Saturday, April 26, 2014

Baptism Day for Marcus and Maurice! :o)

Here's a pic of my little missionary grandson, Jordan and his two friends, Marcus (l) and Maurice (r).  What a happy day for all three of these wonderful little guys!

Marcus, Jordan and Maurice on Baptism Day!  So wish I could have been there to witness this special day and to feel the Spirit that was there.  Becky said Jordan "rocked it" when he gave his talk on baptism.  She said the Spirit was so strong, and there was not a dry eye in the room.  She's going to email me Jordan's talk - when she does, I'll include it in this post.  
Some may say that these little boys are too young to make a decision like this in their lives.  I say, "Not so!" The young are probably closer to the Spirit than many (or most) adults!  The Spirit is the one who testifies to a person that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and He can testify to anyone who has the desire to learn and know the truth for him or her self.  The Spirit CAN and DOES testify to the young!  John the Baptist leaped in his mother Elizabeth's womb when she heard the voice of her cousin Mary, who was soon to be the mother of  The Son of God!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Best Birthday Present Ever!!!

I woke up to a beautiful planter out on the patio - a great start to my 70th birthday!  Jack bought flowers and surprised me with them at the office.  After "work,"  we went to Texas Roadhouse where I got salmon and a free side-kick of ribs, because I had a birthday coupon.  All in all, it was a pretty great day.  But the best was yet to come.

I had just started eating my dinner, when I happened to check my phone for email.  There was one there from my daughter-in-law, Becky.  She had a special story to tell...

Our home teachers came to visit us in December and towards the end of the lesson (which was on missionary work) he challenged our family to find someone to share our testimony with and to hand them a Book Of Mormon. That night, Jordan asked Bryan to help him write his testimony in a Book Of Mormon so he could give it to his friend Maurice who lives down the street from us.  He ended up taking that Book Of Mormon with his testimony written inside to school the next day and gave it to Maurice.  

A few weeks later, Jordan invited Maurice to come to church with us.  He accepted and came with us totally not knowing what to expect.  I will never forget that Sunday morning, how awesome it was to watch Jordan walk up to his door to get him.  Out comes Maurice in his regular day to day clothes, and carrying his Book Of Mormon.  As we sat down in the chapel, Maurice sat down next to me.  I happened to glance down at his Book Of Mormon and noticed a book mark inside.  I asked Maurice if he was reading the book, and he was super quick to say, "yes, and I am already on Helaman."  I was shocked, and truly believed him, he was excited about how far he was, as were the rest of us.  We had mentioned to the missionaries that Maurice was coming to church with Jordan and they wanted to come to meet him.  They made it, and introduced themselves to him during Sunday School class.  We set a date for Maurice and some of their friends from school to come to our house on Thursday to play some football with the missionaries, eat some hot dogs and have a little lesson, he said that would be cool, so things started to look even more positive with all of this.  After church we invited Maurice over for lunch.  As we were discussing what everyone learned in their classes that day, Maurice just piped right in, and started telling us how they learned a song about all the Apostles of the church.  The amazing thing with that is that he remembered all of their names.  Me and Bryan were amazed.  Bryan asked Maurice how he felt while he was in church, and his response was, "Happy."  I just loved that, it was enough to bring tears to your eyes for sure.  AWESOME!!!

Thursday rolled around and all of Jordan's friends and Maurice showed up to the house and so did the missionaries.  What a fun sight that was to watch all those boys having fun playing football with Elder Lima, and Elder Ribeiro.  After about an hour playing, Bryan had grilled some hotdogs for everyone, so they took a break and ate some lunch.  After lunch they gathered around the table and listened to an awesome lesson the missionaries gave about becoming clean after baptism.  It was a cool object lesson, with water, dish soap, and pepper.  All the boys were way into it.  It got Maurice excited and wanting to know a little more, so the missionaries offered to meet with him again and to talk with his Grandparents about possibly teaching Maurice the discussions.  I'm telling you, our missionaries in our area right now are AWESOME and on a roll!!  They met with his grandparents and they had nothing against them teaching Maurice, and with just the few things that lead up to that, his little brother Marcus was now interested as well, and will start coming with Maurice.  The grandpa actually said to the missionaries how impressed he has been with the family standards the church has, and said he would read the Book of Mormon as well.  Not quite ready to be taught, but reading the Book Of Mormon is a great start, right?

