Saturday, December 28, 2013

Decembrer 29, 2013

Sister's Skidmore, Frampton, Stoker, Cloward, Pettingill
Elder Skidmore, Pres. Stoker, Elder Pettingill

This was our Christmas week.  It was different here in the mission field, but wonderful none the less.  The picture to the right are those of us along with the AP's (below) that had dinner with President and Sister Stoker at the mission home.  It was wonderful with more food than we could possibly eat.  Sister Skidmore, Sister Pettingill did the lion share of the cooking to ease the burden on Sister Stoker.  It was Sister Stokers birthday also.  She says she doesn't celebrate her birthday on Christmas, but in July so to break up the festivities.  It was a wonderful day.  Christmas Day was the only day we didn't work last week and that was something new for us also.  But the work goes on!
   Christmas morning we got up, picked up the moose(Chevy Van)and picked up 6 missionaries to go to Brother and Sister Larr's for breakfast.  They had invited us all over for Christmas Breakfast at 8am.  It was bitter cold, but the food and hospitality was outstanding.  We love the Larr's!    So between Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner, we thought we would never have to eat again.                                                     
   On December 27th Nancy Lynch was baptized.  She and the sisters that taught her are shown below.  Sister Caffall completed her mission last transfer and she flew back from Arizona to be here for Nancy's baptism.  I was able to assist the sisters and Elders in teaching Nancy.  Miriam got to know her at a church Christmas party so we learned to really love her. 
Sister Caffall and her companion related a wonderful story in finding her.  She went out to Goffstown looking for a lady they had an appointment to teach.  Finding this lady not there, they decided to knock on some doors in the neighborhood.  Not having any success, they decided to try one more.  It was Nancy's.  Nancy scorned them off and as they were leaving, they noticed that her driveway had never been shoveled and it was full of snow.  The spirit prompted them to shovel the snow.  So they went to their car, got out the shovels and commenced to clear Nancy's drive.  While they were working, Nancy came to the door, ask them to come over, then ask them if they were Mormons.  The ice was broken, and the teaching began.  Nancy went through quite a number of missionaries until she accepted the Gospel.  I feel she will be a great asset to the Bedford Ward.
   So we had a wonderful, busy week.  We got to face time all the kids and grandkids and that was the best.  It made us miss them all so very much.  It is when you are away that you realize just how important families are.  Miriam and I count our blessings often and it always starts with family.  Our testimonies continues to grow.  We love the work.  Especially working with all the wonderful young missionaries in our mission.  They are the best.  The work isn't easy, but they continue on and on.  We love them so! 

Sister's Caffall, Nancy Lynch, Cloward, and Frampton
AP'S Elders Preslar and Guthrie

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 22, 2013

This was a week filled with wonderful experiences.  The week before Christmas is always special as I always contemplate how blessed I am as 43 years ago this week I was coming home to Arizona from the Army to marry Miriam.  Our anniversary is December 21st and this year I wanted it to be extra special as we are away on our mission in New Hampshire. 
I started looking for a sleigh ride a few weeks ago, and found that many times in December there is not enough snow.  The best sleigh rides are in January or February.  Well that just wouldn't work for me.  Anyway I made a reservation at The Farm in North Conway which is up in northern NH.  I figured if anyone would have snow they would.  And they did!  The picture below is Miriam and I there.  It was special as Miriam has long wanted to do this and the weather and the snow was wonderful.  Elder and Sister Pettingill went with us and we had a blast.  We ended the day with dinner at Shorty's, which is the best Mexican restaurant we can find here in New Hampshire.  It was wonderful.  I thank my Heavenly Father for that fateful dance Miriam and I met at so long ago.  I do love her.
Tuesday morning at 2am I get a call from one of our Manchester missionaries and he has a bloody nose that he just can't stop.  I get up, go get him and take him to the hospital where they coterized his nose in 2 places. I got home at about 5:30 am and work that day sure made me know my age.  President Stoker let me go home that afternoon for a nap and I was grateful for that.  Elder Betts is a great missionary and I loved to be able to help him.
Sunday was special with the Christmas program.  Our Ward had 5 boys and 1 girl sing for the primary, 4 of our missionaries gave short talks, the RS sang a beautiful number and the flute and piano was played by a members of the Bedford Ward, Miriam played the piano for the YW/YM and the Bishop gave some concluding remarks.  Even though it was small, the spirit was so strong.  Then the Ward took all of us missionaries in the RS room where they thanked us for the service to their ward and gave us Christmas gifts.  Tears of gratitude were flowing and boy was it special. 
Then Bishop Dickson and his wife had us all over to his home for dinner.  That is 12 missionaries, the Ward Mission Leader and his wife.  The dinner was lovely and so appreciated. 
Our hearts swell as we accept the love of the members of the Manchester Ward.  It is small and needs help in so many ways, but the love and gratitude they have for the work is spectacular.  It increases my testimony so much.  I know the Gospel is true, and the evidence of it is it's members everywhere in the world.  I am so thankful for our Lord Jesus Christ, his birth, life, death and resurrection.  The atonement means so much to me.  Our mission experiences are wonderful.  The work is His work and it is true!!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 15, 2013

