Bold Adventurers

Elder Reed and Sister Vicki Fanning, LDS Senior Missionaries

September 6, 2017


Today we had nothing on our schedule.  Sister Fanning prepared the Military Relations report for the Military Relations Department in Salt Lake City.  It had four pages of narrative.  It was pretty detailed about the things we have been doing in August.

Sister Fanning made lemon thyme chicken and cheese potato strips for lunch.  We did the dishes.  We did some straightening around the house.

We also worked on the Ward lists and maps.

We got to bed on time.


September 5, 2017


This morning we reported to the USO at about 9:45.  We had to wait for about 10 minutes for the first donations from Costco.  We were inundated with bakery items.  We ended up with over 10 large oblong banquet tables piled high with pastries, croissants, cookies, bread, buns, pies, cakes, and muffins.  We also had about 5 large bins of bagels.  Sister Fanning worked with others to inventory and organize all of the bakery items.  She also inventoried several bins and boxes of non-food items an put them away in the Community Chest.

Elder Fanning helped another man set up tables and chairs for 210 people coming to the Tuesday night dinner.  They were serving Italian food.  They have it down to such a science that they can serve 210 people in 15 minutes.  We were both exhausted and sore by the time we finished at 1:00.

Elder Fanning had an appointment with a new cardiologist at 2:15.  We stopped at Subway for a quick sandwich on the way to the doctor.  Elder Fanning really likes Dr. Young.  He served in the Navy for 12 years.  He is a no nonsense guy who will work with you until you both find somethings that works and are satisfied.  He is not like some cardiologists who say their way is the only way and the patient is never right.   Elder Fanning had an EKG and is scheduled for an ultrasound of the heart and abdominal aorta and a stress test.  The doctor took copious notes and will work well with Elder Fanning.

When we got home, Sister Fanning took a short nap.  That seems to be a regular thing for her, but she is able to get things done, nevertheless.

We had an appointment with Thad and Adele.  Their Bishop asked us to visit them.  He is a Commander in the Navy.  They have been here for about four months.  They have three children, two teenagers and one son on a mission in Australia.  He is due for deployment in January.  She is very independent and does not like to ask for help.  Their last duty assignment was in Stuttgart, Germany, where he was a Bishop.  We talked about the resiliency class, and they both seemed interested.  His schedule is difficult right now because of work-ups.  So we would have to teach them in their home. They offered us any help that we need.  It was interesting because he told us about several things that the Military Relations Couple did in Germany.  They were the same things we did in Lemoore on our last mission.  We told them about the monthly newsletter that the Military Relations Department sends out where senior couples share ideas of what works for them.  It sounds like we were using the same ideas. We had a very nice visit that lasted about an hour.  They are a great couple.  We will definitely be visiting her while he is deployed.  On the way home, we discussed the possibility of having a monthly rotating family home evening for military families in each Ward.  We are not sure how that would work, and it would take a while to get through all 9 wards.

We got home about 7:30.  We relaxed because we were feeling old after the workout this morning.  We got to bed on time.

September 4, 2017


This morning we worked on missionary paperwork.  We were able to get the Chula Vista 3rd Ward military member list completed.  The Bishop gave us a list of 12 families in the Ward who were military.  He asked us to visit three of them as a priority.  We completed the map for the housing area within the boundaries of the Ward.  We found an additional eight families living in military housing that the Bishop did not identify.  We now have a starting place for one of the Wards we cover.  We finished the spreadsheet and put it and the map in our binder.  Elder Fanning made an appointment with one of the families, an active family who will have the Dad deployed in January.  He got no response for the two other families he tried to make an appointment with. It took all morning to complete this task.

We went to the Silver Strand Military Housing Complex to see if we could find Chris and Susan at home.  We found Chris and his two-day-old baby at home.  Susan was at the grocery store with her mother who had come to help after the birth.  He let us in the door.  We were able to update his Church records.  He also agreed to allow us to come back and visit.  We called his aunt when we got home to report on our progress.

We had a Senior Missionary activity tonight.  Elder and Sister Lucherini rode with us. All of the senior missionaries and the Mission President and his wife met at the Mormon Battalion Historic site for an ice cream social and program.  The program was on the refugee efforts here in San Diego. A former counselor in the San Diego Mission Presidency, Brother Collins, got involved when he helped a family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Due to politics and greed, many people are tortured and killed in the DRC.  Many are granted refugee status in the US.  Catholic Charities kept asking him to help other families.  He spent a lot of his money and resources, and then began asking family members and other Church members to help.