Jordan invited Maurice to come to church the next Sunday. We went to pick him up, and we were all shocked when we saw him walk out.  This time Maurice was looking super sharp and had church attire on, tie and all.  His grandma (who he lives with with his other siblings) went out and bought him his own church clothes.  It was awesome!!  After church we told him that the next weekend would be General Conference and we will be watching it from our house and we invited he and his brother Marcus over to watch it with us as well as the missionaries.  

So another week came and the missionaries came to our house to give some lessons to Maurice and Marcus.  One thing that has been really cool to watch with these darling missionaries, is they teach these young boys with such awesome object lessons.  Ones that they will never forget.  Sunday rolled around and this time both Maurice and Marcus walked out both in their church attire and ready to go.  It was fast Sunday. The funniest thing little Marcus said during sacrament meeting was "Hey, Jordan said today was fast Sunday, and I don't think this is really fast."  I just giggled and told him that we still had another 2 hours.  But I did promise him if he was good he could go to Bryan's office after church for a treat.  They all made it through just fine.  
The next week brought a few more lessons for the boys, a missed Sunday because their family went camping over Easter weekend, but it also brought a commitment from both of them to get baptized this Saturday April 26th:):):)  SO SO HAPPY!!!  I really can't believe that this has happened for little Jordan.  And this may have a huge domino affect on Maurice's whole family.  He has two younger siblings, and this also may just change the lives of his Grandparents.  He has been so excited, and from what Bryan is telling me, I guess I won't be surprised if the missionaries ask Jordan to give a little talk at the baptism.  AAGH!!!  

All this has gone down because of the faith of my little Jordan:):)  It makes me happy to know that he is a little missionary even if he doesn't wear that tag, and what a great example he is to all of us.   Helping us realize that you just never know who's life you may change just by sharing your testimony and giving someone the Book of Mormon.:):)

I sat there at the table in the restaurant, reading this email and tears were running down both cheeks.  I will never forget that night!  I am so proud of this cute grandson!

Into My 7th Decade!

Well I made it to the big 70!  I changed my Draw Something user name from Pushin70 to Rockin70.  I don't know that I'm REALLY going to be rockin' 70 - maybe in a ROCKING CHAIR!  Haha.  But it really was a great birthday, and getting the email about Jordan's missionary efforts was the icing on the cake!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy to me!!!

Easter Sunday

The Farmer's Shed

We drove over to Lexington searching for strawberries and found these beauties at The Farmer's Shed.

Our strawberries on Saturday - Sunday they were pie.  :o)

Loved this sign...and all the uglies were gone.  :o)

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Since the office was closed on Thursday, there was no mail delivery.  But, oh my gosh!  Did we ever get a load of mail on Friday!  It was a flashback to the days before Christmas - but not quite as bad.  Most of the packages were full of Easter candy.  There was a hole punched in the bottom of one, and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Eggs had fallen out into the bed of the mail truck.  Sister Barlow and I worked together to get it ready to go back out to the missionaries, and I had Jack load it up and drive it to the Post Office so it wouldn't be sitting around the office all weekend.  I thought there might be a chance that some of it would actually GET to the missionaries before Easter Sunday.
All this was delivered and re-routed on the Friday before Easter.  That's a lot of candy!!!

West Columbia Zone Training

On the 17th, we had our zone training meetings.  We closed the office down for the day and met at the Stake Center...

Larry's Baptism

Larry was baptized on April 12th at the Chapin Branch.  President Bruno baptized him.  Sister Walker has been transferred out of the area, but President Holm gave her special permission to come back to Irmo for the baptism.  All THREE sisters were there when Larry went under.  :o)  Elder Townsend and Elder Butters were there too, and were witnesses, but I don't have a picture of them.

Mary was SO excited for her husband to join her in being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  She was almost giddy.  She told me, "I think I'm even more excited for Larry's baptism than I was for mine!"  And that's saying something, because she was very excited about her own baptism.

President Bruno, Larry, Mary, Sister Walker, Sister Wellman and Sister Billin

Mary and Larry - one of the cutest, most devoted couples I've ever met.  
They are going to be a huge asset to the Chapin Branch and wonderful member missionaries!

Zone Specialty Training

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sisters' Specialty Training

Senior Training

April 8th all the senior missionaries, from across the state of SC met at the Irmo Ward for Senior Training. Part of the time was spent getting to know the two new, single sisters - Sister Barton and Sister Mumford. The darling new Senior Couple, the Winwards, also introduced themselves.  This is their 3rd mission!  They're from Kaysville, UT and served twice in Washington DC at the temple there.

