Monday, June 6, 2016

Hi from California

Sunday, 06Jun2016

Hi everybody!

We’re still doing great out here.  However, we are definitely experiencing what the locals call “May-gray” and “June-gloom”! The “recipe” for May-gray and June-gloom requires three ingredients: cold Pacific Ocean water, an ocean current known as the California Current, and a high pressure formation known as the Pacific High.  To dumb it down: we consistently get overcast, sometimes foggy, weather nearly every single day in May (and starting almost precisely on May 1st!) and June.  But it can clear up to sunny skies in the afternoons.  We have also learned that coming up is “Fogust”!  Additionally, we’re learning of the four seasons here – earthquakes, droughts, fire, and floods!  The touristy term “sunny California” just does not apply year-round, at least here along the central/southern California coastline.  Nevertheless, surfers are out!  But they are almost universally dressed in black wetsuits due to cold water!  They, in fact, sort of look like a bunch of seals out there!

Mom and I have been getting out a bit.  On Memorial Day, we participated in a Stake traditional family event called the “Beecroft 5K Family run”.  Stake President Beecroft started this in 1955 and it’s been happening ever since!  There were about 260 people involved and they included serious runners (high-schooler from our ward won it this year in 16 min:47 sec!  Mom took first place in her female age group and I was fourth of 10 in my male age group. There are two trophies: one for overall fastest runner and one for numbers of participants from a ward.   There has been a friendly feud between our ward (Ventura 1st) and 2nd Ward for years for those trophies.  This year our ward won them both and some kind words were said to Mom and me for making that happen since they typically don’t have much participation from senior members! 

We also get out exercising 5 or 6 days per week together or separately.  Saturday we went for a 20-mile bike ride along a path by the coast.  Mom had fun, Dad endured! 

I’m including a picture of what I’ve referred to before as “Tiwi”; the GPS driver monitoring system in each mission vehicle.  The device fastens to the inside of the windshield and the driver waves his Tiwi card over it to log in and to log out.  A missionary has to be here for at least six-weeks before the President approves him/her to drive and get a Tiwi card (from me).  I get Tiwi reports of driving issues (after-hours driving, speeding, seatbelts, or aggressive driving).  I talk to each missionary about it and may require them to take an additional defensive driving DVD course with a test!  President Felix also gets this report and asked me what I was doing out driving a mission vehicle at 4:30 in the morning?!  I told him I had gotten up early that day to go to the office to do some catch-up work.  Next time, I’ll leave the mission car for Mom to drive in and I’ll take our van in – to stay “under the radar”!

I’m selling three Mission vehicles shortly.  We have a sort-of-new vehicle broker sales process now which makes my job easier but I also do have the option to sell privately.  If any of you see a need to buy a Ford Fusion, Chevy Cruze, or Toyota Corolla anytime, let me know.  I’ll have several come up for sale in about 5-6 months.  We also have a Toyota Avalon (Mission President car) which we’ll sell later in 2017 and I don’t think he will want it.  You might want to try contacting any missions near you to ask about it from them as well.  I may be able to find out for you as well.  My priority for private sales are local (Mission) members, non-Mission members, others).  I think they’re a great deal and I will look seriously at buying one when we get close to release.

We’ve been so pleased at how well you all are doing who have been changing jobs.  In this economy where finding work seems to be so difficult, all of you who want to work outside the home are finding good/better/best jobs.  That speaks so well for your past good work ethic.  Kristin found a new appraisal job that’s great for her.  Jeremy found a new custodial job with better hours.  Josh has moved back to Black Box but at better pay.  Seth, of course, isn’t in a new job, but we’re so pleased that his partners are working so well with him with his new schedule concerning Henry. Bryan is still considering offers made to him which are all good.  It’s been awhile now, of course, but Jonathan got a dream job for him as well with his Life Flight work.  Jessica’s photography business is doing great although it’s pretty demanding with kids, Marcus’ schedule, etc.  It looks like Mom and I are the only ones who are working sort of “backwards”.  We went from good paying jobs to retirement but then back to work at 1) 40-50 hours/week, 2) 5 days/week instead of 4, 3) no vacation or sick days, and 4) no paid holidays…… AND us paying to work!  ; - )

