big tall guy and he said when the missionaries knocked on the door he just laughed and said these two white 12 year olds are going to tell me about their church?? Then they asked him if he played basketball and he said he thought that was racist. He was just all very humorous about this. Any way as he listened he just knew he wanted to join the church. He told them right there he wanted to be baptized. And the missionaries said whoa whoa we have more lessons. He said well what do I need to do. So they went on to tell him what he needed to do.

Wain Myers is a fun speaker and would be a super fireside for the youth, adult, new members, investigators.  Very entertaining. he lives in Salt Lake city and loves to go speak.
So just wanted to let you all know about him in case you ever hear of him speaking close to you or if you ever want to have him come speak to your group. We had a stake fireside and had investigators there and members and missionaries and adults and some teens.  He doesn't stay behind the pulpit he likes to walk back and forth up front. smile He admits he has ADHD. smile  He says he can do that since it is a fireside and not a talk in church. Steve and I are speaking in sacrament tomorrow and wondered if we could use his style of preaching. smile  He is on the high council in his stake in salt lake. He is also on facebook if you want to look him up. But he has the book out also in case anyone has read it.

love you,

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fun Week

Hi all, 

Some have asked about elder Hamula's visit. He came for a mission tour to talk to all the missionaries and then Saturday and Sunday he called a new stake president in one of the stakes here. We were so impressed with the missionaries .. They all stood as elder Hamula came in and then they all went out row by row and we all shook his hand. 

I forgot how much we told you about his conference with the missionaries. We went to the Thursday conference and he talked to the missionaries about how they do not realize how special they are. Not just them, but all the youth now. They have been told they are a special generation and yet he told them they just do not realize how much more they could do and how much they are loved. He also said how special you all are for being the parents of this young people who are being prepared for these latter days. He told them to be bold and act with confidence knowing they are doing right. Then when he had stake conference and picked the stake president already and the as they were having Saturday stake conference he kind of trained them all by saying the president and counselors are in the audience so will just train you all. Smile not sure what he talked about but thought that was unique way to train them all. 

This Saturday we had quite an interesting day. Many dentists in the state came to Ventura and had dental assistants and then hundreds of volunteers to help also and dental  students all come to some large buildings at the fair grounds and offer free dental work for low income and homeless people or actually any one who wanted to come for free. Friday they set up all the equipment and such and our mission president, pres Felix went out there and he said there were people lining up to camp out in line. They started lining up at 5pm. 
So at 4:45 am Saturday we got to the fair grounds. 

This was such a well organized - tee shirts for all the different people. Dentists in black, dental students in blue, dental assistants in purple, regular volunteers grey and then interpreters in yellow. They had all sorts of languages offered, but the majority needed was Spanish. I had a few people who were wearing hearing AIDS so tried to sign to them but most heard ok and there were others who knew sign language so signed to them. I think maybe the deaf community did not come since maybe they did not know if there would be interpreters for them. So maybe next time we will contact more of the deaf community and let them know they will be interpreters for them. The dentists do this twice a year so hope to go back again. We helped until noon. About 9:00 we had a break and it felt like it should be noon. They had a room set aside for the volunteers to get snacks and lunch and drinks. Well organized and good food. Of course fresh strawberries and fruit but also breakfast burritos, and then for lunch pizza and salad. 

Oh my so organized.. One group would come into an area with about 100 chairs. Fill out some name and what their dental concern was. Then they went to an area to get some education fro dental students about how to brush and take care of teeth and what not to eat or drink. Then they came to my area ... Triage where they had blood pressure checked and heart  rate. Some with diabetes had to be treated differently. They also checked if they had high blood pressure and they were set to the side to see if they could relax more. Some had taken drugs so had special care. Some had missing teeth, or pain or other problems. They they went to a triage dentist and he checked to see if the needed X-rays or what and then they were sent to whatever area they needed. When I say they were sent I mean they had an escort of a volunteer to take them to all areas.  Then in another very large building  there were many many dental chairs with equipment, lights, drills, and assistants. At least 50 chairs if not more. They had technicians sterling instruments, and others bringing X-rays and all sorts of things. Like I said very well organized. I am sure in my one day of just morning we saw at least 1000 people. So it was quite a day. I am amazed at all the great service and the powerful kindness. It was a wonderful day and I had lots of fun conversations with the people as they were in my area. 

The dentists sure appreciated the church missionaries and all our service. They said they could not do it without all our help. Dad was in the building with all the dental work being done. He would take people from one area to another when a dentist was available to see another patient. 

Anna asked about some people Ted and carol who come to church. They come by themselves and just interested in finding out about the church. Ted is Jewish and knows the bible fairly well and so reading and learning about the Book of Mormon. Carol is jehovah witness and just showed up one day. 

