Monday, June 26, 2017

News from CAM                                                                                                         June 26, 2017
Dear Loved Ones All,
Amazing how time keeps trucking on.  Some days it is hard to distinguish from others, and some days are so filled you are shocked that it could be so full.  On our P-Day, in addition to doing laundry and light cleaning, and actually doing my email on time (Elder Macbeth always gets his reports finished) I decided that it was time to do something with my hair, so I called up Mary at the salon that has been dealing with my hair to schedule a perm.  When I first went in they wanted my first name since that is how they greet all their customers and I told them that “Sister Macbeth” would do just fine.  Now all I have to do is mention “Sister,”  and they know immediately who I am.  I had her cut off an inch and with the curls, my hair now looks quite short, and of course very curly.  I like wash and wear hair.  I also hemmed a dress. 
We were able to Skype with Kristina and Kids in Utah, and talk with several of our other children.  It is also nice that Senior Missionaries can keep track of their kids on our smart phones (which of course young missionaries cannot do.)  Elder Macbeth needs his phone because the Bishop keeps sending him mixed media in connection with his Executive Secretary duties. 
I made cookies Tuesday morning for District Meeting, and we talked with Michelle.  That evening we attended an off-the-chart dinner with the Senior Missionaries in honor of the Taggarts who are leaving at the end of this week.  Sister Anderson made the dinner which included a prime roast that was to die for, plus all the trimmings and sides.  Sister Heathcote made actual strawberry shortcake and whipped the cream herself, no canned shortcut.  To say the dinner was perfection is quite accurate.   Sister Larkin made a quilted wall hanging of our mission logo and had all the missionaries sign the back.  It was awesome.  Sister Taggart loves the painting in the Newport Beach Temple done my brother Del Parson of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane being comforted by the angel, so we ordered a print for them and gave it to them.  They loved it.  Another treasure for them to have from their mission.  They will definitely be missed but we are also looking forward to meeting the new Mission President Golden and his wife on Friday.
District Meeting was changed to Wednesday this week because the departing missionaries got to go to the Temple with President and Sister Taggart on our normal day.  We have 5 missionaries going home from our zone.  They also will be missed…strange how attached we get to these young missionaries in such a short time.   We had to hustle afterwards to get to Mary’s Kitchen on time.  That is actually one of our highlights each week.  In the evening it was R.S. Enrichment and we were having a Snack and Chat, so I made Chex Mix to take for my snack to share.  It was actually a fun evening.  We were also encouraged to bring any unfinished R.S, projects to work on, so I brought my coasters that I started last fall to finish.  Not sure what I am going to do with them yet.
One of our widowed friends is out of town for a week so we told her we would pick up her mail.  She gets a ton every day, sometimes so much that the mailman hangs some on top held together with a rubber band.  It is easy to see why she needed it checked every day. 
We also continue to visit our Hungarian Maria.  She is still in a lot of pain from a fall, and she has tumbled a couple of more times.  Elder Macbeth put in a wireless phone so she could have one by her chair where she tries to watch TV because she has a hard time getting up to answer the one in the kitchen, but her eyesight is not good enough to read the numbers, and if she drops the phone she has a difficult time retrieving it, so he took it back.  He ordered a phone like the one she has so hopefully that will take care of the problem.
At Book of Mormon class we had a couple of investigators as well as some members and missionaries.  It is interesting the questions that are asked, usually about some of the terminology, and the insights that are shared as we read are awesome.  One of the new converts is getting married soon, and her friend (one of the investigators) wants to have a little bridal shower before the class next week, so I guess we will be helping some with that.
Sister Taggart asked Elder Macbeth if he could burn some copies of his 50th Anniversary CAM History that he compiled so he has been doing that this week.  We will need to get them to her so that they can be distributed to whom they’re intended.  We also got to have the Westergards down for a spaghetti dinner.  By the time they finish with the car stuff and other responsibilities at the office they are grateful not to have to come up with dinner, so occasionally I try to surprise them with supper already made.  She always contributes fresh veggies or fruit.  They are such good friends.
Saturday was our last day to clean the church for this rotation.  When we got there we were surprised with the cultural hall being completely draped and decorated for a wedding reception.  It was beautiful, but sadly someone doesn’t understand that the fabric isn’t supposed to be stapled into the hardwood along the stage front and around the walls.  When they tried to remove the staples many broke off so they just bent them over, and now someone is going to have to get a pair of pliers and a ladder for the ones in the wall, and the nicks, holes and scratches will have to be repaired somehow. 
What a shame.
We made what seemed like numerous visits to hospitals and care centers.  Keith doesn’t know when he might get to go home, but Sister Kidwell was released on Wednesday to go to her daughter’s to recuperate.  Sister Pulliam has moved to Texas, but still keeps in touch by phone.  We took a casserole in to our young mother because she had to have surgery and has not done well.  We even had to take her back to emergency care.  Maria fell again and ended up back in the hospital.  Hopefully her son-in-law and daughter will come figure out something to help her. 
