Friday, November 24, 2017

A Special Farewell to Six Elders

This was a bitter-sweet farewell to six elders. From back to front, left to right: Elder Miller, Elder Lewis, Elder Harmon, Eder Wright, Elder Dickinson, and Elder Platero.  Elder Cox (our newest Assistant). Each of them had challenges on their mission, but grew in leaps and bounds and finished strong. As we were preparing for dinner, Elder Dickinson was playing the piano. He made a comment about getting some of the elders to sing. That idea became the highlight of the evening. Each of those missionaries have excellent voices. They sang the opening song. As they harmonized, the spirit was so strong in the room that it brought me to tears. It was just magical. It was truly a humbling feeling to be present, not only to hear them sing, but to be so privileged to witness the growth and triumph each of them made to complete their mission with honor.  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August 26 - plannng for Transfer Week

This Monday Sister Courtney Hess and her family visited us at the mission home. She was one of our wonderful STL's and did a wonderful job uplifting other missionaries. It was so great to see her again.
This week is our plan and prepare week. We have a big transfer coming up with 28 missionaries arriving. Five are coming in from the Mexico MTC on Monday. Then we pick up the rest at 11:00 on Tuesday. I can house 16 but had to find members that were willing to take the rest. This is the first time we won't be feeding them at our  home because we don't have enough room. I will still cook dinner for them.

Jack spent three days this week with his assistants, Elder Christofferson and Elder Strader, to plan the transfers, Mission Leadership Council, the November calendar, and next months district meetings. It was the hardest transfer since we have been here because we have so many to train. 

Friday we held the largest 3-6 week training we have ever done -  41. This is when we train the newest missionaries after they have been out for 6 weeks. I cooked the Million Dollar Casserole and made a huge salad the night before. It was well liked and I almost ran out!! There was just barely enough to feed everyone. 

Elder Lee, who was an assistant previously and is now a zone leader, finished his mission this morning. It was sad to see him go. He is from Turlock, California. He is going to BYU and left early to get to school before the semester begins. 

After seeing him off at the airport at 5:30 A.M. we took a short nap and then took off fo a 3-hour drive to Wausau for stake conference. The visiting area Seventy asked Elder Benson, one of the parting missionaries to share his testimony. It brought me to tears. He has been so hard working, right to the end.  The ward just love him. The bishop said he was a breath of fresh air! He goes home Thursday along with 15 other missionaries. 

Tomorrow we drive back just in time for me to make dinner for Kealey, a recent convert who is in the middle of dental school, and her friend, Jordan, and the assistants. I have plans to barbecue steak but there is a thunderstorm warning so we will see how it goes!  By the way, Wisconsin is beautiful this time of year! 
Elder Lee (left), Elder Christofferson, and Elder Strader at our favorite Chinese Restaurant in Neenah

Sunday, March 26, 2017

All Mission Conference with President Russell M. Nelson - March 11, 2017

President Russell M. Nelson chose to visit Wisconsin in March, which was a great opportunity for our missionaries to be taught by the president of the Quorum of the Twelve.  He shook hands with all of our missionaries and spent two hours with them. We met at the Madison Stake Center. We were also taught by Elder Ulysses Soares and his wife Rosana as well as our area seventy Elder T. David Scott and his wife.

When I walked into the building and saw all our missionaries there it just filled my heart with so much love. They are such amazing young men and women. I can't describe how blessed we felt to be in the same room as them.

They had a busy schedule. I was so surprised at how fit and healthy President Nelson is. He conducted a meeting for the youth on Friday night, a missionary meeting Saturday morning, a leadership meeting Saturday afternoon for four hours with the stake presidents, bishoprics and Relief Society Presidents and their wives, and then a special conference on Sunday for the Madison Stake.

Jack and I were also speakers in the Leadership Meeting so that was quite an honor to be in the same program as President Nelson.  On Sunday Elder and Sister Soares went to our stake in South Milwaukee and held a special conference there. They are such humble wonderful people. We sure love them.

During the Missionary Meeting President Nelson shared how he was raised by less-active parents. He tried often to encourage them to be active but they did not change. Then, when they were in their up in years, President Nelson and his parents were invited to a birthday party for President Kimball at the Hotel Utah. When President Kimball entered the room he walked straight to President Nelson's mother and kissed her and said, "Thank you for raising such a wonderful son. He saved my life!" referring to the difficult but successful heart surgery that he had performed on President Kimball. President Kimball then turned to Brother Nelson and said, "Thank you for raising a son with so much integrity."  Then he walked back to the head table.  The next day President Nelson's father called him up and said, "I'm ready."  President Nelson said, "Ready for what?" and he replied, "I'm ready to come back to church." And he did and so did his wife. Not too long after they were sealed in the temple in their 80's. He emphasized that we should never give up!