Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013 The missionaries in our ward announced on Sunday that they had a baptism on Friday. She is a young girl in the military whose husband is deployed in Korea and she has a little baby girl. I have been sitting by her in Relief Society and it has been wonderful watching her progress. Would you believe they found her tracking and she was the last door they knocked on at 7:01. They almost didn't do it. What a miracle and find. I'll post her picture. Her name is Shyanne. Well the new couple, the Hadlocks, came on Tuesday and so this was a wonderful introduction to the mission and our ward - going to a baptism. Afterwards we took them to the local seafood haunt - Steamers - and introduced them to the local cuisine. So now back to our week with our new couple. She use to be a secretary and accountant and so she just picks everything up and will be the new backbone of the office and knowledge. The mission will continue and be efficient. Had an interesting spiritual thought to start off the week in the office meeting. Elder Bingham reported on a Priesthood lesson in his ward that was on 4 Levels of service and obedience. The bottom level is that we serve and obey for reward and pleasure. The next level is that we do it out of fear. Then next we do it out of duty, which is good as we try to be covenant keepers. The fourth step is the big step and that's when we serve because of charity and love for the Savior. That is the ultimate and goal. I thought that was very insightful. I am definitely in the duty category. The President then told a miracle story. The sisters were biking, working on their member visit list. They realized one member was close and they back tracked to the house, but no one was home. Then they heard a voice yell, "Are you Jehovah Whitnesses or Mormons?" They answered, "We're Mormons." This elderly woman said, "Come here." She was an old convert who had later had her and her family's records removed but lately she had wanted to return and was phoning a friend to send the Church's missionaries, but she couldn't get through to her friend, hung up the phone and looked out and there were the missionaries. They taught, invited and the family was at Church Sunday. I had my own missionary experience on Tuesday, or should I say non or bad missionary experience. We were at Taco Bell for lunch and the young man who has waited on us all year came running up to us and said, "They told me you had come. It's my last day and I wanted to say goodbye. They are transferring me to Parkland." We told him we were leaving in November to go home and we'd hoped to see him before then to thank him for good and friendly service. Then we sat down and I told Jerry I felt bad. I'd wanted to give him a tip and a Book of Mormon. Of course, for once in our lives we didn't have a Book of Mormon in the car (and we're suppose to be missionaries!!) I did have an Articles of Faith Card in my wallet, so as we left I walked over and gave him the card with a tip and said we wanted to give him a Book of Mormon before we left to explain why we had been here for a year, but weren't prepared today. I asked him if he'd heard of the Book of Mormon and he said, "Yes." I said that the card listed our beliefs and if he'd read it and then had questions the name of our Church was on it. I then went back to the office and called the Parkland missionaries and told them they had to go eat at Taco Bell and find this young man. I'm maybe half a missionary. Alison got credit for a great missionary though. Sister Weaver got a letter from her daughter saying they needed to send something right away for their grandson's missionary Christmas package that the family was mailing to him in Chili. It had to be there at the end of the month. She wanted to send one of Alison's missionary shirts that she made me for the office bulletin board. Yeah, Alison, I was prepared because of you and now one of your shirts with tie and name tag will be in Chili. Today we went down to Olympia to a Stake musical production called "One Life." (I'll post pictures) It was the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith. They did a fabulous job. The one who played Joseph had a great voice. What struck me was that there was a flash back to Joseph at 14 years of age. The young man was that age who played the part and he looked so young. It hit me more than ever how young Joseph was to have received such revelation and responsibility. And then he never waivered. How blessed we were because of a young man who believed and was faithful to the end. I'll end with the lyrics of the central song, "One Life is all we're given, One Life a gift from Heaven. The value of the life we live is shown in service that we give. So we will live and we will give one life!" Thank you for also being in our lives. Love, Jerry and Carolyn

