Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wrap up San Diego, Get Ready for Bangalore

On December 31 we received a surprise email telling us our visas had been approved and we were able to go to India.  We had truly enjoyed our time in San Diego, but knew India was the place for us to serve.  So we packed up and headed back to Utah.  Some highlights of the last half of our San Diego stay were:

We enjoyed our work in the San Diego 4th ward.  The members and leaders there were great to get to know and work with.  It especially rewarding to see the progress made by some members and gain so many new friends.

Our son, Brent, and his family came to visit and say a last goodbye on the weekend of December 14.  We went to the beach, La Jolla Cove, the Mormon Battalion, Old Town, Scripps Aquarium, and the Harbor Parade of Lights—to name a few.  Most of all we enjoyed just being with these three grandchildren one last time.  (It was also nice to spend time with Brent and Bridgett.)

We went to a Bedke Christmas party.  My dad’s cousin, Cloyd Bedke, has spent most of his adult life in San Diego.  I called him to say hello and he invited us to his family Christmas party.  We enjoyed meeting his wife, Kathy, his kids and grandkids.  Cloyd shared some stories about my dad and some other old Bedke stories.  He had invited some friends to join the family party and we were surprised to find out one friend grew up in Bingham Canyon and knew several of Sue’s family members.  It is a small world.

Our service opportunities included working with the Marine Toys for Tots program.  We helped sort
and organize some the donations.  We were amazed with the volume of donations and the great work performed by this organization.  We were also able to work with a group of church members to prepare a dinner at the Ronald McDonald House on Christmas Day.  A young mother had recently spent received a lot of help from this organization during her son’s illness, so she organized the activity to say thanks and help the current residents.

We had some great experience with the missionaries.  One was a mission conference with Elder Brent Nielson of the Quorum of the Seventy.  He grew up in our ward in Burley and was my brother Dave’s best friend.  As the older brother, I figured that I had taught Dave and his friends most everything they knew.  But I found that I learned a lot from Elder Nielson about the atonement and missionary work.  During lunch he came over to our table to chat with us.  He asked us about  4 times if we were really OK about going to India.  I am not sure if he had a better offer or what.  He shared some of his fun memories about Dad and the family.  He also recalled the time I drove the car off the road with him in the back seat as we came down the mountain road after a day of skiing at Pomerelle.  It was truly a miracle that no one suffered any harm.

Another great missionary meeting we got to share was the Christmas devotional with all 250 missionaries.  We enjoyed a breakfast prepared by the local Relief Society, then had a Christmas program.  What a great sight and feeling to be involved with so many choice Elders, Sisters, and other Senior Couples.

Our last visitors in San Diego from home were Jill, Roger, Kyle and Angie.  It was great to see so many family and friends while in San Diego.  We have a two bedroom apartment in Bangalore, and are accepting reservations now.
The best thing about the timing of our visas was that we were able to attend our granddaughter Emmie's baptism on January 3.  It was so wonderful to be there!  We are so happy with the choices she has made and the great person that she is.  She is a wonderful example to us, the rest of her family, and her friends.
Tinley had one last chance to make cookies with Grandma.  She used her baking kit and apron that she received from Grandma Pett.  

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