Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23, 2014

   The week started out on Monday by us going to the JSM in Vermont for the Montpelier zone conferences.  We had to delay it from the week prior because of the snow. The conference was wonderful.  Miriam and I both got to participate as teachers again and we always love that,
  The rest of the week was working in the office trying to catch up on all of our work.
  Sister Pettingill came into the office Tuesday with Elder Pettingill complaining of seeing spots in her eyes and having trouble with her vision.  Elder Pettingill took her to the emergency room and goodness, she was having a stroke.  They call it a mini stoke, but she is now trying to recover.  We really do enjoy them and hope  everything turns out good for them.  We'd hate to see them have to go home early.
   Miriam has been sick with the flu this week end.  It is the  first time she has been sick and I sure hate to see it.  She is feeling better today than yesterday and we hope she feels good enough tomorrow to go to work.
   We have a big week coming up with transfers.  It is always our biggest week.  We look so forward to going to the Temple on the Tuesdays of transfers with the returning missionaries.  The thing that is the hardest is seeing missionaries that we have grown so close to moved to other areas or go home.  I know we are all children of our Heavenly Father and even though we are separated now, we will have a joyful reunion when we see each other at zone conferences or when we all return home to that God who created us.  We love them so!
   This winter has been brutal.  Even the locals say it is a bad one.  Lots and lots of snow.  Miriam and I wanted to experience something different on our mission and I think we got what we wanted. 
   We love the work.  We have become closer to each other and certainly closer to our Lord and Savior.  We pray together daily and study scriptures together everyday and it blesses our lives.  We are able to talk with the kids often and they bring so much joy into our lives, even though they are thousands of miles away.  Technology is a wonderful thing.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 16, 2014

 We continue to have lots of snow this week.  This picture shows us trying to get home from the office this past Thursday.  Another nor-east er.  The locals says this is a very bad winter even in their recollection.  But we have learned how to live with and even enjoy the snow and cold.
This past week we had our Concord Zone Conference.  I was able to teach again and Miriam was able to assist in the Family History lesson's for the missionaries.  Tomorrow we go to Vermont for our last Zone Conference.  We were supposed to have done the Vermont Zone Conference last Thursday, but with the bad weather, President Stoker postponed it until Monday.  We travel with the Pettingills and that is always fun.
We went out to dinner at Outback Steak House with the Pettingills, and Stokers Friday night.  Afterwards with went to the Mission Home and played games.  We played 5 crowns and it is really fun.  Sister Stoker won with Sister Pettingill coming in last.  We had lots of laughs!
This morning I was asked to teach Priesthood Meeting and that was great.  We are really loving the members of the Manchester Ward. 
The Picture below was taken today when the Stokers asked all us Manchester Missionaries over for lunch after church.  They were having a Mission Presidency Meeting but President Hawks was sick and couldn't come.  Sister Stoker had a wonderful lunch prepared and didn't want it not eaten.  And believe me, it all got eaten.  President and Sister Goodrich did make it and this picture shows Sister Goodrich making Maple Syrup on Snow.  They went outside, scooped up some snow and she put hot maple syrup on it.  You eat it with a fork and it is good.  The Goodrich's own a 45,000 tree maple syrup farm up in Northern Vermont.  They are wonderful people. It was a wonderful time.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 8, 2014

 We held Augusta and Bangor zone conference this last Thursday in Augusta Maine.  It was special in that this was the first zone conference that President Stoker ask us office staff to help teach from Preach My Gospel chapter 6, "How do I develop the attributes of Christ?".
I chose to teach on Diligence, Sister Pettingill chose Faith, and Elder Pettingill chose Humility. Miriam helped Sister Stoker teach genealogy and Family Search.  It was wonderful.  I realized how much I have missed teaching and interacting with the youth of the Church.  Our missionaries are wonderful and work so hard.
Last night I was asked to assist teaching a African man named Mike with Elders Harper and Aldous.  It was so special.  He has been in the U.S. for about 10 years and speaks good English.  However he reads Arabic.  I was surprised to see he had a Arabic Book of Mormon that he was reading.  Elder Harper asked I would share some of my experiences while reading the Book of Mormon.  I was sitting next to Mike and asked if I could see his Book of Mormon.  I opened it, seeing it written in a language I could not read or even make any sense of.  I shared my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and that he translated the Book of Mormon from reformed Egyptian and that I am sure when he looked at the writings he had no idea what it said.  But with the Urim and Thumim and the gift of translation from God, we have this wonderful set of scriptures.  I felt the spirit so strong as I bore my testimony of what this Book means to me and how it changed my life.  I shared my experience going to the Lord to ask if it was true so many years ago and receiving my answer that it is true.  We are having so many wonderful spiritual experiences.  I thank Heavenly Father everyday for giving Miriam and I this opportunity to be on this mission. 
We have zone conferences in New Hampshire this next Tuesday and up in Vermont next Thursday.  We are all looking forward to that.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2, 2014

Some of our duties on our mission is to buy the food, prepare the lunch and clean up after some missionary meetings.  The picture above is the new missionaries and their companions with us, the Pettingill's, and President and Sister Stoker.  The picture below is us with the Pettingill's after.  It is fun to do this for the missionaries and it gives us a chance to get to know them better. The two meetings we do this are the New Missionary Training and Mission Leadership Training.  The next two weeks we travel for Zone Conferences which we love.  President Stoker has ask that we prepare topics from Preach My Gospel and help teach.  We are looking forward to that.