Monday, April 25, 2011

New Missionaries

This week we have had the great blessing of welcoming 15 new temple missionary couples to Palmyra.  The two of us were assigned to visit each of them as they got into their apartments and give them their name badges and other materials.  What a joy to begin to get to know these special angels coming from all over the US to help us run 6 new shifts over the summer months.  They are here for 6 months.

We have been collecting maps, brocures, local history documents, and other information to help they feel at home and learn their way around.  We spent about an hour with each couple answering questions and telling them about the type of experiences they would be having.  It was good to watch their excitement as they begin their service.

This evening we had an opening dinner and began the orientation which goes all week long.  It is going to be long days since we have our normal shifts to serve, and then when not in the temple we will be taking part in the orientation of the new missionaries.  But it will be wonderful.

In the middle of the week Elder Richard Hinckley will be here for 3 days to review the temple. It will be nice having him with us during our sessions on Thursday. He is speaking to all of the temple workers on Wednesday evening.

We had fun teaching our last Sunday School lesson to the youth in the Fredonia Branch.  We taught about the Savior healing the blind man, and how all of us can choose to be blind or can choose to see.  The youth interacted well.  We had a college student from Ghana in our class and he added a very good spirit to our class.

We have an appointment next Saturday to teach the 1st discussion to our little family and their 10 year old daughter.  More to follow on that.

Time To Choose
This is for our kids.  You have probably noticed that about the only thing missiing from your tatted ornament sets is the snowman.  For Christmas this year you get the snowman.  I was just going to hand them out randomly but then I thought, "Maybe you would like to select the color of the snowman's hat".  Do you prefer red, green or blue.  Please let me know.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We Are Actually Missionaries

Teaching Missionary Lessons
Hey we are finally doing some missionary work.  Last week we met a family in our branch who have not been out to church for many years.  They are interested in coming again.  They have a 10 year old daughter who has never been baptized.  We are going to start teaching her next week.  We do not have full time proselyting missionaries in the branch so we are going to begin the lessons.  We are excited to be able to do this. 

Teaching Sunday School
For the last two weeks and next week also we have been teaching the youth Sunday School class in the branch.  That has really been fun sharing the stories of the Savior teaching in Jerusalem.  We think we make a good teaching team.  We just hope the kids are getting something out of it. 

Sharing the Book of Mormon
Last Monday Mike and Amber came over and fixed dinner for us.  Afterwards we played a rousing game of Bohnanza.  The two of them destroyed the two of us.  When we were done, we got talking with them about the book Amber gave us for Christmas.  It is called "The Timeline History of Mormonism".  It is a marvelous book,  It contains information on:
  • History in every dispensation, in the Bible and The Book of Mormon. 
  • Latter-day Church History
  • Basic Latter-day Saints beliefs
  • The church in all the countries
  • Noted Mormons in the world
  • Historical sites
  • A general Almanac of facts and figures
It is really cool.  We are able to use it in preparing for many lessons and talks.  It is also a great book to just sit and browse through.

After sharing our love of the book we asked Amber if she had ever read the Book of Mormon.  Since she hadn't, we gave her one, after telling her about the restoration and bearing our testimonies.  We figured "One good book deserves another".  We are so impressed with Amber.  She is such a sweet person and so good for Mike.  We want the best for both of them and were grateful for the opportunity to share the best thing we had to give them.  We hope it may bring greater joy and happiness into their lives. 

Training Greenies
Next weekend will be very busy for us.  We have 15 new six-month temple missionaries will be arriving near the end of the week.  We are the offical "welcoming committee" and need to visit each of them as they get into town.  We also have their missionary name tags.  The following week is a week long orientation for them which we have a fair amount of involvement in.  That week we are also having a visit from Elder Richard Hinckley of the Seventy.  He is spending 3 days reviewing our temple.  He is also having a special fireside for all the temple workers on Wednesday night.

We are having a great time here.  Wish you were here.  This is better than being on a vacation.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Missionary Service Project

Last week we were asked by President Sherwood to attend a meeting in Palmyra of an organization called "Palmyra Pathways".  Their website is .  This organization is concerned with maintaining and improving the walking and biking trails along the Erie Canal in the Palmyra Township.  President Sherwood was looking for some ways that we as temple missionaries could provide some service in the community.

In the past they have developed 3.2 miles of trails that are currently in  use.  They have distrubuted nine 55 gallon barrels along these trails for people to put trash in.  There are two older gentlemen in the community who placed these barrels over 4 years ago and have been walking the trails once a week, collecting the bags for disposal and putting new bags in the barrels.  What a great service they have given.  One of these men feels he is getting too old and wants to "retire".  In addition there are improvements to the trail that they will probably do.  They want to extend the trail to some other wooded areas along the way.  They are also interested in promoting the trails to attract tourism.  Most of all the village is looking for someone to organize and run this whole effort.  That is what the meeting was about.

We felt very good about taking on this barrel maintenance as a project we as missionaries can do.  We will have 2 couples go together each week to walk the trails, pick up and dispose of the bags, and place new bags in the barrels.  We are also going to encourage the local Bishop to see if he can't find a local member who would like to help run the organization.  We don't feel that we short term missionaries were the right answer for that.

We have sinced called one of the missionaries to organize this project and are looking forward to taking our turn walking the trail.  We have already walked it last week to locate the barrels and make a map.  It is a very nice walk along the canal and through adjoining woods.  If any of you would like to see, come on out, we will take you for a walk.  It is not "15 miles on the Erie Canal" and you don't even need a mule.  Click on the following link to walk the canal.Fifteen Miles On The Erie Canal