Friday, September 27, 2013

We made it to the Temple!

The temple at the top of this blog is the Louisville, Kentucky temple and now we have been there!
On Thursday we attended the Louisville Kentucky  temple with the Crestwood Zone of missionaries.  There are approximately 45 Elders and Sisters in that zone.  We overfilled the temple endowment room (which has a capacity of 40) so the temple workers brought in extra chairs.  There were four other senior couples in the session as well. One couple is going home the first of October.  It was a great session.  There are two rooms plus the Celestial room.  The temple operates differently than a large temple because they have very few ordinance workers.  It is in a beautiful location with lots of gorgeous homes surrounding it.  Elder Hicken was there. He  is related to us through the Watsons and Moultons  and is the zone leader in that zone.  Also Sister Hall who is friends with Aaron and Kira was there.  It was a lot of fun.  We closed the mission office so we could go to the temple.  On the way home we stopped at Costco and bought some stuff we needed.  They have a really nice Costco store but it takes about 50 minutes to get there from our work. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Here is the picture we have all been waiting to see.  My parents in front of the Kentucky Louisville Mission office.  Hurray!  They are really there.
And here are the Bollinger's passing off the office binders to my parents. Elder Bollinger sure looks excited to be done with his.
Good luck on this new adventure Mom and Dad.  We are so proud of you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The work continues in Kentucky

On Saturday my parents went to the mission office for one last day of training from the Bollingers (the senior couple they are replacing).  Then that evening they attended a baptismal service at their church building. The baptismal font is accessed through side doors in the chapel.  So for baptismal services you just change the direction of the chairs.  There are no benches in the chapel just chairs.
After picking up some groceries Saturday night my dad got a call asking him to teach the gospel essentials class the next day.  My mom reports he did a great job even with so little notice.  I think they will be responsible for teaching that class each Sunday.  My parents were also asked to speak in church next Sunday.  After Sunday services my parents drove home some of the members in their ward.  One lady lived 20 minutes from the church in one direction and another lady was 20 minutes in the other direction.  Neither of these ladies has a car and often they have to walk home through unsafe areas.  My mom explained that walking that far would be like walking from the stake center to their house in Sammamish.  Then they ate dinner with the 4 elders serving in their branch.   Fixing dinner for the Elders on Sunday is a tradition in the branch but is a little tricky when you drive people home from church and you can't actually cook in the church kitchen.  My mom is going to have to be creative with the meals she serves them. 
On Monday one of the things my mom did was forward letters and packages to about 50 missionaries.  Then after she finished that the Ensign church magazines arrived in the mail.  There was one for each of the 250 missionaries so she has 250 mailing labels to print out.  More mail comes everyday so she can't fall behind.

My mom mentioned that they have a washer and dryer in their apartment which is good news but unfortunately they are both very small.  They can only fit a few pieces of clothing in at a time and the dryer takes 2 hours to dry.  She is still working out a system to get all of their clothes washed while they are at home.  My mom has a magnetic fridge and has hung up some pictures of her grandkids on it.  She's hoping that her grandkids will send her some Fall pictures to hang on the walls of her apartment.  My mom loves hearing news from home so please send her email updates of the fun things you are doing.



Friday, September 20, 2013


Tonight the Shawnee branch of the church that we attend was invited to a revival at the nearby Catholic church along with people from the Mt. Zion Baptist church.  Eight Missionaries and 3 Senior Couples sang.  The Shawnee Branch President spoke about the history of the Church using the topic of the Fire of Faith.  The other two church choirs sang numbers accompanied by guitars, electronic keyboards and drums.  Our missionary choir sang the Spirit of God like a fire is burning and I am a child of God .  One sister missionary sang the bulk of the I am a child of God as a solo with piano and flute accompaniment with the choir joining in for the last chorus .  She is from North Bend, WA and is a wonderful singer.  Elder Beecroft who is from our stake in Washington is serving in our branch.  We have two adult couples plus 4 full time elders in the branch for a total of 8 missionaries .  The branch has 5 baptisms scheduled for Saturday, (tomorrow) at 6 pm.  We are learning our jobs in the office and will be on our own starting on Monday.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More training

