Tuesday, April 23, 2013

During the past week we had the opportunity to visit an early-morning seminary class in Berwick, Nova Scotia.  Berwick is a very small settlement about 80 miles from Halifax, in an area called "the valley."  Brother Doug and Sister Sue Williams hosted us in their home overnight so we wouldn't have to get up at 4 a.m., to make the drive there.  Usually Sis. Williams has four young students every weekday morning come into her home at 6:20 a.m., for instruction from the New Testament.  She is a great teacher and a wonderful hostess.  Doug is a very hard worker and spiritual leader, who also happens to be a very talented handy-man.
On the morning we were there, she invited Elder Tiffany to take part in teaching a lesson from Ephesians 1-2, written by the Apostle Paul.  He chose "agency," perhaps the greatest gift God has given to His children.  This is an eternal gift that He will never take from us.  The prophets have always taught that we have a choice in everything we do, and that we must live with the consequences of our choices - good or bad.  As we read in the Gospels of the Savior's sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross of Calvary, even He had a choice to make in those agonizing moments.  We might never be able to fully thank Him for the choices He made, but we can try by being obedient to His commandments and trying to become like Him in our words, thoughts, and actions.
Meet Sue Williams and three of her four students.  We have John Morrison and the Campbell sisters, who were very attentive for teenagers at 6:20 a.m.

This is Doug Williams in his basement with a canoe he is building.  He is a very talented, hard working, and spiritual man.
This should have been a close-up of Sister T, but we wanted to get a good shot of her and the church.  This church is found at Grand Pre, where the French-speaking Acadians lived, beginning in 1604, before they were forced out of the country by the British in 1755, because they would not take allegiance to the British against the French.  Most of the Acadians went to Louisiana.  Many of them inter-married with the African-Americans and Native Americans, and we know their descendants as the Cajuns. 
Elder Tiff is standing in front of the church and next to the statue of Evangeline.  In 1845, Longfellow wrote a poem about her: "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie."    It was taken from a tale about her being separated from her husband on their wedding day when he was deported.  It was told she wandered for years, trying to find her fiance'.

Here we have Sister Tiffany in Annapolis Royal, a small community on the Bay of Fundy, established in 1605 by the British.  It was a strategic military location, heavily guarded by their navy.

The original fortress is, of course, long gone, but this building is a reconstruction of an administration area of the old fort in Annapolis Royal.
While we were in "the valley," we inspected missionaries apartments.  Elder Horner (Alberta) and Elder Edmond (California) had cleaned up their area in Greenwood (close to Berwick) very well, so we left some home-made cookies with them.  A pre-arranged appointment and a bribery helps every time.

Elder Jensen (Alberta) and Elder Fisher (Saskatchewan) are serving in Annapolis Royal.  They also had spic-and-span living quarters.  We assisted them in their missionary efforts by giving them a referral of a restaurant owner from Germany who lives in their town.  We had just met Heidi at lunch, and she was full of questions.  Oh, yes, they got some home-made cookies, also.  We also inspected the zone leader's apartment in Kentville,  but forgot to get a picture of Elders Sloan and Evanson.  And they got cookies too, because we love them.
Before we went into a very busy weekend, we went to Fisherman's Wharf with Melissa and her granddaughter, Mila, for lunch.  Mila is 4 years old and reminds us very much of a couple of 4 year-old grandchildren we have waiting for our return home next winter.

On Friday and Saturday, we had a seminary activity with kids from all over Nova Scotia.  Friday evening was a fireside with some devotional speakers and music.  Then we stayed at the mission home to be with Sis. Leavitt while she was recovering from having her gall-bladder removed while her husband (Pres. Leavitt) was in Washington, D.C., for mission president's training.  We had 13 young people and chaperones staying with us.  Saturday morning Elder Tiff showed up at the stake center at 7 a.m., to help prepare breakfast for about 150 people, while Sister Tiffany stayed with Sis. Leavitt.  Tamara and JJ (Mila's mom) were the head cheftesses (?).  We've been friends with both their families for many years.  Notice the Winder Dairy apron from West Valley City, Utah.

Pancakes, fruit and whipped cream toppings/maple syrup, cereal, chocolate milk.  It was all very yummy.  After breakfast they had a speaker or two, then we went with a group of them to the temple for baptisms.

Following the temple, we went to the Halifax chapel to witness the baptism of Don Tian.  He was baptized by Dan Schow (far left), our Elder's Quorum President, and taught by Sister Drew, Sister Hart, and Sister Ott.
Saturday evening we had a musical talent show at the YSA Branch.  It was excellent, with a lot of really great talent - vocal and instrumental.

This is Zac Hicks singing "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler On the Roof.  He was very entertaining.
 Zac Hicks, Rick Cartier, Dan Frelick, and Dan Schow as a Barber Shop Quartet, singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."
Even the sister missionaries showed off their talents.  Sis. Hart sings and plays the flute, Sis. Lee and Sis. Drew each have amazing voices, singing a medley of songs from "The Sound of Music."

Connie Hicks (barely seen behind the piano) is an amazing pianist - self-taught!  She accompanied just about everyone.  Here she is with Dan Frelick on the guitar, and Jenn Smith on the fiddle.  They played a number of pieces for fiddle, and they were great.

Randi Greene, Samantha Fielden, Alissa Harker, and Connie Hicks singing a number of doo-wop songs.  They got our feet tapping and our hands clapping.

Sister and brother Connie and Zac Hicks in action with "Dirty Paws" from Of Mice and Men.

Randi Greene sang "I Know the Truth" from Aida, beautifully.  Wow!  We have so much talent!!

We don't know who the bald head belongs to, but the group on the stage are YSA that completed our evening.  It was well attended by visitors, as well as many members from around the stake.
This is Sister T's Primary class - 9-10 year olds
On Monday we talked Sister Tiffany's brother Milford (on right) into going with us to visit the remaining Roy family children.  Here we have Sylvia (a sister-in-law), Albert (oldest brother), and Sister T.  Our baby brother passed away 3 years ago and we lost another brother in 1999.

This is a view from the front of Albert and Sylvia's home.  But for the power lines and the pine tree, it's a beautiful view of the bay and ocean at Hunt's Point.

Brother-in-law John has Parkinson's Disease, so his muscles get really cramped.  He loves to have Sister T visit, because she gives him a good massage, both head and shoulders.  And you can see, she enjoys it too.  
Dave, our nephew, got in on the free rubs while we were there.
.Here we have baby sister Joni, brother Milford, and big sister Lil.  Just four (including Albert) left of the six children of Mom and Dad Roy.
Having this opportunity to visit Sister Tiff's family has been one of the tender mercies of the Lord in sending us to Nova Scotia as missionaries.  Considering the distance from Utah to eastern Canada, and the ages of these old folks, who knows how much more we'll get to see them.  As I mentioned in a previous post, this is a very rare occurrence to be able to spend time with family while away from home on a mission.  And they have become very supportive of our service to the Lord.  We love them!
While we were in the area, we inspected the apartment of Elder Steed (Alberta) and Elder Urick (Montana).  I didn't get their pictures either, but they are handsome young men with big smiles!  Very clean, and yes, they got cookies also!      

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