Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

We spent Christmas with Laura & Brian in Ohio. Much time was spent on the new phone.
Remember the Christmas ball ornament we gave years ago to each of us, including all grandchildren to that date as a tangible reminder that the gospel had been handed down to us from previous generations & that it is up to each of us to pass our Priesthood blessings on to each continuing family for generations to come.
The reflection in this ornament is Maria & Brenda Ebie, Brian's MOM, a wonderful friend.

Oh, see our children ornaments on the lamp on the left,
we took all our children with us to OH.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mission Christmas Event

After a morning program & a wonder lunch was our service project & Testimony Meeting. Elders & Sisters tying fringes on blankets to be given as Christmas gifts to those in need.
In our area definitely needed for those living in cold houses. Sister Vance, 2nd from right is granddaughter to Marion Vance who was a member of our Tempe Stake.

Having fun with Brother & Sister Pulsipher, previous mission president for Cal & Alice Andreasen while serving in the Pacific islands. Brother Pulsipher is now our Detroit Michigan Temple President.
Found Elder Mc Loughlin (middle) from the Alameda Ward, Tempe Stake.
Always fun to connect up with our home town missionaries.

Our entire Detroit MI Mission.
(click to enlarge.)

Christmas Gifts Always Relate to Jesus Christ

Our gift to the children for Christmas 2010 was a music box with 3 pictures: #1. a box with a pearl in it #2. us, Mom and Dad #3. our Grand River Branch building. Each box played the music How Great Thou Art or Amazing Grace.
In the box was a token pearl like in the picture with the story of a man who had found a precious pearl. When he put it on display for people to see, he saw that they looked at the box more than the pearl. He was so disappointed. The message to our family is that it is not about the kind of building we are meeting in at the Grand River Branch (the box - whether awesome and beautiful or plain and not so beautiful), it is about what is inside, the Pearl of Great Price, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Office Christmas Social

Brenda Ebie gave us this beautiful Christmas Cactus in November and it bloomed for Christmas.
We showed the DVD of our 2006 Family Nativity at our social. It was sweet and touching for everyone.

Sisters - Stunning Moon - Comforting Sunrise

Out for dinner. We are so grateful we have room for our Sisters when they need a place to stay. We are their grandparent figures and we see our grandchildren through them and see them individually for exactly who they are. Young, valiant and honorable servants of the our Savior.

Sunrise, Sunset, Sun Moon and Stars are beautiful everywhere but the atmosphere seems to give them a little different scene here.
The moon is brighter in this sky than we have ever seen. Winter sunrise is warmth and beautiful before it hides behind the grey clouds of the day.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bloomfield Hills Temple Experience

We had a temple excursion with the youth and our new members. Left our office at 4:00, picked up our sisters and arrived at the temple at 6:15. On our drive we had discussion on exactly what we were going to the temple for and why. After the temple we had dinner and we got home at 11:30. Made for a beautiful longggg day.

There are several now asking for help in getting family names ready. Yeah! I may soon be back into Family History. I asked Danita if she would stand as proxy for the one and only female family member I have ever found on my direct family line whose work had not been done. Danita is so special that it was a joyful and grateful moment for me that she was the beautiful sister to perform this baptism.

We spent time in a hardware store. After the youth at the register checked us out she mentioned our name tags. (So grateful how name tags make the Church visible to the world.) I shared with her how we focus on helping members and clients from the community with employment skills at the ERC and that we don't focus on preaching there. However though, I clearly stated that at all other times we stand as a witness of Jesus Christ in all places and preach His Gospel to all who will listen. She was very receptive and received my business card, the mormon.org card and a pamphlet. I am anxious to go back and see her again. When I spoke with her I felt that I knew her. In the meantime Elder Hoopes was visiting with a gentleman about the same message.

A week ago at Ace Hardware I had the same experience with a man in his late 20's who had just ended a relationship with his girlfriend. A great door opener to discuss family first, then the the Restoration, The Plan of Salvation and The Book of Mormon. It was a long visit. We will go back and visit him again because he was also very receptive and accepted literature.

When ever we meet with someone, if nothing else we leave with them the mormon.org card. When they say they want to research what we have said it is very important to mention that if they google it they will need to be careful because so much on the web is contrary to our true doctrine. If they ever read or hear of something that makes them uncomfortable or if it sounds bad, they can find the true doctrine of the Church on mormon.org. All that is good comes from God and all the doctrine of the Church is good. All members are not perfect because we are progressing at different starting points. The Gospel of Jesus Christ requires a life time of learning to do as we see what Jesus did and endure to the end in righteousness.

We met a woman at the post office who recognized us as missionaries of the Church. Her family is all in Utah and have all married in the temple. She is supportive of the Church and her family but her parents were not active and she did not grow up in the Church. We talked and I gave her the cards and a pamphlet and asked her to learn more and to pray about the restored truth found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We know we won't get back and be able to teach all who we speak with but we know that our visit with them adds to the number of contacts people usually have (about seven contacts) before they decide to listen and learn more about the Church.

On Sunday we visited three Sisters. With one family (where we met with only candle light the week before), I wanted to take a picture but knew it would destroy the spirit of what we were discussing so I didn't touch the camera. The sweet thing was the little 8 yr old son who is so brilliant and continually gave good strong answers to questions. He easily refered back to things the Elders had taught in previous lessons. He amazed us all with his understanding.

The Elder gave the teenage daughter and 8 yr old boy each a Book of Mormon. The daughter read in Moroni 10, and then the little guy as he sat on the floor read for us again Moroni 10:3, 4 & 5 himself. After he read out loud he just sat there while we talked but was intently continuing to silently read in the Book of Mormon. It was an inspiring and beautiful sight.

