We witness tender mercies and mini-miracles every day as we find joy in pressing forward. We are immensely grateful for our time of service as missionaries in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Life and opportunities continue. See our missionary and life story in pictures by clicking here: http://rayc.shutterfly.com/
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Our grandchildren feel a bit lost among all of the strangers, but it's an introduction to extended family that will be good for them. They are being good sports about it. They have lots of first cousins on the Witt side, but none on the Connors side, so second tier relationships will become important. I was always grateful that I had known three of my great-grandparents. Faith and Hailey have met all four of their great-grandparents, so they are fortunate. When we get back from Georgia, we'll make a better effort to share family stories in an interesting way. We already know that 18 months will fly by, so it won't be long.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
We've talked with friends at the temple and elsewhere who have past and current connections with the Atlanta area mission. What we learn makes us even more excited, and we're receiving excellent practical advice as well. It looks like we'll meet several missionaries to whom we can pass along grandparent greetings.
We will finish our service as ordinance workers at the Bountiful Temple tomorrow, February 17. We have loved our time there and will miss our friends, associates, and patrons. We tearfully composed thank you notes to the workers and temple presidency. Our temple service has been wonderful preparation for full-time missionary service.
We will continue to wrap up the house and mission packing and cleaning next week. We have a week of travel planned starting February 28 to see visit family in Arizona and St. George, and spend time with friends in San Diego where we'll take in a temple session. We have started to prepare messages for speaking in Sacrament Meeting on March 11. Next day we'll begin a week of immersion at the MTC. The couple we are replacing in Madison will end their service on March 21, so it looks like we'll head out to Georgia on March 19, the Monday after we finish up at the MTC. It is, and is going to continue to be, a busy and happy few weeks.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Our evening session of Stake Conference, held at the Stake Center, focused on missionary work. Nearly a dozen Stake members spoke, including a preparing 18-year old, a recently returned elder, a mother, a stake member who is a missionary every day, a senior couple who had worked at the Church's Ensign Ranch in Washington State, and the Mumfords, good senior couple friends who just received their call three days before (they spoke about how to go through the application process), and our stake president, David Webster, who is a former Brazil mission president. Everyone did a terrific job. Their experiences were as varied as their personalities. Our attendance was a shot-in-the arm to our anticipation and excitement.
The Sunday session was held in the afternoon at the South Davis Regional Center, and the theme was protecting and nurturing strong families in these difficult times. Speakers included all three members of the stake presidency, John and Colleen Hunt, new friends who moved from Australia 18 months ago and into our ward to help support their recently divorced daughter and three grandchildren, and Linda Jensen, a former ward member and widow of John, a former co-worker of Ray's. The two hours sped by and the spirit was strong.
We came home and traveled to Mike and Wendy's for dinner where we learned the sad news about the Josh Powell suicide and murder of his two young sons. (Details can be found elsewhere). The inspired theme of our conference was reinforced in harsh reality. We are so grateful for righteous leaders and for sons and a daughter-in-law who are protectors of our grandchildren and anchors to our family. We pray daily for their protection and care.