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!!!!

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