Monday, November 24, 2014

This week was an "off" week where we didn't have meals with ward leaders and members. In spite of that, we had some great visits and met some wonderful people throughout the stake.
On Monday we visited several families in our neighborhood and had a call from a brother that we have worked with quite a bit to tell us he is again trying to get into an apartment. He wanted us to know how he appreciates those who have been willing to help him as he struggles.
Tuesday is preparation day so we worked around the house and then made some visits. We had been asked to visit a family where the mother just found out she has cancer. As we arrived her husband was just taking the daughter to Y W and that his wife had just had her first chemotherapy treatment and was pretty sick. We appreciated the optimism and faith that things would work out for her.
The Green Canyon Stake in Logan is having a Christ Centered Christmas with a display of nativity sets and four live nativity performances. We have been visiting people and leaving invitations to this event which will be on Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving.
We visited one couple who lives in a rather remote area of the stake we had been in the area before but we were not sure where the house was so we waited to visit during the day. What a wonderful couple, they have been on a mission to New York doing imaging of records. He met us at the door and said something like, Mormon missionaries? We are Baptists but you are welcome to come in.
We had a great visit about their mission and our mission and talked about family history. We visited some of the widows we have become acquainted with and invited them to the Christmas display. One of the most interesting visits was to a less-active High Priest. He was especially interested in why we were there and who sent us. He said he doesn't hear well enough to attend church meetings but we left him a message. We had a good day and met more wonderful people.
Thursday was a stormy day but we persisted in our visits. We visited a neighbor family with two little girls and left a message and an invitation for the nativity program. We then visited a family that has been in Hyrum for a long time. They were so welcoming and after we left our message they said if we needed a warm place or a meal just stop in and we would be welcome anytime. What a great family!
Friday we visited mostly in our neighborhood with several members, we enjoy keeping our neighborhood families in touch with our work. We miss being able to attend many ward functions so it is good to touch base with these good people.
Saturday was another snowy, wintry day but we pushed on. In the afternoon we attended a mini MTC with the youth in the Fourth Ward. We participated as investigators with a companionship who taught us and then we suggested some things that they could do to make their presentation more effective. In just one day, they had developed a great presentation and showed confidence, we were impressed.
They fed us an international dinner and then we went out to try to make some more visits.
Next week is transfer week so we are anxious to find out what changes will take place.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Each week is somewhat unique. We are enjoying some great experiences as we invite people to come unto Christ! Always remember, the invitation is the most important part of missionary work.
Sunday's are always long days with an early morning correlation meeting with ward mission leaders and full-time missionaries. Following that we usually go to some ward council meetings and to at least two sacrament meetings.
Last Sunday we were invited to dinner with the Young Men's president and his family in the First Ward. The family has mostly teenagers, one son just recently returned from his mission and has been called to the Elders quorum presidency in the YSA Ward in our area who was preparing to go on visits to quorum members. Following a lovely meal with a potato bar, we shared a video about the importance of member missionary work. We visited a couple of families. The final home we visited was very challenging. The father was the only one at home and he said that the family had moved in recently and decided to take some time off from church activity. The couple has been married in the temple and they have one son left at home who has been to Y M activities and seemed to fit in well. The Y M president was very bold and told the brother that if this gospel is true and he had made these commitments then he should consider his feelings about his level of activity. He assured the brother that the Lord loves him and the ward members loved the family and would do whatever they could to help them feel welcome in the ward.

Monday afternoon we went to see a couple whom we had worked with in indexing. He had just gotten home from work and we had a great visit. The sister has had some health challenges recently and the brother had a wonderful family experience which mended some wounds that had festered for many years. It was a spiritual experience to hear them testify how good the Lord has been to them. He is still faithfully indexing and arbitrating. We then went to visit a widow. We had been there before but had not had anyone answer the door. She is 89 years old and she said if she didn't have her hearing aids in, she couldn't hear the door bell. Her visiting teachers had just been there and so she was in the front room and when we arrived. Such a wonderful lady and a very nice visit. We also stopped and had a nice visit with her son who lives next door that we found out doesn't usually have much to do with the Church.
Our dinner was with a young family with six children from 10 years to 6 months. She had also invited her parents to dinner which was nice to get acquainted with them as well. We gave the children a lesson on the plan of salvation in which they participated and enjoyed taking part.
We also stopped in to see a family that has two children that were recently baptized and encouraged them in their Church activity.

We enjoyed our preparation day and then went to the home of our current city mayor. It was a delightful evening and wonderful dinner that the husband had cooked even though it was his birthday.They had invited a couple we knew well to join us for dinner. It was great to be able to get better acquainted with everyone including some grandchildren.
After dinner we decided to call on some good friends who used to be next door neighbors. Everyone was home and it was just a delightful visit. Their oldest son is graduating from high school this year and had just gotten his ACT score and was really elated at future prospects for schooling . We shared a Thanksgiving video with them and a message and a crocheted pumpkin with a message on gratitude attached.

