I realize I haven't written for a couple of weeks and got an email from Pat Beazer asking why not? I guess I don't really have much of an excuse except that missionaries are very busy people! My goal was to write every Sunday. Let's see, where do I begin? Last Sunday I taught the Teaching for Our Times lesson in Relief Society. It was taken from President Uchtdorf's April Gen. Conf. talk "The Merciful Obtain Mercy" sometimes known as the "stop it" talk. I was so nervous-mostly cause I hardly know anyone in the Manchester Ward yet. But it went okay and the sisters were very nice and complementary in spite of my deficiencies. And then today at church, the bishop asked us to speak on Father's Day. Actually I'm not as nervous about that as I was teaching Relief Society. Mike is right now out with the Manchester Elders Rodriguez and Morgan teaching a lesson to an investigator from Nepal. This whole New England area is quite the melting pot. There are many different nationalities here. One amusing thing about our ward--Sacrament meeting is supposed to start at 9 a.m., but almost never starts before 9:10 and then even at that, about half of the ward comes in after the Sacrament is served. Every week. Interesting.
Last week, May 29-30, was Missionary Leadership Training for all the District Leaders. They come from all over the mission (Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire). They have to stay with other Elders that are close by and also in the mission home. The office couples set up dinner for them on Tuesday and then on Wednesday the Manchester ward did a pizza lunch for them. This week is transfer planning, which means that we are getting ready for all the new missionaries coming in from the MTC and those returning home. I do enjoy the whole process although this time one of the sister missionaries that I have gotten close to is going home. I will certainly miss her. She is Sister Holyoak from Lyndon, Utah. What an awesome missionary she is.
Next week we will be able to go to the Boston Temple (as we do every six weeks) with the returning missionaries. We do an endowment session, have dinner in the cafeteria, and return to the mission home for dessert. The days are long and busy but very nice.
All the missionaries were asked to set up a profile on www.mormon.org. You can see mine at www.mormon.org/me/8Z8B if you want. I listed as Karen Snipes Benjamin. Mike hasn't done one yet. Don't know why he's dragging his feet about it. Anyone can post a profile there and I encourage everyone to do it. Those investigating the church can see what members have to say and to read their testimonies.
A couple of weeks ago we had Zone Conferences. May 15 was in Sharon, Vermont and May 17 was in Augusta, Maine. I took a couple of pictures of the missionaries.
The missionary on the left is Elder Niebergall. We have taken a real liking to him. He is such a humble person and was just made a Zone Leader in Bangor, Maine. After the Augusta zone conference, Elder Benjamin and I drove home in the "Moose" 4 elders to Lawrence, MA. The 4 of them live in a large apartment there. But the tradition is that when we drive them home, we take them all out to dinner. The Davises were with us also and the Elders wanted to go to Margaritas for mexican food. Elder Evans loves habanero peppers and ordered something that was so hot it made him perspire. But he loved it anyway. We certainly do enjoy being with them. We have driven many elders and sisters all over the mission and have enjoyed each one of them. I am impressed at their devotion to Heavenly Father and our Savior. They have incredible testimonies and they never give up.
I took a picture of President Wilkey in the office one day. He was a good sport about it, huh?
I am sure missing my children and grandchildren. Thank goodness for Kortni and Diana and Holly making sure we get pictures and art work. They are posted all over our apartment!
We are enjoying our mission very much. The Lord has been blessing us.