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 19, 2013 The week started rather slowly but ended with a bang starting Thursday. We had to go to the airport to pick up an elder who had to fly to Las Vegas to meet with the Mexican Consulate for his visa. All they did was take a finger print and picture and he flew back. Don't know why he couldn't do it in Seattle, but to Vegas he went. Driving on these roads up here scare me to death and going to the airport is the worse. We survived and got the elder back to his apartment. It was a long and strange day for him. All week seemed to be preparing for missionary apartments inspections. Jerry had assigned all the senior couples areas and given them instructions of what to do and so off everyone went on Friday. We started at 8:00 and finished at 2:00. It was an interesting day. I will post some pictures from the apartments so you get a feel of where and how the missionaries live. These are the apartments Jerry has worked so hard finding and furnishing. The first elders' oven was a total mess. They didn't even know it as they said they had never opened it up. It happened to be a self cleaning oven and so Jerry turned it on for them and started it cleaning. Their frig was filled to capacity though which was different from one sisters' apartment. We opened their frig to check it and they had one jar of pickles and one jar of grape jelly in it. That was all. We asked what they ate and they said that the members fed them. I asked what about breakfast and they said they just ate whatever. We took all the missionaries we visited cereal, fruit, bread - things for breakfast and then some cleaning supplies. I think we should have taken the cleaning supplies first. Breakfast items were a good choice, they need to eat breakfast. They have an interesting way of thinking what is clean. It was an interesting day, but so fun to visit with the missionaries in their home quarters. The inside pictures of how one ward tried to make the apartment so homey by putting up rub on signs. It was really cute and I'm sure made the sisters feel welcome. We finished just after lunch time and so the last apartment go to go to lunch. We'd better not tell the others that we went to lunch. However, they are so busy with appointments and lessons. They are very good and obedient hard working missionaries. Next week starts with the next new senior couples arriving - one for Member Leadership Support and one for the office. The turn over has started. Saturday was a fun and relaxing day. We've had tons of fog and so driving anywhere is a mess. We went up to the Tacoma Dome. We've always just driven by it, never gone to it and they were having a Christmas Gift Show. You know me and crafts. Well we went with Elder and Sister Trotter and the rest of the Northwest. It's suppose to be the biggest craft show in the Northwest. Well the traffic was backed up on the interstate to get to it. Luckily we went through town. It was huge and crowded but we enjoyed it. I will post some pictures. Jerry enjoyed it at the food court. Greg and Kyle called a number of times asking where items in the basement went. They went over to put things away after the GREAT FLOOD. I really owe them, but then I remembered child birth. They said I might never find things again, but I'll be grateful just to have things put away and back out of the middle of the family room floor. They are good sons to do something that would have been second nature to their sisters, but they did it anyway. Well I'll end with the count down - 23 days, 3 weekends, 4 Mondays, one transfer. Love, Carolyn and Jerry

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 12, 2013 It was a week of organizing. Sister Quillon is getting the office ship shape for the incoming seniors. We discovered things we didn't know we had in drawers and cabinets and some things we didn't know what they were or even want. We were tired and sore at the end of each day, but boy do we sparkle now. Had a lot of missionaries in and out of the office this week and that made it fun. They are so remarkable in all they do and say. The AP's decided they wanted new pictures on the bulletin board with Allison's white shirts, so they used the office camera to take more of themselves, but they made them so small there were these little heads sticking out of shirt collars. The OE's put them up anyway and I labeled a sign next to them with the words, "Honey, I shrunk the kids." So after a good laugh I took their pictures again with my camera close up and they looked so good when we put them up that the OE's wanted new pictures too. So we had another picture taking session. I just developed them today and on Monday we will have the picture adventure going again. Things like this make me laugh and keep me happy. Since it's October we are already getting ready for Halloween. I have treats planned and Friday found out that Becky Rudder beat me to it and sent us a Halloween package with cute sayings and treats in it. Everyone in the office thinks she is so clever and I just tell them, "If you only knew just how clever she is!!!" I have candy, cookies, signs and decorations ready for every Monday. I will forgo the costume this year. Any of you are free to send pictures of your costumes though. I hear Megan is going to be Cleopatra and Trevor is going to be a Russian soldier with the old wool soldier hat we brought back from Russia, and Avery is going to be Tinker Bell. I think Halloween is so fun. Today we went to see more Fall colors. We drove up the Peninsula to Kingston. It's at the furthest end. We called the elders there and took them to lunch. It's always so fun to visit with the missionaries one on one. Then we drove back through Port Gamble and their colors were the best. Here are trees and quaint houses and a little surprise family that appeared on the road one day to say hi (but don't feed as it's a $200 fine.) Have a good week and we will too. Tomorrow it's the official one month left. Some of the missionaries have actually told us they will miss us. I feel the love. Love you all, Carolyn and Jerry

