Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24, 2016


It is with the most humble of hearts, that we post our final blog for our 12 month mission serving in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We have had the privilege to serve the Cameron Ward, the Fort Bragg Military Ward and the Morganton Road YSA Branch.  Each of these wards and branch has left a truly profound feeling of love in our hearts.  We began our mission serving in the Cameron Ward.  After about 4 months, when another Military Relations Couple finished their mission, we moved into serving in the Fort Bragg Military Ward as well as the Morganton Road YSA Branch.  We also continued serving the Cameron Ward.  We were stretched pretty thin, covering all of these areas, but were blessed beyond measure - much more than we ever could have imagined!

We found ourselves traveling to the Cameron Ward one Sunday and then down to the Stake Center to the Fort Bragg Military Ward and the YSA Branch the next Sunday.  While at the Stake Center, we spread our time evenly between each unit.  With each Sunday, we grew to truly love the members of each unit.  Our first Sunday on our mission, we walked into the Cameron Ward and found it to be the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program!  What a wonderful welcome!  Children took up the entire stand and 3 or 4 rows of the pews!  The future of the church!  It was wonderful!

As we began serving in the Fort Bragg Military Ward, we found it to be 100 percent young military families.  We were the grandma and grandpa of the ward and the children would run up to us and give us really awesome hugs!  As we would go by to visit the families and Elder Wadley would bring suckers to the children and Sister Wadley would bring her famous "honey buns."  We grew to truly love them and the feeling was reciprocated.  This brought the wonderful hugs we would receive from the children on the Sunday's we were there.

Hugs weren't restricted to the Fort Bragg Military Ward.  We had one particular family in the Cameron Ward and their 2 darling daughters would come up and hug us every Sunday we were there without fail!  Oh, did that ever do our hearts good and helped us ease the pain of missing our own grandchildren!  Truly, sweet, sweet spirits of our Heavenly Father!

The YSA Branch was so much fun to serve in!  Sister Wadley and Sister Dickerson, the Branch President's wife, would find themselves checking to see who they thought might be "pairing off" to become a to speak!  During the time we served here, we have seen 1 couple marry and another is due to be sealed in the Raleigh Temple on September 29th.  Another couple just got engaged last week! We have seen much happiness here and much sadness as well. Many of the single male service members have experienced some degree of PTSD.  Elder Wadley has been involved in giving blessings to them along with President Dickerson and the full time missionaries.  Our mission has been to help these servicemen and women to have a feeling of "home" and "family" as they enter and return from harms way.  We have been able to accomplish this thru the very loving leadership of both President Dickerson and Sister Dickerson.  They have opened their home every Monday evening for Family Home Evening.  We have helped Sister Dickerson prepare an entire meal for them each Monday evening. After dinner one of the YSA members gives a short lesson and then everyone disperses to play volleyball or other outside games or board games inside, or they enjoy visiting with each other.  It has been such a fun thing to look forward to, and as one member said, "It's so nice to realize we have FHE to come out to every Monday when it's the beginning of another work week!"  An example of what goes on on a typical Monday evening was last night....we always drive the Zone Leaders out with us.  They usually give one or 2 lessons to investigators in a separate room during the evening.  Elder Wadley served as "the member present" for these lessons.  Sister Wadley talked to a serviceman who has experienced 2 members of his company commit suicide in 2 weeks time and has been traumatized by this to the point that he asked for a blessing.  Another YSA member talked about how her father and mother have both lost their jobs and she is their sole support right now and praying that a job will open up for one or both of them.  She feels a lot of stress right now in her life. 2 YSA members are being sealed in the temple on September 29th!  She has served a mission and he is a new convert of about 2 years.  It has been so much fun seeing them grow together in the gospel, fall in love, and plan to be together for eternity!  He brought his new set of scriptures to YSA last night and asked us to write in them.  What an honor!  We had a discussion with aYSA member who we have been helping his good friends try to stop smoking.  We have had them over to our house several times for dinner and gospel discussions and have become such good friends with them!  We will forever love them and encourage them in their efforts.  These are just some examples of a typical Family Home Evening night out at President and Sister Dickerson's.  We really do have a fun, fun time out there!

One of the most important things that we have been able to receive a firm testimony of is that Heavenly Father KNOWS us and KNOWS what each of us need in our life here on earth and He also KNOWS of each of our life's big picture.  It is up to us to have the faith that this is true and live each day, knowing He will guide us if we only let Him in. We find ourselves (and this means US!) trying so hard to sometimes fight against the will of our Father, when in reality if we can only find a way to say, "Thy will be done," it seems life would be so much easier!  Not that Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to reason things out in our own mind, pray and listen for an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost!  He does!  Then the blessings come, and He will never forsake us.  What an amazing blessing for each of us!  This has probably been one of the most important lessons we have learned as we have served.

We have been taught by young 18, 19 and 20 year old Elders and Sisters here in North Carolina.  Men and women who have grown in leaps and bounds while serving the Lord on a full-time basis.  They follow the mission rules and are spiritual giants in our eyes!  Every Wednesday morning at our District Meeting, we are taught by our District Leader and there has never been a time we have left a meeting when we weren't filled with the spirit and totally committed to serving the Lord.  We realize that we are a lot older than them and have more limitations than them, but the way they serve and the sweet spirits each of them have, have truly taught us and helped us to have the desire to give it our all!

Looking backwards for a minute during the month of August, we had the privilege the evening of the 23rd to drive to Raleigh and have dinner with President and Sister James!  It was sooo nice!  We went to a Japanese Steak House and had an awesome dinner - just the 4 of us!  We talked about everything from soup to nuts!  We felt so sorry for Sister James.  The mission put a text out to everyone saying to be on the lookout for Sister James scriptures.  She lost them.  The mission asked everyone to check their ward library's lost and found.  We asked her when we ate with them if they had turned up and she said, unfortunately no.  Whenever we had Zone Conference, you would see Sister James sitting at the head table marking her scriptures as the meeting went on.  Hopefully, someone will find them and turn them in.

