Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Saint George, Easter Plans and... It's Going to Be Hard Taking Off My Missionary Tag!

Bill and I are leaving now for Saint George.  We are going to stay overnight there and drive in to Utah tomorrow.  I will be staying there with Lorinda and then Cherie, until April 23, so I can be there for Easter on Sunday and Jonas' and Lorinda's birthday on April 22.  
Bill will go spend that whole time and Easter with his sons, daughter and grandchildren (there is a lot going on there for him).  We will be going to Idaho on April 23, where we will finally be released from our mission by our stake president sometime after that.  
In the meantime, we are still on our mission.  In fact, I did some missionary work at the pageant last night and will be doing it with my name tag on until I am released.  After that, I will strive to be a good member missionary forever.  The work is true!  It has been an honor to serve Jesus Christ and bear testimony of Him and wear His name on the tag I joyfully have been wearing every day.  When I have to take the tag off, it will be, I think, like tearing part of my heart out. :(  
I feel like I could drive back to Tucson and Green Valley right now and serve another year... or forever!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mesa, Arizona Visit

After our last meeting and saying goodbye, we arrived in Mesa at about noon.  Mesa is a 2 hour drive from Tucson. 

We met Bill's sister and niece and their husbands in Mesa and attended the Mesa Temple Easter pageant in the evening. About 6,000 people attend each night and the pageant ends on Saturday.

Farewell Arizona Tucson Mission!!

I love this mission logo.

Last Day in Tucson... an Early Morning!

After packing half the night, we went to a meeting at 7am with President and Sister Killpack.  There were about 200 other missionaries there. Some were just arriving to the mission (6) and others going home (10) and others just being transferred to new locations. 
  The President interviewed us and the office staff gave us a nice plaque and a book of all the missionaries who have served here.  Very nice and a precious keepsake!

The mission office staff met us at the door and gave us this beautiful plaque.

Our precious gift and we just pray we have lived up to what it says.  We certainly did what we could most of the time but feel we are leaving a lot undone.  Now we will just have pray for and support those who come behind us.

Many Thanks!

Thank you, office staff, and thank you Heavenly Father for allowing us to serve in the great Tucson Arizona Mission.  We have grown to love all of God's children in this mission area and pray for them that the Gospel will spread more and more in their hearts as they accept  Jesus Christ and His true Gospel.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Arivaca Ranch Visit

We are going to the Arivaca Ranch today. It is a part of our ward boundary but is 25 miles southwest of Green Valley.
Members Ron and Peggy Searle own this boys ranch, where they help boys from all over the United States. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Brother and Sister Halvorsen Visit

Just left the home of Bro and Sister Halvorsen  (Alias candy bomber)  It is so hard to leave marvelous people like them who live in our ward.  They are ward missonaries so they have been a strength to us in so many ways.....besides showing us great Arizona hospitality.  He is 93 and she is 89.  
There will be a new film at the legacy theatre this fall (in Joseph Smith building).  The Halvorsen's and 4 other people from different places around the world will have their stories told in this film.  There was a sneak preview in SLC two weeks for them, the general authorities and others.  They told us about it and they had such a wonderful time......can we just imagine?  
But for now....we just arrived back home and can look forward to seeing them in the Provo-Orem area when they visit their family there and where they go to their second home....a ranch in Spanish Fork.  They told us to come visit them and they want to meet our families. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Our Farewell Party

Between morning and afternoon sessions of general conference today, the ward members gave a farewell party for us at the pavilion behind the Madera Ward building.
It was wonderful but at the same time...very sad because these people all mean so much to us and I am going to miss them !!!  
We are leaving April 15th.... so sad.  I do not really want to leave all my dear friends will be so difficult.  I wish I could just transport all of you to live here in this delightful area.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Bro England's friend and neighbor, Larry, who is pushing the wheelchair.  He now comes to church with him to help him with the wheelchair.  He is coming along slowly in the Gospel and we believe he will be a fine member in the future.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Beautiful view on our way to Mount Lemmon

On our way up Mount Lemmon to an obervatory at 9,000 ft!  We are with Elder and Sister Bowles.  They are a fun couple to be with and we have enjoyed their company and support.  They are from Murray, Utah.

