Monday, February 22, 2016

Happy Birthday Eden!

2 Years Old

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.

R. Tagore


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Missionary Moments #77--Feb 21, 2016

It is harder to say this than I thought it would be but this will be our last missionary moments. Our mission assignment will be complete after we pack up all the equipment tomorrow morning and send it back to Salt Lake.  On Tuesday we will begin our next phase in life of going home and settling in and finding things to do that will keep us engaged and busy.  My list has grown long and I am excited to get started.  Today Scott spoke in our Sacrament meeting.  He wrote his talk and practiced it all week long and it went really well.   

I thought I would share a few thoughts on what we have learned during this 18 months and hopefully it will help you better understand how significant our mission has been for us.  Lesson 1--Whom God calls he qualifies!  To say we were reluctant in accepting this assignment would be a gross understatement and in all honesty there have been times, even recently, when I thought why is this so hard.  But those times were quickly replaced with a wonderful sense of well-being because amid the feelings of doubt, the peace came.  When we first saw the equipment, did the training and started the work it was overwhelming and now we can look back on it with a great sense of joy because WE DID IT!  It is true--with God all things are possible!  Lesson 2-Family and friends are everything!  Two significant people made such a difference for me when we started our mission.  Thank you Bill Lambert and Barb Walker. Without their wise counselor and encouragement I can't imagine how hard leaving our family would have been.  Thank you Phil Duncan for calling us on a regular basis and supporting us with your enthusiasm for family history.  Thank you grandkids for never forgetting us and for taking time to sit down and write us, make pictures for us, and for not forgetting us!  Thank you my adult children for all your words of encouragement especially Angela and Andy who took care of our house while we were away.  Thank you Cathy, Becky, Amy, Angela for being such great moms and cheering us on.  Thank you all for the phone calls and letters which were always the highlight of our day when they came.  Thank you Amy for spending time on the phone with me sharing your life and your family for a few minutes each day.  Lesson 3-Tender Mercies abound!  I don't think I had thought much before our mission about how our Heavenly Father gives us glimpses of His faith in us.  The tasks we must perform in life are not easy and yet I have also learned that we never do anything by ourselves.  I have had so many experiences especially in the last 18 months that remind me that no matter how complicated life may get we are a small drop in a big pond and yet Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us, love us, and want only the best for us.  Lesson 4--Missionaries are awesome!  One of the greatest lessons learned for me while we have been here is how amazing these young adults are that leave family and friends and enter a world so completely different from what they are use to.  Not all of them come with a testimony of the gospel but because they want to do what they have been asked to do.  A young Elder told me that he had been out for almost a year and had become discouraged and wondered if it wasn't time to just stop and go home.  He began to pray to know what he should do and in that process he was blessed to know that the gospel is true and he needed to finish what he had started.  I can now tell you first hand that as much as we all want to do our part we do get homesick some times, we do wonder if we are up to the task, we do worry about our family back home, but we know that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--and we can do hard things!  Lesson 5--God is in charge!  On Thursday I finished a set of folders and went to close the set and evaluate them.  I realized as I wrote the numbers down that something was wrong and in checking I found that I had a folder that was about 10 folders out of place.  Why is that significant?  If I hadn't stopped where I did that folder would have had the documents captured but would have been almost impossible to find later on if someone had wanted to see the original documents.  When Heavenly Father wants something done He wants it done right.  Fortunately he keeps us straight by the little things that happen so we stay in check and know when to redirect ourselves.  I suspect that a majority of the work we have done may never be seen, but for those who will need to see it--it has been done right.  

We leave for home on Tuesday morning.  We can't wait to see everyone again.  We have a lot of catching up to do! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Mission Accomplished!

This morning we finished the final file and turned off the computer for the last time before we leave for home.  What an amazing experience this has been and now I can again say "we can do hard things!"  Hard but very rewarding.  The best part of the day was driving to Bedford, NH and meeting with our mission president, President Stoker.  Our final count after the work we did this week was a total of 586,963 pictures.  That is a lot of clicking!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Perry's Settling In

We got pictures from Angela that Perry sent.  This is where he is living in Madison, IN

All Because...

