Dear Friends and Family, near and far,
I am new to this blog thing, so please be patient with my clumsy attempt. In the end, I guess it is like journaling in a public way.
Introduction: Elder Heath and I originally got a call to the Federal Way Mission as CES (Church Education System) missionaries with intent to teach Institute in the Bellevue area. But the call was changed because Bellevue is in the Seattle Mission. Because I was born and raised in Bremerton, this is like coming "home." And I have some family in the area. Bruce lived for a time in Vancouver, Canada, so he has driven through this area and feels "at home" as well.
Because I have sent out a couple of mission reports already, I will not begin again, but will pick up from here.
Now that we know more fully our responsibilities and assignments, we have dived in and just cannot believe how joyful this experience has been so far. We loved our MTC 10 days and met some truly incredible people. Brushing shoulders with God's truly faithful ones was a spiritual high for us. Our district especially was a special group which we were honored to be part of.
One of the things I was most worried about was remembering names of a couple of hundred kids. I have asked for a special blessing from Heavenly Father, as part of my "mantle," so to speak, and He was been generous in sustaining my memory, as we associate with the 2 YSA wards and the Institute kids. There is some overlap there, but not all.
We knew that cooking would be part of our assignment, providing snacks and meals. Part of me was really dreading this, since that has not been part of my daily life so much the last 12 years. However, with Heather's breadmaker in my possession and the assignments spread out over the week, I have found it fun to cook again. Though my girls provided me with several big group recipes, I neglected to put in my own cookbook, which I regret. Have you heard? CES = cooking every second, or, Come, Eat, Stay.
Elder Heath and I have found that we need to "pace" ourselves. We have a few hectic days in the week, but respite and recovery time in between. We are trying to attend all the youth activities in both wards and visiting those the priesthood leadership has listed for us, which keeps us somewhat "on the run." I have especially enjoyed the study time. We are teaching the Doctrine and Covenants, and diving into the Seminary and Institute manuals, but are also reading together the Book of Mormon, following a reading challenge by one of the YSA wards.
We are both teaching, typically each taking half the class, teaching a total of 4 classes a week. I am prejudiced but I do love to hear Bruce teach. He really knows his stuff and has such a gift, but I am holding my own, as I have loved the doctrines and truths of the gospel all along these many years.
My brother Steve is pretty well known around this area for many reasons. When some of the priesthood leadership discovered he was my brother, the expectations of us went through the roof. So hope we can live up to what is expected of us here.
We have had some pretty rough years of late, with Bruce's health issues, Steven, and a work situation that became toxic to me, so this experience is a bit like a "breath of fresh air" and we feel like the windows of heaven with all its brightness has been opened to us. We love this work, we love the associations with SO many good people, we love our living situation which puts us right in the middle geographically of all our responsibilities, and we just can't believe every day how happy we are doing this.
I would expect to write on this blog every week or two, if you would like to peek in. I often consider the economy of God. Well, in the economy of mission reporting, a blog seems the most efficient way to reach the most people who have interest. Life is good. God is good, and we pray He will bless you in all of your wants and desires. Yours in the Gospel, Elder and Sister Heath