Monday, June 18, 2012

The Gospel of Second Chances

Second and third and more.  What a privilege to know our Savior Jesus Christ and His great atoning sacrifice.  We are so happy to stand next to the Lyons.  Brother Lyons was baptized the preceding week.  He received the gift of the Holy Ghost that particular Sunday.  Elders Baker and Iglinski were the grateful missionaries with the privilege to teach in the Lyons' home.


We stop to photograph the flowers, listen to the birds, examine the rocks and in this case, notice the trees intertwining, all of which is a great excuse for also being slow.  Observant sounds so much better.

The photograph does not do justice to the actual scene, two trees, a maple and a birch with roots entwined, both reaching heavenward at least 80 feet.  (The trees here are really tall.  Eighty is probably an underestimation.)  Even though the trees were alone, you can see that off at a short distance other trees.  What a wonderful photographic parable for marriage.  Two trees, roots together, deep in the soil of the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet both are independent, singular, supporting one another.  Perhaps all the trees in the periphery are those who support and strengthen the couple.  (We appreciate the great support from our family and friends.)

Vermont means green mountain

Emphasis on the green!!  One of many blessings of serving here is the opportunity -- with cooperative weather and bug spray -- to take mini hikes.  We have found that there are so very many beautiful spots we can have a two hour preparation day activity and enjoy the scenery.
Above Bingham Falls 
Janene made such a fun suggestion.  Photograph the places where President is found on the phone.  This blog we find him by Bingham Falls.  A beautiful location for a phone call.  Perfectly clear water and falls on three levels.  

Not posing
Climb toward Sterling Pond
in Smuggler's Notch


Moose in the wallows.  Our first glimpses.
 Two ran across the highway in Waterbury, Vermont

What are you going to put in your mission spiritual shopping cart?

At transfer meeting--one of our favorite meetings--the returning missionaries share one golden truth I learned on my mission that will change my life forever such as "Attitude can change everything."  "I am a beloved daughter of God."  "The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel or change."
So surely you're wondering why the shopping cart loaded and running.  President introduced his remarks with a situation: suppose you had just won a 15 minute shopping spree.  What would you put in your cart?  Then he asked: what are you going to put in your spiritual shopping cart?  He related it to the scripture, "that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world." (Alma 34:34) He paraphrased it to say,"that same spirit that doth possess your bodies as you leave this mission..."

What are missionaries packing in those bags?  What are they packing in their spiritual bags? 
So Elder how many pair of Goodwill
shoes do you really need?
12--you mean twelve??

No question what's in these bags.

What caption would you suggest?

Return with Honor

What do we do with the returning missionaries?  It's a joyful time for those who have given their all with a "set apart" heart, who have looked forward with an eye of faith and who have sought to love and to teach as the Savior.  It's also a day of contemplation for them, a day to share memories.
We're all posing in front of the fireplace.  (Actually it has not yet functioned as a fireplace but it's great as a gathering place.)  Meet all eight: Elders Nyman, Crowther, Cash, Nicholes, Liston and Lowe and Sister Holyoak and Walter. 
And indeed, I am as 'mommish' as ever.  The elders cleaned the kitchen after breakfast.  And lest you pity me for unending laundry, pity no more.  Granted their were 14 towels and sets of sheets on Wednesday after all had gone, but the missionaries do make their own beds and clean up after themselves. 

 No surprise.  One of the favorite memory books for the returning missionaries to look at is that of wedding announcements.  Elder Crowther looks rather serious.  Is he?

Before we take the departing missionaries to the airport, we have time for questions, sharing experiences and testimonies, the "man talk" from the President, personal interviews for each one, a Preach My Gospel study together designed to encourage continued application of the principles therein. Elder Cash is sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon that answered a personal question of his.  One of Elder Nyman's personal goals was to memorize a scripture a day.  He did it!

Super Sisters

Winning smiles of Sister Caffall just arrived and Sister Capito her trainer.  More smiles from Sisters, Sister Walter departing after an amazing 18 months in the mission, Sister Jaret with her new follow-up trainer, Sister Johnson.  Each one brings unique talents to bless the lives of others. Below are Sisters Robbins and Merrill.  Sister Wilkey (that's the I who keeps this blog up sporadically) enjoys or should I say, loves to be with the sisters, sometimes in teaching appointments, this particular time in companion study.  The sisters are showing the size of their area; there's is comparatively small.  Many areas include several towns.

See Them in White

We have seen innumerable bushes and trees with white blossoms.  The lilac trees and dogwoods smell heavenly.  
So can any one identify for us the insect and the flower on the right above?  

 See Them in White is one of what I call the President Wilkeyisms. He loves to coin catchy phrases.  Of course he teaches often from the scriptures; but he also has what he says are short, pithy statements. 
See them in white emphasizes to each missionary the importance of reaching eternal goals, of receiving all the ordinances and covenants that bind us to our Father in Heaven, including those of the temples.
Here are a few others:
       Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance or promotes proper performance.
7     Have a set apart heart and an eye of faith.
       Feed faith and your doubts will starve to death.
       The things that matter most last the longest.

Real Play to Receive Revelation

District Meetings—yes, we do love to attend district meetings!  How do you like the pose at the close?  You got it: Elder Cordova is answering the phone.  All the cameras are on self timer and we were not all ready. 
The lessons-teaching one another the doctrine of the gospel-are taken from the manual Preach My Gospel. 
So what’s with the title, real play.  It’s the President Wilkeyism for role play or practice.  He stresses that each companionship, each missionary needs to prepare for teaching being “real” with “real” people.  He also emphasizes constantly that we ‘real’ play nor just for practice but more importantly to receive revelation.

With increasing analysis of the values and beliefs, the everyday lives of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we as missionaries are increasing our efforts to help those seeking to know about “Mormons” (We refer to the nickname to members of the church given in honor of the volume of scripture The Book of Mormon, a second witness of the life and divinity of Jesus Christ.)
We invite people everywhere to the site which includes the opportunity to meet members.  Here are the profiles of the ‘girls’ over 14 in the Wilkey family.  We’ll include the boys soon.  The other links connect to Glenn, a Vermont maple farmer and inventor (Oh, the maple syrup is delicious.) as well as Norman, a physicist and Daisy, a resource manager who shares her understanding of the Book of Mormon.  The site includes as well as a collection of marvelous messages such as "Looking through Windows" below.