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Saturday, July 15, 2017

                                                                                                          July 14th, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
How are all of you?  Sure would like to hear from you now and then....It's been a crazy couple of weeks with Pres. Wakolo leaving and President Hansen arriving.
          This Crepe myrtle tree comes in multiple colors, and they are everywhere, so beautiful!
President and Sister Hansen arrive at the Mission Office.  They are such good people, very prepared to take reins of the ALRM mission, and so down to earth and personable!  We love them already! We all had Larry's Pizza together that day, and Pres. didn't leave until he had placed a Book of Mormon and invited some young family to have the missionaries stop by their home.
And, Look at that!  Sister Hansen and I are the same height!

 This picture doesn't do justice to the myriad of flags that one church can display!  People here have a love for the flag and display it proudly.  Today on an outing, I saw a very large sign that read, "Welcome to God's Country. Proud to be an America, Proud to be a Christian!  Wish that I could have caught the rest of it before we sped by. Signs with scriptures, thoughts and mention of God on them are frequent here in the South.  You see the 10 Commandments posted on public grounds, something unheard of in other states. July 4th our ward hosted a Flag raising ceremony, pancake breakfast, and then a flag retirement/burning of the well used and loved flags. I had never witnessed one before, and it was a respectful, reverent event as we tossed in the stars and stripes we were each holding.
 After closing the office late afternoon, the Seniors hosted a dinner for Pres/Sister Hansen and the missionaries from our area.  Here the Elders show off their $ Store socks and glasses.  Elder Maskovich, Jennings and Hall.

 At 9:00 pm we hurried off to find some fireworks, and did have a good view from the Walmart parking lot of the Sherwood display.  It was a good 4th of July, but we did miss being at the rodeo and getting those swellings in our chest as Old Glory flies around the arena from horse back.
One Sat. Elder Hess and I visited the AR Historical Museum.  This small city block in the middle of Little Rock is home to some original homes and businesses from the mid-1800's.  This was a store/print shop. Like the Corn husk broom?? What a hard way to keep your floors clean!

Pieces of 8 set out at the old "Grog Shop"
As usual, the grounds were filled with flower gardens and a beautiful vegetable garden by one of the homes.  We saw what must be the largest magnolia tree every!!

 Later that day we walked across one of the many bridges (an old railway bridge) that cross the Arkansas river, and snapped a shot of some details of the river.

Free Trolley rides during the summer.....and it takes you through the River Market district of Little Rock, over one of the bridges into North Little Rock, and includes a narration from the conductor pointing out the highlights and history of the city.  Gus's famous fried chicken was recommended, so the following Sat. we made it our afternoon destination.

Gary finally got his fried chicken!  Later we found out that we could have order "Chicken and Waffles", a southern treat, or so we have heard!  Special here included 4 pieces of spicy chicken, Cole slaw, beans and a slice of bread.  I slipped off to the Farmers market while we waited for the food, and had to be careful not to buy more than I could carry back to Gus's!  One of the vendors just knew that he was giving me a great bargain on peaches, $10 for 10 Alberta peaches.!!  We sure did enjoy the fresh peach pie we made later in the week though...  

President and Sister Hansen were eager to meet all of the missionaries so they had a Meet the President in five different areas.  Last week he held a special Leadership training for the Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Sister Zone Leaders.  We provided a nice lunch for them, and at the top of Pres. list was Root Beer Floats!  His whole career had been with Darigold in Washington State, so dairy is at the top of his must have on the menu.  The missionaries loved them! In some of the Pres. instructions, he reminded us that in life, and as disciples of Jesus Christ, "We may need to let go of some things to have the time for what is most important, our relationship and knowledge of our Savior, and 2nd our family relations should top the list."  He talked about the need to purify our self as a sure way to have the spirit with us. We do this by making prayer a priority, and realize the need to prepare to pray.  He likes to sing a hymn in his mind before his prayers, and to also ask what to pray for.  "Prepare to approach the throne of God in prayer".  "Immerse ourselves in the scriptures, all the answers that we need can be found there." Third was service. "Be 100% in! Don't bench ourselves through laziness and ease.  and last, be obedient, completely  - because we want to be, not because we have to be." President left us with a wonderful group blessing, promising us many things if we would be "completely in". 
 If you can't tell, I LOVE taking pictures of all the varieties of flowers here in AR.  I sometimes think that seeds from the Garden of Eden must have blown outside of the garden and planted themselves here for us to enjoy.
 Don't know what everyone else is paying for gas, but we are happy with the price here!

Sounds like Breakfast at our house when the kids were all small, Elder Hess always wanted his Corn-meal mush OR his Cream of Wheat, which would have been frowned upon during the war.  
And, when considering  - "Leave nothing on your plate, how would be feel about eating this?

Whoops, picture is upside down, but how about some "Chicken Paws" for Sunday dinner???  Many times we have driven passed this church, and have wondered about it...
And, since we know that This Church is true, it can't be that That Church is true. "Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you unto all the world unto every creature." D&C 84:62  It is our duty as Disciples of Jesus Christ that we open our mouth and share the "Good News". "Open your mouths and they shall be filled," D&C 33:8 "For there are many yet on the earth...who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it...." D&C 123:12 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face,, I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88
Go ahead, stick your neck out there and invite someone to attend church with you.  Invite them over for dinner, and have a meaningful conversation.  Who knows, maybe that person has been waiting their whole life to be invited, to be included, to be shown where to find truth and light.  Share with others the peace and serenity that comes from having those basic questions answered. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going.
We love you all,
Elder and Sister Hess

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