Elder Hoopes and I personally gave the teenager and her mother wrapped gifts. For the Mom and Daughter we gave each The Strength of Youth booklet. We also gave them The Family Proclamation in a frame and candy etc.

We are truly grateful & cherish all of our mission experiences. We are grateful for faithful members who set a wonderful example for investigators. We know that the prayers of our faithful family for the missionaries and those who are being taught will surely be heard and bring blessing upon the Lord's work.

As missionaries ourselves, we pray for the missionaries

We continually pray for Elder Jonathan Hoopes as he serves his mission in France. We continually fast and pray for our young priesthood holders who are preparing themselves for their missions. Missionaries give the most blessed hard labor that will bring about the most blessed results for THEIR future lives as well as upon those who are baptized into the Church.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Missionaries Serving in Indiana and in Toronto

New missionaries serving in areas located within the service area of the LDS Employment Resource Services Center in Detroit MI are: The Dickerson's as Service Missionaries in Indiana and the Bolin's as Fulltime Missionaries in Toronto CA. We had a two weeks having them in our office and making it lively and fun.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Elder Jonathan Hoopes / Doing Well in Cherbourg, France

We are thrilled to have Jonathan on a mission with us though he is across the world from us. Elder Jonathan Hoopes' experiences are so much a part of what we experience too. Our desire is to serve all the while our other grandsons are serving their missions.

Missions are hard work and worth it, for they prepare our young Elders and Sisters for the rest of their lives. At our age they are a matter of keeping us on the path, Enduring to the End in Righteousness.

We are grateful for our grandsons who hold the priesthood and are worthily and preparing for their missions as they have been directed by our prophets. If our granddaughters serve missions they too will be mightily blessed.

Fun Story about the snowman. We are inspired by this to do the same.
"Fun story! We went out contacting and were having no success. No one wanted to talk! It was -5 celcius and snowing with Cherourg wind! It was nuts to say the least. So we decided to build a 9 foot snowman!!!! It was so epic! People began to stop and admire the snowman. They'd say what are you doin here in Cherbourg and We'd tell them we were missionaries and then we'd start talking about the gospel! Voila! Ha it was fun and more successful than the contacting."

First Winter Storm / It Got Worse / Loving Our All Wheel Drive

Sunday evening Dec 12th: Visiting our less active member we had no electricity. My archaic Palm Pilot came in real handy as we all read from it, reading Alma 7. Our sister continues to be very receptive to having us over. We feel her soul may have been stirred and heart softened to the things she knows are true from the scriptures. This Christmas time will help us draw closer as we have things to share with her to help her in her desire to bless her children.

She offered to be of service to anyone needing a mock interview. This is another great connection we will have with her. She has been employed by the state of MI for twenty years.

Monday Dec 13, schools were closed and no one came into the office except for us - we live 5 miles close, drove slow and made it.
On this bright sunny Tuesday morning, everyone is surprised that this cold weather hit before January. The wind chill is -7 . In 30 seconds with gloves on , my hands and face were in pain from the freezing cold. Good lesson for my future coverings. Schools and many businesses are still closed because of the dangerous roads. But, our office is fully staffed today.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Conferencing With Family

The most we have had on screen is three families at one time. Technology is a blessing when we are so far away.

Zachary was just home from the hospital and was crying & worried about what was going on.

Sisters Coming & Going - Finding Rest In Our Home

Dec 14 Going Home: Sister Sontag to Scottsdale AZ
Sister Fleshman to Idaho
The day they go home they go to the temple in the evening so they arrive at our place any where from 10:30-11:30. They are tired, and and leave at 6:30 in the morning.

Sister Burnam arriving from Oakland - Sister Cummins returning to SLC Temple Square

Friday, December 10, 2010

Danita's Baptism December 4th 2010

We had a truly spiritual baptismal experience with our sister Danita. Her family was there and her brother-in-law/former minister was there. He was very gracious.

She was baptized in the Dearborn chapel where she previously attended and was taught by (LR) Elders Charles and Smith. There were many from her previous ward to support her. Elder Smith's mother by the way is a Hoopes. We need to figure out our genealogical relationship.

In the second picture on the back right is our son Jonathan waiting as friends gather. In the front row is Gwen who was baptized the week before and two investigators.
Elder Erichson on the left from the Grandriver Branch baptized Denita.
Danita bore her testimony which was very uplifting and showed how spiritually sensitive she is. For example she began fasting the day before so, as she explained, she would be completely cleansed by her baptism. Another beautiful example of her preparedness was that she wore no jewelry and only flesh colored polish on her nails. Danita is beautiful in every way.

The three Danita's, daughter and granddaughter .............. Her dear family support.

Dec 3rd, 4th & 5th Jonathan's Visit

How wonderful it is to have children stopping by to visit. Jonathan who lives in California was in Indiana working for two weeks. Over the weekend he drove for 3 hours to come and see us. He was happy to just go along with us as we did our missionary labors. We loved having him here.

Marni sent with him for us, a Scentsy Warmer Candle with a peppermint scent. We love it so much that we have taken it to the office for all to enjoy. Everyone is really enjoying it and so happy we brought it in.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Great Blessing of Attending Zone Conference with our Younger Elder and Sister Missionaries

We are learning so much about the strength of our missionaries and the work they do. How blessed we are to be with and learn from them. We love them for their tremendous and humble efforts to build the Lord's Kingdom here upon the earth.