Wednesdays are District meetings except on transfer weeks. We are always impressed with the quality of teaching by our District leader. In the afternoon we made a return visit to a couple we had visited a week earlier. He is not active and we had an impression we needed to challenge him to prepare himself to take his wife to the temple. He has been less-active for such a long time that the invitation was not enthusiastically received. We were invited to return and we will try to love him enough that he will desire to come back to activity. We then had several visits with Primary children's families with the Primary President and then went to her home to warm up with a nice bowl of homemade soup.
The weather had turned off very cold and it was good to be warm inside the home and inside the body.
Thursday we had a wonderful dinner in the home of the ward mission leader. He has a delightful family and they have such a wonderful spirit in their home that it is always a joy to be there. We shared the Thanksgiving message and then made a couple of other visits.We distributed some flyers to chapels in the Stake and in one building we encountered a Single Adult dinner of turkey and the trimmings and a member of the Stake Presidency coerced us into having some dinner with them. It was fun to get acquainted with some of the single adults and we visited with a fellow we have met with and encouraged to return to church activity.
We also stopped to see a couple that are retired teachers. They are well known and neat people who have just filled their lives with everything except church activity. It is sad because he is a returned missionary. I kept thinking of Elder Holland's recent admonition to our missionaries in a mission conference. He told the missionaries that they have no right to turn away from the principles they have taught and testified of while on their missions. So much strength could be added to the Church if all the returned missionaries were active.
We also had a wonderful Sr Couples meeting with our area Seventy and a counselor from our mission presidency in attendance. These meeting are always uplifting and full of great ideas and testimonies.
One new senior couple told us about how a bishop assigned someone to home teach them. He said he knew he was a project but the persistence and love of this home teaching couple brought him back into full activity and they will be a great couple in our area!
The work isn't easy but it is worth it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We so enjoy our visits with some of the elderly and widows. These people are often lonely and have a lot of time on their hands. They are so gracious and happy to have people visit them. It's an honor to go into their homes and feel the warmth of the spirit from lives of devotion.
Tuesdays are always busy doing house work and getting things done that we don't have a chance to do during the week, like the laundry and budget.
Tuesday night we were invited to go to dinner with our couple that we taught Temple Prep and then went to the temple with them. Their baby is so cute but growing up so fast and has such a cute personality. Nice reward for doing work that is so important for eternal families.
Wednesday we had another nice visit with a widow sister. Her husband died three years ago. She spends a lot of time alone so loves company. Her son lives close by but only stops in once in a while which leaves her with a lot of time on her hands. Ruth has crocheted some little pumpkins and attaches a thought on gratitude by Pres. Monson to them. The people are thrilled to have something for Thanksgiving as well as this thought. "A grateful heart...comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives... Someone has said that feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
Thursday we had several visits. One was to an older couple, both of them are 79 years old. She is quite active but her husband is not, He has not received the Melchizedek Priesthood. We had a wonderful visit and encouraged them to write down some of their history and even go to the family search library to record an oral history. The husband has the mersa virus and spent about four months in the hospital. I have had some strong feelings about him and even wakened during the night thinking how we could encourage him to take his wife to the temple. I have recorded these impressions and we are going to meet with them again this week to see if we can move him toward the next ordinance. We also visited another widow and a less-active sister in the same ward. We hope these visits will help them return to activity in the Gospel.
This week ended like the last one, attending a funeral. One of our close friends found out she had cancer just recently. We served as assistant coordinators with them and became fond friends. She went fast and passed away quite suddenly. There were a large number of our temple family at the funeral and as the casket was wheeled from the chapel we were asked to form an honor guard along the sidewalk. The funeral was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful sister and friend.
There are a lot of council and correlation meetings with missionary work. They are very important so the work is done effectively. In addition to transporting our sisters as needed, our weeks are pretty full but we love it. The work is true and it is worth whatever time it takes to get it right!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

We are having an enjoyable time meeting new people throughout the stake. What a blessing to meet these people that otherwise we would not have the opportunity to know. We love the opportunity to help our sister missionaries as well. They are a great companionship and are working hard. They have had some challenges with their apartment. The bishop and the stake president have been working together and the sisters now have an apartment with new beds, new paint, new lighting fixtures and new carpet. They still have a few spiders coming in but nothing like before all this work was done.

Our full time missionaries in the area hosted a musical fireside on Sunday night. It was a wonderful presentation and very well attended. As far as we could tell, there was not an empty seat in the Logan Tabernacle. We spent some time visiting some of the people we had already visited and others in our area and invited them to the fireside. The office received some telephone calls commenting on the quality of the presentation.

Our dinner appointments this week were in the 14th ward. They are very hospitable and kind to the missionaries. They have a ward mission leader who is very dedicated and works hard. There was a sad event in their ward early in the week. A girl three years of age by the name of Nicole Peterson passed away. She had leukemia and had spent a third of her life as a patient in Primary Children's Hospital. What an ordeal for their family. However, the faith of the family and the support from ward members was wonderful. The funeral was held on Saturday and the building was filled to capacity.
Probably the most touching moment was when her father spoke and gave his testimony of how her illness and death has increased their testimony of the Savior. Included in the program was a beautiful song by Bro. Prasek who used to sing in the Tabernacle Choir sang so beautifully; "Comin Home."
The final musical number was a couple of people from the hospital music therapy program that sang a personalized selection from the movie; "Frozen" LET IT GO.

One visit we made was successful. We visited a single brother who had gone to the temple recently. He was excited that someone would pay attention to him and he apologized for not being in church recently. He said he would be in church on Sunday and we were happy to be able to greet him there.
Friday (Halloween Day) we took the sisters to Ogden for a meeting and then straight back to a baptism. This baptism has been in the pipeline for sometime. Finally this couple decided they would be married in the afternoon and the husband and the woman's son would be baptized later in the day. Everything went together and the took place. The sister's mother came all the way from Missouri to attend the baptism and bore her testimony. Several of the sister missionaries who had worked with this family were able to attend the services. It was good to see all of them again.

On Saturday, following the funeral, one of our bishop's baptized his son in a very nice baptismal service. We were happy to be there for that event.

We had a family history demonstration with a family in our ward and then on Saturday evening, we made a presentation to the  Fourth Ward Primary about getting started on family history. This was a family event with a nice group of children and their parents. The children seemed excited and asked a lot of questions.

The Lord has been very kind to us and we appreciate the opportunity to be of service in His kingdom.