Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring, Dieter F. Uchtdorf -
First Presidency -
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

"We the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children...Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children...Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and to serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live..." (The Family, A Proclamation To The World, Sept. 23, 1995)

Our favorite wall-hanging!

The family's favorite pastime
Dave and Nat,
Keegan and Norah
Another family
favorite pastime

We dearly love our family and are especially thoughtful of them at this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.  We had a wonderful Christmas holiday, spent with friends and loved ones.  We had the special opportunity to spend a few days, including Christmas day, with Sister T's siblings and their families.  After church on December 23rd, we drove to Mahone Bay for dinner with Roger and Anna Davison and Sauesi, Andrea, and Ofa Pahulu.  They have been so kind and giving in so many ways and so many times; they are loved dearly.  After dinner we went to Bridgewater Ward's Christmas celebration.  That was very well done
and put us deeper into the Christmas spirit.  From there we drove to Liverpool and spent the next three days visiting and celebrating with Joni's sister, brother, and sisters-in-law and their families.  We even had a special guest, Jacob Huskins - a good friend of John's, come and play his fiddle and banjo for us.  It was a holiday spent entirely with family.  The only thing that would have been better would have been to have our own children and their families here with us.  We felt very loved.  On the way home we stopped to have dinner with some very good friends in Bridgewater, Patrick and Anna Hirtle.  They have been good friends of ours for many years.
Nephew Keegan
Dave - the outdoorsman

Santa John
Lil -chief cook

Nat & Dave

Albert & Sylvia

Betty and her grand-daughter

Fiddler Jacob

Thursday gave us a Nova Scotia snowfall - it snows really hard for a few hours and makes things white and slippery, then it rains for a few hours and washes most of it away.  We were in the temple in Halifax (actually, it's across the harbor in Dartmouth) for most of the day and were well protected from the weather and the cares of the world.  Saturday was spent in the temple also, with a LARGE group of youth coming in from Prince Edward Island, St. John, New Brunswick, and Sydney, Nova Scotia.  The temple is the most safe and calming protection from the world, and to see the youth come to serve there gives us hope that the future is in good hands as we recognize their trust in God to be worthy to be there.  They must be good citizens as well as followers of Christ to be in the temple, and this is such a sacred place that, if they continue on their current chosen path, they will lead us correctly in the future - both temporally and spiritually.
Halifax, Nova Scotia Temple
"When members of the Church are troubled or when crucial decisions weigh heavily upon their minds, it is a common thing for them to go to the temple.  It is a good place to take our cares.  In the temple we can receive spiritual perspective.  There, during the time of the temple service, we are 'out of the world.'"  (Pres. George Q. Cannon)

"Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple, and every Temple completed according to the order the Lord has revealed for His holy Priesthood, lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness, moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of the Eternal Gods, and those who reside in their presence."  (in "The Logan Temple," Millenial Star, Nov. 12, 1877, 743)

Sister T and Sis. Roberts

Elders Raymant and Sloan
Friday at lunchtime we were with Sis. Evelyn Roberts and Elders Sloan and Raymant.  We had a very good visit and very tasty food.  The young missionaries give us such a boost, because of their spirit and great enthusiasm to be serving a mission.  We are always uplifted when we are around them and attending meetings with them.

Senior missionaries enjoying dinner
Elder & Sis. Duncan
Elder and Sister Tibbits
(She's a definite twin in personality to Sis. Tiff) 
On Friday evening the senior missionaries from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island all got together for a dinner at the mission home.  It was a wonderful affair and time to spend with others of our same age to enjoy, commiserate, and celebrate.  Elder and Sister Duncan, from PEI (from Wyoming), shared slides and narrative of their previous two year mission in Chuuk (Guam) where my brother and his wife (Dixon and Rosemary) are now serving.  Seeing their pictures and hearing their stories helped us all appreciate our mission to snowy Canada so much more.  The Duncans are so full of life and enthusiasm it makes the rest of us feel old.  That night we had Elder and Sister Steffen stay with us, as they were going to the temple on Saturday morning before going back to their area.  The Steffens are from Fruit Heights, Utah, and were in the MTC at the same time as Dixon and Rosemary.  A very nice couple.

Speaking of snow, we are currently sitting in our apartment watching a blizzard outside.  The winds and snow are fierce enough to cancel church today.  So we are finally seeing winter arrive in the north country.  We have had so much nice weather, with sunshine and warm temperatures that this is quite a change.  This is called a Nor'Easter. The snow might not last very long, depending on how much and how soon the rains come, but it's cold and white right now.

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