Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26, 2014

 The picture to the left is of Miriam practicing the organ. We try to go to the chapel every Saturday so she can practice.  She is getting pretty good.  She is trying to figure out the sound and stops and stuff, but I think she is awesome.
  Our week was busy as usual.  It is cold and snowy but we seem to be getting more used to it.  We went to a local art gallery with an older couple Saturday.  They are the Earnshaws and they are wonderful.  We met them at a Christmas social and he being an artist struck up a good conversation with Miriam.  They are in their 80's and have lived here for over 40 years.  They love it here, have 1/2 of their children living in New Hampshire and Maine.  Their son is the Bishop of the Bedford Ward.  Anyway, they told us that in the forty years they have lived here, this is the coldest and the most snow.  Just our luck it seems. It was a fun day and we quickly learned to love them.
   We are now preparing for Zone Conferences again.  This time President Stoker has asked us to teach a lesson the attributes of Christ from Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel.  It is nice to be asked to participate in teaching.  This will be the first time we will teach our wonderful missionaries.  We love them all so much.
   We picked up two investigator for church this morning.  A man from the Sudan who's name is Mike and a man from Haiti who's name is Ralph.  They are such interesting people.  They come from such humble circumstances.  They don't have a car as do many of the investigators.  They live with family and friends to help pay the expenses of housing.  Ralph has been to church a few times and seems to be progressing very well toward baptism.  This was Mike's first time and he told us that he really enjoyed all the meeting.
   Our Ward has had a lot of young people move in and it is really a blessing to the Ward.  The Bishop has made some changes and you can really feel the spirit in all the meetings.  It is always such a blessing to go to church on Sundays.
   The mission has a great tradition when the missionaries are going home.  They each get to come to the pulpit and answer this question.  THE GOLDEN TRUTH THAT I LEARNED WHILE ON MY MISSION THAT WILL AFFECT THE REST OF MY LIFE IS:  Elder Ward who went home two weeks ago stated that his golden truth was the value of Hard Work!  He stated: you had eternity to anticipate your mission, you'll have eternity to reflect on your mission, but you only have 2 years to live your mission!  I thought this was great.
   Our testimonies continue to grow.  We love the Lord so much.  I know that I have learned things here that I would never have learned without going on a full time mission.  For that I am grateful. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

This past week was a transfer week which usually keeps us very busy, but this one was our smallest one ever.  We only had 3 new missionaries come in and we had 6 go home.  So the work load was much smaller.  The transfer meeting was wonderful.  President Stoker moved a lot of missionaries.  We are starting to see some great results of the changes he has made. President Stoker added another zone and changed the existing zones to match the boundries of the 5 stakes in the mission.  We had 9 baptisms last week, which I understand is the one of the largest ever.
  The picture to the left is our Manchester Chapel.  We have all our transfer meetings and training meetings here.  Two Wards meet here, the Manchester and Bedford Wards.  So the building is used a lot.  The brethren are working on moving the mission office either to this building or the Concord Stake Center.  It would save a lot of money as we now have our office in a regular office building where the rent is quite high.  I am not sure when this will happen.  Maybe in the next year or so.
   We were asked to pick up some investigators for church Sunday morning. But when we got there no one was home or they wouldn't answer the door.  It is always so disappointing for the missionaries.  They work so hard.  But I have come to know that it is not the number for baptisms one gets on their missions but the effort and work that is done.  All missionary work done for the Lord is good and all the people have their agency to choose.  But records are kept and goals are set and their is a tremendous amount of effort put forth to teach the Gospels precisious truths.  We love the missionaries so much.  Our testimonies continue to grow.  Our love for the Lord has no bounds.  We pray always that our work will be acceptable to Him and benefit the work.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 14, 2014

Last Saturday Miriam took Sisters Taylor and Turley to lunch with Nancy Lynch who was recently baptized.  The Sisters are serving in our Manchester Ward and they are great.  Sister Turley and Miriam are related going back a few generations.  Miriam has gotten close to Nancy and is trying to stay close to her to help her adjust to the new life as a Latter Day Saint.  Nancy works hard and has just gone through a number of surgeries that has really drained her energy. 
After lunch I picked Miriam up and took her to the chapel where she practiced the organ.  The Ward has asked Miriam to play as there are no others in the Ward that can.  Miriam does a great job and the Ward really loves her for her willingness to do it.  She works hard to improve her organ playing skills.
   The Elders below also serve in our Manchester Ward and we have gotten so close to them.  They are (left to right) Elders Rowley, Aldous, Robison and Harper.  Elder Rowley has completed his mission and goes home to California tomorrow.  Elder Aldous is new to the mission and has been out 6 weeks.  Elder Robison is from Arizona and left yesterday for Brazil.  He  has been a VISA WAITER in our mission for 8 months.  We are going to miss him, but we know he is so happy to be finally going to the mission of his calling.  Elder Harper has been in the mission for about a year.  He is from Mesa AZ and we love him dearly.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5, 2014

   It is definitely winter here in New England. Our first Nor'Easter.  We had another foot of snow and temperatures of 8 below zero.  With the wind chill if felt like 15 below. I am remembering winters back in Idaho and Colorado where we would deal with this kind of weather.
   We went out to dinner with President and Sister Stoker and the Pettingills New Years Eve and the Longhorn steak house.  It was wonderful and then we went to the Mission Home and played a game called Five Crown.  It is a modified card game and it was pretty fun.  Miriam killed everyone however.  It was a fun night but as usual we were in bed by 10pm and found out it was a new year when we woke up. 
   The work week was short with the holiday and we took a few hours off work to deal with the weather.  Elder Pettingill deals with all the car related problems and accidents and I deal with the cold and apartment problems.  When we get wet snow, power lines go down, then no power and my phone rings.  We have had real cold weather and when furnaces break down my phone rings again. But we get through it and in the end we all are ok and the work goes on.
   Today we moved to 9am church and that is always good.  It was fast and testimony meeting and I think it was one of the best.  Miriam and I were fasting for Penny Scanlan.  She is having surgery this coming Friday hopefully to relieve the sever pain she has in her hips.  Bob and Penny are dear friends.
   I was able to bear my testimony.  It was special as I testified of the truthfulness of this wonderful gospel.  I also took the opportunity to thank the Manchester Ward for the way they treat all the missionaries especially at Christmas.  I also was able to publically thank the Larr family for having us all over Christmas morning.  They are such a loving and generous family.  We missionaries really feel the love from all the members here in Manchester.
  This coming week we prepare for transfers.  It will be great!  We love the work and found we missed the family more than ever during the holidays.