Sunday, January 25, 2015

Catching up again. We get so scheduled that sometimes things get overlooked. We had meals in the Third ward this week. We had some great visits and wonderful meals. It is so good to be in the homes and get acquainted with each family. We some neat discussions about our work following our message which usually about missionary opportunities.
It is fun to be in families where one of the children is getting prepared to serve the Lord on a mission. Obviously we often talk about the role of family history in missionary work as well. We try to be positive about the changes in Family Search, Family Tree, and opportunities to learn more about ancestors and perform temple ordinances for them.
We made some timely visits and had some spiritual visits with people as we were led by the spirit to call upon people who needed an uplift or some encouragement. One visit that was really timely was when we stopped in to see a family who committed to attend Sunday meetings. Just before we arrived the mother had a telephone call that her son in the Philippines had been killed earlier in the day. He was a young man in his 20's. They didn't know any details but were glad that we stopped in to offer our support and prayers. With the help of ward members, the family went to Church meetings the following day.
This week our Fourth Ward dinners were enjoyable. Our meals included a member of their bishopric and her mother who lives nearby. The ward has a new ward mission leader and wife who are doing so well and working hard to keep us and the sisters busy.Following dinner we had made arrangements to visit a family in our ward who has a son who is getting ready to put in his missionary papers. We waited at the home for a while because that son was at a missionary preparation class the stake is offering right now.We visited  a couple in that ward who had just moved to our stake from Washington. They are a nice couple. The wife has some heart problems but they seem to feel the doctors have a handle on the problem.
Later that evening we also stopped in to see a neighborhood friend and ward member. He has PTSD from his military service and struggles some with that problem. We did a follow up visit today because we heard he was going to have open heart surgery. Come to find out, the day following our visit, he ended up in the hospital for a few days. As a result of tests done at that time, he is having heart on Feb. 10 in Ogden. They seem confident that the VA has been vigilant in finding the best doctors available for the surgery and everything will be fine.
After our dinner on Tuesday evening, Sis. Castleton went on splits with one of our sister missionaries.
Wednesday was Zone Conference with our Cache South and the Cache North zone. We are always impressed with these conferences. Obviously the mission president and his wife are there and provide good instruction and inspiration. The bulk of the Conference though is handled by the president's assistants and  Zone leaders. Their training is so well done with inspiration and dedication. It is truly inspiring to be a part of these meetings. During this conference all the cars were equipped with "black boxes" that gives the mission leadership a great deal of information about where the cars are and what is happening in the cars. It is another tool to help keep the missionaries safe.
Following a lovely meal with an older couple Wednesday evening Ruth went visiting teaching to two of her sisters.
Thursday we had a follow up visit with a couple where the wife is active and the husband hasn't been active fro a number of years. During Zone Conference we were introduced to the 21 day Book of Mormon Challenge written by one of our young missionaries. The program is to read some verses each day from a list of scriptures, mark the verses that have meaning to the reader, then pray and ask God if the things which were read are true. This has been very effective for the missionary who compiled this list of scriptures. On Thursday we had our meal with a couple we had met before. The husband has recently attended a few church meetings, a fact we did not know prior to our visit. Each member of the family was willing to accept the challenge, so we are hopeful that they follow through to gain a testimony.
One of our missionaries explained in our zone study this week that psychologists have determined that it takes 21 days of repetition to establish a habit. This is a great habit to develop.

Our Logan Temple has been closed for a couple of weeks so we decided on Friday to take in a session. Following the temple we stopped at the Sunshine Terrace facility to visit a member from our stake that is in rehab there.  We also helped a less active member with transportation to the laundromat and to the food store. While waiting at the laundromat we gave him the 21 day Book of Mormon challenge.

Saturday was a great day. We had a good meal with a family who had just moved into our stake. They had a daughter and son-in-law living with them who are expecting their first baby in May.. Following the meal we gave them a missionary message which they seemed to enjoy. Following the message we were told the son-in-law was less active so we started talking about the Book of Mormon challenge. They said they didn't have a Book of Mormon so we retrieved two paperback books from our car trunk and gave them the challenge which they accepted. We pray they will follow through and bless their home with testimony and church activity.


