custom theme

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

                                                                                                                  May 24, 2017

Hello Family and Friends, it's been a fast two weeks, 
but I did stop long enough to snap one more photo 
of the beautiful and fragrant Magnolias!  I sure wish that they would last a bit longer.  Thank you kids for all of the wonderful Mother's Day cards, gifts and wishes!  Loved getting to talk to everyone of you!  What a nice day.  We had the Office Elders over for dinner and to use our WiFi to Skype with their families.  They are suppose to each get 45 minutes time, but a couple of them went a bit over that.  Since they were typing up our phones and computer, we were late (our time) in getting to talk with some of you.  One Sister in the ward made me this candy lei, she said she knew that I would be missing my family today. So Sweet of her!       In our Sacrament meeting one of the speakers
talked about Faith, and asked, "What does Faith look like?" He quoted a few scriptures and mentioned these men in answering his own question.  Faith looks like Nephi obtaining the Brass Plates. "I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my Father;" It looks like Peter, walking on water, like Abinidi bearing testimony of our Savior despite threats from King Noah, and Faith is like the 2000 Stripling Warriors going off to battle, trusting in God because ..."they had been taught by their Mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them."
Have any old pallets laying around?  Sure makes a fun little garden!  We visited a Farmers Market, that has been in existence for many years and was first established as a means of raising money for the orphanage St Joseph's.  The orphanage opened in 1910 and housed 100's of children until 1978. Now the  money is used for upkeep of this historic building. 
 Fun decorations and silly glasses from the Senior Office missionaries.  And, again, thank you for all of the wonderful Birthday greetings and presents.  We ended our evening with our annual balloon release, but it didn't go quite as planned! It was starting to rain so we just stayed on our little patio to send our love notes to heaven. We let them go, and they drifted up past the balcony above us, then up to the third floor and right ONTO their balcony!  We ran up the 2 flights of stairs and knocked on the door; no one answered.....later, before the sun fully set, I happened to look outside and saw one of the balloons had escaped. 😊 
 One of Elder Hess' Birthday gifts was $ to see the USS Razorback Submarine. (named after a whale, not the AR pig) The following pictures show you an inside look of the sub., and what tiny spaces those men had to live, work, and sleep in.  The picture of Elder Hess going for the controls, was just that, pretend, he didn't want to get thrown off before we even got started!
 Down the hatch!  Luckily we were the only ones on the tour, and our guide went down first....women should not wear a skirt to climb down steep ladders! Below you can see how cozy some of the cots were, and those Sailors even had their own torpedo close by for comfort....


We see quite a bit of Sister Burk and Sister Stringam, the Sherwood Sisters.  The picture on the left is after one of our dinners with them, and the one below is how they showed up one night after helping out with the YW/YM's color run!  They came to us because they felt like they needed to repent and call President Wakolo.  After the run the youth had music playing and a dance.  They were worried that they had broken mission rules, and we reassured them  that they were not on the naughty list, but had been doing a service.  After a good talking to, and a little food, they left feeling much better.
Through it all, you can see Sister Stringam still holding on to her scriptures.  They are to always have them with them, and I don't think I have ever seen a missionary yet who does not carry them everywhere they go.  

These dainty little yellow flowers were definitely not worth the trouble it took to take the picture.  I only had one Foot Half-way off of the cement and into the dirt to take this shot, and within 2 seconds  I knew that it had been a mistake!! Tiny little ants biting my foot, in my shoe and in my sock!  Oh, and note to self, when you beat a cream colored cloth shoe on your tire, it tends to leave black marks on the shoe :(
We took an hour (more of less, well, maybe 2, and you will see why), and visited the Arkansas National Guard Museum. The museum has a history of the States first Militia up to the present day National Guard. Great displays and history.  There was even a picture and plaque showing one of the WY units that participated in a more recent conflict.

 Yep, Elder Hess could identify many of these, and he pointed out all of the fine features of each one!  I'm glad we were able to visit this museum.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone, and we send our love to each one of you.  Take care, and know that The Gospel Of Jesus Christ is our Sure Foundation, our Savior is our true light and perfect example in this life.  We are His children, and He wants us to return to Him someday.  

Elder and Sister Hess

Oh, and when you read the blog, you will notice big gaps between some of the pictures!  I don't know why, nor to I know how to fix it, must be something with the formatting, and it only shows up when I do a preview. So, if someone out there can help me, I would welcome it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