President Douglas (a member of our stake presidency) wrote a musical based on his conversion story, and it has been performed the last 3 Saturdays.  He also sang and played his guitar with the band for the performances.  It reminded me of the Road Shows that we used to have and it was well attended all three nights.  It was reminiscent of the rock and roll age.  We went with the Westergards and we stopped to get pizza beforehand so we enjoyed a quick supper out on the grass before we went in to enjoy the play. 
Sunday morning seemed to arrive early, but we were up, showered, and dressed and out the door in time to get there before 6:00 am for Elder Macbeths first two meetings.  I usually get to print and fold the ward bulletin during that time.  In Ward Council it was decided that we will have a Pioneer Celebration on July 22, so I need to start figuring the details for that.  Elder Hansen and Elder Ririe are going home on Tuesday and Sister DeAdder is being transferred so we got to hear their testimonies.  Awesome.  Meetings were spiritual…for such a small ward we get some great speakers on Sundays, and Sister DeAdder sang a beautiful rendition of “Come Unto Me.” 
That about wraps it up.  Hope you each find much to be grateful for and have a fantastic week.
Love, Sister and Elder Macbeth            Go!   Find!!     WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Smile!

Monday, June 19, 2017

News From CAM                                                                                                         June 19, 2017
Dear Loved Ones All,
Another week, and another anniversary spent here in the Mission.  Monday we celebrated our 48th  year of married bliss.  Since it was P-day we did laundry and the usual p-day stuff.  I also took time to make a card for President and Sister Taggart since they are leaving at the end of the month, and a couple of wedding cards.  We took a trip to the post office and stopped in at the Mission Office to invite the Westergards to go with us, as soon as they were finished at the office, to the little sandwich shop they are always talking about to help us celebrate our anniversary.  In the hour that was left we stopped at a 99 Cent store to get a couple of things before going to Maria’s (our Hungarian) to install a wireless phone to place beside her chair in her TV room because she can’t get up in time to answer the phone in the kitchen.  Then we drove to the sandwich shop (actually it was an import market that had all kinds of foods from Mexico and South America) in addition to the little deli.  We ordered empanadas and shared one of the huge specialty sandwiches.  Unlike lunch time, the place was fairly quiet and had our choice of where to sit.  I think it was fun to try a different kind of food and of course the company was perfect.  When we finished our sandwiches we met back at our place.  The Westergards brought a package of tapioca pudding mix and I cooked it up for Elder Westergard and me and Sister Westergard and Elder Macbeth had Haagen-dazs ice cream bars because they didn’t prefer that kind of pudding.  We were all happy with our choices.  J  We also heard from many of our children and loved ones wishing us a wonderful anniversary, which made the day even more special.
This week was the last zone conferences which President and Sister Taggart will conduct.  Elder Wong was in charge of the lunches so we made sure we were at all three buildings in time to help with the final food preparation.  When we first got to the mission field we were told that Elder Wong didn’t want any help and to stay out of his kitchen, but that changed one day when he was late arriving because of traffic so I offered to help mix the salad as he chopped the veggies and to add the dressing.   Of course we are talking about a huge amount of salad so in the interest of time I just mixed it all with my hands (washed of course).  He was tickled about the fact that I was not like “Relief Society that had to have gloves and long handled utensils to keep from getting dirty.”  From that time on I became the salad sous chef and Elder Macbeth was allowed to help slice the meat.  While we were helping this time, Elder Wong told us that his daughter was getting married to someone from the Tri Cities with the last name of Larson and invited us to come down to the reception on Saturday.  Elder Macbeth made the comment, “What are the chances that we know the family?”  Elder Wong also invited the Westergards so we said we would be there.  Our zone conference was on Wednesday so that day we stayed the whole time.  It was kind of bittersweet to know we were getting the last instructions as a mission from a super great president and his wife.
Elder Macbeth spends quite a lot of time fulfilling Executive Secretary duties, and this week while he was doing that at the church I was preparing my R.S. lesson for Sunday before going down to the Family History Center.  This week we were unable to unravel any of the hiding/missing information for my family lines.  Maybe next week.  The sisters in the center said that when we go home they will give us their contact information so they can still work on our lines because the “like challenges.” 
We of course have visited with Maria multiple times since she had fallen and was not doing well.  We visited Keith and Sister Kidwell, and our young mother.  Health issues continue to be a major issue for so many here.
Our Book of Mormon class had a couple of investigators and as many members as missionaries.  Sometimes it seems like we have more missionaries but that’s alright since they all say they learn a lot when they attend, and the young missionaries have great insights to share.
By the end of the week Maria decided that since she couldn’t see the numbers on the new phones that she couldn’t use them so we took them back.  The only other option for her is to have the phone company come out and put in another phone jack so she can get a regular phone. 
On Saturday we did indeed go to the Wong/Larson wedding, and we did know the family.  As a matter of fact, we knew the grandparents because we were in the same ward and Brother Rawlins was in our Stake Presidency.  Heidi, the mother of the groom was his daughter, and so we attended her wedding reception when she married Mark Larson.  The whole Rawlins family (sons, daughters, spouses, and grandkids) came down for the wedding, so we had a marvelous time at the reception.  It was set up outside in the parking lot.  Heidi and family did the decorating and Elder Wong and family were in charge of the food.  They had Korean Tacos so Elder Wong spent a lot of the time at the grill providing the Korean BBQ meat and his famous steak.  He even was dressed in his perpetual T-shirt and work pants.  As a matter of fact, many of the people and guests were very casually dressed.  It was quite a fun reception.  Both Elder Wong and his wife are extremely accomplished and I was totally amazed at all the things they are involved in.  My kids think I like to keep my fingers in all the pies, but they make me look totally amateur. 
