Friday, March 3, 2017

We have new missionaries coming in Monday, some from Mexico, and others from Provo. So has been fun trying to arrange for both to come close to each plane! Smile. But only 3 hour difference so not as bad as the original plan of 8 hour difference. Smile. I arrange all the flights for the missionaries coming here to California from the MTC - from Provo and from the Mexico MTC. And then also arrange flights for when they fly hone after their missions.
Sometimes we get some missionaries who are waiting for their visas and they stay about 4-6 weeks. We had 2 missionaries stay for 3 months until their visa came. We had 2 missionaries going to India like Elder Connor Carter so I was hoping he would come here for a while waiting for his visa but he went to the Fresno Mission just north of us. We have others who were going to Argentina here - about 6 of them. So they get a regular companion and then when they leave their companion gets moved to be with a new Elder.
We had zone conferences last week. We go to 4 different cities and meet with the missionaries in those areas. While the missionaries are in the morning meeting Elder Iverson, another office couple and myself check and inspect all the cars. Tires, oil, brakes, lights, insurance documents, registration, and about 40 items. Then we give a clean car award to the set of missionaries with the best car. They love the candy bar and the recognition! But one day we go in to the morning meetings to hear the messages from the mission president. Actually this week we had quite the rain storm so we gave the inspection sheet to the missionaries and told them to inspect the car when they could. It was Pouring down rain and windy also so we would have gotten soaked. So it was a good day to go in to listen. And California has been in a drought for the past 7 years so they are so thankful for all the rain. We have had a lot lately and have had mud slides on the hills, but nothing too major, but lots of flooding, but i heard Cache Valley has also had lots of flooding with the snow melting quickly.
The mission President talked about the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Do we listen to the promptings? Those are pretty smart missionaries. So fun to hear their ideas and feelings. Then the mission president wife talked about being awesome and they come up with words that start with each letter of awesome.
They had about 10-20 words for each letter! Amazing, ambitious, attitude, accountable, willing, wise, witness, enthusiastic, energetic, eager, endearing, ambassadors, smiling, spiritual, special, saints, safe, sanctified, obedient, outgoing, outstanding, mighty, meek, messengers, memorable, enabled, example!
They were to pick one to improve and be even more awesome!
The assistants talked about jumping in with both feet. But not just to jump up! But to jump forward. And improve. Take off the blinders that keep us from improving. Are we spending too much time doing things that are keeping us in one place and not processing.
So it was a good conference.
We went to see the Ronald Reagan library museum a few weeks ago on our prep day, and it was amazing! We were there for about 4 hours and saw some great things. When we think of a library you may think just books but this was more of a museum with so many videos and clothing and items from his life and presidency. Not much from his acting career but some from his radio and broadcasting days. They had statues of him on a horse life size. Then they also had the real air force one plane IN the museum. We also got to walk through it and they told us where everyone sat, the press, secret service people, guests and military. President Reagan loved chocolate cake and so had a chocolate cake on board every flight to share and celebrate someone birthday, grand child's birthday or anything. We saw the China dishes the uses to serve food. They also had the helicopter used by some of the presidents but the helicopter they use now is the one also used by President Reagan. We also saw the limo and police cars used. As you can imagine it was huge and very interesting! Also Nancy Reagan's gowns were on display. Videos about the Berlin wall coming down, his radio broadcasting shows, when he was shot and how close it was to actually killing him. They had his suit he wore that day on display also. Really a fun place to visit.
We also went to the Getty museum. Wow that was also huge. He actually had 2 places he made into museums. One was a replica of roman architecture and pools and gardens. Some art work there but the other one had buildings full of artwork! Rembrandt, Renaissance, impressionist, medieval, French, all sorts of art paintings, sculptures, stained glass art, furniture from those periods of time. It was a huge place to visit. There were about 6 buildings and each one was 3 stories tall full of art, and items to look at. They also had 2 garden areas. One was a garden of a wide variety of cactus plants! Some were huge and others smaller. Some were like a small tree! The other garden had a couple small waterfalls and a wide variety of flowers and plants. They were all arranged in a maze type of design. We walked down from higher up so saw the pattern but so amazing the beautiful plants! We were definitely in the minority of people. Hundreds of people from Asian countries. Everywhere we turned someone was speaking a different language. I talked to one man from Peru and he lives here now, but his brother and family are visiting and here purchasing big equipment vehicles for his construction business. Another family here from Japan and visiting some cities on the west coast.

About a month ago we went up North in our mission area and went to the Hearst castle. That was huge. He had 39 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms! They have an indoor pool with gold on the bottom and the outdoor pool could have 200 or more people in it. Just huge. He had lots of movie stars stay there and not in the regular house but in guest houses. They have 3 guest houses and each one is 3 levels and bigger than a regular home. He was able to purchase many art pieces and items that we cannot buy any more since they are historical artifacts. He even had a small zoo on his property. When they were gathering the animals to sell to zoos after he died some of the zebra got loose and so when we were driving back to our apartment we saw a herd of about 6 zebra!! Just out like the cows in a field! 

Our stake self-reliance job is going well! We have helped about 20 people with their resumes, interviewing skills, computer skills, and 95% have gotten full time jobs. One is working on some classes to be better trained. We have a big devotional coming up the end of March to introduce all 4 classes to the stake so they can get more education, attend a class on how to start their own business, a class on family finances and budgeting, or a class on finding employment. We sent out 200 invitations so hope at least 100 or MORE come!
Oh we had a man come to our class last week who works for Technicolor and has some great skills but knows people ate buying less DVDs with all the streaming so is looking at other options. Usually we have people who have been unemployed for a long time so interesting to work with someone who has lots of skills and options. This man Derek is looking at working for DreamWorks. But also in other fields so we will help with his resume this week.
We are staying busy and loving the people.
I picked 10 avocados from a friend’s tree last week! Lettuce, cabbage, kale, strawberries are growing all over here! I think California us finally out of their 7 year drought! We have had lots of rain and some flooding and must slides.
The monarch butterflies come here to stay a bit and so we went to a park and saw thousands of them in the trees.

We went on a whale watching trip out of the harbor here and saw lots and lots of dolphins but only the water spouts from about 10 whales. But it was still pretty fun.

Love you,
Sister Diane Iverson

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