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Sunday, February 26, 2017


Dear Family and Friends,

Is it Spring where you are? Well, maybe our California family will have flowers in bloom, but most likely not the rest of you!  We see daffodils in some unlikely places, and many times just a couple here and there, and then there are very large areas of blooms.  Kind of like us.  For now we are planted in Arkansas, where there are a few plants here and there and they are doing their best to thrive and show the beauty of the gospel through their lives.  There are large patches of flowers in other places of the world, also blooming and growing.  Each of us has the same responsibility, to bring souls to Christ, and do our best to share what we have and what we    know. Look at the photo, and all of the potential waiting for us!

We are actually a little behind in our blog, and I want to catch up.  We went to the AR Little Rock Air Force Base on 2-11-17 with the office couples, the Hartzells and the Sorsensons.  We met another senior couple there, the Rasmussen's. Funny thing, all three couples are from Utah.  The Rasmussens live on base and they are assigned to help the service members and their families.  

                                Spy plane

 This is called the "Banana.

 You have to have a sponsor to get on base, and that was the Rasmussen's.  Then were things we had to do to qualify to enter like show your drivers license, car registration and then have your picture taken. These few things give them a chance to do a type of background check; are we safe to let on base? Reminds me of our Father in Heavens kingdom.  Our Savior Jesus Christ is our sponsor, and we have to do certain things to quality to enter His presence.  It all starts with Baptism, and then we continue on doing His will and works. We need our Temple Recommend, our name written in His Book to see our works, and then He must recognize in us that we are His children through an inspection of our heart,  

We enjoyed the windy day, although Gary spent his share of time on the phone with the missionaries who needed some help!  He gets quite a variety of texts and calls.  Hey Elder Hess, I'm sick, can I stay home today?  Hey Elder Hess, "my knee hurts", or "I think my companion is in the Orange zone, (meaning that they are in trouble mentally), my companion has a temp of 103, (and then upon sending them to a walk in clinic, their temp is actually 99! Next lesson given?  How to properly take a temperature!) Elder Hess, "I have these bites all over my ankles and feet." (Let us all pray that they are not Bed Bugs!!)

A very large water tower that we pass everyday that we do drive to the Mission Home which is our Stake Center and also where our ward meets.  This last couple of weeks I have been going into the office more to help with the new missionary binders.  These Binders are full of all the information a new missionary will need; encouraging booklets, safety tips, ideas, manners for the South, all about some of the "pests" to expect, how and when to clean your apartment, etc.  I have also been given the "duty" to review the phone bill as it comes in, review it for mission criteria, and then make many MANY phones calls to ask......why was there a call made to NYC or Alaska? Why were you on the phone for 99 minutes, why did you have over 3,000 texts in one month....😇 This is my signature mogie for the mission.

We enjoy beautiful sunsets and cloud formations on the days that we get to get out for a much needed walk.

 The next Sat., 2-18-17 we all went to Burns Park, a 1,700-acre park in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The park features two golf courses, Funland Amusement Park, sports facilities, camping area, hiking and trails.  What a pleasant place to spend a few hours walking, talking and enjoying the beauty. This bridge crosses the Arkansas river, and is called, The Dam Bridge.  In length it is the longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge in North America that has never been used by trains or motor vehicles. It rises to 90 feet and spans the river between Little Rock and North Little Rock.

I love my new camera, (phone) and use it everyday!   There are so many wonders to photograph and remember.  Above all, I hope that as you reflect on your week, you will see the Lords hand guiding and directing you everyday.  Don't forget to ask Him, don't forget to Thank Him. His measure of Blessings knows no bounds when we do as He asks us.  Our Mission President reminds us that in the Gospel, "Casualness creates causalities! Do His works everyday, everyday, Everyday."

Our Love and Prayers are will all of You,
Brother and Sister Hess

D&C 101: 37-38

Hey grandkids and kids, are any of you memorizing what we ask?  Can you fill in the blank? Will you read this scripture?

