Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sundays whispering of the spirit

As I write this  I know my words will be inadequate of expression. I apologize in advance.
Last Sunday started out to be busy as I packed up the roast beef dinner I had prepared to take to church to feed our missionaries. We try to feed them once a month at the church. We don't live in the area of the church we have been assigned too. We have 4 sets of missionaries in the Cumberland Branch. 2 sets of seniors a set of Elders and asset of Sisters. Anyway, I am always running on thOse Sundays we take food. Now we have arrived at the church and have just finished plugging in the crockpots heading to Sacrement meeting. Bob ( Elder Donaldson) was in the hall and said," you need to go in the restroom". I asked him if my slip was showing he said no just go in the restroom you will understand when you get there. At this point I was hoping I hadn't caught my dress up in my undies.
Anyway, I headed to the restroom. As I opened the door I was greeted by a mother outraged with the behavior of her child (a 3 or 4 year old little girl). I knew at the moment of course why my dear husband sent me. I will give all the credit to the spirit as I gently touched the mothers arm and told her that was no way to talk to a child. I then asked if I could take the little girl for the day. The Mother simply rolled her eyes shrugged her shoulders and walked out. As I bent down and picked up Anna she hugged me so tight I sang to her I am a child of God. I then asked her if she would sit with me during church? Held her face in my hands and asked her to look at me. She had a hard time but after my coaxing she did. I then told her how much her Heavenly Father loved her. We then held hands and walked out of the restroom. I grabbed some Friends that were out on the table and we headed to Sacrament meeting.
I placed her on my lap and looked at friends magazine with her during announcements. She tried a few times to wiggle free ( she is use to running the isles during church) but not very hard. We folded our arms and bowed our head during the prayers and I sang during the songs. It was then that I found out it was the primary program. This wasn't planned but I walked her up and as the sunbeam teacher reached for Anna's hand I said, I will sit with her so I placed Anna on my lap and we did the primary program. I knew most of the songs except for 1 so I sang to Anna softly. Anna had a part which she got up and said two sounds and then froze. Hey we praised her she had went up more than most sunbeams did that day.  The meeting finished and I talked to Anna about going down to her Mom and giving her a hug but she didn't want too.  I asked Anna if she was ready to walk to Primary I let her off my lap and took her hand to go and she immediately laid on the floor. I sat back down and put her on my lap and held her and softly said, when you are ready to walk to class let me know and we will go. Shortly after (30seconds) the primary president came and asked Anna to walk to primary with her. Anna got off my lap and walked. It was a great site. Now for the real teaching of the spirit. I walked down to the Mother and hugged her, told her that I loved her and had been in her shoes before totally overwhelmed as a mother.I told her I didn't want to offend her and I was not judging her. I told her again that I loved her and she wasn't getting out of my hug til she hugged me back! Took her a minute or too but she finally did! I then took her face in my hands and asked her to look at me. She wouldn't or couldn't. I kept pressing her she had the same expression of No self-esteem as her daughter. She would look for a second and glance down. It was hard for her too look at me. I kept holding her face gently in my hands. Finally, after several tries she looked into my eyes it was here the Spirit taught us. I told her how much she was loved and how The Lord knew her and her struggles. How he wanted her to love herself so she could love her little girl. I asked her to tell herself every morning looking at herself in the mirror that she was loved and of great worth. We talked for about 5 minutes and then I gave her another hug this time she didn't have to be told to hug back.
As I have seen my own weakneses as a mother I pray my children will not suffer from my mistakes but know how truly valued and great they really are not only in my eyes but even more important in the eyes of their Heavenly Father. I pray I have never down anything to my children that would hurt their self esteem. 
I did not see the child or the mother the rest of the day as we were off to take care of missionary things  returning as church was over to feed the missionaries.
We have been asked to grandparent a single mother and her 3 children. She is trying to work herself out of the ghetto. She has made it one step up. Hopefully, we can help her get a better job.
I was grateful for the guidance of my husband and the spirit today.
It was nice to feel the workings of the spirit.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A tender moment

