Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Elder Austin goes home

It was a sad day in the WKM when our wonderful assistant, Elder Austin, went home. He was absolutely invaluable during our transition into the mission field. I don't think we would have survived without his help and his leadership. We love Elder Austin!

Len and Elder Austin on departure morning.

We're smiling, but the tears are flowing.

Len with our fabulous assistants: Elder Baker, Elder Austin, and Elder Lavin. These are special, wonderful young men and excellent missionaries.

The three musketeers

Our FIRST assistants, we'll never forget them.

Passing the torch: our assistants Elder Baker and Elder Lavin

Pasco Stake Conference

In conjunction with the Pasco Stake Conference, Elder Risenmay invited Julie and I to attend an investigator/returning member meeting at 8:30 a.m. As we drove up to the stake center, we were greeted by two young men who, at first, I thought were two of our Elders. They introduced themselves as Bro. Waldo and Bro. Godinez. They told us they were former missionaries in the WKM and had served under Pres. Belnap. They have been home about 10 months and were now employed in Kennewick. I immediately loved them because they looked the part of full-time missionaries without name tags. They had beautiful smiles and spirits to match. They told us that they had former investigators, now converts, attending the early meeting and desired to attend.

During the meeting Elder Risenmay invited a new Spanish speaking convert, Victor, to bear his testimony. Brother Godinz knew the convert and was asked to translate. Initially everything went well. Victor would speak and Elder Godinez would translate. However, after a few minutes Brother Victor was speaking, but Elder Godinez was silent. Nothing but a long pause. Brother Victor stopped talking because Elder Godinez was not translating. It became apparent that Brother Victor was sharing special thoughts about his missionary--Elder Godinez. Soon big tears were flowing instead of translation. Even though nothing was spoken, we knew what Brother Victor was saying. The love between convert and missionary was obvious. Everyone in the room was touched by the Spirit.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mission Tour with Elder Ringwood

East side zone leaders and assistants. They are so great! These are amazing leaders. I don't know what we would do without them.

East side zone conference with Elder Ringwood in the middle! Impressive sight!

West side zone leaders. Equally as wonderful!

West side zone conference. They are amazing!

Us with Elder Ringwood.

The sisters strike a pose!!

We had the wonderful opportunity to have Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the First Quorum of the 70 tour our mission. It was a great experience for all the missionaries and for us. He took the time to shake the hand of each missionary and then gave two zone conferences. One on the east side of the mission and one on the west side. He spoke of laying down your life and consecrating it to the Lord and obedience and told wonderful stories and experiences.

Aubrey comes to Washington!

We were so excited to have Aubrey come and visit us in the mission field! She was our first visitor and came after her graduation from BYUI. We're so proud of her. After our four days of missionary training we took a Pday and went up to Mount St. Helen's which is in our mission. We saw the visitor's center and went on a hike, but it was too overcast to get up to the real Mountain and get any good pictures. Later, when Len was interviewing and in meetings, Aubrey and I sneaked up to the fabulous falls that are about an hour from Vancouver. I hear they are most spectacular in the spring runoff. We'll let you know! Don't you all want to come for a visit?

We're hiking! Have you ever seen green like this? Not in AZ!

Mount St. Helen's visitor's center! Aren't we cute? A nice family took our picture. Len tried to talked to them about the church, but only found out they were already LDS.

Isn't Washington/Oregon beautiful? These falls are in our mission on the Oregon side of the Columbia River

Impressive Moltnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

Aubrey playing photographer--me at the bridge between the upper and lower falls--it's beautiful here!

Aubrey and Mom on the bridge at the falls. It's a mile to the top with lots of switchbacks

A few miles west of the falls is a beautiful drive that peaks at this viewpoint. Me at the top looking west over the gorge.

Aubrey at the Gorge looking east

Aubrey and Mom at Vista House

The beautiful Columbia River Gorge as seen from Vista House

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Training!!

The sisters remembering that faith is an action word!

Aubrey hanging with the missionaries on our last day of training. It was wonderful to have her there. She even participated in role plays with the missionaries and helped with our instructions. She fit right in with everyone else--we loved having her!

Our last day of training!! Everyone but Len--he's taking the pictures.

This is how neatly the missionaries place their coats and backpacks while they slam down food!

Elder Lavin, our assistant, trying to act serious--He's a real cutie!

Elder Baker, assistant, and Elder Garrett

Aubrey at training with the mission presidents!

Breakfast the last day--we brought out all the leftovers and they ate everything!

Len breakfasting with the missionaries.

Elder Brinton and Elder Brewer

Elders Kaleopa and Black

Elder Hortin

Elders Grant and Chavez

Elder Derges and Elder Duke

Elder Goff

Elders Willoughby and Prawitt

Elders Gammett and Anderson

Elder Heusser

Last call for breakfast!

Elder Verbinskyj and Elder Collier

Wonderful lunch ladies!

Sisters Ulrich and Tolman

Hanging out for the last break!

Break time!

Elders Buchanan, Collier, and Lemperle

Len is always teaching!

Love our missionaries!

Aren't they the best?

At the beginning of the four day training, Len told a story about Elder Ballard walking into a zone conference and telling the elders, "Let's take off our jackets, we've got a lot of work to do!" That became one of the motifs of our training. The elders would come and remove their coats and we worked! This is what the room looked like when the missionaries were on break--I couldn't resist this picture. All in all it was a wonderful experience we will never forget. I wish we could do it every month. We love being with the missionaries. Their great spirits energize us. We love this work!!