Sunday the Bishop cancelled all the extra meetings so we only had the block.  Amazing to get to sleep in.  Sacrament meeting was delightful.  We didn’t have as many visitors as last week but Elder Macbeth still helped pass the sacrament, and they only asked one visitor to help.  I wonder what the visitors think when they get asked to help pass the sacrament.  They handed out candy to the Dads and Dads to be.  My lesson went well, but I am kind of glad that I don’t have to give the R.S. lesson every week since I might have a hard time thinking of new ways to do the lesson.  It is nice if you know the lesson material well enough that you can ask the right questions so that in effect the class actually gives the lesson with their discussion. 
After church we came home for a quick snack before heading south.  We also had time to Skype with Mindy and Tony and talked with our oldest son John.  We visited with Michelle as we drove in the car.  We stopped to wish Keith a belated birthday and for a short visit on our way.  We got to Brad and Becky’s just before they all arrived back from church.  Brad changed and fired up the grill and we had burgers, hot dogs, and sausages (his choice for the day and the other dads thought that was great).  Of course we had all the other fixings and Becky’s mother made delicious cinnamon rolls for desert and her sister made a mint brownie.  Heaven.  Elder Macbeth even got the required tie for Father’s day.  A great choice.  Fun!  Fun!  Fun!  We visited with Jayann on our way back home.  Sadly we didn’t see the call from our daughter Kristina in Utah, so we will have to catch up with her later.  Families are the greatest!
Have a wonderful week.   Love, Sister and Elder Macbeth.   Go!  Fight!!   WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   J

Monday, June 12, 2017

Colin's letter:
This was a rather good week. We found out that 40 less-active members on the roster have moved, which means out of all the people we stopped, we verified that 40 of them had moved, which doesn't sound like success, but it really is helpful to us and the ward. We even found a forwarding address (! that almost never happens).
Today we woke up at 4:30am so we could drive and pick up Elder Ashcroft and Morris from Sandbridge and drive to the beach to watch the sunrise. Until today I had never seen the sun rise over the ocean. I had only ever seen it set over the Pacific. We went to the beachfront right in front of the big King Neptune statue in Virginia Beach. Later Elder Talbot needed a haircut, so we went to a place by the Sandbridge Elders' apartment. Lo, and behold, the 21 year-old young woman who cut his hair, was the less-active daughter of a family that I taught for 6 months in Edenton, NC! Not only that, but she is driving down to visit them tonight, and is bringing a message from me to them with her.
Here in Virginia Beach it is rare to find someone who is actually originally from Virginia beach. Most people moved here recently for the Navy, the Marines, or really any branch of the military, with many various technological jobs. I am always surprised when I meet someone whose family has been here for more than one full generation. One such person I met was Brother Waterfield, who is a member of the Cape Henry Ward (which is where I'm serving). His family has been here for 200+ years. In fact, one of his great, great grandfathers walked from here to Petersburg, VA for the battle of Petersburg during the Civil War where he fought for the Confederacy. Also, for well over a century, his family has been wooden duck decoy carvers, and in the world of duck decoys, they are very famous. He has three duck decoys from his great grandfather that are worth over 100,000 dollars each! Next transfer's preparation day project is going to be carving wooden duck decoys with him, which I am very excited for.  
Yesterday President and Sister Weed came to church. They weren't speaking or anything,  just visiting. We actually see them a lot and spend a decent amount of time with them, but it was fun to take them to Sunday School with us and then having President Weed in Elders Quorum with us was really great, too. Generally Elders Quorum lessons are stereotypically boring, but every week that I have been here they have been amazing, which is really a miracle, especially because our mission President was there. 
We also had a mission tour by a general authority of the church. Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr., of the Seventy, came to visit and tour the mission. He  bore extremely powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and he had us name our favorite great chapter from the Book of Mormon. Regardless of the chapter cited, Elder Curtis was immediately familiar not only with the subject matter, but could quote verses from that chapter from memory. It was incredible. Mine is Alma 34, which you might consider reading over. During lunch Elder Talbot and I sat with him and his wife, and got to share some of our favorite stories from our missions, and he shared with us many stories of his own.
Over all we have had a great week, and until next Monday, I hope y'all have a blessed week!