We have been working vigorously to get the employment center organized and up an running well! Soon the men will go "hunting" for great Companies for our clients to begin a 1st,2nd,or maybe 3rd career. I am learning much from the interview process and what my talented husband can pull out of the clients. He has such an ability to ask the right question to get to the persons inner core. Whether it be their greatest desire,fear or reality. They finally search to the very bottom of the bucket to get to the truth of what is holding them back. I know why he said his work was like going to church everyday!
We have met with those ill prepared to provide for themselves or their families. No education and only one skill which is threatened by health issues. Another is education poor with no focus. One wants to re- direct her career but is afraid to make the dollar sacrifice it requires to fulfill her dream. One resume was filled with TMI and we laughed so hard til we cried in the office. We meet the client this week. To say the least one of us ladies will be covering her and her history. I may have to sit on a tack to keep a straight face. We have had some tears of joy and sadness. Some come to Jesus meetings where the rubber hits the road. We and the Johns get along great!  The office needs tweaked and we need 2 more computers to be full functioning! The work is here and our goal is to provide training to leaders,youth and missionaries. 
Now for today tender moment. We had a young woman come to the church today, her name Jenna Matthews her husband Ryan. She said she had been praying and told the. Lord that she would come inside if their were cars. She knocked Elder Donaldson let her in and asked to come in and talk to his wife in the office after she had given him a quick synopsis of her story. I asked her to have a seat and asked her how we could help her. She preceded to tell me she had been wanting to return to church. In her mid- twenties she had read some literature that said the church believed such and such and knew if they did the church wasn't true. So in her mid- twenties she wrote to have her name removed from the records of the church. She has been fasting,praying and reading exercising faith that The Lord would soften her husbands heart towards the church. Today, she asked to have the missionaries. She is a bit nervous because her husband doesn't like change or surprise. I suggested that she leave hints around like her scriptures on the sofa table opened to a verse. Subscribe to the ensign. Watch conference this weekend. Invite the missionaries for dinner. We talked for over an hour,shared a beautiful prayer that touched her and exchanged information. She left with tears in her eyes and a hug of warmth.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Employment Center

Working in the employment Center and with Humanitarian Services has been a wonderful experience.
We are cleaning up the files! Oh Goodness!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Visiting Kentucky

The country side is filled with wonderful things. Things we sometimes take for granted in our daily lives.
This past week we took some time to revisit our original ward in Tompkinsville to attend the Watermelon Festival and see the people that we  originally worked with when we were assigned there. We left on Friday afternoon to stay in Red Boiling Springs at a little bed & breakfast named the Amour Hotel.

What a treat. The Smith family was holding a small family reunion and they had a musical group in their family that included a friend. From about 8pm until 10pm these two played the guitar and banjo and entertained us to the delight of everyone.  It was a classic scene on the front porch sitting around listening to the picking and strumming and joining in song.    

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One week down

Nashville welcomed us with rain and cockroaches! Yeah! That is what we thought, too! We have meant with some nice people and the branch here is definitely on a higher spiritual plain the Tompkinsville! The Cumberland Branch has a very high influx from the Vanderbilt University! 
We miss our friends that we have made in T-ville! Miss Lois and her beautiful flowers!
Living in this apt. Is like a view but asphalt!
It is going to be a very long countdown. People move at their own speed here! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We are in shock!

After getting things all arranged and the lease signed to stay here in Tompkinsville! We hadn't really stopped our happy dance! The new Mission President who I haven't met yet called and asked to speak with us!  We called back on the speaker phone and he asked us to transfer to Nashville! I wanted to say wow....wait a minute we just got things settled here so we could get back to work!   We had so many things on our list to do still. The live nativity scene and old time Carolers working with the other churches to make it a community success! Also wanted to get Carols house repaired. We were making progress with the Lafayette FHE group. We have new families that have moved into our ward. We wanted to welcome them and help them get settled. We had the Watermelon Festival in a month and the questionnaire. We hoped to start a FHE group in Burkesville by Christmas. So many other communities projects to help spruce up the town! 
We are unsure of our new assignment only that we will be in Nashville. We will find out more on Monday. 
We are very sad to leave! We have made some great friends in our short time! Tompkinsville will always have a special place in our hearts! 
I will miss my Lois and so many others! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Planting,Painting and Moving Day. June 1st through July 15th

Most of you probably thought we fell off the grid! Actually we have been so busy with searching for a new home and literally painting the town that if we had down time writing wasn't on the list! 
Many things have happened since the month of April!  I helped Lois Scott plant 150 Strawberry plants!
We lost Elder Burgan and got Elder Law during an emergency transfer somewhere in the mission. The middle of May we lost Elder Huffacker....he had been our traveling Elder when we arrived in T- ville. He and his greenie Elder Burgon are the two that lived with us for two weeks! Great Elders. 
In June we had " trunkie Elder Law and Elder Harris.
During this time we literally had a service project to paint the town! It was a great success due to " the Mormons" we had on average 10 missionaries plus us and a few members! Only 4 community member besides those that were involved with the project helped!  Larry Craig said,"I am truly humbled at the work that Ye all did and not even a part of this community."
It was a good thing!
Oh we found out the end of May that. We had to find another place to live! There is no place in town!
We finally settled on a place owned by Betty Scott. Because we had no choice. We had heard there was mold in the basement! We inspected the basement and it was a damp basement no mold that they promised to clean up!  So we proceeded to make plans! Buying furniture. Met a wonderful family (Bruce and Melissa Reno) we bought a table an chairs from!
July 2nd. Elder Law went home and we have Elder Haslem. Both our Elders are over 6'4"
Our move day was July 15. On July 12 th while helping clean it up we found a serious "black mold" problem! All the next day I was sick! We worried about what to do! I had talked to Lois and told her that it looked like we would have to live above her. We laughed but we were unsure where to go! We were all upset,discouraged and worried. None of us needed this at all! Bob finally told Lois to ask Mike
If there was a solution that we could come up with that we could stay in the house through our mission! We were praying his heart would be softened! Lois talked with Mike! We waited all day! We searched for places to live while we waited!
In the evening Lois came over and said that Mike had agreed that we could stay upon certain terms!
We are so thrilled! You have to understand that our little House is the " Creme de la Cream " of missionary housing! I do not for one second take it for granted!
So we are not moving! I am doing a Happy Dance!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Barbecue Project

