It was just about time to wrap things up and head home when the Smith's came into the office. They're the parents of Elder Quinten Smith, a former visa waiter in our mission, who's now serving in Zimbabwe. Brother Smith is a pilot with Southwest Airlines so, for their 26th anniversary, they came to LA to see where their son had served for several months. They're from Tooele, Utah, but dad's home base is Oakland! Sounds like a great commute.
Not too long after we got home 2 of our sweet sisters dropped by to return borrowed pans and bring us some watermelon and potato salad. How cute are they. It was Sister Astle and Sister Bailey, and what fun we had visiting with them--probably for a little longer than we should have, but it's so hard to let them go! During the visit they gave us the name of an Italian deli in Baton Rouge that makes muffalettas. Mmm! We'll be trying it soon I'm sure. They also shared a spiritual thought with us and we had a great discussion based on John 4:18. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." I love visiting with the missionaries because of their wisdom and insightfulness. (Is that a word?)
Sister Bailey was raised on a farm in Utah. One of her responsibilities was to feed the animals. I don't know what kind or how many but her activities began at 5:30 am because she chose to go to early morning seminary. In the winters the mornings were dark and cold, and sometimes, probably pretty often, she was very scared because around their property were mountain lions, wolves and other 4 legged critters. She said that she'd often sing the Janice Kapp Perry Hymn, "A Child's Prayer," to help calm her and bring her peace. And it always did.
Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer ev'ry child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away, bit I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
"Suffer the children to come to me." Father, in prayer I'm coming now to thee.
Pray, he is there; Speak, he is list'ning. You are his child; His love now surround you.
He hears your prayer; He loves the children. Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav'n.