 I think dad told you about jake m. He is an alcoholic and this week he was going through such a bad time that he called 911 and admitted himself to the hospital. He will be there until he is completely off alcohol. So hopefully this will be good for him and he can get off alcohol. He really wants to come to church and come to the Book of Mormon class. But has been sick from the drugs and alcohol so can hardly do anything any day. So we have visited him each day in the hospital to check on him. Oh funny story.. He really admires dad since he quit smoking and drinking and impressed dad went to Viet nam and lived and so thinks dad is Narley! Not exactly how I have ever pictured dad!, smile 

You all may want to come out for our county fairs.. Some friends were telling us of some things they want to show us here, and they were telling us about things and one thing was the county fair. I told them I love going to the fair. The lady was so impressed by seeing a big momma pig with her baby piglets. But then said the headline entertainer at the county fair here In town was Kevin Costner! Thought he was pretty famous for a county fair but them realized this is California. Smile 

I have been out bike riding lately. Have not found a great path yet but still exploring areas to go ride. I found a cell phone on my ride one day. And just like Levi, when he found a cell phone I tried to find the owner of this phone. Since it was an iPhone it had a code to get into it so could not check contacts. But finally about 8pm his brother called the phone and so they came over to get the phone. The guy was out skate boarding and so had no idea where he lost it. But Levi set a good example and returned the phone he found. 

Love you all, we are enjoying all the office adventures. Two new missionaries coming in Monday so getting things ready for them. We have 8 coming in May so always busy times. We are learning the missionaries' names and getting to know the cities a little bit each day. 

Have a great week! 
Love you all! 

Friday, April 8, 2016


This is a picture of our cottage but it is behind this house:

This is our patio at the cottage:

Dad & I exploring the Ventura Visitors Center our first Saturday here!

 Ventura Beach:

Flowers at Los Angeles Temple:

Los Angeles Temple:

Our lilac bush by our front door to the mission office:

Strawberry fields:

The flowering bush by our cottage:

Bunches of carrots at the Farmers Market one Saturday:

View from our cottage:

Sister & Elder Stewart (in front), Elder & Sister Floyd (on the right) and Dad & I out to eat before the Stewart's left:

Elder Stewart handing over the keys to Elder Iverson - ready, set, go!

President & Sister Felix, Elder & Sister Aston, Elder Hamula and then us:

Dad kind of working!  What do I do with this credit card?!

We have Internet!

Hi all,
We finally have internet so we can email you now. 
This has been a busy few weeks. We moved into the full time apartment and it has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a living room and kitchen. So really nice. The cottage was cute and gorgeous with flowers blooming and cute place to stay but I was living out of my suitcase since there was just a small closet to hang Dads suits and no room for any thing more. But that was fun and cozy.
Then General Conference weekend was super. What great messages. I felt many were spoken to me. Really great.

We have had a visiting General Authority come this week. Elder Hamula; a Seventy. He is taller than Dad. Wednesday night we had dinner with him at the Mission President's home with the other Senior couples. We sat at his table and he explained a bit more of assignments and  meetings he would attend.  They are called to an assignment for about 5 years. He has his new assignment but could not tell us, so will wait to read about it in the Ensign.  He was talking about different places he has served and lived. And the different cultures in the different countries. Really fun to hear of some of his adventures. He was called as  Mission President and they had 3 children and then had twins while they were there. So a young family. 

Have you heard about Pathways? It is mostly based a BYU-Idaho program, but they are on-line classes for students who want to take college classes. They go to a Church building and take the class on-line. There are usually other people there such as senior missionary couples to help also. But they take the class but the great part about it is the classes are only $67 a credit hour not the more normal $300 a credit hour.  I am not sure of all the details but I know you can take at least 2 years of classes and possibly more; all for the $67/credit hour rate. Well this is a great way to get your education if  you want to cut down tuition costs. Oh and also you can continue on taking classes at the same price.
Well New Zealand is piloting another school system where they are funded by the Church so that they can teach religion or at least say what can and not be taught.  Just interesting to hear about and see if the US ever gets that chance to have those schools. Elder Hamula was telling us about the schools in New Zealand.

Well today we had one meeting in Santa Barbara and it was a pretty drive up the coast. There are always surfers in the ocean. So far we have only seen ones with full body wet suits on so must still be cold water.  But we have heard it is usually cool water out here. So not really great swimming but at least getting in the water to walk in it and play in the waves.  But I am sure as the weather gets warmer we will get down to the beach more. Just seems so much going on every weekend. 