We started this project a couple of months ago. We were able to get three businessmen in town to donate the materials for the table tops that we put on the unfinished rock stands that had been built by another contractor. We died them a tile red and then sealed them with a red sealer to prevent the grease from discoloring them. The units were donated by a combination of a vendor who cut and molded the steel parts and the welding class at the high school who put them together.

I think they really turned out good. I'm not sure the lady who is the Park Ranger thinks they are so great. She better like them they would have cost here over $2,000 to make and install them I am sure.

We are going to do some painting of a bridge at the park with a special paint that we used on the steps at the cabin. It should do well. Next week I should have the memorial plaques for the BBQ's and we will put them on as well as paint the bridge. If the painting goes well then we may do the picnic tables as well.

It is fun to do these service projects for the community.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

When your weary feeling low.

My dear sweet companion has been sick for over a week now. I think he pushed himself to hard with all the things we have been involved with. He is feeling better and it has moved out of his chest. He is just not energized. Don't worry I am keeping things slow and simple until he shows signs of his usual energized self. He has been working on a presentation for District Meeting.
That has given me time to find a few grants for the city of Tompkinsvile to see if we can't help the town get on its feet.
I have a plan for a cell center which would encompass to begin with 100 new jobs and hope it could increase up to 400 jobs. The pay is from 9-20 an hour. Most people work from home but around here there Internet is so slow and unreliable that they can't work at home. So carol had this idea of a Cell center. I have been working on a plan along with finding grants to help this along. We will see how far it will go.
Haven't been àble to sleep it is 4:20 am raining outside and I am wide awake. I hate it..
Good news on Lafayette...we just got the go ahead to proceed in setting up a Family Home Evening. We will do this in stages until we get 20-30 in attendance and then we will hold a sacrament meeting until we get 30-50 then we make a branch and start the proceedings on a building. They have had amazing results in Winchester,Tn. We are hopeful for Lafayette. One things that makes this so difficult is that we live an hour away from it. We are hoping for missionaries and a couple to be placed in Lafayette. It would be such a blessing.
We also have found out we may have to move from our little cottage. This saddens us very much. We are trying to find out from the housing. We heard this from our district leader. So we will check it out to see what we can do.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grills are done!

Even with Elder D not feeling his best we trudged on and completed the grills. Hopefully, we will get pictures on board soon. We hope to break them in with a cookout this Friday!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Challenges, challenges,,,the world of missionary work is filled with challenges. We live and are assigned to a ward in south central Kentucky near the Tennessee border. The poverty rate here is almost 25%, the activity rate in the ward is about 25% and not getting better. The home teaching rate is closer to 20% when it is done and many of the members have not seen a home teacher in years.

One story....We visited a couple with a six year old son. They live in a single-wide trailer along the narrow main highway between Celina TN and Tompkinsville KY, about 4 miles from the TN border. The trailer is on a property in the back of a house that belongs to the father of the husband. It is a trash heap with can, logs, old chairs and other miscellaneous pieces of junk all over. We knocked on the door of the trailer, a dog started barking and we could hear a noise at the door. It was their six year old son. Finally the mother came to the door and welcomed us in. We were met by an unkept house that looked like the outside. The boy was playing a karate type game on an old tv and the father was in the bedroom. We talked with the mother for a few minutes and then the father came out and took over the TV game and started playing it while we talked to the mother. I tried to engage the father in a little conversation, but he was not to be deterred from his game.

I asked him about his work and he said he did a little of everything whenever it came up. They are apparently on welfare of some sort and he does not really try to find a full time job. My thoughts went to the six year old and what he was learning from this couple. The mother is a little slow in comprehension and is not quite as normal as the average person. The fathers seems to be quicker and more normal, but has decided to remain in the life style he has become accustomed to. It is, as one person put it, pitiful.

I am convinced that the welfare system we have is creating more people to be on welfare. It will destroy our country. The father is not interested in the Church...too complicated to explain, just know the parents of both a husband and wife can influence the children's choice about the Church

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Flowers or snowflakes?Spring or Winter?

It seems like Mother Nature is confused as the rest of the world as we are approaching the end of March and it is still snowing. Elder Donaldson and I thought we were serving in a southern mission that would be warm. I didn't bring a winter coat but I have learned to layer well when preparing to go outside.