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Dear Family and Friends,

  Philippians 4: 1313 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.....
 even grow and thrive in an unfamiliar area.   This has been a week of much growth, learning and counting blessings.  
Monday morning we left our apartment at 6:50 to drive to the Memphis Temple, about 2 1/2 hours away.  We were lucky enough to attend the Temple for a special session held for the missionaries who were leaving the mission, and those missionaries who had Birthdays near this date. Feb. 13, 2017.  A very special experience to be in the temple with all missionaries, Mission Presidency, and other senior missionaries.  It was a day of so much to be thankful for, and with so much gratitude in our hearts for our own special family and the blessings coming to them.  The night before Jess and family had called, doing a video chat, and Collin and Kenley held up some signs for us to read.  After reading those signs, and comprehending their meaning, it dawned on us that Jess and Trent are having a BABY!!  They are calling this a miracle baby due to the circumstances; and we whole heartily agreed.  So, going to the temple the next day was a very emotional, spiritual day, and a day of learning for us, one filled with so much gratitude for a Loving Heavenly Father.    

We filled up the car with gas before heading home, and you can see, we were happy with the price we are paying. We drove home, took care of some missionary medical needs, and then drove to the Mission Home, our first time there.  It is in a nice area in Little Rock, and there is definitely much more traffic and congestion getting there than in North Little Rock! This evening was a special dinner for those departing missionaries.

President and Sister Wakolo, wonderful Mission President and his wife from Fiji.  They have their 13 year old daughter here with them, Jasmine. The Wakolo's have 2 children, and have raised 18 other children.  President Wakolo has been an area Authority.  We hear him speak often, and he always bear's such a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.  "I will never, no never, NO never, deny or forget"!  It's no question, our Savior does exist, it's no question, the gospel is true; every time, every time, EVERY time."  No question in our mind on where he stands, and what his beliefs are.  The Missionaries all love and respect him.

We found a different Kroger's to shop at, one by the mission office, and it seems to be about four times the size of little old Broulim's at home.  I think that Elder Hess and I wandered around for an hour just looking at all of the different things.  We are enjoying our Crumpets with butter and jam!  So far, we have only shopped for grocery's at either Kroger's or WalMart, and some of you know how I feel about WalMart!

We LOVED getting these two Valentines in the mail.....thanks Ephraim and Judy!  

This week I was reading a most wonderful Conference talk, "The Blessings of Worship". I hope you will bear with me while I share what I learned, and I pray that you will learn something too.  I will say that I took several days to read and digest this talk.  "Worship is essential and central to our spiritual life.  We approach Him with reverence, love, humility and adoration.  We acknowledge and accept Him, we respect and revere Him, submit ourselves to Him, lift our hearts in mighty prayer to him, cherish His word, rejoice in His grace and commit to follow Him with dedicated loyalty."  "Through true worship, the Saints of God receive heavenly light, knowledge, and a strengthened testimony and that leads to Faith.  True worship transforms us into sincere and earnest disciples of Jesus Christ, we change, become more understanding, caring, forgiving and loving." "When we worship, we open our hearts to the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

We skyped with Margie and family this week, how fun!  Max asked me "Have you converted anyone yet?"  I wanted to say yes, we have.  But, we relayed to him the few opportunities we have had to speak to a neighbor, talk to someone at the grocery store, or see someone when we check the mail.  However, Max, just know that we are becoming more and more converted ourselves.  One of the main reasons that young missionaries serve is to become personally converted ....a conversion that can last a lifetime if they keep the commandments.   A conversion that is a blessing to their future family forever.

Hallie, thanks for emailing us the answer to the question we asked all the grand-kids in our first post, and we hope that all of you are taking on the challenge we gave you in our second post.  We would love to hear from you.  

Our Love and Prayers are will all of you,
Elder and Sister Hess

*Our Relief Society President is a convert, she gave a beautiful lesson, and her closing statement was, "This is the Best Family I Ever Joined"!  Love it!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hello Family and Friends,

The saying at home was always, "if you don't like the weather in WY, wait 10 min".  Well, guess that applies in AR as well!  Although we have not had any snow, (like some of you), we do have wild swings in temperature.  One day it is in the 40's, and the next it can be in the 70's!

