Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Arrivals

WELCOME Elders Barker, Colovich, Flukicker, Freeman, Johnson, Kelley,
Malmberg, Morton, Neiman, Dye, Zeldon, Grasley, Cava, Peterson, Romwell,
Rivas & Sister Wells

Awaiting their luggage

President & Sister Beck welcome our newest arrivals to the mission

Sister Clark helps the new missionaries fill out their arrival information

Good Home Cookin'

Orientation by the Assistants

"With You All the Way"
A send off message for the new Arrivals

Meeting their new Companions/Trainers

Sister Wells is welcomed by our Spanish Sisters

Our many mattresses can you fit in the back of a missionary truck?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Elder Beames Returns

Elder Beames and his mother and sister visited the mission on the day after
Christmas. He was welcomed by all in the wards he visited.
Everybody loves Elder Beames!
He was a spiritual giant and great leader in the mission.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

It was a different Christmas this year. No one to come jump on our bed in the early morning hours
to say that "Santa" had come. No rush to get things going before Christmas Brunch. Just a quiet time to reflect on the meaning of this day of the Savior's birth. Our connection with the family was SKYPE this year. We were able to visit with each family and watch the opening of presents with the grandchildren. It wasn't the same, but it was good to be able to see the excitement and happy faces on all of them. Thank goodness for technology which allows us to be a part of their lives from so very far away.

We were invited to the Beechers, Sarah's family, for Christmas dinner. We had delicious B-BQ ribs and thick juicy stakes and grilled asparagus. It was absolutely delicious and a perfect ending to a perfect day.

A White Christmas

It was a white Christmas in the Arizona Phoenix Mission. This is two of the 10 baptisms we had on Christmas Day. The Phoenix Zone couldn't think of a better way to Celebrate the Saviors Birth with these two baptisms.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Even though we didn't have all our family here this Christmas, we still followed the traditional Christmas Eve program. We enjoyed having the Clarks, from Cincinnati, who are serving as service missionaries, Tyler & Sarah and also The Anderson Family who use to live in Cinti but now live in Chandler. We were also privileged to have all four assistants come. It began with a Christmas dinner of brisket and the trimmings.

We all joined together to play Christmas hymns with the Chimes. I must admit this was our most talented group who were able to play in a way we could actually tell what song it was.

It was time for the essence of the evening. The reading of Luke 2. We didn't have all the little kids this year to play the parts including baby Jesus, but that didn't stop us. Sarah starred as the angel, Tyler was the Star, Sarah & Erik were Mary and Joseph, and our wonderful Assistants were the Three Wise Men and a Shepherd.
There was no chaos and we actually were able to hear as President read the Christmas Story.

Thanks for being good sports Elders.

We always end with Christmas Bingo and pass out presents for those who get Bingo. Then we finished with Peppermint pie with hot fudge sauce and it was off to bed to wait for that special Christmas guest.

We celebrated Christmas with Tyler and Sarah that night as they were going to Mesa to be with
Sarah's family. It was actually a very quiet Christmas for us. It was a time for reflection as we read
that night about the Saviors Birth after everyone had gone.

Tyler and Sarah's visit before Christmas

It was wonderful to have a visit from Tyler and Sarah before Christmas. They came down at the beginning of the week and stayed until Christmas Eve. We enjoyed having at least a little of our family to celebrate the season. Sarah and I did a lot of damage in the kitchen. We had dough and dishes everywhere as we made Christmas Orange Rolls and lots and lots of dinner rolls for the Christmas Eve Dinner. We even made our traditional Peppermint pie with hot fudge sauce. The only problem was I ran out of Peppermint ice cream and we went everywhere to find it. You would think I would learn after years of experience in knowing it sells out fast. Thanks for the help Sarah!


Getting the Mail out before Christmas

It took the whole office staff to assist Sister Ely who is tracking and sending out packages to all the missionaries so that no one will be without. The day before Christmas we were still receiving lots of packages from families back home. Applauds for Sister Ely and all she did to make it all happen.

Some missionaries were without packages from home, so the Buckeye Stake Relief Society put together beautiful gift bags which were delivered on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good-bye Sister Hoof

We will miss Sister Hoof as she returns home this week. This is a Sister who truly made a difference!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'll Be Home For Christmas!

Elders Kear, Marr, Evanson, Bergeson and
Sisters Williams & Pehrson!
As the time for transfers drew nigh, President Beck decided that he would send the December departing missionaries home for Christmas, rather than wait until 2 days after. This was not a very popular decision with the missionaries as they wanted to have one more Christmas in the mission. They had grown to love their investigators and those they served and weren't so sure they wanted to leave them. I know that a lot of families were appreciating the early arrival of their missionary though.

Each missionary looks forward to Presidente Lopez's carne asada dinner.

Departing missionaries surround the heater as President & Sister Beck prepare
them for what is to come when the go back home. This includes the "M" talk!

When the Elders go home they sign a tie for me. Someday I will make a skirt out of
the ties from the missionaries as a reminder of each of them.

A time for reminiscing the past 2 years of service as the look at the albums of pictures.

A little pingpong match before bedtime

Elder Bergeson & Elder Evansen decided to spend an hour after testimony meeting to go out with the Assistants to go for their last tracting experience. What a way to end your mission Elders!

Coming Home from the Hospital

This is a favorite picture of ours. His first photo shoot. They call it
"The grumpy little Elf".
Merry Christmas to All!

Taylor is leaving the hospital and saying good-bye to all those who took care of him since he came. He spent his first 7 weeks in the hospital but was able to come home on November 20th, which was his original due date and the birthday of his mother. What a wonderful birthday present to give your mother Taylor!

Everyone was elated when little Taylor came home from the hospital. Even though he still has his struggles we are happy he is home with his family. Celeste (Nana) and the boys show this joy in their faces.

How precious is life! We are so grateful for all the tender mercies of the Lord this season. To see the struggles of little Taylor so early in his life has been difficult for all of us and especially him, but we give thanks for the trials we have so that we can learn and grow from them and turn more completely to Christ and his infinite atonement.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Zone Conference

Elders Pickett, Bingham, President & Sister Beck, Elders Klemme, Tripp

Peoria and West Maricopa Zones

Deer Valley & Glendale North Zones

Cottonwood Zone

Prescott Zone

Phoenix North Zone

Peoria North & Surprise Zones

Prescott Zone

Glendale & Phoenix North Zones

The Buckeye and Goodyear Zones

The Phoenix Zone