custom theme

Thursday, June 8, 2017

                                                                                                   June 8th, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,
It's been a very quick two weeks, can't keep up with how fast the days fly by!  Arkansas has the right soil and climate to grow these beauties; wish the colors came through as brilliant as they actually are.  We see a variety of lavender, blue, and pink shades, Get a look at the size of those mature trees!
We were feeling the need to visit some cemeteries Memorial weekend, so we choose the Little Rock National Cemetery to start with. This memorial place lies on 31.7 acres, and 25,172 souls rest in peace here. (as of 2005)  Soldiers from as far back as the Civil war and forward lie here. 
 "The area around Little Rock National Cemetery was once a Union encampment. The cemetery itself was a plot within the Little Rock City Cemetery, purchased by the federal government in 1866 and was used to inter Union soldiers who died anywhere in Arkansas. It was officially declared a National Cemetery on April 9, 1868 at which time 3 acres were added.
In 1884, an 11-acre  Confederate cemetery was established immediately adjacent to the National Cemetery. In 1938, the two cemeteries were combined, though the Union and Confederate burials continued to be in separate sections."

 As we walked along the sturdy white stone markers, we felt a love for the brave men who fought and died for freedom.  And, we spent a good amount of time placing many, many flags firmly back into the ground.  We would finish a row, only to look down another row, and see that the wind had uprooted a bunch more.  I felt it odd that we, along with only 5 other people visited here in that 90 minute time. Interesting to see how much this tree had grown, encasing this headstone.  There are rows and rows of Unknown Soldiers buried here.

We visited several other cemeteries the same day, and then headed to old downtown North Little Rock.  We happened upon a festival, "African Daze Festival".  We wandered up and down the street, enjoying the music, food, and colorful clothing.  I guess we don't have to point out that we stood out like a sore thumb, and were in the 1% minority.

We were surprised when we found out that Monday, Memorial Day, the office would be closed so the senior couples headed to Hot Springs National Park.  I was expecting something like Yellowstone, but it is actually a historic area preserve to protect the natural hot springs. " Hot Springs National Park is a 5,550 acre park located in Arkansas. It is most famous for its hot springs, a feature that Native Americans have treasured medicinally for many centuries. In 1832 the hot springs were protected by Congress as Hot Springs Reservation. Native Americans referred to the hot springs at Hot Springs National Park as 'Valley of the Vapors'. They have been using the springs for at least 8000 years. (according to Wikipedia)The springs are included in many Native American legends. 
In the 1870s the waters of Hot Springs were being prescribed by doctors for various ailments. Patients were advised to spend a specific amount of time in the tub baths and steam baths depending on the illness.
Hot Springs National Park is one of the few national parks that make up a part of a city rather than being located miles from developed infrastructure.
Major League Baseball used the city of Hot Springs as the location for spring training at one time, allowing players to soothe their sore muscles in Hot Springs National Park when they felt it necessary.
The thermal waters at Hot Springs National Park can be enjoyed by its visitors. The water in the thermal pools is 143 degrees Fahrenheit. There have been a variety of bathing customs at Hot Springs National Park including standing over them to inhale the vapors, lounging in the water, taking steam baths, using vapor cabinets, and even drinking the water.
Silly picture, and I had to make it big enough to read the sign......"I got in Hot Water at Hot Springs National Park!" The six of us had lunch at Granny's, and Elder Hess and I had the Gumbo, pretty good stuff.
After the relaxing day, we met some Elders at their church to drop off media; the ever pressing problem of how to get it to the missionaries in a timely manner.  We and the Sorensen's took the 4 Elders out for Ice Cream and then headed home.  We had the 6 Elders in our area over for dinner, and we feed them Breakfast.  Never knew that some of the Elders could eat so many pancakes!  This is Elder King, he was on exchanges, and then Elder Kuchin. (yes, he is a tall one, 6 ft 4!)
 Elder King, Kuchin, Bleazard, Hall, Ray, Matthew McKinney, member and Elder Jaquez.
Friday was our Senior Social at the Mission Home, and we had lots of good food to eat, and a change to get to know some of the other couples who live on the Memphis side.  We also have apartment couples who inspect the various apartments, and help out in other ways.  They are all service missionaries, so live here normally.  
Just for my benefit, I want to add their names, left to right, 1. Slades, 2. Womack, 3. Pres. & Sis Jones,  4. Lunsfords, 5. Tusieseina's, 6. Thompsons, 7. Presdient & Sis Wakolo, 8. Hartzels, 9. Hess, 10. Sorensen's, 11. Wiess, 12. Shanks, 13. Griffiths, 14. Nicholes, 15. Rasmussens. Side lawn at the Mission Home. We will be looking forward to doing this again in Dec.

From the April Ensign, page 39, "Satan effectively uses his tool (discouragement) on the most faithful Saints when all else fails.  When I begin to feel discouraged, it helps me just to recognize who is trying to get me down. This makes me mad enough to cheer up - just to spite the devil." Pres. Benson gave some suggestions to overcome this, "serving others, working hard, avoid idleness, practice good health habits, seek a Priesthood blessing, listen to inspiring music, count your blessings, and set goals. And above all, as the scriptures teach, we are to pray always so we can conquer Satan." (D&C 10:5) Good advice from a Prophet of God. In this article, Elder Lawrence went on to say, "I have good news for you. The armies of God are larger than the armies of Lucifer. Make sure you are fighting on the Lord's side. Make sure you are carrying the sword of the Spirit."

We had a week of rain, (just what we needed, not) and then this beautiful rainbow a few days ago.  One farmer that we talked to at a farmers market said that he can't get his Sunflowers planted! President Wakolo put this in our monthly newsletter: "Learning and studying the doctrines are critical for all of us.  From Preach My Gospel, he quotes, "that we are to study, believe, love, live, and teach.  Thoroughly learn the doctrines. We show our faith by studying, believing, and obeying God's revealed work.  We diligently search the scriptures to understand the truth. We feast upon them...we search the scriptures to learn...we should study these sacred books daily.  It really does make our day, our week, and our life go a whole lot better.

We send our love and prayers to each of you.  Be a missionary wherever you are, no matter your age, calling, or circumstance.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is True.

Elder and Sister Hess

1 comment:

  1. Love it! That hot spring place sounds VERY nice right about now. How fun to have the missionaries over. Love reading these!!!!