Saturday, December 28, 2013

"It must have been the mistletoe" & mail shout-outs

Still enjoying the season...
I think I'll keep it up through 2014!
A GIGANTIC THANK YOU and Happy New Year shout-outs to all our wonderful family and friends who
so generously sent us cards, letters and gifts that made our Christmas so full of cheer!
Janae, Peter & kidlets, Debbie VanWoerkom, Sue Cousins & your Freshman Seminary class,
 Holly WeirsmaGordy Parkhurst,
Doug Vanscoy, Becki Blackner, my sista Debbie, the Garretts, the Langlows, Elma Ray, Erin & Ben & boys,
Jon & Angela & the 3L's, Robin Smith & LaRene Garlock & your seminary class, Cecil & Helen, Freddie & Jeanne,
Deb Hill, Larry & Lorrie, Bob & Heather Call, Matt & Susan, Shannon, Dave & kiddos, Sister Mckay & Sister McQ.
We love you and wish you all a most wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

His law is love and his gospel is peace.

The Nativity by Carl Bloch
(Still my favorite Christmas picture and artist.)
If you want to see the Nativity through a child's eyes go HERE. It's sweet.
Feliz Navidad!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We brought some Christmas Cheer to the sister missionaries...

"We got spirit, yes we do! We got spirit, how 'bout you?!"
Doesn't get any better than that.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Most Beautiful Sabbath

Yesterday we had the most wonderful sacrament meeting. It was one of those meetings that was so full of the Spirit that you just wanted it to continue into the next two hours of the block. One of the things that made it so special is we had a mother/daughter piano, violin duet of this beautiful music, Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel. My favorite arrangement of this Christmas song.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Deck the halls with old cow-boy boots. Fa la la la la la la la la!

This is how they decorate for the holidays
around town in Dodge City.
Poinsettia filled cowboy boots on every post.
Yep, this is Dodge!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hay hay hay!

We were early for our appointment in Hanston this afternoon, so we
saw some hay bales and thought we'd take our picture. Don't ask how
I got up wasn't pretty.
I was so afraid that thing was going to roll right across the road
with us on it! See how I've got my arm around Ron's neck? Yeah,
that's nothing short of the Vulcan death grip!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mish. Christmas Conf. & Mail Shout-Outs!

Missionaries serving in the Garden City, Kansas Stake
These are all of the missionaries serving in the Garden City Stake, and our
 new Stake Presidency (3 men in aprons on top right)...they are the ones
who put on our dinner and the Christmas party after the conference last week.
We have pretty much the most awesome, generous stake in the whole mission!
Joyous mail shout-outs go to Julie & Dave and Hal & Judey for your lovely Christmas cards, Brother and Sister Webber for your ever-information filled letter, the Young Men & Young Women of the Chambers Creek Ward for the great pictures, snowflakes & cocoa fixins : ), President & Debbie Gessel for your "now THAT'S a Christmas card!" (what Ron & I said after we read it) Christmas card, and my Sister DeeDee for the delightfully funderful box of surprises that made our season bright! We love you sooooo much!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Journey to Bethlehem 2

Last night we and the Sisters traveled up to Jetmore for their annual soup supper and
The Journey to Bethlehem, presented by the Methodist Church, just like last year. The scenery and
props are first rate, and while the telling of the Saviors birth is done simply, it's also done well.
Here are Sisters Mortensen and Bradshaw in the "market place". The merchants were
selling everything from dried fish, to baskets and small animals for shekels. They had some
pretty awesome animals outside...llama's, sheep, donkeys, cattle...
and these bad boys as well!

There were three camels for the three wisemen...
I didn't want to get too close to them, 'cause we all know
what camels are notorious for doing!
It was a great opportunity for us to mingle with the towns people, who, by the way have no
Latter Day Saints in the entire town. But everyone is super nice and we even introduced ourselves
to the Pastor of the Methodist Church and had a chat with him afterward.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ready or Not...

Here it comes!

This week has been amazing! Tuesday we had two of our investigators come to our Relief Society social, and had lots of good fellowshipping from the ward sisters.
Wednesday we took a trip up to Kinsley with the sister missionaries to teach the 'Stop Smoking Program' to one of their investigators. She is a darling young mother who has such incredible talents. She has such a good attitude, she just needs to remember that she is a daughter of God and she will be able to break that nasty addiction.
Thursday, again we went with the sisters to visit another investigator, this one was a referral here in Dodge, but she only spoke Spanish. The sisters are not Spanish speakers (neither am I) but Elder Williams taught her about the Restoration. It was noisy in the home when we first got there. Mexican music playing on the stereo, a little 3 year old girl who wanted to have the sisters' attention, and a bunch of caged birds in the next room that were squawking. I silently prayed that things could be calm while we were there, and the lady got up and turned off the music, the little girl crawled up in her grandma's lap and fell asleep, and the birds suddenly went silent. It was amazing. (Why am I always amazed when prayers are answered?? I'm not really. It's just super cool to be aware as it happens!) Ron gave the lesson flawlessly in Spanish and the Spirit was very strong. I love my companion so much.
Today we are heading to Garden City for a conference and Christmas party put on for all the missionaries serving in the Garden Stake. (BTW our stake is 60,000 square miles big). Ours is the only stake in the whole mission that does this for the missionaries. All the missionaries not serving in our stake have a party put on by the Mission President. Our stake has a reputation for putting on a pretty sweet shindig, so of course missionaries hope they are serving here at Christmastime. *Us Senior missionaries will have a Senior Conference and get-together later this month in Wichita.
I am so grateful to be part of this work, and to see first-hand how it is changing peoples lives.

