Sunday, September 27, 2009

The best of time & the worst of times

It will be the best of times.......
Mission reunion is just around the corner and we are excited!!!! October 2 5-8pm
Chapel at 200 N 200 E Orem, UT 84057
We are suggesting if you would like to help by bringing food here is your assignment:

**We are bringing enough pulled pork and buns to feed a small army.
**Senior Missionaries- Bring extra large pasta salad
**Sister Missionaries- Squares/Dessert of any kind
**Provo/Orem area- Bring fruit (any kind will do)
**Greater Salt Lake City- Green salads (Leafy or broccoli ... or any other kind)
**Logan area- Bring veggies please
**Rexburg area- Chips... lots and lots of chips

You can really bring anything you want. I still encourage healthy eating in case you can't tell. It would be great if everyone can help out in some way so you won't go away hungry. Also- if your region isn't listed here, it doesn't mean you are off the hook- bring whatever!

It is also the worst of times.

Elder Clayton Bruce Hanks passed away this past week. Our hearts go out to his family. The family is planning the viewing for Thursday (Oct 1) evening and the funeral will be on Friday (Oct 2). Detailed information will be in the Salt Lake Newspapers sometime this week.

Elder Anairon (AJ) Faust's parents were in a car accident last week. His father was killed and his mother is in Intensive Care in a Reno hospital. They won't transport her to Utah until she can walk and breathe on her own. There are still 8 children at home in Mapleton. AJ and his wife just had their second child about three weeks ago so his plate is full.

Please keep both of these families in your prayers.

Much of this information is on facebook, please rsvp for the CCM mission reunion event so we have some idea as to how many to plan for.

We love you all very much and you are all still in our prayers often. Keep in touch. President still doesn't have an office at BYU but he is back at work. You can reach us at (801) 225-8386; email and our address is 163 N 300 E Orem, UT 84057.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wow!!! September is here. October is just around the corner. Just to let you know we are planning a reunion. It will be Friday October 2nd at our church, 200 N 200 E in Orem. (The same place we spoke in church.) There is a BYU vs USU football game that night in Provo, so we are planning to meet at 5 pm, those that want to go to the game may leave at 7 pm. The rest can stay and visit, we'll see if we can get a broadcast of the game for those that want. We will send out an email later that will give more details as to what food we would like you to bring to share.

August went fast since we lost a week when Sister Priday's father passed away on the 18th. It was a great funeral, great to be with family and extended family. We are grateful he waited for us to get home, he had lived a full life and his health was deteriorating fast.

Weddings for September are Randy Nielsen & Jennifer on 11th of September and Nathan Mortensen & Ashley on the 12th.

It's been great to see many of you last month. President was able to fly to Dallas for the football game. Our son bought him tickets so he was there and enjoyed it immensely!!!! Elder Donaldson and date and Elder Matson and wife came to celebrate the win with Sister Priday. Thanks Elders. It helped ease her pain at not being with President.

Friday, August 14, 2009

August - Already?????

Dear fellow missionaries,

June ran away. July disappeared in the midst of family, boxes from storage, and church. We are finally breathing? in August.

It was so hard to leave the mission, as you all understand, but we did on June 30th crossing the border at 11:30 pm. I know, I know we were up too late. We were bringing back the wonderful red Buick and didn't want a hassle the next morning with the traffic of Canada Day. We were suppose to leave sooner but the Archibald's were held up at the border coming up.

The Sunday before we left our assistants (Elders Wagstaff and Meacham) and the Lamberts (office couple) had arranged (unknown to us) a farewell meeting with all the missionaries in Calgary at the Willow Park Chapel. There they presented us with a book with all the missionaries pictures and testimonies and a plaque with the names of all the converts while we were serving (1024). It was an amazing night and very emotional!!!! It reminded us of our first meeting with the missionaries - powerful!!!!!

