Thursday, January 29, 2009

Elder L.Tom Perry's Visit to the Mission

It is not every day you get to have an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ dining with you. We had the humbling privilege of doing this on Thursday, when Elder Perry and his wife and Elder Neil L. Andersen and his wife, of the first Quorum of the Seventy and also our Area Seventy, Elder Pickerd, came to the mission to instruct our Priesthood leadership and also our missionaries to become united in purpose in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Arizona Phoenix Mission. With the help of our leadership in our Stakes, and with the help of our members, together we can become one in purpose.
Elder Perry is a man of God. He made us feel at ease and we so enjoyed the opportunity to be with him for a short day. Tyler got a little bonus when he called the mission home and asked to talk to Elder Perry. I just laughed and told him that Elder Perry was here but was resting because of his demanding schedule during the week. He said just have him call me when he wakes up....and I just chuckled. When Elder Perry woke up, I told him that my son had just called and jokingly said to have Elder Perry call. Sister Perry then chimed in and said "I'm sure Elder Perry will talk to him, won't you Elder Perry". President then dialed his number and he was so gracious to spend about 15 minutes talking to him. Tyler has been teaching new missionaries at the Missionary Training Center for almost a year now. He has spent a lot of time developing a model to teach the missionaries how to ask "inspired questions". He has done this with a passion. After Elder Perry finished talking to him, he hung up the phone and said to us, "That is one energetic young man teaching from "Preach My Gospel. Does he ever have time to go to class?" It was a real highlight of his day. The evening went well and I savored the moments we were with him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Who says We're Not Having Fun........

For the longest time our Assistants have been asking the President to take a Preparation Day with them. For all those who know President, it is get the work done first, and then you can play. This was a rare early morning where we just went to the local park, which stocked fish. All decked out in his fishing gear, the mighty fishermen when out to be "Fishers of Fish". It is a good thing they are better "Fishers of Men" than "Fishers of Fish", because they all got skunked, except Sister Beck who brought in 4 small fish. It was a fun morning of leisure with our Assistants.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Visit from Cincinnati Friends

Our good friends Robbie and Larry Clark flew in for the day because of business. They were able to drop in and observe a day of transfers as they happened. We were so glad to visit with them briefly. Robbie helped me prepare the dinner while training was going on.

New Missionaries Arrive to the Mission

On Tuesday morning we dropped off our outgoing missionaries and picked up 6 new ones. This was one of our smallest transfers. We were sent some wonderful missionaries who were ready to go out and do some real proselyting. After interviews, a wonderful dinner, and testimonies, our tired elders rested up for the next morning when they would find out who their new companion was and where they were going to serve. President Beck, Elder Bergeson, & Nielsen, ran 3 miles together the next morning.

Monday, January 12, 2009

January Missionaries Going Home

Elder Buhr is our first missionary to reach level five of Gospel Scholarship in the Mission since we have been here. He was awarded his Arizona Phoenix Mission flashlight" to indicate that he can light the way.

As our missionares come into the mission home for their last night, we bring out the air mattresses to sleep since our bedrooms are limited. It is truly a sleepover extraordinaire.
This is our latest group of missionaries who have completed their two year service to the Lord in Phoenix.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


We had a brief counsel before Travis and his family & Tracy and her family left on Jan. 5th. We told them how much we loved them and had enjoyed their visit. Then we gave them each a copy of the Book of Mormon and challenged them to do as we were doing with our missionaries. We were going to read the Book of Mormon in 60 days which was the amount of time it took Joseph Smith to translate the book. As they read we asked them to circle all the references to the Savior's name in one color and then in another color to underline all of his doctrine. From this, their testimony would grow and they would realize that the Book of Mormon was truly another Testament of the Savior Jesus Christ. There are over 6,000 verses in the book and over 4,500 of those verses refer to the Savior. There are over 100 names referenced to the Savior . In the 230 chapters only 6 of them do not mention something about Jesus Christ. This is a book that will help them draw closer to their Savior and is the most correct book of any on earth. It is the keystone of our religion as it is a witness of Jesus Christ and his mission.

There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives
the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find
greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid
deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow
path.... When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you
will find life in greater and greater abundance."

Ezra Taft Benson

Before they left Izzy had to pick her own orange.

Tiffany, Michael and the girls were the last to leave which was January 10th. What a delight it was to watch the girls every day in the actions with life. It was hard to see the last of them go.