Why do we make life so hard on ourselves? Just a little more than a month ago a woman in mid thirties was taught and baptized into the gospel. She has had a very difficult life and it was awesome to watch her grow in the gospel as well as her personal life getting it on track. Two weeks ago I noticed something that gave me a red flag and I mentioned it to the Elders. As Bob and I taught her the new member lessons...we realized that she didn't really comprehend the restoration and what it meant. We met with her the second time and still she didn't seem ready to move on so we went through the restoration video and then had. A nice discussion asking her questions and making sure she "Got it". The next time she didn't call and I finally got a hold of her. We re-scheduled. I ran into her brother at Walmart and he said she moved down to Cookeville where her X and baby girl live. She share custody with her X. I called her talked to her and asked her what was the happiest moments in her life she said her baptism. I asked how she could let that feeling go so easily Yes,I understand she wants to be this eternal family but she isn't ready. I feel like I am hitting my head up against the wall and letting her down at the same time. It is so frustrating. Anyway, we are still working with her but only by text.
Another couple in the ward was preparing to go through the Temple when we first got here. I remember her husband told me how much he loved this woman. Now 2 weeks after we got here they are getting a divorce. Today, I have spent most my time talking to the sister who finally checked herself into a hospital because of depression or to the Louisville Mission to get missionaries over to the hospital. During this 4 weeks she has also lost her job,and will probably lose her house plus her 1st x husband is taking her back to court to try and get her boys away. This is her 3rd marriage I believe.
Oh this week in Walmart I met the Lady who unsure of how many years ago was told never to come back to the was a mistake come to find out they wanted her cousin. However, she told me she was becoming Catholic. She is still angry. All I can say is embrace Abigail and forgive already. She said I looked normal. I laughed.
We have had some great experiences with the towns folk. Old Mulkey service project was a success. Still have work to do but have a great start.
This is all for now. Good night

Monday, March 11, 2013

Long Day

We are being talked about all over Tompkinsville. The word is out and thwe word is good.....The Donaldson's have arrived by storm.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Power of Habit

In Tompkinsville where we are we find that so many people are unemployed ,underemployed and most in the poverty or below level especially members of the ward. We ask ourselves often how we can help. In the book Power of Habit, It states, "Cultures grow out of Keystone habits. For instance, when researchers studied an incoming class of cadets at West Point, they measured their grade point averages,physical aptitude , military abilities, and self discipline. When they correlated those factors with whether students dropped out or graduated, however they found that all of them mattered less than a factor researchers referred to as "grit" which they defined as the tendency to work "strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. "
"Studies have documented that families who habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better homework skills, higher grades, greater emotional control, and more confidence. Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget. It is not that a family meal or a tidy bed causes better grades or less frivolous spending. But somehow those initial shifts start a chain reaction that help other good habits take hold. (Who knew your mamma was so smart) LOL
If you focus on changing or cultivating Keystone habits, you can cause widespread shifts."
It is these Keystone habits we are trying to cultivate in the members and the community here in Tompkinsville .

"Keystone habits offer what is known within academic literature as "small wins." They help other habits to flourish by creating new structures, and they establish cultures where change becomes contagious.
This is what we need here in Tompkinsville. People are always full of excuses. Bob is so good at taking away they excuse. I am learning much from him.
We teach Beverly tonight and will answer questions she said she had for us. It should be good.

Today, I asked the Elders to give me their sheets and I would wash them. They put them in the washer and I just started it not paying attention. When I pulled them out of the dryer each elder had only given me 1 sheet each. I told them I was writing their mothers. So funny. The Elders will be with us probably til the weekend. We found them an ok apt. But it needs a scrubbing and fixing a few things but it is better than some apts. I have seen. Looks like furniture will be here Thursday from the mission so that is good. They are great young men but getting ready in the morning is a challenge makes me wonder how we did that my whole life with 9 people and 1 bathroom. We have become spoiled.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

To my children and grandchildren

Feb 23, 2013

As the organ plays "Come, Come, Ye Saints", my mind returns to Winter Quarters and the times that we visited as a family and enjoyed the serenity and peacefulness that surrounds the grounds. It has always been my most favorite of church sites. My mind reflects especially on the day with our family surrounding the monument in the graveyard. We were all sad and full of fear and apprehension for the future having just lost our Husband and Father. It was at that time at the monument that I knew what our instructions were to be as I read the words surrounding the monument. "Gird up your loins fresh courage take our Lord will never us forsake. All is well, All is well."
So we have gone forward without our beloved Father and Husband and The Lord has blessed us mightily as we have strived to be obedient and draw near unto Christ. Things may not have been as we I visioned them as children or when I was a young wife and mother but I will say we are doing well even with the trials of life we struggle through each day.
I want to testify to you my children that I know The Book of Mormon holds the fullness of the gospel and that Joseph Smith was called to be the latter day Prophet who would be the Lords instrument in bringing the restoration of the Christ's church upon the earth.
I testify to you that as you keep your covenants and live your life in accordance with those sacred covenants that you will be happier and able to take on the trials of life.
Hold to the rod. Get a good education. Attend the your meetings and Temple regularly. Make studying your scriptures a priority in your life and in your homes.
Prepare yourself to be the best that you can be. Each one of you are so very smart and talented.
I testify that The Lord knows you and loves you. Teach your children and bare your testimonies often to them and your spouse. Love them and tell them you love them.
I bare my testimony as a witness of Christ that God lives. He knows you. It is when we drift away from him that we feel alone and confused of how to move forward in our life. Draw near to The Lord to find the peace and happiness you seek. Make your prayers sincere and ask with exactness. The Lord waits to bless you. I plead with you my children to step up your efforts in drawing close to The Lord and strengthen your testimony. I love each of you dearly and I pray for you each day. I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only church on the earth with the authority to act in Gods name. I know it holds the complete truth. Where other church's have parts of the truth. We have the complete truth with the line of authority. I leave you a mothers blessing that you will be blessed in all facets of your life as you live the gospel each day. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Elders come to Tompkinsville