If any of you are inclined to come visit us here, the following dates in the next few months are when we have to be in the Office:  June 28-Jul 1st; July 12th; Aug1-3; Aug 9th; Sep12-14; Sep20; Sep27-30; Oct11; Oct 24-26; Nov 8; Dec 5-7; and Dec 13.  We’re not saying you need to come visit, but you’re welcome anytime but these dates are when we would not be able to be with you much.  We can’t take off probably more than a couple days at a time (Mon-Fri) but we have Saturdays and Sundays free all the time. 

Mom and I have been to the LA temple twice and expect to go several more times, especially since our Stake plans a monthly trip.    

I don’t know if the house-sitting work that Anna and Bryan is doing for us is going without any setbacks but we haven’t heard about any.  We truly just do not think about the house hardly at all and that’s such a relief.  We do think of Maggie of course but we’re certainly seen the evidence that she’s doing fine.

We continue our studies of Preach My Gospel as well.  We’ve done some teaching of Jake and a lady named Lindsay – but Lindsay wasn’t really interested.  We participate in our Ward weekly Book of Mormon class to which we typically have 10-14 people or so attend.  Our Ward Mission Leader leads the class and he is super at it.

          We know that every one of you have your own personal concerns, worries, etc. and we pray for all of you and each of you.  Your names go on our temple rolls when we attend.  Of course Henry and the family is on all of our minds and hearts and many people have responded of placing his name on temple rolls around the world, including Japan.  He is mentioned in a congregational prayer every month in your Aunt Cheri’s Alden Lutheran congregation. 

          Mom has done wonders in her assignment in the Mission.  She recently decided to find out and put together the locations of all the Stake Centers in the mission which is needed by President Felix as he plans Zone Conferences throughout the year.  Since she couldn’t get all Stake officers to respond to her, she got authorization to have IMOS (church-wide administrative computer program) world-wide access (CDOL- church directory of organizations and leaders) so she was able to put that info together without having to depend on Stake officers responding. 

          We do love interacting with all of our missionaries.  They are just so dedicated and they really want to be obedient.  They work so hard too.  When Mom and I go home at the end of a working day about 5:00, I think of them still pounding the streets for another 3-4 hours!  I worry about them getting into accidents either through their own errors or someone else’s.  However, and this speaks well of them, of our last nine accidents (all were rather minor), only two of them were preventable by our missionaries – and those were minor.

We had fun at a recent Zone Activity.  The missionaries were assigned to do some of their own family ancestry searching and to come to the Activity with a story they found of one of their ancestors – AND – to dress as much as possible in the period dress of that ancestor.  Their stories were funny and deeply touching.  Mom and I went with stories of our grandmothers and dressed as best we could in dress of the early 1900’s.

Mom’s typically 2-4 months ahead of schedule for all the letters and other documents needed for missionaries coming here in the future months.  She does super at remembering names and faces and relationships of both our ward members and our proselyting missionaries.  She’s certainly a superwoman – can’t keep up with her.

Well, enough for now.

                                                                      Elder and Sister Iverson

I hope we're going to make some major progress with our addict friend, Jake, now.  We met with a "professional" addict recovery guy(LDS) who is now recovered and is a counselor.  Mom and I will now take on a more focused role of teaching him the Gospel while this man - Chase - works on a real program for him of attending meetings, giving up methadone, weaning him off alcohol, etc.  I think Jake's been "sliding" for awhile now but now it's time to be serious about this recovery;  we'll see shortly if he's serious about it.  But I just know we can help him so very much if he'll just let us. Please include him from time to time in your prayers.  He's a good man but has a very violent past with drug dealing, fighting, and other demons.(Photos of us and Jake attached. )

picture attached here of some cars that G-ma and I saw today.  Would it be fun to drive one of them do you think?  We're not sure what they're used for exactly but thought you'd like to see them.

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