We spoke in the YSA Branch on the 14th of August.  I believe we have mentioned a dear elderly couple in the Cameron Ward.  The sister has had stage 4 breast cancer for about 13 months.  She passed away on the 7th of August.  We were sitting in the Fort Bragg Military Ward when Elder Wadley got an emergency text saying to come now because she had just passed.  We left as soon as the meeting was over and when we got there, the hospice nurse had pronounced her dead and they were waiting for the mortuary to come and take her body.  Elder Wadley helped carry the cart with the body on it out to the van.  Brother Kirby took it very well.  He actually said that he, surprisingly felt a sense of peace.  He has been taking care of her for the past year 24/7.  We have watched the loving care he has taken of her.  We have spent a great deal of time with them this past 3 months.    We have been able to be over to their home on Sunday's when his home teacher comes and brings them the Sacrament and have experienced some very spiritual meetings there.  Brother Kirby has no immediately family close by.  Sister Kirby is Philippino and has a sister and 2 sons in the Philippines.  They weren't able to come for the funeral.  Elder Wadley and I helped him write her obituary.  Sister Wadley had taken all of her temple clothing and laundered it and had it all ready at our house.  She took it to the funeral home and dressed Sister Kirby along with the Cameron Ward Relief Society President and her first counselor.  We typed the program and called people to be on the program.  We arranged the organist and chorister.  Brother Kirby said he wanted a funeral as close to "the funerals they have in Salt Lake City."  We have been to many there, so we tried to outline it in the same way.  Elder Wadley gave the Life Sketch and Sister Wadley gave the closing prayer.  We traveled with Brother Kirby and his good friend from Salem, Utah to the burial site about 40 minutes away where Elder Wadley dedicated the grave.  We went back to the church where the Relief Society had prepared a wonderful lunch.  Brother Kirby seemed to be very pleased with how everything turned out.  Prior to Sister Kirby's passing, we helped Brother Kirby find a doctor and took him for a checkup.  He hadn't seen a doctor in 3 years.  He had extreme anxiety due to her passing.  We are taking him again on the 24th of this month.  He is going through a very difficult time right now and feels so alone.  We are sorry that our mission will be ending and we aren't able to come by and visit him.  He has mentioned that he would like to find a small apartment somewhere in Utah to come for a few months out of the year.  We told him that would be wonderful so we could see him.

We have been spending the last couple of weeks going to say goodbye to the members.  It has been hard to do!  They tell us they are going to miss us so much and we tell them the same thing!  When we were having dinner with President and Sister James, I commented to them that we feel like there is still so much for us to do and we are leaving it half done!  President James smiled and in his very loving way looked at me, smiled and said, "it's never done Sister Wadley."  I've had time to think about this and he is right!  There is always,.."work enough to do, ere the sun goes down!"

We had our quarterly meeting with the Chaplain's at the Womack Military Hospital cafeteria on the 23rd.  It is always so much fun getting together with them!  Chaplain Omer and Chaplain Willis are really great men and we are going to miss them tremendously.  We were able to discuss ideas pertaining to beginning an LDS Addiction Recovery class on Fort Bragg.  We got quite a bit accomplished in the meeting and all were pleased with the results.

We had the BIGGEST surprise we have had on our mission!  Our good friends back in our home ward, Jack and Nadine Palmer have a son who is stationed here at Fort Bragg.  We have been trying to reach him to take him out to dinner since we arrived here.  Come to find out, he has been deployed to Africa twice since we arrived.  Needless to say, we hadn't seen him.  We talked to him mom and asked if she knew where he was and she said he just got back from deployment and he was driving to Idaho with his dog to see his parents for his leave time.  He texted us the other day to see if we could meet him on the post for lunch.  We went to the 82nd Airborne cafeteria on the 22nd and found him there.  It was so good to see him!  We had met him on several occasions at his parent's house when we had gone to visit them.  We stood for a minute and visited with him and then Elder Wadley asked him, "how was your visit home to see your folks?"  Dugan said, "I don't know, why don't you ask them yourself," and he smiled and looked over to a table and there sat his parents!  We were shocked to say the least!  They said that his leave had gotten canceled because his is leaving soon for Fort Benning, Georgia to attend Army Ranger School.  We had the best reunion and just couldn't believe they were here!  We visited them just a few days before leaving Meridian to tell them goodbye.  They have been such good friends!

A sister in the Cameron Ward area is being baptized on the 27th of August.  Sister Wadley will be speaking on baptism and Elder Wadley is giving a prayer.  She is SUCH a sweetheart.  She has a son 6, a daughter 14, and a daughter 21.  She is a single parent.  When we went to teach here with the elders she told us that she had fasted on Fast Sunday and she was sooo worried about her stomach growling during Relief Society!  We laughed and told her everyone is the same way!  She said that as she got home and began praying to know that President Monson is a true prophet, she said she could barely get the words out when the warmest feeling started going all the way down her body and she said she was assured that he is truly a prophet on the earth today.  It was such a spiritual visit with her, one we will never forget.  We are so excited for her to be baptized!  President James told us at dinner that he had interviewed her on the phone and said to give her their love and Sister James asked Sister Wadley to give her a hug for her.

We finished another Temple Preparation class with a sister and a couple.  We will be able to attend the couple's endowment and sealing in the Portland, Oregon temple when we get home.  We are so excited!  They don't have very many members in their families and so they said having us there will mean a lot to them.  We have been able to teach this class to 6 different couples and 2 sisters.  We have accompanied 3 of the couples when they received their endowments and seen one of the couples sealed together and to their 3 children.  What a thrill for us!  Teaching these classes has been one of the highlights of our mission!

We were able to attend the Raleigh Temple with all of the departing missionaries.  We drove the Zone Leaders up, since one of them will be going home.  It was such a fun, spiritual time.  Afterwards, we went next door to the cultural hall in the stake center there and have lunch with everyone.  We took lots of pictures and said goodbye to everyone.  Afterwards, we drove home and stopped off at a tiny little bakery in the town of Vass.  The owners have been taking the lessons from the missionaires so we stopped with the Zone Leaders to meet them.  Afterwards, we went to the Sicily Drop Zone and watched the parachutists jump for about a half hour.  The Zone Leaders had never seen it, so it worked out perfectly and they loved it!

We had our final day of working at the Womack Hospital for the Red Cross.  We will really miss taking the comfort cart around to all of the patients there.  We have made some good friends with the nurses, doctors and medical staff on each of the floors.  It was sad when we had to turn our vests in and tell our director, Linda, goodbye.  She cried and we cried.  We are going to miss her a lot!

During our year here, Sister Wadley had a really bad bout with the flu and had to go to the emergency room and have 2 bags of IV put in her.  Elder Wadley got Bell's Palsy and has struggled with that for about 3 months of our mission.  He has healed about 90 percent from it.  Other than some allergy issues due to all the pollen here, we have been blessed with great health.