--Elder White
News From CAM                                                                                                                     June 12, 2017
Dear Loved Ones All,
P-Day was normal and unusual at the same time.  We did laundry and cleaning.  I repaired a couple of sliced shirts and a pair of problem pants.  We dropped by the Mission Office to get one of the patriotic ties that Elder Macbeth ordered from Amazon since last year we couldn’t find any in the stores.  We went to Marias because she had asked us to take her to the bank, but she had fallen and hurt her back so wasn’t able to go.  I made some green pea soup  that I thought was delicious, but Elder Macbeth couldn’t convince himself that that color of soup looked edible since he doesn’t care for regular split pea soup, so I made him a BLT.  Sister Pulliam has decided to move to Texas to be near her daughter.  Her electric wheel chair has not been working so it has been sitting at one of the ward member’s house to see if he could fix it.  Unfortunately he didn’t have the battery charger for it, nor the proper tools so it was not repaired.  Of course she wanted to take it with her and she told us that her son was renting a truck so he could take her and all her stuff to Texas.  We had to arrange meeting to meet with the member since he is very busy, coordinate the young missionaries to be there at the same time to lift it into his truck, and follow us over to drop it off at the care center so she will have it on Wednesday when she’ll be leaving.  Fast forward to Wednesday, we went over for a final goodbye.  She had boxes of books, CDs, and videos, suitcases for her clothes and personal stuff, as well as her wheel chair.  Her son and his wife were there to pick her up.  Someone had told him that a truck was not necessary so they had come in his car.  Needless to say, there wasn’t room for everything let alone the wheel chair.  We were sad to see her go because she is such an awesome lady, but I was very glad that it was not my problem.  We got to Skype with our daughter Michelle and her toddler which is always a delight.  Then we talked with a close friend back home who let me know one of our neighbors had just passed away.  Sometimes change is so hard.  You get the happy and the sad.
On Wednesday we got to serve at Mary’s Kitchen.  That is always a bright spot in our week.  The people there are always so happy to see us and it makes us feel good to be of service.  We also tried to visit multiple people on our list without much success.  Some days it is like that.  Maria thought she would feel well enough to go to the bank, but when we got there she was still not able to go.  When we got back to our apartment that evening I made Devil’s Food cake mix cookies.  I added some chocolate chips and mint chips and dusted powdered sugar on them after they were baked.
Thursdays is District Meeting which is always awesome.  I am totally amazed that the young Elders have such great lessons planned and always so upbeat and encouraging.  Of course the missionaries are also always delighted to get cookies at the end.  We met the Elders at Maria’s and they worked in her yard while I did some dishes, and swept the floor and Elder Macbeth helped her sort through her mail since she can’t see well enough to be able to read it.  She seems to be hoping that we can help her more and more.  The young Elders asked us to pick up one of their investigators and bring him to Book of Mormon class that evening.  It seemed like it was mostly missionaries there so I think we are going to have to get more members and investigators to attend.
Sunday was my turn to give the lesson in Relief Society, so on Friday, in addition to reading scriptures and studying Preach My Gospel, I took some time to prepare it.  We had some errands to run and we stopped to get a frame for the print for President and Sister Taggart.  It looks very impressive.  We visited our Relief Society president, Sister Kidwell in the hospital.  She is slowly improving which we are very happy about. 
On Saturday we helped clean the Church building with our Ward, then went down to visit Keith and Elder Macbeth trimmed his nails.  I wonder how many of us think about when we get old or physically impaired we might not be able to do that for ourselves.  We stopped to see how Maria was doing and she had fallen again.  So after attending a baptism we went to the store to pick up some things for her.  We are going to have to tell her that we do not have time available to give her all the help that she needs.  I don’t know what she is going to do since she doesn’t seem to trust some of her kids and the others don’t live here and/or do not seem to be inclined to take care of her.  Such a dilemma.  We love her, but we can’t take that responsibility.  By then, we were hungry so Elder Macbeth took us to the California Smoqued BBQ place and we had baby backed ribs.  Loved not having to cook but I think that everything down here is a little spicy for my taste. Before I went to bed I made a handout for my lesson.  I thought I made enough so the priesthood would have some too. 
Woke up extra early Sunday morning so I could shower and get ready in time for us to leave for Elder Macbeth’s 6:00 am Bishopric meeting followed by his 6:30 am PEC meeting.  I usually go run off the bulletin and get it ready for sacrament meeting while he is in there.  It also gave me extra minutes to fine tune my lesson. Last Sunday it seemed like we had a lot of visitors, but this week we had at least 3 times the number of visitors as members there.  There were 30 kids there from Idaho who were participating in a dance competition at Disneyland.  Some of them know Leon and some of his family.  My lesson went well in Relief Society.  Because of the visitors nearly every seat was occupied and when I passed out my handout I only had one left over. 
After Elder Macbeth returned from a stake priesthood meeting that somehow got cancelled without letting our brethren know, we went out and tried to do more visits.  Only was able to contact a new move in who is not wanting to be involved at all with the church.  Some weeks are definitely like that. 
To finish off the evening, I rinsed off our leftover ribs and slathered them with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and reheated them.  Perfect. 
Hope you all have a fantastic week, all the fathers out there a fabulous father’s day, and may you receive all the blessing that Heavenly Father has for you.
Love, Sister and Elder Macbeth        Go!   Fight!!    WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   J

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

News from CAM                                                                                                                     June 6, 2017
Dear Loved Ones All,
Memorial Day arrived on our P-Day but we did the usual laundry and cleaning.  We got to talk with our daughter Kristina who lives in Utah now.  She is expecting and so she is running the household by herself while her husband is away taking a class for his work.  Life is always not quite what one would expect, but she reminds me of the women in the first days of the church who just keep on trucking.
