Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Five Gratitudes of November (besides those of home and family)

  1. The sure witness of God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ borne by the prophet Joseph.
  2. The humble birthplace of Joseph in Vermont. This is the hearthstone where the baby Joseph was laid after his birth on December 23, 1805.
  3. With stake conferences, zone conference and meetings, three day trainings, we have witnessed the amazing fruition of the promise that we will have words given us to speak in the very hour they are needed if we treasure up the words of life. (D.C. 84:85). Dad-Dave spoke or trained in over half the days of the month; L spoke and supported.
  4. Missionaries! We were sad that two left last week due to illness. Nine departed early in November having completed their service. Missionaries come in every personality and devotion level possible.
  5. The inspiration of living apostles evidenced in the Improving Teaching Effectiveness curriculum that helps missionaries to become better teachers.

So what was really the mission in November?

  • Prayer – lots of. Pleading for inspiration and strength to know what to do and help to do it
  • Illnesses- of missionaries. 9 hours in an emergency room. Sadly putting a sister on the plane after 2 months of health struggles (She has surgery this day in fact. We are hoping she will return soon.) Trying to find doctors who don’t want to take short-term patients.
  • Meetings- zone leaders’ council, zone specialized training, three day specialized training for 40 elders and sisters, one by one interviews (Dad), zone conference with Elder Walker of the Seventy; Speaking - three stake conferences, one ward Sacrament meeting, fireside
  • Transfers and transfer planning.
  • Three gallons taco soup inhaled at zone leaders’ council, café rio salad, the all-time missionary favorite, 16 sets of sheets in the laundry, enumerable phone calls all day long (Dad)
  • Missionaries in and out of the home. Singing around the piano with the departing elders
  • Feeling overwhelmed that we can look back at the steps of inspiration we took, had sought with real intent and only realized in retrospect
  • Laughter and tears.

  • Dad’s constant message: Have a set apart heart, a consecrated heart.
  • Blustery, cold days with the sun down at 4:30 pm
  • Beautiful Christmas crèches (over 1000 of them) in two crèche exhibits
  • Three trips to Vermont, one to Bangor Maine.
  • Two poopy experiences with food poisoning
  • Missionary concerns, challenges, crises, joys, successes and growth.
  • Miracle of knowing that when we are doing the will and the work of the Lord, we are never alone.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

These are a few of our favorite things...

These are few of our favorite things…

Enjoying the beauty of the area of the office building where the New Hampshire Manchester mission office is located.

Walking and talking together in morning exercise

Teaching, tracting with missionaries—a highlight!!

Dinner in an Amish home

Meeting people from all over the area, the world for that matter

Transfer week every 6 weeks, meeting new missionaries, sadly sending some home Sadder, ones who left because of sickness.

Traveling together to meetings, teaching appointments, stake conferences, zone conferences, interviews and seeing the beautiful autumn colors of New England

Having to overcome lots of hard things with faith in Christ and confidence that we can become equal to the challenges

Hearing “Called to Serve” sung by a group of missionaries any size who can harmonize “Chosen e’er to witness for his name, Far and wide we tell the Father’s story…” with conviction

Having missionaries who enhaled café rio salad clean up after themselves

New front yard residents

View out our back window

Our medical doctor and his wife. Pictured here (Last week we had everything from a sprained ankle –common-to a collapsed lung. He gives hours, countless hours of consultation and service. She not only supports him but us.

Listening to a young father’s first spoken prayer for his family

Having no time to prepare for a talk and having words put into our hearts and minds

Collapsing into bed happy but exhausted.

October Update

Oct. 27-30 Kirtland, Ohio Mission Presidents and wives seminar

Taught by the example of the Saints who sacrificed their lives to build the kingdom of God and by two members of the quorum of the seventies including President Jensen and their wives.

Sat where the prophet and others received witness of the reality and divinity of God the Father and the Savior. Pondered in awe in the 14 by 14 foot room where the great vision of the eternal worlds was given and Joseph Smith proclaimed: “And now after all the testimonies that have been given of him, this is the testimony…which we give of him: that he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God” (Doctrine & Covenants 76:22-23)

Were also crowded into the room in the John Johnson home where the Word of Wisdom was received…

Felt deep appreciation for the men and women and families who consecrated their time and resources for the building of the temple. Partook of the Sacrament in the very room where the keys of gathering, receiving all the blessings of Abraham and the sealing of families were given.

