Monday, November 30, 2015

                                                                 GOING HOME

    Wow, I can't believe a whole year has come and gone. We entered the MTC last year on December 1st. We will be leaving this week on December 2nd.

Christmas at the Visitors Center 
    We feel just llike the young sisters and elders. We are excited to go home, but it will be hard too put this all behind us, and leave this sppecial place and special people.
    This has been such a year of learning and growing. We have had so many spiritual experiences crammed into this year, that it is hard to even put it into words.We have been blessed to be here where it is so rich in history.

The WHOLE family at Libery Jail
Far West

We have really learned a lot of history, and that makes you appreciate
what we have in the Gospel and where we came from, in terms of trials, faith, and growth.
    Getting to work side by side with the young missionaries, has been the joy of our mission. ALL of them come into the office at one time or another, and they are such remarkable young men and women. They are so happy and joyful in their service, that it can't help but rub off on us.
Heavenly Missionary choir
Our amazing Stake President and his wife
Elder Carlson checking the cars on Zone Conference
     These are just some snapshots of our year.
Transfer Day
Twin Day
Office Staff
BYU Team Fireside
Zone conference with Elder Renlund
Avenue of trees leading to our apartment
Our home sweet home this year
Adam -ondi-Ahman with V.C. sisters
from Christmas to Christmas
4th of July fireworks at the Visitors Center

Saying Goodbye

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

                                                      Amazing Adam-ondi-Ahman Trip

    Wow, it has been way too long since I have posted. I'm really not that lazy, I just felt like we had been to all of the historical sites, and what else would I write about? I have decided that that is really crazy because after all we are on a mission, and most of what I have learned is about missionary work, faith, and my growth in the Gospel. So I will be writing about more of those kind of things.

   We have been to Adam-ondi-Ahman many times, but we had a highlight trip there yesterday. Every 6 months the Visitors Center takes the sister missionaries that have not had an opportunity to go there because it it out of the boundaries of the Zone here in Independence. Elder Crow is over the vehicles so he was asked to drive the Mission van, and he asked if I could go with them.
   The sisters were so excited to go. I know all of them because they come into the mission office often to get their mail, but I did not know some of them very well, so it was really fun to get to know them better. I asked all of them what was their favorite conference talk. I was surprised that so many of them liked the same talk that I did, by Elder Larry Lawrence, "What Lack I Yet?"
    We got to Adam-ondi-Ahman at 9:00 in the morning. We met Brother Bonnet and his wife. Brother Bonnet is the Stake Patriarch there in the Adam-ondi-Ahman area, he does unofficial tours of the area. At the 1st overlook, he talked all about the history of the area. Beginning with Adam and Eve. That it was revealed to Joseph Smith that this was the area that Adam and Eve traveled to when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. It is so amazing to me to think that Father Adam, or Michael, and Mother Eve walked in this place. It really is sacred ground. I for one am grateful that Eve had to wisdom and courage to eat that fruit!
Brother Bonnet, his wife and Elder Toronto
A rose among the thorns in the lovely green towel. It was cold!

   Brother Bonnet, then talked about how Joseph Smith came there in ...... and dedicated the land for a Stake of Zion.  Lyman Wight had a cabin there, and that became the meeting house for the area. It soon became a gathering place for many saints who had been forced out of Jackson county.
      Next we went to preachers rock. Where Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and others preached. The accoustics of the site are amazing. If you stand on preachers rock and speak in a very normal tone of voice, the people down the hillside can hear you perfectly.
Sisters doen the hill listening to brother Bonnett from Preachers Rock

Sisters singing Adam-ondi-Ahman. It sounded like angels!
The grove
    This is such a significant place both historically and for the future of all mankind. President Joseph Fielding Smith said, "Not many years hence there shall be another gathering of high priests and righteous souls in this valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. At the gathering Adam, will again be present. There will stand before him those who have held the keys of all dispensations, who shall render up their stewardships to the first Patriarch of the race, who holds the keys os salvation. At that time there will be a transfer of authority from the usurper and imposter, Lucifer, to the rightful King, Jesus Christ."  Pretty powerful information.
Sister Hafoka and Sister Delgado
Sister Hafoka is going home to Tonga nest week!

We had a great lunch in a work room at Adam-ondi-Ahman
  We ate lunch, then went to Far West. At Far West, a senior Elder told us about the church history there. I am going to let pictures tell "the rest of the story."
Listening to Brother Evans

The angelic choir again to Far West

        Last stop Historic Liberety Jail. We let some of the sisters who are "working " there out, but also took a tour of the jail. Very powerful and moving. Joseph and the others sufferd so much there, but he learned so much about himself and his relationship with the Lord there.
Beautiful painting by Liz Lemmon Swindle
Prisoners in their cell. This is the exact spot, in fact the floor is original

    So the end of another adventure Missouri, which we have come to love, for it's beauty, history, and spirit. The day was so special because of the opportunity we had to share it with these lovely, amazing missionaries. They have such faith, they inspire me everyday. It is an honor to be around them.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Families Are Forever

                                                          Families Are Forever

     We just had the sweetest experience this week. All of our children and grandchildren came to Missouri to spend some time with us.It was so great to be  to together, it doesn't happen often enough since we are all so spread out.
     Most of them got here Friday night. Saturday we spent at the Crown Center in downtown Kansas City. It was built by Hallmark, (hence the CROWN center.) Since Kansas City is the home of Hallmark Cards. There are many places for families to spend time together. The little kids loved Kaleidescope, which is an area where they can make their own greeting cards, create a puzzle, paint glow in the dark pictures, make gift boxes, all kinds of creative fun.
    Then we went to lunch at Fritz. Sounds weird, but another fun place there. It is set up like a railroad car, and the food is delivered on a rail system overhead, dropped on a platform, then lowered to your table. The kids got such a kick out of it.
   After lunch we walked across the street to the Union Pacific Depot. It is a beautiful building, and they have a wonderful model train exhibit there. We all enjoyed that as well.
All Legos(except Nathan, Rachelle& Kailani)

 Then back to the Crown Center for Legoland. That is quite the place. I have not been to the one in California, but this was lots of fun. I don't think we even saw everything because everyone was so tired.

