Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 28,2013 Well the rain is really here. They say it's their wettest September ever. They usually get 1 inch and as of now it's 5 inches and after today I think Noah has arrived. We were out discovering Port Orchard, the home of Debbie Macomber who is the author of the Cedar Cove books that have been featured on the Hallmark Channel. Not sure what we saw in the rain but they have cute antique stores there and I found some fish forks to remind me of the great crab, clams and oysters we have had here. Then we drove by a cute little house with the name "Debbie Macomber's Yarn Shop." I'm sure she lives right above it and that's where she writes her books. (You know how I like to have stories around my excursions, whether they are true or not.) Just look at the picture and you will see how cute the house is. We came back through the rain when we saw the flashing signs indicating severe winds on the Narrows Bridge. So not wanting to be blown off the bridge or be on it when it falls in the Sound again, we stopped in Gig Harbor for lunch and found the Tacoma Glass Works having a pumpkin sale. Jerry can't believe how lucky I can be finding places to spend money. Now back to our great week in the mission field. It started with Ward Conference on Sunday. Our Stake President talked. (His wife does the new missionary training lunches for us every transfer and is wonderful and knows what service means.) He was a mission president in Missouri and told the story of one day the missionaries called and asked him if he wanted to go with them to teach an investigator named Roger Boggs. Does that name ring a bell? Yes, he was the great grandson of Lilliburn Boggs, Governor of the extermination order. Of course he went and this man apologized for his great grandfather to President Gessel and the missionaries. Sometimes you have to wait hundreds of years to have an apology. I'm sure someone in heaven has been doing a lot of apologizing. He also said the most important message the missionaries give that people are looking for is that there is a living prophet today. "He hasn't just spoken. He continues to speak" through our Prophets today and if they say something in Conference twice, we'd better be listening. It's call Prophetic Priorities and they better be our priorities too. We are all looking forward to Conference next weekend. Missionary Monday was a success with a new cookie recipe I made. I thought there was too much oatmeal, but I've found the missionaries will eat anything and love it and thank you profusely for it. The bad news also came Monday with the report that there is a huge hole in the foundation of our Nampa house and that's why the water got into the basement. The neighborhood is contemplating how to fix it. What wonderful loving friends we have to take on our problems while we are gone. Update on McKay. We got our first e-mail from Japan. He has a Japanese companion and has had his first door slammed in his face. I thought the Japanese were polite and always bowing. I guess they bowed as they slammed the door. Go McKay, I'm sure he was smiling all the time. Wednesday started the mattress deliveries for transfers. I'm posting Jerry's favorite picture. He has three box springs, three bed frames and three mattress in the back of our car. I thought I bought that car so I'd have room for the grandkids, yet it's perfect for transporting missionary beds. We went to Silverdale and one box spring even fit in the back of a missionary's Subaru. We couldn't believe it and he just said, "Ye of little faith." Then they sent us to Sluy's Bakery in Poulsbo to get President Weaver his favorite doughnut and then told us to make sure we let the President know how much his missionaries love him - to even knowing his favorite doughnut. Wednesday night we went to missionary training from the Area Seventy, Elder Buzzy. Here are some of the highlights. President Weaver - "The mantle of a missionary - the love God gives them to love you. That is why they say, I felt something when I saw them." Elder Buzzy - Theme - "I will hasten My work in it's time." D&C 88:73 (Interesting note - when the Missionary Committee came up with the new guidelines as stated in October 2012 Conference, the change in age of YW to 19 wasn't one of the recommendations. It was pure revelation to President Monson. Elder Holland said, "I'll take one good sister to 5 elders.") We do have great sisters here - to go with our great elders!! He said our task ... the catalyst is LOVE." On Thursday I had the greatest surprise. For all of you in my family who don't bother to read my blog, I got a box with a wonderful letter and home grown maple syrup and chokecherry syrup from a mother of an elder in our mission. She reads my blog. I was so flattered and touched. She thanked me for letting her know what goes on in the mission. Sometimes the missionaries don't go into a lot of detail in their letters. I think Brent and Connie will fight me for a taste of the chokecherry syrup. How thoughtful can some people be. Well I'd better close and get ready for the Relief Society Broadcast. This is one of my favorite meetings. Love and miss you all, Carolyn and Jerry P.S. See sunset on the Sound.