 We had our first real winter storm last night.  We got 12 inches of snow, it was 17 degrees and it will get down to 2 tonight.  President Stoker grounded all the mission autos for today, so if any of the missionaries wanted to go any where they had to walk and that would be real tough.  I don't think it gets above freezing all week.
But it is beautiful and we are doing fine.  Our apartment is comfortable and we have all we need.
Last night we were invited to a Christmas Party by an inactive member.  WOW!  I have never seen so many Christmas decorations.  It was a beautiful two story New England house and it was decked out.  Patty and Eric were the hosts and it was wonderful.  They have lots of friends from every walk of life.  It is hard to imagine she says she will never come to church again.  It's a long story.
I had a great opportunity to teach with the Elders and Sisters to a single sister.  She fixed clam chowder and hot bread to feed us and it was wonderful.  Elder Harper gave her the
baptism interview, the Sisters gave a wonderful Christmas lesson and I was fortunate enough to participate when I was asked.  Nancy will be baptized December 27th.  She has taken a along time and gone through a lot of missionaries to get to this point, but it is worth it.  She actually lives the gospel, loves it and wants to live it.  She will be a wonderful member and a great asset to the church.
Then Thursday night  I get a call from the Elders who asked me go with them to give a blessing.  This was a non member family who has a baby with a large lump on her neck and she is going in for surgery next week.  They are not members but some of their family is and they convinced them that a priesthood blessing would be the best thing for her.  It went wonderful.
We work all day in the office and then when the opportunity arises, we go out at night to bless the lives of the people of New England.  We love the work.  The Lords way is the only way to bring true happiness into ones life.  Our testimonies continue to grow everyday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 8, 2013

We had another week of transfers.  The picture to the left is us with Elder Resendez and Elder Dickenson at the Boston Temple. Eesendez as he served as an AP for the past few months.  He is from Chandler and was an outstanding missionary.  Elder Dickenson served down in Lawrence Mass. as a Spanish speaking Elder.  Got real close to him when improving their living conditions.  He is such a wonderful young man.  They both will do great in life.
The picture below is of the new missionaries that came in last Monday.  We had 6 come in and we had 6 go home.  I think the surge could be over. They helped decorate the tree in President and Sister Stokers home.  It sure is much easier when only 6 or 7 missionaries come in instead of 23 or 24. 
I am sitting her at my desk and watching is snow outside.  Winter has really come and it is beautiful.  We have already had a couple of accidents when missionaries are unable to navigate the slick roads.  Many of these missionaries have never driven in the snow before.  I think it is going to be interesting to see what happens during this long winter.
Miriam and I are attending the Manchester Ward.  Last Sunday at about 11:30 we got a call from the Bishop.  He needed Miriam to play the piano for sacrament meeting and me to speak.  Church started at 1:00 pm.  I was asked to give a talk on the Atonement.  The Bishop said everyone bailed on him for their assignments. Our Ward needs a lot of help.  We love serving there however.  Miriam played the organ for the first time for Sacrament meeting and she did wonderful. 
We have been invited to a members home Christmas morning along with our 10 missionaries.  The Lares family is wonderful.  I said to Brother Lares that I didn't want to mess their Christmas morning up with their kids.  He said that we couldn't mess it up unless we wanted to be there at 4am.  We are having our breakfast at 8am.  It sure is nice of them.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 1, 2013

