Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  It seems that each week goes faster now but we are enjoying the opportunity to meet new people in our stake. We have talked some about how great it is to still be meeting people we do not know. With over three thousand people in the stake, it isn't hard to understand why we are still meeting those families we have not met before.
  Monday night was special. We spent some family time as Jennette's grandson Anthony graduated from the police acadamey. He also earned the award for being the most physically fit in the class.
  Tuesday turned out to be a different day. We have been working with Nick and trying to help him through s tough stretch in his life. He called in the morning and asked if we could take him to Idaho Falls to pick up a truck.We first told him no because Ruth had taken some sisters to the temple early in the morning and we were to pick them up and take them to the transfer breakfast. We looked at our schedule and felt it might be the best use of our time to accomodate Nick's request if he could go in the afternoon. So we went to the breakfast at a family named Tolman in the Wellsville area and had a great time as the missionaries learned of new assignments. We were w
"whitewasshed" as Sis. Fraizer went home and Sis. Burt was transferred to Mendon. In their place we have elders. Elder Madsen and Elder Castillo.
That afternoon we drove Nick to Idaho Falls and then returned home. It was a long day but we had a good discussion with Nick. He seems to be inching closer to wanting to look closer at meeting with the missionaries. His bishop is just a great man and is looking after him even though he is not a member of the Church.
  On Wednesday morning we took the truck to pick up Sisters belongings and take them to the Tabernacle in Logan where we traded them for our new elders. Sister Michia was transferred to Ogden so we helped her as well as Sis. Burt. We met our new elders and trucked their belongings to their new apartment and they started to settle in. Later I drove them around the area and talked with them about what we knew as far as their work was concerned. They dug right in and cleaned out the apartment and organized their area book. It is great now that they have I pads they can get much of the information they need and know what has been going on in the area.
   Thursday we took the Elders to lunch and then spent the afternoon talking with them about what we knew about the work in the area. They are anxious to meet people and push forward.
   Friday morning we had a nice visit with the family we taught temple lessons and went to the temple with them a few months ago. They have moved to Nibley and they brought their son and visited with us for a while. They seem to be doing well which we were happy to know.
  Sunday was a busy and long day. We started with an early morning stake council meeting. It was a follow up with the discussion centering on making the Sabbath a delight. The bishops and counselors were invited to attend, it was a great meeting. We then attended the 14th ward, we hadn't been there for a while and we really enjoyed their sacrament meeting. We then attened Nibley 2nd ward where our friends, the John's gave their mission ending report. It was a nice opportunity to see them and their family. We had a home teaching visit before our ward mission leader meeting.
We returned to the 14th ward for dinner. It was great because we weree invited to the Barfus family in the 14th ward. Josh's grandmother was Hazel who was married to Ruth's dad. Cheli's step-mother and her husband are very good friends of ours, we have been good friends most of the time we have lived in Hyrum. They have twin boys and a new little girl that is just about four months old and cute as can be.
We love this work and are thankful for the opportunity to work together to share our testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel.

Monday, November 16, 2015

  Time marches on but we are going to take advantage of each day and enjoy every experience. Last Sunday was an especially exciting day. I'm just looking back on our blog and it appears that the entry last week was not posted. We took our prep day and went to Eagle Mountain to see our new little granddaughter Elizabeth. She is so sweet and the children are all excited to have her join the family. The highlight of the week was when we were able to attend the ordination of Chris to the Melchizedek Priesthood. He was very humble but excited. His mother and his sister attended. His mother was very teary and his sister seemed happy to be there as well. This is like a pay day for missionaries.
  This week we had some great teaching appointments. We mostly stopped in to see people that had been referred to us and we found many home and were able to give messages to the families. We found a neat video on Thanksgiving we are sharing that is very well done.
We were saddened by a letter from our former supervisor couple. Elder Fryer has been diagnosed with stage four liver bile duct cancer and has about six months to live. This couple treated us so kindly and were so great as our leaders. It is hard to see this kind of thing happen in the lives of people we love. We are praying that he will have a good quality of life and know how much he is loved by those that they helped in our missionary service.
We have had some great visits with members who have invited us to dinner with their families. We have been blessed to get acquainted with so many neat people in the Stake. This has been a blessing we have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy as we see these people even after our mission ends.
Friday afternoon we attended a temple session. As we were going into the temple we met a special couple who have become close friends. Through tears he told us he has been called to be a counselor to the bishop in his ward and asked if we could come when he is set apart following sacrament meeting. Bro. Toone will make a great counselor for the bishop.
The day was rather bitter-sweet for us. Last night we attended a farewell testimony meeting for our Sis. Frazier and another sister who started her mission in our area, Sis. Smith. It was a tearful meeting but a spirit filled meeting. We are anxious to see what happens with transfers looming on Wednesday.
What a blessing to serve the Lord. We pray each day for guidance so that we can see the people the Lord needs us to help turn toward the Gospel.
I want to end with a quote from Elder Scott from his book 21 PRINCIPLES. He recognizes that adversity is a part of life. The Lord is interested in what we are becoming through our choices. Then he says this. " Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels your are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3: 11-12) He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching and that generally entails discomfort and pain."

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Week of November 10

  We have had a good week. We only have about four and a half months left to serve and we have been thinking some about what life might be like when we are finished with this assignment.
  We continue to have wonderful experiences with the young couple we have been teaching. They are so willing to learn and keep their commitments. They are praying and studying the scriptures. This will surely bring them blessings and opportunities to continue their understanding and spiritual growth.
  We have wonderful support from our leaders. One bishop gave us an opportunity to be of service to a young man. He and his family went to visit some people in his ward. The person that they wanted to see was not home but they met another young man who had just returned from spending some time in jail. His wife and child had left and gone to California and he was quite distraught. They left him the plate of cookies after visiting with him for a while and then called us and asked if we would take him to the bishop's storehouse the next day to get some food. As we drove to and from the storehouse, he gave us a life sketch. He is really struggling right now but is willing to learn and grow.
He promised the bishop he would come to church on Sunday and he came and a friend from the same apartment complex came with him. The friend had met with our sister missionaries earlier in the week.
  Saturday was a family day. We drove to Eagle Mountain. Our first experience was to watch our grandson Jeff play a football game. This is his first year playing tackle football but is a dedicated football team member, willing to play wherever the coach wants to use him. He is one of the smallest in stature but has a big heart and desire to contribute. He was happy to play and his team won the game and now this week will be in a playoff game.
Following the game we drove with our son Keith to Provo to watch two of his girls in the play, "Into the Woods Jr." Jessie played Red Riding Hood's grandmother, and Naomi played a tree. They both did a good job, we were happy to be there to see them act.

  Sunday was a normal but busy day. We attended several meetings including going to our own ward for the full block of meetings. It is always good to meet with people we know and  love, although we are getting quite well acquainted in all the wards int the stake.
  The highlight of this post is that yesterday Catherine and Keith delivered our 18th grand child. A beautiful little girl named Elizabeth. She was over due by doctors time table but right on time according to her mother. We are so excited to go spend some time with her tomorrow. One additional note is that she was born on her great grandfather's birthday. John N. Castleton, my father was born on Nov. 2, 1913. What a wonderful birthday present for him. We have wondered how much opportunity they may have had to become acquainted before she left the presence of Heavenly Father.I guess that is a question we can ponder until we are able to know for sure about things like that.