Thursday, October 1, 2015

OCTOBER 1, 2015

As we continue our missionary blog, we have decided to update it at the beginning of each month.  We find that we are so busy keeping up with the demands of our mission, that, other than sending weekly updates to our family, this will be the time we dedicate to our missionary blog.  Again, we hope you enjoy it and we hope our children and GRANDchildren feel the spirit of missionary work as we report our missionary experiences.

What a wonderful time we have had "out here in the mission field!"  We left Sister Wadley's mother's home in Salt Lake City on September 14, 2015 after spending 2 magnificent weeks at the MTC in Provo, Utah and drove across the United States, beginning September 14th, staying at military installations in Wyoming, Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee before arriving at our daughter and son-in-law's home in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday, September 18, 2015. There we spent a really enjoyable weekend with them, including our 3 AWESOME GRANDchildren, whom we don't see very often at all.  The weekend was full of stake activities.  Saturday morning was a 5k walk/run with canned goods brought for the needy.  Elder Wadley and I kept track of the 2 younger grandchildren while our daughter, son-in-law and our oldest grandchild, Kaylee, ran the race.  That evening we attended a bull-riding contest at the Time/Warner arena in downtown Charlotte, where the Charlotte Hornets basketball team plays.  What a great family outing!  Sunday morning found us traveling out to the Albemarle Ward for their Ward Conference.  The ward was about an hour away.  Kathryn, our daughter, is in the Stake Young Women Presidency and taught the Young Women there that day.  What a wonderful 3 hours!  Elder Wadley and I attended the Gospel Principles class.  They have 4 Elders serving in the ward, so with all of them there, plus Elder Wadley and myself, we had a great hour!  The teacher was very good!    In attendance were 4 investigators with several questions. We met each one and found out a little about them!  The Bishop is from Hungary and we had a nice visit with him while standing in the food line at the Linger Longer afterwards.  He was able to get out of Hungary when it was under socialist rule and he ended up in Provo, Utah where he met his wife.  She sang for a couple of years with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Wonderful people! While eating, we sat next to a young couple.  The sister was from Ontario, Oregon!  I had a very tender mercy meet me when we entered the chapel at the Albemarle Ward.  The Bishop's wife was playing the prelude music and Elder Wadley tapped me and said, "do you hear what is being played?"  It was my very favorite piece, "Consider the Lilies."  Oh how that warmed my heart and added so much to this wonderful, exciting journey we were embarking on!  After returning home, we took a nap and played some games and got ready to head to Raleigh the next morning. It will be so nice living close to our daughter's family for the next year!

We headed out bright and early on September 21, 2015 to report to our mission in Raleigh, N.C.  We arrived at the mission office where Sister Colledge greeted us.  I wanted to ask her if she had relatives in Lehi, Utah, since my dad's mom is Esther Ann Colledge, spelled the same way with a "d" in it.  She was busy and I never got a chance to.  President and Sister James were in a planning meeting with the 3 AP's, Elder and Sister Scott, who are the Executive Secretary and in charge of cell phones and apartments respectively.  President James and Sister James were so very loving and kind.  We had our picture taken with them, then were given our key to our house, along with a lot of paperwork and away we went.  We headed south for about an hour and found our home in a small town called Cameron.  Our actual address is 338 Ponderosa Rd., Cameron, N.C. 28326.  This is our actual address, but our home sits in Johnsonville, a little town nearby. We got everything unpacked and were starting to get settled in. At the Mission Office, Sister Scott had mentioned something about there being "mold" in the house.   During the first couple of days there we found quite a bit around the windows and window sills.  We called Sister Scott and expressed our concern.  She told us to look for another place to live.  We found out that military installations were, just recently, offering base housing to retired military.  We visited the housing office at Ft. Bragg and were offered a base house at Pope Army Air Field, which is on Ft. Bragg.  We toured the house and accepted it on the 25th.  Our new address is now:  66 Provider Circle, Fort Bragg, N.C. 28307 and we plan on staying here the remainder of our mission!  It seems so good to be back on a military base again, even though this one is another entire city!

