Wednesday, May 27, 2015

27 May 2015 Seminary - the last day

I don't remember if I mentioned in an earlier post that I was teaching seminary or helping teach. I taught once a week for the past 7 months. Anyway today was the last day for me to teach, this year. I have really enjoyed teaching, the students were great and very interested. This is of course taking in account that it was early morning seminary, so they had to be there at 0600. The course was Doctrine and Covenants and Church History. I love that course. It took a little while to get used to me, I am a little loud when I talk. It's funny because they soon learned my habits, they knew I liked to pace when I teach so they stayed clear. We had a great time. I want to share a story.  First to start this story I have to mention that we have a young woman in the class who has an absolutely beautiful voice she loves to sing and makes the music ring. You know how much I love beautiful music and voices. So last week I taught D&C 138, Joseph F Smith's vision of the post mortal life and the teaching of the spirits in that spirit world. Sister Reid asked me what song I wanted to sing for an opening song, and I said "If You Could Hie to Kolob". As you know that can be a tough song to sing, especially if there are only a few voices and Sydney was not there yet. As great of kids they are, they are like most seminary students and don't like to sing in the morning. Well we started singing anyway and it was mainly Sister Reid and myself, and I don't sing well, I try, but I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. As we are struggling to get though this, Sydney comes down the stairs, hears the song and starts right in singing. To say the least it sounded like angels just joined in the choir, it was that beautiful. It seems when she is singing then everyone joins in. Anyway moving along after the lesson Sister Reid wanted a picture of the seminary class and me, so we went outside and took the picture. Today after the lesson Brother Reid presented the picture to me on a white background signed by the students. I was very touched by it and will treasure it always. I had to take a picture of it to post, it was so thoughtful.

This is the original picture
Until next time, Keep the Faith... 

Monday, May 25, 2015

25 May 2015 (Memorial Day) Couple of stories and some fiddling around

In a weekly staff meeting/conference call with the Atlanta group, it was mentioned that we should keep track and record, some of the success stories we have seen on our mission. We have been very blessed in meeting many wonderful people, and in reality knowing them and their trials and struggles and then when they find employment the change, confidence and joy they receive is both priceless and a blessing. So using the visa commercial, traveling East to our mission = $xxx, buying two Macbook Airs to get set up = $xxx, seeing someone find employment and change their life = Priceless! One of the first experiences was shortly after we arrived and we held a career days in Gastonia NC. We met a sister who wanted to improve her status at work or move on. I would call her or email her different leads as we got them. One day I called her and she was actually at work, someone over heard her end of the conversation, told the boss she was looking for another job. The boss called her and said we don't want you to leave, what can we do to keep you, as a result she got a promotion and a rise. She said if you hadn't called I would have never got the promotion. She called it a blessing, I guess it was. Just the other day I got a call from a member who said his brother was in need of some very temporary help with a work project. He needed a labor/carpenter worker. I checked my resources and called a ward employment specialist in the area where the work was. The WES was the ex bishop of the ward and whom I had spoke with several times. I asked if he had a member in his ward who could fill this position, he said he did, gave his name and number. I called him told him about the job, and the pay $12 hr, he said that would be great. He was a handyman type worker and was not currently working so it was great timing.  I got the two together and a couple days later I get a call from the employer thanking me for sending the handyman to him, he said he was perfect for what he needed and he planned on using him again for another job, and he said he was so good he paid him $15 hr. instead. The next day the handyman calls and says thanks for setting up the two, it worked out perfectly. Really this was not a ldsjobs success, as neither were signed up on the website, but it was a success for both of them. I will write other stories later as we move forward.

Saturday 23 May 2015 a workshop we had planned in Lancaster, SC was cancelled, which freed up the day to go on a field trip. Sister Slade and I, along with Elder and Sister Hunt, took off for Union Grove, NC for a fiddle festival. I was a fun time. We went to an Amish store near by and to the festival. We realized that it was bring your own chairs, as it was outside in an open arena. So we bought a couple of camp chairs at the local Dollar Store (they are everywhere) and set down. As we walked up to the sitting area we came across a group of people sitting under a canopy playing mountain music, some knew each other but others didn't, they just shared the love of music. Later we walked by a group of kids (3 sisters and a friend) practicing some songs. We watched and filmed some of it. We talked with the parents and found out that they were entered in the jr. band group competition and were waiting to see if they were going to advance to the finalist competition. We kinda got to know them so of course we rooted for them. To make a long story short they won. I wish I could post a video but I don' know how, so I will post pictures instead. The name of the group is Dan River Girls. You can google them if you want.

First, I saw this little horse colt across the street at the Amish store, probably not more than a moth old.