The Pitts family left first which was New Years Day. Tricia was a real trooper as she attended all the activities during their stay. It was important to get her back to Cincinnati as she was heavy with child and due in 3 weeks.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Travis goes "Bowl Hopping"

Travis made a whirlwind "Bowl hopping Trip" this weekend and ended up in Phoenix to see the Fiesta Bowl. He brought Jordan and His Friend JD and his son Easton. All I can say is that my son is Sports Possessed. The ground he traveled from Thursday to Tuesday was insane. President was glad to step aside for a moment and celebrate the "University of Utah's" win in the Sugar Bowl. Go UTES!
Jordan spent the day with Nana while dad was at the game. We were able to go to the movies together for a date. This is Jordan picking some oranges to take home to his mom and sisters. Our trees are loaded with grapefruit and oranges. It is still quite strange to go out in the middle of January to 70 degree weather and plant flowers.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Just a quick update from the Arizona Phoenix Mission....time is escaping us and we are realizing that we have been in the mission 6 months now. So much has happened in that short time and as I look back I have seen my life change in so many ways. I have found that there is more to life than entertaining myself , and that there is much work to be done in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I I take time each day to read the scriptures then it helps me become closer to my Savior Jesus Christ and to focus on the things that are truly important in this life. We have adapted to the mission life now and we are enjoying serving the Lord and the missionaries in the mission.
It is amazing to me how I can get close to so many of our young Elders and Sisters in such a short time. Missionary Medical has been one of the avenues that has helped me, and I have so any funny stories that I have experienced from that. I never thought I would be able to remember all of their names, and though I am still working on it, President does knows them all. I guess that comes from interviews with them every 6 weeks and the bonding that is taking place.
Tomorrow will be our 5th transfer of missionaries in and out. It is amazing as they come into the mission not really sure of themselves or what is in store for them, and contrasting that with Elders & Sisters leaving to go home with strong testimonies of the work they have done and a firm foundation of who they are. Missions do incredible things for these young men and women as they turn their lives over to serving the Lord and others. It is amazing that the Lord uses these young and inexperienced men & women, and is able to mold them into the people they have potential to become, and also to be able to spread the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to his children on the earth.
The work is going forward. President Beck, in conjunction with the Lord, is working miracles here in the mission. Don’t get me wrong, we have a long way to go, but we feel like things are progressing. The church has increased our compliment of missionaries to 190, plus we have 16 senior couples that are serving here. That makes a total of 222 missionaries we have stewardship over. We are pleased to think the Lord has faith in our mission to increase our complement of missionaries. This tells us that there is much work to do in spreading the gospel to this part of the vineyard.
I must say that I have enjoyed the winter here. My blood is definitely thinning because when it gets down to 50 it is cold! I did miss the snow around Christmas, but was able to take a trip to the reservation for Zone Conference and get a small taste of it up there. That was enough to satisfy me.
One of the highlights this season was being able to go to the temple, both in Mesa and Snowflake with all our missionaries. It took quite a lot of planning to make it all happen with transportation and all, but we had a wonderful experience including a special lunch served to us by the Relief Society and then a Christmas Program followed by the lights at the Mesa temple, which were absolutely gorgeous. It was a spiritual day for all those in attendance.
Another highlight was having my children come out to visit us. Tiffany and Michael & Issy spent some time here before Thanksgiving and the week after, Mom & Dad and Tyler came and enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. Then for Christmas, Trish & Bill and the kids came and shared Christmas with us. It was so good to have them around and we enjoyed the pitter patter of little feet as they awaited the coming of Santa. It truly brought magic in the air. They left and in came Travis & Jordan & his friends to spend a couple of days. They were BOWL hopping, and were here for the Fiesta Bowl. All these visits were a a good break for me and I enjoyed spending time with all of them.

Now, it is back to real missionary life, which doesn’t include all the play we did during the Christmas holiday’s with everyone. We have a busy schedule ahead of us with a lot of speaking assignments in our Stake Conferences weekly. In January we also have an apostle coming! Any good ideas on what you serve an apostle of the Lord for dinner? It will be a wonderful experience to just be in his company for the day he will be here.

The Lord has blessed us as we are witnessing miracles through small and simple things. The gospel changes lives and it is exciting being a part of that. It is a very humbling experience to be here as an emissary for the Lord Jesus Christ. We appreciate all your prayers in our behalf.

President & Sister Beck