By Monday afternoon I felt that we should be doing something different that the usual so I called the Mission Office and suggested that the Westergards should come go on a picnic with us.  They also invited the Tomlinsons which was wonderful.  We met them all over at the Mission Office since they were done for the day and two Elders went to Subway for sandwiches while the Sisters went to find a table at a little park not too far distant from the office.  Elder Macbeth came with us so he could trim the watermelon which we brought and slice it up.  Since there were only 6 of us he only trimmed half the melon and then sliced it like a cake/pie.  It made such a nice presentation.  We really enjoyed visiting with each other about family interspersed with a few spiritual topics.  Then we played Frisbee.  Quite a sight we made, 6 senior missionaries dressed in Sunday clothes (men in white shirts and ties and women in dresses and nylons, etc.)  There were several families that noticed that we were Mormon missionaries who chatted with us as they went by.  Fun!
Our R.S. president is still in the hospital awaiting the staples from surgery to be removed in her head, and doing speech and physical therapy.  We are praying that she will be well enough to attend her oldest grandson’s high school graduation on the 14th.  Anyway, she is in a hospital about as far North from where we live and Keith is as far South, meaning the other missionaries cannot visit them because they are out of their assigned areas, but unlike Keith she gets visitors.  When we got back home we got a call from our oldest daughter Jayann.  They are doing well, our house is still being cared for, and they are loving being parents of a happy baby boy.  We get update photos of our grandkids which we surely love!
We manage to squeeze in grocery shopping in where ever if we don’t get it all done on Monday, especially if we need to gas up (usually at Costco) as we are traveling back and forth.  We went to see another sister who has decided that she is going to move to Texas as soon as she gets out of the hospital.  Her daughter lives there, so that will be good for her to be closer to family. 
Wednesday morning I baked molasses cookies so I could take some with us when we went to our President’s Interview.  This is his last interview with the missionaries since they will be going home end of June and the Goldens with be arriving to be in charge of our mission the first of July.  Guess we will get to find out how it is to have a new Mission President.  Sad and exciting all at the same time.  The Taggarts have been awesome!
Then we got to do our usual service at Mary’s Kitchen.  That has been a super fun experience for us.  Not all the missionaries get to serve there, but those who do love it as much as we, and the people love us back. 
Wednesday evening we got to go to the Newport Beach Temple for a sealing assignment with our ward members.  That is another bonus for Senior Missionaries that the young missionaries don’t get to enjoy.  We are truly spoiled.  After an awesome time doing sealings we went with the others to Panera for supper.  A spiritual and social evening…what more could a person want.
Thursday District Meetings continue to be awesome.  It is amazing how week after week the young Elders are able to give such spiritual messages and encouragement.  The next generation of leaders are definitely cream of the crop.  Of course they loved the molasses cookies, and since I made extra (by mistake) they were extremely excited to get three instead of the usual two.  Our Hungarian Lady fell and injured her back so we were sad that she canceled our usual visit.  However we got to catch up on our studying of Preach My Gospel that President Taggart asked us to read before he goes home at the end of the month.  Thursday evening we had the Book of Mormon Class.  There were some members as well as an investigator in addition to the missionaries.  It would be nice if more less actives, new members, and investigators were there, but maybe that will come if we faithfully have it.  Those who come are well fed spiritually and I usually learn something new nearly every time. 
Bishop was planning to be gone Sunday so he asked Elder Macbeth to get out the Handbook and prepare to instruct the Ward Council on some of our duties.  We have a whole bunch of birthdays coming up in the ward and family so I worked on making a few of those with the limited tools I have on hand here.  I can hardly think how exciting it will be when I have use of all my supplies at home. 
We also got to meet some wonderful new move-ins and less actives as well as attending meetings and visiting members in the hospitals and care centers.  Most everybody is happy to visit with us but not everybody wants to come be active at church.  At least they know they would be more than welcome. 
We discovered that there are Dickey’s BBQ restaurants down here and Saturday after a long day of rushing here, there, and everywhere it seemed, Elder Macbeth chose there when I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat.  It was delicious, and to make it even better, your meal could be topped off with as much soft serve ice cream as you had room for.  So nice to get to eat something scrumptious that you didn’t have to make or clean up afterwards.  We are so blessed.
Sunday we had more visitors at church than we had ward members.  Bishop invited anybody that wanted to come up to bare their testimonies.  It was a spiritual feast with no lag time in between testimonies.  Sunday School and Relief Society were awesome as well.  After Elder Macbeth fulfilled his executive secretary responsibilities while Bishop was doing interviews, we drove down to Santa Ana to visit Keith.  He was more aware and has decided that he needs to take more control of his care so that hopefully he can be able to go home.  That would be wonderful.  
The Westergards invited us up for dinner.  She had prepared Hawaiian Haystacks.  Such a fun meal with our friends.  We brought the rest of our watermelon.  It was still sweet, crisp, and delicious.  A delightful end for the first day of the week. 
Hope you all have a fantastic week and that you remember to thank the Lord for all your blessings.