But we had about 96 Missionaries at this meeting and then tomorrow Elder Hamula  and Pres. and Sister Felix will go to another city to have another meeting with the other group of missionaries so they all don't have to drive too far. The Stake RS President arranges the lunches for us so that is so great. I am in charge of contacting her and the building coordinator to be sure the building is available and then the RS Pres can do the lunch. We had lasagna and salad and rolls today so that was good. We pay them for the food so they just have to cook it  and serve it for us. Which is a lot since there about about 100 of us. But so glad they do that and not me. I cook for the leadership meetings, but those are only about 30. One is coming up next week!!

We are loving our mission and love the young people. They are so happy to see us and we are slowly learning their names. Funny I get to talk to a few of the moms who call so get to know the missionaries more when the moms call. But I know all the new missionaries really well since I get all their papers and folders and file and look at their pictures for the 2 months before they get here. And about the same of the ones returning home since I get their flights figured out and send papers to the stake president and bishops and have their information on my desk files for about 2 months before they leave. Boy the busy time for me is transfers!! Whew lots of papers and changes to do and make new lists and new rosters. Just lots of up dates and copies for the office and mission president. Oh another thing I love doing is when we have new baptisms the Mission  President has me send a welcome letter to them. So great to help them feel welcome. We have a husband and wife in our ward that we and others have been visiting with and teaching who being baptized Saturday.They are in our Tuesday night Book of Mormon class.
I think I told you but another guy Ted comes to our class and he is Jewish and fun to talk to him.
And Carol is Jehovah Witness and she and I are good friends and has come to  church a few times.


Dad starting here for my "two cents worth".  That's actually a bit of Iverson family history... when my Mom would write us kids letters, Dad would usually add a few lines and always called it his "two cents worth"!

For some reason today when we were listening to Elder Hamula, it just struck me that I was actually being taught personally by a Seventy just like are mentioned in the New Testament.  Just like Christ set up in His church.  Just had such a nice warm feeling move through me confirming that he truly is a Special Witness of Jesus Christ in our day.  

I do wish so much that some of our senior aged friends would go on missions.  Although this place is special because it's so balmy and beautiful, this is just such an incredible experience associating so continually with people who are upright, honest, nice, and are united in a common cause of bearing testimony of Jesus Christ.  We get some advantage sort of in that we are constantly surrounded by such people where as the proselyting missionaries hit the road and the "real world"!  But we are already experiencing such a love for these young missionaries it's incredible.  Now if I can just match faces to names and also their telephone voices since I do call on them a lot for car-related business.

Mom seems totally on top of her mission duties and is even ahead of time.  I'm a little slower but am getting it just fine. I love it.  As you know, Mom and I have been torn about not being back home to help out with Henry but we've been personally assured through our setting apart, talk with President Felix, and a visit with Elder Hamula that the Lord knows us and our concerns and He didn't just forget about this coming up when we were called and He is watching over us and our family.  

We are having fun in our "other mission". That of helping out where we can in our Ward.  Mom has taught one RS lesson and I've taught one HPG lesson and will teach another one this month.  We meet with investigators/less-actives and others every Tuesday night for a Book of Mormon class.  This is so fun.

Right now we're working with the EQP with a way less-active recovering alcoholic named Jake.  But he wants to get his life back in line and is - I think - reading somewhat in the Book of Mormon.  

Jessica, Elder Hamula showed us a video today about the faith a young Filipino girl showed when she had to make choices about spending her very limited pesos for food or for the bus ride to church.  Does that sound familiar?  Anyway, I couldn't help but think of you as I watched that video. She was, in fact, prepared not to eat in order to have money to get to church.  She worked, prayed, moved forward, prayed often, and had faith that a miracle would happen for her - and it did.  We can't do what we're called to do without miracles from Heaven; miracles are absolutely essential for us to do the Lord's work.

We were taught/reminded of how valiant we all were in the pre-mortal life and we need to rediscover that greatness.We reviewed Abraham 3 and were taught the "Doctrine of You", i.e.,  we are eternal beings, always have been and always will be!  D&C 76:23. We are begotten sons and daughters of God. A "pearl" of wisdom he showed us is: D&C 130:19.  just bracket the following and read as an independent sentence... [A person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience."]  

We're looking forward so much to Jon, Summer, Josie, and Wyatt coming for a visit here in May!

It was so good to hear that Henry and all the family were able to all get back home for a visit.  

Our thanks to Anna for helping watch our home and Maggie.

We're happy for Jessica, Marcus, Cavin, Stella, and Clair to be in their new home too!  More room.  Jessica, you did a fantastic job on your photography studio too!   Good luck to Marcus on his tests but we know he's so smart, we kind of take him for granted!

Christian, thanks for helping Kristin with that resume. 

Anyway, so much to try to catch up on, can't do it all in one letter!

We love you all and pray for you and it feels so good to know and hear that you're praying for us too.

Love you all,

Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister Iverson!!!