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

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Update on the Employment Resource Center work

Things at the ERC are progressing, we have seen some successes, but I do wonder sometimes how do we measure success? Is it employment? If so then we have had some success. In the past 2 weeks we have been able to show 8, with 2 more in the works as having employment. Now this being said it doesn't mean "we" have found jobs for everyone, but for the most part assisted. No I think it is something else, something that will take a lot of work and patience. Today we met with a member of the Hickory stake presidency and visited about the employment, our part and others part. I explained my analogy about moving the train, he said I get it. That seems to be the response, Ok Ok hush up already. He was busy, I get that, but I just am enthused and talk to much. The good news is he will meet with the bishops for a welfare meeting this evening and will find out who's doing what and what needs doing. So here is how I think we measure success, we (ERC) ->"help"<- (have I emphized the word help enough) each stake and ward within the mission to become self-reliant, at least in employment. When the stake president and 1 high councilor, the stake employment specialist, the bishops, HP group leaders, EQ presidents, RS presidents and ward employment specialists are signed up on and are seeing who from their ward is signed up, making contact with them, encouraging them and coaching them. Then when each ward member feels someone cares, and is willing to be there for them, the ward members have a desire to become self-reliant. That's all it takes, easy enough. My problem is the patience part. I want things moving, like a freight train on double track, with distributed power, 6.0 horse power per ton, 65 tons per operative brakes, carry UPS mail at Christmas time, nothing gets in the way!! What I need, is to know "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. Agency is our gift from the Lord. Boy I love being here and trying to serve the Lord though.
So about some pictures. Last Friday Sister Slade and I went into a small mall near by to get some pants hemmed as we walked to the building I noticed this lot and that it was cemetery.  We asked around and nobody really knew the history of it. One guy said that a hospital used to be across the street and this was there cemetery. Anyway, it was overgrown and unkept. The odd thing was that all the headstones were alike and in rows. Most just stated the name and when they died, example John Doe died March 3rd 1945. Interesting? The top two are Sister Slade looking around the cemetery.

 This picture below was at the cemetery, look at it, can you see the bird. It's an owl.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

7 Oct 2014 New Pictures and happenings

Well today is Tuesday the 7th of October, why is that important? It's not, just another great day on the mission. Today was missionary leader training, I'll get back to that in a minute. Back at the office we have 2 more candidates close to landing a job. As it turns out we, the ERC, have partnered with the Goodwill industries of the Southern Piedmont. I guess it's not as it turns out, it is that a gentleman from the Goodwill contacted the ERC and wanted to sit down and discuss how we can work together to use each others resources to help serve the Charlotte area. We talked and I signed them up as 1. an employer and 2. as a community resource. So far it's working great, and looking good for the future. Things are moving forward at the ERC. Now about missionary leader training, the sister trainers and elders, district leaders and zone leaders meet as called by the mission president. So I posted some pictures at the lunch. 1st picture is Elder Youngstrom. 2nd picture is of president Craven walking in front, and sister Craven standing in the middle, 3rd is just a group shot. So why post these you ask? Well as I was sitting there watching them inter-act, I was thinking back during times when I worked with the youth at boy scout camp, girls camp (especially) and youth night. I thought how sometimes when the youth got together and they would gather with their friends, some one was always left out, standing alone. But not here, not on a mission because here you always have a companion. In the words of Tuco (from the Good the Bad and the Ugly) "even so a bandit like me knows there's always a brother who won't deny me a bowl of soup". It just so amazing to watch each sister or elder as they see a past companion run and hug each other.

Below is a picture of Sister Phillips (right) and Sister Zampeiron (left) Sister Zampeiron is from Brazil, she just learned english prior to and while at the MTC. She speaks very well, but it's a hoot to listen to hear talk. Sister Phillips is from Las Vegas, one of the better trainers buy the way. Oh and they live in the same apt complex all of us seniors are in.
Next is a picture of Sister Velarde (left) and Sister Urban (right) I was taking pictures and she grabbed Sister Urban and smiled, how could you not take a picture of that. Sister Urban is one of the office staff with her husband Elder Urban.
Sister Urban took the next few pictures, how can you pass up such a passal of beauty. (spiritual beauty of course). Michael Nuccio where are you?

I pretty well photo bombed this one.

Sister Zampeiron, Sister Phillips, Sister Slade and me (you know the camera puts on a few pounds)
And now for the last thing about today, North Carolina Charlotte mission, as with other missions were allowed to show a preview of the up coming movie "Meet the Mormons" Go! it's really good! 
The last picture is of Elder Urban (left), Elder Hunt, Sister Hunt, Sister Urban and Sister Slade (right) at dinner in the Urban's apt. after conference. And oh man wasn't conference amazing. I enjoyed every bit. That can be a whole other blog.
until next time, Keep the faith

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A couple of stories from the ERC

It is always nice to have good things happen at the ERC. Last Monday, as most Mondays, we have a conference call with the region office. The center's office phone rang so I answered it and it was a woman on the other end she was thinking we were a employment agency, meaning we did hiring. Anyway I said no and that ended the conversation. After the conference call I started to call some one else about a job posting and dialed the last number on the phone, which was the woman who called earlier, I had forgotten she called. When she answered I asked for Ami (which is the sister about the job posting), she said no this is Cathy, realizing who it was now I apologized for getting off the phone so quick and explained who we were and what we were about. She explained that she had just lost her job and was looking for work. I invited her to come to the office she accepted and we signed her up on and showed her how to set up her profile and do job searches. Two days later she calls me and tells me she just got hired for another company, she had been doing searches and applications till she landed a job. Love that kind of news.

Another one, I got a call from a youn man, I believe from Ethopia, Sister Slade had sent him an email to check his status on He calls back and asked me if he could come down and get a little help updating his profile, I told him come on down. He comes in and we go to the computer room and and sign him on (he already has a profile) so we can update his information. He has a good education, speaks english fairly well and actually is an chemical engineer. So we do more searches and come up with a few postings he is interested in. While we are talking I asked him what ward he is in, well he's not a member of our church. I told him that's OK we work with everyone who needs help, but I asked him how he found out about the ldsjobs website, apparently some member he was driving some where told him about it. This is great I'm thinking, then he says who attends church here? I tell him that it is a Young Single Adult Ward, by the way how old are you, 28 he says, I said you can come here if you like. I gave him the schedule and FHE day and time and explained what the FHE group does. He said that sounds fun, he wants to attend some meetings here. With his permission, I gave his contact info to the elders and he is now in there hands. Some one said if we prepare ourselves the Lord will send people our way who He has prepared to hear the gospel, I believe it! Well I have a few other things that I will post later, I really love this (missionary) work. Keep the faith,

a bite to eat

I saw this little guy grabbing a bite to eat in the parking lot.
More coming. As always keep the faith