Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flat Stanley's Adventure with Elder Sly

My grandson Gavin sent Flat Stanley to visit us for a couple of weeks. We were to take him around the mission with us on our adventures and report back. This was one of his first adventures he experienced.

A mission President's life is defined by the next phone call as was this event. On the way to a baptism we received a phone call from Elder Tallman explaining that Elder Sly was trying to open a box with a knife, and the knife slipped and went into his wrist. Blood was spurting out everywhere and Elder Tallman was calling to report that the ambulance was ready to take his companion to the hospital. In the emergency room they tried to sew up the wound only to find out that the entire arm ballooned up. A vascular surgeon was called in and did emergency surgery to repair a severed artery (which they didn't know was severed when they sewed him up in emergency causing the arm to swell up like a balloon). Because of the swelling he also had to cut open the back side of his arm and leave it open for the swelling to go down. He was later transfered to another hospital to do another surgery to try to close up the swollen arm and repair some nerve damage and tendon damage. Elder Sly was a lucky young man that day. He could have lost his arm if any more time had lapsed before the surgeon arrived. Just another average day in the mission.

Original repair of the artery of Elder Sly

I was ever so lucky to walk into Elder Sly's hospital room just in time to see the dressing of his wound unwrapped by the nurse. This was the open wound from the swelling. I was never told this was part of the job description.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Arizona Phoenix Mission Presidency

These are President's Counselors in the Mission. President Lopez helps out with all the Spanish Elders and Sisters, President Morris goes wherever the President needs him to be when he can't be there, President Begay is on the Navajo reservation and Elder Matsen keeps the President organized and schedules all his appointments and he also does a wonderful job of teaching the missionaries the doctrine. They love it! What a great group of men.

This is Elder and Sister Terry surrounded by their missionaries at transfers. Sister Terry loves the missionaries and loves to forward their mail and keep in touch with them. The Missionaries love her and Elder Terry too. They will finish their mission at the end of the month and it will be a sad day for all of us. They have added much to our office and mission. We love you Terry's!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September Incoming Missionaries

Our new missionaries are Elder White, Carroll, Northrup,
Birch, Harker, Ray, Hutchinson, Johnston, Kleme, Sieber

These are break outs from the MTC....ready to go to work!

Sister Matsen is my awesome helper and friend during transfers. She's there to not only help me but make me laugh. We had a hard time following a recipe that day because we were chatting too much. As we were visiting with the new missionaries we forgot to get the dinner started. Oops! Sister Matsen is therapy at its finest.

This is what you call a group of tired missionaries, preparing for the upcoming day where they will find out who their companion is and where they will be going to serve in the mission. Many of them came off the plane not feeling well. Four of them with bad coughs and colds and one with pink eye. Our mission doctor thought it was walking pneumonia for one of them. Everyone was coughing and sneezing, and it was making me very nervous as I visualized all those little bugs floating in the air of my house. What a way to start the transfer off, not to mention 2 of our reservation elders whom we think have H1N1 flu. We have had 12 missionaries call in sicknesses in the last two days. It is only September and we are feeling the effects of the flu season. It may be a long winter for me and missionary medical.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September Departing Missionaries

Elder Mousley, Leavitt, Bitton, Jepson, Petrich and Sister Walker were our departing missionaries!

We enjoyed an afternoon of reviewing their marriage lists of qualities they were going to look for in the process of finding their eternal mate....Elder Bitton said that top on his list was that she had to like Sponge Bob. We enjoyed a dinner and then a testimony meeting. It is amazing to hear them bear their testimonies and see the foundation which they have laid through their service in the mission. Later on they told me of their mission experiences. Elder Bitton told of a story in his mission of going to dinner at a members home and taking a bite and finding a grey hair sticking out of the food. He tried to remove it but it broke off. He didn't want to hurt the members feelings so...he just ate it. (Nothing like making me sick for the night). Elder Leavitt told a story of going to dinner at an older ladies house and where she kept feeding them. They were so full they felt sick. She then came out with a dessert in a bowl with grandma cookies around the dessert. (whatever grandma cookies are). He knew he couldn't eat one more thing so every time she looked away he would grab a cookie and put it on his lap and slowly move it down to his socks. He did this with all six cookies. On the way home in the car while his companion was driving, he reached down and pulled out a cookie and said, "Want a cookie?" and then threw it out the window. He continued to do this until all the cookies were gone. They had a good laugh over that one.

This is the coveted meal of Carne Asada prepared by President & Sister Lopez.
It is the missionaries last supper before they go home.

