Friday, June 28, 2013


Because our flight left so early Friday morning, we stayed in a hotel next to the airport... and even with only 4 hours of sleep, we were excited, ready and on time! And a good thing too because apparently we had a tad bit more luggage than we realized...(about 3 years worth) 

Of course all of the luggage needed new tags with our new address

One doesn't have to imagine what is going on inside his head...its written all over his face-:-)

Once we made it on to the plane, it didn't take long for Rodney to strike up a conversation with the passenger sitting next to him.....

while the rest of us caught up on some much needed and wanted sleep.

We finally made it to Fort Worth Texas!!!

And it can now be said.....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Journey....part III

Just to recap:
We've packed up the house, rented our house, drove from Missouri to Utah.  Visited (and pretty much set up camp at Alex and Chelsea's house), Rodney and Jacob flew back to Missouri to attended Scout Camp, Jessica attended BYU Provo, Isaac got two jobs for the summer (and is starting to have some awesome, cute dates), we attended a family reunion, attended the MTC, attended an unexpected and tragic funeral, attend a performance of Alex's accapela group Concrete, (who was asked to open for the Rockapella,)  was set apart as Missionaries, spent some amazing time together as a family, which brings us to our last night together until hopefully Christmas when they can come and visit.  Isaac had to work, the 6 of us went to eat and then met up with Isaac at work for dessert and one last hug.  
It was a bitter, sweet night.  We were excited to start our mission, but sad to have to say good bye.  


Isaac...doing what he does @ work 




Saturday, June 22, 2013


We didn't know what to expect as we entered the MTC.  We were filled with much anticipation,excitement, curiosity and joy!  The happiness that we were feeling is hard to explain.  Maybe it comes from the fact that we had heard so many amazing things about the MTC. Or maybe it was the fact that we had dropped two sons off at the MTC, or maybe it was all of the above (not to mention Rodney had attended there himself, just 27 yrs ago) Our original plan was to get all the kids to drop us off and then cry, or rather sob as we waved good-bye.  But my son had a good point in his remark, "uh, mom you know you are only there for 5 day, where we were going to be gone for like 2 yrs".  So we stayed the night before at the Marriott, ate a complimentary breakfast, and drove ourselves.  It was a neat experience....
When we pulled up, the guard at the gate welcomed us by saying, "Hello President and Sister Ames"! As you can imagine, we felt pretty special (until we realize that those who worked at the MTC had memorized all 173 Mission President's names and faces!) Even so, we still felt very special!

After being greeted but our assistant, who happen to be the older brother of Chelsea (our daughter-in-law)! We were given our packet, BIG manuals, and further directions. 

 Its official!

Called to serve!!

Hello there President Ames
There was a special broadcast held, Sunday June 23rd, at the Marriott Center @ Brigham Young University.  It was historic and we have to say, we loved our seats.

This was the choir, it was full of missionaries and other volunteers, including 3 of our children....Alex, our daughter in law Chelsea and Isaac!  Alex and Isaac would be the ones in the dark suits and tie, Chelsea is the one wearing the pretty blue blouse. They sounded amazing!
Then it was back to the MTC for more training!
SO MTC- It turned us inside out. Physically, Spiritually, Mentally and even Socially.  It was intense.  The first day was comparable to school orientation, you visit an area and wait your turn, give them your name and they give you the info that you need, etc even took out picture. It was so organized and each station even had treats and snacks. (The chocolate milk was amazing)   While we sat and waited our turn, we would visit with all the other couples- and that was nice. At first it was kind of awkward, and we were like shy school kids on a playground. Some of the couples looked traumatized, some terrified and some ignorantly bliss- then you had the ones who looked like they knew exactly what they were doing, looking confident and fearless. But it didn't take long for us to start talking with other couples, and becoming fast friends, gaining strength from their faith and testimonies.  It didn't take long to realize all the many sacrifices made by these couple.  It was so inspiring to look around and see how many gave us so much of their worldly desires, how so many gave up professions, spending time with families, children and grandchildren, all from a phone call to serve, based on the conviction of what they knew to be true.  They were true to themselves.  I couldn't help but think of the saying...."To thine own self be true". 