The Mission president and his wife took us to lunch today which was fun. 
It was another frustrating day for us however as we learned our jobs.  The couple we are replacing are very good at computers and programming, unlike ourselves, so it is hard to keep up with them.  Additionally, looking at a computer screen all day gets my eyes so I can't even see. We'll get it worked out, but keep us in your prayers.  I'm sure the first month will  be the hardest for us. 
One of my responsibilities is forwarding the mail and packages that come to the mission office for the missionaries.  I have to print out labels with their current address and post it over the mission office address.  The mailman brings us a big load each day and I send him out with a big load of mail to be forwarded.
There is another senior couple working at the office and they are very busy too.  They are in charge of cars and apartments for the missionaries.  Tonight they had to drive to Indiana to take some missionaries a key to their car, because they got locked out. They are out of the office a lot, running around- but at least they get to see a little of the area. They are very nice. 
The mission president's wife gets medical calls about the missionaries.  Tonight she was busy at the funeral, so Dad had to take care of one of those calls at dinner time.
Even though the work is hard we feel very needed here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life in Kentucky

We arrived in Louisville yesterday afternoon.  We went to the office and right away started training. We only stopped because the Bollingers (the couple training us) had to go help someone in the branch plan a funeral. We drove to our apartment, which is nice.  It is about 20 minutes from the office. It was set up with everything we needed and so clean and nice. The Bollinger's moved into a small apartment in the mission office this week so we could move into their apartment.  They will stay in Louisville until the end of the week to train us.  We had peanut butter sandwiches for dinner because we still had some left from Sunday.  We brought in all of our stuff and got unpacked and set up. We didn't really see any of the neighbors.

We went back to the office Tuesday morning at 8:00 and got right back to work on training. There is so much to learn, we are both overwhelmed. Luckily we took our peanut butter and bread and had sandwiches for lunch (we only had time for a short break). Then we trained for a few more hours.

Tuesday evening we went with the Bollingers to meet some of the people in the branch that they home teach. These people are all so Christ like and love the Bollinger's so much, and are sad to see them go. We already love the Bollinger's - they are amazing people and have big shoes to fill!
I could only sum our first two days up by saying it seems like we have been here forever. I could already write a book about our experiences and I have been humbled in a ways that can't be explained on an email.

We know the Lord loves all of children and there is much we can do to serve and help others. However, we already know that we can't help them nearly as much as they can help us. We have a lot to learn about loving like Christ does.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

They made it to Kentucky

My parents sent out an email last night saying they had made it to Louisville and had spent the afternoon at the mission office.  The senior couple they are replacing will be training them for the next four days.  They are expecting many late nights.  They haven't sent any pictures yet but I thought you would enjoy these two photos.   This is President and Sister Woodbury of the Kentucky, Louisville mission.  I'm sure my parents are getting to know them well.
This is the mission sign outside of the mission office with the Woodbury's and two of the sister missionaries in the mission.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kentucky bound

My parents are on their way to Kentucky and will arrive there on Monday.  Thursday night they stayed in Vernal, Utah.  Friday night they stayed in Denver with my older brother Terrell and his wife.  They went out to eat at an Italian Pizza place, then to get ice cream and also took a walk with them. 
Today (Saturday) they are making their way across Kansas.  They lived in Kansas in the early 1970's so I bet this is bringing back lots of fun memories.  They will attend church in Manhattan, Kansas on Sunday.  
I have highlighted their travel path in blue.  The distance between Provo, Utah and Louisville, Kentucky is 1600 miles.  It takes 26 hours to drive that far. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Office training complete!

Today we had our last day of office training. A man from the church's Global Fleet Service  came to talk to us about mission cars.  It was very interesting and informative. He said that because of the influx of missionaries,  all the missions are calling for more cars. This takes time and cars are expensive. They are bought with our tithing money, so there is also a lot of accountability involved.  Missionaries who are allowed to drive must have the right attitude, be obedient and be held accountable!
An important thing we learned is that most 18 year olds have not been trained how to maintain a car.  We should teach both our young men and women how to fill a car with gas, how to use a credit card, how to fill the tires with the right amount of air, take it to get the oil changed and know how to check the brakes and wipers. They also need  to wash it and vacuum it and keep it clean. These are all necessary tasks that have to be done in the mission field.  Many youth can be overwhelmed with that stewardship as well as all the other things they must learn and do.

