Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015

We shared the following story with most of the people we visited this week. 

  A member of the Church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going.  After a few weeks, the branch president decided to visit him.  It was a chilly evening.  The president found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.  Guessing the reason for the president’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace, and waited.  The president made himself at home but said nothing.  In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.  After some minutes, the president took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember, and placed it to one side all alone, then sat back in his chair, still silent.  The host watched all this in quiet contemplation.  As the lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire went out.  Soon it was cold and dead.  Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.  The branch president glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave.  He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.  Immediately it began to glow. Once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.  As the president reached the door to leave, the man said to him with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon.  I will be back in Church next Sunday.”

We live in world today, which tries to say too much with too little.  Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unsaid.

It is when we come together as a congregation, under the protection and warmth of each other and our leaders, that the Lord can bless us.  

After our district meeting we enjoyed a short performance by this elder who is a master at that game.  I forget what it's called. 

Some favorite missionaries.

One elder is going home and the other is being transferred.

Saying goodbye to "our boy".
We never had a son so we claimed him for a while.  

Three wonderful elders.
Funny expressions are also worth saving.
It's very exciting to get packages from home.
We have been missing the tangelos from the trees in 

our back yard at home, and we always love and treasure 
art work from our grandchildren.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

So, another week has passed and here we are again on P-day.  We update our journals and I forward mine to our three daughters to read.  Hopefully our fourth daughter has been aware of our journey all along but she is probably also anxiously engaged in the work in the spirit world. 

Today we have freezing rain so we probably won't be venturing outside.  
After church yesterday I was thinking about our calling as "Member and Leader Support" missionaries, and we sometimes wear many different hats - so to speak.  Our Brooklyn Park Branch had its semi-annual branch conference and we had many stake officers visit. Our branch president had asked us to come up with a special musical number, so we got together a small choir and we sang a nice arrangement of "I Feel My Savior's Love" during sacrament meeting.  It was a good and growing experience for several participants in the branch and we felt good about it.  

On Saturday afternoon we attended the baptism for Adam.  He had been investigating the church for about a year, but told us that he had been searching for the truth for thirty years.  It was a sweet experience to witness him enter the waters of baptism and see him glow with happiness.  Yesterday Elder Lewis had the privilege of confirming him and giving him the gift of the Holy Ghost.  

Last night we had yet another "last supper" together.  It's a tradition that we have breakfast for dinner and this time it was french toast.  I think I made 26 pieces and also lots of bacon, sausage and hash brown potatoes.  Not one crumb was left.
We had fun.
Elder M is leaving us.  We will miss him but he will
enjoy new areas, new experiences and new growth.

We are thankful that he has spent 1/4 of his mission with us.

No explanation needed here.  

Last Wednesday we attended a dinner in the mission home.  
We said goodbye to three senior couples and hello to two.  
The food was delicious and the company was even better.

There are no words to express the feeling we have for these wonderful people.  All we can say is that everyone should try to serve a senior mission.  The rewards are much greater than the sacrifices and we are so very grateful for the opportunity 
and for everything we have experienced.

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

Wow, it's 2015! 

I cannot believe that we have been on our mission for sixteen months now and it seems like such a short time.  Three senior couples are returning home in January and we will say goodbye to them on Wednesday at a dinner in the mission home, and then at the next transfer it will be us saying goodbye.  Say it ain't so.  The good news is that new senior couples keep coming and the work will go on without any interruption.  

This past week we have had many joyful experiences and also some disappointments.  The truth is that we have all been given the great gift agency - to choose for ourselves. We can teach true gospel principals, encourage, lift and love people, but they all have to choose whether they want to change and have a happier life, or stay the same.  It has been like that from the beginning and God does not force anyone to come back to Him.  His arms are always stretched out, but it's up to us to move toward Him or away from Him.  

We really enjoyed bringing some Christmas cheer to some lonely and sad people this week.  The joy we experience when we visit people and feel of their spirit and gratitude, cannot be put into words.  It has certainly changed and humbled us and we hope this feeling will stay with us forever. 

With my sweet friend.  She calls me grandma.  

This is for those who say that Elder Lewis doesn't smile.

Good bye Elder White.  You will always be in our hearts.

Ready for the party.
We rearranged our furniture for the occasion.  

These elders make themselves at home.  We love it.  

We had a good time.  Two more came after these pictures
were taken, so we had a pretty good group.