Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31, 2014

   The picture to the right is of Miriam and I with Elder and Sister Likes from Denver Colorado.  They are from the very same Ward that my brother Max and his family.  They arrived in our mission the 1st of May and they are assigned to serve at the JSM.  They stopped to see us as Max had told them about us serving in the same mission.  We had lunch with them and it was wonderful.
   Today after Church we drove to Concord NH to the Dartmouth Hospital to visit with them. 
One Friday morning, August 22nd at 6am Sister Likes slipped on a throw rug in the bathroom hitting the tub.  It was a bad fall.  She ruptured her spleen, broke a couple of ribs, and some other injuries.  She was rushed to the Hospital in Lebanon NH where she was treated.  They had to remove her spleen in an operation.  She was there for a week and has now been sent to the Dartmouth rehabilitation center to help her recover enough to make the long trip home to Denver. Elder Likes has been by her side and a wonderful help to her.  She is still in a lot of pain and wants to recover quickly and get home.  They have a number of doctors in their family and that has been a real blessing for them. 
   We had a wonderful visit.  They are  special people and have been a great asset to our mission.  We hope and pray she heals quickly so the long plane ride home can be accomplished.  We sure love them and continually pray for them.
   Our week has been very normal.  President and Sister Stoker have been gone doing interviews with the missionaries in northern NH and Vermont.  So its been pretty quiet at the office. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24, 2014

 Our week was pretty normal for after transfers.  We were busy with getting everything caught up.  Last Wednesday Elder Pettingill and I took two new Jeeps north to replace 2 cars that needed to be sold.  The Church buys new cars and puts 50,000 miles on them then sells them.  Elder Pettingill talked them into getting two Jeep Compass's because of their 4 wheel drive.  The terrain up there and the amount of snow they get really requires it.  It was a long day but it was fun.
  This past week end we got permission from President Stoker to go to Plymouth and Cape Cod Massachusetts.  We left Friday afternoon and went to the Hammond Castle, pictures to the left.  It is in Worchester Massachusetts.  It was built around 1920 by and inventor named
Hammond.  He loved the old castles of Europe and he built his house like them.  It sets right on the coast with a beautiful view. He was a very successful inventor but very eccentric.  It was pretty neat.
   We than stopped and had dinner in Beverly Mass. at PF Changs.  It was sooo good!  It was the Pettingill's 45th anniversary so that made it extra fun. 
   The pictures to the left are at Plymouth.  The first is of a Waganot Indian hut.  They built them out of tree bark.  It was interesting.  The other three are of the village of Plymouth.  The pilgrims came in 1620 and they really had a rough go of it.  At first the Indians were friendly with them but that changed.  The pilgrims brought a lot of diseases with them that killed 1/2 of the Indians.  Pretty sad! 
   These next 4 pictures are of the Mayflower II.  It is a replica of the original Mayflower.  It was small and hard to believe 102 souls came across on it.  2 died on the way and 2 babies were born on the way so they did get here with 102.  But 1/2 of them died of disease, hunger, etc. shortly after they got here.
  The bottom right is of Miriam and I at a local restaurant where we had fish and chips for lunch.
   We then drove out to Cape Cod and then back home.  We had lots of fun.  We are trying to see as much of New England while the weather is good and before we go home this winter. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17, 2014

 This was another transfer week and they are always the best.  They are the busiest, but the best. 
   On Monday we had the new missionaries arrive about 4:30pm.  We go to the Mission Presidents home to have dinner with them and give them some training and get some needed information from them.  It is always so neat.
   On Monday afternoon, I go to Sams Club and Hanafords to get all the food for Tuesdays lunch.  We usually have 120 lunches to prepare every transfer.
   On Tuesday, we deliver all the food to the kitchen on the Manchester Ward building and with the help of the Manchester missionaries, lunches are prepared.  At 9am we, the office staff start new missionary training, while President Stoker has a meeting with all the new trainers. 
   The new missionaries shown above are, Sisters Crook, Dastrup, Davis, Eddingtin, Erickson, Harper, Olsen Tucker and Elders Pemberton, King and Johnson.  We sure love them and welcome them to the very best mission in the church.
   Then at 10am we all meet in the chapel for transfer meeting.  The going home missionaries always get a few minutes each to give their Golden Truth.  It always starts with, "On my mission I have learned this golden truth that will change my life forever ......."  I love each one and try to write down each one. 
   Then President Stoker introduces our new missionaries and assigns them to their trainer. Then the AP's announce all the transfers or

changes of assignments to new area's.  It is always so exciting for all the missionaries to see who their new companion will be and where they will be serving.  They then get with their new companion, grab a lunch and off they go to their new assignments.  It's not quite that fast as they love to mingle and talk with one another before they go.  But it is all good.
   The missionaries who went home are Elders Brown, Christensen, Lozano, Smith, Terry, Thomas, Wilson and Sisters Fratcher, Cowley, Keigley and Berg.  As you can see from the pictures to the left, they are our friends and we love them so much.  We will miss them but know they need to go home and get on with the rest of their lives.
   The high light of the day is our trip to the Boston Temple with these missionaries.  We always try to go to the 4pm session and then we have dinner in the Temple cafeteria afterwards.  It is so special!!
   Miriam and I are loving our mission and know that it will be missed this winter as we finish.  But we love being here and we are really loving this summer in New England.  Working in the office allows us to get so close to the missionaries and to be able to work with them.
   To day was a special day at church.  Sister Smedley gave one of the best talks I have ever heard on the Atonement.  She is such an awesome missionary.  The Bishop had the new missionaries in our area introduce themselves and give a brief testimony.  It was wonderful. 
   Sister Hout, who was baptized last Sunday was confirmed a member of the Church by Bishop Dickson.  She asked that I stand in the circle and assist of which I was honored. 
   We were asked on Saturday to get the moose(the mission van) and pick up two families for church that the missionaries were teaching.  We did, but none of the families came.  That's ok, we will just try again next Sunday.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10, 2014