  After orientation, we had lunch, checked into the Marriott (MTC was booked) and got ready for the next day. All of the twelve and their spouses happened to be staying at the same Marriott as us and so it was really neat to visit with them in the foyer, elevators, and parking lot.  The next day was Sunday and we got to sit up on the front row where President Monson spoke to us and he spoke with so much power! It was truly inspiring. The missionaries blessed and passed the sacrament, and some missionaries sang to us-
It was so awesome.  One evening we were divided up into 12 groups and each group got to eat dinner with an apostle.  We got to eat with Elder Hale and his wife and hear some thoughts from them. The last night each President and their wife got to actually spend a couple of hours with our missionaries that were serving in the MTC at the same time, getting ready to head out the next week!  We had 27 at the MTC! When we first walked into the classroom, and saw all 27 missionaries, I just broke out in a "Howdy Y'all"! That pretty much broke the ice, because they were all standing  "attention like" like soldiers getting ready to salute- like what you would see at a military camp, so respectful!  But after my spastic entrance, they seemed "at ease" ha and then once we greeted them all, and had them introduce themselves, we just let them ask us any questions that they wanted.   They were so AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL! They were SO happy, confident and so sure of who they were, what they were doing.   No fear just confidence and faith.  At the end, one of the Elder's asked if they could each take a minute and bear their testimony to us....President Ames said, "Absolutely! So because of the time, you have one minute and if that's not enough you have 60 seconds." ;-) Their testimonies were so mature and confident. Needless to say, Rodney and I were on a high for the rest of the night and it was truly one of my most favorite memories of the MTC.
Overall, we left the MTC feeling empowered and ready to hit the ground running!

Note to those who are not members of our faith:

Learn a little about the Missionary Training Center

Missionary Training Center

Missionary Training Centers (MTCs) are centers devoted to training missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Sign near entrance at Provo MTC
At the beginning of their service, LDS missionaries usually spend 3–12 weeks at an MTC where they receive training in doctrine, conduct, proselytizing methods, and, when required, a foreign language. There are a total of 15 MTCs in nations throughout the world, in locations in addition to Provo, including ArgentinaBrazilChileColombia, the Dominican RepublicGhanaGuatemalaMexicoNew ZealandPeru, the PhilippinesSouth Africa,Spain, and the United Kingdom.
New missionaries assigned to the Provo MTC arrive Monday–Wednesday (couple missionaries on Monday, international arrivals on Tuesday, U.S. and Canada on Wednesday), at which point they begin using their titles of "Elder" (for the men) and "Sister" (for the women). They are assigned companions and organized into districts and branches. During their training, the elders and sisters will spend the majority of their time in class, with breaks for meals, church services, temple attendance, fitness activities, service projects, and personal preparation time (for laundry, letter writing, etc.).
Missionaries have historically been given at least three weeks of training in proselytizing methods. This includes lessons on church doctrine and teaching, mission rules, and proper interactions with the people they will serve, teach, and work with in their assigned missions. Missionaries are also encouraged to use their time outside class to actively study church scripture and doctrine, and a language if necessary.
In many cases, missionaries who already speak the language of their assigned area are sent to their mission after just three weeks. Other missionaries may spend as many as nine additional weeks in language training. The Missionary Training Center language programs encourage a full immersion experience with the motto "SYL" for "Speak Your Language". In some cases, missionaries learning foreign languages go directly to the MTC in the country where they are called to serve. This depends on the capacity of the MTC in the area.
Each MTC is directed by a mission president, just like each of the 405[1] missions worldwide (this number can change frequently). Classes in the MTC are typically taught by returned (former) missionaries. The missionaries are also assigned to small congregations called branches, which are led by local church members called to serve in the MTC.
The facility includes a large gymnasium, cafeterias, a medical clinic, a bookstore, a mail center, laundry facilities, classrooms, and residence halls. A day at the MTC can involve many different activities, including visiting the cafeteria, enjoying some exercise in the gym, and engaging in personal study. Missionaries spend much of their time in classroom activities.
Although the MTC has excellent facilities and an outstanding training curriculum, missionaries feel that the spirit of the MTC is their best learning and teaching aid. The MTC experience is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for many missionaries, and yet they anxiously await the day when they will depart to their assigned missions. After weeks of training, missionaries leave prepared to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people around the world.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The passing of Brian Sargent