 We had a great Thanksgiving week.  We thought it was going to be major tough not having it with our family and it was.  But it sure made it a lot easier having Thanksgiving at the Mission Home with President and Sister Stoker.  They also invited Elder Resendez(Gilbert AZ and Elder Preslar (Sugar City, ID).  Elder and Sister Pettingill (Layton UT).
We had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.  Everyone pitched in to make dinner not to much work for anyone.  But as always the most work is always on the host and Sister Stoker is always a wonderful host. 
We have transfers next and with a short week this week, we had lots of work to do.  The number of missionaries coming in is getting less and less.  This next week we have only 6 coming in and we have 7 going home.  We had 4 visa waiters get their visa's so I know we will have to close an area and close an apartment.  This will be different as we have been adding to many with the surge.
The picture below shows everyone helping to put Christmas gifts together for all the missionaries.  President and Sister Stoker have interviews the two weeks after transfers and they wanted to give each of the missionaries a gift.  What a great idea.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013

 I think we have finally gotten winter here in New England.  We got our first snow last night.  It is 19 degrees outside and we are supposed to be in for a cold week.  I think Thanksgiving Day is supposed to be windy and cold.  Oh well, what could we expect. 
We are just finishing our first 5 months on our mission and we have finally inspected all the apartments that our missionaries occupy.  This past week Miriam and I went up to the outer edges of our mission which is Machias Maine.  We have one set of missionaries up there and they are really remote.  When I called them and told them we were  coming to see them and inspect their apartment, I don't think they believed me.  Anyway when we finally got there, below are a few of the pictures I took of what we found.  I think we were the first to inspected the apartment in a long, long time.  We sure love all of our missionaries, but as we all know, they need some guidance at times.
During this 5 months, we have been busy trying to get better

apartments.  Some of them were really bad.  I took the a pair of Sister Missionaries out of an apartment that had a flooding basement that they had to walk through to get to there electrical panel to switch it on every time they turned on the toaster or hair dryer.  I moved some Elders out of an apartment that was in an attic and you could only stand up without hitting your head if you were in the center of the room where the peak of the roof was the highest.  There are many more stories, but it has been an adventure and I know the missionaries like the results of our efforts.  The good news is that many of the apartments are wonderful. 
We love the missionaries so much. I love to inspect the apartments as Miriam and I get to do it together as I need her to be with me when we inspect Sisters apartments and I love having her with me. We get to travel all over the mission and be with the missionaries in there  areas.  New England is beautiful.  It is old and has it's old charm. 
We were able to go on a teaching appointment last week also.  We are helping teach a single lady again.  Jessica is a wonderful woman.  She has children, not married and is looking for hope through Jesus Christ.  I hope she will accept the Gospel and the change it will bring to her life.
We love the Lord and are happy to be in His service.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14, 2013


 We have had the most amazing 2 weeks.  I am not sure if busy is even the right word.  Last week we had both the New Missionary training meeting and Missionary Leadership training which is a lot of work for us in getting the lunches and everything ready for President and Sister Stoker.  They went very well and were super successful.
Then Sunday night we drove up to Augusta Maine to be ready to start Zone Conference there Monday morning at 8:30am.  Elder and Sister Nielsen of the Seventy were the visiting authority and they were wonderful.  They taught with such power and authority.  President and Sister Stoker taught us as well and did a marvelous job.  The upper picture is a group picture of 4 zones.  It was so cold but we had to do it outside as it was the only place we could fit everyone.  We took similar pictures Tuesday and Wednesday also.
Tuesday we traveled to Concord NH for zone conference with 3 more zones.  Then we went up to the Joseph Smith Memorial where we held another Zone conference and had a wonderful Italian Dinner with all the Senior Missionaries with Elder and Sister Nielsen.  We love them and the lower picture is us with them.  So when we got home Wednesday night needless to say we all were exhausted.  But we were back at the office this morning and our work was still waiting for us. 
Sister Stoker taught us some great principals of doing missionary work.  President Stoker taught us great insight on the power of prayer.  Sister Nielsen taught us the importance of celebrating our differences and focused on connecting with the people of our mission.  Elder Nielsen taught us the significance of what is going on right now should be compared to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration.  There are now over 82,000 missionaries in the field and more in the Que.  These missionaries were prepared before the foundation of the earth to be here at this time. 
He related his association experiences with the Prophet Thomas S. Monson as well at the Twelve Apostles.  The stories were great.
He also taught us the Bretherns definition of Real Growth. I'll show a outline of it:
Saving Ordinance                                    Gift
1. Baptism                                              Power to remit sin
2. Confirmation                                      Power to receive revelation through the HG
3. Priesthood                                          Power to act in the name of God
4. Endowment                                        Power to become like God
5. Sealing                                               Power to be a God

