Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner Thursday in Pittsburgh with Elder and Sister Marshall, Brother and Sister Cannon, Elders Watkins and Espinosa, Sisters Gibson and Carter and two investigators, Lubaba from Sudan and Dexter from China.  We ate too much food, gave thanks, shared testimonies, played games and visited.  We have much to be thankful for.

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We met at the Institute building in Oakland where Elder and Sister Marshall teach institute.

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We left Pittsburgh about six and drove two hours north to Erie, Pennsylvania and stayed  the night.  Kent and Kae Servoss met us there Friday morning which happened to be Kent’s birthday.  They are serving in Rochester NY and got permission to leave their mission to meet us in Erie which is half way between us.  We had a great day with them and enjoyed so much being with family for the holiday.

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The city of Erie is, as you can guess, is right on Lake Erie.  We drove through Pasque Isle, which is a peninsula out into the lake.  We were looking straight north towards Canada but could not see across the lake. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and 60 degree temperature. Of course, we are always wearing our missionary badges and get to talk with people wherever we go about the church.

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We drove home that night and attended the temple in Columbus OH with Elder and Sister Marshall on Saturday morning.  It was a wonderful way to end the holiday week. This is the nativity scene they have on the temple grounds.  I guess it is officially the Christmas Season now.  We had a wonderful holiday week-end and are back to work now in Wheeling enjoying finding and teaching, supporting and loving, and just doing what ever the spirit guides.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ten Months

It as been ten months since we started this adventure.  Where did the time go?  We have made many good friendships while serving here and it will be hard to leave when the time comes. Many of these friends we are sure were close friends before we came to this earth.   So many times we have felt that we knew them from somewhere else.  A testimony to us that we are sent where we are supposed to serve.

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We also have a hard time when we lose our elders.  Elder Ames, on the left, has served in Wheeling for three transfers and has been our district leader.  He is heading home to California this week. But we still have Elder van der Spec, Elder Bluemel, Elder and Sister Mooney and Elder Nielsen.

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We have been enjoying a beautiful week of warm weather and blue skies.  That is until yesterday when we saw our first snow of the season.  This is a picture from our home looking west across the valley. We have enjoyed living here in this quiet neighborhood with good neighbors and a beautiful view.  The house is still up for sale, but not many lookers yet.  We just decided we would leave that in the Lord’s hands.

We are still having great adventures and love serving a mission together.  We pray that our grandchildren will know, as Elder Holland said in general conference, “In this family we serve missions”.

Friday, November 11, 2011


We got to go to Pittsburgh twice this past week.  It’s an hour drive from Wheeling and we have done it enough we can pretty much put the car into auto pilot.  The first trip was for interviews with the mission president. It’s always an honor to get a few minutes with him.  It is such a great responsibility to lead a mission and be responsible for all of the elders and sisters.  We love President and Sister Topham.

The second trip was to join three other couples and tour some of the sites of Pittsburgh.  Elder and Sister Mooney. who just arrived in the mission field, wanted to see Pittsburgh so we arranged with Elder and Sister Marshall and Brother and Sister Cannon to meet them at the institute building in Oakland where the Marshalls teach institute.  The Cannons are a couple from SLC here waiting for Sister Cannon to receive a bilateral lung transplant.  She is on the waiting list at UPMC and Cleveland Clinic.  He is a physician and has been asked to be a medical advisor for the mission.

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The first place we toured was the the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. It is essentially and study and class room building which was build back in the 1700’s.  The above pictures are taken from the top floor of the building, looking down onto more of campus and the down town skyline in the distance. It is a beautiful old multi-storied building with class rooms designed in the motif of various countries. These class rooms circle a large cathedral-like study hall that has been beautifully preserved.

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After seeing a little more of campus, we went to the Frick Estate and toured the mansion and the buggy and car display.  Fricks were wealthy owners of the steel industry in Pittsburgh around the turn of the 19th century.  They built a mansion on five acres in the “suburbs” of Pittsburgh.  It is now right in the middle of the Oakland area of Pittsburgh where five universities and colleges co-exist. They didn’t allow pictures on the tour but it was a fun time with other missionary couples. 

We managed to give out a pass-along card and talk to several people about the church so it was a good missionary day too. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Duckworth Family

Julie, Lanae and Mason Duckworth were baptized this week.  What a wonderful blessing for this family and for this ward.  The Lord had prepared them to hear and accept the restored gospel.  They have been so fun to help teach.

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They asked Elder Green to baptize them. Julie, Lanae 12, Mason 9. Julia 6 is anxious for her turn and James 1 doesn’t have a clue. 


Elder Bluemel and Elder Ames were good at getting the ward members involved in teaching.  Julie asked Wes Walton to speak on baptism and Jory Bulkley to speak on the Holy Ghost.  The Bishop was there to welcome them to the ward, Sister Carman welcomed Julie to the Relief Society, Sister Rasmussen welcomed Mason and Julia Primary and Michelle Oliver welcomed Lanae to Young Women.  On the next day Julie was confirmed by Elder Green, Lanae by Adam Holbrook and Mason by Mike Carman.  The ward has embraced and loved them.

We rejoice when new members come into the church and we rejoice as well when we are able to find those who are lost and they return.  The Lord loves all his children.