Saturday we got word that we are getting Elders. We are thrilled. We have Elder Huffacker from Boise and Elder Burgan from Brigham City. Elder Huffacker was one of the traveling elders that has worked Tompkinsville for the past 6 months. He is town District Leader and training greeny. Elder Burgan just arrived on Tuesday from the MTC.
They are living with us until we can find them a decent apt. So far it isn't looking real good. Can I say mornings are quite interesting with shower time. I have all my clothes and everything in their room so I really have to plan my mornings. I have been cooking for them they really like that.. It is great to watch their dedication to the work and their obedience to the schedule.
The added stress of it has kept me up coughing and in the chair. I am so tired since I have gotten no sleep for the past two nights.
We visited with Sheila at Old Mulkey about our upcoming service project. She is excited for the presentation we gave her on repairing the rock grills they have there. We are having a service project with the ward opening it up to the community to cleanup and plant small trees and bushes. Pray that Sheila's heart will be opened to hear the gospel.

So much to do hear I need sleep to work..

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Elder Oaks,Elder Maines,Area Seventy Hymus? President and Sister McKee

To start off what a great sight to see a chapel and gym full of missionaries all striving on their own level to be the very best that they can be. We were all able to shake hands with the men and give hugs to Sister McKee. This was the first time she had been out since her strokes 80 days ago. What a miracle that she is standing let alone walking. Her eyes still have not gotten in sync and cannot focus yet. This causes dizziness and falls so President hold on to her and is very protective. Sister McKee also gave her testimony and later on with a patch over one eye played the piano accompanying her daughters. They sang beautifully.
Elder Oaks spoke to us of breaking the habit of saying Sister you go here and Priesthood you go there. The Priesthood doesn't go anywhere he said it is the Brethren and we need to get it straight. He told us the story of going fishing with his grandchildren for 4 hours every time they came to visit and Sister Oaks always asking him "well did you catch anything?" No he would answer after putting all the worms on,getting their lines out of the rocks and then out of the trees I didn't get to even put my line in the water. Elder Oakes took a lesson from that for missionary work . Keep yourself worthy of the Holy Ghost and keep your line open. Elder Maines told of seeing a pair of missionaries at a gas station and he wanted to see if they had their lines in the water so he smiled and said good morning. the Elder said good morning but then went on pumping gas. A few moments went by and Elder Maines tried to engage the Elder again and said something like it sure is a beautiful day do you have big plans? The Elder again gave a very short answer finished his gas pumping and said goodbye. His line was not in the water. So yes you guessed it our new mission motto is ? DO YOU HAVE YOUR LINE IN THE WATER?
This is all for now. It has been a long day and we head to district meeting in Cookesville early tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The 7th Week

Last night we taught our first lesson to a new member. One of the things the Church has included in the Preach My Gospel series is a requirement for the newly baptized convert to receive a review series of each of the lessons the were taught. We agreed with the missionaries that taught the convert, Beverly Farley, that we would teach the review lessons. I thought it would be a good way for us to ease into teaching. It was more difficult than I thought it would be.

Our memories are not quite what they used to be, so memorizing the lessons is not in our skill set, so I went through the lesson and prepared a power point that we used. It was helpful, but it still did not flow the way I would like to see it flow and it will take some time for that to happen. If the Spirit was there, it wasn't because of anything I did or said. It will take some time for me to get closer to the Spirit to really teach these lessons the way they need to be taught.

Tonight we are working on the next lesson for next week and I am sure it will go better. We are immersing ourselves in the lessons and scriptures and I can feel it. This feeling begins to consume you and everything you do is directed by this overwhelming spiritual feeling.

Today is our 4th anniversary and it is really nice to be together. We do everything together and it is wonderful. Sometimes, like this afternoon we just sat with each other for over 2 hours and didn't say a word. We just hung out together. It is a nice feeling.

