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!!!