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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

And The Beat Goes On . .

Meet the Missionaries

Our cute sister missionaries:  Sister Dieter; Sister Cowley; Sister Larsen; Sister Bush.

The hardworking elders: Elder Lakey; Elder Mikelsen; Elder Galager; Elder McHann.
Jacksonville District Missionaries

We have so enjoyed working with all these wonderful missionaries.  The elders and sisters radiate enthusiasm for their callings.  Can you see how they sort of "glow" from within?  And they are noticed.  We were in a restaurant at lunch one day and the man behind the counter noticed our missionary name tag and commented he has seen a lot of badges like ours around town on young men with white shirts and ties riding bicycles.  

As senior missionary couples we try to attend the graduation of each of the young Marines we work with during their training at Camp Lejeune.  Just before we arrived here, the Abneys were approached by one of the commanding officers while attending a graduation ceremony.  He commented, "You must have a lot of children.  I've seen you at several of these graduations."  Sister Abney explained that they were here to serve the young LDS Marines and that they tried to care for them as if they were their own children, that they tried to wrap their arms around them and love them.
We attended a graduation at Camp Geiger this morning and have another one to go to tomorrow at Camp Johnson.  The one tomorrow is for a young man we have really grown fond of.  He is a returned missionary (Germany), recently married, and will be stationed at Camp Pendleton in California.  He is the one we took to the airport at 4 a.m. so he could spend a three day leave with his wife who stayed in Utah while he was in training here.  

Sadly, two of the missionaries pictured above were transferred this week, Elder McHann and Sister Larsen.  We will meet the two new missionaries tomorrow at District Meeting.  As Sister Larsen said, "They send you some place and tell you to love the people and you do and then they pull you out and send you somewhere else to start all over again.  Goodbyes are so hard!"  I am so glad I get to stay with my best friend and companion for the whole mission--and we don't even have to move to a new location. 

Temple Trip to Raleigh

The closest temple is in Raleigh, a three hour drive.  It is one of the new smaller temples.  The endowment room normally seats 60, but on our session they kept adding folding chairs in the aisle for people who were waiting to attend the session. They ended up adding 10 seats. They encourage you to make a reservation for the session you plan to attend and I can see why.  I liked the intimate feel of the smaller room and, of course, the spirit present is the same whether the temple is large or small.  

The temple grounds are very beautiful. Even in November there are many things still in bloom.  Don't know what tree or shrub this is, but we thought it was quite beautiful and it was still in full bloom.

 Roses in November.

A spectacular tree -- with colorful, variegated bark. The bark peels off in long strips.  The trunk just gleamed.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

After the 8:30 a.m. temple session we went to the Mission Office and had a potluck luncheon with all the senior missionary couples.  Later in the afternoon, Elder and Sister Furhman, held a workshop on Family Tree (the new LDS genealogy website).  The Furhmans are record preservation specialist working in the Raleigh area.  They have an interesting mission.  They are serving their 18 months in 6 month segments.  They serve during the late fall and winter in Raleigh, then return home to Idaho to take care of the family ranch for 6 months.

Training With Elder Baxter

Last week we attended an all day training in Fayetteville with Elder Baxter, a dynamic speaker and inspirational teacher.  He was born in Sterling, Scotland and is a convert to the church. Among other things he emphasized using clear and simple language and avoiding or explaining terms investigators may not understand (ward, stake, etc.)  He even suggested using the term "God" rather than "Heavenly Father" when first contacting someone who knows little about the gospel, as most of the world has some concept of a God, but may not understand a "Heavenly Father" at first.  He really emphasized the  importance of using the Book of Mormon and  challenging investigators to read the book for themselves and then pray about what they have read.  

We enjoyed his Scottish accent and laughed when he said we should write in our journals that night that we had heard English spoken that day as it should be spoken.  We had heard him speak at a devotional when we were at the MTC and appreciated hearing him again.

Mission Happenings

Last night we helped with a Thanksgiving Dinner for the Young Single Adults.  We had over 30 attend, over half of whom were Marines.  Miraculously, the food stretched so that everyone had plenty and everyone seemed to have a great time.  The YSAs are so supportive of each other and always go out of their way to help newcomers feel welcome.  We brought a Marine from Camp Johnson who wanted to come and he brought his roommate who is not a member but has come to church several times.  

Yesterday afternoon we drove way out in the country searching for a less active member.  We finally found the address we had been given, but no one was home. (We didn't have a current phone number for her).  We left an invitation to the Ward Christmas Party and just hope it was the right house.  I was thinking, "Wow.  This is way out in the country.  Wonder why anyone would live here."  About this time,  Bob commented, "You know if it weren't for all our children and grandchildren living back in Utah and Colorado, I wouldn't mind living in a place like this."  Go figure!

We send all of you our love.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

This is just a test to see if comment tab works. Saundra