Sunday, June 29, 2014
The next picture is us with President and Sister Stoker and Elder and Sister Pettingill. We went out for dinner and then ice cream. We were celebrating our 1 yr. anniversary in the mission. It is to good to have us all get together. Especially President and Sister Stoker. They work so hard and they have very little time to relax. We love them so much and appreciate all they do. They are so awesome.
We are opening two new areas in Portland ME for French speaking missionaries. It is so exciting to see the work with the immigrants from Africa have such a desire to learn more of the Gospel. They all speak French. It is so wonderful to see the work grow.
The bottom picture is of Elders Sowby and Warner and Sisters Morgan and Collins with Miriam. She fixed the most wonderful Sunday dinner and we all had a wonderful time. We love the missionaries so much. They are so special to us.
We have had another wonderful week. The weather is the best and we are loving it here in New England. We have been preparing for transfers all week. Our new missionaries come in tomorrow and the returning missionaries go home Wednesday. It is an exciting time.
Our testimony continues to grow as we work in the Lords vineyard. It has been a wonderful Sabbath.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
President and Sister Stoker have been gone all week. They had interviews everyday except Monday in the Maine Zones. They stayed up in Bangor Maine to speak today at one of the Wards and they will get home this evening sometime. They work so hard and we love them so much.
I got some wonderful news this week concerning my health. My previous cancer diagnosis requires me to have a biopsy on my stomach every six months. Last winter when I went through all the testing it came back with a question as to whether I had some cancer cells starting to grow. This was very concerning and they wanted to do all the testing again. However, my stomach was too raw to take another sample for the biopsy. I had to wait 8 to 10 weeks for my stomach to heal enough before another sample could be taken.
So we told our children not to make any plans to come out until we had the results of the next tests. We went about our work, having faith that whatever the Lord wanted for us would be ok. We never wanted to worry anyone in our mission so we decided to wait for the new test results before we said anything.
Well, that past few weeks the new test results started coming in and they were very good. This past Wednesday, my Oncologist gave me the all clear. And even better, he stated that every test was excellent and that I was the high point or the best diagnosis he was able to give that day. Needless to say Miriam and I were elated.
We are so grateful to our Heavenly Father for the blessing of health and the ability to continue our mission. I was the recipient of blessings of so many prayers. I know all of our family fasted and prayed for me. I was told that our Aubry wasn't having breakfast one morning and her dad asked her if she was ok. She said she was and that she wanted to fast again for Grandpa. Needless to say, Grif and Brittny marveled at her faith. I know this is just one story of all the families concern for me. I love them all so much.
Miriam and I love the Lord and love the opportunity we are having to serve Him as missionaries. Our testimonies grow each and everyday as we work with all of these wonderful young missionaries. They are an inspiration to us. Some struggle, some don't, and we love them all the same. The work isn't easy but it sure is worth it. The Gospel is True!!!
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Upper left with Elders Roberts and Platt. Upper right Elders Plyler and Buchanan. Lower left is Sister Welling and Bickel. Lower right is Sisters Kotter and Frame. We did others but don't have their pictures. We love them so!
Last Wednsday, we were asked by Sister Morgan and Sister Collins to assist them in teaching the Estes Family. The father Ted is a member and his wife Traci is not. They also have a 5 year old daughter Sylvia. What a beautiful family. We taught the restoration and Traci had lots of questions. It was great. They are going on vacation for a few weeks, but they did ask us to come back to teach them more. I was able to bear my testimony of the gift of love and how families teach us love in such greater levels and maybe how the Savior loves each of us. We sure enjoy teaching when the opportunity comes.
We are loving our mission so much. I think we appreciate the beauty of New England more this summer after having went through such a long winter. We love our missionaries and love working with them.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Then on Saturday afternoon, Miriam and I decided we would drive to Gloucester MA. We had heard it was beautiful down there. It was the best day. The weather was beautiful. The beaches were magnificent and the Mexican food we got was wonderful. We had a grand day.
We can see that we are getting many more Sisters than Elders coming to the mission. In the July 1st transfer we are getting 4 French speaking Elders and 5 Sisters. In the August 12th transfer we are getting 1 Elder and 8 Sisters. It just keeps going like that. Then from the August transfers on, we send more home than we have coming. The surge is over.
But the work continues and it is wonderful. I sat by Gene(our new convert) in church today and it is amazing what the Gospel does to ordinary people. He is progressing so well. He does splits with the missionaries 3 or 4 times a week. He is so on fire!
Our testimonies continue to grow. We love our mission. We love the Lord so much. We thank him daily for this opportunity we have to serve here.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The second picture is the sisters with Elder Walker and Aengus Rafferty, Hattie's boy friend. Aengus introduced them to the gospel and invited them to see the missionaries. I was fortunate to have been asked to assist Elder Walker and Elder Parry in that lesson. We were so excited that when we got there, they were all sitting around the table and had a whole list of questions to ask us. Teaching an entire family was the best. It is rare in our mission. They loved the gospel message and then the entire Ward got involved with the Elders in teaching them. Miriam and I picked them up many Sundays for church. We have really learned to love them.
Elder Jensen was my companion all day Saturday. President Stoker asked me to pick him up and the Mission Home at 8 am Saturday morning. He then accompanied us to the baptism. Afterwards he and I went to Dover NH, his old area, packed up his things to move him to Derry NH. We had to move everything out of their apartment as we are closing the area. We had the Exeter North Zone leaders help us. Elder Lund and Elder Chapman worked so hard to help Saturday afternoon. After we got everything loaded, I took Elder Jensen and his stuff to Derry where he joined Elders Gilbert and Simmonds. They will be in a threesome until other things can be arranged. Elder Jensen was a great companion to have for a day.
Elder Wiesenberg, Elder Jensen's companion went home after struggling with some medical problems for quite some time. We sure wish him well. We all hated to see him leave. It was sudden.
We had MLT this week where all the leaders of our mission were trained by President and Sister Stoker and two previous mission presidents. It was the largest MLT we have ever had. We were not able to attend but the reports we got that it was wonderful. We prepared their lunch and as always the missionaries know how to eat.
Here it is June 1st. The weather now is warm and beautiful. It is so green. It rains a lot but that is why it is so green. But after the winter we have had, we love it.
The Work is wonderful. We have staff meeting every Monday morning where we got over the reports from all the Zones. There are successes all the time along with many mission miracles. The Gospel is so true. Church today was wonderful also. I am really learning to love the members here. We have become such good friends with them. We are having such a wonderful mission!