Love, Sister and Elder Macbeth           Go!    Fight!!      WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    J

Monday, June 05, 2017

Letter from Colin:
This week was superb. On Friday we went to the Sandbridge District for district meeting, and Elder Ashcroft, the District Leader there, is the best in the mission. During a training video we watched he brought us popcorn and watermelon to eat and in his district they say the Pledge of Allegiance each week. After the meeting I went on exchange with Elder Ashcroft, which was quite fun. The coolest part of going on exchange with him is that a year ago, when I was in Edenton, North Carolina, Elder Ashcroft was my district leader there, and now he's in my zone and I was on exchange with him again!
While in the Sandbridge Ward, we did a ton of service. We helped this guy, named Jim, spray insecticide under his house. When we were done helping him he gave me a brand new pair of $200 Beats headphones (this guy had a laundry basket full of headphones that he didn't use anymore), and took us out to Red Robin to eat. Not only that, but it turns out he loves WWI and WWII aviation (and so do I), and so now today he's taking us and the Sandbridge Elders to the world famous Aviation Museum here in Virginia Beach, where they fly all their aircraft off of their own big 5,000-foot grass landing strip. They have some of the rarest WWII aircraft in the world. They also have a hanger that was in Germany in WWII that they deconstructed and shipped here to reassemble. 
Later that night, after doing service, we went to try to find this less-active member who the Ward Council had asked them to find. We were walking down the street at about 8:40pm and we saw two door-to-door salesmen talking with some people on their porch, so we asked them if they knew where the address we were looking for was. Then one of them turns around and says, "Here, just a second Elders, and we'll show you where it's at." By the fact that he called us ‘Elders,’ we could infer that he knew very well who we were. It turns out that both of the salesmen are returned missionaries, living here in Virginia, working for the summer. So there we were, two Mormon missionaries, and two door-to-door salesmen, walking down the road together! It was hilarious and very confusing to everyone who saw us. As we were walking, this very confused hammered-drunk lady came up to us and said that she was about to say something very offensive, and after stumbling all over her words she says to Elder Ashcroft, "You are way too hot to be a Mormon!"  Then she immediately staggered off and into her house-- as if someone's physical appearance dictates the religion that they are allowed to belong to!--but she was drunk, and well, there doesn't have to be any other reason. 
As always, much more happened this week, but I am out of time to write any more. But the miracle about running into the two returned missionaries, who happened to be door to door salesmen, was that they turned out to be the perfect people for the investigator the Sandbridge Elders are teaching, and those two can drive him to church and to be his friends! So, all-in-all, it was a great week, and lots of good stuff happened in my own area too: We found out about 34 people who have moved out of the ward, and believe it or not, even several forwarding addresses!
Until next time I hope y'all have a blessed week! 
--Elder White

Monday, May 29, 2017

News from CAM                                                                                                         May 29, 2017
Dear Loved Ones All,
Well, I thought my stressful week was behind me, but just to show what small things can do, I was in a dither as to what to eat this whole week trying to figure out foods that didn’t have arginine in them so as to not feed my cold sore germs.  I’m afraid I let some things DIE in my refrigerator because they were off the list.  Elder Macbeth did not forage for himself…I guess he determined to suffer with me… so what I ate, he did too.  However I did decide that enough was enough one evening so he took me to Black Angus Steakhouse for prime rib. Even though beef is not on the list, I have just one word, Delicious! 
One of my favorite ceramic knives was starting to chip (I don’t remember eating any ceramic pieces) so after searching a few stores Elder Macbeth went on line and found out it was cheaper to get a whole set than to get the one I wanted by itself.  Just thought you would like to know.  J  I don’t think it is okay for young missionaries buying knives, but for us seniors I don’t think they would even question it.
P-Day was the usual laundry, cleaning, and shopping.  We did attend an extra meeting with the missionaries assigned to out ward and the ward mission leader because they thought it would be a great idea to have a mini MTC for members to help facilitate member participation in finding investigators.  Unfortunately there are already some programs on the stake calendar that preempts (i.e., the Self Reliance program, and a stake play that is to be presented in June, plus they are still talking about realigning the ward boundaries) so it is not feasible to try to implement it now.  
My sewing machine and needles and thread are still getting their workout.  I fixed 3 pair of problem pants and a severed skirt, plus I even got to mend my eyeglass case.  I don’t anticipate doing too many of those so I didn’t give that its own name. 
We continue visiting members who are in various hospitals and care centers.  I think the saying that getting old is not for the faint hearted is so very true, except it is not just the old people.  Bodies are miraculous things and we just don’t appreciate health until we don’t have it, or someone we love loses theirs. 
I also got to go to the Family History Center this week and they helped me unravel (validate) one of the problems that Sister Carlberg found on the Reed line.  It took nearly the 2 hours that I was there.  Elder Macbeth was of course doing his Executive Secretary duties (bishop interviews, BI-P for short)   while I watched the experts zip here and there on the computer.  Unlike President Uchtdorf, the computer and I are still not on friendly terms. 
President Taggart has asked all the missionaries to read Preach My Gospel before the new Mission President arrives in July, plus continue reading all the entries about Christ found in the Topical Guide, so of course we have been working on trying to complete that.  We took time out to call and wish our Granddaughter Lexi a happy birthday, but we did not catch up to our Son-in-law Bryce whose birthday is the same day.  We did send him a card, but to Utah because we didn’t have an address of where he is taking a class. 