Married--February 18, 1995
"Marriage is more than your love for each other...In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and call into his kingdom.  In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind."        
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, February 15, 2016

Impressive Achievement

Our niece Charity was recognized by her ward on Saturday for earning her Young Womanhood Recognition.  This is the Eagle for young women and it takes an incredible amount of effort to achieve such a lofty goal.  We had a wonderful opportunity this summer to spend some time with Charity and her family when they came to New Hampshire.  When they left I was totally convinced that she was something special.  Next for Charity is graduation from high school and then she will be heading west to attend college.  She has already been accepted at BYU-I!

I was so inspired by her achievement that I have made a personal commitment to do the Personal Progress program again when I get back home and I'm already planning my value projects.  Thank you Charity!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thank You Sweet Grandchildren!

Grandkids Wall--September 2014
 One of the first things I did when we got into our new apartment was put together a grandkids wall.  This was the first week and now I am getting ready to take all of these wonderful letters, cards, pictures, and decorations down so I can bring them home.  Thank you grandkids for taking time to write and share your talents with us.  Everyone who comes into our apartment always loves looking at the different things hanging on the wall.     Everything is down off the walls except this area     because I hate not seeing our many love notes.       You can't imagine how important your thoughts     have been to Grandpa and me in the last 18        months.  These will be tenderly boxed up and brought home where I will on occasion gather them around us and read them again so I have no doubt that I have the best grandchildren in the world!
Grandkids Wall--February 2016

Missionary Moments #76--Feb 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!  I am so late getting this written today because I was speaking in Sacrament meeting and didn't want to have other things on my mind until that was done. Scott speaks next week so he still has another week to be nervous!  I told Bill that I have spoken more in this ward than I have spoken in our ward in the last 10 years!  Small wards definitely give you opportunities that you don't have when you are from an area where there are many members of the church.  After the Sacrament meeting we taught our last lesson to our wonderful Sunday School class.  I was surprised how sad I felt to say goodbye to these amazing young people. Today before class began I had a brother and sister tell us about raising pigs.  They started raising pigs years ago to be able to pay for college.  They raise two at a time and when they are old enough they sale them and all the money they make goes into their college fund.  I wish all of our grandkids could have opportunities like that.  I asked Hannah if she named the pigs but she said not anymore and her brother John said pigs are the smartest animals.  You could tell as they both talked that they took great pride in their combined effort. 

We have finished prepping all the documents that we can before we turn off the lights and head home.  Our big challenge is to be able to take all the pictures of the documents that are prepped in just four days (Archives closed for President's Day tomorrow).  We won't leave until all of the pictures are done so that may move our exit back a day or two.  Last night I added up the pictures we took in Rockingham County and the pictures we have taken in Hillsborough County through last Tuesday.  It came to a grand total of 576,205 pictures.  We're proud of this! It has been so amazing to think back to our first week here when we had no idea of what we were doing and going home so discouraged because we could barely finished 200 pictures in six hours.  What a reminder to all of us that when something is important we can never give up! I have loved sharing these brief glimpses into the lives of wonderful people who endured so much for all of us.  They lived in what we would probably consider very primitive conditions, they fought to establish a nation and later to preserve that nation.  They never gave up and because of that we must remember to keep this a land of liberty by fighting for it even today. They are our inspiration and we have to honor our past by how we live in the future.  

My Aunt Edith passed away this week.  That leaves dear Uncle Chester the only surviving child of Pearl and Marion Lambert.  Although we lived quite a distance from them I always loved the time we got to spend in Texas with them.  We never went to Disneyland or Yellowstone National Park but Texas was the best place in the world to go on a vacation.  We ate watermelons, make homemade root-beer, homemade ice cream, set off fireworks, and planned and cooked dinner for all the adults.  It was wonderful and Aunt Edith always made it better.    I am so thankful for family and especially for the wonderful memories I have.  Have a great week.

Aunt Edith

I love my Aunt Edith.  I think I loved her because my dad loved her so much.  She was a kind and lovely woman who loved her Savior. Whenever we went to Texas we always stayed with her and her family and we always felt welcomed.  She always had a big smile on her face and her laugh would bring a smile to your face because it was so full of joy.  My dad use to say to me, "You have your Aunt Edith's hips!" and believe it or not I took that as a great compliment because I adored her.  From my Aunt Edith I saw first hand what forgiveness would do for you.  She was raised by a woman who probably was ill-equipped to be a step mother and because of that my dad always felt she was the epitome of the wicked step-mother.  In spite of their past, my Aunt forgave Miss Edna and showed the utmost respect for her which was something my dad was not able to do.

On Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Aunt Edith died after eight years being cared for by her daughter Mary. She was buried on February 13, 2016 next to her love, Uncle Ray.  She had Alzheimer's disease.  It is such a comfort to know that she is again with Uncle Ray with a full memory of all the wonderful things she did while still here on earth. She was a blessing to her family and definitely a blessing to me.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sorry...I had to add a few more!

We are in the home stretch but in the last two days I saw the "funnest!" names so I had to share them with you.  Three babies started their life with these names...Increase, Scripture, and Peleg!  You just can't make these up!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gospel Gems

I got an email from Elder Duncan (aka-Perry) this week and Amy forwarded the latest email from Hermana Bryce (aka-Madi).  I loved recognizing the joy of serving as missionaries that they are both having.  I thought I would share a little from both of them.

Hermana Bryce..."We visited a 96 year old woman this week who is the oldest member in Riobamba.  She is the SWEETEST thing I have ever met in my entire life.  She reads in her Book of Mormon everyday. Every time we come to read with her she bears her testimony with tears in her eyes.  She loves the Gospel. She always leaves me with the love of Christ in my heart and a determination to bring other people her joy. She is living proof of enduring to the end.  She is truly converted to the gospel and lives it every way she can. I love her with all my heart and I can feel the love Heavenly Father has for her..."

Elder Duncan..."It's great to meet so many people.  Just about every one really loves God and Jesus, and a lot of people accept appointments to meet and teach them later....My first day here we saw a guy walking down the sidewalk across the street from our apartment and as we approached him he was like "uh oh, haven't I seen a play about this"?  As we talked to him he turned out to be really cool, and we set an appointment to meet him.  At that appointment we taught him about the restoration of the gospel and he was really receptive."

At this time there are over 74,000 missionaries serving all over the world.  Can you imagine the influence these wonderful missionaries have with the love they have for those they teach each day.  It is inspiring just thinking about it.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Missionary Moments #75--Feb 7, 2016

 It has been a great week for us because we have loads of work to do and have kept very busy.  In the middle of that we had a snow storm that left about 8 inches of snow to be maneuvered around.  Now that it is February I have begun a serious effort to work on our to-do list that I made in preparation for going home.  Our oven is now sparkling and is closed for business until the next tenants occupy this apartment.  I spent time on Pinterest to find out how to clean a stainless steel sink and leave it shining which was just a dry run because we definitely will use that again! It worked so well I keep going in and admiring it!  It has become necessary to decide what will go and what will be left behind.  One of the Sister missionaries in the Canterbury Ward is going home on Tuesday and so we offered to take some things she boxed up to the post office to be mailed home.  I plan on doing that as well just because I am not sure how much I can actually get into the back of our Edge.  We have certainly accumulated more "stuff" since we first arrived.

Another treat for both of us was to take our Elders and Sisters out to dinner.  On my birthday we went to Five Guys Burgers with the Sisters and had a great time visiting with them.  Before we left they asked if they could leave a message with us that they have been preparing on the Restoration.  We were delighted to be taught and they proceeded to share the wonderful truth of Heavenly Father's love for us which lead into the story of Joseph Smith's first vision.  As we listened I realized all around us were people eating dinner and visiting with their friends and family and in the middle of that one of the most powerful messages was being shared with us. The Spirit was so strong and I had to keep from shouting,  "hey people!, do you want to hear a message that will change your life!?"  Don't worry I didn't.  On Friday night we had dinner with the Elders which is always a fun experience because Elder Sanders has a very dry sense of humor and Elder Larsen is never sure if he is serious so we get to enjoy the surprised expressions that are often on his face.  Two nights of spending time with these young missionaries is an absolute tonic to any worries that we might have.

Yesterday we headed to Nashua to the Costco where we replaced two tires on our car in preparation for crossing the United States one more time. While there we visited with a lovely young woman who came here from India to go to school in Boston where she earned her Master's degree and is now living and working in Massachusetts while she waits for legal status to be able to remain in the United States.  She hasn't seen her parents since she left four years ago and can't go home until all of the immigration paperwork is approved so she is missing her mother.  I feel silly feeling bad that we haven't seen our family for a year and a half.  

