Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23)
During the weekend of Sept. 13-16, we had the opportunity to travel with other missionaries to St. John's, Newfoundland, for their District Conference (similar to Stake Conference).  One of the speakers reminded us of our opportunity to have ALL that the Father has through our obedience to His commandments.  It isn't enough to believe in Christ, we must obey the commandments and do AS Christ.  He said, "The thought or act of disobedience does not make sense, because iniquity always causes confusion.  The thought of sin will always be confusing because it is against our eternal nature.  Only to the natural man is iniquity carnally and/or sensually appealing."  Elder Neil Maxwell said: "Consecration of one's self to the Lord is less of giving what you have, and more of giving what you are."  It was a wonderful weekend of spiritual feasting, laced with great people and beautiful surroundings.
We found out why every missionary who has been to Newfoundland absolutely loves it!  The people are very humble and friendly, and the scenery is outstanding!  While there, we were kept busy with meetings and firesides, but we did have time to see the sights.  Pres. and Sis. Robinson, the temple president and matron, who had been there before, knew all the great spots to show us between meetings.

When we left Halifax on the morning of Friday the 13th, the rain was coming down in torrents and the wind was howling.  Here we have Pres. Leavitt and Sis. Lee visiting in the warmth and sunshine of the St. John's, Newfoundland, airport, 90 minutes later.

We had a few hours on Friday afternoon, before the first missionary musical program, to see some of the sights.  Elder and Sister Tiffany are standing in front of the Marconi Tower on Signal Hill.  From this hill, in 1901, the first transcontinental radio signal was sent and received between Europe and North America, opening a new era of communication between the two continents.
Looking down from Signal Hill you can see the lighthouse signaling the way through a man-made harbor to the port of St. John's, Newfoundland.
This is a view of a major part of the port and city of St. John's, Newfoundland.
At the site of Marconi Tower we have Sisters Wiebe, Tibbitts, Tiffany, Robinson, and Calvert.  They look great for the amount of wind coming across this point of land.

After Signal Hill, we were famished, so we made our way to George Street in downtown St. John's, for lunch/dinner.  George Street is the VERY happening place on weekend evenings.  We're not into those types of happenings, so we came early and left early.

If you've seen earlier editions of our blog, you've seen these two younger missionaries before.  Elder Wolsey and Sister Hart were two of our very favorites while they were assigned to Halifax.  It was wonderful to see them again!

The first evening we were in Newfoundland, we went to a musical concert in Mount Pearl, a suburb of sorts of St. John's.  This very talented cellist is Elder Woodward, from Centerville, Utah.

Elder Hawkes (Bountiful, Utah) and Sister Lee (Las Vegas, Nevada) are absolutely amazing in their performance of a number from Phantom of The Opera.

And then we have the Phantom (Elder Hendrickson from West Valley City, Utah), and Christine (Sis. Lee).

On Saturday morning before meetings began, we visited a very foggy Cape Spear.  This point of land is the farthest east piece of land in North America!

This is our tour guides, Pres. and Sis. Robinson (Tory, Utah), the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple President and Matron.

We're sorry you can't read the sign we're standing in front of, but it says we're at Cape Spear, and that's as far east in North America as we can go and still be on land.

When we left Cape Spear we drove to this quaint little fishing village called Petty Harbor.  We wish the pictures could show how beautiful the scenery really is.

Bro. Charles Spinney was our host in Newfoundland.  He is the FedEx manager (so he and Sis. T had a lot to talk about) of the total island province and is originally from Nova Scotia.  His family still lives in Nova Scotia while he's here (they haven't been able to sell their home in N.S. yet).  He was a big help in making sure we were fed and gave us rides to meetings.

Much of the city of St. John's, Newfoundland, is in full color.  This is a peek at just one of the many apartment areas of the city with its vast array of colors.  If you frequent George Street, and take part in it's "happenings," it helps to know which color your home is when you return, as you can see the similarity in building fronts.  The combination of colors is called "the Jelly Bean" homes.

When we made it back to Halifax, we had newly assigned Elders come to dinner.  Elder Clark (from one of the southern states then to Alberta) and Elder Nzojibwami (from Burundi, Africa, then to Alberta) are Assistants to Pres. Leavitt and are newly assigned to the YSA Branch.  We've known them for awhile, and love them a lot. 

If you've seen our blog before then you've seen this lighthouse.  Our niece and her husband (Laura and Rod Lowder of Herriman, Utah) are visiting us, and of course we had to take them to Peggy's Cove.

Between our Dalhousie classes and other missionary work, we've taken them to see some of the beaches and sights of Nova Scotia.  We love these two and are happy we could find some time to visit with them.  They're loving it here!

Pier 21, in Halifax, is the Ellis Island of Canada.  Every weekend there is a Farmer's Market set up next to it at pier 20, with items from all over the province and beyond.  Laura and Rod got lost in the crowd, but enjoyed every minute.
Outside the market there was a British Motors car show, so we wandered through, admiring the autos.

Of course, Elder Tiffany had to get a picture of one of the many MGs on display!

We thought Nate and Marcie might be interested in this "picture" made entirely of beach glass, pebbles, and twigs, which we saw at the market. 
In the center of the city, overlooking the Halifax harbor, is the Citadel.  It was a fortress built during the 1700s to protect the city.  Because Nova Scotia means New Scotland, all of the guides wear kilts of various clans. This young man gave us a walking tour of the Citadel, and filled us in on all of the cunning military aspects of the fortress. 
Another of the "guards" of the Citadel.
This 18 year old bagpiper is taking a break inside the sleeping area of the barracks.  We had hoped he would be performing while we were there, but no such luck.  Maybe his bagpipe needed to be tuned up.

This is a view of the Halifax harbor from the Citadel.  As you can see, the modern buildings now block some of the view, but in the 1700s that wasn't a problem.  At that time, they also had many guns and smaller fortresses throughout the islands and along the shoreline for further protection.

Notice the many kilts.  This was actually a wedding party just outside the walls of the fortress.  Scottish kilts are a common mode of dress for many events in the province.

Laura, Rod, and Sister T are enjoying the sights of Dingle Tower Park and Harbor.  Don't they look happy?
We are so blessed to have so many loved ones from here and away that we can spend time with, while at the same time fulfill our commitment as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Not every senior couple who serves a mission has the opportunities or challenges that others have.  We have truly grown spiritually in our service, and recognize that when this mission comes to an end, our spiritual growth must not halt.  With only two months left here, we face bitter-sweet thoughts of leaving family and friends to go home to family and friends.  No two couples will have the same experience and growth, even if assigned to the same mission with the same tasks.  We don't compare our mission with any other, as we should not compare ourselves with any other.  We're just happy that we have been blessed with so many of the Lord's tender mercies.

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