Monday, April 23, 2012


Missionary responses

Sometimes President gets frustrated.  But then he will receive these kinds of insights from missionaries and we realize how blessed we are to have a missionary program to help strengthen and bless lives, not only of those we serve but of those serving.  Look for the funnies as well!
Elder Tanner and Elder Sommerfeldt are enjoying a moment between workshops at Specialized Training.

*I have found that the happiest moments on my mission are when I am focused on loving people.
* I know that God has a grand purpose for all of his children. From the experiences I have had, I have learned that God's ways are higher than ours. I know that the God loves us and that he works through others to reveal plans to us.
*We visited Sister K and started reading more of the Book of Mormon with her and we could easily see that the Spirit was teaching her to the point to where she was pretty excited when we left!
*Last night our plans fell through. Then our back up plans fell through. Then our back up back up plans fell through and discouragement started to creep in. Recognizing this, we immediately got on to our knees. The very second we did I was at peace. I didn’t know what Heavenly Father had planned for us but I knew He had plans. So as we were walking across the cold river we both received a prompting to call a member who rarely attends church. We found out that he was in critical care at the hospital and had a huge infection in his face. When we got to the hospital and he was waiting for us. He needed us but couldn’t get hold of us from the hospital.  Heavenly Father knew Brother T needed us so He provided the way by clearing out our schedule that night. This reminded me strongly that this is His work and His plans.
*I am so excited to see how implementing the principles of Preach My Gospel into our work have yielded such great results.   As my companion and I have strived to apply what we have learned not only in Chapter 9 but all of the chapters, we have seen those we are teaching not  triple in size but it's fast approaching to being quadrupled!!!
*Ps...You asked for those pictures on my camera. Next week I will send you pictures next week, since I forgot my memory cards.
*I have been focusing quite a bit on chapter 10 in Preach My Gospel, trying to improve my teaching skills and trying to learn how to help people feel the Spirit most effectively. As I have focused on different teaching skills I have seen each aspect I have focused on get better and have seen how I can continue to improve.


We were walking this morning--April 23rd.  It was raining hard but President got out his huge umbrella which amply covers both of us but is rather heavy to hold up for the 30 minutes.  So we held it together, or shall we say, he did the holding and Sister Wilkey held up the arm of the holder.  It made us think of the counsel Jethro gave his son-in-law Moses (Exodus 18:18) who was trying to carry the heavy burdens of his responsibilities, leading the people out of Eygpt.  Now that makes our tasks seem light!  Nevertheless, it is rainy-sometimes it pours with problems and concerns--and president does carry the umbrella of responsibilities from individual missionary worries to training and teaching to transfer planning, zone conference planning and teaching, working with wards and branches, interviews, both missionaries and often those wishing to be baptized and so on.  So as his wife and companion, I have the privilege of holding up his arm.  It's a responsibility that ever changes but is a privilege of counseling and shared concern.

posing in Gloucester Massachusetts a far south point of the mission

Glimpses at Training

Between sessions someone must have said something funny that caught Elder Evans, the over 25 missionary, off guard.  He and Sister Evans are seated with other missionaries in the Augusta Maine zone.  Below are Elder Levie and Elder Adams who are successfully expressing love for each other and their personal feelings about the priesthood-without laughing and without breaking eye contact. On the right are missionaries of the Montpelier Zone are about to sing a third verse of "Called to Serve" which was written years ago for this mission and has become a tradition in the mission. 

Missionaries love to be together.  Since our areas are spread apart with a few exceptions, they may see other missionaries only once a month or even less often.  In training, we emphasized the Atonement of the Savior, Jesus Christ and our sure witness of his life and resurrection, planning--always planning!- the importance of member lessons and talking to everyone.  The assistants had all the missionaries--and themselves--"get over" embarrassment to talk to others.

Our generous members

Now this was second mile in serving of a delicious meal!  It included table decor of bright flowers and Easter eggs and a tower of decorated cupcakes made by Sister Bush.  The missionaries are not only appreciative for the food but they enjoyed the ambiance and the encouragement of the members.  Brother Day is carving the ham.  Sister Norse and Hayword are assisting.  Elder Wright is taking--well, not his first cupcake.

Run and not be weary

On your marks: it's specialized zone training and a relay with a purpose: emphasize 20 minute daily cardio, strengthen and stretch exercise, using permithrins and deet as tick and mosquito season begins (yes, we do have bugs.  Permithrins on the clothes), eating fruits and vegetables (and convincing the missionaries that fruit pebbles and carrot colored candy don't count), drinking minimal water per day and watching out for poison ivy and poison oak.

Now I know of a surety

 Yes, the setting is way too modern but really this older woman has returned from 580 BC with her husband Lehi who sadly would not stand still long enough for his photo.  He was much more intent on preparing to speak to the youth 14-18 of the Bangor Maine stake.  He welcomed them to the lives of Lehi and Sariah and their family to better understand how we can not only taste but eat of the fruit of the love of God in 2012 AD.