  We got to share Lacey's birthday with her that day, and we went to an Italian place, Carrabas for her birthday.
  Sunday we went to church, and to all of the local Church Historical sites, The Temple Lot, the Community of Christ Temple, and our Visitors Center, and Liberty Jail. They seemed to enjoy the sites, I'm sure the little ones weren't as excited, but they do have places to play at the Visitors center. There is such a special feeling there, and it is very family friendly. It was so great to spend time together in this special place.
Our whole beautiful family at Liberty Jail

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

An Exciting Week

                                                            Exciting Week

    It's hard to believe that July is here already. It was June that went out with a bang though. On Friday June 26th early in morning we had, what they call wind sheer. It is when the wind velocity changes at right angles to the wind direction. (Don't you just love Google). Anyway, when My Elder and I got up in the middle of the night, we noticed that the power was out, but promptly fell back to sleep. He got up at 4:30 to go to the Mission Home to pick up the missionaries that were leaving, and their baggage, to take them for one last visit to the Temple with President and Sister Vest. Elder Crow said that all of the way there a lot of the lights at intersections were out, and trees were down all over. Meanwhile, when I got up at 6:30, the power was still out in our apartment. It was a lot of fun getting ready in the dark. I wondered if I would look like a clown, since I had to put my make-up by flashlight. I drove to work on some back roads when I realized that none of the lights were working. I did not want to stop at every intersection. Holy cow, on these back roads there were trees down every where. On some of them, trees were blocking the road. I also saw 2 trees fallen on houses and cars!!
    When I did get to the office, there was only 1 Senior Elder there, so he said that I might as well go home. One of the couples in the office are local, and they had a tree fall on their house.
This is the Carlson's house
     Our power did not come back on until 11:30. I was worried about our food in the fridge and freezer, but everything seemed to be fine.
    Then on Wednesday, July 1st a tornado touched down just a few miles from us. The sky got black and the wind and rain started, it was unbelievable.
         Last night, July 6th we had such a strong rain storm that we ahd to cancel family home evening because several of the couples could not make it. The weather here is crazy!! Of course most people say that this is a very unusual year.
        On the 4th of July The Elders were going to go fishing, and we Sisters decided that we wanted to join them. We went to Far West to a beautiful pond there. We had a blast! Sister Arnold, our mission nurse cought the most fish, but I was right behind her, so the women ruled that day!!

         That night we went to the Community of Christ Auditorium to hear The Brett's a family group from Branson perform. They were great. After that was the fireworks in the big open park that the church owns behind the Visiotrs Center.  What a great 4th of July celebration!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Half-Way Point


                                                                   Half-Way Point

   It is hard to believe that as of June 1st, our mission is half over. The time has really flown by. I guess it's true that when you love what you are doing, it is not like "work."
   We continue to have some exciting adventures. On May 23rd, we took a Senior Trip to Adam-ondi-Ahman. There were about 20 of us, with couples and Senior Sisters. I think that all of us had been there before, but this time we had the Stake Patriarch from there, Brother Bonnet and another Brother, Brother Bunker, take us on a tour. Their knowledge of the area was wonderful to hear. It is really incredible to think that Adam and Eve and their posterity down to Noah, then our modern Prophets, Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young, walked this area is quite remarkable.
Preacher"s Rock

   This photo is of Preachers rock. The early church leaders, including Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon Preached from this rock to the congregation below. The accoustics are amazing. Brother Bonnet had us walk down the hill to a grove of trees, then he started talking to us in a normal tone of voice and we could hear him perfectly. he kept having us move back, and we could still hear him.
     This is the grove, I talked about. It is also, according to Brother Bonnet, where Adam will gather all of the Prophets, both ancient and modern and many others, for what they called the Grand Sacrament Meeting. It is such a lovely and serene place. They have 8 senior couples taking care of the area, and though it is in our Mission boundaries, it is it's own mission. Presided over by the 1st Presidency.
    We got to go and see places that you normally do not get to go. Our mission President calls our mission the ALPHA and OMEGA mission, and I guess that is true. It all started here and it will end up here as well. An exciting thought!!
    There was another interesting side note. they have a trailer there that any general authority who comes, can stay in, right there at Adam-ondi-Ahman.
General Authorites Trailer
    Brother Bonnet and Bunker also took us to an old cemetary, where many persecuters of the church in Missouri are buried. It was very interesting. there are some old headstones. The photo I am showing is of some headstones that they found lying around, that they didn't know where they belonged so they just lined them all up.

Our Group at the Everly Cemetary

     After lunch we went to Jamesport, it is an Amish community not too far from Adam-ondi-Ahman. It is a fun place to visit, and the stores there have all kinds of interesting things. Their bakery is amazing. We all love their mini pies, and cinnamon rolls. Most of us have bought their Amish cutlery. The brand name is Rada, you can buy it online but it is very expensive. There in Jamesport it is pretty cheap, and the quality it awesome. 
Amish Buggy in Jameport Missouri
    We had a great day together. We hope to do some more exploring of this wonderful place.