  A couple of days I spent any spare time doing this....
 45 down, and 45 to go! (1 per companionship)  We delivered these to 3 zone conferences, and got to meet more of the Sisters and Elders.  There seemed to be a lot of colds and flu going around, so Elder Hess gave a handout and pep talk about what to do.
 Sat, Feb 4th was Ryan's Birthday, so we sent our love and wishes to heaven with our annual balloons, and then for good measure, we....
 had an Ice Cream social, one of Ryan's favorite things to do.  Yes, we are at Sam's Club,.....can you believe it is only 1.5 miles away!  

Sunday we went to our new ward, and loved it.  People seem so genuine, really relying on their faith.  A new Sister to the ward bore her testimony and introduced herself in Relief Society.  She and her husband had left Houston, TX, feeling that AR was the right place to be. She had been having to work every weekend, and knew that her spirituality was not where she wanted it to be. They left on a bus, $400 to their name, and lots of faith that things would all be OK. Within a day she finds a job.  She had prayed and said that she was going to keep filling our applications, and visiting businesses until she found a job. The Spirit whispered, go here, and that is where she found her job. This one ward has 3 sets of missionaries to feed, they clean the Memphis Temple once a month, clean the church every week, (Stake Center with one ward in it), make mats for the homeless, involved in "Days for Girls", and also announced their annual Cub Scout Fund raiser!

 No mail today.......see Elder Hess' frown?

While we were in Memphis, we stopped at the largest Bass Pro Shop around!  it is an old sports arena, and is called the Pyramid.  Unbelievably big!  What did we buy you say?  Not ammo, just some popcorn and moon pies!

On the days we go into the Mission Office, about once a week, we pass this sign, and I think that it is hilarious! Can you read it?  KEEP MOVING, CHANGE LANES LATER!  It reminds me of  life; sometimes we just have to keep moving along, making course corrections in our life, one step at a time.  That's what the Lord expects, we keep going, (doing what we know is right) we keep trying, (it's called repentance) we keep serving, (that's charity)  we keep trusting in Him. (showing our faith)

I do have a request, could we all memorize this together. It was one of the many passages we were asked to memorize before we left on our mission, and I can tell you that each time I read it, and tried to repeat it, I would feel the Spirit.  "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell on me. ...when the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other, This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him.  Can you feel it, the Spirit whispering to you, It's true, it's true....  These next two pictures say so very much, I just can't even explain how much love they convey, and how much love they offer, to us, to everyone.
 This work of art is in the Conference Center in SLC and depicts The First Vision.  Our beloved Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appear to the young Joseph Smith.
The statue can be rotated around, look closely at the back..... Can you just see the depth of Love that our Father has for His Son, Our Savior and Brother, Jesus Christ!  See how He lovingly puts His arm around His Son as He introduces Him.  It just fills my heart with so much gratitude and love for Them.  Our kind Father has that same love for you and for me.  His only wish is for us to have joy, peace, and a place in His kingdom, and He has given us all that we need to attain that blessing. It is up to each of us to follow and receive.

We love you all so very much,

Elder and Sister Hess

Saturday, February 4, 2017

                                                                                                          Feb. 3, 2017
Hello Family ad Friends,

It's been quite a week; lots to learn, lots to do, and so many faces to remember!  We are all settled into our apartment, the Foutaine Bleau.

 We met the two office couples at the Mission Office, the Hartzells and the Sorensens.  The Hartzells showed us around the office, and then drove us to our new home.  Two wonderful Elders, Lindstrom (Laramie) and Jacquez (Colorado) had set up our apartment, and had things looking pretty good.  They spend most of their days doing all of the physical set up in the mission.
Because we will do much of our work from our apartment, we received the old desk from the Temple President. That is only part of the desk.  It works well, and we have 2 new chairs to use.                     

