Sunday, September 13, 2015

5th Sunday Challenge and Ward Campout

Hey Everyone!  It's September!  We have actually had a few double digit temperature days! ...... And there was much rejoicing! 
We have been quite busy lately, especially Rod.  Our Stake President asked bishops to speak on the 5th Sundays, sooooo Rod is now back to giving 5th Sunday talks.  They were something the singles ward used to look forward to.  August had a 5th Sunday, so Rod took not only the whole sacrament meeting, but the combined RS-Priesthood meeting too.  He has been struggling with so many needy people, trying to figure out how to meet their needs, plus he has been trying to work out the ward mission plan, improve home teaching/visit teaching and nurture new members.  He finally came to the conclusion that the first step in all of these was for everyone in the ward to learn everyone's name. We all put on name badges as we entered Sacrament meeting,  and Rod challenged us to start now to learn everyone's name, notice who wasn't there and call to see how they are doing. We are not supposed to sit in our 'usual spot' in the chapel, but change each week  helping us meet new people. He gave us a new name : the Y'all ward rather than the Udall ward, because we Are Friendly.   He told of his love for the Temple and admonished us to seize the blessings we are entitled to; to give up the "newly wed/nearly dead" description (which is accurate  and clever) for the "Temple led" ward, challenging us to be in the Temple or on it's grounds/in the visitor's center every week.  He shared with us some of the truly amazing  blessings promised in the Visitor's Center dedicatory prayer.  We have the these buildings in our ward boundaries! How can we neglect receiving those blessings. Rod's talk was  marvelous and the whole ward is mobilized.  So many members were just delighted with it.  Then during the third hour, he challenged us to identify our level of missionary activity and boost it up a notch. There was a check list! The last 15 minutes we had a 'speed visiting' session.  Everyone was to introduce themselves to someone they didn't know, especially across age boundaries.  Just cause we are old, doesn't mean we shouldn't talk to the youth.  Then we went out and took a group photo of everyone that was there.    The plan is for the ward missionaries to bring our check lists around and help us meet our goals.  Our sweet neighbors just tear up when they talk about it.  A lot to live up to!  I have been trying!

This past Friday, we had our ward campout.  The Cardon family let us use their Madera ranch for it.  What an example.  We are constantly told that the rich are not admirable somehow.  It seems they must be selfish or something to have accumulated wealth.  Well, it's not true in this case, nor in many others I have encountered.  We used their grounds, water and electricity, tables, chairs, basket ball court etc.  We were asked to clean the bathrooms afterwards and haul out our garbage.  While we were there, Brother Cardon was using a back hoe to set up  solar power for the pump house, and also grading another spot so there will be room for 2 wards at once or maybe a stake to have a campout.  His wife was there with a shovel to help him and they wouldn't let me help at all.  Here are some photos.  The sculptures are of the Sweetwater crossing and were done by a neighbor.

The dog, Luther, was a great sport with all the kids.  He even played Frisbee.
We are growing to love this ward so much and are grateful for the opportunity to serve with them.