Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday, March 30
     Just had to write while the smell of hyacinths and the color of yellow were still fresh in my mind.  We drove to Mt. Vernon today to see the acres and acres of blooming daffodils.  It was gorgeous.  This is a beautiful farming valley called Skagit filled with Victorian houses with immaculate yards.  The trees were in blossom and their bulbs were blooming.  They have a big tulip festival there and everyone in the office wants to go.  The tulips won't be out for another two weeks but the daffodils were ready and since they are my favorite I made Jerry go.  It's only about 2 hours away.  The weather was beautiful and we could see all the mountains.  Mt. Baker is up there and Rainier was even out.  It really made me feel like Easter season.
     We had a great week that went quickly.  Greg and family were here until Wednesday.  They went to Seattle on Monday and Vashon Island with the ferry on Tuesday.  We were able to be with them in the evenings.  They were back Wednesday night to Boise as McKay had to have four impacted Wisdom teeth out on Thursday.  All went well and that's one more thing to check off on his missionary preparation list.
     I was really tired Monday afternoon.  The Mission President has been having a "March Madness" activity where the missionaries do some scripture study and report.  I was filing some of these reports - like almost 200 - and getting bleary eyed, when I came to the elder's name of "Packer."  I knew we didn't have an Elder Packer.  I looked and looked thinking I was forgetting someone and was just about to ask the other office sister if she knew - and I said the whole name in my mind "Boyd K. Packer," and then it hit me.  President Packer was being quoted and on the other side of the paper was the elder's name.  I felt so dumb.  I put away the rest and waited to finish on Tuesday before I made anymore mistakes.
     My next funny came when Thursday morning I went to pick up phone calls on the answering machine and this voice said, "My name is Josh and I want to know what I need to do to become a Mormon Missionary.  Here's my number, please call."  When we called back no one answered.  I haven't heard if the other office elder was able to get through.  He either thinks there is free food and housing, or it's a good paying job.  Little does he know the work that is involved and the preparation it takes for these young elders and sisters.  They amaze me every day.
     Friday came and we did a project for the Spanish elders.  They wanted a baptismal program with picture and Spanish scripture on the front.  We only had English.  So with the help of Connie in Oklahoma we were able to create just what they wanted and they were thrilled.  It's now labeled as file "Elder Wood and Edstrom's Baptismal Program."  It will be on the computer file forever.
     We will have a wonderful Easter thanks to great family who remembered and marvelous Becky.  Then we've been reading The Atonement by Tad Callister that is fabulous and really explains the wonder and blessings of our greatest gift.  Have a happy Easter too and we love and miss you all.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday, March 24
     Greg and family arrived about 1:00 am. on Saturday morning - slept a little and headed out on our Olympic Park tour.  What a fun time we had from the beginning of Sasquatch Pizza in Hoaquim to exploring the beaches up the coast line, collecting rocks, drift wood, climbing and wading.  We stayed Saturday night at Kalaloch Lodge facing the ocean and listening to the surf.  We were up early again Sunday morning to finish the Olympic Rain Forest on the way up to Forks.  Greg's children are not into "Twilight" so Forks was not exciting in that way to them.  We went to the Forks Ward for Sacrament meeting and met the missionaries there.  Elder Garr even played a piano solo and the Stake President was there and talked also.  I have messages of greetings for President Weaver from all in Forks.  It's the farthest part of the mission. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

     On Thursday we found out why we bought the car we did.  Jerry had to take a box springs and mattress out to a new missionary and they fit just perfectly in the back of the car.  He said that must be why we bought the car we did.  I thought I bought it so I could fit all the grandkids and not have to leave anyone behind.  Jerry thinks ahead and I think for the moment.  We had a great drive to Silverdale.  Now I have been to one more place in the mission.  Silverdale is north of Bremerton and you pass by all the old naval ships that are docked there.  I think it's their graveyard.  They sure are big as you drive by.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sunday, March 24 We had the highs and lows of missionary work on Tuesday. It started out low when we got a call from the airport from a missionary who was wondering who was going to pick him up. The President was in Zone Leader and District leader training meetings and we didn't know quite what to do other than get the poor elder. The MTC hadn't let us know he was coming. We sent one of the office seniors to get him and I ran over to Albertson's to get a cake with "Welcome Elder" on it to show him that we were really glad that he was here. We were so apologetic and he was so nice and forgiving. We even took him to lunch and then he waited patiently in the office until the President could get there. Can you believe it - not being picked up at the airport? It reminded me of the Evans' in our ward years ago when they didn't go to the airport to pick up