Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It has been a crazy week with 4 new elders arriving on Monday, transfer Tuesday, 2 returning home, and New Missionary Training on Wednesday. The Boston Temple had been closed for 2 weeks for remodel and cleaning, so we were fortunate to go to the temple on the day it opened back up--Tuesday. It was a wonderful time with an endowment session, dinner at the temple afterward, and hugs and "I love you" from the Elders going home. Elder Brown wants to be a teacher and thanked me for some advice I had given him a couple of months before on his education and future. He asked for my email address so he can keep in touch. He's a wonderful young man and has a beautiful singing voice. He loves children and will be an awesome teacher. I am so glad I got to serve a mission with him for even a few months. I see great things coming from him in his future. Elder Todd also went home. He wants to be a chef. He wanted to make some garlic chicken for us before he left, but it didn't work out. I would have loved to taste that chicken.

Sister Davis and I spend a lot of time getting meals ready to feed the missionaries. On Mondays she and I do a lunch for the office staff including President, his 2 assistants, and the two office couples. It is fun on Monday after the lunch to be talking about what we are going to prepare for next Monday's lunch. Last Monday we had Diana's and Annette's Creamy Chicken over rice that I made. Sister Davis brought in frosted fudge brownies with ice cream and watermellon. Yummy. The Assistants are bottomless pits for sure, but we love to feed them. Our motto: When it's gone, it's gone! Next Monday Sister Davis is making lasagne and I'm making caesar salad with Kortni's mom's cesar salad dressing. I'm also bringing a fruit salad of mellons and fixings for maple syrup milkshakes per request from Elder Baker, the new assistant. Elder Sommerfeldt, who was made an assistant two days before we got here, got transferred to Maine to train one of the new missionaries. I sure will miss him. He is so much fun and likes to try to scare me--usually it doesn't work!!! Here is a picture of him with me and Elder B and Elder Esplin. Elder Sommerfeldt is the second from right. He wants to be a heart surgeon and go into business with two other returned missionaries--one wants to be an orthopedic surgeon, and the other wants to be a brain surgeon. So I came up with an acronym of HOBs which stands for Heart-Ortho-Brain surgeons. Elder Sommerfeldt loved it!!!!

Also, the Manchester sisters get to come in the office about once a week. We love having them visit. Sister Chantry had to answer the phone for me one day for about an hour and has now decided to be a receptionist when she gets home from her mission. Sister Huntsman is always upbeat and happy to be around. I love both of these Sisters. Here is a photo of me with Sister Davis, Sister Huntsman, Me, and Sister Chantry.

I took a picture of the letter and bracelet that Sister Windley sent to me after she had to go home early from her mission here with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It is possible for her to recover from this illness, but it will take some time. The Lord gave her a reprieve from it before she got on the airplane with her mother to fly home and then after she got home she had a relapse of numbness on her body. Our prayers are with her every day.

Tanya and her son, Josiah, have moved their baptisms back two weeks so that Josiah can get all the lessons in before he is baptized. Elder Benjamin and the two Manchester Elders are teaching them both. We are going to take all of them to the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in Sharon, Vermont next Saturday. We are looking forward to that as are Tanya, Josiah, and the Elders. It should prove to be a very nice day.

We are having a great time working with President and Sister Wilkey. We sure do love them. They never rest however. Go, go, go. Some nights President only gets about 4 hours of sleep. So we in the office try to do as much for them as they are willing to give us. One of the things we are doing is designing a Christmas tree ornament with the JSM on it to give to each missionary for Christmas. One of the brothers in the Bedford ward does stippling and he is working on the JSM right now to be imprinted on the brass ornament. It will be very beautiful when it is done. I found a company online that will make them up for us. We will get a velvet drawstring bag for each one. It will make a lovely gift and keepsake.

I've got to say that most of the members in the Manchester ward are being very good missionaries and fellowshippers to the new converts. I'm so happy to see that happening. Elder B and I are going to attend the ward Bible study on Tuesday evening. Investigators attend that also.

