Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27, 2014

   What a great day this was and last week was just awesome.  The top picture was taken today just before Gene Hartzell's baptism.  I am with Elders Walker, Parry and Gene's daughter Tiffany.
   I was blessed to be asked to help teach Gene and it was so wonderful watching him grow as he grasped the Gospel. Gene asked me to speak at his baptism and I always feel blessed when I participate.  He has a wonderful spirit and I know the Gospel will be a great blessing in his life. Tiffany is talking about her baptism now.  She hasn't committed yet but I am sure she will.  I love Elders Walker and Parry so much.  They are such great missionaries.
  The pictures to the lower right are of the Exeter Zone Conference that was held last Monday.  The two pictures on the lower left are of the Concord Zone Conference held this last Thursday.  This completed teaching all ten zones and what a blessing it was for us senior missionaries to not only teach them, but be with them and feel of their spirit.  We love them all so much.  President and Sister Stoker do such a good job and work so hard not only at zone conferences but always.  Their callings are so demanding.  We love them so!
   Last Tuesday, I and Elder Pettingill took beds to the new Randolph apartment and then went up to Colebrook NH to pick up the furniture of the Richards who just went home after completing their mission.  Then we took the furniture to the JSM in Vermont for the Likes.  They have just came to the mission from Denver Colorado.  They were in the same Ward as Max and Claire.  They will serve at the JSM.  I think we traveled 450 miles that day.
   Then Wednesday, Miriam and Sister Pettingill took the Bedford and Manchester Sisters to the JSM for a sisters conference.  It was a very long day but wonderful they said!
   Then on top of all of the above, the work in the mission office went on.  I guess we just never realized how busy missionary life was going to be.  But Miriam and I wouldn't have it any other way.
  The work is wonderful.  The Gospel is true and we love the work.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014

   We have found that April will end up being one of the busiest months of our Mission so far. On top of our regular assignments, we traveled to Bangor Maine for the Bangor Zone Conference.  The picture to the top right is Miriam and I in front of the only moose we could find.  It was at a rest stop just off the freeway.  Everyone is saying a lot about all the moose that are here, but we haven't seen any. 
   The lower left pictures are of the two Bangor Zones.  We love the missionaries so much.  We were able to teach them again on the power of the spirit in missionary work. We had a member provide lunch and as it turned out many of us got food poisoning from something we ate.  Many of our missionaries in those zones got violently sick. The sickness never hit until we all got back on Thursday.  Miriam got sick on Thursday and I got sick on Friday and I'm just getting over it now.  Goodness.  Sister Stoker got very sick too.  As well as Sister Aldous, Dr. Aldous's wife.  It has been an experience for sure.
  The lower right pictures are of the two Augusta Maine Zones.  After the we finished in Bangor we traveled to Augusta where we stayed the night.  We had a wonderful dinner with President and Sister Stoker, Dr. and Sister Aldous, and the Pettingill's.  Then on Wednesday, we taught the two zones then came back to Bedford.  Then the sickness started.
   Friday, I and Elder Pettingill went to Wolfboro to pick up some beds that are needed in Randolph.
   We were planning on having Easter at President and Sister Stokers.  But with all the illness, that was cancelled.  I felt well enough to go to sacrament meeting and we came home.  I was back in bed.  Miriam fixed a wonderful dinner and we celebrated Easter together.  Sacrament meeting was wonderful.  The talks were so inspiring.  I love our Savior so much.  I can't find the words to express my deepest feelings of love and appreciation.  I guess the best way is to live like we love him. 
   The weather is warmer.  Things are starting to green up and spring is definitely in the air.  Yea!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13, 2014

This was an amazing and very busy week.  It was transfer week.  The top picture is of the 3 missionaries going home (Elder Mitchell, Sister Jensen and Sister Deeters) with Miriam, I and Sister Pettingill taken at the Boston Temple.  The second half of the picture is of the 6 incoming missionaries.  Their flight was routed through NY for some reason and they all come in at different times and some were very late.  This made for a very hard and long night Monday night. 
    The transfer meeting was wonderful and one of the largest we have ever had.  The three leaving missionaries gave wonderful golden truths.  Sister Deters talked of Change, Sister Jensen talked of Love, and Elder Mitchell talked of knowing that Jesus Christ lives and this is His work.
The pictures below is of our Montpellier Zone Conference we had just yesterday.  We got up early Saturday morning and drove to Essex Vermont.  It was held in the Stake Center.  We prepared lunch for them and then we had break out sessions where we were able to teach the missionaries.  Miriam and Sister Stoker taught them that "Cleanliness is next to Godliness".  A subject Miriam and I are so familiar with as we inspect their apartments as part of our duties.
    I taught them "The power of the Spirit in Conversion.  Elder Pettingill taught "Recognizing the promptings of the Spirit".  Sister taught "Praying with Faith".  I thought they all were excellent. 
    We then drove back to Bedford first stopping in Grantham NH to look at a potential apartment.  this was quite and adventure as we went to far down a dirt road and was worried about getting stuck in the mud.  But all went well and we made it.  We then stopped in Concord NH and had a wonderful dinner at UNOS Pizza.  It was great.
    Miriam is the mission secretary and she gets all the emergency phone calls.  She was called and notified that a missionaries father had suffered a massive stroke.  They wanted the missionary to be notified.  But then a little later she got a call again that Elder Harrington's father actually passed away from the stroke.  How sad!  Miriam tried and tried to call President Stoker so he could call Elder Harrington.  President Stoker was speaking in the Esssex VT Stake Conference and couldn't be reached.  Finally he called, Miriam delivered the sad news and President Stoker took it from there.
   We love all our missionaries.  They sacrifice and work hard.  I can only imagine what Elder Harrington is going through.  His father died while on vacation in the Bahamas totally unexpected.  We get notified quite often of a grandparent passing but this is the first time of a parent. 
   Thank goodness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and knowledge we have of why we are here and where we are going. 
   I picked up 5 investigators for church today.  Gene is getting baptized in 2 weeks.  I have been able to teach him often with the Elders and I love it and him.  The work is wonderful.  We love do it!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 6, 2014

   What a wonderful week end.  All the sessions of General Conference were just awesome.  We watched the first two Saturday sessions at home on our computer.  I went to the Priesthood Session at the Chapel.  I stopped to pick up an investigator (Gene)and to my surprise he had ask his daughter Tiffany to come.  I didn't know what to say other than come.  She loved it and asked if she could come again today.  She is in the pink and Gene, her dad, is to her right in the blue coat.  We also picked up the two McCullough sisters, Sarah and Hatti.  Just as we were leaving the Manchester Sisters called and asked us to pick one
                                                                                   of there investigators, Jo Ann.  So we had a
load.  It was wonderful.  They all loved it and Miriam and I love teaching them with the Elders and Sisters.  Gene's baptismal date is April 27th.  We are all looking forward to that.
   The pictures to the left are some random pictures of  the MLC we had last Tuesday.  President Stoker asked me to speak on the  sacred funds of Tithing and how we all are stewards in the wise use of these funds.  I always enjoy teaching.
   This coming week is transfers.  We have 6 new missionaries coming and 3 going home.  We go to the Temple Tuesday evening and we all look forward to that. When we look at the month of April, it is so busy.  But busy is always good.
   The work is wonderful.  The weather is starting to get warmer.  Spring is here and we love it.  I had almost forgot how wonderful spring is!  We had the hardest winter and that makes this time of the year even more special. 
    Conference was the best.  We are always spiritually renewed by all the wonderful messages.  It always feels good to get our batteries recharged.  We love the work and the work is true!!!!