Saturday, November 30, 2013


This is a picture of Thanksgiving last year in our home in Missouri...(the adult table) there are 8 others at the children's  table just a few feet away including Jacob 
This is Thanksgiving this year in the Mission Home....and yes Jacob did indeed make it the adult table! Who would have thought at the age of 12!  With only the four of us, it was different for sure. 
For some reason we thought we would have a house full of missionaries who wouldn't have a place to go for their Thanksgiving meal.  And rather than just hoping that our children (that couldn't be with us) were able to celebrate a great Thanksgiving without us, we found ourselves hoping the same for these sweet 280 missionaries. But we should have known better that plenty of people/families were all wanting and taking great care of our missionaries!  Some missionaries even had more than one feast.  
These are some great missionaries (Elder Gregory and Elder Schoenrock) that serve in the ward we attend who were kind enough to visit and share a message with us Thanksgiving Eve.  Not sure if they realize how much we needed it.  Our missionaries take such great care of us.

We were happy to know that Alex (oldest) was having Thanksgiving with his in-laws and staying with grandparents in Denver
(Alex and Chelsea can't claim that cute baby as their own, but it sure is a great look for them!)

and Isaac (second oldest) was having Thanksgiving in Utah with family.  
So in discussing the advantages and disadvantages in having only the 4 of us together for Thanksgiving...
  • Missed having family and friends to laugh and bond with
  • Not having all the yummy different signature dishes from different families (lets be honest here, mostly the women)like aunt amy's grape jello, aunt Michelle's candied sweet potatoes, aunt Lorrie's green bean bake, aunt Harmony's creamed corn, grandma Ames coconut cream pie, etc.
  • Too quiet at the table (can't stuff in silence)
  • Did we mention it means more food to eat?
  • There's empty chairs at the table
  • Not being able to hear all the random stories 
  • Getting behind on what is going on in each other's life
  • Having to cook all of the food ourselves 
  • More food to eat......
  • More food to eat (its hard to beat Thanksgiving leftovers)
  • Less food to have to cook (that so didn't happen)
  • Able to be more flexible with time (unless want the food warm)
  • Able to use real dishes and utensils that actually match
  • The adult table becomes more readily available (life changing for sure!)
  • Preparing it all together! Even the children are able to participate in cooking the entire Thanksgiving dishes/meal, and if it doesn't turn out or is ruined...only 4 people know about it!

Jessica made amazing sweet potatoes
good thing only the 4 of us know about this pumpkin pie!

 Overall Thanksgiving was a great success even with just the 4 of us, to a meal that we all had helped prepare together.  No matter how many are at the table, it is always a great time to reflect on the many blessings we are given and that it is much more about the food.  And it was nice knowing that ALL of our other loved ones were being taken care of as well.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Missionary Leadership Council

Missionary Leadership Council

  • Meet Monthly (as early in the month as possible)
  • One day for 4-5 hrs
  • Mission president and his wife, assistants to the president, zone leaders, and sister training leaders.
  • Agenda items include:
    • Accountability for prior month
    • Counsel on needs and challenges
    • Training on the month's missionary training plan

These are the new leaders of the mission and they are awesome.  Its so fun to counsel together, to get their thoughts, impressions and ideas on how to carry them out.  They are so inspiring, loving and fun to be around.  Truly great leaders already.  

"In all of living, have much fun and laughter, Life if meant to be
     enjoyed, not just endured." 
                                                      President Gordon B Hinkley

Friday, November 15, 2013

Zone Conference (Friday)


Zone Conference

  • Held Quarterly involving one or more zones assisted by Zone leaders and President's assistants. 
  • About six hours
  • Agenda items include:
    • Doctrinal instruction
    • Training and Teaching
    • Obedience, motivation, espirit de corps
    • Health, safety, handbook issues, referral follow up
    • Uplifting/Musical number
  • And an amazing lunch prepared and served by volunteers. 
When President Ames was on his mission at the age of 19, he faced some difficulties and challenges.  During this time he came up with the phrase, "Fire burns wood but tempers steel, I am made of steel." It became his manrta throughout his entire mission and continues to be so today.  At Zone Conference, President Ames gave the missionaries a challenge, that if they so chose to accept it, they were to take some time and read the question written upon the piece of steel that was given to him by Sister Ames many years ago.  But only if they were willing to answer the question on the back.  He then placed in on the table and it proved to be very powerful and thought provoking.

Zone Conference (Friday)

Cleanest Car Companion Award
Cleanest Cars/Zone Award

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Zone Conference (Thursday)

Zone Conference (Thursday)

Cleanest Companion Car Award!!
Cleanest Cars/Zone Award including M&M'S=Missionary Miracle!
These sweet Elders were asking about the blog and asked if their parents could follow it. I told them only if I could get a picture of them to post. They happily complied... LOVE this picture in that it truly captures the light, joy and kindness  Elders possess. 

FOURTH Mission! LOVE the Senior Couples!!
This particular couple have 10 children and 43 grandchildren that they have left behind.  When asked if they use to get together often with them, they said every single Thanksgiving!  The day after it was tradition to go and get a Christmas tree to decorate and then Grandpa made his famous homemade Chili.  They are amazing examples.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Zone Conference (Wednesday)

Zone Conference (Wednesday)

Cleanest Car Companion Award!!


 Cleanest Cars/Zone Award (each receiving a packet of M&M's= Missionary Miracle!!)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Zone Conference (Tuesday)

Tuesday Zone Conference
Cleanest Car Companion Award

Practicing!! (Role-Playing)