Sunday, February 9, 2014
I have said to many of you that I wish I had been better prepared to serve on this mission. We wish we had done some hands-on actual entering of names on Family History. Most of these people have done very little with family history. Some of them are even “afraid” to get to know their ancestors. But even with that fear, they want to start getting something about their family on the Family Search program. We went over to Greenville about 45 miles east of here, to meet with Elder and Sister Spect. She is very good at Family History, so we got a crash course. We have helped one of the new converts to start her family tree and she is so excited. We are planning a pot luck evening (Bring your family’s favorite dish) to get folks interested in their family history. We will follow up with classes. We do have a Family History Representative, so we will be working with her. The Stake just purchased some large screen TV’s and computers for each unit, so that will make the teaching much easier and more interesting to participate in. This will probably be in late April. Apparently they have an ANNUAL FISH FRY that is super successful. The last time they had it, they had about 70 people. We have that planned for March 30th.
Surprise!!! I taught my first piano lesson on Wednesday. Oh, how I wish had stayed with the piano longer. Stone Vick is 13. He had taken lessons for a few months when his life got too busy to keep up with the lessons. When we went out to their home for dinner, Stone played a song from the Easy Hymn book for us. Margaret called a few weeks later and asked if I would teach him, so that he could play enough for church and be a little better prepared for his mission. Lesson one went pretty well, if I do say so for myself. Sister Spect, one of the Senior Missionaries had made the comment, that as we do things for the branch, we should find someone who can “duplicate” us when we go home. The Branch has really loved singing to the piano rather than a recording, even with my mistakes. So Stone will be very valuable to the branch with this talent. (He is already VERY VALUABLE to the branch and to his school)
We had our Zone Conference on Tuesday in Montgomery. Wow, these young missionaries are so great. They teach so powerfully and have such great teaching skills.
President Hanks, our Mission President is a spiritual giant. A memorable lesson:
“What can you become...”LIVELY” D&C 92:2. “ANXIOUSLY” D&C 58:27, “HEARTILY” Col.3:23 and “CHEERFUL” 2 Cor. 9:6-9. “What describes you?”
Things to think about.
Of a very sad note, our dear friend Rex Wilcox passed away on February 4th. Apparently he had fallen once and had a pretty serious head injury, but then he fell again and was not able to recover from the effects. Rex has been a dear friend since the 5th grade. He was sort of like a brother type friend, always there, always helpful, always with a laugh. We will miss him terribly. Oh, what would we do without the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation!
We love each of you very much and it means so much to us to know we have your love and support.
Keep in touch with what ever way is easiest. It doesn’t have to be long...just great to hear from you.
We keep you in our hearts and in our prayers......Love Grandma and Grandpa
Sunday, February 2, 2014
I am sure that you heard about the Ice and Snow here in the South. It was really something. The weather forecasters talked about it for a couple of days and indicated that it would mostly effect Mobile and the very southern points in Alabama. WE took the message seriously and had all that we needed on hand. Monday was quite a nice day, pleasant temperatures and partly cloudy skies. Tuesday morning about 9:30 the light rain started to have an icy sound as it hit the house and branches. By noon everything was covered with a shiny coat of ice. There was still a little traffic on the roads, but soon turned to silence. The schools had already been closed for Tuesday and Wednesday, so the children were all home safe here in Camden. We watch the news for the minute by minute pictures of what the South was looking like. By 3:00 we had snow fall on top of the ice. It wasn’t much, but the two together were pretty treacherous The Governor and the Mayors were all on the TV explaining what was happening and what they need the public to do. THEY CLOSED ALL THE ROADS... Except for emergency travel. The Ice and Storm reached Birmingham. About 2 ½ hours NORTH of us. They were not expecting the storm. The children had gone to school, parents had gone to work....about noon, the storm hit there....parents left work to go get their children and ended up stranded on the roadways and freeways. Semi trucks were jackknifed, freeways that went down under other freeways were jammed with trucks that had gone down under from one side and could not come up the other side....rescue trucks could not pull them up the other side. People were stranded for hours and hours. One Chick Filet near the freeway cooked up 250 chicken sandwiches and employees walked down the packed freeway handing out sandwiches to stranded travelers. Another man bought 200 Sausage McMuffins and did the same thing, up and down the stalled cars giving out the sandwiches. The National Guard was called out to help get the children from their schools to their homes. The Governor said...”you trust your children to their teachers during the day, you can trust you children to be with their teachers at night”. I think they got them all home except 80 children who managed to have an adventure at school that night. Wednesday everything stayed closed down until mid afternoon when things slowly and I mean slowly started to thaw.
They have NO Road Equipment to handle this kind of weather because they have it so seldom. We saw on TV two men in the back of a dump truck, loaded with sand, shoveling it out the back...no spreader...just back breaking work.. Since we have been in Alabama, they have had the coldest and wettest weather in 40 years. We truly have had our own adventures here! For contrast, we went to Birmingham to the Temple on Saturday and didn’t even need a sweater. WE love our little branch. WE feel we are giving support to the active members and making some friendly connections with some of the less actives.
This is the place we were meant to come to and hope we can do all that the Lord would have us do. Thank you for your LOVE and SUPPORT. Lovingly miss you and joyful to be here. Love Grandma and Grandpa
Our Mission President, President Hanks just sent out his weekly letter. I want to share this message....
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I testify to you that this is true. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us and has created a plan for us to learn and grow and then return to him. His plan included the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ – who gave himself that we might return to God.
Perchance, do you know the next verse? I hope you will memorize them both. Here it is:
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
I testify that this too is true and real. God is not a “lightning-bolt” God, looking to catch us making mistakes and hoping that we’ll fail. He is actually our Heavenly Father and He has no interest in condemning us or watching us fall. He is hoping and praying and rooting for us all to make it home.
John 3:16 AND John 3:17. Memorize them… and make them yours!”