President and Sister Holm did most of the training, but also the Fergusons gave a presentation on how we can get involved in the work in our everyday lives.  They did a great job!  Elder Ferguson always talks about his wife's "secret weapon," - her pies!

After the training, we adjourned to the Holms' home for dinner.  Joining us were Brother Pendleton, from the missionary department in SLC and the Holms' son, Jef (winner of Season 8 The Bachelorette) and their son-in-law .....

The Towers and the Fentons, who are both leaving before the next Senior Training, bore their testimonies. We are going to miss the Fentons so much in the office!  We have really grown to love them, as family! Good thing they live close - we'll have to get together when we get home!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

General Conference

Loved General Conference, as usual!  I look forward to the Semi-Annual General Conference twice a year! It is such a wonderfully uplifting time!  I'm posting about conference on April 25th - 20 days after the Saturday Session.  I've just begun to watch it all over again on my iPad as I do my make-up in the morning. It seems like the more you listen, the more you get out of the talks.  It's kind of like reading the scriptures, I guess.  Each time I read, or listen, I get a little different message.

We didn't get to go to conference this year, of course, because we're serving in South Carolina.  But we did meet at the church for all sessions and watched it with other missionareis and ward and branch members.

One of my darling ESL students, a convert of about 6 years,

Hermana Martinez - love this girl!!!
is serving a mission in the Provo, Utah Mission.  SHE got to go to conference!  She posted this picture on FaceBook.  I loved seeing her there!

Irmo Farmers' Market

Goodbye to the Family


We only had a net gain of 6 missionaries this time around.  Four Elders and one Sister went home, after completing their missions and 8 Elders and 3 Sisters joined the SCCM.  The surge, or tsunami, as Sister Mihlberger used to call it, has pretty much ended.  We are now at 277 missionaries.  Our cap is 300, but I don't think we'll get that many.  Then again, who knows?

When we got to the church Wednesday morning, we went right into training meeting, where the office staff trains the incoming missionaries on housing, mail and other office procedures, cars and finances.  When our part was done, and Elder Fenton put on the CARS video, we went out to make sure the mail and media was all in order.  Bless the hearts of the APs and the Sister Training Leaders!  They had everything set out in rooms, according to zones.  It was all so well organized!  All we had to do was set up tables and put out the cards and letters for the missionaries to search.

The transfer meeting went VERY smoothly!  I took a few notes on the short introductions of the new missionaries and the testimonies of those who were leaving.  All, such GREAT missionaries!!!

From the greenies:
- I want to teach the people how they can feel peace in their lives.  I feel great peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I want to share it with others.
- I want to help the people of SC find peace and joy in their lives.
- I want to leave with no regrets.
- I want to see the change that comes into lives when people accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- I want to be obedient.

From the departing missionaries:
- I vowed to work hard, love the work, love the areas where I was sent, love the people and love ALL my companions.  If I had companions that were different from me, I tried to look for the good in them and asked myself, "What does the Lord want me to learn from this companion."
- I have never been so loved and so hated.
- I found a new respect for myself and have a new appreciation for my circumstances.
- I have a new appreciation for the bodies we've been given.
- I always tried to be about my Father's business.  (That's what my grandpa always taught me.)
- I learned to look at all people through the Savior's eyes.
- I learned how to love.
- My friends and I had a motto for our missions... "No Regrets"  I had some regrets, but I repented and asked the Lord for forgiveness and He took them away.

We have four new senior missionaries.  For the Winwards, this is their 3rd mission together.  They have served twice in the Washington DC Temple.  There's going to be serving in Cowpens.  The other two are single sisters, Sister Munsen and Sister Barton, - out on their first missions.  They will be working in the West Columbia Ward as WAS Sisters - Women's Auxiliary Support Sisters.  They are both such cute and devoted Sisters.  One of them is Chris Koford's mother-in-law.  :o)

After the transfer meeting, we went out to the Temple for an Endowment Session with the departing missionaries - then to President's home for dinner and a little farewell meeting.  Elders Taylor, AhKuoi, Bailey and Barker and Sister Titus all bore such sweet testimonies of the Gospel.  They will be missed!

Back to Work!!!

Myrtle Beach