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21, 2013 What a great week we had last week. I can't wait to tell you about it. It was Zion's Camp for all the missionaries. Our local Church camp is in Belfair, on the Peninsula, about an hour a way up the Hood Canal. It's a beautiful spot on 84 acres with it's own private lake. The lodge, kitchen facilities and bathrooms are state of the art stainless steel. The mission was divided in half and one half went on Wednesday and the other on Thursday. We got to go both days as we were in charge of dinner. We shopped all Tuesday for baked potatoes and fixings. Buying the potatoes made me think of Craig Castagneto and the many many potatoes he has given for events free of charge. We bought 150 lbs of potatoes. We also had tossed salad, apples, root beer floats and cookies for dessert. Well we surely didn't calculate very well because the first day we used up all the food. Those missionaries are hungry people. We had to come back and shop Wednesday night again. We made sure we had enough on Thursday. All the seniors helped in the kitchen preparing and serving. It was a fun and spiritual day. The missionaries did a "rope course." This is a physical activity with underlying spiritual messages. I got to watch and even participate in a few. I'll describe the events and show you the pictures of the missionaries doing everything. One event was the free fall. You climbed on a log about 3 feet high and with your back to 10 missionaries lined up behind you, you said, "I'm Sister Jones and I'm ready to fall." The missionaries then said, "Fall on Sister Jones." Then you said, "Falling..." and with body locked, straight back you fell knowing they would catch you. Of course, you all know the message there. You need to trust and have confidence in your companions and you need to be the type of companion that can be trusted. After everyone did each event they discussed and learn many other insights. Another event was the swing. There were two platforms on the ground about 10 feet apart with a swing rope hanging in the middle. Each had to swing from one platform to the other. The object was to get everyone from one platform over to the other without touching the ground in between. If anyone did then the whole group had to start over again. The first and the last to go had the most problems without someone sending and then catching on the other side. It really took arm strength to do it. They had to figure out how to help those who couldn't do it. I thought this was the most spiritual of all the events. What it came down to, was that when one couldn't do it then to watch the others come up with the idea that one of the stronger could say, "Can I do it for her?" It was just what our Savior said and did for us. This was a very moving event. Another was the "Wires" where each companionship tried to walk on tight rope type wires facing each other, but the wires progressively got further and further apart. They could use a rope for balance, but they had to move together and cooperate. Again, they learned how they both had to do it or they both fell. Another one was the "tire." It was suspended between two trees, off the ground and they had to go through it without touching the tire. Again starting out and finishing were the hardest. The group had to lift, carrying through and out and down. It really related to missionary work. The missionaries find and teach, but they have to work with the members to get the convert through and embraced in the family of the Gospel. They really learned a lot here. The last one was the "Wall." You had to help each one up and over the wall. Again, the first and last were the hardest without support and reach. I watched one sister try and try and finally make it. It was like the idea of no one left behind. Everyone wanted her to be with them and it looked like she wasn't going to make it. She just wouldn't give up and finally did. I didn't think she could. It also worked well when they didn't make it because everyone felt so badly that they had lost one. I hope you can get a little feeling of everything from my pictures. It was an awesome day ending with a fireside and singing. Not sure next week can top that, but we will be preparing for transfers and the leaving of our office couple that has been here since we came and is the backbone of the office. Their replacements don't come until the middle of October, so we will really miss them and could be very lost. Will report again. The count down continues with 51 days left. Home is looking good and thanks again for those who are helping make our home ready for us. Everyone up here thinks we have the best family, friends and neighbors and of course we totally agree. Love, Carolyn and Jerry