Monday, December 9, 2013

What do ya do on P-day when it's fr fr freezing outside?

... we decided to make Gingerbread Houses...
 Even though they were the already-put-together kind you find at the grocery store for $5.00, they each turned out unique.
...and we got a little sugar high and quite goofy. Such fun girls.
 Sister B. with her subliminal message to her parents...(Hi mom & dad heart U!)
Sister Mortensen meticulously setting each piece of candy. (Hers turned out the best)
Mine was pretty boring compared to the sisters' houses.
 T'was a fun activity to do on such a bitter cold day!

 Love this card my sista sent us!

MOATW and Mail Shout-Outs!

Look what we found...
The Mother of All Tumbleweeds!

Tumbleweed Snowman!
Mail Shout-outs and holly jolly greetings go out to: Tyler, for the awesome origami missionary shirt, my sister Deb for the lovely card, Erin & Jake for our first Christmas card of the season, and Sister McQ...We love you and miss you all!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Newest Dodge District

This is our district. At least for now.
Things are always changing around here, and
transfers are coming up.
Back row: Sisters BraShaw (Bradshaw), Mortensen, Williams & E.Dub.
Front row: Elders Sweeten, Ibarra, Carlson & Turner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

30 - 1 = A happy man

I made rolls for a ward activity. I can't put my finger on it, but something doesn't look quite right....
Ron calls it "quality control".

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What a great idea...a day to give thanks!

We have so many things to be thankful for. Here are just a few things that are on my list:


I love every one of them. Each person in this picture has added joy to my life.
Boy, we miss you guys like crazy!
His goodness has changed my life.
FOOD that I can eat.
Sometimes hard to find. Usually expensive.
But so grateful to have it available.
ALWAYS expensive. But again, sooo grateful for it.
I want to snap these sunsets in the camera of my mind
and take them home with me.
The Elders are just as lovable, but we always get close to the Sisters.
They give us a sanity check every now and then. And they make us laugh!

I love the Book of Mormon. I have learned so much from it. 
It strengthens me when I am weak.
It counsels me when I'm struggling.
It gives me peace in a world full of turmoil.
I am so thankful for Joseph Smith, who had the courage to
fulfill his divine destiny. Who saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ
in that grove of trees, when he knelt in prayer. Who never denied seeing them
even at the peril of his own life, which was ultimately taken, because he knew it was true.
I testify that it is true. Read it and ask God. He will testify of its truthfulness through the Holy Ghost.
Moroni 10:3,4,5
Watch this short mormon message and have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

One Bite At a Time.

As a whole, this week was a truly strange one. But I decided to take on all the events and digest them individually. Just like eating an bite at a time. I have been counseled by my companion that I should not write all the details of the events at this posting. But trust me….WEIRD. So here’s a brief synopsis of our week:

We went to an appointment at a trailer park. While we were still in our car preparing to go in, the 75 year old next door neighbor came out in his bikini underwear. No pants, just underwear. This is November fella, git yer pants on!

Because I have no control over what happens with the contents of this blog once it leaves my fingertips and I hit PUBLISH, I will not write any more of the happenings of the week. Bwah! But the underwear guy was the least bizarre  of  everything that happened.

I wish to pay tribute to our amazing Bishop who has had to deal with situations of neglect, abuse, deception, criticism, death and serious illness's (just this week alone).  He has handled each one masterfully and with true Christ like charity.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Holy Mole!

This week has been a busy one. A couple hospital visits of ward members, zone training in Liberal, one member passed away : ( ....., we did service for a widow, taught a couple lessons, had our English class, said goodbye to some veteran missionaries and welcomed some new missionaries to Dodge, among our regular weekly meetings. The time is flying by.
Sister Mortensen says goodbye to Sister Harston..
...and hello to Sister Bradshaw!
Sister Williams, Sister Mortensen, Elder Williams & Sister Bradshaw
 We raked leaves for an elderly widow in the ward.
We had way too many leaves for the amount of yard waste space. : p
We played a Spanish word game after we taught our English class. I got killed every round! : \
A part-member family made us lunch. Rice & chicken with Mole sauce, pronounced like when Austin Powers says Moley Moley Moley Moley! It's an acquired taste. I haven't acquired it yet. But every time we've had it I just can't help myself, and I have to say "Moley Moley Moley Moley!!"
Next week we'll be helping with the funeral of a sweet gentleman from our ward. It will be our 4th funeral since we've been here. : (    Maybe I'll post about that next week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

P-Day. P= perfect fall weather!