                                                                                                  May 8th, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
Yep, it's the season for Magnolia's here in AR!  Not the shot that I wanted, but I will be getting more, later!  Our driveway out of the apartment buildings are lined with small magnolia bushes, and I can't wait to see them all in bloom!  The creepy crawly guys below are part of the Bug display at the Clinton Library.  Our AMA, Area Medical Adviser Elder Kearl, visited all nine of the missions that he is over, stopping to visit with the Mission Nurse in each mission.  He and his wife are two wonderful, down to earth, and delightful people.  This is their second mission; and we loved having lunch with them.  They are based out of Florida, and take calls from all of the nine areas that are under his direction.  Elder Hess has called on his expertise a number of times, and he adds humor, scriptures, and life experiences to all of the info that he sends our way.
Remember Jamie, I mentioned her a week or so ago.  She set her Baptism date very quickly!  She knew that she had found the truth, and didn't want to wait to be baptized.  Her biggest problem was with her Mother.  She said no way did she want Jamie to be baptized, and no way would she attend.  Due to a death in the family in Chicago, Jamie postponed her Baptism for a week.  Her Mother gave her the wrong information for the date of the funeral, (on purpose) so the Baptism was called off.  Then, truth prevailed, and Jamie found out that the funeral was actually the following week, so with two days notice, the Baptism was back on.  Such a beautiful day for Jamie, lots of people from the ward attended, the Spirit was strong, and it was great.  Elder Hess gave one of the talks, and Sister Hess said the opening prayer.  

 Elder Bleazard, and Elder Kuchin with Jamie and Sister Hess.  Elder Hess stood in the circle for her Confirmation on Sunday.  Jamie kept whispering to me after, "I just feel so clean, will I always feel this way?"  So Sweet!  And, guess who showed up for Sacrament Meeting?  Her Mother and Step Father.  Her Mother said, I had to come and see what Jamie has gotten in!  We hope that she will come back again. 
The Sorensen's have been asked to help with a very small Branch, more than an hour from where we live.  They call it a twig because it is so small.  They spoke a week ago in Sacrament meeting, and then a 7 year old boy was next to speak.  I wish that I had a picture of this boy, and that you could hear Sister Sorensen tell you his talk.  Let me try to describe it.  This twig meets in a small rented building, with only one room, a bathroom, and sort of a tiny kitchen.  A small podium sits on a table for the speakers.  This young African American boy walks up to the podium holding a open notebook.  When he holds it up to read from, you can no longer see him.  He reads, I know that the church is true.  Then he lays the notebook down and looks at the audience, smiles and raises the notebook and continues with his talk.   AND, we KNOW that the church is true. (repeats, notebook down, smiles, and back up)  And, WE know that the church is TRUE.  He lays the notebook down, smiles, and says, thank you and sits down.  His 12 year old sister in the audience claps for him and the last speaker begins. If we all had that same conviction, that WE KNOW that the church is TRUE, life could be a whole lot more simple!  People in that area are extremely poor, and the Elders there never get fed so members in other areas buy them groceries now and then and try to help them out. 

This Bench is one that we see each time we walk the path we mentioned.  After the terrible rain storms we have had, and all of the flooding around us, this is one result of all that moisture.  So funny to see the effects of so much water.  Rivers have overrun their banks, and fields have standing water.  Some of the wards had to cancel church a week ago due to no power.  
So, on Sat., we had a new adventure.... we attended TOAD SUCK DAZE.  I hope that you can read the card below that explains where the name came from....
The hugh Fair/Carnival raises thousands for dollars for scholarships for the High School.  It's a big deal in Conway, AR, and thousands of visitors come each year.  One of the past Service missionary couples lives in Conway, and each year they invite the Senior couples to enjoy the Fair, and then come to their home for a Pot Luck dinner.  We had a great visit. 

Trophy's given out after the Toad Jump Contests.  Several Heats for the Toad jumping contest happen through the day, and then awards are handed out.  Most of the contests that we saw were children, and they each lined up with their little cardboard box Toad houses.  The toads had to jump within their lane, and of course some cooperated, and some did not! As you can see, the toads are quite small.

 Elder Hess and Elder Sorensen
Sister Sorensen  on Croak Street, waiting to go into the Toad Store! 
Unique treats were plentiful!  Can't remember what these were called, but they looked like a churro, and had two different kinds of ice cream at each end.  One booth was selling Toad Succotash, guess we should have tried it!
Hey Valley Sanitation, want to invest in a "Pink" garbage truck for clean up?

This is a picture of the Greens from a previous Birthday dinner.

Today on our way to the Temple, we took a picture of the St. Jude's Medical Center for Children on Danny Thomas Boulevard.  
Crossing the Mighty Mississippi River going into Memphis, TN. 

When I saw this sign at an intersection, I thought of the
 many choices that we have in our life. Some choices are
small and are not very significant, but some are the most
important we ever make and can affect our eternal lives 
and the lives of our families.

This is a quote from the April Ensign, page 19.  "The more I understand about the importance of the family in Heavenly Father's plan and the sacredness of the covenants we make, the more I want to help other families receive the same ordinances.  God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Tim 1:7  We simply need to be obedient, follow the instructions given through the scriptures and the words of modern-day prophets, and ask in prayer for more personal instructions.  If we do these things, we can cross the ocean of these last days confident that no matter what kind of trouble hits us, our loved ones will be safe."  And, what Mother doesn't want that for her family....our loved ones will be safe.  

Love to all of you, and to all Mother's out there, have a Blessed Mother's Day!

Elder and Sister Hess