The spirit was so strong and we all loved it.  It definitely strengthens my testimony.  I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope it gives us all.  I love the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  Sister Skidmore and I read it every morning and there is no better way to start the day.  I know and love President Monson.  I have been in his presence and know he receives direct revelation to lead and guide the Lords work here on earth.  I love Miriam and our children and grandchildren and pray they will all gain their own testimonies of this truthfulness. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 3,2013

 We had Halloween this past week.  Our Manchester Ward held a trunk or treat where Miriam and I took Dana and her children.  We have helped the Elders teach them and it was fun to take them to this fun activity.  We have learned to love them a lot.  The Children are just adorable.  Dana has a real rough life.  She is not married and with 5 children she really has her hands full.  The Gospel would truly bless her life but she would have to make some major changes to her life.  We pray she will have the courage to either marry the man she lives with or leave him. 
Sisters Cloward, Burton and Aeschbacher (the
Bedford Sisters) came to the office and sang a hymn for us to thank us for all we do for them.  They are so special.  Sister Cloward works in the office now helping all of us as she has some major back problems due to a traffic accident she was in prior to her mission.  She is from Mesa AZ and we love her a bunch.
Being that I am over apartments Miriam and I did 20 apartment checks this week.  We did the Augusta South and North Zones.  It was cold and rainy but we always have a good time together.  We have been blessed with the ability to improve the housing for a lot of our missionaries.  When the surge started last winter, they were just taking any apartment they could find.  And some of those apartments were not good at all.  So I have been working very hard and finding better housing and Lord has truly blessed our efforts as we have been able to provide much better housing where needed.  We even had long term leases to get out of to accommodate the move and so far we have been able to get out of them without cost to the Church. The surge on missionaries seems to have stopped.  We are now returning a missionary for each new one that comes.  Our mission has doubled its number of missionaries since the surge started. 
The work is wonderful.  We are so busy and we love it.  This week we have two meetings and next week we have a visiting General Authority with 3 zone conferences.  Busy, busy, and then we get busy!!!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27, 2013

This was another week of transfers.  I think this was the largest transfers we had so far in the mission. We received 13 new missionaries and 9 went home.  We also had 5 missionaries that were waiting for their visa's get them and we sent them to south America.
That is a lot of changes but its only the beginning.  President Stoker is making lots of changes.  We closed one area in  Maine, opened a new area in Andover Massachusetts.  We also opened a new areas in Lawrence Massachusetts and two areas here in Manchester.  All of these areas required apartments and everything that goes with them.  Then we had almost all of our missionaries involved in transferring from one area to another.  Lots of changes.  We now have 10 missionaries assigned to our ward here in Manchester.  President Stoker is moving more missionaries to the populated areas.  Busy, busy, busy!!!
The pictures are at the Boston Temple.  The upper is with Elder Frutos.  Miriam and I got close to him as he called on us to  assist in teaching many times. 
The picture to the left is with Elder Hill.  He has been an AP since we have been in the mission.  We have gotten so close to him.  Both of these Elders are unique and special in there own way.  Both are such hard workers and spiritual giants.  The world is lucky to have them.
Our mission continues to grow.  The work goes forward but is hard.  There was a question asked on the radio to guess the 5 most nonreligious states in the union.  It turns out that they are #5 Connecticut, #4 Massachusetts, #3 Maine, #2 New Hampshire, and #1 Vermont. 
The challenges are there but so is the strength of our work.  We all love the Lord and we will work hard where ever we are sent.  Miriam and love the work and know it is His work. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 20, 2013