Brother Collins met Justin B. Mudekereza, a refugee from the DRC.  Justin worked for a non-profit in the DRC.  Because people listened to him about the problems there, he was arrested and tortured.  He fled the country with his wife and six children and ended up in Uganda.  He was working in Somalia and training in Los Angeles when his wife told him some people from DRC were searching for him.  He applied for asylum in the US and was granted it. Brother Collins’ son suggested that he form a non-profit and have Justin manage it.  He formed New Neighbor Relief.  Justin’s family is still in Uganda, and he is working to try to unite them.  Justin and his family have since joined the Church.

They also had a woman tell her story of how she got here.  After many of her family and friends were massacred in the DRC, she fled over the border to Tanzania.  She was a child, and spent the next 20 years in a refugee camp.  She met her husband there, married, and had children.  Her husband died in the camp, and she eventually was able to come to the US.  She still faces many struggles, the hardest is learning English.  Most of the refugees are illiterate, so learning English is all memorization.  It was a moving presentation and made you want to help as much as possible.

We got home about 9:30.  We got to bed late.

September 3, 2017


We started this morning with Ward Council in the Paradise Hills Ward in the San Diego Stake at 9:00.  We left as soon as we introduced ourselves and had a discussion about our responsibilities.

We drove straight to the San Diego 6th Ward in the San Diego Stake for Sacrament Meeting at 10:00.  We were a couple of minutes late.  We stayed for an appointment with the Bishop after Sacrament meeting.  We also talked with him about the resiliency course and our need for a list of military members.

We had an extra half hour so we drove down Point Loma to Sunset Cliffs Beach and took some photos.  It was cloudy and raining.

We drove to the Naval Fleet Center Chapel for the 1:00 LDS meeting.  We got there about 12:25.  We stayed until 1:30, but again no one came.

We drove to the Harbor Ward and arrived there for the last 20 minutes of Sacrament Meeting.  As soon as the meeting was over, a counselor in the Bishopric introduced us to a sailor who wanted to be set apart as a group leader for his helicopter squadron who are deploying immediately and unexpectedly.  We got him together with the Bishop for an initial interview.  However, since we only had two days for the interviews, calling, setting apart, and training by both the Church and the Navy, it was not possible.

The Relief Society President approached us about Chris and Susan.  His aunt called again and talked to the Relief Society President.  Susan had the baby on Friday after being induced.  Sister Fanning called the hospital, but it appeared that Susan had already been released.  We will try to see the family tomorrow.

We went to the San Diego 1st Ward in the San Diego Stake to meet with the Bishop at 3:45.  We again talked about the resiliency course and a list of military members.  Every Bishop we met with today gave us one or two names to visit first.  The Bishop was interested in getting a map showing the military housing areas in his Ward.  He said they have over 1,000 members on the rolls of the Ward and about 175 members attend.  We could tell he was overwhelmed.  Elder and Sister Chipman are full-time Member and Leader Support Missionaries in this Ward.   We decided to coordinate with them.

While we were going over names, Elder Fanning noticed that there was a Melanie Fanning on the Ward list.  The Bishop looked up her record, and we found out that she is Elder Fanning’s niece.  We will have to go see her.  She has not been active for years and years.  Elder Fanning was not even aware that she had been baptized since her parents have never been active since their teens.

We spent about two and a half hours on the freeways today driving between chapels.  We got home about 5:00. We had leftovers for dinner.

We received two lists of military families via email today – one from the Sand Diego 6th Ward and one from the Chula Vista 3rd Ward. We spent some time snoozing and relaxing  We got to bed on time.

A couple of pictures of the Sunset Cliffs.

There is a sailboat in this photo.

September 2, 2017


Sister Fanning started the day sleeping in because she had a bad night.

Sister Fanning decided to prepare the new recipe for pork lo mein today.  It has 18 ingredients and takes some time so she started early.  It tasted okay but would have been better with the right ingredients and not substitutes.  Elder Fanning liked it.

We did a good clean of the office and reorganized our desks.  We also did a quick clean of the kitchen.

Sister Fanning updated the finances.  We got a call from our BUD/S trainees about a ride to Church.  Elder Fanning called a member who lives on Coronado to pick them up.

We had strawberry shortcake for a snack tonight.  We got to bed early.  Tomorrow will be a busy day.

September 1, 2017


We left early this morning to meet with a Tina.  She takes care of the Chula Vista Stake Military Families Network Facebook page.  She plans lots of activities to get the military families together.  The GPS and phone took us in circles and we were 5 minutes late.  She had forgotten and was not home.  She felt really bad and was apologetic when we called. We will reschedule.

