Hello Family and Friends,
A bit windy at times, but still such a beautiful place. Hundreds or acres are set aside for hiking, walking and biking. The picture below lets you guess what Elder Hess is constantly doing no matter where we are at. Heavenly Father's creations are breathtaking at times. Such beauty so well planned out and created. Interesting tree in next picture that Elder Hess is leaning on. The ground is softly carpeted for winter, brilliant yellows, oranges, reds and browns decorate the landscape in maple, oak and various varieties of hardwoods. Hickory nuts, acorns and others make for a life on easy street for the plentiful squirrels!
The Zone Conference held mid November was centered around the Book of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ. President Hansen reminded us that this book has it's own Spirit, and that it was preserved at all cost in Joseph Smith's day. The book speaks for itself, and when True and Sincere prayers are offered as to it's correctness, you will Know and Believe. Because of the Book of Mormons power, the missionaries have been instructed to NOT move on with lessons for investigators if they are not reading. They must first read, they must know for themselves that the book is true! President gave us each a challenge to start reading from a new Book of Mormon wherever we are currently at, and mark it with an the intent of giving it to an investigator. You definitely look at things more intently, and thoughtfully as you do this. Maybe each of you would like to take this same challenge.
We said goodbye to our new friend, Eda Aguilara. She finished her course here with the Head Start program, flew to Washington D.C. for a few days, then home to Honduras. She insists that we come and see her after our mission! Funny how you can get so close to someone in such a short time, and with just a few interactions.
Small Zone Conferences where held in 5 different locations. At each conference, it was a chance for the missionaries to get their flu shot if they chose to. Elder Schoessler was among the first to get a shot, and he wanted to make sure that his right arm was well flexed before I took the picture! Wish you could each hear his voice....never heard anyone speak so low. He had a shirt on from an Elder who had gone home, and the shirt was at least one size too small for him. The tech had a hard time getting his sleeve rolled up high enough. For those Elders who wore long sleeves, and could not get them rolled up high enough, we would have to retreat to a near by class room so he could remove his shirt. Several Sisters had to change tops with someone else for the same reason. We only had one screamer, and two or three near fainters. Oh, and Elder Schoessler keeps in shape and swallows 13 raw eggs every morning for breakfast!!
One of the touching parts of President Hansen's message for the conferences was this....He likes to get up early, around 5:15 to read, pray, ponder and worship. He says that he likes to do this so as to "set the heart beat for the mission. That way when the missionaries wake up at 6:30, the Spirit is set in place.
Somehow here it is all about the Food! And, our waistlines are showing it big time!!!! We ate at a little diner one Friday night and had their special, Fried catfish!I didn't take a picture of our own food, so some friendly customers next to us obliged. There is one difference though, we split one dinner, and still couldn't eat all of it! You can see what two dinners look like, catfish, fries, hush puppies, beans, coleslaw and friend green tomatoes. (A dieters delight) A local church was providing Gospel music entertainment that night. Elder Hess made friends with the band leader, and was promptly asked to come up and take a turn singing. E. Hess assured him that the older sister playing the piano would not know any of the songs that he knew, and so declined.
We've seen so many beautiful Star Valley sunsets posted on Face Book, here is one of ours in Arkansas. The church /mission office is on the right.
Elder Baird turned 80 years old on Wed, and his wife of 1 year had secretly asked all their families, friends and ward members to send him a card. She was shooting for 80 cards. Well, it took a few days after his birthday, but at last count, he had 85 cards! That's a whole lot of love and postage...
One of our Sacrament meeting speakers talked about our loving Heavenly Father and how He does not condemn His children when we make a mistake, just as we do not condemn our own children when they make a mistake. So, don't condemn yourself when you make a mistake, Elder Cornish said, "Don't be so hard on yourself", just be humble and repent." He said that we need to add Repent to the list of Primary answers that we always give.
Sister Juliet Wutkee! What a treasure. We hope and pray that everyone of our grandchildren will serve a mission. It's the best experience for giving them a head start on life. What a blessing serving a mission is.
Most of the Seniors that had Thanksgiving dinner together. New couple, Tippets, Wies, Sorensens, and Bairds.
Our High Councilmen Bro. Smith spoke of his conversion at 15 years old. He said that when he realized that a member of the Godhead walks with us everyday, he knew that he had to be baptized. Makes one think, doesn't it? Elder Hess and I was reading this week in Hebrews 6. It was like a tender mercy reading verse 10...."For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (continue reading) Sometimes it helps to be reassured that you are on the right path, doing what our Father wants you to do...I felt His love.
I'm sure by now that each of you know that the campaign to "Light the World" will bring you your Best Christmas Ever! Visit mormon.org and see how you can light the world for 25 days starting Dec 1st. It is our goal to follow our Savior and do our part to "Light the World". As families, please record how you do this then share it on social media, and help flood the earth with something worthwhile.
Elder and Sister Hess