He said that someone once asked: "How much does a convert baptism cost?"  We are slowly learning how much it costs to send these missionaries out, but the Lord has said,  "The Worth of Souls is Great" and so that is WHY we do it!

We closed our classes today with a testimony meeting. It has been an amazing two weeks with amazing people. Their missions will be blessed to have them!

We left the MTC at about 4:00 p.m. and headed to the Walker's house (Angela's in laws) to pick up some our belongings which we had stored there.
 And we are off!
We are staying in Vernal Thursday night on our way to Kentucky.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day three of office training


We had more office training today. There is a lot to learn.  Then we had a surprise.  A Senior Couple, Bro. and Sis. Hawks, who had been on 4 missions came to speak to us. They talked to us about how our mission call is our own 139th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is a call specifically for us, with promises attached.  They reminded us that this is our time to give back to the Lord. We need to "mentally" move into the mission field as well as physically.  We are on the Lord's errand and if we do all that we can do to trust in Him and move forward He will take care of "Home" for us.

After class, we went to the Golden Corral buffet restaurant to eat with members of my family.  Kathy and Karen, Dianne and Janaya and David and Susan and Spencer, Jacob, Danny and Jasmine.  It was fun see all of them. And we said our "last goodbyes". 

Tomorrow will be our last day at the MTC so we will hang a tag like this on our bedroom door to let them know it is ready for cleaning.

Member Missionary Work

Today they divided up the finance people and the secretaries for separate training. They squished all the men into a small room and the women got to stay in the larger room.
We were together in the afternoon and learned how to work out transfers on the computer- so we are ready to go!

We had a wonderful devotional tonight. Elder James B. Martino spoke on the importance of members working to help the missionaries. He talked about how Alma, being a missionary, used Amulek, as a member, to help him fellowship as they taught. Alma 8:30 " And Alma went forth, and also Amulek, among the people, to declare the words of God unto them; And they were filled with the Holy Ghost."  Alma 10:10  Amulek said  "And again, I know that the things whereof he hath testified are true; for behold I do say unto you that as the Lord liveth, even so has he sent his angel to make these things manifest unto me".  Elder Martino said that Alma and the missionaries are the angels bringing the message to the world and the members go with them to testify that it is true.  He said that every missionary needs an Amulek to help him. Loved that idea!  As we are here watching so many missionaries prepare with excitement to go out and teach, our prayer have changed to ask that the members will work more effectively with them so they don't get discouraged and loose that spirit!

This is a picture of us in the courtyard that we walk through this week to get to our classrooms. It is beautiful here!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Missionary Farewell and Mission office training

MTC Day 7

Sunday morning we drove up to Centerville to go to Church. Jason's brother Charles and his wife Fran were giving their talks before leaving for their senior mission to Belize. Another couple who had just returned from a Humanitarian mission to Indonesia also spoke. Lots of great missionary spirit was there. They reminded us that challenges come before the blessings, but it is his work and the blessings will come.   D&C 84:88 was quoted several times, "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face, I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." 
Their ward has 23 missionaries out on missions including 4 Sr. couples. Way to go!

We ate lunch at Charles' house with lots of relatives and friends who had come to hear them speak. It was great to get to see lots of family. Grandma Moulton was there and we got some good pictures of her and her posterity.
We had to get back to the MTC by 4:30 to eat dinner because we had an exit fireside at 5:30 and another devotional at 7:00.  The MTC temple presidency spoke at the 1st fireside. It was for all missionaries who would leave for the field this week. They actually had it at three locations, since there were so many leaving. It was wonderful. Full of praise for how the missionaries had grown since coming here and lots of good advice for making their missions a success.
At 7:00, Richard L Heaton, executive director of the MTC, spoke to us about prayer.  His whole point was that it is impossible to know Spiritual truths without prayer.  We need to focus on making sure investigators learn how to pray so they can pray to know if the things they are taught are true.

That evening the missionaries were so happy and singing outside. A group was singing "God be with you till we meet again" in a different language. They were hugging and singing to those who were getting ready to leave the next morning.