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013 Just finished watching Conference and as usual it was wonderful. So relaxing to sit in lazy boy chairs in sweats and watch the computer screen. We even had beautiful weather to see outside our windows. After all the rain in September we are enjoying its fruits with the beautiful Fall trees. I'm enclosing a picture of one that is by the office. They seem to get redder every day. We survived another Transfer Day on Tuesday. The new missionaries arrived safely and our lunch went well and enough. You never know how to plan on how much they will eat. This group eats the least. I think it's because they are nervous and tired. The departing missionaries gave great farewell messages. Here are a few of their thoughts as they had mixed emotions on leaving - "joy and happiness." That caught me. I know those are two feelings I will have also. One said, "This mission will change you as you see miracles and peoples' lives change and my life changed too." We certainly will all be different because of our experiences. Another told the incoming missionaries, "Remember your dream - be a REAL missionary so that when you leave and sit in the Temple before you go home you can find that your mission has been acceptable to the Lord." And then the one that made me think as I start these last weeks - "Have I done enough?" Their instructions are always very meaningful. I had a supply room miracle this week. It seems the miracles in the office aren't as many as those with investigators, but here is mine. The Spanish elders wanted three "Covenant" Ensigns that they said came out in July 2012. We have Baptism and Temple Ensigns, but I hadn't heard of anyone wanting "Covenant' Ensigns. I even called SLC, but they said that Ensign was discontinued. Later I was getting an Area Book that someone ordered and I knocked over a pile of old Ensigns, didn't even know they were buried under the Area Books. As I crawled on the floor picking them up and cussing to myself for my clumsiness, there were the "Covenant" Ensigns and there were exactly three. I was blessed to fill the elders' order. Since they were worthy, I was blessed to bless them. It sure made my day. All the missionaries were excited for Conference. The sisters were predicting there would be an announcement that they were going to extend the service time for sisters to two years. Of course it didn't happened, but it shows how dedicated these sisters are and how much they want to serve. My friends Dawn and Gary Craner, who are serving in Washington, D.C., wrote a very insightful thought as we began Conference. They said that we would receive guidance for the next 6 months as we listened. "He gathers us and gives us information that we need through His leaders here on earth to be protected both spiritually and temporally. 3 Nephi 10:5" They were very right as we listened to Conference. Here are my highlights: Missionary Work - President Uchdorf "Why join this Church? I thought you'd never ask." This is what the missionaries want to hear. Then he said, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." It's so easy to get discouraged - boy do I know this!!! Then the investigators say to the missionaries, "Stay a little longer." This is just what they are praying for. My favorite was Bro. Gifford Nielsen's talk and maybe because it reminded me of our family. It was his mention and picture of the bronzed worn out missionary shoes testifying of the effort of one young elder in the "Hastening of the work...." We had Greg's shoe with the hole in it bronzed when he came home from his mission. I'm not sure he was as excited about that Christmas present, but maybe now he will be. I love the scripture Brother Nielsen quoted: Isaiah 52:7 "How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of them who bringeth glad tidings..." All the missionaries are bringing such glad tidings up here and what Elder Funk said, "What a wonderful season to be a missionary." Then again President Uchdorf said, and I hope each of our missionaries heard this, "You should hear President Monson pray for you." Wow, I have needed his prayers many times and I know you, my dear family and friends, have prayed for us. I will post pictures of these wonderful missionaries as they left Transfer Day and went out to work. Then look at my tree and remember President Monson's poem about TREES. There are great trees in western Washington. We love and miss you all. Only 5 more weeks left and we can see your beautiful faces. Love, Carolyn and Jerry