Tomorrow starts transfer week where we receive all the new missionaries to the mission and send home those that have completed their mission.  Miriam and I have gotten close to a lot of the missionaries, especially those in the Manchester area.  We have had the opportunity to teach with them and work very close to them. In doing so, we knew that Elder Frutos was due to go home this transfer and talking to him, we found out he had never had the opportunity to go to the JSM while he was here.  We asked President Stoker if we could take him there before he left and he said we could.  Then he wanted to know if there were any others going home that had never been and we found out that Elder Irving and Elder Cook had not either.  So we were able to take all three and it was wonderful.  Now President Stoker wants to make this a mission tradition that all the missionaries that serve here get to go to the JSM before going home.  Most do just in the coarse of serving, but some don't and it would be a shame to work here for 2 years and never see this wonderful memorial.  I just took a couple of pictures as we have many more pictures of the Memorial shown previously.
The foliage was absolutely beautiful.  It is however not the peak anymore, but still, WOW!
The missionaries wanted to stop on the way home at a Five Guys Hamburger.  It still amazes me how much food they can eat. 
We had a blast.
President and Sister Stoker went to Philadelphia for their first mission president conference.  We are anxious to hear all about it.
The Lords work is awesome. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 13, 2013

It has been two weeks since writing on or blog.  It has been a grand two weeks however.  It is the first time we have experienced General Conference while serving a full time mission.  It is interesting how special it is to be engaged in the service of the Lord and receiving the messages of the prophets at the same time.  How we love our Prophet Thomas S. Monson and all the General Authorities.

One of my duties here in the mission is housing.  This requires me to not only find and furnish apartments for new area as they open, but inspect the existing apartments to ensure they are being keep clean and safe for the missionaries.  I really enjoy doing the apartment inspections as I get to take Miriam with me and we travel throughout the mission inspecting apartments and meeting the missionaries where they live and proselyte.  The Friday before General Conference the missionaries were so excited to soon be able to hear our Beloved Prophet and all the general authorities.  One of the comments we heard often was, "Conference is better that Christmas!"  We have never heard that statement before.  We love the missionaries so much.  After seeing them in the environment in which they live and work, Miriam says "I know one thing for sure, I am going to pray much harder for our missionaries."

A great spiritual experience I have had is when President Stoker asked me to find an apartment in Andover Massachusetts where he wanted to open a new area.  I found that the closer you get to Boston, the apartments are not only harder to find, but very expensive.  He gave me a budget and I went to work.  I was not able to find anything that I would put a missionary in that was in our budget.  I decided to go down to Andover, take the two missionaries that were to serve in the new area and find an apartment.  We had a list to look at, and found one that fit all the criteria.  The manager was eager to rent it to us until I explained to her that I wasn't going to live there but that two 20 year old young men representing the Lord would.  In her mind and prior experience she said it wouldn't be possible.  She wanted background checks, income statements for each, etc.  (I run into this all the time).  So we left and continued our search with no luck. 
A short time later I received a call from the CEO of the large company that owned the apartment complex.  He introduced himself and said he knew the MORMONS.  I asked if he was a member and he said he wasn't, but that he had visited SLC often to take his family skiing.  He asked me if I was still interested in the apartment, which I said I was and he said it would be no problem in renting it.  He also invited me to view the company web site as they owned many complexes throughout New England.  He wanted me to know that our missionaries were always welcome in their complexes.  I asked if had ever had any of the discussions, and he said yes, many times. 
The manager called me a short time later wanting to explain her conversation with the CEO and I told her he had just called me.  We got the apartment with out any problems and this Tuesday, I am going to sign the lease and move the missionaries in.  The Lords hand was definitely in this transaction.
I have always found that people are skeptical of us until they know us.  The example of our LDS brothers and sisters is felt everywhere.
I know that God lives and Jesus is the Christ.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  Miriam and I study it every morning and it always brings the spirit to us as we start our day.  I know Joseph Smith is a prophet and through him the Lord ushered in the fullness of his Gospel.  I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of the Lord and leads and guides this great work today.  I am thankful to serve in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission with Miriam.  I do love her!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 29, 2013