As we end this blog and this mission, we can truly say that we have felt the hand of the Lord while serving Him.  There were times when we felt like we couldn't go another minute, and yet, up we got and away we went.  It was as if the Lord was pushing us up out of our chair and cheering us on saying, "you can do it...I NEED you to do it!"  Feeling this closeness to the Lord is a feeling neither of us want to ever lose.  It has been a true blessing in our lives.  There is so much truth to the statement "when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.  These sweet, sweet souls here in the wards and branch we have served in have truly touched our hearts.  So much so, that we have made some very, very close, forever friends.  We are actually feeling a little worried about going home because we want to stay as busy as we have been here.  It is a GREAT feeling!

We are so grateful to all of our many friends who have taken the time to keep in touch with us, even though we haven't reciprocated as often as we should have.  We love you and appreciate you!

 We are so grateful to our children and their spouses for being the tremendous, righteous people they are.  We thank our Heavenly Father every day of our lives for their love, for their commitment to the gospel and for their desire to raise a righteous family in this day and age of such turmoil.  They are to be commended and we support them and love them for everything good they do in their life.  

We thank you, both family and friends, for your love, faith and prayers in our behalf.  We have felt your prayers, and are so grateful for your testimonies and your support.  We pray the Lord will bless you for your efforts and hope that you will know of our love for "y'all."

Finally, when we began our blog, we made the statement that we decided to keep a blog of our mission to let our GRANDchildren be able to see how the Lord blesses us as we serve Him.  We truly hope and pray that they have been able to receive this vision as they have read or their parents have read our blog to them.  It is our fervent desire and prayer that as each of these WONDERFUL WONDERFUL GRANDchildren mature and attend Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, Young Men, Young Women, Seminary, Priesthood, Relief Society and all the other wonderful programs the church has for them, that they will have a burning desire to not only serve a mission for the church, but to serve the Lord to the fullest!  That they will study the scriptures and gain their very own testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that by so doing, they can one day spread what they know to be true to those seeking the truth.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

JULY 31, 2016

This month has literally flown by!  We have had the opportunity to attend the Raleigh Temple on 2 separate occasions.  One was with the full time missionaries who are going home.  We took Elder Brown and Elder Christiansen up and went through the session with them.  Elder Brown's mission ended the end of July.  He lives in Melba, Idaho and we can't wait to see him again!  What an awesome Zone Leader he has been.!

We had a wonderful baptism on July 2, 2016!  Sister Lauren Palsha in the Cameron Ward became a member of the church!  She was supposed to be baptized at the Cameron Ward, but the night before, we found out they had refinished the cultural hall floors and so it was moved to the Stake Center.  It was wonderful!  Sister Wadley spoke on the Holy Ghost.  She used several props:  lotion to show how the Holy Ghost can be a "comforter."  She also used a flashlight because the Holy Ghost "shows us the way."  She also used a compass which also shows that the Holy Ghost "shows us the way."  We had cookies and a relish tray from Sam's Club and Sister Wadley made spinach dip.  It was a very enjoyable time.  President Chandler attended and was pleased with how things ran.  Sister Palsha had gone over to his home for a fireside with President James and she and President Chandler had a long talk that night.  He told her when she gets baptized, he will be there - and he was!

We left Sister Palsha's baptism and raced over to Charlotte for our grandson, Aaron's, baptism.  It was a 4:00.  3 others from the stake were also baptized.  We went to Freddy's after for burgers and then came back home and played some cards for a couple of hours and went back home for Sister Palsha's confirmation the next morning.

There has been several families who have needed our help this month.  Sister Emily Thornton, who sustained a terrible car accident 2 years ago and has had major complications since then, has needed us to take her to the hospital and do things for her around the house while Brother Thornton has been away for a 3 month school.  He returned the last week in July and they are now on vacation to Louisiana visiting Brother Thornton's family.  Sister Thornton is such a jewel!  She tries so hard to help anyone out she can, even though she is so limited.

Probably the most emotional part of this month has been the downward spiral of Sister Kirby's health.  She is no longer swallowing (as of about the 28th of July,) and the hospice nurse told Brother Kirby that it is just a matter of days before she passes on.  We have been spending most of our days up with him to keep him company, take him where he needs to go, and help him work out things he needs to do for her funeral.  Brother Kirby's health isn't very good either and we have been trying to get him set up with a primary care doctor since he hasn't been to one in 3 years.  We are still working on that.  He is pretty much all alone, but the ward has been so good to rally around and help him.  He has asked Elder Wadley to type up the funeral program and Sister Wadley to launder Sister Kirby's temple clothing.  All of this has been done.  He has obtained 2 burial plots and we have been over to the funeral home to discuss arrangements with them.  One very tender moment this month was when Brother Kirby asked the Osborne children (brother Osborne is Brother Kirby's home teacher) to come in Sister Kirby's room and sing several Primary songs to her.  He has asked them to sing at her funeral.

July has also been a month for saying goodbye to and welcoming in several new military families!  The summer is always busy for PCS (permanent change of station) moves.  We have welcomed in about 6 new families for the Ft. Bragg Military Ward and about 3 for the Cameron Ward.

We had a really fun Pioneer Day Celebration at the church.  We had pies, ice cream and homemade root beer.  We watched a film on the pioneers and had a fun game at each table about answering questions about ourselves and then shared them with people at our table.  The Zavala's came with us.  We are teaching Brother Zavala the baptism lessons and had a lesson with him prior to the activity.

We had our Zone Conference on July 8th.  It was our last one so each departing missionary was able to bear their testimony and it was a very spiritual time.  We had the new missionary couple over health speak and they came up to us and told us that they had just met our friends, Joy and Larry Brough.  President Brough is serving as the mission president in the Louisville, Kentucky mission and they said to tell us hello.  The couple is over 5 states and serve out of Atlanta, Georgia.  They just returned from serving as health missionaries in Jerusalem, Israel.  It was so fun to visit with them!  The following day we had the "departing missionary temple trip we took Elder Brown and Elder Christiansen to.  When it was time for pictures, President James said, "now I'm going to be VERY MEAN.  We only want those departing in the picture today.  So Elder Wadley and I walk right up and get in the picture, only to realize about 3 days later....THIS ISN'T OUR LAST TEMPLE TRIP!  Oh brother, we felt so dumb!  We will be going again on August 12th, which reminds me...I need to pause right now and reserve our seats!!!

