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!!!!!