Fun Visit with Heather

12 Aug 2017

We are having fun with our daughter, Heather, here – seeing the sights and enjoying our time together. On Thursday, she toured a lot of the things in and around Temple Square. Then, we attended a session in the Salt Lake Temple and, afterward, we took her to our favorite pizza place.

On Friday, we toured the conference center – there is SO much beautiful, original art there.
For instance, this painting (of Joseph interpreting the dreams of the butcher and the baker while they were in prison) once belonged to the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and hung in the Salt Lake Temple for more than 90 years before being placed in the conference center. And, I love this painting of Christ (below)! I forgot to take note of who painted it. 
​Heather went to lunch with a local friend, then we all drove up to Park City to look around a bit. Following that, we went to Heber City where we enjoyed a western BBQ, live music, and a cowboy “shoot-out”. (After the outlaws were gunned down, it was discovered that they'd stolen candy, and, the sheriff “returned” the candy to all the kids on the train.) Then we boarded the “Heber Creeper” for a two-hour train ride through some fabulous mountain scenery.

One of the “outlaws” 
View of sunset from the train.
Today we’re going to the “This is the Place Monument” and other sites at Heritage Park; then we’ll attend the Provo City Center Temple, and see the fabulous stained-glass windows at UVU.

Tomorrow morning we’ll all go to a live broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. Should be great! It’s been wonderful to have family visit!

This Week's Happenings

5 August 2017

Two young elders, Elders Callister and McDonald, came to dinner with us after church Sunday. During our conversation, we learned that Elder Callister is one of LeGrand Richards’ great-grandsons. Bob was able to tell him that his great-grandfather’s book A Marvelous Work and a Wonder was instrumental in helping him make the decision to join the church. It was pretty cool.

I mentioned last week that several in our zone have had some serious health concerns. One sister had surgery on Tuesday, but, is already back at her assignment because everything went so much better than expected. The Lord truly blessed her.

Yesterday I went to the doctor with a sister who speaks English as a second language. Even though she is very fluent in English, sometimes things get lost in translation. I was glad I was there because it really helped me understand more about her health concerns.

And, I’ll be going to two more medical appointments in the next week-and-a-half — also with sisters whose first language isn’t English—so that I can help them understand what the doctor is saying. Somehow, I never visualized myself doing this type of thing on my mission—but, here I am . . .almost a mission “mom.” :-)

This week, we have been especially blessed in the work we are doing. I am very grateful.

President Fenn has started publishing a mission newsletter. In each issue, he plans to feature something from one of the zones in the mission. I’m sharing a story below from the Hosting Zone at the Family History Library. (FYI: Missionaries in the Hosting Zone are specifically instructed not to proselyte. They are there purely to help the patrons with what they are looking for.) Here is what they shared:
 “And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.” Doctrine & Covenants 2:2
A young man stepped off the elevator onto the third floor of the Family History Library, the Hosting Zone, and was greeted and assigned to a missionary serving there.
“What are you hoping to do at the library today?” the visitor was asked—and his journey into the past began.
He answered that he was meeting friends for dinner in an hour and was curious about his great-grandfather. There was abundant family lore about him, claiming he was a war hero, a philanthropist and a wealthy man, who died penniless.
Information was gathered, and the search began. The patron’s fingers flew over the keyboard, and images appeared before him. Birth records, death records, newspaper articles…he scanned each document excitedly, then sent them to his personal email account. His phone rang. He was late for dinner. “No, I can’t make it. I’ll meet you later.”
Then, on the computer screen in front of him, an image appeared. It was a photograph of his great-grandfather. He sat in silence. He reached out and touched the screen, and began to cry. “This is so embarrassing. Why am I feeling this way?” he asked. The missionary replied, “That is the Lord touching your heart.”  Questions were answered, tears fell freely, and a seed was planted.”

On another note, Bob received a couple of really nice compliments this week. He was talking to one of the employees — a staff supervisor whose work our zone supports. His name is Steve Fox, and he is planning to retire at the end of this year. Steve said, “You know, I would serve a senior mission if I thought I’d get a zone leader like you.”

