Monday, September 30, 2013

Marvelous week and Mail shout-outs too!

 Last week was filled with lot's of activities. We had a Sister's conference in Pratt Kansas which was super fun just being with all the other sisters for Yoga lessons, lunch and all around Spiritual enlightenment.
 Everyone just loves Sister Bell, and the tables were set so cute
 Then on the way home we stopped at the
"World's Largest Hand Dug Well"
The sparkley rectangle thing at the bottom is full of pennys & water on either side.
Cute Sisters McQuay, Mortensen, Macovichuk, Cassaday & me.
Saturday morning we had the baptism of Daniel and Kim
They are an amazing couple with an even more amazing story.
They were taught by Sisters McQuay and Mortensen,
who were absolutely the perfect companionship to teach this couple.
I think I'll save their story for my homecoming talk.
(funfact: I felt like a huge flower garden in this dress)
Saturday night was the Worldwide Broadcast of the Womens Conference.
We went to the church to watch it. It was wonderful.
I'll try to add a link to it here.
Sunday morning Ron and I spoke to the combined Relief Society and Priesthood
during the third hour. Our topic: Missionary work (of course!) Later, two cute sisters in the ward
texted us to tell us they used our talks as inspiration when they talked to their non-member
friend about the Gospel. How awesome is that?? I love being a missionary!
Farewell To Elder Hawkins
We have some crazy fun times at the Dameron  home. I've blogged about them before. They are one of those awesome families who give and do and invite and include everyone. They are so very generous and kind. There is a lot of energy in their home. After a wonderful meal prepared by two of our recent converts, (one of whom was a chef for Wolfgang Puck) we sang Primary songs, had a spiritual thought, then said a farewell to Elder Hawkins who will be going home to Utah this week, before closing with prayer. Love that family.
One day mail bonanza shout-outs: We got mail on ONE day last week. Monday. But it was a big-un! We got letters from Bryce, Nathan and Tyler. Nice handwriting, boys! My dear friend Becki, who has so generously written each month. Hugs to you all. And our October ENSIGN came!
Who could ask for anything more??


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happenings and Mail Shout-Outs

Some of the happenings of the past week:

A beautiful sunrise.

A really fun district meeting.
 Dinner with the Perez's
This cute couple fed us and fed us and fed us. They dish it up for you and there's NO portion control. You can't really tell, but there are two thick slices of pork roast (?) smothered in lemon dill gravy and rice and salad...then dessert.
What dinner looks like when we don’t have a D.A. with a member family.
Me: banana with p-nut butter, pumpkin flavored almonds and milk.
Ron: leftover mac-n-cheese, chocolate pudding w/ coolwhip & choc. milk.
An amazing two day Stake Conference.
         From right: Me, Sisters McQuay & Mortensen, and Kasandra Montoya-she's been a member of the Church for less than 2 years and she's getting ready to turn her papers in to serve a mission. She's awesome!
Before the Saturday night adult session of conference the Stake has a potluck dinner. Ron and I were near the end of the very long line to get our food, so we sat with Sister Mortensen, which happened to be at the same table as our visiting G.A., Elder Christensen. He came over and introduced himself to us (Like, hello! You’re a General Authority! Of course we know who you are!) He’s a big man, btw, with really big hands. Just thought I’d throw that in there. And he is super nice and very gracious. While he was talking to us, President Seegar came over and chatted for a minute to tell him who we are. We love our Stake President and his wife. They are such good people. So genuine and kind. This morning he and his counselors were released and a new Stake Presidency was sustained. President Seegar served as the Stake President for fifteen years. 15 years! Holy Cow that’s a long time. This is who spoke at conference: President and Sister Seegar, Pres. Coleman, Pres. Steele, Sister Bell, President Bell (our Mission Pres) President Ludwig (from the Denver Temple) Elder Deshner, and Elder Craig C. Christensen. Very inspiring and uplifting.
Mail Shout-Outs and Obi Juan Kenobi's go out to Mary Vanderholm, Becki Blackner and Erin, for the funny, sweet, and information-filled letters and pictures. They (you) brighten our day with your words! We love you!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Why, Wally Kessler you ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