OK, I just called and they only have 1 seat left, but will talk to President Taggart, the Temple President and see if we can "sneak in!"  Usually they have to add about 6 folding chairs to the sessions because they are so full.

We have been helping a single sister who is active duty army.  She has 3 boys:  Clayton who is 16, David who is 14 and Shane who is 5.  She was due to retire after 24 years in the army but due to circumstances (we don't really understand it!) she has to stay in a bit longer.  She had already found a job in Alaska as a nurse on a helicopter that goes out on emergency calls in the back country.  The company is owned by an LDS man and they have allowed her to come up to Alaska and work until the army will release her.  Luckily, she has a lot of leave time built up and she is hoping she can retire by Christmas.  We have been taking her 2 older boys to appointments this summer while she has been up in Alaska:  orthodontist, counselors, etc.  Her little 5 year old Shane has Down's Syndrome.  Their grandmother, who lives in Mexico, has come to live with them, but doesn't speak any English, so the boys have translated for us.  It has been fun to be with them.  David wants so badly to soak up all the knowledge he can about the scriptures.  Clayton is the opposite, our trips and visits have been a challenge!  We love these boys and want to help them get a good foundation in the gospel.  That has been one of our goals.  Their favorite thing is to go to Five Guys to eat after an appointment!  We are praying everything will work out so their mom can retire and they can get settled up in Alaska soon.

We were able to go out to Camp MacKall one last time and enjoy lunch out there with Chaplain Cottle and Specialist Couto.  It was so fun to visit with them about their families and the work out at Camp MacKall.  Specialist Couto mentioned that he is from northern Brazil and he said, "you have a lot of your missionaries there!"  We told him we have them all over the world!  He said he was very impressed with how many we have and the good work they do.  We told them how much we appreciate being able to come out to Camp MacKall and serve the LDS military members out there for survival training.  Chaplain Cottle said they were very fortunate to be able to have us come out.  There is a really camaraderie with us and the chaplain out there and it has been one of the highlights of our mission.  Elder Wadley gave each of them a "unit coin."  Not sure if we have ever mentioned them in our blog.  Military members have unit coins for certain units they serve in.  Brother Clawson in the Military Relations Dept. of the Church Office Bldg. designed the coin and we were able to purchase as many as we wanted during our mission.  Elder Wadley has given several to special members he has grown to love and admire here.  Sister Wadley had some plaques made from Myrtlewood, which is only found on the Oregon Coast and in the Holy Land.  On the plaque she had written, "To the Word You Might Be One Person, but to One Person You Might Be the World."  She has given these to several sisters she has grown to love here in North Carolina and each time she has given them out it has come with a hug and a tear!  There are some absolutely wonderful members of the church here.  We will miss them so very much.

The 2nd half of July, sadly, has been spent helping Brother Kirby.  Sister Kirby is dying of stage 4 breast cancer and about the middle of July, she has taken a turn for the worse.  As it stands today (August 2nd,) she is not able to swallow.  She is incoherent and can't open her eyes and the hospice nurse is coming daily.  Her heart rate has risen to 102 and Brother Kirby told us that they can't live after it reaches about 120.  We have been spending a lot of our days at his home, trying as best we can to not only keep him company, but to help him thru this time.  They are such sweet sweet people and we have grown so very close to them.  Sister Wadley has been able to sit with Sister Kirby and visit and watch the BYU station with her, but has seen her gradually go down hill to the point she is at today.  So very sad.  We have helped Brother Kirby plan the funeral.  Sister Wadley has her temple clothing here at our house all ready to dress her.  Brother Kirby has asked Sister Wadley to dress her.  It looks like it is just a matter of days now.  Brother Kirby talks about moving to Provo.  He wants to be in a ward with members his age, where he can belong to a large High Priest Group and be able to walk to the temple each day.  We told him we will do everything we can to help him if this is what he decides he is going to do.  He has no family here in North Carolina.  His best friend lives in Salem, Utah so he would be closer to him and us.  It is such an emotional and trying time right now for him.

We cannot believe how fast this year has gone by!  We will be writing our last post in about a month's time.  We have had the experience of a life we have loved and one we are certainly going to miss.  Each day has been full of faith-promoting experiences with members of the military and the church.  We have grown to admire them, to respect them, and to love them!  The world is a better place because they are in it!

One of the most tender mercies, and faith promoting times in our mission is the time we've spent with the Kirby family.  Brother Kirby has been by Sister Kirby's side day in and day out, 24/7, for 11 months and helped her in every way as she has laid in the bed the entire time.  His faithful service and constant help with her has been so touching, and always reminds us of the Savior's promise, that "In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Until the end of our mission.....we send our love and our best wishes to all of our family, to our friends and to anyone who might come upon this blog.  We hope you will enjoy reading it and that you might find a bit of hope and love for our Savior for having read it.

Monday, July 4, 2016

JUNE 2016

We are definitely in the "DOGWOOD" DAYS OF SUMMER here in beautiful North Carolina!  I am a little behind in typing up our June blog, but as I type today, it is the 4th of July, 2016.  The high today should be 102 degrees with 100% humidity.

Things have been very busy for us, as usual.  We have been trying to keep up with the ever-growing Young Single Adult Branch, which is averaging about 70 members in Sacrament Meeting every week.  We have seen it grow and grow and we are so very thankful for this.  Of course, there are YSA's who are home for the summer from college plus several workers from Vivent (a home security system based in Provo, Utah) who bring the numbers up.  Each and every one is so much fun and we really enjoy the Monday evening Family Home Evenings out at President and Sister Dickerson's home in Vass.  Sister Dickerson and Sister Wadley prepare a meal every Monday evening for them and then we have a short lesson, usually provided by a member of the YSA Branch, and then we finish off the evening with volleyball, or other outdoor games as well as board games, ping pong, etc. inside.  They live near a beautiful lake and several of the branch members go out to fish off and on during the week.  At Fast and Testimony Meeting yesterday, Justin, a member of the branch from Tonga thanked the Dickerson's and told the members there that they truly are their "mom and dad" at this time in their life.  We have seen many converts come into the branch because of the great work of the YSA members.  We have had 2 members of the YSA Branch become engaged!  Like President Dickerson always says, "We need to get them GRADUATED!"

Several families in the Fort Bragg Ward have taken advantage of the summer and left to visit family.  Some sisters, whose husband's are deployed have especially taken advantage of this time so they can go away and be with extended family while their dad's are gone.  We are thankful that our mission won't end until August 31st so we can say goodbye to the families who are away for the summer.

