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

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