Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Visit

September brought the special blessing of having some of our family visit us. Ron's brother Fred, and his daughter Deborah and husband Cory made a quick jaunt to Michigan for the weekend. We loved having them here and catching up on the family. Unfortunately, it rained the entire time they were here, so our planned trip to see Lake Superior, lighthouses, musical water fountain, rollercoasters and submarine, were all tossed aside in the torrents. But, we had fun anyway, and ate our way around the Lansing area!
Cory and Deb were fabulous as they sang for our church on Sunday, with Fred's expert accompaniment. Fun family time for a whole 1.75 days!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Cool Michigan Stuff

A walking path in a park. Places like this are everywhere.

Look closely and you will see a heron making his way to the water,
right off our patio. We love to watch him catch fish in the pond.

Deer are everywhere, because there are trees everywhere. Even in the city it is not uncommon to see deer, squirrels, rabbits, etc around businesses and homes. There were 6 deer in this group, and some wild turkeys who just happened to saunter across the yard at the same time, close to dusk.

Just some of our great missionaries,
unarguably one of the coolest of Michigan "stuff"!

What is this? We have no idea, but the trees everywhere have these yucky looking things in them - like giant spider webs wrapped around some poor defenseless prey. Gross!

A common Michigan scene - lake, houses built around lake, ducks, geese and swans swimming in lake: beautiful!

We were headed back home from zone conference in Muskegon and decided to take the scenic route. We happened across a park with a bunch of these old fashioned bridges, moved all to one location so people could see how they were built in the days of yore.

We're driving to church, and there is a field filled with geese, just hanging out, eating and visiting; at least 75-100 geese, right next to the street, businesses in the background. Very cool!

This is a cool silo that is unique to Michigan (well, at least we've never seen one like it anywhere else). It's made of tiles and is very unique.
We loved it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thought for the Day

A few words of wisdom, worthy of sharing:

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world your best and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway.

~Mother Theresa

Monday, September 15, 2008

Senior Missionary Gathering

We recently had all the senior missionaries together for a picnic in Cadillac (several hours north of Lansing). We gathered together at a beautiful park setting overlooking a pretty lake (which there are a million of in Michigan). We prepared dutch oven steak rollups (basically a steak that is filled, rolled and baked). It was a fun change from our normal missionary labors; and a happy day with great food and great friends!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Missing You

Tonight I am missing my family. A few things happened tonight that brought my thoughts more than ever to home and family. Not bad things, just remembering and wishing and thinking, seeing photos and hearing music that makes me remember them. I hope I never take them for granted.

In the midst of those thoughts are those of September 11, 2001, when the world changed forever. Thousands of families will not be together again in this lifetime because of this day. I hope I never forget those who have, and are still, paying the price for this tragedy. I'm more grateful than ever for America, the land of freedom and goodness. Sometimes there is great reason for concern for our great country and its people. Still, it stands as a beacon and light for the rest of the world. I honor those who have sacrificed for our safety and freedom. My missing of family is small in comparison to theirs.

A sweet childs song comes to mind "I have a family here on earth, they are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity. Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Fathers plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has shown me how I can..."

How grateful I am to know that families can be together forever because of the great love of our Savior and His sacrifice. We truly are a blessed people.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sister Power

These are some of the amazing and wonderful "sisters" in the Michigan Lansing Mission. Our t-shirts have "MLM Sisters" on the front, and some of the words of a favorite hymn on the back "The errand of angels is given to women...". A fun momento of the great women who are serving in Michigan in 2007-2008.
Sisters Porcaro, Pryzbyla, Strawn, Dietzel, Aitken, Polidario, Fredline, Me, Jones, Tunblom, and Cordner.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Zone Conference

One of our favorite times of each transfer (a 6 week period of time) is zone conference. All the missionaries from several areas meet together in one location and receive instruction and direction on how to do the best and be the best they can be. It is always a time of great inspiration, and a fun time too. Here are a few photos of our last zone conference. You can get the feeling right away of the myriad different personalities of our missionaries. They're lined up to get lunch in these first photos.

These are some of the good women from the St Johns Branch, where we serve, who had prepared lunch for this zone conference. Also pictured here, our elders who serve in St Johns. Elder Franklin, Sister Holm, Sister Hinckle, Sister Hill, Sister Zimmerman, Sister Nicholson, Sister Draut, Sister Hernandez, and Elder Emery. They are THE BEST!

Another of our favorite's from zone conference occurs following lunch. The missionaries make a big circle around the women (and sometimes men) who prepared lunch for us, and express their appreciation, in part, by singing "Called to Serve". It is a wonderful reminder to us, and to the people who have served us, why we are here and what we are doing. It never fails to touch us and help us remember what it is we are doing here in Michigan, and really, what we all are doing as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our Heavenly Father's children.