Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What do you think?

Elder Adams and Sister Peterson have completed honorable, excellent missions
and have returned home.  Both were outstanding and upstanding;
 however, their pose tells such a story!
Do you think that we will have to teach correct distance and working relationships
 and missionary conduct for elders and sisters with rapidly increasing numbers of sisters with two sets of missionaries in wards or branches accompanied by a shortage of cars?
We have at present count 34 incoming and only 3 outgoing sisters in the next 4 months.

Do you think that pre-missionaries need cooking lessons,
 along with lessons in doing laundry, budgetting, and resource management not 
to mention practice in car and apartment maintenance and cleaning?

Do you think this missionary wins prizes in creative cooking
or the best application of eat your vegetables?  Do you think
missionaries tire of our constant emphasis on eat a balanced diet,
drink 8 plus glasses of water per day, wash your hands and do daily cardio?

Do you think we have become a multi-cultural church?

Do you think for a moment the name of this gas hides
the cost per gallon?

Do you think we need this sign found in a hotel
in each missionary apartment to remind each
missionary of the critical importance of the Holy Spirit
in all their missionary labors--or life itself, for that matter!?

Do you think President Wilkey is enjoying Brother Congdon from Rutland Vermont area?

Do you think these young men and young women - and one not quite as young mother--are enjoying not only the site but also the site, both with wonderful DVDs, music and articles?

Do you think that this will be said of all missionaries who desire to serve
 with all their heart, might, mind and strength?
Two sisters with red shovels--and in long goose down coats, gloves, boots and skirts--came upon a couple men shoveling out a van stuck in one of the recent storms.  Their car had been 'grounded' in
the heavy snow so they had been walking in the neighborhood, helping shoveling walks and
shoveling out cars nearly hidden in the snow.  They offered to help the men shoveling out the van.
One man asked, " Are you Mormons?" 
When they answered, "Yes," he said, "I knew it.  Your good works are showing."


As Sisters in Zion

Yes, we have and will continue to have a rapid increase of sisters and every ward or branch wants their own set of sisters! We expect to have increased from 14 to 40+ by mid June. 

Sister Benjamin and Suk,
a recent convert from Nepal.

"As sisters in Zion, we'll all work together,"

Sister Reid - Sister Merrell

"The blessings of God on our labors we'll seek."

District photo organized by a sister - "Clue"
"We'll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor"
Sisters Muir and Robbins Studying with President Wilkey
No, not really him but a close look alike
found in a conference Ensign
"We'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak."

Celebrating a birthday - Sister Peterson
 "The errand of angels is given to women And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim."
"photo shoot"  Sister Huefner
 "To do whatsoever is gentle and human, to cheer and to bless in humanity's name."
New companions, Sister Bickel and Sister Jensen
 "How vast is our purpose, how broad is our mission,"
No greater Joy!
 "If we but fulfill it in spirit and deed."
Enjoying a hug from Sister Petersen soon to return
home to Arizona
"Oh, naught but the Spirit's divinest tuition Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed."
Sister Merrell!
That Texas smile

Sister Muir in the glow of a "happy light"
We have had some success with the light helping
missionaries who battle Seasonal Affective Disorder in
our long winters

Sisters Wallantine and Peterson -
Happy that this couple has chosen to marry!

Soon to become a much larger group!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"The Wintry Day Descending to Its Close"

ice flows on
walls of granite
"The Wintry Day Descending to Its Close"   Have we ever heard this hymn sung?
The words in the first verse were thought provoking.
We see our winter in a different perspective.
"The wintry day, descending to its close
Invites all wearied nature to repose,

And shades of night are falling dense and fast.

Like sable curtains closing o'er the past. 
 Pale through the gloom the newly fallen snow
Wraps in a shroud the silent earth below. 
 As though 'twere mercy's hand had spread the pall,
 A symbol of forgiveness unto all.
Do the winter scenes remind you of the song we used to sing at Thanksgiving?
Bridge in Jeffersonville, Vermont
ice flows in the nearly frozen rivers
Over the river and thru the wood,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh,
Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!
Over the river and thru the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,

As over the ground we go.
Fisher Bridge
winter photo
the Mission Home
snow fell in huge flakes today!
Lake Winnepausaukee - notice the fisherman's ice houses

Yesterday we walked in the woods behind the Mission Home.  The snow piled high covers the brush that makes the walk nearly impossible in the spring.  The marsh and wet lands underneath our feet were frozen over. As we walked we found parables in the journey. We came upon this tree already obviously discovered by woodpeckers.  We created a mini parable.  Are we :no trace" missionaries.  President constantly stresses that missionaries must leave the church buildings "no trace" clean.