Week Two-Mission office Training
 Today we spent the day learning about computers. This included an introduction to Microsoft word and the internet missionary operating system. This system is what we will be using as we work in the mission office. We each had a computer to use and  we were able to connect to our Louisville Kentucky mission site and see pictures of the missionaries and the organization of that mission. We also got an introduction to spread sheets on excel. We wish we would have had this course a long time ago, as we learned how to use lots of functions on our computers that we didn't know we had.
We are in a new building this week, and we saw this picture of "The Standard of Truth" so we got another picture.

Monday, September 9, 2013

MTC day 5 and 6

MTC Day 5

Friday we did more teaching experiences. This time we were paired with a couple from a different district. We each had a chance to represent an inactive couple and then switch and be the missionaries and they were the inactive couple. We spent 15 minutes to get to know them and problems they are having. Then we went back to prepare a lesson before meeting again and teaching for 30 minutes.  The teachers told us that it would be a special experience and that we would get inspiration to reach those who we know who are inactive, and they were right.  Everyone loved it and learned so much. It's amazing what we can do when we work by the spirit.  All of our lessons were on praying and working with the spirit. More lessons for that day were on how we can work with the Bishop's and Stake leaders to help in their wards. Missionaries need to be a blessing, not a burden for the wards they work with.

We ended Friday with a large meeting where we shared what we learned and felt during our week of training.  Some of my favorite things that were shared were: "It felt like a whole week in the temple", "Everyone here is so happy",  "We are going out to help others find what we already have", "The Gospel is simple, but can solve every problem".  We heard Elder Holland's talk and he said: " REAL LIFE is not what you are leaving and coming back too. Your mission is REAL LIFE."  We would all be better missionaries if we could all spend a week at the MTC!  About half of the couple's who trained with us finished today and are heading off into the mission field.  We will miss them!  We went to dinner and then had good visits with some of them.  That evening we took a walk around the Provo Temple.  Since this temple is so close to the MTC there are almost always missionaries taking walks there.

MTC Day 6

Saturday is our Preparation Day, so we could spend it any way we chose. It was suggested that we attend the Temple that day.  Jason and I wanted to see the Movie, "Ephraim's Rescue". We met my sister Kathy and Karen and went to it at noon in Pleasant Grove.  It was amazing. It was about the Martin Handcart company which our relatives were in when they came across the plains as Mormon pioneers.

It never ceases to amaze me how obedient the pioneers were to leave their country and many times family members, to follow the call of the leaders to join the Saints in Zion. It was a call to help "Built up the Kingdom". I think had I been alive then, I might have said that I was just fine where I was. But they didn't make excuses why they couldn't go. They just wanted to do what the Lord called them to do and they didn't complain. Even when they had hard times, they still called on the Lord and saw miracles happen.  I hope you all can see it.
Then we met our relatives Susan, Spencer and Jacob for lunch and had a fun visit. Then Jason and I enjoyed doing a session at the Mt. Timpanogos temple. While we were in the session, we could hear a terrible thunder storm. We came out to rain,  flooding, fallen trees. We found out that the BYU football game was delayed 2 hours, so we were able to see all the crowds walking back to the game as we made our way back to the MTC. We barely made it to dinner 5 minutes before they closed the cafeteria at 7:00 p.m.
One of the perks of being Senior Missionaries is that we can use electronics. So we came back to our building and found other couples in the lounge watching the Football game. Someone was able to get it on their laptop computer with their Comcast account.  So several of us had a fun evening watching BYU beat Texas 40-21.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Our district and the laundry

Today we continued to have meetings with our large group of Senior Missionaries and also in our districts.  I included pictures of our district with our morning teacher, Sister Brown and our afternoon teacher, Sister Anderson.  They are young teachers just like the ones that teach the young missionaries.
This morning we went back to the TRC (teaching resource center) and taught another lesson to an investigator. We always have a certain lesson to prepare, however, when we get with our investigator we have to adapt our lesson to special needs they might have.  It is fun, but I need to be a lot more knowledgeable about how to find helpful scriptures to share at a moment's notice. We are taught to work with the spirit and of course that is the only way that really works.  We teach as couples so we also have to practice how to teach together. Below is a picture of the church where we meet for classes. The building to the right of the church, with the white top, is the building that we stay in.    
Tonight, in the bookstore, we met two elders who are going to the Seattle mission.  They said they are part of a large group of missionaries leaving the MTC on Tuesday and heading to Seattle. We were able to introduce them to the Allens who are  a Senior couple going to work in the Seattle mission office. The Bookstore is on the bottom floor of the building we live in.
After dinner, we did our laundry and were the only ones in the laundry room, because the younger missionaries were all in classes.  Now that is a lot of washers and dryers!