On the 30th of June we were treated to a WONDERFUL Hawaiian celebration by our mission president's sister, her husband and their children, son's and daughter-in laws, and their 14 grandchildren.  They came to the Fayetteville West Stake Center and put on a program featuring dancing from Hawaii, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, etc.  They were in full costume.  All of their family participated, even down to the youngest grandchild - a little girl 2 years old.  Our stake center was packed.  At the end, we all went outside, where we witnessed a "fire dance."  The dancers had large batons with fire on either side of them and they did dancing, flipping the batons in the air and catching them, etc.  It was a tremendous program.  President James sister married a Hawaiian and they travel all over the United States every summer putting this program on.  All of the missionaries in the 2 stakes were there and a table was set up with Books of Mormons and pamphlets to hand out.  We had gone to dinner with Brother and Sister Bowden from the Cameron Ward and we went to the program with them.  They really enjoyed it.

Sister Kirby is still hanging on.  She has Stage 4 Breast Cancer and wasn't expected to live nearly as long as she has.  We have helped Brother Kirby get everything in order for her funeral and burial. Sister Wadley has laundered all of her temple clothing and has been asked to dress her at the funeral home when the time comes.  A hospice nurse comes in twice a week and a regular nurse comes to bathe her and change her bedding.  She has such a strong body and an even stronger spirit.  Sister Wadley has been able to have many very spiritual experiences with her as she has sat by her bedside and visited with her.  Sister Kirby has one good arm to use and she holds on to both of Sister Wadley's hands and tries to pull herself up.  Sister Wadley has commented on several visits, that her strength just amazes her.  Sister Kirby turned 70 years old on the 26th of June and we took some flowers and a card over to her.  She was able to wake up long enough to see the flowers and got a smile on her face.  She is always SO grateful for everything that is done for her and she will wake up and smile and look at Sister Wadley and say, "thank you sister."  Sister Wadley has typed the entire funeral program and has it saved to use when the time comes.  We have worked with Brother Kirby, at his request, to have the program just the way he wants it.

We have a new District Leader, Elder Moran.  We were wondering if he might be related to the person the Moran Eye Institute was named after!  That is such a quality eye care center.  He has a brand new companion, straight out of the MTC - Elder Mueller.  He is a great missionary!  We are working with 2 exceptional missionaries serving in the Cameron Ward now - Elder Cromar and Elder Weiss.  They are so humble, so caring, so spiritual!  They visited with Brother Kirby the other day and he just loves them!

We had a meeting this month with the Stake Presidency, all of the LDS Chaplain's, the 3 sets of Senior Military Relations Missionaries,\and President Dickerson from the YSA Branch.  We have been trying to see what we can do to get some sort of activity on the post for the LDS Single Servicemen.  It was decided that what they are going to try to do is get a chapel on the post and have everyone meet there and then carpool them over to the Stake Center for Institute classes and then maybe have an activity at the chapel on post as well.  It is still in the works.

One of the most rewarding highlights of our mission has been to attend the graduation of the 297th   "Q" Course.  We were invited by 2 different soldiers - 1 in the Fort Bragg Military Ward and 1 in the Cameron Ward.  Brother Harmon is in the Fort Bragg Ward and Brother Fetters is in the Cameron Ward.  It was held downtown in the Fayetteville Arena.  They had a 3 star General as the guest speaker and it was tremendous!  We sat with the Fetters.  They have 4 children, a new baby boy only a few months old as well.  We went over to the Harmon's afterwards for a BBQ.  The Fetters had to leave right after because Brother Fetter's father had passed away and the funeral was in a few days. When we watched the video they presented there and saw everything they go thru out at Camp MacKall, it made us have all the more respect for them.  They simulate such things as terrorist attacks, survival school, etc.  It is a very, very difficult course.  At the end of program, they don the Green Beret, and become one of the elite few to have that honor - the best of the best!  We felt so grateful for being asked to attend.

We have begun to have the Fort Bragg Military Ward Council meetings at Bishop Hamner's house at 4:00 on the 2nd and 4th Sunday's now.  They had been at the church at 6:30 a.m.  Cameron Ward and the YSA Branch meet just once a month.  There have been several people move out of both wards for a PCS move (permanent change of station.)  We have helped coordinate these moves with the Elder's Quorum and the receiving wards.

We still try to take the missionaries out to see a jump at the Sicily jump site whenever possible.  There is a tower we climb to watch, where it has a roof to shade us from the sun.  They really enjoy watching these.

Sister Wadley has been experiencing a lot of allergies with really itchy and swollen eyes.  She blames it on all the summer foliage here.  She has had to run over to Womack and be seen by an eye doctor and get some drops.  It reminds her of when she was a little girl, she experienced the same thing.

A really neat thing happened one Wednesday when we were doing our Red Cross Volunteer work at the Womack Hospital.  We went into the ICU Unit and, as usual, introduced ourselves to the head nurse and asked if we might go into the patients rooms to see if they need or would like anything from the "Comfort Cart."  On this particular Wednesday, we were told there were 4 different rooms we could go into and see if the patients needed anything.  The nurse of one particular patient told us that he had just come into the ICU and is very hard of hearing and that I might need to pretty much yell at him.  Sister Wadley went in and began talking loudly to him and he would just cup his hand around his ear as if to say, "I can't hear you."  I walked back out of the room and the nurse just smiled at me and said, "you or your husband wouldn't happen to have any hearing aid batteries would you?"  Elder Wadley carries a card of them in his pocket each day, but on that particular day, he didn't have any with him.  We both then went into the patient's room, where Elder Wadley checked the patient's hearing aids and saw they were different than Elder Wadley's but Elder Wadley took the batteries out of his hearing aids and put them in the patient's hearing aids, and Sister Wadley could instantly hear that they were working because of the little squeak that comes out of them when you are putting them back in your ear after changing the batteries! The nurses on the floor couldn't believe what he had done!  They were so appreciative.  Elder Wadley then said, "oh, that wasn't any big deal.  I have plenty more at home waiting for me!"  That was a great thing to see!

We attended a combined Fayetteville 3rd Ward and Fort Bragg Military Ward meeting to discuss combining the YM and YW programs due to such small numbers.  It was decided to do it and it will begin in July.  We can certainly see the wisdom of doing this, since the Fort Bragg Ward has very few YM/YW age children.  It has LOTS of Primary age children!  This should be a very positive move for all concerned.