Tomorrow we are driving to Lebanon Tennessee to take part in a special meeting with Apostle Oaks of the Quorum of the 12. He is coming for a special meeting and we have to be their at 8:15. The entire mission will be their. It should be a very special time. I will waite to see what he wants to share with us.

We are d oing well. Continue to exercise almost every morning at the Wellness Center. I can't swim as well as I used to. My legs don't want to work in harmony with my arms, I love my rythum and end up flailing around after a while. Don't know why unless the twisting of my body is affecting the nerves in my legs preventing my from controlling them properly.

Well, I will talk to you a little later after the meeting with Elder Oaks.

God can and will use anyone to move his work!

I have been asked to play piano for the sisters at church. While my neighbor gave me courage by saying to me "you beat nuttin". We had a good laugh but I still practice and then pray they will only hear the good notes. Well, I just found the best. I believe I will use it in my homecoming talk.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

The following list proves to me that God first like a challenge and second has a sence of humor.

Jacob was a CHEATER.
Peter had a TEMPER
David had an AFFAIR.
Noah got DRUNK.
Jonah RAN from God.
Paul was a MURDERER.
Gideon was INSECURE.
Miriam was a GOSSIP.
Martha was a WORRIER.
Thomas was a DOUBTER.
Elijah was moody.
Zaccheus was SHORT.
Abraham was OLD.
Lazarus was DEAD.

Hope you enjoyed that. I know it gave me hope.:)

Cold calls gotta love them

Now I remember where I learned to hate the telephone. I have been lied too,swore at and greeted with pure joy. Such a roller coaster of emotions when you are calling people cold. I can say it is as bad as tracking. I did get one great conversation and we will get to see Gracie next week.
I knew it would be like this but for some reason when you are filling out those mission papers you place the dark and depressing part of missionary work way deep right beside giving birth. This way it doesn't affect how you feel about going on your mission or your child.
Today it has been 4 years since Bob and I got married. What a very blessed couple we are. We love each other, have great children who have proven or in the process of becoming great self reliant adults. We love them dearly. We also have beautiful grandchildren and love them all and pray for all of them.
We are grateful for this opportunity to love these people here in Tompkinsville.
Beverly Farley was just recently baptized. Last night we gave her the first review lesson. Can I just say I love those spirits just newly baptized with their dear and honest testimonies. Beverly is a beautiful woman of 30 but looks about 20. She has such a desire to follow Christ. Like she said I was headed down a terrible road of self destruction I knew I had to change my life. I did this for me she cries.
Tomorrow we head to Lebanon to hear Elder Oakes speak to us. I hope I get to talk to him. I know crazy huh.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Zone Conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

We were spiritually fed. The theme was the atonement.
The Aps and Zone Leaders did a great job in teaching.
It was wonderful to hear that Sister McKee was able to not only come home but is making great progress. President McKee stated that she walks like a drunk and I could not help but smile as I use to say that about my mother after have gone paralyzed from the waist down. The Doctors said she would never walk again. Miracles never cease to happen.
Elder Donaldson and I drove down the night before. Can I just say I love my companion. it really is too bad that every newlywed cannot afford to go on a mission together. This is just terrific.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 6

We continue to spread our wings and learn more about the community and the people. There is and old Baptist Church here called The Old Mulkey named after the founder of this branch John Mulkey. It was built in 1809. There is a cemetery north of the building with a number of old headstones from the early 1800's including the sister of Daniel Boone. Many others are veterans of the Revolutionary war. The church building is built in the form of a cross. It is constructed out of veery large logs with large amounts of cement type grout between the logs. the roof overhand is open to the inside so it must have been very cold inside. There are a couple of theories about how they kept it warm on the inside.

We met Sheila Rush the Park Ranger and talked with her about service projects the ward could perform out there. She was receptive to the idea of using the church people as they had done things before.

We are also hot on the trail of getting some roadsigns made for the Family History Center so that people can find it more easily. We want to use it as a major draw for the missionary program. We are getting great support from ward members and the ward leadership.

It is midnight here in Kentucky and time to say good night,,,,,,,,

Ok it worked

So it has been over 10 days since this blog would let me post. Why tonight who knows?
Last week we were able to have an inactive couple join us for church as well as dinner afterwards. Most exciting is that they came this week as well and has fallen right into the groove of active membership. They really want and need a Branch in Lafayette area. There is a lack of work here and a 30 mile ride to church is a real struggle when most can't afford food or rent let alone extra gas.
I have written 5 talks for sacrament meeting on the 17th when Bob and I will be speaking. I believe I have finally gotten the one completed that I am going to use.
We have had some great discussions with members of the community. I am sure Bob will expand on them. While in Cookeville on Wednesday for Zone Conference we saw the funniest site. We were at a street light about 3 cars back when coming through the intersection came a John Deere tractor ( nothing odd there) but the man riding the tractor had on the old coveralls and right in the middle of the light his phone must have rung because he put it up to his ear. It just seemed odd to me. As I remember running down the to the bottom 40 to finally get my dad to come in for lunch or dinner or because he had an important phone call waiting him.

