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.