Yesterday was a cold, blustery P-day (my favorite kind of weather!). The missionaries went to the Zoo. (Sometime I'll post about our "zoo"...oy vey!) To warm up, we had everyone come over to our apartment for cocoa and games. Extreme Uno, Bananagrams and my new favorite Rummicub (Sister Mortensen is a killer Rummicub player!) And since this is our last few days with Elder's Cannon and Bennett (they are going home) and Sister Harston (she is being transferred) we took our final district picture. We are sure gonna miss these guys! It has been a joy serving with these hardworking missionaries! They are crazy-fun and always keep us laughing!
*I love the face that Sister Mortensen is making...she knows they are up to something!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Best darn weekend ever!

Anytime we have a baptism it is a good weekend. But this was especially sweet because it has been a loooong time comin'. Even before we got here, the missionaries had been teaching this young husband and father the Gospel. His wife joined the Church about 4 (?) years ago along with her sisters and mother. Every missionary we've served with have taught him, we've taught him, many before us taught him. But it took a very sick(but you'd never know it) Elder who transferred here from a Honduras mission because of illness, who has only been here for 5 weeks and is now ready to go home, to teach him that the Gospel is what he needs to make his family complete. Ivan's countenance literally has changed. It is one of those miracle baptisms that we rejoice in!
Ivan and his wife & 2 adorable kids, with Elder Cannon
Me, Elder Williams, Ivan and his darling wife Carolina
Also at church this weekend we had a record number of inactives, less actives, new members and investigators in attendance, including the young mother that Ron and I are teaching . It was a fabulous Sabbath!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

JENGA and Mail Shout-Outs!

Have you ever played the game "JENGA"? Yeah well this is what we call "GARBAGE JENGA". We keep stacking trash in the kitchen garbage can, and the first one to have their piece fall out has to take the trash outside.
p.s. E. Dub took it out shortly after this : )
Happy dance mail shout-outs go to the Double Deb's~ Deb Hill & Deb my sista, each for their sweet and uplifting cards. Becki B. for validating me with your Becki-mail-vibe letter! Janae for her letter & Annabellybutton for the lovely sticker art pictures (beautiful name writing A.!) Erin and Ben for their timely & sweet surprise gift! And Sister McQ. for keeping us in the loop and laughing with your letter. We love and miss you all sooo much!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Zone "P" Day

Last week we traveled to Liberal for a Zone P-day (P as in Play!) It was so fun getting together with the other missionaries in our zone and seeing them in a different setting other than in a meeting. They are great fun!
 We taught them the Transfer Game. Hilarious!
Then each companionship came up with lines to a song that Elder Cannon made up about being a missionary.
If I can figure out how to put the video of him singing it I'll post it....
Good times! I mean when are we ever going to have the opportunity to work and play with this many 18-21 year olds again? They are amazing too...I see future Bishops, Relief Society Presidents, Stake Presidents and even some who could be General Authorities in their lifetimes...really, they are that spiritually awesome!
Happy to be here!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy One Year In Dodge!

We enjoyed our second Halloween in the mission field. So much going on this past couple of weeks, I'll try to get all of it recorded. We were invited to dinner at the home of this family of 11 on the night of Trunk or Treat. But all us missionaries decided to turn the tables on them and we served them! (It was my companion's brilliant idea!)

Started out by making a huge pot of spaghetti. Family of 11 + 8 missionaries = a ton of food! And this is how many she (the mom) cooks for when we come over each week! It's not as easy as it sounds. I have a new-found respect for that woman I tell you!
My handsome companion cooking up 4 pounds of spaghetti noodles. We had to borrow that pot from the church kitchen. The Elders and Sisters here in Dodge are the best! Everyone pitched in to help. One set of Elders made the salad, one set took care of the french bread, and the Sister's made the dessert.

This is the mom and five of her nine kids at the table. It was fun to serve them, she didnt' even have to worry about feeding her littlest one.
 Elder Williams has endeared himself to her one year old and he fed him so the mama could eat her dinner warm...a first, according to her!
Then we all headed over to Trunk or Treat and manned her booth so she could spend the evening with her children.
 There was magic tricks...
 bobbing for donuts...
 a fish toss...
 And a lot more booths that were so fun. The best part was that a lot the members invited their non-member friends to come and we had some great fellow-shipping going on!
This is my favorite picture of the night...