Monday, October 15, 2012

Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf,
2nd Couns. in First Presidency,
LDS Church
Pres. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gave this advice to strengthen our faith and our discipleship:  "My dear brothers and sisters, don't get discouraged if you stumble at times.  Don't feel downcast or despair if you don't feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times.  The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try.  We must try to believe.  Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets; choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us.  Try, and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible - and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you." (Oct. 2009)

Our "Home Evening" group
(with a lot of missionaries in attendance)
There has been a social at the mission home with Pres. and Sis. Leavitt each of the last two Sundays, for new members and investigators.  The idea of the get-togethers is to teach a little of the doctrine that the missionaries don't get into in their regular meetings with these people.  Pres. Leavitt is the instructor and does a great job at getting a point across in an understandable way.  The atmosphere is friendly and non-threatening and those who are new to the church enjoy the spirit and are strengthened in their understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is also an opportunity for everyone to feel the strength and power of the young missionaries in their zeal to be about their Father's business.  These socials won't be held every week but rather, as often as the Pres. can schedule them with his busy and full appointment book.
Pres. & Sis. Leavitt, Griselda,
and Elder Deem (who taught her)

Sister Griselda Campos will be leaving us this week as she departs to go back to her home country on Thursday.  She will be greatly missed.  She has come so far in the gospel, and shines with the Spirit.  We love her and hope that she will find all is well as she rejoins her family and shares with them the truths she has gained about the Savior.

The leaves are changing slowly, but very surely.  As we drive around the area, and especially down to Bridgewater, we see a lot of beautiful sights in foliage, but don't get a chance to get a lot of pictures.  We'll try to be a little more attentive to that, as we know the colors of fall in New England and Atlantic Canada can be breathtaking.  So far, though, it is still mostly green.

Thanksgiving dinner at the Choo's
Bro. & Sis. Hartling

Our Canadian Thanksgiving was "stuffing".  We had a really great dinner and visit with JJ and Sheldon and family, as well as Melissa.  JJ is such a good cook, and Sheldon is so kind and gentle with everyone and allowing us to visit their home.  We may never be able to repay them for all the kindnesses they extend to us on a regular basis.  Melissa is always on the lookout for things she can do for us or give to us to make our living area so comfortable.  Besides the Choo's (JJ & Sheldon) and Melissa, we had another Thanksgiving dinner on Monday with Sharon and Burt Hartling and their family.  We work with her at the temple and really love her friendship and caring for us.  They are both really great people.

Last week we had an opportunity to serve at the temple twice, again.  Our normal assignment on Thursday was wonderful, as usual.  We had some very spiritual moments with a few members from Newfoundland, and Elder and Sister Steffen.  This couple was serving in Newfoundland, but have been moved to Amherst, Nova Scotia.  They are also friends with Elder and Sister Tiffany who are serving in Guam (Elder Tiff's brother and sister-in-law). They came to the temple to be here with the Newfies they served with.

Elder & Sis. De la Cruz
Saturday saw three busloads of members come to the temple from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  We had over 50 youth and many adults.  It was wonderful to see so much activity at the temple!  We were asked to be there to help with the crowds, and we loved their enthusiasm and spirit.  A new couple, the De la Cruz's, from Hawaii, are now serving at the temple, and they were a little nervous to have such a large crowd so soon after their arrival.  It was great to be working with them in their new assignment, and we love them. They are a little apprehensive of what they may be facing with a Canadian winter, but they are excited to be here.

Some scarecrows aren't
all that scarey!
Anna & Roger Davison and
Ofa Pahulu (granddaughter)
We had a chance to take a brief drive through our old hometown of Mahone Bay, last week while on our way to Bridgewater.  It happened to be the week of their "Scarecrow Festival." A lot of funny, and some scarey, arrangements.  We also drove past the school where our son, Brad, attended.  It brought back a lot of fond memories.  While there we visited and had dinner with Anna and Roger Davison and their daughter Andrea and family - Sauesi and Ofa.  What a loving and beautiful family!  They have been very kind to us and have had us there for dinner a number of times while in the area to teach our institute class in Bridgewater.  We love them and hope our friendship may become even more solid over the years.

Angel "Old Guy",
just hangin' out
We also had the opportunity, a week or so ago, to see where the Angel Moroni "hangs out."  The temple has an extra Moroni statue for the top of the building, that is stored in a shed on the Stake Center grounds.  I was allowed to get a picture of him while he was "hangin' out" there.  Our granddaughter, Lily, calls him "Angel Old Guy"!

President Thomas S. Monson,
Prophet, Seer, & Revelator
We love our service to the Lord.  We hope that we can be worthy of all the blessings He has poured out upon us.  Three of our four children at home got together this past weekend for a belated Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, and they all seemed to be in good spirits.  Heavenly Father is trying to get through to them how much He loves them and is there for them.  We know He will take better care of them than we can, if they will let Him.  Our service as missionaries has taught us more of His love for His children.  We each have a purpose while we are here on earth - more than just living.  It is our desire that we may all find joy in giving - our time, our talents, and our love, in service to others.  Our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has said: "All who have studied mathematics know what a common denominator is.  For Latter-day Saints, there is a common denominator that binds us together.  That common denominator is the individual call each of us receives to fill assignments in God's kingdom here upon the earth....Like a glowing searchlight of goodness is the life of Jesus as he ministered among men.  'I am among you as he that serveth.'"  May we all lose ourselves in our service to others, and He will make our own burdens light and easier to bear.

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