Felt reverence in the white, original but restored Whitney store wherein the small upstairs room, again in longer than 14 by 14, Saints were taught to “to study and learn, and become acquainted with all books, and with languages, tongues, and people.” (D.C. 90:15)

Visited the saw mill and ashes refinery where townspeople brought their ashes from their home cooking fires. The refining process then converted the ash into lye for soap, potash for fertilizer than pearl ash for the making of ceramics and glass, each progressively more refined and more valuable. We feel grateful for this refining experience. Newell K Whitney and his wife consecrated the mill and refinery to the building of the temple. Yes, it’s Sister Shaylyn Schumann our neighbor from Lehi who has been serving in Ohio for 17 months. An amazing missionary.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


· The leaves from green to golds, red, oranges, the weather, to chilly nights and lots of rain

· Bedding...from 1 to 12 missionaries staying for 1 to 2 nights

· A new office couple joining the Franklins, both so welcome and wonderful

· From a month of training and principally Bedford based work to a month going to all edges of the mission for interviews, teaching with the missionaries and visiting with members

· Learning to follow the promptings of the Spirit and to seek revelation rather than to practice skills and techniques in teaching

· New handbooks and renewed by visitors from Salt Lake to help us with training and vehicle safety, health and nutrition

· A day of missionaries to a day of General Conference and visits with all of you—the BEST!!

---Unchanging…the love of our Father, our Savior, His son and our love for each of you!---

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blain & Heidi visit

Blain & Heidi Wilkey visit!
Blain was out on business, so their children stayed at home with a couple of our other children.

Here are pictures and entries as told by Heidi on their blog:
"It was so nice to spend some time with Pres. and Sister Wilkey.
Surprisingly, they didn't have one phone call that night which is unheard of they said. Sometimes they get 50+ calls a night! "

"While there we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, a hike to Patriarch Hill, and the Spirit that was so strong on the grounds. President Wilkey is definitely on fire out there, can't you tell?"

"There are also places for the elderly to sit and rest. This is the Senior Missionary Bench."

"This is patriarch tree, believed to be older than Joseph Smith and has been struck by lightening twice."

"Here is the monument erected in honor of Joseph Smith. It is one of the largest solid pieces of granite in the world. The total monument weights 60,000 tons. How did they do that back then?"

"This is the original "porch step" to the home that Joseph Smith was born in."

Mom & Dad at work:

Sunday, October 3, 2010


August 2010 –Temple in Boston and
Joseph Smith Memorial in South Royalton, Vermont


Miracles have long been a recurring theme in the mission, a culture of confidence in Christ and His invitation to come unto Him and receive His gospel. We studied miracles this morning, “manifestations of divine or spiritual power, a response to faith, natural results of the Messiah’s presence among men…” (Bible Dictionary, p. 732-3)

Miracles happen, some large, others seemingly small but no less significant. The most marvelous are the changes that come to us as individuals, both us as missionaries and those we teach as we accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His succoring and redeeming grace.

Small ones: President Wilkey knows from a power outside himself, the needs and the concerns of missionaries. Sister Mom L is doing lots of driving—New England roads are expanded cow paths—and hasn’t wrecked yet. It’s a

miracle and a blessing that L has much assistance, temporal and divine, in helping missionaries with health issues, everything from strep throat to muscle spasms to fluid in the cisterna magna to supraventricular tachycardia. (Now, that’s a miracle that she can even spell the conditions.) It’s a Miracle that Missionaries usually act far beyond 19-20 year old maturity in teaching, in serving. President W gets minimal sleep and still has energetic enthusiasm and good health.

The greatest!-- we accompany companionships to teach. We sat with an eye surgeon, seeking the truth that transcends temporal sight. Another time we visited a woman in her mid 60’s who through the difficulties of abuse as a child, of a challenging marriage, and of a congenital heart disease is searching to know God. We listened and shared our testimonies with a woman and her four growing boys. She had endured rape, assault, removal from her residence in another state and change of her identity to preserve her life and that of her children. Yet she was as humble and confident that she is as loved by God as h

er littlest boy, an energetic one year old. There was majesty in her simple, pleading prayer. She and her 11 year old son will be baptized soon. We attended the baptism of a man once a prisoner who basically memorized the Bible while incarcerated; his change is not only apparent in appearance but in his attitude toward life. We have felt the overwhelming love of our Father and also our Savior for each of us.

We have listened as missionaries pour out their hearts, their fears and joys, their insecurities and their mistakes. The miracles of righteous choices and change! We love every one of the 100 elders, 19 sisters and several senior couples.