I mentioned that the stake is implementing the Self Reliance program, so Elder Macbeth and I have spent some time trying to deliver the invitations to some of our ward members who are invited to the first set of classes.  Most are if not happy to receive and invitation, at least they are curious to find out how it can help better their situations.  The kick off devotional is this coming Sunday evening and we have a few more people we have been trying to contact.  Some need to actually respond to us so we know when to deliver their invitations. 
Elder Macbeth took his drill to help mount a TV on a wall for a single sister whose apartment was just refurbished.  Unfortunately he didn’t have a bit large enough so we went to 4 different stores trying to find ones that would fit his particular kind of drill.  NONE.  By then it was late enough in the day that most men in our ward would be getting home from work so we called the 2nd counselor in the bishopric and he had not only the right sized bit, but a drill that was charged so it could be used.  He came over and helped mount the TV.
On Thursday we got a call that our R.S. president had been taken to the hospital with bleeding in her brain and she was having trouble with her memories.  We had meetings and appointments all day Thursday, but the Bishop and Brother Bodily had been in to give her a blessing and said they would keep us updated.  Friday we went in to visit her and offer support to her husband.  Nearly all her children were there with the grandkids.  Supposedly in ICU there can only be 3 visitors at a time so we took a turn, encouraged the family, and left as more visitors came.  The Lord heard all the prayers offered in her behalf and the surgery went well with no sign of a stroke, or hidden mass in her brain, and she’s recovering very well.  Bishop gave Elder Macbeth the responsibility to let people, especially the ward council, know she was in the hospital; then that surgery was scheduled, and finally that the surgery went well. 
We also got to make some regular visits with members this week.  They always seem to be happy when we visit.  It is nice when we can express appreciation for the support that they give the ward members as well as the missionaries.  We try to always have something encouraging to say as well as a spiritual message.  By Saturday afternoon for some reason I was just tired so I lay down for a while to see if I could get a little shut eye but my brain was not ready to quit so I finally decided that it was silly just to lay there. 
Sunday morning starts with a 6:00 am meeting for Elder Macbeth, so of course that means that if I am to be ready when it is time to go, that I need to be up at 5:00 am.  It doesn’t seem quite as early in the summertime when it is not still dark.  Ward Council is at 7:00 am so if you are not a morning person it seems very early.  I sometimes think I am a morning person, but on the other hand I think I’m a night owl.  I guess in 4 more months it won’t matter.  Imagine that.
We got to go to Laguna Niguel for a scrumptious dinner and watch Lexi open some of her birthday presents.  Her Mom told her that as soon as the dishes were loaded into the dishwasher and everything cleaned up she could open them so she was right there helping with everything PDQ!  An awesome 5 year old.  J  Bryce also came down so we got an extra bonus visit.  I have to say again, that grandkids are so fun, and families are the greatest!  What a delightful way to start Memorial Day.
Loads of Love to All,    Sister and Elder Macbeth          Go!    Fight!!     WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  J

Monday, May 22, 2017

News from CAM                                                                                                                     May 22, 2017
Dear Loved Ones All,
A busy week starting with Monday.  Since we invited President and Sister Taggart and the Westergards to our place for dinner and dominoes for Friday we decided we should be serious about cleaning on Monday.   (When we invited the housing coordinators over for dinner I only spruced the apartment up.)  However, we have been here over a year and our apartment has been blessed with a fashionable pale beige carpet and it had definitely seen its share of traffic in and out.  So we decided it was time to get the Rug Doctor to spruce it up.  Elder Macbeth got the machine and special Rug Doctor carpet cleaner and he did a once over.  DISAPPOINTING!  Hmmmm, I guess we should have got the PRE-TREAT.  So back we went to pick up not just one, but two pre-treat formulas.   One was some magic stuff you can use anytime without having to rinse it or anything.  I sprayed the regular stuff on and worked it in and let it set.  Then I tried the magic stuff.   Wow!  It worked so much better that I ended up going back over all the spots with it.  Of course by the time we shampooed the carpet again it was much more drenched that a once over does it, so we hauled out the fan and put it on our carpet to help facilitate the drying time.  We called our Senior Couple upstairs and offered the use of the machine and some pointers which we had discovered.  They of course were thrilled because dark gray spotted beige carpet is unsightly to say the least. 
Our Ward Book of Mormon Challenge is finally completed and it was easy to determine the winner since Brother Bodily was the only one who answered all the questions.  We called him up to make sure he was there and then took him a signed Del Parson print.  He was ecstatic and his wife was quite pleased that she helped pick out which one.  Thank you Brother for being so talented and generous.   J
We took birthday cards to several ward members as well as visits to those who are in various hospitals and care centers.  I didn’t feel at all well Tuesday afternoon or night.  Wednesday is Mary’s Kitchen, a weekly opportunity to server. By Wednesday afternoon I was back if not to my A-game, at least my B-game so we also attended the baptism of a 92 year old convert.  He was wheelchair bound so it took 3 elders to baptize him, (2 helped support him).  It was quite a spiritual event.  That evening I went to R.S. Enrichment and mostly enjoyed spending fun time with the sisters as well as working on a small craft.  Of course when I got home I made cookies for Districts Meeting on Thursday. 