When ye are assembled

Visiting with Elder Eyring, Richard Heaton and President Evans
President Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy

"when ye are assembled togehter ye shall instruct and edify each other,..." (Doctrine and Covenants 43:8)
What a privilege to assemble with fellow mission presidents and their wives to be lifted, taught and inspired.  Elder Jay E. Jensen, next to President Wilkey is tall not only in height but in spirit.  He opens the pages of scriptures to us, gives us deeper appreciation of the Book of Mormon, gently corrects and encourages.  Elder Marcus B. Nash taught us constantly through inspired questions.
Elder Carlson once an F-16 pilot and 2 (or so stars) general gave us encouragement through well placed stories. Brother Richard Heaton, the son of one of President's beloved BYU instructors, himself a gifted teacher taught us through the teaching model: explain, demonstrate, practice, evaluate, repractice. And we had fun learning! We also had time to visit with one another, strengthen and build.

President with President Jeppson.

In a single session we mission president wives met together with Sisters Jensen, Nash and Carlson.  We had an opportunity to share especially our concerns with handling medical and emotional issues of the missionaries.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Number ONE - the Savior

 This is one of many granite hillsides with trees growing out of them.  To us, it's a picture image of the Rock of our Redeemer Jesus Christ. We recently studied in depth the Rock, the Cornerstone of our religion, the Rock of our Salvation, the Sure Foundation.  Our mission is studying together the last week of the Savior's life based on the Bible Dictionary. A thoughtful and extraordinary experience.  The BIBLE Videos are a must watch.    Go to      

Two for Tremendous - BAPTISMS

 to WALK in NEWNESS of LIFE   (Romans 6:4)The faces tell all, the ecstasy of a missionary or rather returned missionary who came for the baptism of the giant of a man, 6 foot 7 inches of greatness, a father of four, husband, genealogist.
Or the happy faces of two teens and their father at the joyous occasional of baptism.
They have committed to follow Jesus Christ, to bear one another's burdens, to comfort those in need of comfort, to take His name upon them. They have entered into a covenant to serve him, to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, a constant companion to guide, comfort, strengthen.

Three - FAMILY

JOY of FAMILY  Quite a privilege to have Kyle and Liz Flynn in the mission boundaries.  Added to the visit with them was a bonus visit of Paul and Julie Austin.  Quite a backyard they have, beach, rocks, Sam's bird rock which he calls the birds' dinner plate, a huge sandpile (Sophie was digging for treasures.), tide pools, a view of two lighthouses.

Four for Creativity


R  Council takes a break to organize a relay for the upcoming Specialized Zone Training.  It's a relay featuring health and safety; for instance they had a bottle of water, a bag of carrots, a can of Off, a can of Permithrins (Tick season has arrived and so we teach protection and prevention.

5 - Strive to Arrive

      Elders Cornia and Hatch show their visual plans for building their area: people to visit, lessons to share, commitment invitations --invitations to change and become more like the Savior --to extend.

  We love their diligence and faithful effort.  They are being blessed through their efforts coupled with the generous, loving help of our Father in Heaven.

They serve in one of our coastal cities.  We will miss the many, many cemeteries, a tribute to history of this area dating to the early 1600's.

Six Splendid Servants

 Well done, good and faithful servants.  On the way home!  Rounding the last corner before they go to their gate. Nervousness.  Yes. ( Some can hardly slip off their shoes at security.)   Anticipation.  (They don't know how excited their mothers or fathers are.)  Fear of the unknown.  Surely.  We try to prepare them.  President's interview.  Temple trip.  Last scripture and Preach My Gospel study.  Counsel.  But when they round that last corner toward the gate, their faces turn homeward and they don't look back!  (Elder Ashcroft left earlier, leaving Elders Hansen, Oliphant and Miller and Sister Bond.

Seven Sent - New Missionaries

New missionaries arrive from the Missionary Training Center.

A week to two weeks following the incoming of new missionaries, they return to Manchester, the center point of the mission (You'd not get that from the map.  It's because the major freeways only flow north and south.)
New missionaries return with their trainers (Training is the first leadership responsibility the president looks for at transfer.  Trainers set the tone not only for the new missionaries but for the entire mission..)

Eight for the Great Senior Missionaries

Eight of the great reasons why we appreciate our senior missionaries:
1. Experience
2. Dedication
3. Tried and firm testimonies
4. Willingness to do extra-mile service
5. Optimism and enthusiasm
6. Love for the Lord and for others
7. Creativity and clarity in purpose
8. Constancy and diligence

Senior Missionaries pictured are Elder and Sister now returning to Green River, Wyoming, leaving an empty spot in our hearts.  both gave their all, improving the office and their stewardship assignments.  Sister Hymas loved pigs and received from the incoming office missionaries a snout mug as a souvenir.  The four elders pictured? Elders Esplin, Harris, Carr and Blad, left to right.

Celebrating Milestones

Fine number 9 - Milestones

Birthdays!  Six month, one year - then as the time for returning comes closer, missionaries realize fully their joy in full-time service and anticipate their transfer home with some trepidation.  But this missionary, Elder Resendez, will --happily for us--serve yet several months. 

Remarkable milestones for missionaries?
 Overcoming homesickness as they focus on our purpose, the work of inviting others to come to Christ.
Knowing for themselves--completely and surely--that Jesus is the Christ and that the Book of Mormon is another testament of His divinity.

March 2012 Top Ten - 10

Joyful welcome of SPRING!!
 Unseasonably warm for a week, up to 80 fahrenheit. Now cooler but still unusually warm.  Hard on the maple syrup producers; the sap ran too early and in small quantities. 
  The red of the maples welcome spring; soon they will soften into greens.  Then in autumn again return to brilliance.  Our neighbor changes her mailbox cover  for each season.