We had a great week and capped it off by touring Vermont this past week end.  The colors were outstanding.  I wish the pictures would show the vivid colors as we saw them.
We went to Quechee, Woodstock, Fort Tycondaroga, Middlebury, and stayed in Burlington Saturday night.  The city was packed as their were so many people looking at the leaves and fall colors.  They call it leaf peeping.  So I guess we were peepers!
We went up to the border of Canada.  The weather was just fabulous.  We are having the best fall ever.
We really enjoyed getting away and it was fun spending this time with the Pettingills.  We really do enjoy them and working with them.
Miriam and I are starting to know and understand our jobs better.  Now if we can just stop making silly mistakes.  The missionaries are wonderful.  We continue to grow.  I have found two more apartments and trying to get them ready for the next transfer which is in three weeks.  President and Sister Stoker are the best Mission Presidents ever. We love them so much. We love doing the Lords work.  Our testimonies are strengthened everyday as we serve. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013

We had another great week.  The only difference was this week I turned 65. Its good to make it to this age but now I not only look old but I am old.  Oh well, it beats the alternative. 
Sisters Aeschbacher and Burton made me the best ice cream pie ever.  They are such wonderful Sisters and work so hard.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I heard from all our children and grandchildren too.  It makes a birthday pretty special. 
Then on Saturday, our P day I went golfing with Elder and Sister Pettingill.  He is a pro golfer and she could be.  It was so beautiful and fun.  You can feel fall in the air.  The leaves are starting to turn and it feels wonderful.
The work of the Lord continues to roll forward.  We are getting more and more missionary's which requires more and more of everything we do.  But it is all good.
We are opening more and more areas and I am trying to find more and more apartments.  The church has finally stopped supplying more cars so now we have more missionary's walk and get bikes.  We have 6 now in our ward and with us it is 8.  I think President Stoker is going to assign 2 more Sisters at this next transfer.  Wow, lots of missionary's.  They are all to special.  It sure keeps President and Sister Stoker busy.  They were on the road 4 days last week. 
Well I better start getting ready for church.  We are going to the mission office to pick up the van (moose) as we are picking up an investigator and her 5 children.  We just got a call from another set of Elders and we need to pick up 2 more investigators.  Wow, moose will be full.  Love the Lords work!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15, 2013

We had another great week.  It started last Sunday when we had a 9 year old convert baptism.  After the baptism, Miriam and I went to members home for dinner with a senior sister investigator.  It was a great evening.  We had a nice dinner, showed the new video of the temples and a wonderful conversation with Kathy the investigator. 
Monday and Tuesday were transfer days.  They are always very, very busy.  We received 13 new missionaries and the 4 to the left finished their missions and went home. Elders Blad, Jones, Rohleder and Shelby. We took them to the Boston Temple Tuesday afternoon.  It was beautiful and we always have a special time with them.   Our picture is at the Temple in front of the most beautiful trumpet flowers.
Then Wednesday we inspected apartments up at Concord through Plymouth.  It was a beautiful day.  I am glad we did them then because it rained straight through the next two days.
Thursday we assisted the missionaries in teaching a family after work.  It was fun to be involved with them. We taught the plan of salvation. They live under the humblest of circumstances.  It sure makes you appreciate what we have.
It is starting to feel like fall.  The temperature has dropped, especially in the mornings.  The leaves will be turning soon.
The work is long but is becoming easier.  Still we have a lot to learn.  We continue to study, serve the Ward where we are assigned, and work hard in the mission office.  We hope to be able to get to a point where we don't have to work on Saturday's (our P day) soon. It all builds our testimonies and for that we are grateful.  We love serving and pray our service is acceptable to the Lord.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 9, 2013

