Sunday, February 15, 2015

January in the Mission

Senior Missionary Couples Retreat

January 14-15, 2015

The highlight for our New Year was the time we had together as Senior Missionaries 
with President and Sister Craven. For me, it was a time of renewal, 
a time for filling my lamp with oil. I felt like my light 
was a little brighter because of the time we spent together. 
Wednesday night we had dinner, then went to the Mission Home for training. 
Elder and Sister Andrus led a discussion about  "Grandparenting ideas" 
that can strengthen our families. We even shared ideas about our love, Family History!

President Craven is always on the phone!

Thursday morning we gathered together again and the Reidheads led a discussion 
about Best Practices for us as Senior Missionaries in the Mission. It was great!

 We had delicious soup, sandwiches and amazing cookies for lunch at the Mission home.

The couples in our mission are Elder and Sister Hunt who work with us in the Mission Office.
Elder and Sister Slade are Employment Specialists and are assigned to 
the Lancaster Branch in Charlotte South Stake. 
They are also a great help to us in the office.
We are neighbors with the Hunts and Slades 
at Barrington Place Apartments so we see each other often
and have Family Home Evening on Friday nights!
Elder and Sister Andrus came back to our mission as MLS missionaries
(Member Leadership Support) and work in Reedy Creek Ward, Charlotte Central Stake.
Elder and Sister Reidhead are MLS missionaries in Guilford Ward, Greensboro, NC.
Elder and Sister Klinker are MLS missionaries in North Wilkesboro Ward, Hickory Stake.

Billy Graham Museum

We drove to the Billy Graham Museum Thursday late afternoon for a wonderful tour.
You can imagine what an impact of 14 LDS Senior Missionaries had on the staff!
They were gracious and gave us VIP treatment including a beautiful book
about Billy Graham's life and ministry. It was an uplifting afternoon.

 Billy's wife Ruth is buried in the gardens at the Museum.
Billy is still alive but will be buried there also.

Hunts, Slades, Andrus, Cavens, Reidheads, Klinder, Urbans (in back) 

Dobson Ward Elders Valgardson, Brogdon and Craig doing their silliest pose.

Friday Night Dinner out with the Slades and the Hunts. 

Phase 10 at the Slades Apartment

Too much partying!

We picked up the Lincolnton Elders Hanks and Turnbow
to help us vacate the other Lincolnton apartment that closed in Denver.

Elder Turnbow and Hanks outside the closing apartment in Denver, NC.

These two valiant missionaries had done a great job cleaning this apartment before we got there!
It made moving so nice! Bless their hearts!
We took them out to lunch but I can't find the picture.

Elder Urban and his Valiant Companion (Not Me, the vaccuum)who sucks up the filth of the world.

Gastonia Elders getting 4 new much needed beds!
Morrow, Burrup, Summerhays, Cogswell and Simpkins

University City Elders West, Ashcroft, Flores and Felger in the Mission Office

University City Sisters Scott and Knudsen

Our Harrisburg Elders, Lyman and Kristensen

Danville Ward's Sister Tenney , Sister Dahle and Sister Pace from Guilford 
at MLC (Mission Leadership Counsel)

Sister Dahle forgot her name tag so she became Sister Urban for the meeting....
and NO ONE noticed!

Sister Tanner and Sister Rust needed a new phone 
so we took them out to dinner before they headed back to Monroe, NC.

Piedmont Spanish Elders Amado, Prado and Coronado

Finally a bed for Elder Eaton.

Winston Salem Elders
Elder Eaton is a new Visa Waiter for Brazil.
He is blessed to be trained by 2 outstanding Zone Leaders,
Elder Evans                                            Elder Butler 

We have been in many apartments in the last 13 months.
When we entered this Winston Salem apartment, 
I immediately felt a beautiful warm peaceful spirit in the apartment.
The apartment was clean and well organized and I said to the Elders
that there was such a great feeling in their home.
They said it was because they had just completed a great Companionship Study.
I wish that I had been present for that study! I know the Spirit of the Lord was present there.

In one of the bedrooms, this mirror caught my eye.
What a wonderful reminder for all our missionaries!
You're A Beautiful Son (Daughter) of God!

Elder Evans is a very talented pianist also!

The Summerfield Elders helped us clean out the Summerfield Sisters apartment 
that had been vacant for a transfer so we took them out to lunch.

The Hunts and the Urbans spent the night and went to church in Greensboro 
because we had to pick up Sister Goodwin the next afternoon from Danville, Virginia. 
She was going home to Concord, California a couple of weeks early 
so that she could go with her family to Brazil to pick up her sister from her mission. 
We love Sister Goodwin!

She spent her last night with the Sharon Sister Training Leaders.
Sister Treadwell (another Visa Waiter for Brazil), Sisters Kronmiller, Rifleman and Goodwin

Saying our goodbyes

Happy Birthday, Elder Dedrick with Elder Gerrard at Red Robin.

January was a month of travel to vacate apartments and take furniture 
to different parts of the mission.
The next few months will see many more changes 
because our number of missionaries will be reduced from 260 to 200. 
That means many more apartments will be closing.
I'll be like Scarlett O'Hara and close with, 
"I can't think about that right now.
I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

Sending our love to y'all!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Happy 10th Anniversary

Thursday February 10, 2005
Tom and I eloped to Provo and were married in the Judge's home.

Pat Sitterud and Jan Holiday became bridesmaids, witnesses and photographers
 with just a couple hours notice! 

This was just the beginning of many wonderful adventures together.
Grateful and blessed to have this great man to share my life with!

I hadn't intended to reminisce so much but I just couldn't stop
once I started thinking about the last 10 years.
I guess it's alright to indulge ourselves once in awhile
and I've thoroughly enjoyed looking through many photos 
of our life together. It's been a sweet experience for me.

1st Anniversary celebrating at the Grand America and The Roof Restaurant
overlooking the Salt Lake Temple.

2nd Anniversary  Michael Ballam sang to us while we were cruising in Australia and New Zealand!

Kayaking on the Tasman Sea

Antarctic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand

3rd Anniversary we were on a Caribbean Cruise
 with our dear friends, Kathy and Al Barrus
 and hanging out with this sting ray. 

 We have had a tradition, when we weren't traveling, we'd go back to the Grand America
to celebrate our anniversary. We would try to go to the Salt Lake Temple and
also to see Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday mornings. We love this tradition!
That's what we did for our 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th anniversaries.

 Our 9th Anniversary, we were in the middle of our first transfer as Missionaries. 

We also got our first visit with our missionary granddaughter, Sister Hatton-Ward!

and we managed to
go to a late dinner at Red Rocks Cafe in Charlotte.

Our 10th Anniversary we'll be busy in the office again this year.
BUT we have tickets to go see Phantom of the Opera with the Hunts and Cravens on the 11th!
This will be another special memory for us.
Happy 10th Anniversary, Elder Urban! Our love only gets sweeter with time!
Who said it wouldn't last?!

Though this wasn't at all what I started to write about tonight,
I promise that  next time I will try to catch up 
with our experiences of January 2015, including photos of our amazing missionaries!

Sending our love to y'all!