We have spent the past week at our youngest daughter Rachel's home in Wisconsin. She and Mike are wonderful parents and it's been great to be here. We've loved playing with her two boys.
Going to the soccer games.
Getting ready for the baptism.
Check out our baptism pictures.
There are wonderful people in the church wherever you go. What a blessing to have faithful members across the country and around with world who are willing to share their love and testimonies with those around them.
How grateful we are to be part of this great work. How thankful we are to have family with testimonies of the divinity of the Savior. We feel so blessed as we head home.
It was so much fun to come to the mission field. Now we
leave with so much sadness. Service is supposed to help others, right? Well, I
don't really know if that's true, but I do know that the service you give
blesses your life a thousand times more than it could ever bless others. With
that in mind, here are the last few days of our mission.
Last hugs from friends
Last visit with ward members
Hearts full of gratitude for a life-changing experience - the
greatest mission ever.
As we finish our mission, it's fun to look back and see how
people have grown and changed. We feel so excited when we see our converts try
new things and accept new challenges. It's like watching a little one learn to
walk. We clap and cheer, feeling as excited about their growth and change as we
do our own family members.
Here's a young convert that taught the Gospel Principles
Sunday School Class. The subject was Charity, and she did a marvelous job. We
felt so proud of her. She had studied her material, finding extra talks to go
with the lesson manual. She followed the lesson in the manual. She asked for
participation and she bore her testimony at the end. The Spirit was there, and
everyone was edified for having attended. She did great!
This recent convert has accepted the Aaronic Priesthood and
is passing the Sacrament. Elder Monson gave him a suit and two shirts so he
would look FINE! And he does, don't you think? He is reading over the Sacrament
prayers and saying them to himself. Soon he'll have enough courage to bless the
Sacrament. He is also going home teaching.
We took a lot of recent converts to look for jobs. Sometimes
we had to go back to square one. This is a member's birth certificate. The
company she applied to work at wouldn't accept it. We had to go get a new one.
Fortunately, she was born in Memphis! We got the new certificate and she got the job.
The children wrote books about themselves. We met at the
church each week for a party and to work on the books. Here are a couple of
finished All About Me books.
They loved to play all kinds of ball and games in the
Our last night at the temple with ward members. It will be
fun to be back in the Ogden Temple, but wewill miss the little Memphis,
Tennessee Temple. We have great memories.
This our Wednesday PM Memphis Temple shift. Usually we just
had four of us, but one night a month a couple came from near Little Rock to
work with us. (She is the one on the far left.)
This young lady wanted to learn to cook, so we made birthday
cakes and lots of cookies for everyone. You can see she has three plates! We
had a great time being together, which I think was better than the cookies.
All of us are growing in the gospel whether we are new converts or life long members. It's wonderful to love each other and cheer each other along as we work to become our best selves.
Time is very precious on this mission and has gone so
quickly. We are counting down the days now until we are finished. It was lots
of fun to come into the mission field, but it will be very hard to leave it because our hearts are here with these dear wonderful people. Words can't
say how we care for them. They are great! Loving and kind! Humble and willing to learn! We truly just adore them.
So we are savoring each moment we have remaining. This week
has passed quickly, but we have treasured the time.
Last week's temple fireside was fantastic. We had 50 people
from our ward attend. Most of them were either recent converts or nonmembers. There
were 280 people from the stake. Great turnout.
A boy who will be baptized next month gave the opening
A young man in the large family we baptized gave the talk on
the Holy Ghost. He told of his own spiritual experience with the mission
I have become a Mini Deseret Industries. Distributed all
these donations, and more, to needy families. Bless the generosity of ward
members. They are so Christ-like in all they do.
Dinner with the missionaries.
And more missionaries. (Notice the missionary eating all the
cookies. No one even noticed. He had almost devoured the whole plate before the
others saw it. You snooze, you lose!)
The children in our large family found out I wrote books.
They wanted me to write a book about each of them. So we put together
All-About-Me-Books. It took us several nights to complete the project. This is
one of the nights. (Notice Elder Monson just chillin')
Time seems to slow down a little as we stop to treasure each moment. Maybe we can do that with the rest of our lives. What a blessing
this mission has been in our lives.
Many small acts of service and love happen every day in
this part of the Lord's vineyard. Here are a few.
Some of the children in the ward have more school
supplies because of last week's miracle at the temple.
A little boy loves his sister at his birthday party.
A mother loves her baby.
A missionary turns nineteen in the mission field and receives
not only a birthday dinner and party, but fifteen packages from home.
I had the privilege of teaching the three-year-olds last
week in Primary. Two Sunbeams play find-the-lost-lamb. One would leave the room
while the other hid the lamb. As soon as the one reentered the room, the hider
would immediately show the seeker where the lamb was. They giggled and laughed
and had a great time at the game. Lots of love in that Primary class. Sunbeam
teacher is still the best job in the church!
We have a temple fireside tomorrow night at the stake center
next to the Memphis Temple. It is such a privilege to talk to all the recent
converts about the temple. The temple carries with it a feeling of love. How
blessed we are to have this great gift from on high. Heavenly Father allows us
to be part of a loving family for time and all eternity.
The crowning act of love in our world is the Atonement of
the Savior. May we all strive to exemplify love as He did in all we do.