This was a busy week in politics as candidate after candidate was visiting throughout New Hampshire to present their message of why they should receive the vote of New Hampshirites.  We haven't seen anyone although I believe everyone of the Republican and Democratic candidates have spent time here in Concord.  The closest I came to a spotting was at my Burger King that I visit each day for my diet coke.  I don't know who was inside but there was definitely security surrounding a big black SUV parked in front.   I will be glad when the voting is over and they move down to South Carolina.  It is interesting that life continues to go on no matter what is happening throughout the world.  We are grateful to be part of such a great cause with continual tender mercies that make everything better.  We have loved being here and I can honestly say we are sad to know we must pack it all up and say good-bye.  What a blessing to be a missionary! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Things I Will Miss

Hopefully the last snow before we head home!
As our time approaches to pack up and head back to California I have been thinking about the past 18 months.  There are so many things that we have loved about New Hampshire and the surrounding area but when we leave I think these are a few of the things I will miss the most.
  • The Friendly People--You can't believe how friendly and welcoming the people of New Hampshire are.  Everyone always has a kind word and a friendly smile.  Each day I drive to a nearby Burger King and love hearing, "sure darling!" come on up to the second window.  In our ward several families have gone out of their way to welcome us and have invited us into their homes for dinner and conversations.
  • The Gracious Drivers--The first time someone stopped and waved us into the flow of traffic I was so impressed.  What amazed me even more is that it happens all the time.  If you mess up they aren't laying on the horn, they just wait for you to figure it out.  
  • Our Missionaries--I can't explain how amazing these young people that leave family and come out and serve are. I feel so honored to be around them.  I have seen them laugh, cry, joke, pray, bless, and teach.  And I have been SO impressed!  I will never look at missionaries the same.
  • The Archives--I have found out so much about myself each day as we work at the archives.  I remember the first week we started and I thought to myself, "how will I ever be able to do this every single day?!"  Now each morning when we start working I express gratitude for the precious moments to reflect, adjust, wonder, plan, learn, and enjoy. 
  • New Hampshire--What a beautiful place to live.  The seasons have been glorious and I will never forget the beautiful weeping walls in the spring, summer and fall, and those same stunning walls of ice each winter.  I have never seen so many shades of green, so many flowers that seemed to magically appear, and snow so bright and white it blinds you. 

    I have loved the white trees after a snowfall!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I Always Wonder...

What was the mother thinking when she gave her child one of these unique names.  This will be my last time to share some of the great names we have come across when doing the probate files.  I especially love the first one...Silence, Grandison, Achsah, Susa, Joash, Scribner, Salatheil, Aurin, Cemira, Micajah, Dummer, Fryland, Squire, Fidelia, Louisina.  I honestly hoped I read Dummer's first name wrong but that was his first to wonder!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Our Final Lego Challenge

I am so glad we were able to have one more Lego challenge before our mission ends.  Thanks for participating.  These were all Grand Prize winners!  Watch the mail--a treat should arrive by the weekend!
Abby's Cake Walk--So Creative!

Bruce's Motor Pool--So Ambitious!

Will's Cruiser--Very Original!

Brigham's Truck--So Cool!

Ava's Wizard's Lair-The ostrich is
intentionally headless for use in making

Caleb's Robot--Just Amazing!

Eden's Contribution!

Ruth's Mittens the Kitten--Cute!

Jane's Dragon--Unique!

Duncan's Spaceship Dog Prison--Clever!

Lincoln's Jeep--Obviously Brigham and Lincoln have
similar things on their mind--getting closer to driving?--Well Done!


We had a visitor join us last week.  Flat Stanley made the journey to New Hampshire.  He will be here as we complete our last month as missionaries and then keep us company as we begin our trip back home. Thank you Janie!  He is very well behaved and always has a smile on his face!  We will do our best to show him a great time.

Back to Hartford

Last May we drove to Connecticut to visit the sight or the temple that was being built in Hartford.  We decided we would go back and see how much had been done since we were there.  We knew that they had put the Angel Moroni on and that was worth a trip as well.  The day was great and the weather so nice that I didn't need a coat.  After seeing the temple we enjoyed a great lunch and a short browse at a Dress Barn before we came home.
Hartford CT Temple January 2016

The Angel Moroni

Hartford CT Temple May 2015