Well, gotta go. Elder B is taking me out to dinner. This is our "P" day after all. We haven't been out to dinner for many weeks now. I mean a really nice dinner. We send our love to our children, grandchildren, and friends. Hard to believe that we are 1/3 done with our mission. Wow, time is flying now.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22, 2012 Sunday

Another Baptism today! Arlene was baptized today into the Manchester ward. Her husband is not a member, but he came to her baptism. Very nice couple. We are so happy for her. Many of the ward members were there to support her. The spirit was just wonderful. Tanya and her son, Josiah, were there as well. We had them over for dinner and dominoes Friday evening. Josiah is eight years old and loves brownies and dominoes! We got it right for him! Tanya will be baptized in two weeks, and we are hoping that Josiah will want to be baptized also. Tanya is letting him choose for himself. He loves Primary and totes his Book of Mormon everywhere he goes. He has a yellow highlighter and during Sacrament meeting today he was looking for the word "baptize" and marked each one. Very sweet boy who wants to be a police officer some day. The two Elders who have been teaching them told them today that they are both being transferred on Tuesday. Tanya and Josiah cried. I took a picture of the four of them and assured them that they will grow to love the new Elders just as much. We are planning to take Tanya and Josiah to the Massachusetts Boston Temple for a tour of the grounds. I have been doing genealogy research for her and discovered that someone in her family has been doing temple work for her ancestors. She is going to talk to her mom about it. Both sides of her family are staunch Catholics!

Our sweet Sister that went home early from her mission with Guillain Beret Syndrome, wrote me a beautiful letter with her testimony and thanks. She enclosed a Forget-Me-Not bracelet with the letter. I sat at my desk and cried. We just get so close to our missionaries is such a short time.

Tomorrow four new Elders are coming in from the MTC. Then on Tuesday two are done with their mission and flying home. We get to go to the temple with them. That is one of the nicest things we get to do. Tuesday is transfer day and President has said that it will probably be a small transfer. That means about 50 instead of 100. Nice.

Dad and I are so happy that the doctors have finally gotten to the bottom (or should I say top) of Celin's condition. Her sphenoid sinus is infected and swollen and pushing on her brain causing headaches which in turn cause stomachaches. She is on meds and the prognosis is good. Our prayers are working! Much relief for Andrea and Blair, too.

We are looking forward to Tony and family coming for a visit next month. We will make a trip to the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in Sharon, Vermont. It is so very beautiful there. The town of Sharon is still very tiny and quaint. I love it there.

We miss our family and friends very much, but we know that this is where we are supposed to be for now. It is hard to believe that tomorrow we will be 1/3 into our mission with 2/3 left. We love it here and love the people. There are a couple of older sisters in RS that I dearly love, and I'm getting to know a sister who is a masseuse!! She gave me a neck massage all through the baptism last week. Divine!!!!

Take care. Hugs and kisses to all the grandkids--Grammie and Grandpa love you!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The last two weeks have not been too busy. We had a wonderful baptism today after church for Ken. The Elders have been teaching him for a few months and he had a hard time getting off of tobacco, but he did it! It was a beautiful baptism with many of the ward members and the bishopric all there. The closing hymm was The Old Rugged Cross, a hymn I haven't sung since I was little and sang with my mom and my sister. It is not in our hymnbook, but the words were printed on Ken's program. One of the President's Assistants played the piano and did a fantastic job. He is very talented and wants to be a dentist with a minor in music after he goes home.

We have been working with Tanya, an investigator, and her son. They are scheduled for baptism on July 29th. We are sure looking forward to that day as are they. Tanya was golden right from the moment that the missionaries passed her on the street and turned around and went back to talk with her. The ward members have really welcomed her and treated her right. I am pleased at how well the ward does with missionary work. They are all so dedicated to these new members.

Another two missionaries had to go home last week for health reasons. One of them started having major problems because he has had 9 concussions in his young life playing LaCrosse. We've had several missionaries go home for various reasons. Two of the sad ones had to go home, one for lukemia and one diagnosed with Guillain Beret Syndrome. (I don't know if I spelled that right.) It is pronounced gee-on baray though.

Cèlin has been very ill for a few months now and will undergo a battery of tests this week. Our prayers and thoughts are with our sweet granddaughter. Hopefully the doctors will be able to determine the problem so Cèlin can go forward and feel well.

And Mike's mom, Grandma Nini, fell in their home and broke 3 ribs. She is convalescing at home now after a few days in the hospital. She is in a lot of pain, as one can imagine, and is managing with medication. Grandpa is doing all he can to take care of her with Tootie's help. Grandma is healing, but it is kind of slow.

We are gearing up here for transfers again next week. Four new elders coming in and two going home. Transfers is a really fun time for office missionaries! But if we didn't work hard, we would feel like we weren't doin' nothin'!!!!

More next time. Our love to all our children, grandchildren, family, and friends.