I have a great picture of our living quarters I want to publish so look for it.

Are you letting me post?

I am not sure this will publish. Like everything else this week this blog has been a test. So here goes.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The ups and downs

This morning we received an Internet referral we were excited to meet Zachary. We called and left a message then went about our day with hopeful anticipation. It was so cold,icy and slick but we were careful driving and walking. We talked with a Doc Halladay at the local hardware store for about an hour about the community and what if anything could be done to improve the economics of the community.
Had a discussions with Dave at Frances BBQ. We met with the Traveling Elders,then the Bishop, Ward Mission Leader. It was a semi successful meeting. Moore will happen as we continue to learn the ward better.
After dinner we called Zachary is the let down....some of his friends was playing a joke on him so he said.
I was so saddened by this and I hadn't even placed the call.
The weather is nasty.i am wiped out and it is just 8:00.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our first P-day

This week has been full of new adventures. We were able to witness 3 baptisms and confirmations. Vickie has stepped out of her comfort zone and will be playing the piano for RS.
Pray that The Lord will only let them hear the good notes. We love this little house we have to live in as it take only an hour to clean it. Vickie is grateful everyday for the garage. It is cold starting again this week. Nothing like Elder Hafen in Minnesota. We were able to teach with the traveling elders on Saturday. We are setting up 5 possibly 6 more baptisms for february 9th. We have so much work and not enough energy but we are getting there. We love it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fridays twists and turns

Today we traveled with the Bishop and his wife to visit members. Can I say I need those motion sickness bands the roads are so winding and up and down I feel so yucky by the time we get to our destinationI guess I need to be the driver. Today went to Linda Smith and Kelly Jones home a mother and daughter who have health issues. Wednesday night we went to the church and met many of the members. Most are related to one another. Spent time with the Bishopric learning about the members. Some hurt feelings have caused some not to come out to church anymore. If we only realize as people that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth and no one should allow someone to keep them away from Christ love. I have started studying The Peacegiver by James Ferrell again for my upcoming talk. It is so clear to me how important it is to love other completely and to forgive people. I want to add a thought from the book will edit tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

District Meeting in Cookeville

The big Barn Owl sitting on the tall broken Birch tree was worth the nauseating ride of twists and turns over hill and down as we followed the GPS from Tompkinsville to Cookeville through  SR163. It was cold and raining. Dark for daytime as the clouds hung low touching the treetops but we persevered. The trees were barren as it is winter and a dry sphagnum Moss like vine hung from their tops to the ground giving off an eery feeling as we drove. Elder Donaldson felt the strain in his arms as he drove the winding road with dips and hills and sharp curves. We drove for one hour and thirty minutes.

We had allowed us plenty of time to arrive at the Church building on time. Arriving with 20 minutes to spare we stopped to buy me crackers to alleviate the nauseating headache. We were late and our GPS wouldn't give us the final destination..".House Number not Valid"! Just as if on que our phone rang, "Elder Johnson our DL (district leader) called to check on us and he gave us further instruction. Elder Donaldson as always got us to the church immediately.
We were spiritually fed as we listened to these fine young missionaries teach us how to teach.
The most important part I came away with is to listen to understand.Prayer, commit.
 After our meeting we took a group pictures because Elder Ferrie is leaving in a week to go home.
We then went to lunch with Elder and Sister Wrigley. We got to know them better.
We needed to find us a bed so off we went in search of a bed. We were successful at Sears. Shopping isn't a huge thing in Cookeville and null and void in Tompkinsville.:) Everyone is so helpful and kind.
We even got directions for a much better drive home. We will be making a map and directions binder for us. The time was one hour. It was so much safer especially with the road less winding around and sharp ups and downs. We had to stop and visit our local Walmart for a few supples that we had forgotten the day before. It is still cold and wet.
Bishop Scott  had hoped to meet tonight. We will meet him tomorrow night...
I am folling to sleep whitle writing this and my dear sweet husband is in reading waiting for me. So goodnight to our friends and family.

Tomorrow we play,ironing,making  lists,goals and preparing. Serving the Lord is Awesome...Oh I forgot the best part we have several events on saturday....."5 Baptisms" and a birthday party for an 81 year  old member. The field is ripe already to Harvest.
Love each of you dearly.
Vickie and Bob

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Our Assignment & Challenge

We met with the Mission President for lunch on Saturday the 12th along with one of his daughters and the two AP missionaries at O'Charley's restaurant. It was very nice and we learned a lot about the mission and the mission president and his family, particularly his wife who is recovering from some serious health issues.

After lunch we went back to the President's office, sat down, and talked about our assignments. We expressed our interests to him and how we felt our skills could be best used. After some discussion he shared with us his interest in us working in an area in southern Kentucky in a small city named Tomkinsville. There is a Ward there and we will be responsible for working with less-than active and totally inactive members of the Church. Both Vickie and I are looking forward to meeting the members and the leaders of the Ward. We also feel a little trepidation.  The president talked to us about the difference in the culture and cautioned us to be sensitive to the expectations of the people in this part of the world.