We pray for the miracle of restored health to our beloved missionary, Leisa Worlton who returned home August 10th and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last week. The tumor that her mother reports to be the size of a small cantaloupe probably has been growing for many months. Despite her health challenges and several doctors’ visits and tests as a missionary, Sister Worlton worked hard, influencing many lives. Though she had symptoms as a missionary, she was magnified far beyond her capacity. It was truly a miracle that she continued valiantly despite increasingly poor health.

August Glimpses

August 2010

New Hampshire Manchester

Mission Glimpses

We’re glad they called us on a mission though we’ve grown so very old.

We teach, listen, love and serve and grow like missionaries do.

(song verse made up by Sis. Wilkey)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

July 4th 2010 journal entry by Sis. Wilkey

July 4th 2010 journal—fireworks outside the window

A mission of miracles and of complete exhaustion.

Out with missionary sisters last evening one of which is Sister Worlton. In awe of their confidence in the Master and His message and in their genuine desire and eloquence in sharing that message. They act in expectation of miracles, the miracles of the individuality of our Father's love. Who else would prompt a mission president a few months ago to put those two sisters together both of whom had taken some sign language classes in junior high or high school and who but a loving Father would prompt those sisters to approach Claude on the street and when finding that he is deaf have enough singing words placed in their minds to communicate with him. I went with them last night as they taught him, newly baptized about fasting.

President out with the missionaries the first night. Loved it and again felt gratitude for the missionaries and his ability to speak above our ability.. He has spent many, many hours in his home office, organizing, planning for the mission tour this week, studying for the upcoming interviews and teaching week, reading letters from missionaries. Tonight he has 7 plus phone calls to return. Voice mail of one companionship said that the police are after them. Not an infraction of the law but???

House now totally moved into and fixed up. Two delightful physical facilities missionaries from the Joseph Smith Memorial. Delightful. Lots of visiting while putting up pictures, cleaning. Will send photos of the finished product.

Have met with office couple twice and with the assistants. Long planning meetings. Will we ever escape planning? It must be some eternal law.

Had supper delivered and eaten with Caleb Franklin, his wife Trina, their two daughters and son on Friday pm. Enjoyed their family.

To Manchester Ward today, to a baptism, an hour long visit with the concord Stake president, and a ward function.

So far we have had many visitors. Did major shopping tour yesterday.

Love you all. Sure have felt your prayers. Look at your photos often.

Know the love of the Lord. See the miracles of His constant concern.

July 1st, 2010 E-mail from Pres. Wilkey

July 1, 2010

Sorry for the lack of communication, but, as you can guess, it has been BUSY! The house is a mess moving in, just wish you all were here to help and we'd get it straight in one day! The home is big, gorgeous and set in the private, so beautiful. Went tracking and teaching with missionaries yesterday and the thrill was beyond compare. It feels sooooo good to be back in the missionary mind and saddle....

The moving company broke one box....all my suits and ties so there were in a crumpled heap and I now have to get them all dry cleaned and pressed. Oh well, that's the way it goes. However, I really felt the missionary spirit the last two days and got all three flight attendants to receive the missionaries, had a Boston Red Sox fan I had an experience with, met a young man who likes music from Massachusetts then talked with he and his parents at the luggage carousel, helped a young man get back on the plane because he left his sunglasses on there (he came to me because I looked "official and honest" so I found several people to help him, THEN, when the movers came they were 3 young single men all 3 going to college except the oldest. They helped us move and the whole time I was developing a relationship of trust. When it was time to leave (our 2 assistants had been there helping too) I called the assistants in, gave a wink and whispered "Get ready!" I then proceeded, through the magic of giving them golf balls for which they were very grateful, said, "Now, let me tell you what I am grateful for. I'm grateful for 3 young men who have done an excellent job for us today. You have helped us at a very stressful time and we can't thank you enough. I'm grateful enough that I want to share something much more important than golf balls. Much more important, and I want to give that to you." I then explained who we were and what we are doing. At that point I said, "I'm going to ask you to allow our young missionaries to bring you a another gift, it's a book that has changed my life. I'd like to have our missionaries share that and a message about Jesus Christ. I'll have my assistants get your contact information, will you allow that?" I was pretty direct, but they all said yes. My assistants had a huge grin on their faces as they collected their information. I asked they to follow up with the referrals (all outside our mission), and they were pretty lit up to see their mission president not miss that opportunity to share. It was a great start. I then went teaching with them and that was cherry on the ice cream sunday.

