Monday, April 29, 2013

New Young-un in our district, ward members & mail Shout-Outs

This is our new District...with our first 19 year old sister missionary, Sister Hutchings from Anchorage, Alaska.
Wanna know how small the world is? Ron knows two people in Sister Hutchings home ward.
                 Cute little baby Aaron eating my name tag.  
 ...and his big brother Edward showing me his dead lizard.

Our only the lonely mail shout-out of the week goes to Becki Blackner...You are AwEsOmE!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Man looketh on the outward appearance...

I know I have written about how cool I think old things are...and we have plenty of old things to see around here.

This is an old grain elevator and an old mill on our way up to some members in Kinsley.
Every time I go past them I think how awesome they are. There's just something beautiful about
structures that stand on their own, unused, forgotten, yet so stalwart. Reminding us that they at one time were more structurally sound, useful, even needed. If you look really close inside the top left window of the mill (right picture below) you can see a huge gear that gave the mill its power and made it useful so long ago. It's so cool!  I wish I had it for my wall at home. (I'd need a huge wall to hang it on!)

People are like these old buildings. As they age they seem to outlive their usefulness, their beauty. Or so we sometimes think. We went to visit our sweet little 90 year old member, Dolly, up in Kinsley that day. What a joy she is to visit! She has lived an interesting life. We have come to love her so. She may think she has "outlived her usefulness", but she has so many beautiful things about her. We are grateful that we've gotten to know this sweet lady. Like the big gear inside the mill, we just need to stop and look carefully to see all the cool things inside another person.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Great Sabbath, Boot Hill & Mail Shout-Outs

On Sunday the six of us missionaries who are serving in the Dodge ward spoke in Sacrament meeting. I think it was a good meeting for several reasons: 1) We got to partake of the Sacrament and renew our baptismal covenants. 2) Our new convert who was baptized last week was confirmed…then she bore a beautiful, sweet testimony of her conversion. >good enough right there, we can all go home now edified and uplifted!< 3) All six of us had only 5 minutes each to speak. That’s it. It was the perfect amount of time to keep the congregation awake with each new speaker. Really. And all of our young missionaries are so well versed in the scriptures, they just amaze me. I gave talk number 3, Ron gave talk number 4. He, of course is always fabulous, but this time he was fabulous to infinity in my book. While Sister V. was giving talk number two, we realized that no one was assigned The First Vision. What??! Six missionaries speaking about the Restoration of the Gospel and NO ONE IS TELLING ABOUT THE FIRST VISION?? So while I was up giving my talk, the magnificent Elder Williams completely redid his talk -still keeping it to 5 minutes- and brilliantly told of Joseph Smith’s first vision, which flawlessly was incorporated into the stream of all the rest of our talks. I love my companion. I am so blessed to be able to ride on the coattails of such a good good man.
We have a lot of fun with these Elders & Sisters too.
This was our day trip to Boot Hill on P-day.
Our mail shout-out and a six-gun salute goes to Angela for her card and note telling us about the goings on at home! We love you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Our recent baptism

This is our newest member, Sylvia with her little baby. She was baptized Sunday after ward conference.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

World Class Tumbleweeds

We've mentioned our amazing tumbleweeds before, but this one just might be the biggest we've seen yet!

I know, I know, my Momma taught me not to play with things like this but who can resist??   We might bring it home, spray it gold and hang it as a chandelier in our home.
*The funniest part was watching Ron chase this thing down the road trying to catch it! They don't call 'em tumble weeds for nothin'!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A li'l bit o' this 'n' that and Mail Shout-Outs

It's been an eventful week...We watched General Conference at our chapel with members and investigators, and had a great meal between sessions, on Sunday. Ron took me to the emergency room early Saturday morning with a migraine (truly one to journal about ) and the barfs (they gave me 2 shots and I slept for 24 hours) . I completely missed Saturday sessions of conference. During the week we met with an investigator- a cute young mother of two little girls- very promising. We drove to Spearville to deliver a surprise birthday message to one of our favorite members. Had Zone training in Garden City. Had our English Classes on Wed. morning and evening, and gave a church tour with some non-member Spanish speaking ladies. Had dinner and FHE with a great family from the ward, and lunch with another great family from the ward-and learned they are related to each other. We are substituting in Primary tomorrow, so we're getting our lesson ready.

There were the wierdest clouds here the other day...
11 or 12 strips of clouds all across the entire sky.
This is Sister Strong, the wife of the birthday boy... We put a big 70 with forks stuck in their
lawn that had hearts glued on and birthday messages for Bro. Strong, who turned 70.
Mail shout-outs and virtual exploding fist bumps go to Annabelle and Daniel for the AwEsOmE Easter card! And Larry, for thinking of us while eating at The Crab Cooker (wait, is there a message there?) in Newport Beach! We love you guys!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dinner @ Arkell's...It's not just a meal, it's an adventure!

We had dinner & Family Home Evening with a great family in the ward. Our message was on Missionary work (of course). And we played the game "Open Your Mission Call".
Even their 16 year old who started out "Do I have to play?" had a great time.
It was really fun with their family, because they have nine kids so everyone got in on the action.
First open your mission call, then find your companion and sit next to them...if there is a seat left to sit in.
 Imagine cooking for this brood every night...nine kids, mom & dad, plus grandma & grandpa. Then throw in six missionaries to the mix! We love this family. They are so kind and generous to everyone, especially to the missionaries!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I want to learn to paint like God

We have the most beautiful sunsets here...
 Sometimes they are so magnificent we just have to pull the car over and watch in awe as the sky changes color.
Look here to see how big these windmills really are.

Our Mission is a growin!

The Dodge District with new Zone leaders.
back row: Sister Williams, Sister Macovichuk, Sister Vanderholme.
Front row: Elder's Williams, Romero, Hawkins, Pugh, and Wilde. 
This is our District (for the moment), along with our new Zone Leaders. Elder Wilde (on the far right) use to be our District Leader, and is now our Zone Leader. It's so fun to see these young Elders grow and become really great leaders. It gives us a glimpse of what they will be in the years to come after their missions.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Field trip and Mail Shout Outs

This old abandoned moving truck was sitting out in a field by a horse race track...
I love cool old junk. The best part is there's plenty to photograph out here.
Mail shout-outs and well deserved Zippidy Doo Da's go out to Liesel, Cade & Harrison for the awesomest Easter eggs, Erin gets kudo's for her Easter Card in Espanol, my dear friend Becki for the always uplifting letter and yummy recipe, and my sista DeeDee for the super funderful Easter Basket! We appreciate being thought of and we love you!

Monday, April 1, 2013

We had the opportunity to go down to the Oklahoma City Temple last weekend. What a joy it was, being in the temple again (twice in one month!). This time with ward members. The Temple is beautiful. Ron and I noticed the chandelier in the Celestial room resembles a crystal tornado... Coincidence? 

   Before heading home we looked up a sweet sister who lives near Oklahoma City.
Then we made a quick visit to the Oklahoma City Memorial where the bombing took place in 1995. It was a quiet, reverent place. All of the memorial achitectural features are symbolic of the events of that day.
There are 169 chairs representing the people who lost their lives that day, where the Alfred P. Murrah building once stood. Nineteen of the one hundred sixty nine are small chairs representing the little children killed. Over 680 people were injured. Listening to the guide talk about the events that lead up to that day, to that moment, one can see devastation that can come to so many from the evil that is in one man's heart.
This is the reflective pond where 5th street had run before the attack. The wall at one end reads 9:01 representing the last moment of innocence. The bombing happened at 9:02 am. At the opposite end, an identical wall reads 9:03 representing life after innocence lost.