Friday, December 26, 2014

Addition to the last post

I wanted to add to the last post, where I left off,  going to President Hall's house for a BBQ

It was good BBQ. Anyway while we were there Elder
  • W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy, came in with Elder Parker (area seventy) So we had a chance to visit with them. We talked to Elder Zwick about missions. He was so nice and kind. He kept thanking us for our willingness to serve. We tlked about requesting certain missions, which he said was very possible and common. It was just different talking to him in this setting. So as always keep the faith and I will add a new post for Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

13 December 2014 (Elder Christofferson)

I know it's only been a week, actually 6 days, since I wrote last, but I need to get some of this down before I forget. As I said earlier Sister Slade and I went to Atlanta GA. for training and a Christmas get together. And as I said Sister Slade had a extra trip planned. We both love Christmas shows and festivals, so she planned a night at a "resort" of sorts and we went to the "fantasy of lights". It was a festival with Christmas booths, gifts and food. Part of the experience was a trolley ride throught the golf course, which was decorated with thousands of lights. We had a good time. Here are some pictures of the festival. The first 4 are inside a pavilion.

 These next few are from the fantasy of lights, and as usual the pictures never do justice to the real thing. But imagine life size fixtures.

We really enjoyed it.
The training in Atlanta was good and it was good to see the other missionaries. I learned a little more about We had an opportunity to interact with each other about our different service areas and learn how to be more effective employment specialist. I hope to be able to implement the new gained knowledge. From this I think we will plan to visit more of the outlining stakes in our mission. President Craven has agreed to help us accomplish this. We love President and Sister Craven, I believe they are the best mission Couple we could possiblely have. We arrived back "home" Friday afternoon and later met with the other 2 couples in our complex for our weekly FHE. We hold it on Fridays because it is easier. I tell ya it's been exciting.
Now about today Saturday 13 December 2014 (Elder Christofferson).
Elder Christofferson was assigned to attend a stake conference in Winston - Salem, NC. President Craven asked Elder Christofferson if he would speak to all 260 missionaries this morning at the NC Central Stake building. So we all arrived at 0830 to await Elder Christofferson at 0900. He came in and stood at the front of the stand with President and Sister Craven, President and Sister Cheney (counselor in NCCM). President and Sister Baker (NC Central Stake) and President and Sister Hall (NC South Stake) sat on the stand. Then all 260, plus senior couples (orderly) walked up and shook hands with Elder Christofferson and the others. That's a feat to see. I wish I could tell you all Elder Christofferson said, but I can't, he sopke for about 1 1/2 hrs. So I will simply say it was an amazing, wonderful, inspiring, experience. He asked the missionaries if they had questions and he answered them completely, sincerely and personally. He taught great principles and how they applied to him and us. The young missionaries asked the questions, as it should be. However in my mind I thought if I could, what would I say. I thought "what is the greatest gift given to man"? At first it sounds simple to answer. I thought in my mind what it would be, then I came up with this riddle in my mind. It isn't easy because there are many great gifts and my answer may not be yours or it doesn't take away any gift of importance. I wrote it down for a talk later, but here it is (only the question) If you, whoever you are, read this and can answer it, give me your answer either by text or email (if you know me you know how to get a hold of me). I am really interested in your answer. Here is the riddle:
From the Father came a great gift, from the Son came a great gift. Without the first gift the second does not happen, without the second gift the first would become irrelevant, with both gifts comes the greatest gift [ This is the greatest gift that can be conferred on intelligent beings, to live forever and never be destroyed (DBY, 96). [Brigham Young]

It is written that the greatest gift God can bestow upon man is the gift of eternal life.] [Priesthood manual] (This quote answers only what the greatest gift is.)

What's the answer to the riddle?  I will give my answer later.  Tonight we have been invited to President Hall's house for a dinner/BBQ. Thanks and keep the faith.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

7 December 2014 (Pearl Harbor Day)

First, just a thought and prayer for all who fought, lived and died at Pearl Harbor, and all veterans. Thank you for helping us keep our freedom.