Weighing luggage to go home is sometimes a challenge as our missionaries find out they have accumulated quite a bit in the last two years. Many have to go through their luggage and discard to meet the requirements. Unfortunately I get the left overs. This is Elder Leavitt weighing in.

Waiting for departing flights and also for the incoming missionaries!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Southwest Mission President Seminar

We had the uplifting experience of attending the Mission President's Seminar in Dallas, Texas this year. It is always a highlight for all of us to be instructed by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. This year Elder Ballard and Elder Costa of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and their wives, gave us instruction. We were edified in so many ways. The mission presidents in our year of departing are show above; they call it our graduating class. There are actually 3 couples missing. They are incredible men and women whom we love and admire for their service and sacrifice. We were fed, as usual, extremely well, but he biggest feast was from Elder Ballard. He is truly an apostle and a man of God. We received much inspiration and guidance for our own mission. The time ended too quickly and it was time to return back to our missions. What an honor it was to be there with so many wonderful people.
This is Elder Ballard's wife Barbara. What a lovely,sweet and meek woman. The sacrifice these men and their wives make are unbelievable. They are always in the service of their fellowmen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Navajo Nation Fair

We went to Window Rock to observe and help with the displays booths that we put up at the Fair. It was a four day fair that I looked forward to going to for a long time. The mistake we made was going on the set up day when very few booths were set up. I had this vision of rows and rows of Navajo arts and crafts and jewelry set up. I had been waiting to find my piece of Navajo jewelry at this fair, but it didn't happen and I came home disappointed. Our booth did really well. We had over 200 referrals that we received from people just walking by. Our missionaries did a great job there.

There is a competition for Miss Navajo every year to demonstrate her traditional skills as an Navajo Woman. We watched the butchering competition where they took a mutton sheep and skinned and gutted it and then preceded to cut it up and cook it. It was interesting to watch her take out the intestines and flush it out. We watched the fry bread competition and many other Navajo Women skills. They are tough women and they do hard things I don't think I could do.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Visit to the Grand Canyon

Tiffany & Michael came for a visit and we went up north to stay with the Keils in the Grand Canyon Village. It was a quick trip but we were able to view an amazing creation, the Grand Canyon.
Nana took advantage of having Izzy and Baby Kate around

Saturday morning I took a walk over to the school to see all the Elk. I heard something off in the woods. It was the great one bugling. I crept up behind trees to get some pictures. Some of them were a little close for comfort, especially when he turned to me and started walking at a fast pace. His horns caught the tree limbs and I took a picture and ran. But I got the evidence in my pictures that it really happened.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Close Encounter

One of my highlights from our trip to the Grand Canyon was from a 6:00 a.m. walk to take some Elk pictures. I wandered over to the school where they bed down for the night in dozens. As I approached the school yard I heard some bugling off to the side. I looked and there was the great one. A huge Elder with a big rack. It is the rut so all of his women friends were surrounding them. I decided I would do what was daring and take some pictures. I hid behind trees and started snapping pictures at a very close range. Several times he looked at me, and looked annoyed. It wasn’t long before he turned away and went further into the woods. I should have been satisfied with the pictures I got, but I wasn’t and decided to follow him. I had to walk/run to keep up with him. He came to the small village street and started to cross over. I followed him at an angle and continued to snap pictures. After about three pictures, he stopped and turned to look at me as if he was saying, “I’ve had enough of you lady”. I got that picture and started to take another as he came rushing toward me. Luckily, his rack was so big that it slowed him down as he tried to go through the trees. I was through snapping pictures and I ran as fast as I could. I decided that was enough for me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interviews Snip-its

Our Gospel Study program continues to flourish as our missionaries are finishing the different levels of Gospel Scholarship. The Elders above have finished level 3 and are well on their way to being Preach My Gospel missionaries. For this accomplishment they receive a flashlight with the mission logo on it.
These missionaries have finished Level 2, which requires much study and memorization of scriptures they use for teaching their investigators. We are so excited that this has become and important goal for our missionaries. The only problem is that I have to fill out all the certificates for Level 1,2,4 & 5. One transfer I did over 100, but it is worth it to see the satisfaction they feel from their accomplishments.
We continue to give out "Cleanest Car Awards" in the mission after their cars are carefully checked by either Elder Peck or Loftgreen every 6 weeks. The Sisters have been ruling in the different Zones for having the cleanest car.
The hot spot on the reservation after interviews in Polocca is at Keams Canyon, where many of the missionaries stop for a double scoop of ice cream! Elder Ulima is really enjoying his!