We got the car unloaded and went to work putting things away.  
If you know Dad, (Elder Hess) well, you can guess what he is saying about now..... Hello, hello, _____________?

The senior office  missionaries were asked to take us out for dinner that night, and we were grateful!  When it was time to go, they called us and asked us to meet them there so off we went, trusting in our GPS on the phone.  Elder  Hess tried to ask google several times how to find Chilies, but we weren't getting any directions!  We remembered that they had said something about it being by the MaCain Mall, and for some blessed reason, we were able to find it!  We later realized that the mobile data was not turn on his phone. After dinner we could see that Target was near by so we went there so get a few things to set up our bed,  Next we went to Wal-mart for a few groceries to get us started.  We were exhausted, but happy to be in AR, safe and sound.  By the way, this is WAL-MART country, and there are plenty of them here!  Ours is 1.2 miles away.  The bed that night was pretty miserable, and we got the elders to find us a frame with some actual support, and switch beds from the 2nd bedroom that we have.  

We met with Sister Thompson the next day, and boy is she a wealth of information, dedication, knowledge and such an organized Mission Nurse!  We have tall shoes to fill, but we are willing to do our best.  Through her training, we could see that she relies on the Spirit always, reminds the missionaries to have a blessing, put their name on the Temple Roll, and for us, that prayer should be a part of every decision we make.  

Wed., was also a very Special World Wide Missionary Training Broadcast.  Again Elder Neil L Anderson was a part of it, as well as Elder Oaks, and various other authorities.  Two great thoughts from it:  1.  We have to be repenting daily in order to teach repentance.  Repentance helps us better understand the Atonement, and helps us know what an investigator needs to feel. 2.  The Lord hallows every door we knock on, He is with us.  

After the Broadcast, we got to officially meet and visit with President Wakolo.  We had met his wife earlier in the day, and she hugged us and said, "Welcome Home".  Pres. W. radiates the Spirit; his love and conviction of our Savior is evident in everything he does.  He asked all about our family, our concerns and about our plan to serve in the ALRM.  (Arkansas Little Rock Mission) He asked me, Sister Hess to be Elder Hess' assistant.  (That put a kink in the other office missionaries plans ;)
President W promised us that our family would be Blessed and Cared for while we are serving.  This is actually the third time we were promised this blessing.  So family, keep your eyes open and look for the blessings!   In small ways we have seen them already. 

The next day brought more training with Sis T.  We listen to her as she instructs a young Elder in his medical concerns. We are reminded to - pray, wait, listen, trust, and then advise.  It was a Mission Leadership Council today, and we were invited to have lunch with the group.  After lunch Pres. W had the whole group stand and sing the Mission Song to us.  Wonderful Spirit there, and they sang with love and enthusiasm for the work.  

I know that this is getting lengthy, but I went too long between posts to fit everything in, sorry.

Saturday we had more training with Sis T., our brains were on overload!  I met with her assistant, Sister Neilson, who helps with finding providers for all of the various needs; that will be part of my job now.  The afternoon was spent listening to several authorities from SLC and then Elder Anderson.  We see him again with that perpetual smile and love that shines from his countenance.  One of the most important things I heard was, "at the beginning of your day, make your first interaction with someone be with the Lord in prayer."

Sunday was a Special Stake Conference with Elder Anderson.  Just have to share some thoughts:  1. The Spirit will instruct us here, right now today if we will open our heart - where are we looking for truth? On the internet, on FB, or in the Book Of Mormon? - The Lord is preparing a people to receive Him. One day every person on earth will kneel at His feet.  Elder Anderson, after the missionary meeting, and after the special youth conference the night before, shook hands with every person one by one.  One of the other speakers likened that to how the Savior took the time to bless and heal others, one by one, and how that is following the Saviors example.  

I took this picture one night as I was leaving Sams Club, that story is for another day.....but, I did want to remind ya"ll, that Elder Hess and I are "Always in your corner"!  As is our kind and loving Heavenly Father.  

Our love and prayers are with all of you,
Elder and Sister Hess