During our Zone Training Meeting in June, we learned several important things. One was that God cares a lot more about who you are and who you are becoming instead of who you were.  Another quote was:  "Jesus doesn't save us "in our sins" but "from our sins." That really hit home with Elder Wadley and me.  We are continually striving to be what He wants us to be.

Elder Wadley's Bells Palsy continues to improve.  He is probably about 70 percent cured.  He still can't blink with his right eye.  We are hoping this will improve.  His smile seems to be about 70 percent back to normal.  Everyone who sees him says that he looks like he is back to normal.  We are so grateful for this, and for the many prayers in his behalf!

We had a very impressive Fast and Testimony Meeting at the YSA Branch on the 1st of June.  There was a constant stream of members going up to bear their testimony.  As it got close to ending, we heard one of the male members go up to the pulpit and he said, "It's blue and it's true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."  He was, of course, referring to the Book of Mormon, but seeing that Brother Register was going to end the bearing of testimonies, he hurriedly went up and said this.  Even though this may sound like it was not as spiritual or as reverent as it maybe should have been, the spirit was so strong there that day, that it really just fell in line with what everyone had been saying in their testimonies.  It was a wonderful meeting.  A young lady named Cayley was confirmed and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and it seemed like the Spirit stayed with all of us the entire meeting.

The month of June in the mission field for us brought a very noteworthy event:  SISTER WADLEY'S MOM TURNED 90 YEARS OLD!! She still has a very sharp mind and has just slowed down to be careful in her walking.  She always remembers things Sister Wadley and Sister Wadley's sister forget!  Sister Wadley always says that she and her sister have things happen to them health-wise that their mom didn't experience until maybe 20-30 years later.  Sister Wadley's sister threw a great surprise birthday party for her at mom's condo's club house.  Everyone was asked to write down a special memory they remember with mom/grandma.  Sister Wadley sent 90 memories - one for each year of her life.  We had gotten her a sweatshirt before we left for our mission that said, "What is 89 + 1?  they gave it to her at her birthday party.  It sounded like it was a really fun party!  Elder Wadley and I knew that we wouldn't be home for her birthday and her mom was a major consideration for us serving a year or an 18 month mission.  We are so happy that we will be able to see her in a couple of months.

Elder Wadley turned 69 years YOUNG on June 1st.  We had District Meeting that day and then took the Cameron Elders and the Zone Leaders out to Red Robin to celebrate.  It was such a fun time.  What was even more fun is to watch the elders watch the TV's on there!!!!  I kept wanting to say, "we're here!!!!"  Another milestone was celebrated this month for us...our 45th wedding anniversary.  We celebrated by taking 2 of the Young Men from Cameron Ward who don't have a father at home and their mom is active duty army, out to eat.  It was fun visiting with them.  They aren't active in the church right now, so we just had a fun time eating and talking.  We had other birthdays celebrated in our family this month.  Our daughter, Jennifer, celebrated her birthday on June 28th.  Her daughter, Jane, turned 4 on the 27th, our granddaughter, Ashley, turned 6 and our grandson, Aaron turned 8.

The Young Single Adult Branch had a baptism on the 4th of June out at the Pinehurst Building.  Caley was baptized and flew back to California the following Sunday and got married that next Wednesday!  Wow, talk about a whirl wind!  She married a returned missionary and they are going to be sealed in a year.  Such a really sweet sweet girl!

We are still really enjoying our time out at Camp MacKall.  On the 26th of June we spoke out there and there was a member of the Cameron Ward, Brother Heath and a member of the Fort Bragg Military Ward, Brother Chriswell, who came and they brought a non-member with them.  Elder Wadley spoke on commitment and talked about the way the gate guards say, "all the way sir," when we come thru the gates.  Sister Wadley talked about loving others and having angels 'round about us.'  It is always a very special experience to be out at Camp MacKall.

We visited a sister in the Fort Bragg Ward in her home one day.  She has a 5 year old daughter and another baby on the way in August.  She asked us if we knew anyone who might be flying to Alaska.  We told her we didn't but then Sister Wadley remembered a single parent from Cameron Ward who will be PCSing and already has a job in Alaska she flies up to and we told her we would mention it to her.  She said that she had told her mother, who lives in Alaska, that the little girl could come and spend the summer with her.  She is due to have her baby the 1st of August, so couldn't take her up.  The Cameron Ward sister said she would be happy to take her along with her.  It all worked out and they both flew up together on June 28th!  We're so happy we had gone to visit her and knew of someone flying up there.  We have had several families PCS to either joint base Lewis/McChord or up to Alaska to Elmendorf AFB area.

We had a really sweet young couple in the Fort Bragg Military Ward, the Robinson's, invite us over to their home to help color cards their 2 children had made for our grandchildren to thank them for sharing us with them.  We thought that was such a neat, neat idea and we had such a good time!

As we conclude this post for the month of June, it has become apparent to us that our mission is quickly drawing to a close. and it makes us so sad.  We received word from the mission office that we need to give them information on our Stake President's name at home, along with our Bishop's name so they can let them know our mission is drawing to a close.  As we think back, really the only thing that we won't miss from our mission is the heat and humidity!  It is hard to work outside with all the humidity.  Other than this, we have really enjoyed every minute of serving the Lord and we would do it again in a minute!  We have even contemplated another military relations mission!  You just never know!  Our children and grandchildren have been healthy, safe and happy.  Our extended family has also experienced the same blessings.  Maybe these missions are a really great source of insurance! They certainly can't hurt! The number of people who have become "forever friends" is endless, and we will keep in touch forever.  We have seen sad times in their lives here and very happy times as well.  We have felt so fortunate to have been able to be there for them thru both thick and thin.  We have been able to provide maybe just a small portion of the "balm of Gilead" for them as they have worked to facilitate ways to support their families and stay close to the church.  We have definitely seen the Lord's hand continually while serving our mission.  It has strengthened our own testimonies so very much.  When we were over to our grandson, Aaron's, baptism, they showed a few Mormon Messages while waiting to go in to witness his baptism and one was about Elder Ballard's talk on "Saying in the boat."  Sister Wadley remembered a time when both of us were serving in the Young Men and Young Women and we took them on rubber rafts down the Snake River.  Sister Wadley had a very scary experience in getting out of the raft for a while to swim, but then couldn't get back in and felt like she was going to drown.  4 Young Men were able to pull her back into their raft just before taking a rapid.  How grateful she was for those Young Men helping her to get in AND STAY IN the boat.  In the same way, we need to stay close to the gospel of Jesus Christ, encircle ourselves with positive, active members of the church who keep the standards of the church and are good influences for us.  If we happen to get out of the boat, we need to get back in as quickly as we can by using those people who are living the gospel to the fullest so we can be blessed by our Father in Heaven and enjoy the blessings of the gospel in our life.