Two elders came down later to study and talked to us. On was from Lake Stevens, WA and is the Glazener's nephew. It is such a small world here, even with so many people around.   I will send a picture of the laundry room at the MTC. There are also computers there so missionaries can send emails while they wait for their laundry.

It is hot and sunny here during the day and it usually rains at night.  Tonight we had a beautiful rainbow.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

More fun at the MTC

MTC Day 2
We are very busy here. We get up at 6:30, eat breakfast at 7:15, start classes at 8:00. We go until 4:30. We are having classes on how to use Preach My Gospel and tomorrow we will teach an investigator.
Tonight we went to a devotional at the Marriott center. We were driven down in a tour bus. All the young missionaries have to walk.  Elder David F. Evans spoke. He is in the 1st council of the seventy and executive secretary in the missionary department of the church. His talk was all about the changes in the missionary program that happened to accommodate all the new missionaries coming out since the October. He spoke about Jacob 5 and the parable of olive trees. In verse 61, he said the Lord didn't ask for more time for the trees, but more servants for the garden. He likened that to all the new missionaries who are prepared to serve the Lord at this time. They had a huge missionary choir sing and it was so fun to see so many missionaries in one place.
 Posing with Sister Gee from our home ward.
MTC Day 3
We had another good and busy day.  Today we all had to teach an investigator. We taught a lesson on the Restoration to a volunteer in the Teaching Resource Center. We were a little  nervous, but it turned out well. All the volunteers pretend to be investigators, so we don't know for sure if they are members or not.  Tomorrow we teach a lesson on the Plan of Salvation. We are studying for that.
604 new missionaries arrived today. They had them all checked in one and 1/2 hours.  It is quite a process. Tonight we have our window open and they are all out laughing and talking on their way back to their rooms. This has gone on for over 30 minutes- there are so many of them.

We also saw Sister Tantillo from our home ward and got a picture with her. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

First day at the MTC

This morning we left Marylou's house where we had been staying and headed to the MTC in Provo.
We took this photo with Jason's Mom and siblings when we visited them over the weekend.
After checking in we went to take the traditional photo that all missionaries take pointing to the place they are going to serve on their mission.  You can see my name tag in the photo.
We got checked in and got all of our materials, room assignment this morning. We eat in the MTC cafeteria with all the elders and sisters - there are around 3500 of them here right now. Lots of excitement!   They said that 127 Senior missionaries checked in today. We are the second largest group they have had. The record was 128.
We have all of our meetings in a chapel right next to where we are staying. The Chapel was full. We all introduced ourselves and said where we came from and where we are assigned to serve. I wrote down each mission as there was someone going to all the ends of the earth.  We have been assigned districts as we will also meet as smaller groups sometimes during the week. Dad was assigned to be a district leader.
At 5:00 we came home and unpacked.  We are staying in the Jacob Hamblin building. It is north of the main building. It is quite new and has elders on the 1st floor and sisters on the 2nd floor and Senior couple on the 3rd floor. Our room is very nice and it is like a hotel with
a dresser, nice closet, bathroom and queen size bed. We have two overstuffed side chairs with and end table where we put the computer. Dad said to say we have high speed internet.  The room is not really big, but nice. Some people are staying at the Marriot downtown. But we are happy to be so close to everything.  This is the view out of our room window. It overlooks the sidewalk to the cafeteria and looks at Y mountain.

 We went to dinner about 6:00.  We are making lots of friends to visit with. Plus it's like watching a parade watching all the sisters and elders come in and out.  They have 26 minutes to eat. We are finished with classes at 4:30 so we could just sit in the cafeteria as long as we want.  After dinner we went for a walk around the MTC. We stopped at the gym to watch lots of the missionaries playing volley ball and basketball.  Then we came home and read our assignment for the next day.