    This week ended on a high note.  The picture to the left is Elder Warner, Gloria Huot, her nephew, and Elder Plyler.  I was privileged to be able to help teach Gloria with Elders Warner and Plyler.  She is a sweet lady and it is wonderful to see the effect the gospel has had on her already.  She asked me to speak on the Holy Ghost and I was privileged to do so.  She had Sister Collins speak on Baptism and she did a wonderful job.  She will be confirmed next week in Sacrament Meeting.  Miriam played the piano for the meeting.
   The next photo is Elder Keller and Christiansen giving Elder Wells a birthday cake.

                                                                                     It was fun.  I think he was embarrassed
 when everyone sang Happy Birthday to him.  The picture below it is a lunch activity at MLC that was held last Tuesday. 
   One of the duties we have as office staff is to buy, prepare, serve and clean up the lunches for all these missionary get togethers.  We sure do enjoy our association with the missionaries.  It is fun to serve them and just be around them. 
   The next four pictures are of us yesterday at The Flume Gorge in the Franconia Notch State Park in northern New Hampshire.  We and Pettingills have decided to try and go and see as much as we can of New England every P day we have this summer.  We ask the local people what they would suggest we go and see and this week end we got to experience two of them.
  It is absolutely a wonder the beauty that nature provides.  The gorge is right through solid granite and it is a wonder.  We had the most 
wonderful weather.  It was clear and about 78 degrees.  We couldn't of asked for better weather.  The walk through it was about 2 miles and we are sure glad we got to see it. 
   The bottom four pictures are of our trip later that day to the top of Mt. Washington.  We drove up through North Conway and up to the base of Mt. Washington.  It is the highest peak in the North East. The summit is approximately 6300 ft.  The road going up is narrow and at times I thought Miriam was going to just get out and walk.  I don't think I have ever seen her so scared.  She is fair skinned anyway, but she was white as a ghost when she looked over the side of the road and it was a long way down. 
   But we made it just fine and the weather at the top was sure different than it was below.  The wind was blowing and the temperature was in  
the lower 50's.  Miriam was the only one that brought a jacket.  The views were magnificent and I am not sure the photos do it justice.  But we had a blast, made it up and down without incident and it was a perfect day.  We were exhausted when we got home approximately 8pm. 
   Now were are ready for this coming week.  It is transfer week and for us it is always the busiest.  But we are looking forward to seeing the new missionaries come and those that are finished going home.  We go to the Temple Tuesday afternoon and it is always wonderful.
   The Word is great.  We are busy and wouldn't have it any other way.  We love the Lord and love serving with all the missionaries.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3, 2014

   We had an amazing week.  Monday was pretty normal with staff meeting and getting ready for our last zone conference.  That night I helped teach the first discussion to a young lady named Tiffany.  She was very interested and knew hardly anything of God or His works.  Her mother is in a nursing home and had found happiness in the Mormon Church.  She told Tiffany that someday some missionaries would come to her and when the did, please listen.  Elders Barnes and Warner tracked into her and now the teaching begins.  She seemed so receptive but cautious too.  I hope and  pray she continues to want to learn. 
   The pictures to the left are at the Montpelier East, West and Concord North Zone Conference.  It was wonderful just as all the others were.  The 2nd picture is of Elders Harper and Thomas giving Elders Farnworth and Gassant a birthday cake that they made and having everyone sing Happy Birthday to them.  It is amazing what the missionaries do for each other and I know they appreciate it and love it.  The weather was beautiful that day and everything was so green.  We went up to the JSM afterwards and viewed some drawings by Liz Lemon Swindle.  They were beautiful.  Then sister Stoker rode home with us as President Stoker had a lot of interviews to do.  We stopped in Concord and had a dinner at UNO's.
  Thursday I was asked to help teach a sister the 5th discussion on keeping the commandments.  We taught Gloria and she has committed to be baptized next week.  It always amazes me to see the faith in these wonderful new converts as they are asked to live the laws of tithing, fast, chastity, and others.  She is so poor and has nothing, but the desire to know Christ.  Her humble circumstances are definitely humbling.  I pray she will continue on in her investigation and journey in the Church.
  The picture to the left is of President Stoker and Elder Pettingill on Friday.  President Stoker called us and asked if we'd like to play golf and we were shocked.  We had asked him numerous times and he is always to busy.  We played at a wonderful course in Goffstown and we had a blast. 
 Early Friday morning, Elder Pettingill asked me to come over and help give Sister Pettingill a blessing before we went golfing.  She was having serious dizziness and head aches.  Miriam later took her to the emergency room at Eliot Hospital for tests.  She stayed until Saturday night and was released.  I don't think they found anything wrong.  The Pettingill's go home in 2 months.  President Stoker is having a hard time finding their replacements and we may have Elders coming in to do their work.  There is a real need for more senior missionaries.  President Stoker says the church has told him that there are 100 missions that need senior missionaries.  Wow!
   I took Miriam to Urgent Care Saturday as she was having abdominal pain.  We think she has kidney stones and they are moving and causing lots of pain.  We have found that we need to really take care of ourselves even when on a mission.  She is doing much better today.  We are glad we are in the U.S. and that the medical systems is as good as it is. 
   We have a busy week ahead.  We have two French speaking missionaries coming in tomorrow.  Fun, Fun.  The work goes on and we love it.