Anyway, great day. However, I had a major and frightening experience with the power of the adversary yesterday morning. Have to share it another day since I'm out of time. Suffice it to say, the devil was trying to thwart the work and destroy me. I once again, with great empathy, understand was Joseph had to fight through in the grove. I testify that the priesthood is very real, very powerful and the that the very NAME of our Lord and Savior dispels darkness when done so worthily. I was about to abandon myself to fear when your wonderful mother recognized the power of the adversary overtaking me, dropped to her knees and prayed until my tongue could be loosed to rebuke those awful powers. We are a little limp today because of that and the exhaustion of little sleep and so much to do. We need your prayers, please, in a special sort of way.....that we will be sustained to fulfill the measure of our purpose here. It is so exciting. We ARE where we are supposed to be for this moment of our lives. Please know of our tremendous love for you all. You have have no idea. I thought my heart would burst upon all the good-byes to you, but we are being lifted beyond our capacity to part because of your faith and prayers.

U R the best!!!!


President Wilkey

P.S. Mom and I went out to dinner tonight and MOM got this contact.....yes, her first one, the waitress! Way to go MOM!!! I mean, Sister Wilkey....whoops!

Loves to you all, more than you can handle....

It's not good-bye, it's see ya later...

Bon Voyage...

“Ann Madsen taught that for good bye, she and Truman said “Love and Blessings,” a custom borrowed from Israel. So we say Love and blessings to each of you and your families.”

- Mom & Dad

MTC Highlights


Highlights to share with all from our Mission Presidents' seminar:

*Three times we were promised that as we leave our home and family, once with an apostolic blessing from President Packer, once through assurance given by Elder Nelson in his reading from Doctrine and Covenants 31: 2-3 that our families will be blessed more by our absence than they could be in our presence.

**Over and over we were assured through the testimonies of the living prophet and of the apostles that Jesus Christ lives and that his great atoning sacrifice is extended to all who will receive Him. (We had the overwhelming privilege to be taught, personally greeted by and encouraged by many of these same men and their wives.)

**We had wonderful, though totally exhausting days of training from 7:30 am until around 8:30 pm. We have sore backs and sore bums. We returned to our fantastic room in the courtyard which was twice "rigged" by Devin and Janene. (this is one of the hotels in dev's internship.) They left us some bubbly, kara chocolates and our swim suits. We fell into our beds exhausted after reviewing the day's instructions and taking a walk by Provo River.

**What a joy it has been to meet and bond with mission presidents and wives who will go all over the world. We have special friends who will serve in Armenia, Sierra Leone (The couple are converts from MONTANA both of who went to MSU ar the time I was completing my work ther.)and Florida.

* The food at the MTC was great!

**The MTC choir sang in each of our main sessions. WOW and Wow and WOW again. "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" stirred us clear through.

**This Sunday morning we were taught by Elder Holland who bore witness of the prophet Joseph who was martyred this day 166 years ago. (Aren't we blessed to go to the area of his birth.) and of the Savior. Our sole Sacrament meeting speaker was the prophet, President Monson who with warmth and humor, instructed, encouraged and bore testimony of the work of Jesus Christ and our solemn calling to forth to serve and to testify of Him.


  • General authorities do go walking and do so in street clothes, where we walked by Elder and Sister Oaks. Elder Oaks was present in a class to read his own MTC devotional quote found in Preach my Gospel
  • Most of the mission presidents and their wives and the general authorities and their wives hold hands, and have been seen to kiss occasionally
  • Sister Nelson teases Elder Nelson. Elder Nelson used tuning forks as an object lesson
  • Teaching is not lecturing
  • President Hinckley gave a little peck on the cheek to his wife Jane during a zone conference; 113 letters from missionaries that week mentioned that very fact and that they, some of those missionaries had never seen tenderness in their parents’ marriage
  • We have eight new lessons to use to train missionaries in improved teaching, especially in receiving and teaching by and with the Holy Ghost
  • There is a new dress website coming out for sister missionaries (Sad it’s a little late for us here but yeah, it’s less nylons)
  • Our lives are a process of becoming like Christ. The doctrine of Christ found particularly in 2 Ne 31, 2 Ne 11 is our missionary message
  • The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central event in all history and without it we are hopelessly unable to become or do this mammoth responsibility.
  • The Lord will not let you make a mistake without warning you first.
  • Major changes in the field will occur immediately: interviews every 3 months instead of 6 weeks, Zone Leader Council every month, leadership training of 3-4 days every other month, specialized training every month. Mission President is the lead trainer. Wife is to teach doctrine and not just iron shirts.