We had another great week.  Miriam and I spent last Wednesday doing apartment checks in the Concord district.  It is a beautiful  area.  We visited 8 apartments and drove a few hundred miles to get to them all.  We love the missionary's and the opportunity to help them.  It is amazing the things we find, but we get them fixed and make sure they are safe.
The picture to the left is up in Vermont. We are closing the S. Royalton area.  Elder Pettingill and I picked up their furniture and moved it to a new area we are opening in Waldoboro Maine.  We drove about 550 miles Friday.  The Sister's Fratcher and Lundhal are being reassigned.
It was long but great day.  I am so thankful that Elder Pettingill agreed to go with me and help.  I couldn't of done it without him.
The picture to the right is of Elders Hill and Woodruff.  They are assistants to President Stoker.  What great young men they are.  Here they are helping themselves to some peanut M&M's from the jar Brianne, Casey, and family gave us as we left on our mission.  Each color of M&M represents a God like attribute you may be in need of.  All the missionaries that come into the office love it.  It is on Miriam's desk and we have found it is very hard to keep full.
The mission is wonderful.  I think we had our best baptism week this past week.  We had 11 baptisms, 10 were from member referrals.  It really shows the importance of Ward Members involvement in missionary work.
Miriam and I are picking up 3 investigators for church today. We are also having dinner tonight with a Ward member who has an older investigator that they would like us to help with.  We love the work.
Our testimonies continue to grow.  We are studying the Book of Mormon together every morning and loving it.  We have transfers this next week which will be very busy.  It is wonderful to see missionaries go home after 2 years of such dedicated service.  Then it is just as wonderful to see the new missionaries come enthusiastic and ready to work.  We will take the returning missionaries to the Boston Temple this Tuesday night.  That is certainly a treat.  We love the Lord and the opportunity He is giving us to serve here in New Hampshire.  This church is true, the work is wonderful, and those that accept it receive such wonderful blessing. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sepemter 1, 2013

 We thought we would take a few pictures of the apartment where we are living.  The picture to the left is a picture of our building.  It is one of 8 in the complex.  We live on the 2nd floor in the back right corner.  The next is of our kitchen and living room.  Miriam has made it very comfortable.  We don't get to spend much time here but when we do, it is comfortable.  The bathroom is major tiny and we use the 2nd bedroom as a office, my closet, Miriam's make up area etc.  Its a catch all room.
The other office couple lives 4 rooms down the hall and we get together with them on occasion for dinners and get togethers.  That makes it fun.

This past week we were busy as usual.  I am trying to find time to get around the mission to inspect apartments.  This past Wednesday I took part of the day to inspect the Manchester Zone.  I take Miriam with me if I am inspecting a Sisters apartment.  Our first inspection was Sister's Aeschbacher and Hoffman apartment.  As usual the Sisters apartments are neat and tidy.  However Sister Aeschbacher was sick.  She asked for a blessing.  There was another Priesthood holder in the building up stairs and Sister Hoffman went up and ask him if he would come down and assist.  He agreed but hadn't given a blessing in a long time and didn't know what to do. 
After a short teaching moment he anointed and I sealed.  It was a very spiritual experience.  The brother that assisted expressed sincere gratitude at the opportunity to use his priesthood.   Sister Aeschbacher was healed and was working hard the next day.  She was so grateful.  Oh how we love working with the missionaries. 
I had to move some Elders out of their apartment as they had a gas leak in their stove and was turning the gas on for cooking then off. Their landlord is now getting a new stove for them.  Safety, safety, safety!!!
We are doing lots of work preparing for transfers next week.  We are learning our duties and things are running smoother.  Miriam and I study our scriptures daily together and it is wonderful.  Our testimonies continue to grow.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 25,2013


The pictures to the left are of the Mission office.  It is a beautiful building in a beautiful setting.  The picture to the left is where Sister Skidmore (Miriam) works.  She is the first person you meet as you enter the office.  The lower picture is the building.  We occupy the lower corner floor shown.  It is a beautiful building in a beautiful settling.
This week we were able to work in the office all week and now we feel more caught up.  I finally completed the task of getting 3 more apartments for the 3 new areas.  Then President Stoker informed me that I need to find 3 more as we are opening 3 more areas next month.  One in Massachusetts and two in Maine.  The work continues onward.
The high light of the week was yesterday as Elder Hallstrom(one of the 7 Pres. of the Seventy)  came to tour the mission and we all got to spend a little time with him.  He is wonderful. We messed up by not getting a picture. He informed us on how much the missionary work is growing not only with the surge of missionaries now at 75000, but also the challenges with opening 52 new missions. Wow, it is awesome to be just a small part of this great work.  Our mission had 12 baptisms yesterday which I think is a new weekly record. 
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve.  Our testimonies continue to growing as we work with the wonderful missionaries and the ward where we live.  The membership here is so diverse and young in the gospel. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

