Friday, June 24, 2016

Happy June from Sister Iverson

Hi from Sunny California,

How are you doing? Enjoying summer already? I heard it is quite hot there already. We have some interesting days here. In May they called is May Grey and it was cloudy skies in the mornings. Then they say June Gloom, and sure enough right on June 1st (wonder how they know the calendar) it was foggy in the mornings. The mists from the ocean come inland and cause a fog. When I go out early in the morning it is like a mist on my face. Free moisturizing my face!! Then by noon or late morning it clears up to sunny. So the temperatures are quite mild here. If you hear of high temperatures in Calif it is not here in Ventura/ Oxnard.  Ventura is where our apt. is and Oxnard is where the mission office is. Like Logan and North Logan. We can go about 20 miles any direction and get the much warmer temperatures. It has gotten up to 80 degrees here! But mostly stays in the high 70's.  But about an hour away it is desert temperatures.

Not sure if you heard on the news but there are large fires around the area  and one is in Santa Barbara which is about 45 minutes from us, in our mission.  It is mostly in the fields and hills but not close to the city and  homes. They finally have it under control and it covered about 7,000 acres and is about 90% contained. There is another fire farther inland and getting to homes. We have missionaries in Santa Barbara but all are safe. I had a few moms call and ask about them. But glad I could tell them everyone was safe.

WE had our busy week this past week. New missionaries come in on Monday. The mission president and his wife pick them up from the airport and then if he needs more space he will take another driver. But this time 2 missionaries missed their flights so Steve and I drove  up to Santa Barbara airport, just a tiny little airport, to meet the other 2. One was coming from Canada and his flight from there was delayed and so missed the other connecting flight. And then the other was a young lady just got the time mixed up so missed the flight. The young man is from Canada and had to wait an extra month to get his visa to come to the USA. So he was serving part of his mission in Canada already and then young lady was serving a mission in Mexico and got sick and then went home to recover and then decided to come back but they had her finish her mission in the US. So she was flying in from her home, so not coming right from the MTC. So that was a fun day to be able to go greet and get to know the  new missionaries. We brought them back to Ventura and had dinner and meet the mission president. We had 9 new missionaries, one from Preston Idaho, so a close neighbor to Logan. smile

Then Tuesday was a super busy day with transfers. Steve and another senior missionary each  took on large van and trailer and picked up missionaries who were being transferred to new areas. Steve started south and the other man started the North route. They Picked up and dropped off missionaries in 4 different cities. They transferred about 60 Elders and Sisters!! It is a huge busy day - keeping track of their own luggage and stuff on and off the trucks. PLUS they all love to see each other and talk and hugs!! Then while that is all being done most of the day, Sister Floyd (senior missionary like me) and I are giving orientation meeting and lunch to the new missionaries who arrived Monday. Plus the missionaries are in and out of the office - excited to tell us where they are going and who their new companion is going to be. Lots of hugs and excitement this day!! 
Of course with changes of missionaries changing apt and companions starts my list of things to do. smile New address lists and phone lists and add new missionaries to the birthday list and up date any parent addresses for the new missionaries, well there is a long list of things to change and update. But I love it and it is fun to work with these smart, bright, enthusiastic young adults!! I sure do not know all 175 missionaries by name yet but learning more and more each week!! It is easier to learn these new ones coming in since I meet them in small groups!

Then Wednesday we have some missionaries  leaving to return home. Sad to see them leave but exciting times for their parents to welcome them home again. I arrange all their flights home so always tense for me to be sure they all get to the airport on time and I send them to the right home cities!! smile. They all have breakfast at the mission home with the Mission president and his wife and then we take them to the airport.  Funny story, we took them to the airport Wednesday and then Wednesday afternoon I received a phone call from one Elder who had just gotten home and he realized he forgot something - some money he had hidden in his apt. smile So the other new missionaries in his apt found the money and sent it to me and I sent it to the young man. I had just gotten back in the office so was not expecting a call so quickly. But glad it all worked out.

Once a month we have a meeting with the zone leaders here at the church. I arrange the lunches for us all, but a fun part is they have flowers blooming and growing all around the church building so I go out and cut flowers for the centerpieces every month. They have some beautiful flowers here also. One flower is a large purple or white flower and is bigger than your out stretched hand. They are called Giant Allium plants. They are all around the church with purple flowers and others have white flowers.  They are also tall about 3 feet tall. 


Right across the street are fields of celery. Well actually they were just harvested and they have new plants already in. Strawberries fields are just around the corner and we love going to the local fruit stands and getting the fresh mango and strawberries and other fruits and veggies. Broccoli and cabbage and lettuce, lemon trees, orange trees and all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fun to see them all here. Funny, as I telling someone how fun it is to see all this fresh fruits here they asked if Utah grew things. i told them sure and named a dozen or more things and they were just amazed we grew so much also. Just different foods and they have growing season all year long. Oh another plant I see are the sunflower plants - not the tall 10 feet ones but flowers about 3-4 feet tall. They plant those and then harvest them for the large flower arrangements. We actually saw some in a funeral we attended here and they had the huge sunflowers in the arrangement.
i just love to see all the fields full of produce and how quickly they seem to grow and get harvested. What a beautiful world we live in.

We have gone on a bike ride along the coast line about every other Saturday about 20 miles.  So pretty. There are people on the beaches and in the water almost any time of day. We see surfers all the time. Not huge waves but they look fun. Not quite a sport I want to try but fun watching them. They are all wearing wet suits so I know the water is cool to cold still. One day we want to bike to a neighboring town (30 miles from here) along a bike path so will see how far we can get.

Well just wanted to let you know we are doing great and enjoying the mission. We work with the ward less active members in the evenings so that keeps us busy. 
Some are making great progress - finding jobs, getting off drugs and just helping wherever we are needed.  

Have a great week!!
Sister Iverson

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