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013 I'll start out with a new missionary joke before I forget it. Did you know that they are thinking of lowering the missionary age to 16. That way mother's won't be sad and the missionaries will already know everything. Now that doesn't apply to our great elders and sisters in our mission. They are awesome and then that grandson who will be leaving Monday for Japan has been awesome since he was born. We will be thinking of McKay more than usual on Monday. We just got back from a trip to see a couple who we were with at the MTC, the Brinkerhoffs, and were suppose to come to our mission as camp specialists and went up to Cascade Park Camp in the Everett Mission instead. They have a beautiful camp and we saw and learned some interesting things. I'll post some pictures. We saw how loggers cut down trees in the older days. They make slits in either side of the tree where they could stand and then with a two handle saw they would cut the tree down. Some times a new tree would grow out of the top of the cut down tree. Very interesting. Then the Snohomish River runs through the camp and the salmon were spawning and we saw the female swim up, push the pebbles on the bottom aside and deposit the eggs and then swim back and the male would swim up and fertilize the eggs and cover them back up. Wow, didn't know how that worked. They were just starting to swim back up stream and it was amazing to watch. Am I becoming an outdoors woman? It was a week of referrals. It's a great system the Church has. You get the information - name, address, telephone number and then enter it and the system pops a map that shows you the area where the referral is in and you can assigned the missionaries to go see them buy sending this information to their cell phones. It's amazing. Well one day the name Lindsay Jones popped up on my screen. She lived in Bremerton. Hope she is as amazing as our Lindsay. Jerry got 85 new cell phones to program and distribute to the missionaries next week. His work is cut out for him. Now for Nampa. What marvelous friends we still have working on our basement, drying it out. I'm so embarrassed they saw my mess in the box room. They will all think I am a hoarder. I am. I admit it, but I'm an organized one and it all fits in one room. When something doesn't fit, that's when I do a little throwing out. Please forgive me and thank you all for helping. My turn will come when someone else leaves on a mission. That will be my new Church calling - helping ward missionaries while they serve and inviting Idaho Nampa Mission Senior missionary couples over and making them feel welcomed. I've found that to be very important. We are waiting to hear the news of the new Stake Presidency and how it will affect our Ward. We know many fine individuals who could be called. We are very blessed. Have a good week and know we now have 58 days left. Love, Carolyn and Jerry

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday, September 7 We just got back from the Temple and were able to see the new film. It was fabulous. I was so impressed and really felt like I even learned more because of the way the actors portrayed things. I can't wait to see it again. I took another picture of Moroni with the green trees instead of blossoms for a comparison. All can see the seasons of our service that this picture represents. Well that was the upside of the last days. We got word about the rain storm in Nampa and the effect it had on everyone - and us included. Thanks for wonderful friends that came to our home's aid and worked on drying out the basement. Craig, Francis', Bishop Stucki, Becky and Pools are wonderful and we owe you and will continue to thank you and hopefully be there for you when you need us. Now I don't feel guilty about counting days. I think Nampa needs us. (By the way, as of today there are 65 left.) We had a busy week in the office what with the computer being down for 5 days and then the Labor Day weekend to catch up with. We felt like on Tuesday we did all missed 5 days in one. The funest part of the day was getting Camden's first day of school picture - all dressed up and eager for preschool. Then a few hours later a picture of him in the car - zonked out. He knows how to recover from big days - go to sleep. We had a great surprise at the office on Wednesday. The McGuires (the couple we replaced) walked through the door. They were on a coastal drive for their anniversary and had to stop by to see how the mission was doing. It was great to visit with them and then Sister Weaver took us all out to dinner to the favorite seafood haunt of the area to continue our visit. What wonderful people we have been able to associate with here in the mission. Our rains started up here this week too. Summer must be over. I keep telling the weather man it's still September, but I'm not getting much response. I'm posting a picture of the last rhododendron of the season and next to it is a picture of the moss coming back with the wet weather. Jerry has his work cut out for him this week. All the missionaries get new cell phones and he has to organize it. Then with three new couples coming and three going home, he is trying to coordinate moving out and in apartments. I think there will be hotel stays involved. Keep your fingers crossed that no one is sleeping on the street. We've started saying some goodbyes. Last night the office staff got together at Red Lobster to say some farewells. There were 14 of us and we had a great time. This weekend is Stake Conference video from SLC and then we will begin another week. You all get more special everyday. Thank you again for your love and support. Love, Jerry and Carolyn