Monday, January 12, 2015

We had a great week, we actually taught more lessons than our sister missionaries. We are getting referrals from our ward councils through our ward mission leaders. We really think we will meet the goals the Stake Presidency has set for us this year. There is a lot of work to be done but the work is progressing nicely.
The highlight of the week was unquestionably on Tuesday. We were able to go to the temple in Brigham City with Karen. With some help from Sis. Castleton, she was able to identify three women ancestors for baptisms. Elder Castleton baptized her and both sister missionaries were baptized for five temple names. It was a wonderful day. Karen has only been a member for a month and we asked her how she felt in the temple, she said, "I feel very blessed." Sis. Matheson and Sis. Bowman were both happy to have the opportunity to do baptisms as well. It was kind of a last hurrah for Sis. Bowman who was transferred from our area the next day. We will miss her.
  Thursday we had an appointment set up with an elderly member of the Fourth ward. When we arrived there was a note saying she had to take her son to the doctor and since the appointment was set up by a member of the ward council, she didn't have a telephone number to call us. Well, we used the technology we had learned in Zone Study that afternoon. With our new phones looked up what other members lived on that street and realized we were next door to a family we knew and so we stopped in and had a wonderful visit. This couple had served a mission in New Jersey and while there, the sister fell down some stairs and ended up in the hospital, when she was able to travel they returned home, and she hasn't really been very well since then.
As we completed our visit there and started toward our car, the sister we originally went to see returned home, she spotted us and came down the street to greet us. She invited us to come to her home where we had a wonderful visit.

Thursday evening we met with two member families to discuss family history. The children really enjoy getting involved with "My Family" booklets. The neat thing is, once they fill in the pages, with a little help from parents,then the information can easily be put into  Family Search.
    Friday we had another good day.Ruth worked with a member on a family history problem. We then called on an elderly lady who lost her husband a year ago. She was so grateful for the visit. She has family close by but she really appreciated our visit. We shared a message with her and just enjoyed sharing family experiences. Following a great dinner with a missionary minded family we started home and the sisters called us and asked us to go on a visit to some new members in our own ward. We gladly accepted and visited a family that has only been here a few months. They are renting and were just told they needed to move because the owners were selling their home. We shared a message and prayer which was a special experience. The sisters asked if they knew anyone else we could visit and they said the people next door had been there only a short time and they didn't know if they were members or not. We knocked on the door and the brother opened the door, invited us in and said, "I'll get my wife." We weren't sure at that point if they were members or not. The wife and a son were downstairs watching a movie. They came up and we had a wonderful visit. They are members and have been attending Church. On Sunday night we attended a stake baptismal preview and this son and his mother were there and were happy to see us. That was a wonderful experience!

Sunday we attended two ward council meetings and a sacrament meeting, then went to Richmond to hear Merinda Dayton report her mission in Finland. It was a wonderful day with family and our son Keith and his family drove up from Eagle Mountain to join us.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I completely spaced it last week and didn't get anything written. It wasn't like we were so busy, it was just an oversight.
During the week of Christmas we made several visits mostly to members to share the video "He Is The Gift." It was great to share thoughts and testimonies of the Lord, Jesus Christ and the effect of His birth for each of us. We also talked some about family history to see about future appointments to get people more involved in that phase of "Hastening the Work."
 One of the choicest experiences was to go to a baptism on Christmas Eve. This sister, Selma, has only been in the area for a short time but she lived with a member family and they had some Gospel discussions and she immediately asked to have the missionaries come and teach her. She has moved already to Salt Lake to live with her parents and fight for custody of her children. We are praying she will find acceptance and continue her progress in the Gospel.
We only had one dinner appointment during the week but it was great, a family invited their neighbor to join us for dinner and we had a great discussion after we showed them the Christmas video "Glad Tidings of Great Joy."
We had a wonderful Christmas, we had Christmas Eve with Kaylene, Ron, Hallie and TeTe. Then on Christmas Day, Keith and his family came in the afternoon and stayed overnight. Christmas is for children and we enjoyed having them in our home.

The week following Christmas was a very cold and stormy time. We did get out and make some visits but it wasn't as busy as we would like. We had a couple of dinners with member families. We always enjoy sharing video messages with families and discussing the Gospel with them following our meals. The members are always so kind and generous with us.
One of the highlights of the week was a meeting with a couple who have recently moved to Hyrum.
Both of them were adopted and are interested in finding some information on their birth families.
We met them at the family history center in our stake, The brother was so excited when we got him signed into Family Search. He knew some information because he had lived with a natural grandmother for some time. He was able to add to that knowledge by looking at some of the pictures and stories that have been entered into Family Search/Family Tree. How exciting it is to be able to find your family and feel the connection with them.
Surely the birth of the Savior has a great impact on lives of those who are searching for truth and light.