We were told to bundle up and expect 45 degree it was windy  !!!  Don't look at my pink gym shoes  :) Its all I had and could find with a closed toe ..that didn't interfere with the ankle wound area and my crossed over toe needed a soft fabric to move in.  

This general store in a tiny resort town of Summerhaven at the top of Mt Lemmon. It is a ski resort area and the sky observatory is just beyond it.  Nice.  We actually saw a few patches of snow (it's April).  Haven't seen snow in a year!

Observatory at Mt Lemmon... Amazing!

Adam Block is a Professor from the University of Arizona.  He designed the program and was our instructor.  He is a well known astrologist.  
This observatory is the 2nd largest telescope in the world and is better than Kit Peak near Tucson.  We promised Adam we would advertise Mt Lemmon for him.  Adam also designed Kit Peak Observatory and says Mt Lemmon Observatory is better.  Of course, he earns more from the U of A (who funds his Mt Lemmon project)...but who is counting if it is the best.  It was a wonderful experience.  Outstanding !!!

Before going up to the observatory,  we watched the last two minutes of the sunset and just as it goes down.
We saw the green lining  (some call it the green flash.)  It was very exciting !!!   All of what we saw in the observatory was photographed by Adam and sent to my email.  Available from me upon request.  Just know it was fantastic !!!
Before we saw the green flash at the edge of the setting sun, Adam turned and cast his shadow on the building. Who could guess what color our shadows are?  If you said black, you are wrong.   If you said blue, congratulations for being smarter than most of us there!

One pic of many that we experienced.  We truly are connected to Heavenly Father and his creations.  In this immense universe, we must never forget what our Heavenly said, " that the worth of each soul is great in the sight of God."

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Here is a picture of Relief Society sisters with Debra in the middle (she is the one in yellow).

  She has been taught the Gospel and is preparing for baptism. She leads the music in Relief Society, bears her testimony in church and is my good friend.  I have enjoyed teaching her.  A guy who she dated who is a member introduced her to the church.

Lou Sampson

This golf cart belongs to Lou Sampson, whom I have mentioned earlier.  

When we approached her home for the first time, her stand and fight bumper sticker was good to see.  She answered her door that day, and invited us in after being inactive since teenage years.  She was ready to be taught and come back into the church.  She is an amazing person.  See more on her elsewhere in our blog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Day with 3 Wonderful Meetings!

We went to the dentist today and the assistant set up a time for us to teach her.  Her husband was a member, passed away and now she wants to know what he testified to her that he knew !!!  She is very excited.   
Then at the ward family history center, a non-member who was there every time I have been, was leaving to go back to her home in Canada in the foyer we talked about the church, which we couldn't do before. She wanted a Book of Mormon, and plans on going through SLC Temple square. I have her name and address (referral sent).
Next, we went to a hospital in Tucson to visit our friend, Cornell, who lives down the hallway from us at the Peaks.  He fell and had hip and shoulder surgery (sad). He is our good friend and we have been teaching him. He is 86, from Romania, lived in SLC for a few years and is an incredibly intelligent professional man. He is very spiritual. We had a wonderful experience with him today.  
After that, we hurried back to Green Valley (40 min south of Tucson) by 7pm for a meeting with Glen Greer, a formerly less active member but now very active.  We have been teaching him since last September. He comes to church all the time now (he had not come before) and he was just ordained a Priest a month ago. He was interviewed Sunday by the Bishop so he could become an Elder.  We will miss going through the temple with him to be endowed in June when he will also do his deceased wife's work and be sealed to her.  He is a home teacher now and Stake Single Adult Rep. A great guy who runs the Baja in Mexico with his super duper jeep. We taught him a lesson from the manual "Teachings of Joseph Smith" (which I don't have now because he was so interested in the lesson that I gave him the book !!!)  We gave the lesson on the experiences Joseph Smith had in liberty jail.  He was so touched by them,  The spirit was really strong.  He is an incredible guy... He is a miracle and we wrote about him and submitted it to be put in a mission book on miracles
So now... off to bed ...after a wonderful day of picture discoveries and extradinary missionary experiences.  Quite an amazing day !!!  It ranks among the top days I've experienced here on the mission.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Life at "The Peaks"

