Monday, November 21, 2011

Family and Church History Mission

Elder & Sister Harwood, District Leaders
Elder & Sister Jackson
Sister Janet Allen from Australia
Elder Sy ("see") from California, really wants to go to New Zealand after his mission, so we gave him our NZ flag when we left. He was SO excited.
Elder Farnes at one of our computers.

From October 17-November 16, almost five weeks, we served as missionaries in the Family and Church History Mission in Salt Lake while waiting for our visas to New Zealand. We were assigned to the "Patron Assistance" district, where we spent our days at the computer filling requests for patrons out of the state (and sometimes out of the country) who wrote in requesting copies of various documents, i.e. birth, death, marriage certificates. We would find these documents for them, most of the time on microfilms, and then make them copies. It was interesting work, and we felt that we were making a contribution from Day 1. We also met some very, very nice people. Our district leaders were Elder & Sister Harwood from Idaho, who were just wonderful. Our favorite young elder was Elder Sy (see), also from Idaho. He really wants to go to New Zealand someday and was thrilled when we gave him our New Zealand flag as we left. Each Monday we had an hour devotional in the Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg chapel, and the other four days of the week we had prayer meeting with our district each morning. One other highlight of our stay at the FHL was getting to meet Elder & Sister Marks, who are good friends and neighbors of President & Sister Kezerian, who will be our leaders in New Zealand.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mission Training Center

We entered the MTC on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, and spent the next five days learning how to be effective missionaries, primarily using PREACH MY GOSPEL in all our classes. There were 76 senior missionaries who were in our group, eight in our district, and two of those eight were members of our American Fork East Stake: Elder & Sister Gibb, who were going to Bolivia. One of the most delightful couples in our district were Elder & Sister Oakley from Texas (near Dallas), and they had been called as nurses to the Tennessee Mission. Our group was a big one, but the MTC had its biggest group of senior missionaries the previous week: 102. We loved the MTC, even though Elder Farnes didn't particularly enjoy the role playing. We also had brand new, never-lived-in-before accommodations, so we were quite spoiled. On Tuesday evening we had a devotional, and the speaker was our General Relief Society President, Julie Beck. Before the devotional started, we sang a number of hymns as a 2500+ group, and that's an incredible feeling, especially singing "Called to Serve." It was so much fun sharing our excitement with the young missionaries ...just a superb week all the way around.

Here we are at "The Map."

Our whole district, L-R, Elder & Sister Oakley, US, Brother Sillitoe, Elder & Sister Danielson (district leader), and Elder & Sister Gibb.