their son coming home from his mission. Getting off the plane with no one there to greet you, has to be one bummer of a trip. I sure hope this doesn't happen again. But it did get better. Our Cambodian Sister Noun came into the office Tuesday afternoon and wanted to go into to see that she was really on the web site where Elder Oaks had a video on his visit to Southeast Asia and he had interviewed her while he was in Cambodia. She was so excited and cute. Her companion was a whiz on the computers and was able to freeze a frame of the video and we printed off her picture and then made a disc of the video for her to keep. Even though I wasn't savy to do it, I felt like I was a part of saving a precious memory for a precious sister. Then another sister came in and had lost her wallet and we tried to figure out how to cancel everything for her and order her new cards. These missionaries are sometimes just little children that you need to be taken care of. Then I had to write a letter excusing a missionary from jury duty as he wasn't even an American citizen and had returned to Peru. What a wide range of activities - only in mission office do you hit every thing imaginable.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday, March 17 Happy St. Patrick's Day. Our Irish Coyles celebrate this day big and so in support we went to a small town on the Penninsula called Poulsbo. It's actually a Viking town and you're greeted by a tall Viking statue as you enter the town, but it was settled by Sandanavians. They were celebrating St. Patrick's Day and the town was decked out in green. It's on a bay and cherry blossoms were even out - all very picturesque. We ate at a German restaurant and got treats at a German Bakery, so Jerry was thrilled. Walked around the town which was filled with antique shops. They have a big fair on Mother's Day weekend for antiques. Jerry wasn't as thrilled with the antique shopping, but it was all fun and we saw the northern part of the Penninsula. The northern part is also accessed by ferry from Seattle. Greg and family are coming this weekend for Spring break so we will be able to show them some things were have learned. It will be so exciting even when we squeeze 8 people into this "college dorm" size apartment. It was a busy week again in the mission office. Our goal this week was to get all the cars in place and know where each car was. I felt like I had a garage full of 90 cars. The senior elders had to find them, their numbers, registration, etc. I had to make numerical magnets to go on the transfer board by the missionaires who had which cars. It was detailed work, but finally accomplished. I wonder if soon the missionaries will be back to feet since the cars cause so many problems. We've had three tickets in the last couple of weeks - all amounting to over $200 each. Washington is funding their government through speeding tickets. Then my favorite missionaries parked their car wrong and got it towed to the tune of $400. They were so upset. We really think it was a set up job by some neighbors to get a cut in a tow job. Then just Friday one set of elders slide off the road because of the wet mud and ended up in a ditch and needed a tow - there's another couple of hundred dollars. As you can see, cars are a problem, but bikes get stolen, so what's the answer. We are still waiting for Spring. It rained all last week and is suppose to rain again this coming week. I guess it helps with the flowers. We are seeing the blossoms coming and azaleas are blooming. There are suppose to be tulip and daffadil festivals coming. They ought to be gorgeous. I was reading a Conference talk the other day by Elder Hales called "Being a More Christian Christian." It gave me a boost as he said, "He will make us equal to His work. As we follow Him, He blesses us with gifts, talents, and the strength to do His will, allowing us to go beyond our comfort zones and do things we've never before thought possible." I guess that's me. The new service sister in the office, who they brought in to help since Sister Clark is still recovering, is so encouraging and nice to me. She always has some compliment and something positive to say to me. She and her husband come in the mornings three days a week. He's the patriarch in this Stake and they both remind me of Brother and Sister Widdison - so wonderful and perfect themselves, but make you feel good about yourself too. I think they also came as a blessing to me when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. For example I ordered stationary envelopes and got a call that I'd ordered them on such an old form that they couldn't process it. I just used the form that was in the box, but it must have been around since the pioneers because it was not working. Now they fax the orders in. See another machine for me to have to handle. I am not modern when it comes to machinery and computers. I'm still good with the phone and ordering supplies. I taught my girls well on spending money too. They sent me a box this week from their trip to the Oklahoma outlet mall when they were all together. Since they had me buy them Easter outfit treats, they had to buy me something too. They sent Jerry some nuts to eat. We really laughed. Also got a fun St. Patrick's Day treat from Rudders, mail and medicine from Sylvia. We have great support and thank you all. Have a good week and be safe since many of you will be on Spring Break. Let us know what all you do. Miss and Love you.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

President and Sister Weaver with the sisters.
Here is Sheri Dew happy to be on the Penninsula. She greets the sister missionaries.