Thanks to all for your attendance at our meeting. We have had several comments about the spirit you brought with you and the spiritual manifestations they felt as you all recited mission scriptures and sang our song. Thank you for the spirit you do have with you. Again powerful!!! Don't ever underestimate your power and influence. We miss our daily association with you. It was great to visit with many of you after at our home, but there were so many and so little time we didn't have time to really visit so please come by whenever.

Our phone is 801-225-8386; if you have Verizon you may call on our cell phone, 801-857-0573. Our address for any who have lost it: 163 N 300 E Orem, UT 84057. We love hearing from you.

President is back to work at BYU, he is no longer the registrar and is learning a new position therefore he won't be in a permanent office until the middle of September but is in the ASB. Call me at home and I can let you know where to find him.

The day after our talks in church. President was called to be Bishop of our home ward. I don't know if he will ever be called Gene!! We told the Stake President that we do have an extended family to look after (nearly 500 of you) and we would need to be there for your special occasions and he said that is the beauty of being the Bishop - you can delegate.

We also live in a ward with lots of 2 bedroom apartments so any of you who would like to serve under President again, give us a call and we can help find you an apartment. His counselors are another recently returned mission president and a 28 year old young man who just moved into the ward with his wife and 3 children (one set of 3yr old twins).

We are still unpacking boxes. The stuff from Canada didn't arrive until the end of July (it was suppose to arrive the 2nd of July). We have not been able to find the folder with wedding announcements so we apologize for any we missed in July. We have received August wedding announcements for Elder David Brown (August 15), Elder Joseph Post (August 18) and Elder Ben Davis (August 26).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where did May go? Same place June will!!

For Sister Priday's birthday in April the assistants gave her a framed picture of them gargling salt water along with a card that said "Another birthday, just take it with a grain of salt."
Thought you all might enjoy that bit of humor.

They (previous mission presidents) told us the last 6 months would fly by-last month really did. We did have a few extra trips to the airport and looks like we will again this month. The 4 incoming Elders, scheduled to arrive today were detained at the MTC for two weeks. We are grateful there was only 4 and they were scheduled to stay in the city - so we have 4 three-legs for two weeks. We hope they weren't the ones with H1N1. It did mean there was a few minutes to write this blog.

For those who are interested we will be speaking in our Sharon Park Second Ward on July 19th at 9am. The address is 200 N 200 E in Orem. We are starting for home on July 1st but will be gone visiting family until the 19th. It is hard thinking this is the last transfer, the last departure devotional, the last..... But enough about that, we don't like to think about leaving Canada but do look forward to visiting with all of you when we are home. You all know about that.

We have had several visitors come this past month and have heard that others were here but didn't let us know you were close - shame on you!!! We've had lots to do - getting ready for the new mission president besides all the normal business but still like to hear from you all. Thanks to all of you who have sent up wedding invitations. Any of the rest of you planning to send us an invitation - our home address is 163 N 300 E Orem, UT 84057. Our home phone, at least through July 31st will be (801) 225-8386.

Baptisms for April were down a few from last year. May was up up some from last year, we don't have the final count yet. We attended the baptism for Daylee Howell in Lethbridge for those of you who taught or helped her for the past three years. Both of her parents attended, her Dad even came from Vancouver and was very accepting. We have been to 7 stake conferences in the past 2 months and all of those stakes are really getting into missionary mode. Almost all have stake/ward mission plans in place and are making great progress so it will get there.

We have received wedding invitations for June from Elder Fought, Elder Casebolt, & Elder Matson. For July we have received one from Elder Bell.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wasn't conference wonderful!!!

Wasn't conference wonderful and could you believe all the references to Calgary: President Hal Gardner, the Stampede parade, and the new Apostle, Elder Neil L. Andersen was in Calgary last August. Some of the missionaries have suggested that next time there is a vacancy for a new apostle we should see who has been up here in the past 9 months and we will have a good idea. (The past three apostles fit that category.)

This picture of the Calgary temple site was taken right after Zone Conference on March 23. We had a great round of Zone Conferences with great conversion testimonies of somewhat recent converts. Some of those sharing their testimonies were taught or baptized by some of you.