Ok going back a few weeks to Thanksgiving. We, 3 senior couples and President and Sister Craven, had thanksgiving dinner together at the mission home. Sister Slade and I rode with Elder and Sister Urban so I didn't have my camera, but it was a beautiful setting. We all brought different things for dinner. Sister Slade made her "famous" creamed corn, and I cooked the turkey. Yes you read that right. It turned out rather good even if I do say so. We had a great time visiting and sharing stories. As a matter of fact I would say a good time was had by all. I wish I had pictures, but I don't. However I do have pictures of the nativity christmas program/festival the NC South Stake held. What they do is ask anyone who wants to share, bring a nativity scene or more than one if they want and display it for a community festival.  We displayed the one we bought in Branson, MO. I think it is the most adorable (yes adorable) nativity scene. If you are from the West, as some were, you'll love it. Picture below
I know it is adorable!
Here are some more pictures of other nativity's.

There wewre over 200 sets, the festival was beautiful.
As for the work, it is going well. I worry that because things have gone so well that we will hit a wall and stall out. I know we need to stay faithful, continue to love those we serve and all strive to become self reliant. We are going to Atlanta GA this week for training, and I think Sister Slade has some activities planned while in GA, so I will continue this then. Keep the faith,

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Been awhile -- 26 November 2014

Well, it's been awhile since I posted. I kept saying after this event or that one, but alas something else happens.  So what's happening in employment? We have been fortunate in helping people find work, some of it is part time and some temporary, but at least people are working. One day a young man came in and signed up on  when I saw his name I said I know your father, turns out I know his father and grandfather. He was looking for part time work and we helped him get a job. There are some who are hard to place, it takes a lot of patience and searching, but we have placed a couple of them. The other day we were at the Charlotte South Stake Center to help with Bishop's storehouse and to meet with a brother and help him sign on at When we finished with the storehouse we sat down with this brother. Really a nice Southern man, new convert. Anyway as we are doing the computer work we get side tracked with telling stories (imagine that). He talks about his conversion, then tells me about when he was laid off. He went home and hadn't said anything about being laid off and the elders came over to teach him. They tell a story about a member who was laid off and how he handled it. After the lesson he says to the elders, you know I was just laid off. The elders tell him you need to call Elder and Sister Slade, they are in the employment center. So he calls and makes an appointment. He's thinking how the Lords works in mysterious ways. Then he tells me that the bishop wants him to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He said it was very emotional  he tells his wife (less active member) and she says slow down, next they will want you to go home teaching  spending time away from your family. He was crushed and confused, so he didn't accept the offer.  We were talking and I mentioned to him I thought he should, that if he had a testimony of the gospel and Joseph Smith is a prophet, then he would understand that this a revelation from Heavenly Father and part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So we continue through the process and his phone rings, it's his son in law, who works where he did. His son-in law says the boss is looking for him and wants to know if he wants to work. I said we have helped people finds jobs and in 1 case within 2 days, but never while we were filling out a profile. I said do you think there is another reason we are here together? He simple says the priesthood? There are more things about employment but this will do for now. We have other things to share. On the after hours side, Sister Slade and I went to 2 concerts (Christmas) one was Trans Siberian Orchestra, I love their Christmas music, but not this show. The other was Manhiem Steamroller, loved the music and the show. It was cold, rainy and foggy.
 Yesterday was transfers and that is a very interesting time as well as emotional sometimes. We have here, in our apt. complex 2 sets of elders and 1 set of sisters. We have become very close to all of them. This transfer, 1 elder was going home after a faithful mission, and another was being transferred to another area.  The blond one (Elder Laudee) was transferred. Elder Hass will stay here.