Sunday, March 10 What a marvelous day we had yesterday. Sheri Dew came to the Pennisula Stake Women's Conference and they invited the sister missionaries to attend. She was just as fantastic as ever. What a way she has in communicating ideas that just resonnate with sisters. She came in and went right to the sister missionaries and shook their hands and talked to them. I was snapping pictures as fast as I could so that I could give copies to the sisters. Then as she started her talk she invited all the sister missionaires up to stand by her at the pulpit and continued to praise them and use them as examples of service and dedication. They will never forget this and I won't either. It gave me such a boost. I know we don't always have to be validated for what we do, but it is so nice sometimes. I have all of you out there who constantly encourage me and it really does make a difference. Let me give you a few comments from Sister Dew. She talked about Priesthood power and the trials and goals of the latter-days. We are to be grateful we came to the world now. We were divinely programmed to come now and were held in reserve for these last days. She sees what women today are accomplishing. We are all elect ladies. This statement really hit me, "Would He send for the last days men and women He couldn't count on?" I hope He knows he can count on me. So she continued - how do we do it? Learn how to receive and ask for revelation. The best way - stay connected to Heaven and have a spiritual experience every day. President Lee told her that when she was a young Laurel at a Laurel Conference. I think she has done it and it's now my new goal. We can pray for one and watch for one and work for a spiritual experience everyday. We need it some days more than others. This past week for one was where I really could have used some uplifitng. We had the 30 new missionaries arrive with a big lunch and welcome for them and a testimony meeting for the departing missionaries. After transfers it's trying to get all the lists updated as to where the missionaries are, plus we needed to prepare for the next 30 who are coming in in April. Letters to parents, bishops,stake presidents, all have to go out with pictures or certificates, welcoming information, etc. in them. With Sister Clark still recovering, it's like 6 other people are running around with half the knowledge they need to know what they are doing. Then we also have to make sure we continue to do our assigned jobs. It can become very frustrating. In the midst of this I had a call from a senior couple who just got their call to the Washington Tacoma Mission and he said they were called to work in the office and he must be replacing me. I asked when he was coming and he said June. At the moment I was ready to be replaced even though I knew he really had been called to the new Federal Way Mission, but since his call came before the Mission was created he didn't know that. I tried to explain things to him, but he was firm and so I just said,"Welcome, that's wonderful. We'll be looking forward to seeing you." I later found out that they will be coming to be trained for the new office in the new mission. Right, you are all laughing at me training someone with the skills I have. I can show them how to lift up the phone and order supplies. I'm really good at spending money and we have the best equipped supply room around. I may be breaking the bank of the mission, but no one has told me to stop yet. Let me end with some of the comments the departing missionaries gave at testimony meeting: "A mission - a worthy sacrafice. I did what the Lord asked me to do, a sacred call. This mission is sacred ground to me. It's where I found my testimony. You're there for a reason - learn why you are there. When you hit rock bottom - Jesus Christ should be the rock you hit." These are amazing young and prepared people. We are preparing some amazing young people in our family. Megan was baptised on Friday and we were able to see it all through face time on the i-pad. Lindsay prayed, Alison and Trevor talked, Kyle baptised Megan and Matt confirmed her and Grandma Coyle gave the closing prayer and Connie orchestrated it all. Keven saw it from the middle east and we from Washington. The Bishop said it was a world wide broadcast. We'll try to get some pictures posted for you to see some of these events. Have a good week and I will too with my new attitude.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday, March 3 Do you want to hear the spiritual or the secular? We had both this week. I'll be good and start with the spiritual. Jerry had an elder call him wanting to know what he should do with his cell phone. He baptised it. Yes, it was in his pocket during a baptism. We told him to put it in rice and try to dry it out. What won't these elders do? The big news is that McKay Jones got his mission call. He is going to the Japan, Sendai Mission and reports on July 17. That means we get to come home again to be at his farewell and hug him good bye. I guess our family is truly in the mission mode. McKay is so excited. This last week he was chosen for the District and State All-Star Basketball teams, accepted at both BYU and Utah State, all honors basketball team - yes I'm bragging and the list goes on and on. He's a great young man and will make an excellent missionary and now I know what to compare him too. The office was very busy with the new mission news. We have received word of the areas we will be losing to the Federal Way Mission. Haven't heard about the southern areas, but we know we will lose some. In June we will even be sent a couple to train for the mission office in Federal Way. Yes, don't laugh too hard - me training - what a joke. Jerry will do a good job though. Our Sister Clark has still not recovered so two mission couples have come in to help me do her job. We have the 30 new missionaries coming on Tuesday and transfers this week. It is always a headache so I am very grateful for the wonderful help these couples have been. We also found out that we have another 30 missionaries coming in April. We are growing so we can divide I think. I also did my missionary work by giving two DVD's about the church and family to my Russian cookie lady. I can't wait to hear what she has to say about them. Now for the secular. We took an outing this weekend and drove to Forks. It's about 3-4 hours north and west and the outpost of the mission. There are two elders there and a small branch in a town of about 3,000. It's also the home of Twilight and the whole town has tried to captialize on the books and movies. You drive through the Olympic National Forest to get there and it is absolutely beautiful - waterfalls, moss covered trees, lakes, thick forests, and beaches with rough surfs and unusual rock formations. We stayed over night in Forks - at the Cullen house. Saw Bella's truck, Dr. Cullen's parking place at the hospital, the Spartans at the High School, Twiftway where Bella worked, Poice Station, Las Push where Jacob Black was living on the reservation, Rialto Beach and First Beach where so many scenes in the movie took place, just lots and lots of flavor of Twilight. Then we found out that not one scene of the movie was actually shot in Forks. It was filmed in Portland and Vancouver and Louisiana, believe it or not. I guess it was cheaper in Oregon and Canada. Yet they have the town that really exists and I believe great scenery. On Sunday we continuted our drive down the coast through the Rain Forest part of the Olympic National Park. It rains 12 feet per year here, so you can imagine the growth that occurs. And yes, it rained most of the time we were there. It's a 73 mile long coastline with a number of Indian reservations included in the area. It's big in the summer with rafting, kiyaking, hiking, camping, etc. We were in the off season. Now I'm revitalized and ready for our big week. I'm just like a child and need my rewards to keep me going.