Saturday, September 20, 2014

On The Way Home

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.

Making cookies.

 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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Last Week

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 birthdays

Last hugs from friends

Last visit with ward members

Last good-byes

Sisters forever

Favorite daughter

Wonderful missionaries

Hearts full of gratitude for a life-changing experience - the greatest mission ever.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Changing Lives

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 cultural hall.

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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Joys of the Journey

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 baptism.

And another.

A boy who will be baptized next month gave the opening prayer.

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 president.

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.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Week of Love

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.