Each companionship in the mission has a cell phone. We can use it to communicate with the Elders and Sisters in our respective districts and zones, and to give a little shout-out for miracles that have happened throughout the day. Usually the message is about one text long, but occasionally someone will get a little emotional wordy, and it will carry over to two texts, extreme cases-three texts. This is a mega text we got from an Elder in our Zone we’ll call *Elder KESSLER, whose day went from bad to worse. Each > indicates a new text. Read on!


>Dodge City Zone this is Elder *Kessler saying thank you for everything


>that each and everyone of you have done for me! All of you have


>taught me so much and I have grown so much as a missionary and as a person because of all of


>you! As you all know I’ve been sick the past week or so I


>thank you so much for your prayers! Elders and Sisters I am being transferred to Wichita and I

>am going to miss you all so much! It’s been a hard day. In

>the last three hours I have been super sick, I have been transferred, and to top it all off I was

(Cue the 'Saturday’s Warrior' Music)
>"Dear Johned" today by my girlfriend of two years
(...."He's just a friend like those she counts in dozens...")







>I love each and everyone of you Elders and Sisters.........................


* ( He goes on with more texts of wisdom that we deemed not necessary for the purpose of this post)
* Name has been changed to protect the fragile.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Ain't No Mountain High 'nuff" and Mail Shout-Outs

We had Zone training on Friday in Liberal
 This will be Elder Hawkins last Zone Mtng., as he'll be going home in a couple weeks.
He's been a good ZL and a really hard working missionary.
While we were so close, we took the Sister's to the border so they could get
a picture at the OK we did too.
 Ugh! dang fur ball hair! It's so humid that my hair doesn't stand a chance! Seriously, I straightened it this morning, then I curled it...which is something I never do because it takes too long. The minute I stepped outside our apartment, BAM! Instant Diana Ross! That's why in most of my pictures I have a ponytail or my hair twisted up in a clip. Grrr!
(P.S. See E. Dub's right hand? Soccer injury)
Corn as high as an elephants eye and mail Shout-Outs go to: William and Gracie for the beautiful
artwork you sent us...We have it on our art wall! And to the Young Women of the Tacoma Stake,
Makenna Lohrey, Kendyl Parsons, Katie Marriott, and Sister Marie Bateman, for the uplifting letters
and words of encouragement! We love you!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Why DID the chicken cross the road?

There's an old joke told by those who live in Mississippi....Why did the chicken cross the road?
                                                              ...To show the Armadillo it could be done!
This poor little guy was just too slow getting across traffic.
We're in Wichita tonight. We had a Sr. Missionary conference earlier. President and Sister Bell are amazing leaders for this new Kansas Wichita Mission. We sure love them. Ron and I were asked to speak to the other Sr. Missionaries tonight, about working with Branch and Ward leaders and How to effectively work with the younger missionaries. It was great being able to tell the (old) missionaries how much fun we have with the younger ones. We gave them a little slide show of some of the missionaries we've worked with over the past 10+ months. Then we gave each one of them a little take-home gift to remind them to "Enjoy the younger missionaries" that they are blessed to work with!
It was fun presenting to them with Ron as my tag-team companion.
These are all the Senior Missionaries in the KWM. The 2 Sisters on the far right were in the MTC with us. They originally went to the Independence Missouri Mission. It was fun to see them again.
On our way to Wichita we stopped at The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Museum in Hutchison. (Ron's choice)
It was pretty cool though....

 This is a photograph of the SR71 Blackbird Spy Plane...
And this is an actual decommissioned Blackbird.
This is a giant stained glass mural.