Elder Shumway ( to my right) has gone home. Jorgenson (to Sister Slade's left)
goes home in Jan. That's all fine, but Sister Phillips (someone we are very fond of) was transferred to High Point, NC. I think Sister Slade cried for an hr. the night before transfers. Sister Phillips came over and brought a picture she framed of us and her with sister "Z"(companion).  It is very special. She asked me to give her a blessing, she truly said we are like her mom and dad. She was called to be a sister trainer leader (same as a zone leader for sisters) and for good reason.
Here are a couple of shots at transfers, the first one is of a group of new missionaries around a piano singing. It started out with 2 elders singing, without music, then 1 started to accompany on the piano on the stage. Next thing I see is a group with more joining in. It was quite touching, as they all came from the MTC together.
this next one is a man I met at the storehouse helping his ward and also driving missionaries to and from transfers, he is a retired conductor from the CXS. I knew he was a conductor by the way he walked (crippled) and his uncanny knack to be able to sleep while working. A great guy, Pete Smith.
A couple more shots, missionaries at lunch and after transfers
Absolutely Wonderful!
OK now on to even happier news, Elder Herr (Saguaro Park Ward Tucson AZ.) is in the North Carolina Charlotte mission, great news. We took him and his companions to dinner for his birthday along with the other senior couples.

Sorry it's so long, but tomorrow is Thanksgiving so expect more later and as always keep the faith,

Sunday, November 9, 2014

9 November 2014

Sunday November 9th at the Lancaster Branch. In order to arrive on time, and today we needed to be on time, we have to leave at 0840 to be there by 10:00. It is a easy drive and really pretty. Today Sister Slade and I spoke in Sacrament meeting. Going backwards, I helped Sister Slade with her talk, and then jotted down some notes for me. I want to mention that the other 2 senior couples came to support Sister Slade, they drove the 1 hr and 10 min drive to be there. It was a very kind thing to do, but even more important was that our pianist was not there and we sang accapella for the opening hymn and then Sister Urban (bless her heart) stepped up and played the piano. Boy we needed that, but such is life in a small branch. There are 3 speakers, 1st is Sister Banford, one of the full time sisters, followed by Sister Slade, intermediate hymn and then myself. So that should allow me about 15 minutes, good enough. Sacrament starts at 10 opening hymn, prayer, and it's time for the sacrament (it's a small branch) sacrament is finished and it's 10:12, Sister Banford finishes about 10:25 and Sister Slade is up and down and it's 10:32. Oooh boy. Let's see, I jotted a few notes about the employment resources and a scripture about service. Hmmmm. Well I wrapped it up about 11:02, lucky I had some railroad analogies to talk about. Anyway once again Sister Slade really did a great job, she actually ad-libbed some of her talk, it was funny and good. I really think she is getting rid of some of her fears. After church as we drove home I remembered a place I'd seen on the way to and from church I wanted to see, it was Andrew Jackson's home, where he was (maybe born) but surely raised as a young man. I say that because he really didn't know, but claims to have been born in SC. The place is Andrew Jackson State Park. I turned in and we visited it, we walked around and took a couple of pictures. It was interesting I just wish I could explain all the history of the area. Waxhaw, Camben the battles that were fought there.
 So the 1st picture is the outdoor amphitheater. That is me down on the stage, as usual nobody wants to listen to me.
That is Sister Slade reading the bulletin board outside the outhouse (yes she actually went inside)
                             Sister Slade, she can't turn away from a man in uniform and a hat.
                                                                The little schoolhouse
A picture of our bed and bedroom? Ok a replica of the time period.

My church clothes, I didn't bring much.
The old meeting house. 
Looks like some indians sneaking around
Anyway we had a really good time.
The next couple picture are of our branch building.

Just doesn't look like a typical meeting house, it is a converted restaurant. But let me say this, it isn't the building, it's the members that make it a branch/ward and we love them.
Last of all it's fall and, it's beautiful
Keep the faith

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bishop's storehouse

Last Sunday it was announced that it was the Lancaster Branch's turn to help with the distribution of the bishop store house items. They asked for volunteers, I raised my hand, as did another brother (1st counselor inn the presidency) anyway we were to meet at the stake center on Wednesday at 0800. Sister Slade and I arrived and joined to my surprise several branch members. The project was well organized and truly a wonderful experience. Everyone pitched in, particularly the recipients. Each helped each other in following the program, and by the way the program is followed properly! It was good to see members helping each other. So as the morning went on and we were cleaning everything up and putting things away one of the sisters says to me you are the employment missionaries, I said yes we are. Well my husband owns a bussiness and has been trying to fill some jobs vacancies. He has asked the bishop and members if they know of anyone, but he hasn't had any takers. I said you came to the right place, we have people to fill those jobs. I expressed my joy in meeting her and finding this out. It is way easier to fill a position when the candidate and the employer have a common connection. Think about it this way, is it easier to do missionary work by tracting or by member referrals? It's the same principle. Now I have another contact that I can say go talk to this person and the candidate has some one there in person to talk with. If I didn't volunteer to help with the storehouse I would've more than likely never met this good sister and her husband. Always be engaged in a good cause, oh and keep the faith.

