Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Mission President

Here we are with President and Sister Jones a few weeks after they arrived. They had lunch for the new missionaries who had arrived the night before, and there was so much food, we were invited to join them for lunch. Tough break for us! President Jones is doing a wonderful job as Mission President. He is a get-it-done-now kind of leader, and is helping our zone leaders take on many new challenges and responsibilities. We expect much good in the coming months.

Sister Fredline turned 74. She is a local Michigander/Michiganian who serves with us in the Mission Office each day. She comes in every day from around 8:30 am-12:00 noon, and has been doing so for the last 4 years. She is amazing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Each week we watched gas prices increase...
We're watching our pennies, trying to save $ wherever we can...
How much worse can this get???
We've decided we're done tracking prices - just holding on and hoping things change soon.

Michigan Summer #2

Chipotle! Favorite hangout for great lunch
Some of the best of the best going home
Mission Office fun
Some of our favorite wall art
Picking wild raspberries at Tom & Stephanie Smith's
Elders Emery & Franklin
Sister gathering
Our great zone leaders enjoying lunch break during training
Not an unhappy face in the lot!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can you eat too much corn on the cob?

We're enjoying a new summer tradition here...well, a repeat of our last summers new tradition. Multiple times each week (like every other day)Ron determines we should have some fresh corn for dinner.
So, we stop at this farm that is on the way home from the Mission Office.
$4.75 a dozen, or $2.50 for a half dozen.
Such a small price to pay for a simple pleasure that is good for us.
We've decided that freshly picked corn
makes even the simplest dinner wonderful!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Katherine shared this sweet story:

Tonight Donovan taught our Family Home Evening lesson which was on recognizing the Holy Ghost. At the end I chose the closing song "I Know That My Redemmber Lives." The kids learned this song at church this last year, and it was perfect to go along with our lesson. Donovan told us to see how we feel when we sing the song and to see if we recognize the Holy Ghost, and then we would talk about it after the song. Well, after the first phrase, JT says "Okay, Okay. I felt it." Donovan said did you feel happy? And JT says "No, I felt like my heart was getting so big inside of me, like it was shining or something." We decide to sing again so we can finish the song, and I could barely sing because I was so emotional. Now whenever I sing that song, I will remember that is when my son learned to recognize the Spirit. Such a testimony to me that Family Home Evening is such a powerful tool in raising children today.

I love this special experience JT, and all of his family had. The fact that an almost 6 year old could put into words what the Holy Ghost feels like is amazing to us. And so precious. One of those wonderful moments that one can never plan for, but that are never forgotten when they occur. I love Family Home Evening, and that at least once each week there is a special time to talk about things like this, and help little ones, and not so little ones too, learn and grow and be together. And I love that Heavenly Father blessed a special little boy with this beautiful experience, that he and his family will never forget.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let the lower lights be burning...

President Edwards spoke one time about the significance of lighthouses. Michigan has more shoreline than any state in the union, so there are many lighthouses here. We've been able to visit only a few, but we loved the story he told, which is the basis of the song "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy".

Many years ago, in a dark and ferocious storm, the captain of a sailing vessel approached land and signaled the lighthouseman that he must find a port. He was signaled back to come along the shore as close as he dare and try to make the channel, that was the entrance to the safety of the bay. Once again a signal; "I will, but where are the lower lights", and the answer, "they've all gone out for the night - can you make it"?
The captain answered that he must, or they would perish. He tried to find the channel, but without the lower lights, the ship crashed upon the rocks, and all on board were lost. We learned that the "lower lights" spoken of were the houses built along the shore of the channel. All the people had gone to bed, so all the lights were out. The writer of the song, Philip Paul Bliss, was so touched by this story that he penned the music and text to the song we've heard and sung for years, but have never fully understood.

"Brightly beams our Father's mercy
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

"Dark the night of sin has settled
Loud the angry billows roar,
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.

"Trim your feeble lamps, my brother,
Some poor sailor, tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.

"Let the lower lights be burning,
Send a gleam across the wave,
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

What a very simple but beautiful reminder to each of us how important we are to those around us. So many are lost and "tempest tossed". Those of us who know and love the Lord can help them "make the harbor" through our encouragement, love, and guidance to Him. And in the end, how wonderful if we could be the means of rescue and saving.
We've had impressed upon our minds more than ever before how very much our Heavenly Father needs His children here to watch out for and care for one another - to be His hands and His voice. By small means are great things brought to pass, and lives are touched and blessed in ways we often do not know.
Today though, it seems so clear...we pray we may each keep the "lower lights" of our testimony and love of God burning brightly to be "the lights along the shore".