Not exactly Woodstock, 
but it did have a "hippy flare"

This is the group playing mountain music, they were good.
For those who may know about banjos, the banjo being played was an old (1830's) style banjo. It doesn't have any frets. The man playing it was quite knowledgeable about the banjo history.

One of the banjo players in the jr group competition. If you look at the neck of his banjo you can see the lines on the neck, those are frets

I just liked this picture with the sun through the trees.

They had cloggers too.

This is the Dan River Girls with a friend playing guitar.
The fiddler is 11 yrs old. In my opinion, and I said as much, it was her that carried them to the finalist, however the one playing the mandolin was pretty good also. Ah heck the bass and guitar weren't bad either.You have to see the video. The song they are playing is "Goodnight Irene" That's what they were practing when we walked up on them. I really like the tune. It has really grown on me.
It was a fun time all the way around.

I tried again but I don't think it worked!!
 So until the next time Keep the faith...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

20 May 2015 Some before and after transfers pictures

Last week was transfers, I wanted to post something sooner , but actually I have been busy with other things. We always love transfers, just because we have a chance to see some of the missionaries who are out in other areas of the mission, and it always is great to watch the missionaries as they learn who their new companion will be, they hug and just welcome each other. The first couple of pictures are of a lunch we had with the other senior couples and 3 sets of missionaries, one of each set was going home we took them to lunch. Also they are missionaries who we have worked closely with.
 Just getting settled in, all the young missionaries on one end and the older folks at the other end. In the next picture you will see that we mixed the young missionaries with the old so we can here about their experiences.
 Then the food (Mexican) arrives, it is a place near where we live and is pretty good for NC
If you look at the glasses on the table 1 glass is not like the others (hmmm). Sister Craven, Presidents wife, came with us. She is sitting next to Sister Slade.
This is a magnolia flower, the tree is below. When we first arrived I wondered what this tree was, it has a very shinny waxy green leaf. I was told it was a magnolia. I heard they bloomed in the fall, the fall came and no blossoms, winter, no, early spring, no, then in May they started blooming now they are all over. 
 This was taken about mid-May. I asked the lady (she is working in the shrubs to the right) if I could take the picture. Look at the date on the picture at the number 11, she is bent over but compare her size to the tree.
 This is the Lancaster Sisters with us. Left is Sister Ofisa, then Sister Pulley, she was transferred to Pilot Mt. Sister Slade and I. Pilot Mt is in the North part North Carolina, above Winston-Salem. If you remember the Andy Griffith Show they lived in Mayberry, which is Mt Airy, NC and always mentioned the big city of Mt Pilot or Pilot Mt as it is really.
 The Young lady here is Sister Wright. She was a visa waiter, meaning she was serving in NC while she waited for her visa to go to Brazil. She got the visa and we took her to the airport to leave for Brazil. We stay with them until they are completely through the check in, security and into the gateway. I sent this to her parents and told them while in line she already found someone to teach. 
 This is Elder Snow (left) and Elder Dedrick both were going home. Elder Dedrick was a assistant to the President. Elder Snow was a Zone leader. Elder Snow lived in the same complex as we do. He is from Reserve, NM and his stake is the Eagar Stake in Eagar Az. We know some of the same people. Here is quite a guy. He is a pilot, a rancher, a gunsmith. He earned some of his mission money building rifles. We were very fond of him. I told him I'll see him when I get back to the White Mts.

 After I took the previous picture two other elders wanted in so I took this one. They are such fun to be with. The elder to the right didn't get the folding your arm when getting your picture taken memo. Love them.
 This is Sister Miller, she was going home also, and she lived in the same complex as we do.  Not that it matters, but look at the difference between the picture above and her, she is a little thing, but mighty powerful.
 Sister Pulley with her new companion, Sister Lino. Sister Lino was in the Spanish Branch.

I want to write a few other things, but I will write tomorrow. For now keep the faith

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco De Mayo dos mil y quince. Just a small post with a funny story and a work of art.

I was talking with Sister Craven after a Missionary Leader Conference and I heard a story about 2 Elders who painted a wall in their apartment. Someone said their apartment was dull and boring, so they decided to paint a wall to spruce it up and make a statement. The real problem is that someone has to repaint it, because they're not supposed to paint the apartment. And truth be told black, yes black, does not cover over very well. The Picture is really a work of art and a statement indeed.

You have to admit it is nice work. If you haven't ever seen a missionary tag, it won't mean as much, but if you have, it's pretty darn close. I offered to repaint with a one coat paint and coat it about 4 times! That's all for now, time is ---->flying ----> by. Love you all. So until next post, and a little more news, Keep the Faith.