Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 30, 2014

   Again the work kept us very busy.  There is always so much to do to keep the office work done and mission running.  It is great work.
   We did apartment checks for the Concord North Zone also.  The picture to the right is with Elders Guinn and Warner. As always we love being with the missionaries.
   A major problem we experienced this week is finding and then getting rid of bed bugs.  They can be a real problem and killing them is tough.  They can only be killed by heat.  It is an expensive ordeal.

   Sister Smith here in Bedford became very sick with a gal bladder problem.  Miriam and Sister Pettingill spent a lot time with her and her companion Sister Waite.  She had her gal bladder removed Tuesday and is starting to recover.  Miriam spent this afternoon with her which allowed Sister Waite to go to church.  I know that there are many missionaries with lots of issues and we get to help those that are close by.  President and Sister Stoker work with each one in one way or another.  They work so hard!  All of our missionaries are so precious.
   Monday night I had the opportunity to teach Gene with Elders Walker and Parry.  They do such a great job.  We taught the law of tithing.  After teaching we ask Gene if he would be willing to live this law.  He said he would.  He said it would be hard.  He said he had $6.53 in his pocket and $9.00 in his bank account.  He was anxiously awaiting his pension and SS which is entire source of income which amounts to just over $1000.00/month.  I know that he will and when he does he will be blessed.  His baptismal date has been set for April 23, 2014.  It will be a wonderful day.
   On Thursday I received a call from the Elders and they need help in teaching 3 young women.  It was a referral and the first time they would meet them.  I met them at 3pm Friday afternoon and we went to the apartment where they lived in Manchester.  To our surprise, it was a family with 3 daughters, a mother and dad that was actually married.  They were ready for us as they asked us to sit at the table where they had a paper full questions.  We answered their questions and gave them the first discussion on the Restoration.  It was wonderful.  They are the McCullough family. (Rob, Kathleen, Heather, Sarah, and Hattie)  They were very receptive to the message and committed to another lesson next week.  They committed to go to church with us today, but called to say they were sick and couldn't make it.  I hope that they will come next week.
   I have learned that I love to teach and bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We picked up Gene and Ralph today for church.  Gene is doing wonderful, but Ralph isn't progressing well at all.  He is not willing to give up something and it is holding him back.  Ralph is the young man I was helping with math so he could pass the GED for his high school diploma.  I hope he will commit.  The Work is awesome!  It is raining now.  At least it is not snow! Spring??

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23, 2014

     We had the most excellent week.
Monday I had the opportunity to teach with the Elders a new investigator named Gene.  He is progressing so well.  He has set a baptism date of April 13th.  He is a wonderful man.
Tuesday we did apartment inspections in the Exeter South Zone.  That is southern NH and northern Mass.  The picture to the right is a moment we took to enjoy the sunshine.  It was cold but sunny.  We have almost forgot what the sun looks like.  It has been a long cold winter.
Thursday we did apartment inspections in the Exeter North Zone and the picture below is some of the wonderful missionaries in that Zone.  Miriam and I love to get out and be with the missionaries even though at times we are so disappointed in the way they live.  But most do real well and we love them all.
Friday after work we got a call from Sister Smith(missionary) that she was having sever pain in her abdomen.  Elder Pettingill and I gave her a blessing and we all took her to the hospital.  Sister Pettingill stayed with her through the night and it was quite an ordeal.  We are sure she will have her gall bladder removed this coming week. 
Sunday was a great Sabbath.  All our meetings were wonderful.  We had a baptism right after church where James Burch was baptized.  He was introduced to the church by his friend Henry who was baptized 9 years earlier.  James is probably in his late 70's and stiff with arthritis and it was pretty hard to get him completely under water.  It took 3 times.  It was wonderful.  We continue to love the work!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16, 2014