We are planning to meet with the Bishop and other leaders to learn from them on how we can be of the greatest help. We have already provided the missionaries with two referrals we picked up talking to the servers in two restaurants that we ate at.

Tomorrow we travel to our mission area and we begin the work....  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Made it to Brentwood

We arrived in Brentwood Thursday evening and stayed in the local Best Westen to earn more points. Vickie is still really sick with the flu. She has ran a high fever throughout the week. This has been hard on both of us. On the 11th we traveled to the office in a large business complex and met the staff. Elder Hunt is the Mission Secretary and Eldeer and Sister Rodack are assistants and take care of housing and miscellaneous things.

Elder Hunt is a retired school teacher from Oregon. He and sister Hunt have four children. We did not spend any real time with the Rodacks. They were quite busy with their duties. The President was out of the office and was interviewing some Elders up in Kentucky where the mission extends. This mission covers six stakes in starting with Nashville and they spreads out into  Tennessee, Kentucky, and a small part of Illinois.

We are staying the the Belmony Suites hotel near the mission office until we see the President, we hope today. His wife is better but of course not fully recovered from her strokes and heart attack.
She is in rehab and doing quite well...they see this as a miracle.

We ho[e to see the President today and get moved into an apartment so we can begin out work. Last night we ate at a local Mc Callisters and met a lovely young lady who waited on us and she became out first referall.  Her name is Laura Duff.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Route 66

On the road again

 After making sure that Vickie was comfortable and warm recovering from what appears to be the start of a cold, we headed off from Grants NM to Weatherford OK., our next stop.  For those unfamiliat with the history and geography of our country Interstate 40 parallels the old Route 66 made famous in the 50's by the song Route 66.  It was a hit song made famous by Nat King Cole and is still heard today.

I first drove on Route 66 in 1954 from Los Angeles to Tucumcari, NM in the late spring. I was on my way to Ft.Riley Kansas after graduating from OCS.  It was the only time I have driven on that road since 1954. I was a newly minted 2nd Lt and ready to conquer the world. We stopped in Tucomcari today for lunch in a restaurant started in 1953. The restaurant changed hands about 15 years ago.

The town seems dead. ot much action around the town.  There is a paper mill close by along with a mine of some type but not much else. Ranchers and some farmers are still around, but other thqn thqt there is not much  to offer,

After we finished lunch we headed off to Weatherford. We arrived here about 7:30pm.  There ae little pieces of the highway left and you can drive on them between offramps. It ia interesting that the speed limit is 55 NPH wu9le on the freeway right next to the old roadbedm the speed li,it is 75 MPH.

Enough for today....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Packing for 18 months

We can thank Dana for her help. Cutting my wardrobe in half was all we needed to do. With a lot of crying, and whining on my part we finally did it jewelry and shoes. NO SMALL TASK!! The Prius is packed to the brim but it is all in.

I did so well not to get sick at the MTC but it caught up with me at 5 pm saturday and hit me with a vengeance. After cooking scallops (very first time) perfectly if I do say so myself. I wrapped myself up in a blanket and then finally took a hot hot shower and medicated myself and went to bed.
We headed out today at 7 am driving to Grants, New Mexico. It has been along day and this cold is getting the best of me. Bob is healthy and going strong. He never ceases to amaze me. He is definitely my energizer bunny. I have a great companion. We arrived in NM around 5 o'clock. After 10 hours in the car we were ready to be done. We had a nice dinner.
Goodnight a longer day tomorrow.

MTC experience!!!!!WOW

We have had quite the experience at the MTC...First off it was sooooo cold in Provo. Bob and I both had red coats among everyone else's Black,brown or blue coats....I thought we were told to dress brighter. I did receive a lot of compliments on my red cape.
Our teachers Sister Cluff and Brother Porter did not hesitate to jump into Preach My Gospel. President Petersen was full of life as he energized us with his energetic presentations. We had teaching exercises twice a day where we would prepare our lessons. What a great opportunity to teach with my dear sweet husband. Bob is so great at this. He had his doubts but on the 2nd day he knew he had this and that we could do whatever the Lord asks of us. I truly appreciate Bobs faith and willingness to be outside our comfort zone.
During our 1 week stay at the MTC can I just say the servers and organizers of the meals and facilities do an AWESOME job. There was a breakout of stomach flu (the 48 hour severe kind). Within a few hours of the first victim we were quarantined from the younger Elders and Sisters where the illness was. By the end of the week it was all contained. It was so great to partake of the spirit at the MTC. 3000 young missionaries were there with 103 Senior missionaries checking in when we did Dec. 31st. The largest group of Senior missionaries so far at one time. The MTC expects the number to more than double by April. I don't know where they will put them. Pres. Petersen said they were looking for 300 spanish teachers for the MTC.