On Thursday we enjoyed a great District Meeting and the young missionaries were of course delighted with chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and devoured them.  We then took some cookies to the mission office. 
That took long enough that the cookies were warmed up like just coming from the oven our car was so warm. 
We dashed down to see Keith before stopping to get a Carl’s Jr. BBQ Rib Burger.  It was good but more than I could eat.  The Elders had meetings so we stopped to change clothes before heading over to our Hungarian Maria’s.  She had fallen so I washed up her dishes while Elder Macbeth watered her yard, and helped her with her mail.  Then we went to Smart and Final to price check their Swiss cheese and pick up some shiskabob skewers.  We barely had time to also go to Costco where we picked up some salmon for Friday’s supper.  We got to Book of Mormon class ahead of everyone else so that was good.  We finished the last 3 chapters so I guess we start over next week.  One of the investigators who attends our class brought some Cabalsa bread to share.  He had plenty for everyone and enough for us to use on Saturday with our cheese fondue.  When we got home I tried to figure out an extended recipe for fondue.  I read all the hints and tips for perfect fondues and by then I started to stress a bit.
Friday we finished cleaning everything.  One would have thought we were moving it was so clean. 
Elder Macbeth couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be having such a problem with my fondue recipe so he reworked it for me.  I started prepping all the veggies for the salad that evening.  While I was perusing the grocery adds I noticed some imported Swiss cheese on sale for less than half the price of anywhere else.  Tender Mercies…free bread and great cheese for less.  We of course had to go pick some up plus a few groceries for the evening’s meal.  My frozen rolls were thawed out by the time we got back but had some dried spots on them that I had to remove then rework the rolls.  Thank goodness for the quick rise method.  I finished the salad while Elder Macbeth put the salmon out on the grill.  The Westergards arrived with cheesy potatoes and steamed green beans and carrots.  Whoops, she forgot the very berry pie I left in her freezer so Elder Westergard hurried back up to their place to get it, and I popped it into the oven as I was taking out the rolls.  President and Sister Taggart arrived and what a sumptuous feast we had.  Amazingly also, they were President’s favorite foods, and Sister Taggart, who had just had some dental work, could eat everything too.
Then we played dominoes.  They had never played Mexican train before, so it was a jolly time all around.  It was fun to be able to just have a fun evening in which they got a needed break.  The Samoan Sisters who live in these apartments stopped by to get their cookies.  I always save them some since they aren’t in our zone anymore.  They were quite surprised to find our special guests.  J  Of course we had to get pictures.
Saturday arrived with me still in a quandary about my fondue recipe.  Not only that but I awoke with a giant cold sore to add to my frustrations.  We had to go to Costco to get the Gruyere cheese since that was the only place I had found it, and some Swiss Laughing Cow.  Back home I grated both cheeses so I could take some to a couple of other people to help make the fondue.  Maria called needing more help…could we pick some things up from the store for her since she had no one else to ask.  We delivered the cheeses, apple juice, recipe to the Bodily’s.  Then went to Aldi’s to get apples and Target to get an apple slicer and the things for Maria.  One of the things she wanted was some Ensure.  Well, there are 3 flavors, and wouldn’t you know, we picked the one she doesn’t like, so we got to take it back to exchange it.  At home it was a mad dash to dice the bread into 1-inch cubes and slice the apples into bite-sized pieces and finally to start the fondue.  Woe is me, the problems I was warned about all happened…the cheese separated from the liquid and clumped into a huge stringy mass.  Elder Macbeth was helping do some in another pan and his was doing the same thing, so he added more apple juice.  I quick got the Bosch and put half into the blender and worked it until the mass was broken up, but the fondue was very thin and still not smooth as warm honey!  I called Mary and hers was doing the same thing!!!!!!!  Brother Bodily tossed hers aside and started from scratch and made another batch.  There was no time left since we were supposed to be to the church to run through our dance at least ONE time.  I brought my crockpot to put it in and my biggest pan, and some more cornstarch and we burned rubber (not really) all the way to the church.  The lights were with us!  I had to find someone who knew how to light the burners on the stove at church, and I put my fondue back into my big pan and added some cornstarch in water.  Brother Bodily’s fondue which was perfect when he left home had solidified into a very thick paste so I added that too.  While Elder Macbeth was checking the R.S. closet for a whisk because our church building has no utensil except tableware, Brother Denkers came into the kitchen and asked if I needed anything.  “A miracle!” was my reply.  Elder Macbeth returned with a potato masher because there weren’t any whisks.  I really worked that brew over with that whisk, and the Lord graciously granted me my miracle.  The fondue was perfect.  I put some back into Brother Bodily’s  little crock pot and put the rest into my big one and we rushed it out to our table just as they were announcing to the crowd to go sample all the wonderful foods represented by the country each ward had chosen a dance from.  Well, we had enough food with the bread cubes, apple chunks and fondue.  Brother Pruitt made fun chicken hats for us to wear while we did the chicken dance, and we had at least 15 of us performing it and some more joined us when we invited the audience to join the dance.  So there you have it.  Tender Mercies and Miracles. 
Hope your week is fabulous!   Love, Sister and Elder Macbeth    Go!  Fight!!   WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  J