Tuesday, October 29, 2013
President Wheeler and I wondered what in the world we would do for seven hours in London while we waited for our connecting flight. No worries. You just flash your badge and missionaries come out of the woodwork. We had the best time. Before we had to board our flight we had met 32 missionaries who were either coming or going. Some were on their way to Provo to the MTC. Some were coming from the MTC in Provo heading to their missions, and some were going home. One Elder even met his Dad in the airport. He knew his father was on business in Germany and would be at the airport at about the same time, but do you know how big Heathrow Airport is??? Chances of them meeting are slim, but it happened. The single sister missionary was so glad to see another Sister. We had lunch together and a lovely chat. She is from Mozambique. She had been at the MTC in Provo and will serve 18 months in Madagascar. She and her sister are the only members in her family. Her mother wants to be a member and is very supportive of her mission but she is married to a polygamist and can not be baptized unless she divorces. Another Elder from Mozambique told his story. At age eight, his family kicked him out of the house. He went to live with his cousin who was a member of the church. They were so poor, he would go days without food. He would go to church with no shoes on his feet and in ragged clothes. He said, "Sister Wheeler, I was so embarrassed to go to church like that, but something told me to just keep going anyway." He did. He was baptized and is now serving a mission. Thanks to your donations to the missionary fund. If you can, please continue to donate. Your contributions change lives and the lives of generations to come. We are seeing this first hand. I know my contributions will increase. The photo with President Wheeler is with an Elder who is going home to Arkansas and knows Paul's brother Kelley very well! Small world story!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Our two beautiful daughters provided us with one last Sugar Fest. What was my favorite??? I think it was the Coconut Cake. No, maybe it was the Chocolate Chip and Tuxedo cookies. Or was it the apple cake that I had for breakfast the next morning. Anything made by these two chefs is mmmm, mmmm good! Paul packed some leftovers to take with us on our three day journey. He was still eating crumbs from the cookies when we arrived in Port Alfred. I wish we had some now.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
We were able to squeeze in a temple trip with our Utah kiddos before we left. We will be able to go to the Johannesburg Temple next summer. We are so grateful for the time we were able to spend as temple workers in Las Vegas before we left. The blessings of the temple are paramount.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Our district at the MTC was the best. We spent hours and hours with these great people. From left to right is Sister Tohl, our trainer, and then the Somerfeldt's. This is their second mission. The first was to Italy and they will be serving in the Philippines. Next are Brother and Sister Bangerter. Yes, they are related to every Bangerter you can imagine. He is a cousin to Ryan's mission President. This is their sixth mission. He is 85 years old. They have 12 children and 53 grandchildren. They will be serving in Loma Linda, California. Next to us is Brother and Sister Andrus. They are from California and will be serving in the Durbin, South Africa Mission. We will be neighbors. And yes, it is true. The MTC is an amazing experience. We learned so many things. Probably one of the most profound was to recognize that this is HIS work. Listen to the spirit and get out of the way and let it happen.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Paul's amazing, super, multi-talented, lovely sister Kaye hosted a dinner for us on Wednesday, October 23rd. We love the Riley and Kaye Nelson family for more reasons than I have fabric. I will miss them terribly. We again had a delightful evening of visiting, laughing, talking, and crying. One of the highlights of the evening was going through a box of old photos that mother had. We found some treasures. We drove mother home and hugged and kissed this angel, for truly she is.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
We had so many fun gatherings with our loved ones prior to leaving. The Jensen siblings and their spouses gathered at Ruth Anne's home in Ogden. Ruth had prepared a lovely meal for all of us. She insisted on preparing it entirely herself. Not a small task given the fact that she is 81 years old. She is and has always been the perfect hostess. We ate and laughed and talked and cried. Back row left to right is Richard, Marvin, Jay, and David. The girls are Carol, Ruth, and me. Jay left for his assignment on October 30th to serve as the Temple President for the Cochubamba Temple in Bolivia. This will be the last time we gather for three years. Our sister Lou's husband was there along with our brother Alma's wife Catherine Anne. Alma and Lou passed away in 2006. That accounts for nine of us. Our brother Niel, who never married, passed away in 1970.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
We were sooo surprised to find a jungle theme party that Ryan and Wendy had put together for us after we spoke in church on October 13th.
More laughing, talking, and of course, more eating!
Wendy made themed name tags for all of the food
Wendy is not called Wonder Woman for nothing. She is clever, smart, amazing, fun, and talented. This whole presentation was Pinterest worthy!