We drove straight to the USO.  We wore pants and shirts today as they asked us to.  The Community Chest started at 10:00 and we got there about ten minutes early.  Sister Fanning sat at the table and helped check people in.  When we got there they gave us USO t-shirts and asked us to remove our missionary tags.  We expected that and are okay with it. Elder Fanning assembled some outreach folders.  We also signed up to inventory and log in all of the donations.  We will do that on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We talked to Bridget, who is in charge of programs.  She told us they are looking for someone who can do the data entry for the inventory.  We will train to do that next week and take over that job from one of the permanent staff.  She said it was time consuming and it would really help for us to do it.  They have so much going on that they will definitely keep us busy.

We drove from the USO to the Food Court at the Naval Fleet Center.  Sister Fanning ate fish tacos from Rubio’s, and Elder Fanning ate orange chicken from Panda Express.  We went to the commissary to do our weekly shopping.

Sister Fanning is trying a new recipe tomorrow – Pork Lo Mein.  She was not able to find all of the ingredients at the commissary.  We took the groceries home and put the cold and frozen items away.  We left to shop at Ralph’s grocery store and found the three missing items for the Pork Lo Mein.  We then stopped at Costco for a few items.

When we got home we put our feet up for a couple of hours and watched America’s Got Talent which we had taped earlier.  We also had some ice cream to cool off.

We spent some time on the computer working on missionary things and finances.  We have a ton of paperwork to organize to keep track of all of the stakes and bases and families.

We got to bed on time tonight.

August 31, 2017


This morning Elder Fanning did a load of laundry.  We have spent $40 on the laundry since we moved here.  I guess that is not too bad for five and a half weeks.  He tries to do one load a day to minimize carrying the heavy laundry quite a ways to the communal laundry room.

We had orientation at the USO.  We hit the tail end of the morning rush hour.  The 94 freeway was bumper to bumper into town.  We parked in at a parking meter.  We have been collecting our quarters.  We found out they have 13 spaces in the parking garage under the building for volunteers.  We learned a lot about what programs are available.  They do so much for the military.  They have wonderful corporate sponsors who provide meals, tickets, products, etc. We decided to work on the Community Chest program.  Stores like Costco who do not want to restock returns donate them to many non-profits.  Those items are given to military families who sign up and names are drawn on a lottery basis. They choose 75 names a week, and on Fridays, they can come in and choose items that they want.  They are anything and everything from kayaks to bars of soap.  Families can get one large item and three small items.  We are going back tomorrow to shadow the volunteers who work on the program.

We went to the mission office to trade our broken vacuum for one that works.  We stopped and visited with the office couples.  We had a nice visit.

We stopped for lunch at Habit Burger.  This is Sister Fanning’s favorite fast food burger joint.  We both enjoyed our meal.

It has been so hot here for the last few days.  It would not be too bad to be in the high 80s and low 90s, except that the humidity is over 70%.  That makes it pretty miserable.  We are glad we have air conditioning.

Sister Fanning took a nap when we got home.  She fell asleep in her chair and decided to go to bed since she had a headache.  While she was asleep, Elder Fanning watched two Hallmark movies.

Sister Fanning prepared the grocery list and menu for the week. We did some dishes, paperwork, and other tasks around the house before going to bed on time.

August 30, 2017


This morning we did a good clean of the living room.  We found out that the vacuum cleaner did not work.  It sucks up dirt but the roller is broken.  We called the mission office.  Elder Cummings told us to bring it in and trade it for one that works.

We had a chiropractor appointment this afternoon.  Sister Fanning’s adjustment went okay.  She did not move everywhere.  Elder Fanning had a really good adjustment.

We stopped for gas at Costco.  The price had jumped ten cents a gallon.  We assume that is because of Hurricane Harvey.  We also took the remote control back to Cox Cable.  We forgot to turn it in with the boxes.

We stopped for lunch at Red Robin.  We really like their burgers and Elder Fanning signed up for their rewards program.  They often give a good military discount.

We did some computer work for an hour and a half.  We then got ready for our appointment this evening.

We met with the clerk from the Chula Vista 2nd Ward.  He works for Lincoln Housing, who manages all of the military housing.  There are 34 different housing areas, both on and off bases.  We sat at the computer while he printed maps of all of the housing areas and listed which Ward and Stake they are in.  What a gold mine of information!  We will be able to give maps to all of the other Military Relations couples.  Some of the housing areas are small enough that we think that the Wards may not know they are there.  I am sure some of the missionary couples do not know they are there.  We spent two and a half hours with him.

We also checked into the GEO codes in his Ward records.  Apparently, there is no consistency in the GEO codes used by the Wards in the Stake and no list of what the GEO codes mean. We also talked to a counselor in another Ward bishopric.  We got the same information from him.  We will have to start from scratch.  We will talk to the Stake Clerk about where to go from here.

We got home about 9:00 and got to bed late.

August 29, 2017


There are hot weather warnings out for this week.  The temperature is going to be in the high eighties all week.  That would not be too bad, but there is over 70% humidity.  That makes it needful to warn people.