Father's Day this month gave Sister Wadley and me a special opportunity to remember our Heavenly Father, and thank Him for His patience, love, mercy, forgiveness, and more than a few "tender mercies".  He has blessed us so much.  It is such a special honor to wear His son's name on our chest each day.  One day, a lady passed us in the store aisle and said, "I love Him."  Another time one of the gate guards smiled and said, "He's the one!"  Every day we look at that missionary badge, and give thanks for our Savior's love, example, teachings, and the infinite atonement.

Until July's blog.......happy summer everyone.  Stay safe, be happy and love the Lord!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

MAY, 2016

We have received some wonderful feedback from friends and family about how uplifting our blog has been for them.  This is one of our main goals.  We read the article in the April, 2016 Ensign about the great need for senior missionaries.  We couldn't agree more!  The article highlighted the Mauerman's (p. 71), who served the exact same mission in the exact same place as we are a couple of years ago.  They taught us for 2 days in the MTC in Provo and mentioned how "envious" they were of us going to their same mission and seeing a lot of the same military members whom they have grown to love.  When we arrived in our mission and visited the Fort Bragg Military Ward's Elder's Quorum President to see how we might be of service, he mentioned the Mauerman's and told us, "you have big shoes to fill!"  We have taken this seriously, and have tried to exemplify their excellent service.

It brought out in the article how so many senior couples are serving right out of their own homes.  What a blessing!  We have just learned that they are assigning a Senior Military Relations Couple to serve out of their home in Mountain Home, Idaho!  Elder Wadley and I had spoken earlier of how great that would be!  The gospel is spreading throughout the earth in preparation for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is such a humbling experience to see it in action!

Here in North Carolina, the members of the church, both in the military, retired military and civilian continue to do what they can to help the less active, part member and investigators we have the privilege of contacting.  The Ward Council meetings for the 2 wards and 1 branch we serve in are always full of concern for everyone in their boundary - members and non-members.

The Cameron Ward is seeing some success with investigators.  There is a baptism scheduled for June 18th and the young elders are teaching about 5 investigators.  The Fort Bragg Military Ward has had 2 couples take the Temple Preparation Lessons from us and have both received their endowments within these past 2 months.  We have been able to attend both of them and it was truly a thrill!  The Montanez' are a young couple.  He is in the military and she is going to school and working part time.  They are being transferred to the Pentagon in a week and wanted to go through the temple before they left.  Sister Montanez' parents were sealed in the Washington, D.C. temple and this is where they want to be sealed.  The Boucher family received their endowments last month and they are going to have their family sealed on the 28th of May.  We will have the privilege of witnessing this sealing.  It is the same day as our Senior Missionary Temple Trip so we will be able to do an endowment session and then witness their sealing.  They have 3 little children who will be sealed to them!  Oh, it just thrills us to see these sweet members come to the temple.  In each of our Zone Leadership and Zone Conference meetings, President James always stresses that we don't look upon investigators as BAPTISMS, but on GETTING TO THE TEMPLE.  This, of course, is their final progression here on earth in order to return to our Heavenly Father.  Of course, one more extremely important thing that is required of us is to ENDURE TO THE END.  This is where daily progression enters in and it is so vital!

Elder Wadley and I are teaching another couple the Temple Preparation Lessons now from the Cameron Ward.  They are the Wightman's.  They have a little girl, Victoria, who just turned a year on the 14th of May.  Brother Wightman has been a member all his life.  Sister Wightman is a convert of about 2 years.  The want to receive their endowments and be sealed in the Raleigh Temple before they PCS (permanent change of station) to Colorado Springs at the end of the summer.  Brother Wightman was there for the first lesson, but is in Colorado Springs now, so we, along with the full-time young Elders have been going over once a week and teaching Sister Wightman and she will have her last lesson on the 24th of May.  We should be able to accompany them to the temple in June or July.

We are seeing a lot of changes in the 2 wards due to military families coming and going.  It is always a real challenge to keep up with all the new move-ins.  We try to get around to all of them and take them a box of honey buns.  At the last Cameron Ward Council meeting, the young elders brought up that Elder and Sister Wadley are known for their "honey bun visits!"  All of the little kids when we go back and re-visit the families ask us, "did you bring us honey buns?"  Between those and Tootsie Roll Pops, I guess we are quite popular!!

The Young Single Adult Branch is exploding with members!  It has gone from about 20 attending Sacrament Meeting when we first began working here to last week there were 72 members!  The Family Home Evenings on Monday nights out at President and Sister Dickerson's home is a hit!  Sister Wadley helps Sister Dickerson prepare a meal for them and they devour it!  It begins at 7:00.  We have dinner.  Then someone gives a 10 minute lesson, after which they go outside and play games, stay inside and play board games, or sometimes just visit and visit and visit.  They love doing that, since they are so busy during the week.  Two of the Young Single Adult men were sustained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and Elder Wadley was privileged to be in their circles for this ordination.  We have become close to them and have such a fun time together.  They always go up and do baptisms for the dead in conjunction with the Fort Bragg Military Ward Young Men and Young Women.  We have been able to go up with them and it has really been a lot of fun. Most of the Young Single Adult men baptize the youth and it makes for a very spiritual time.

We received an email from the mission office at the beginning of May which made us very sad.  It was a notice telling us that it is time to begin our preparations to return home from our mission.  We thought, "wait a minute, we still have 4 months!"  That is how organized the mission is!  They needed information as to whether our Bishop back home and our Stake President had changed since we left on our mission, etc.  It just made us realize how quickly the time has gone by.  It made us realize how much we still have to do!  We believe there may be a couple in the Cameron Ward who would like to take over our calling here and serve out of their home.  That would be wonderful!  They are an awesome couple.

We attended the Boucher family's sealing on the 28th of May.  What a thrill to see Brother and Sister Boucher be sealed together for time and all eternity and then have their 3 beautiful children walk in all in white and kneel at the alter with their parents and be sealed to them./  It was just wonderful!  What made the day even more special was that just as we were driving into the temple parking lot we received a text from the Montanez'.  They told us that they were being sealed in 2 hours at the Washington D.C. temple.  Sister Montanez' parents were able to drive there from Kansas and sister Montanez' text said, "we are going to do this!"  That just made our day complete!  What a blessing!