There are many parties at "The Peaks" where we get a chance to meet people and give exposure to the church.  It has been a good thing for us to live at this retirement center.

Valentine Party

My dear friend, Tommie (Rebecca), at a Valentine's party at "The Peaks" where we both live. She is 84 yrs old and is the life of the party. She has a member who is friend and who has brought her to three church activities plus one of four ward empty nester's parties we helped organize and had at "The Peaks" to expose people to the church.  

Our good friend, Tommy

Brother Stott, Tommy and Elder Marriott

Tommy loves dancing too.  She has shown an interest in the casual conversations we have had with her about the Gospel.  We cannot opening solicit at "The Peaks", but we lay a foundation wherever we can.  
She could easily be a member with the great spirit she has and I feel she will recognize the fullness of the Gospel when the time is right.  She is adorable !!!  

Brother Stott

Brother Stott loves cooking and here he is with his apple pie he brought to the party. 
Whenever we visit him, he always feeds us some goodies he has made.  

He just turned 91.  He is the empty nester's chairman.  Brother Stott is an engineer and from his younger years, he is famous for designing and building the lunar landing module.  He has served 3 missions himself.

President's Day Party

Our President's Day empty nester's ward party at "The Peaks".  Here are Brother Wilhelm, Sister Pitcher, Sister Longwell, and the RS President, Kathy Zollinger.  We had five less actives/non-members come and 15 members.  A good missionary effort!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Exercise class!

Weekday mornings from 9am to 9:30am is an exercise class I attended most of the time.  Many of the 150 people who live here have become my good friends and I have grown to love them. 

We have planted seeds of the Gospel with them whenever we could.  We also got to know them at social events we attended.  We could not proselyte at "The Peaks" but when people asked us, we could talk to them.  

We are teaching the family of a lady who works here.  She has been inactive since the age of 15 and is now having us teach her husband and three children.  They are working towards baptism.  A wonderful family.  
Besides us, three members live here also at "The Peaks".  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Gilbert Temple Open House

At the Gilbert Arizona Temple open house near Phoenix.  We are with Lou Sampson and Larry Charvoz , two now very active members and two of our miracle stories that are written up in our mission book. 

The Gilbert Temple

The Gilbert temple....the inside is very much like the Boston temple.  The layout of the dressing rooms and the staircase, etc.  So very beautiful !!!
We were able to attend the Gilbert Temple dedication at our own ward building.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I Heart Sister Missionaries

I love all the sister missionaries here...they are all so awesome !!!

Off the buses!

Off the buses !!! A bright warm 78 degree day !!! 

On the bus... and headed to a meeting with Lou Sampson

Still on the bus... We are meeting with Lou Sampson this evening, one of our miracle people who is no longer less active. She is a volunteer for Green Valley's Sheriff's Auxiliary and a well known speaker on how to avoid scam's.  She is a member of Sheriff's scam squad.   
Below is a picture of Lou Sampson and me at a Halloween parade where she was part of the patrol.

General Authority Talk at the Phoenix Convention Center

All of the Tucson Arizona Mission missionaries (about 280) are boarding 5 buses this morning to go to the Phoenix Convention Center (a 2 hour ride). We will meet with the Phoenix  missions and the Gilbert, Arizona mission and the total number of missionaries will be about 1,200.  
There will be a talk from a general authority.  It was going to be Elder Holland but we got word last night that he couldn't come.... so it will be a surprise !!!