      Last week we were taking Ralph home from church and he said he would like to get his GED.  We didn't know that he didn't have a high school education.  I asked him if he had the manuals and he said he did but that he needed help with math.  I told him that I would love to help him.  He was thrilled.  I called him last Wednesday, picked him up, and we went to the local library to study.  I spent 2 hours with him teaching him basic math. 
     Ralph is from Hatti.  He left Hatti just before the big earthquake.  He has very little formal education but wants to improve his life.  He has been investigating the church and loves it.  But something is holding him back.  I think it is the Word of Wisdom.  But I love helping him and hope it will continue.
     Last Thursday Miriam and I were driving home from work and Miriam's phone range.  It was Sister Turley and Sister Morgan.  They had a teaching appointment with a single man and needed us to go with them.  So we drove straight there and what  a wonderful experience we had. 
     Frank was gracious and very friendly.  He is from Rwanda.  He speaks French as his native language and he is learning English very well.  He had a French Book of Mormon and Bible.  He had received some basic instructions from the previous Elders.  He was receptive to the doctrine but struggled at times to understand.  Once when Miriam was sharing her testimony and talking about stories in the bible and how they related to all of us, he said; "It is amazing that when you were speaking, I understood everything you said." 
     He committed to a Baptismal date and we were all so thrilled.  He said he wouldn't be baptized in April out of respect for the genocide that happened to his people in Rwanda.  He committed to a day in May.  We look forward to that day and hopefully the opportunity to teach him more.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 9, 2014

    This is a picture of the leadership of our mission.  We have MLC (mission leadership training) every month.  We love all of our missionaries, but these are certainly special.  We the office staff provide and fix their lunch and get to interact with them.  It is very special as we have now been on our mission long enough to really get to know them and love seeing them.  The leadership is constantly changing as missionaries go home and others receive callings of leadership. 
     It is interesting to see the incoming missionaries is dominated by Sisters.  We have been told in the very near future, our mission will be 40% Sisters.  We sure love them and they do such a great job.
    I was able to go out to help teach with Elders Aldous, Tabile, and Sowby here in Manchester last Wednesday night.  They had 3 appointments made and needed help.  I am always so excited to be able go with them.  It was  a snowy and cold night and we started at 6pm.  We got turned away and all three homes for one reason or another.  I could see on their faces the disappointment.  I think they were concerned that they had asked me to  assist and they were somewhat embarrassed that none of them would let them in.  I assured them that I loved being with them and that we had done what we were called to do and that is to offer the Living Gospel to all who would listen.  All of Gods children have their agency.
     I ask Elder Aldous how they found this one family.  It was on the  3rd floor where the stairs were  on the outside and very steep.  You also had to be in the back of the building which was a parking lot.  I noticed there were a number of apartments on each of the 3rd, 2nd and ground floor.  He said that they always walk up the stairs and start at the top first so that if they get slammed, they know that they have to walk down the stairs anyways so why not knock on every door.  He told me that it was to easy to just walk away from a building if they started on the ground floor when getting slammed.  They didn't want to leave without giving everyone the opportunity to hear the Good Word.  The only one that accepted an invatation was the one on the 3rd floor, the first one they knocked on.  As a side note, they were invited back another time with this family as the young man they talked to was sick. 
    I love our missionaries!  I love being a missionary!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 2, 2014

 We had a very full and wonderful week.  We had 6 new missionaries come in on Monday and we had 5 missionaries complete their missions and go home on Wednesday.
  The picture to the left is the 5 missionaries going home from left to right; Elders Lewis, Dorantes, Preslar, Parsons and Booth.  What a great bunch of Elders.  I was fortunate enough to have them help me take Skidmore family names through the Temple.  We had a wonderful session and dinner afterwards.  We missed Miriam as she was sick with the flu.
  The picture below is  us with Elder Preslar. He has been serving as one of our AP's and we love him dearly.  He is from Sugar City, Idaho.  One of the reasons he is so special to us is that he has had many heart operations very similar to our Ethan's and is doing quite well so far.  He has more surgeries to go through and we wish him the best.  Our prayers will always be with him.
We had a wonderful Sabath yesterday.  Miriam and I picked up to investigators for church.   Ralph from Hatti.  He is working so hard to overcome some problems he is having with the word of wisdom.  He wants to get his GED and I hope to be able to help him with that.  It would certainly help him with his job situation.
We picked Gene also.  The missionaries have been teaching him and it was his first time at church.  He is 63 and is really looking for the Lord.  You can tell he knows God has blessed his life as he has such a positive attitude and acknowledges His hand in his life.  He even bore a small testimony yesterday about how good he felt and that this did seem like the True Church.  It was pretty awesome.
  Then after church we had a baptism of Doris Diaz and it was so special.  She is so excited about her new life as a Latter Day Saint.  She had all her family there and they seem to really support her.  Then we went over to the Kiplinger's and had lunch with the missionaries, the Diaz family, Bishopric and all those that were so instramental in her conversion.  Sister Diaz now has so many friends in the Ward.  It is all good.