Then, later in the week, Bob was talking to the two Assistants-to-the-President (A.P.s) who cover our half of the mission, and was telling them they should assign him certain, specific young elders the next time they put together recommended transfers for the president. (Bob was kind of grumbling that most of the young elders we get in our zone take a lot of work.) The A.P.s’ response was, “We send you those elders because they come out better after they’ve been in your zone.” Isn’t that awesome? I was happy to hear him receive such great praise! He does spend a lot of time working with these young elders and helping them feel successful in the work they’re doing. I’m proud of him.

One more year and we’ll be back in North Carolina!! We're already planning a family reunion at the beach when we get back home. Hopefully, we'll have most - or maybe even all - of the family there.

Days of '47

28 July 2017

It’s been a full week. We’ve had several people in our zone with some serious health and other concerns, so have spent some time checking on them and seeing that they have what they need. I guess you get more of that when you are mostly working with senior missionaries.

Since Monday was Pioneer Day, it was a state holiday, and we enjoyed some of the festivities.
I went to the Days of 47 Parade that morning. President Uchtdorf and his wife led off the parade, seated on the back of a red convertible. (Of course, surrounded by several security guards who walked along beside.)
Days of 47 Parade Collage

That evening Bob and I saw our first rodeo. It was the finals, so we also got to see the award ceremonies following each event. There was bare back as well as saddle bronco riding; individual and pairs cattle roping; barrel racing; bull riding; and several exhibition events. Every first-place winner won $50,000! President Uchtdorf presented the awards for one of the competitions, and Elder Ballard presented them for another. It was fun to see them in their western attire.
Bob got a new hat, shirt and belt for the occasion, so he fit right in, too.
I didn’t get as many pictures at the rodeo, but, enjoyed watching everything. The picture on the right (above) shows how they start their kids in the rodeo. This little girl, riding a sheep, is only four years old. Her riding technique was quite unusual! :-)

On Thursday, we, and other zone leaders and their wives, were invited to have lunch with President and Sister Fenn. Bob and I were even seated at their table, so it was a great opportunity to get to know them better. There’s no question the mission under President Fenn will be very different than it was under President Tate, but, I think it will be good – and we’ll learn a lot.

A Surprise Visit

22 July 2017

It’s been a good week. On Wednesday, we enjoyed a pot-luck Pioneer lunch and social with everyone in our zone, at an old, restored home here called the Devereaux Mansion. It was built in 1857, survived a few iterations as a home or business over the years, and the current owners have restored it, and rent it out for wedding receptions, etc. However, these owners like missionaries, so they let us book it for free.
The Devereaux Mansion, Salt Lake City, Utah

After lunch, some people told stories about some of their pioneer ancestors. Then, those who wanted to stay played a rousing game of Reverse Charades. It was lots of fun.

We also got two new missionaries assigned to our zone yesterday (Friday)! We’re so excited to have them!! They come from Broken Arrow, OK and we think they’ll be just perfect for replacing Elder and Sister Howe, who are leaving next month. Plus, we heard some great remarks by President Fenn at the Go Forth meeting. One story he told was about something his father-in-law, Bruce R. McConkie, said to him fairly early in their marriage. Pres. Fenn was complaining about a calling he'd just received and Elder McConkie kind of threw up his hands and said, "Oh, quit your bellyachin'! The Lord knows what he's doing with you." (I can almost hear Elder McConkie saying that.) :-)  

Also, yesterday, we got a nice surprise phone call from our nephew, Brian Wade. He, his wife, Randy, and their kids were in the area and asked if they could stop by. (They were driving home to California from a trip they took into Canada.)
​Sydney, Porter, Brian, (their puppy, Marley) and Randy Wade

They arrived around 5:30 p.m.; we visited in our apartment for a while; then, we walked around Temple Square (the grounds are absolutely beautiful this time of year!); got some pizza at our favorite spot; had some gelato at another place; and, enjoyed a leisurely stroll back. It couldn’t have been a more perfect summer evening! It wasn’t too hot, and, there was a pleasant breeze. Their daughter, Sydney, is 12 and their son, Porter, is 11 – so, of course, my husband teased them mercilessly. . . We had a great visit!

We’re also excited for our daughter, Heather’s, visit in less than three weeks! Can hardly wait. . .