When we began this blog, our intent was to document our journey before our mission and during our mission with some other adventures along the way.  We never expected or ever fathomed that we would be attending the funeral of Brian, our sweet Millie's husband.  It happened the week of the 17th. Rodney was in Missouri at Scout Camp with Jacob, Jessica was at EFY and I had just gone to visit Millie and Brian the night before, where Brian shared experiences of his mission, gave me much needed information that would help me be the the wife of a Mission President and told me again how proud he was of Rodney and me.  Brian always made us feel so awesome.  We entered the MTC that next Saturday for the week and were able to attend his viewing the very day we got out of the MTC.  We then were able to attend his funeral the day before we left for our Mission to Fort Worth, Texas. We consider it a small miracle that we had that one day open before flying out the very next morning.  God's hands truly are in all things. Millie is the youngest sister of Rodney, and is 7th of the eight children.  After High School, she headed West and there she met Brian her sweet husband.  They have 3 beautiful children
This is a picture that Brian had on his Facebook.   We love it for so many reasons.  We love the caption that he added,   because they do in fact have it all, they have been sealed as a family and are truly an eternal family.  Their firm belief is that they will be together again.  What comfort this sweet sentence gives! To all who believe. 
There are so many things we love and could say about Brian, but will only share a few....
1. He was so giving. He always was thinking of others, even when he was hurting.  
2.We loved the way he treated Millie.  He always talked very kind and lovingly to and about Millie. He would do anything for her.
3.When Alex and Chelsea held their Open House in Utah (after their reception in Kansas City)Brian was the first one there to help and the last one to leave.  That is just the way Brian was.  Alex and Chelsea had the opportunity to go on camp-outs with them and he inspired Alex in many ways including his love for gun collections.;-)
4. He was always doing kind deeds, a lot went without others knowing. He never did it for glory or attention.
5. Our wedding anniversary is the same month/day and so Every year Brian would ask Rodney and Kim to go on a "anniversary cruise" together, and we always had reasons why we couldn't, but finally did last summer, we went. 

Love how happy Brian looks here.....

Thank you Brian, we'll always look up to you in many ways.
Alex, Isaac and Jacob at the grave site 

Jessica, Alex and Rodney

These balloons were released to the song, "Somewhere over the Rainbow" after Brian's grave was dedicated by his Father.  It was breathtaking.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Journey...Part II

Our plan was to stay in a hotel near Alex and Chelsea, but once we got to their house and saw that they had 2 extra bedrooms, (and an extra large sofa) we offered to take the money that we had budgeted for the hotel and put it into their new house.  It was an offer they could not refuse and so we spent Saturday installing ceiling fans, window blinds, and cooling units.  It was a lot of fun to be together and their house is perfect for the two of them at this time in their life. And really how much of a bother could we be?..................

Bentley sure doesn't seem to mind 
A mother's worst fear upon returning from her morning walk.... to find in front of her son and daughter-in-law's home, comcast vans (w/trailer I might add) orange cones, workers, cables and ladders leading to power lines, because it can only mean one internet!! (okay mother's 2nd worst fear) 

This is the view from their house...Alex and Chelsea are constantly being nagged by mom if they appreciate their beautiful mountains.....

While we were there, Alex's acapella group got an invitation to open for a well known acapella group, Rockapella, who was perfoming in South Jordan

It was a treat to say the least to see Alex perform once again!


Alex up front and....on the right

Because it would be another 3 yrs before Rodney would be able to go to Scout camp with Jacob, they spent the week of the 17th at Scout Camp back in KC and Jessica attended EFY in Provo with a good friend from KC