week of zone conferences

Week of Zone Conferences

We have had the most marvelous week with three zone conferences.  Our first was Monday August 12th at the Joseph Smith Memorial pictured below.  This is a very special as it is the birth place of our beloved Prophet.  As you can see the weather was beautiful and the grounds are immaculate.  We are always so impressed at the dedication and detail to beauty the church keeps all of its properties.
Our second zone conference was in Concord NH which is just 30 miles north of Manchester. 
Our third zone conference was in Augusta Maine.  We traveled up there on Thursday afternoon and stayed in the Senator Hotel Thursday night.  We had a wonderful dinner with the Davis's, Pettingill's and President and Sister Stoker.  After the conference, we decided to travel back down the coast with the Pettingill's.  We took our time and this is a picture we took at one of the stops.  There are a few light houses along the coast that are really unique and quite beautiful.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 4, 2013

This is the lane Miriam and I take our morning walks on.  The weather is absolutely beautiful right now.  When the sun shines all day, it tends to get humid and sticky but other wise it is the best. There are so many trees that you can't see 10 feet into the trees.  We are sure loving the area!
We have just completed our first transfer this past week.  We had 23 new missionaries report in and we had 9 leave.  It was a very, very busy time.  We had no idea the amount of work and organization that is required to run a mission.  We were able to attend the Boston Temple with the returning missionaries last Tuesday evening.  It was the best!  We love working with and being with these wonderful young people. The mission had 130 missionaries 5 months ago and has 217 today.  We are expecting to have 250 by the end of the year. The growth is attributed to the lowering of the age to enter the mission field. This and the number on missionaries we have come to serve while waiting for their visa makes for lots of work.

The picture shows us with the other senior couple missionaries, Elder and Sister Davis.  They are from St. George Utah and they are wonderful.  They complete their mission this month and will be going home.  We are sad to see them go. They had us over for a wonderful fish dinner last Friday evening.  He is quite the fisherman and she is a great cook. They will be replaced by Elder and Sister Pettingill. They arrive this week to start their training.  So in a few weeks, Miriam and I will be the senior missionaries in the office.  That could be trouble.

This Tuesday we are involved in new missionary training and next week we travel 3 days to different parts of the mission for zone conferences.  We are looking forward to that as we will get to see different parts of the mission.  One of the zone conferences is at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in Vermont.

Our first transfers

 This shows a lane that Miriam and I take our walks on in the mornings. The weather right now is absolutely beautiful.  There are so many trees that you can't see 10 feet off the side of the road.  When the sun shines all day, it tends to get humid and sticky however.

We finished our first transfers for the mission this past week.  We had 23 new missionaries report in and we sent 9 home.  The mission has really grown.  Five months ago the mission had 130 missionaries and today we have 217 and expect to have 250 by the end of the year.  That and the fact that we have a number of missionaries that are sent to serve temporarily while waiting for their visas, we are kept extremely busy. The surge is attributed to the lowering of the age for new missionaries.
 We were able to attend the Boston Temple with the returning missionaries last Tuesday and that was wonderful.

Miriam and I are starting to settle into our work and gaining confidence each day with what we are to do and more importantly on how to do it. We are serving with Elder and Sister Davis shown in the picture below.  They are wonderful.  They had us over to their apartment Friday evening for a wonderful fish dinner that Elder Davis caught on a fishing trip.
They are from St. George Utah.  They complete their mission the 23rd of August and will be going home.  Their replacements, Elder and Sister Pettingill will arrive this week.  We moved into our apartment last week end and are just now getting settled in it. We have a missionary training meeting this coming Tuesday and 3 zone conferences next week that we are involved in which will require us to travel to different areas of the mission.  We are looking forward to that.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

Today we were able to spend the day working with President and Sister Stoker (top picture).  Elder  and Sister Benjamin (lower picture) are the missionaries we are replacing.  We have found that there is so much work to do in keeping the mission operating.  We had no idea!  We are hoping we can learn all our duties quickly without making too many mistakes.  We will move into our apartment this Saturday.  We are looking forward to getting out of this hotel.  We are getting cabin fever.
Sunday at church was great.  The Ward we have been ask to attend is small and very diverse and we hope to help everywhere we can.  The missionaries had investigators there in the Gospel Essentials class and it was great helping teach. We are so impressed with the missionaries.