Between the 21st and the 25th of September, we began visiting members of the Cameron Ward, which is the ward we will be working with.  The ward is 85% military.  Bishop Colby is one of 5 LDS Chaplains on Ft. Bragg.  What a great ward!  We went by the 1st and 2nd Counselors homes and met them.  We met the Primary President and the Young Men President.  We also met the Ward Mission Leader.  Elder Wadley was called and asked to help give a blessing to an 11 year old girl in the ward who has been having migraine headaches so we went to their home and were able to meet everyone but the father, who is away at Drill Sergeant school.  Wednesday morning we attended our first District Meeting at the Stake Center and met all of our District, which consisted of Sisters Hesen and Pruner, Sisters Rich and Peterson and Elders NaDauld and Smith, along with Elder and Sister Hill, another Senior couple.  Had a great meeting.  So well organized!  Our first Sunday (the 27th) in the Cameron Ward was really nice.  It was the Primary Program (oh how we missed our GRANDbabies that day!)  The ward has a huge primary!  We helped out sitting with a Primary class during the program.  Gospel Principles was taught by the 2 sister missionaries assigned to this ward, Sister Pruner and Sister Hesen. One side note both Elder Wadley and I commented on is how very much it reminded us of the wards we lived in during our active duty Air Force days.  Raising a family, husbands or wives deployed, and just trying to stay on top of everything.  Oh, do we every have respect for these people!  We had the sister missionaries over for dinner the prior Friday evening and then we drove them to the General Women's Conference at the Stake Center.  Elder Wadley met with Elder Hill while we were listening to conference.  We had driven the sisters around earlier in the week and they had shown us all of the subdivisions where the members lived.  We were able to visit with the Bishop for a minute and will be meeting with him after conference to see where we might be of assistance.  Because he is a Chaplain, he and Sister Colby travel to conference twice a year. One interesting note about all of our visits this past week:  When we met the 1st Counselor in the Bishopric and his family, we found out that his wife's father grew up in the same ward as Elder Wadley!  What a small world...being members of the church...being military,..HAVING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IN OUR LIVES...what more could we ask for?  THE CHURCH IS TRUE (Brother Udy's continual. loving comment at the MTC!)

For the rest of the story, my good friend is Ben Stowell.  He had a sister Laura, who was also my good friend (same age), and Ben was a year older.  I think Sister Wadley at one time had a crush on Ben.  ;-) We hope to maybe see him, and his wife this Christmas when they visit their daughter here in the Cameron Ward.  Sister Wadley and I lived in neighboring wards, same stake, and I didn't meet her until after my mission, at a Stake M-men and Gleaner function.  Hey - we're dating ourselves now.

Sunday evening, Elder Wadley attended a Stake Priesthood meeting with 2 Young Men from the ward.  Their mother is a nurse in the military and is divorced from their father.  They also have a 3 year old down syndrome brother (from a second marriage.)  She had asked Elder Wadley in the Gospel Principles class if he could take them to the meeting.  When Elder Wadley picked them up, they came out with very bad attitudes about "having to go tonight."  The older one (15) said that if they didn't go, their mother would take their "electronics" away from them.  Elder Wadley said they didn't have much to say on the way to the Stake Center and when they got there they said they would just wait in the foyer.  Elder Wadley asked them to come in and sit with him, so they did.  Halfway through the meeting, the Aaronic Priesthood went into a separate meeting with the Bishops.  When they all came back to meet together again, Elder Wadley asked them how they liked it and they both said it was good.  They sat through the rest of the meeting and on the way home, Elder Wadley was able to strike up a conversation with the older one and found out he played the guitar and loved to write poetry.  He had lived in Alaska when his mom was stationed there so Elder Wadley asked him if he had ever heard the poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee," which depicts life in the rugged Yukon and Alaskan countryside!  His face lit up and he said, "Oh, that's my favorite poem!  So the rest of the way home, Elder Wadley recited the entire poem to him (which is pretty lengthy!)  I'm sure kids, you have heard dad tell you this poem many, MANY times!  Needless to say, Elder Wadley felt like he had begun a friendship with them.  We are making plans to visit their family and maybe have a short family home evening with them.  This is Elder Wadley speaking:  My dad used to read and quote poems and stories by Robert W. Service to us when I was little.  That was one of my favorites too, and I got an easy A in a college speech class by quoting that poem.

We spent all day Monday,the 28th of September, packing up.  Elder and Sister Scott were bringing a trailer down along with 4 Elders from the Fayetteville area to help load.  We took 2 loads over to the house on Monday.  Tuesday morning they arrived and we were packed up by noon and over to the base house and unpacked by 2 p.m.  What cute, cute, awesome Elders!  So willing to do whatever they can to help out.  We began unpacking.  We met our neighbors on either side of us.  We share a duplex with another retired army couple and her mother.  They were moving in the same day!  Very nice couple.  On our other side is a First Sergeant, his wife, who is an EMS, and their little boy William.  Such nice people!

Wednesday morning we attended our District Meeting.  Elder Smith, our District Leader, taught us about the Plan of Salvation.  Elder Wadley gave a 3 minute presentation on how to teach as the Savior taught. During our meetings, the young missionaries report on their work for the previous week.  We, as senior missionaries give suggestions, make comments, support and encourage! We have an AWESOME District!  After District Meeting, we went to lunch with the Hill's, the other senior missionary couple in order for them to give us some information on the area and what we need to begin doing.  They complimented us on already going out to meet a good majority of the ward leadership.  We decided if we are going to do any good here, we need to get to know people in the ward, so what better time than to wait to move!  It reminded Elder Wadley and I of our good old Air Force Days and moving every 3 years!

We have a really special treat this weekend - hearing from our dear prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and the General Authorities at General Conference.  We hope you will all gather your families together and enjoy the spirit that is there.

This blog finishes our missionary experience up through September 30, 2015.  Children, GRANDchildren, and anyone else who reads our blog, we hope you have enjoyed reading about some of our experiences as we serve the Lord in North Carolina.  Everyone enjoy General Conference this weekend.