...and c'mon, ya gotta have a spaceman shot.
Then we were on our way to the next tourist attraction....
TARGET! (Kathy's choice) : )
Oh Target I've missed you! Please come to Dodge City!
See me hugging her? Target LOVE!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Our Weekend In a Nutshell

Ron and I were asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting today. Our topic was obeying the Commandments. I’ve got to admit that speaking in any meeting is not in my comfort zone, but as I’ve learned, “…anytime you are on the Lord’s errand, you are entitled to the Lord’s help.” (Thomas S. Monson) …and He gave it.

Then Ron & I and Sister’s McQuay & Mortensen and Elder’s Rodriguez & Carlson sang the rest hymn, Called to Serve. I love that song, because you don’t have to sing well, just loud and proud, and the Spirit is always there! Ron also taught our lesson in Gospel Principals class, and he lead the music and translated in Priesthood meeting. He is so amazing! Holy Cow I love that guy!


So last night we and the Sister’s, along with Elder’s Hawkins & Sweeten, went out to the Brinkerhoff’s in Montezuma. Man, Sunnie and Kevin are an awesome couple.
They fixed us a huge, delicious dinner, and we gave them a brief message. Then the Elders left, and Sister Mortensen got a super cute haircut over in Sunnie’s salon. Then the Brinkerhoff’s built a BIG OL' bonfire.
 It was fun to sit and watch the flames...
 It was 95* outside...these girls with their hoodies, sheesh!
 And of course spiders (icky) and a bazillion June Bugs!


When we got home (late) last night we checked our mail and found the key to the parcel locker.
I have to admit, I have a deep love for that parcel locker! (There. I said it.
My sweet little sis DeeDee sent us a box full of deliciousness! Thank you dear Sister!
Those Toasted Coconut Cashews are a little taste of Heaven in your mouth I tell ya!
...and so addicting that they should be included in the W.O.W.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy Birthday and Mail Shout-Outs

Today is our Zone leader Elder Hawkins, birthday...he turned 21 today! Now he's old enough to do just about everything he's always done! He is a great missionary and a wonderful ZL. We had dinner at the Dameron's again tonight. Remember my last post? Yeah well there were none of those shenanigans tonight I'll tell ya! ; ) Look at the cute cake!
Elder Williams, me, Sisters McQuay & Mortensen, Birthday boy Elder Hawkins & his new companion, Elder Sweeten
Waiting for cake!
Abby D., Elder H., Sage D. Hanna A., Elder S.  Sister D. Sisters M&M. & Ela D. behind Sis. MQ.
There's always a gaggle of kids to be found at the Dameron's home...many who don't actually live there.
Cute hubby!
 Why can I never take a decent selfie??
Mail shout-outs go to Elly, Owen & Emmett for their amazing artwork! Bryce & Tyler for finding the "lost drawings" and sending them to us...Picasso's in the making, all of 'em! And to my ever-faithful-busy-as-all-get-out-as-if-she-has-nothing-else-to-do-and-new-Bishop's-wife-and
*whew!* friend, Becki, for sending your much needed letter! We love you to infinity and beyond!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sober and Dignified? Umm, no.

We got the giggles tonight...
Six of the eight missionaries here in Dodge had dinner at an awesome member-family's home. It's a cross between a three ring circus and an alligator festival. Always a lot of energy. The Dameron's are kind and so very generous to us. Always feeding us a good meal. After dinner we meet in their living room to give them a message and a challenge. Brother Dameron always calls on one of the missionaries to pray at the end and they like us to kneel and hold hands. Five kids, mom and dad, and six two gigantic poodles, two hamsters and a partridge in a pear tree I think.  Sister Mortensen was asked to give the closing prayer. You know when your mouth gets ahead of your brain? That's what happened tonight....I think she meant to say "...Thank you for the food that was prepared for us tonight..." But her prepared got mixed in with her food, and it came out  "...Thank you for the poop..." Oh my goodness, I was going to let it go, but Elder Hawkins started to giggle, then Sister McQuay, then me, and Sister Mortensen just lost it. And we were all holding hands so it was just this big wave of giggles that went around the room. Poor Sister Mortensen could barely finish the prayer. I hope Heavenly Father has a sense of humor!