 President led the way, sometimes walking on crusted snow, sometimes sinking into softer, slushier snow.  I walked in his footsteps, sometimes successful, a couple times slipping.  He reached back to pick me up.  How much that is a parable for our mission experience: we have tried to follow the Savior, and walk in His footsteps.  He has 'marked the path and shown the way' but we have at times, slipped in the 'snow.'  Many, many times, we have felt through His divine grace, His hand lifting us up and helping us to stay on the path.

"Because I Have Been Given Much, I Too Must Give"

Elder and Sister Schuck
An example of the senior couples who serve, who share "because they have been given much" is Elder and Sister Schuck who spent two years at the Joseph Smith Memorial where he was the director.   Among their many other responsibilities, they donated innumerable hours in doing research to help people get started in searching their genealogy. Another couple who has just come to the Memorial to give their time in the maintenance and beautification of the site are Elder Brent and Sister Sally Dyches.  President was excited to greet this couple who grew up in his home community and whom he has long admired.

Two other individuals who serve faithfully are President's two counselors, President Hawkes (on right) and President Goodrich. Accompanied by their wives and in the case of the Hawkes, their two youngest sons, they visit in branches and wards, encouraging and strengthening the members.

Pictured below with their district are the Polls and the Phillips, other 'senior' couples who  have donated their time, talents and resources help others.  We will miss the Phillips who have just returned home to Idaho.   As is quite evident, districts enjoy taking a photo once a transfer.  Districts unify to teach and lift one another.

Elrs Craig, Caserio, Wright, Walker, Busby, Smith
 Elder and Sister Phillips,
Elder Rodriguez, Sister and Elder Poll, Elder Pritchett
serving in northern Vermont
Elder Levie, Hill, Giles, Blad, Badger and Jessop
serving in northern Maine
Enthusiasm!  A picture from the past

So what album gets the most "views?" Yes, the collections of
wedding announcements.  And who looks at it most? The elders!

The evening before departure, outgoing missionaries gather
to receive last counsel and ask quetions!

Three outstanding elders who have now completed their two year mission:
Elders Esplin, Carr and Neibergull

To fulfill their purpose in inviting others to come to Christ, missionaries strive to talk to everyone as seen at the airport.  Elders Harris and Rodriguez approached an airport employee. Sisters made a Halloween chart to remind them to seek referrals and to leave behind something to help and encourage those they meet.  In the photo at the right, President Wilkey is teaching young men of the Bedford Ward to share the gospel. Elders Cornia and Smith are assisting him.

Transfer day -- it's a day of excitement, fears - especially for the newest missionaries--and for joy.  Below are snapshots from the past transfer day.

Brother and Siser Drake, Plymouth, come to say 'good-bye' to Elder Levie.

Elder Robison meets his new companion, Elder Morales.

Sleepy new missionaries - they got up at 1 to 2 am for a sum of less than 3 hours sleep--
to board the plane for Manchester, New Hampshire.  Elders Chisholm, Harper, Jensen and Beck
are seen by the trailor carrying half, yes half of their luggage.
With missionaries taking up half the plane, there was a shortage of luggae space.  But it arrived Fed ex.

First meal in the mission.
Their appetites are severely lessened by jitters and fatigue.
No worries, they make up for it later.

Elder Lenning with his trainer, Elder Banks

Elder Esplin, outgoing, meets Elder Jensen, incoming

Elder Crane, second left, has met his match in height, Elder Quinn.
Both are 6 foot 8.  Elder Thomas, Elder Dean and Eldr Morales stand tall next to them.

Elder Irving meets Elder Jensen

Elder Hancock meets his trainer, Elder Nelson

Elder Thomas will take new missionary Elder Dean to Sanford, Maine

Elder Pruett with go with Elder Hightower to Concord, NH
We were excited that Elder Pruett speaks fluent French.
There are many Congolese refugees in Concord who desire
to be taught the fullness of the gospel but their native lanuage is French.
Ultimately our desire is to emulate our Master Jesus Christ
and to attain Christlike character and attributes.
One elder who is striving to do so -wonderfully- is Elder Jardine.