Monday, February 16, 2015

We are Missionaries

Monday, we attended the last Zone Conference of our mission.  Zone Conferences are held once each quarter and they are a huge spiritual boost for missionaries.  The Elders and Sisters are so diligent and work so hard and it is hard to find those that have been prepared to receive the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are lots of doors, lots of lessons, lots of promises and you just need a spiritual boost to remind you why you are here and for WHOM you are here.   President and Sister Hanks give so much of themselves in word and deed to help us be the best we can be in our service to the Lord.  We love them dearly.

I have to share an experience with Theresa.  She has been a member of the church 16 months.  One of our members is in a nursing home and I asked Theresa if she would go with me to visit Barbara.  Theresa has recently been assigned to be a Visiting Teacher and Barbara is one of her Sisters.  When Theresa came to pick me up, she was all dressed in Sunday clothes.  I looked at her and she looked at me and said, “ I thought I should dress like a visiting teacher.”  She had in her hand, her brand new scriptures: a quad in maroon with case.  She said, “I thought we should have a scripture”.  I introduced Theresa to Barbara and then we chatted for a bit.    Theresa said, I think we should have a scripture and she pulled out her book.  We visited a bit more and then Theresa said, “Could we have a word of prayer?”  Theresa was not yet ready to give the scripture or the prayer, but she knew that those should be part of a good visit.  Theresa then offered her help with laundry or any shopping she might need and promised to be back for another visit.  I felt like I had been with a “seasoned” Visiting Teacher. 
Theresa would be the first one to tell you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and her membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has brought more to her life that anything she has experienced before. The Senior Couple before us, found Theresa and her husband and taught them the gospel.  They were baptized just before their return home.  We have had the blessing to teach and help them grow to understand more fully what the gospel means in their life.  Theresa went to the Temple January 24, 2015.   What a wonderful blessing for her and for us to have helped her be prepared for those eternal commitments.
We who live so close to the temple, do not fully realize what a blessing we have just a few miles away.  I hope that as you plan your week and month, you put the Temple high on your list and DO NOT let anything worldly get in your way.
We love each of you and pray each day that you will be protected and that the Holy Ghost will be with you to prompt you through out your day.  Love you!!!   Love Grandma and Grandpa

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Memories and Blessings

We’ve had a few memorable experiences this week here in Camden, Alabama.
Our little Branch has been selected to be a Family History Center. 
We received a new computer and printer, so we had to clean out the library and make room for this new equipment.  We spent about 5 hours three different days cleaning shelf by shelf and box by box.  An interesting thing about many of the people here in the South, especially here in Camden, they seem to keep EVERYTHING,  We had the container boxes from the old printer, and two television sets.  OLD lesson manuals, old Ensigns, Old, Old Old stuff.  Once we got all of that taken out, we had two big monster rolling carts, that once had the TV’s on them.  Those we took to the small storage building on the church property.  WOW ! We had some wonderful space.  We brought a long table into the library, placed the new computer and new printer on it.  Elder Hepworth did all the setting up and working with SLC Tech Support and lo and behold we have a wonderful Family History Center and a well organized library.

Our FIRST very bad Anti event.  The Sisters were in the Dollar General doing “Store Contacting”.  In Camden, they do this when it is later in the evening and its not safe to be just out tracting.  They were at the back of the store.  One of the Less Active’s came into shop.  He over heard the clerk talking with another customer about “The Sisters and Mormons”:  How they were evil and she was going to ask the manager to post a sign prohibiting them from coming into the store.  Phil, the less active, brought his items to the checkout.  He said he over heard them talking about the Mormon Missionaries and they said “oh yes.  They are so evil.  We are going to try to keep them from coming in.”  He said, “Do you think I am evil? They said, of course not,.  He said “I am a Mormon and take of those items you just put into the computer....I won’t be purchasing them and I will not return here to shop.”  The word of this has quickly spread through out the Branch and everyone is so very happy that Phil stood up for the Sisters and for all of the Members here in Camden. 

Yesterday, we got a package from Michelle.  She sent some little milk cartons, similar to the juice cartons with the straw attached.  They are from the Gossner Factory in Logan.  They are flavored milk cartons that do not have to be refrigerated until you are ready to drink them.  She made little Valentines that said “HAPPY VALENTINES FROM UTAH”.
At the end our meetings today, we had all the children and youth come into the kitchen and get their “Valentines”  They were so excited and they loved the flavors.   I think this little Branch will always remember their connection to UTAH and their friends out there. 

On Saturday we did help the Sister Missionaries with a Service Project of painting the trim on a house.  It was too Big a job for the Sisters, but they are so eager to be good missionaries and took on the project.  The Elder’s from Selma came down to help too.  The project turned out great and the woman was very appreciative.   Our mission has given us so many opportunities to serve.  So many great memories. 

We are glad to hear about all that’s going on at home.  We love the texts and photos.  Continue to do your best in everything you do.  Be good examples to all those around you.   Love and prayers, grandma and grandpa

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monthly Mileage Record

Where did January go?  We had a very busy January.  Our dear Theresa went to the temple for her first time. She came out just glowing.  Now she can’t wait to start doing her family names.  She gave me a list of ten she wants to take to the temple.   Sarah, who was baptized in December, went to the temple to perform baptisms yesterday and she came out glowing.

It was a wonderful month and we broke our record of monthly mileage: 3,307 miles.  What a blessing that we have the means AND the health to do it. 
The basketball season has ended and our Wilcox team didn’t do so well this year.  They did make it to the State Playoff, but only one game.  We hated to see the season end as we have made so many friends in the community and the school and now we won’t have quite the same opportunities that we had.  Although, like most school, grass does not grow under their feet, as the baseball and softball teams are already in serious practice. 

We had an interview with President Nolan of the Alabama Mission Presidency regarding our service here in Camden.  Our mission has a Mission Blog (albirminghammissionblog) and we will be spotlighted at some point about our service here in Camden.  I am sure that its purpose is to spark other parents and grandparents’ to turn in their papers to serve a Senior Mission.  We are certainly glad that we decided to serve.  The joy and the service and the friendships cannot be replaced in any other way.  Yes, you could live a very happy life without a mission, but OH WHAT JOY you would miss out on.  There is nothing else to compare.

WE SO APPRECIATE EACH OF YOU AND THE SUPPORT YOU HAVE GIVEN US WHILE WE HAVE BEEN HERE.   We have missed you and many of the special moments in your life, but thank you for understanding and just keeping us posted with texts, blogs and pictures.    We love each of you and pray for you every day. Please stay STEADFAST  IN  CHRIST!   Love Grandma and Grandpa