We have had some real miracles this past little while. President Balderson's (Magrath stake president) father (age 91) joined the church last month. So did Danielle (Ryan Jolley's wife!!??) from Cranbrook. Jane Blum from Okotoks is getting baptised tomorrow and Makenzie Romanovitch was baptized today. Makenzie's mother, Amy remembers many of you and wants you to know you did make a difference. Danielle said the same thing. Keep sharing your testimonies, remember to be the member missionary you wish you had up here.
Our baptisms for March were up, but we didn't quite reach the goal to double. Keep us in your prayers, we are so close to reaching the goal. There are lots of good things happening.

The Bloxhams went home yesterday, we will miss them. They are speaking in their ward in Springville on the 19th of April @ 1 pm. The address of the church is 2nd North 900 East. You can also reach them at (801) 489-4228. We are losing several couples in the next few months and have few replacements. Encourage your parents if they are able to come join us. They will learn to love the great CCM as much as you do.

We have visited with the new Mission President and his wife. They will be great, they already have a great love for the CCM. Just like all of you when you opened your call letters, it is amazing how the Lord prepares us to care for others around us and those we have stewardship 0ver.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

For those of you who have come to visit and wondered when I will update the blog. Here it is. We have been exceptionally busy since the first of the month!!!???!!! President's computer has been having problems and died earlier this week so we have currently lost all the new arrival and departure pictures. :( February baptisms were down, but we think it was partly because there were only 3 full weekends and March is off to a great start. We just hope transfers in the middle of the month don't slow us down.

We have been enjoying visits from several of you - thanks for stopping by. The new mission president has been called. Alan and Pamela Archibald, they will be coming from St. George, Utah where he as been serving as stake president of a YSA stake. We haven't visited with him yet but have received an email. They sound wonderful and they already know some in the mission (a nephew and several others have connections). Their picture and biography was in the church news January 31, 2009.

We do need several of you to send your current email address to I have set up a group for returned missionaries in my gmail account so we can reach you all quickly. That way we can let you know when we are planning reunions and etc. so please respond.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

We made it through transfers, with concerns for the weather all the transfers for BC ended up going by bus. So....we just got back from taking mail and planners out to them. The roads were great and the country is beautiful, even in the winter. Attached are the pictures of the coming and going group as well as a few other events that you may all remember - filling out the blue customs form.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thanks to all of you who have sent us Christmas greetings, we love hearing from you and how you are doing. A copy of this picture which we took at last years January Zone conference was given to each of the missionaries for Christmas. For those of you who were here last year you may have been there. Those of you who started a Christmas tradition - did you do it again? We are following up!!!

In the middle of November we had a great mission tour with Elder Paul Sybrowsky and his wife Lynne. They really helped us figure out how to double convert baptisms. We were able to have 50% more baptisms for the months of November and December. We are off to a great start this year and should be able to double each month this year. We are seeing miracles in the mission and the missionaries are excited. Keep us in your prayers.

We are starting the new year with new traditions. (We started in December, but they are here to stay - at least until we go home)

We are now holding Zone Leader Council during the first week of each month. It is a day meeting, starting at 9am and ending at 4pm. No more "sleep overs". Medicine Hat and BC zone leaders come in the night before and stay with the assistants and office elders. We aren't presenting "game plans", but focusing on who is being taught and if/why we lost some from last month, what we can do to help the missionaries with our progressing investigators.
We are also tracking baptisms monthly, instead of by the transfer and each zone is setting monthly goals. We are trying to double baptisms from the same month last year instead of the previous month.
We are also printing the newsletter monthly listing the convert baptisms. Finally we are getting focused!! While we have been busy, we are continuing to improve and plan to end strong.
We have sent this blog to all those we have an email address. Please let other returned missionaries from the mission know of the blog and also our email: Feel free to add your comments or email us your news and if you would like it posted. Marriages, births, etc. Time is somewhat limited and I am still learning how to do this so don't expect too much just yet. We did want a way for all of you to keep posted on the mission and each other.