Today we decided to go exploring.  We wanted to time the San Diego Trolley (train) from the stop nearest us to downtown San Diego.  We drove about five minutes to the H Street stop.  It was $1.25 each for a senior one-way ticket.  The trains run every 15 minutes during the daytime.  We just missed the train, so we had to wait 15 minutes for the next one. We rode the train for about 30 minutes until we reached the 11th stop at the Civic Center.

We walked two blocks to the USO.  We stopped to cool off and relax.  We talked to them about the Tuesday night meal that they serve.  They told us that they would probably have 300 people there tonight.  We talked a little about parking and other activities there.

We walked four blocks to the 6th Street Bistro for lunch.  We had a pulled pork sandwich and a Rueben sandwich.  Both sandwiches were good.  The French fires were excellent.

After lunch, we walked to the 5th Street station and bought two more one-way tickets.  We discovered that we need to have a transit-issued senior card to utilize the senior tickets.  Regular fares are $2.50 one-way.  It took about an hour to take the train to the USO.  If we can park in the USO parking spaces under the building, then taking the car is much better, since it only takes about a half hour in good traffic.  We will probably use the trolley if we work during the times that when traffic on the freeways is crawling along.

Sister Fanning took a nap this afternoon because she had a headache.

We had an appointment with the Imperial Beach Bishop tonight.  We were a little late due to address and GPS problems.  The Bishop was very welcoming and gave us the name of two families for us to visit.  One of them was Jordan and Kenzie, who we have already seen when she invited us to dinner.  Jordan is deployed right now.  We talked to the Ward Clerk about GEO codes to identify military families.  We also decided we need to go see the military liaison couple that has been called for the Imperial Beach Ward.  We met them when we had dinner with Kenzie.

When we got home, Elder and Sister Lucherini knocked on our door.  They live next door but we have not seen them since they moved in a week and a half ago.  We had a nice visit and talked about missionary responsibilities.  They are Institute Directors for the Institute at the college up the street.  They are very busy on Sundays and weeknights.  We will ride together to the Senior Missionary FHE next week.

Elder Fanning called the Stake Clerk to talk about GEO codes.  We will meet with one of the clerks in the Stake who is familiar with GEO codes to make up an instruction sheet on how to identify military families using GEO codes.  We will then pass it on to the Stake Clerk for implementation.

We spent some time relaxing and got to bed late.

August 28, 2017


We both slept late this morning.  We needed the rest after yesterday.

We called to make some doctor’s appointments with specialists today.  We did not get very far.  They all wanted to see medical records before they made an appointment.

We went to the monthly Military Relations lunch today.  We went to a restaurant adjacent to an airfield called the 94th Aero Squadron.  It looked like an old French country manor.  It was so quaint.  We had a buffet with salad, veges, pasta, fruit, carved meats, BBQ ribs, chicken creole, fish, and desserts.  We enjoyed visiting and eating.  Elder and Sister Nelson got tied up at their volunteer assignment at the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society and were unable to get there.  After we ate, we went to the bar area (closed) next to the dining room.  We gathered around a table and had a meeting about assignments, housing areas, and other difficulties.  The Nelsons had prepared a change in assignments to make it easier for the missionary couples.  The new assignments will allow for less travel to outlying areas.  We discovered when we looked at the map that we will have the Point Loma Submarine Base also since it is in the San Diego Stake. We discussed having the Mission President organize the Military Relations missionary couples into a district with a district leader.  Two of the couples nominated Elder Fanning as the District Leader, and sent emails to the Mission President.  They all said this was the best Military Relations meeting that was held since they came.  Everyone has arrived in the mission field since February this year, so we are all pretty new.

We also found out some interesting information that makes us even surer that we are supposed to serve here.  Sister Fanning talked to Sister Kapololu about their mission call. They were originally called to the Naval Academy, but that assignment had to be filled early due to the illness of one of the couple serving there. So they were called to the San Diego Naval Fleet Center (where we are serving now).  Then they were asked to report early so they would be able to serve at the MCRD, where we were originally called.  We offered to report early, but that never worked out.  It is amazing to us how the Lord’s plan works.  We were never supposed to serve at the MCRD, but were always supposed to serve here.  We are so blessed.

We did not leave the restaurant until after 2:30.  We decided to go exploring and try taking the train into San Diego.  When we got to the train station parking lot in Chula Vista, we got a call from Elder and Sister Nelson.  They want us to take over what they were doing as quasi-leaders and meet with the Mission President.  We are not sure that we want to do that without the guidance of the Mission President.  By the time we finished the phone call, we decided just to go home.

We spent some time blogging, texting people for appointments, working on spread sheets, and brainstorming our new responsibilities.

We relaxed for a little while before we went to bed on time.

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