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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


  1. Thank you for another great post. Keep'em coming. Sure proud of you guys!

    1. Oh, thanks Mitchell, at least I know one child of ours is reading the blog! love you, Mom