Monday, November 3, 2014

3 November 2014 York, SC

Things at the ERC seems to be picking up.We have more people coming in off the "street" (walk ins). We are still trying to reach the stakes and help them get the stake and ward leaders signed up on as leaders. This enables them to see who is signed up from their ward/stake. This is important because we (the ERC) really do not get a chance to meet or know most of the candidates that we work with. We call them and email them every week check on them as we can but rarely do we have that close comforting assistance. The ward leaders on the other hand see these candidates at least weekly, they have the opportunity to talk to them face to face, put their arm around them, encourage them and lift their spirits.  Truly it is easy to see how the welfare program is an inspired program, when it is set up and executed properly. We had the opportunity to speak at the York ward council meeting. This is where you get to meet with and help the ward leaders get signed on. When they really learn how the program works they want to get on.  I took a couple of pictures of their building because I never saw a LDS building with colums. Hanging with the baptists. jk ( never use that kind of stuff).

Anyway the weather is changing and so are the leaves. It's still pretty though. 
Oh and by the way WE REALLY LOVE THE MISSION, just wanted to say that. More later, keep the faith.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Catawba and Lancaster Branch-- 24 Oct. 2014

First it's pronounced Ka-taw-ba, they are an native american tribe in the Carolinas. We were visiting the reservation, because we were going to be assigned to attend that ward. While we were there we visited the cultural center, not big but nice enough. I took this picture while we were down in the area -what a great shot!! OK OK, It was a display, but I thought it sure looked good. Anyway I thought I would save it as a symbol of the the UA vs Oregon football game, basketball games or anything with the lame ducks.

    So anyway we met with the Stake president of  the Charlotte South Stake ( really a great guy) and our mission president (also a really great guy) and they asked us to consider attending the Lancaster branch, which is in Lancaster, Soutrh Carolina. So we will, it is a very small branch, last week attedance was about 30. They are very friendly and inviting. I look forward to helping in that branch however they need us.
 Monday was Sister Z's birthday, we surprised her with a birthday balloon, (first one she has ever had) and a early morning american breakfast, Bacon, eggs and pancakes with peaches, strawberries,  syrup and whipped cream and Chocolate milk and OJ. She loved it, her companion set up the surprise.
Well there is more to come, but that will be later. Love the mission and the work it is amazing! Keep the faith.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The town of Mt Airy (AKA Mayberry) and the Blueridge Mt Parkway

So last weekend we traveled to Winston -Salem (that's right the same name as the cigarettes), then to Mt Airy. Mt Airy is up on the Northern most of NC. It is also where the TV series Andy Griffith was filmed. They have a fall festival every year and the senior couples decided to make a road trip on P-day of course. So Here are some pictures:
 All of us standing in front of a bunch of musical pumpkins ^ that's me in the cowboy hat in case you didn't know, wait a minute some of those are pumpkin heads
                                     Just a shot of the crowd ^
                               Can't miss Floyd's barber shop ^
                                and Opie's Candy Store ^
                                Everyone knows how much I like the Wizard of Oz ^
 This is suppose to be a video, I can't make it play but someone smarter than me can
 We stopped at a music festival, this is the back ground area, also there was a museum
 Here is Elder and Sister Urban (right), Elder and Sister Hunt (center) and Sister Slade, where is Jim? taking the picture.
                               The next 2 are along the Blueridge Parkway ^

                                    Another video
                                Can't miss Aunt Bea and Andy with Opie ^
And of course Barney (Fife)
It was loads of fun, until next time, keep the faith