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Sunday, April 2, 2017

                                                                                                                   April 2nd, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,  A week ago Fri., I didn't have much to do, and I guess Elder Hess could tell, cause he finally said, "Why don't you go to the office for a while and let me get something done!"  As there was nothing for me to do at the office that day, I went shopping, my favorite kind,

One day on the way to the office, I was listening to the news and because of storm threats, the schools were closed.  When I left the apartment, the clouds were Black and ominous, very threatening!  The threat lasted most of the day, but nothing came of it.  Once in a while in the middle of the night, our alert radio will go off with a warning for heavy rain, or wind, large hail, and or tornado.  It went off again today towards the end of Conference.  It does really come down when we get rain!

I wish you could experience all of the beautiful, fragrant Wisteria that grows here.  This is growing wild behind a Dentist office.  I was very excited to see it up close and inhale the sweet smell.  We managed to break off a small branch and take it home with us.  Later that night I went to the Relief Society Birthday dinner and Broadcast.  Sisters had been asked to decorate a table with their choosing, and so I choose the table below, the center piece ringed in Wisteria!

Just a cute shot of a father taking care of his son when his hands are full!  That's one way to get it done!  So much of this Weekends Conference dealt with a parents responsibility to their children, Elder Christofferson said, "to warn is to care, and we need to begin with our own family."  Look at our children as our Father in Heaven does, see in them their potential, see them with eyes of love.  Our homes should be a haven for our children; always act with love.  Elder Rasband, "First promptings are a nudge from heaven," act on them.  Be the Spiritual emergency responders for those around us, those whom we love.  We are on the Lord's errand."

Just couldn't help but go back to the Old Mill for more pictures and renewal.  Each time we go we meet someone new.  We strike up a conversation and ask if they would like us to take their picture for them as they are  trying a "selfie".  We got into quite a discussion with a couple last week.  We were explaining a little bit about the Church, and they about their's.  Come to find out, the man is a Minister for a congregation of the "Fellowship of Christ".  They had lost a daughter in a college fire 5 years previously, and were still grieving  .  Elder Hess and I explained to them the confidence we felt in knowing that we would see Ryan again, and that we and others had had sacred experiences letting us know of the great work that Ryan is doing from the other side.  The other lady expressed her great sorrow in not having that, wishing for something from her daughter.  She seemed more open to our message, and that is about the point in time when her husband mentioned that he was a minister.  Their idea of heaven was kind of vague, impersonal, and would bring a grieving parent no joy or comfort.  How very thankful we are to have the truth, the light and knowledge that God lives, and so will each of us. We are not meant to be alone in the next life, existing without a body, without personality and gender and purpose.  I felt sorry for these parents.

Elder Hess goes NO Where without his phone!  And, calls come at all times and places.  As you can see, he is on the phone, and maybe he is also contemplating about which of the ponds that our Office Secretary fell into!  She and her husband visited the mill after their church last Sunday.  She tripped on the uneven stones and fell head first into one of the ponds!  She cut her forehead, lost her glasses and broke her right wrist.... So, since then, I haven't wandered off to the grocery store in search of something to do :(   Sister Hartzell runs the office like a Sargent, and knows her stuff!  Problem is, I don't know her stuff!!  Monday she didn't come into the office so I was the unsuspecting senior missionary who filled in....We did what HAD to be done conversing over the phone, and the rest of the week she sat by my side telling me each and every click to make, file to open, word to type, and.....well, you get the picture.  Oh, and 3 pencil/pen combinations, (the right combinations) have to be on her desk and on her computer table at all times. She certainly makes the office run smoothly and efficiently, and now it's up to me to see that it continues under her guidance.  (yikes!)

 I love this picture, and I love this little bit of Heaven.  It is solace to my soul.  My pictures do not do it justice.

Elder Hess is finishing the last of the dishes from the the farewell dinner of the departing missionaries.  We don't usually help with these dinners, but since the Hartzells were out of commission, we helped prepare and clean up.  The dinners are held at the Mission Home, and it is a nice sit down dinner for the Elders, Sisters and Mission Presidency.  (the kitchen help eats in the kitchen after everyone is finished)

These are two Elders that we have grown very fond of; they were transferred two days later.  We had a nice chicken dinner and shared some very touching past experiences with each other; bearing testimony of God's merciful love for His children.   To the left is Elder Hill from Ashton, ID, and Elder Croft below, from Aetna, ID, near Pocatello, Bet he is still rejoicing over the temple announcement today!
And of course, Elder Jacques, our favorite Office Elder from CO.
Many mornings I have driven past this perfect little yard full of glorious color and variety.  I have wanted to take a picture many times, but either I was driving, the light wasn't right, or I would drive past it too quickly.  A couple of days ago Elder Hess and I purposely watched for it so we could stop.  When I stopped, two older ladies were out in the yard chatting.  I picked up my camera and my courage and headed their way.  I need to remember that people in the South are very cordial and accommodating! The neighbor lady excused herself as they been talking at length, and I had the owners full attention.  She showed me each treasured plant she had cultivated, cared for and loved.  This dear sister is approaching 90 years of age, and was saying that she just couldn't keep it up like she use to.  She had tall flowers waiting to bloom that she called Apostle plants, blooming Dog wood trees, and how the center of the blossom looks like a cross, and her host of hostas and azaleas.  This picture does not do it justice. the upside of this story is, maybe we can get some careful gardening Sisters to give her a hand!  She knew where our church building was, and said she use to have a neighbor that was Mormon.

Elder Hess looks like he was digging deep in the mail box;) but the smile is genuine, thanks Ephraim and Mikey for your letters!!

Some thoughts from Sister McConkie, "Prayer is essential to developing faith.  When the Lord comes again, will He find a people who know how to pray in faith and who are prepared to receive salvation?"   I hope that we can each say, Yes!  "A prayer of faith opens the way to receive glorious heaven-sent blessings. Prayer is a gift from God.  We need never feel lost or alone."

Our Love and Prayers are with all of you.

* One of the Elders told us today that Moses 1:39 is the most quoted scripture in General Conference. Check it out if you don't know what it is.

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