We had a 3 Zone Conference on May 19th with Elder Zwick of the Seventy He was accompanied by his wife and President and Sister James of the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.  It was held at a building in the Fayetteville Stake.  We went up and picked up the Cameron Elders and brought them to it with us.  Elder Zwick wanted to shake each missionary's hand so we all walked down to the front of the chapel, row by row, introduced ourselves to them and were able to shake he, his wife and President and Sister James hands.  He kept Elder Wadley visiting for quite a while since Elder Zwick was also in the Air Force and wanted to know what Elder Wadley had flown.

The morning session was wonderful.  Sister Zwick told about going to the Santiago, Chile mission with their 4 young children, where Elder Zwick was going to serve as Mission President.  She said they had just dropped the old mission president and his wife off at the airport and came back to their home and received their first phone call.  She said it was one of the young elders.  He told Elder Zwick that he was standing at a phone booth with only his companion's over coat on.  He said they were holding a baptism and some terrorists had come in, made him strip off all his clothes, poured floor wax on them and then set them on fire.  He said the building is burning now and then he said, "what do you want us to do president?"  Sister Zwick said that was her introduction to Chile and their mission and she thought, "get me out of here now!"  She couldn't speak the language and with this happening her only thought was, "I want to go home!"

She also talked about receiving a call from President Eyring and he wanted them to meet him in his office.  When they got there, he told them that the mission president in Costa Rica had to leave the mission unexpectedly and wondered if they could replace them for about 3 months.  They thought he would give them time to think about it and discuss it but then President Eyring said, "and you would need to leave TOMORROW."  Well, Sister Zwick said that her daughter-in-law was about ready to have their grandchild and they had been told that the baby would be born with severe disabilities that would require multiple surgeries right after birth, and had just found out that it would probably have Down's Syndrome as well.  She was so torn because she was planning to go stay with them for a month or so.  She said that they looked at each other and turned to President Eyring and said, "we'll go."  She said when they got to Costa Rica and began their work there, they asked all of the missionaries to please fast and pray for their unborn grandchild.  Their son called just sobbing and said the baby had been born and was PERFECTLY NORMAL in every way.  This showed what sometimes accepting the Lord's call can do in our lives.  They do have a severely handicapped son they are raising who is in his late 20's now.  It was such a great conference!

During the morning session, I looked over at Elder Wadley and thought his face looked a little odd.  When we broke for lunch in the cultural hall, one of the senior missionary sisters said, "Elder Wadley, what's wrong with your face, you look like you've had a stroke."  Elder Wadley went into the bathroom and came out and I don't know whether we were both in denial, clueless or whatever it was....but we went in, got our food and sat down and started eating.  The other senior couple had gone up and told President James and he came over and knelt down and said, "what's going on with Elder Wadley?"  We said we just noticed his face was slumping down.  He said, "you need to get him to the hospital now."  They were afraid that if it was a stroke, we had a time constraint.  I drove him to Womack on Fort Bragg and they got him right in.  They did a CT scan and then the nurse wheeled him out into the waiting room and said, "if I don't come back and get you in a couple minutes, that's a good sign."  Well, she DIDN'T come back so we were relaxing A LITTLE BIT.  They soon came and got him for an EKG and an MRI.  After this, they put us in an examining room and said the doctor would be in.  We waited another 45 minutes and then here came an older doctor in.  He took one look at Elder Wadley and said, "you have Bell's Palsy."  He said he hadn't read any of his tests yet because he likes to come in and have a look first.

After his diagnosis, he went out to read all of the tests and came back and said everyone of them looked fine and it was just Bell's Palsy.  As I finish typing this blog on May 31st, his face is still disfigured.  President James asked me to keep him posted by text, which I did.  He told me that when they resumed the Zone Conference, they had a special prayer for Elder Wadley.  When they resumed, we hadn't gotten a diagnosis yet.  President James has continued to make contact with us, and he called yesterday, after his church meetings in the early afternoon, wondering how Elder Wadley was doing.  He told Elder Wadley that there maybe could have been a lot of senior missionaries who would have used this diagnosis to return home from their missions.  That had never entered Elder Wadley's mind!  Elder Wadley told President James that he just goes out to visit military members and explains to them what has happened and we just continue on.  President James thanked him for that and for his service.  There is one very funny thing (I guess if you want to call it that!) about Elder Wadley getting Bell's Palsy.  It forced me to DRIVE!  I hadn't driven since we left Salt Lake City way back about the last week of August of 2015.  We get ready in the morning and head out and Elder Wadley always drives!  This sure isn't how it was back home.  He had his pickup and I had the car and we would take off for wherever we needed to go!  With one car and both of us doing the very same thing each day...I had just never driven!  If we go to the store, we go together, etc.  That seemed very weird getting behind the wheel that day to get him to the hospital!  As a side note:  while we were waiting for Elder Wadley's prescriptions, we hurried over to Chaplain Willis' office, who is the head LDS Chaplain at the Womack Hospital and he gave Elder Wadley a beautiful blessing.

I had such a wonderful Mother's Day!  Kathryn and her family came over and met us at the Fort Bragg Military Ward for church!  Oh, it was so great seeing our family walk in and sit through Sacrament Meeting together!  Kathryn told us that we should probably only stay for Sacrament Meeting because Bekah, our little 5 year old granddaughter had thrown up 2 minutes before they arrived at the church.  She seemed fine at church and I sooo loved having all of them there with us!  We came home and Kathryn had made party delights, a yummy jelly and Shawn had made a great pound cake and strawberry topping for it!  What a great time we had.  They even brought puppy dog!  Now I would say that is a really special Mother's Day out on my mission!  We played games.  Sadly it was too hot to go over to the park, but we did make it around the block for a walk.  There was also a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me.  The children had all gone in and got dad and I tickets to go see the Biltmore Mansion after our mission.  Wow!  What a super day!  Thank you Kath and Shawn and all our other children for a really wonderful day!

Our grandson, Jason, turned 10 on May 27th.  We skyped with him and he looked so much older!  He was just going to leave to go to a movie with his dad and some friends for his birthday.  All of their kids looked so much older!  We are getting so excited to get back home and see all of the family again.  It's just hard to realize we will not see our "easternites" again for quite a while.

We LOVE going out to visit the military families each day!  We usually plan the night before and make a list of those we want to see.  One day we will stay on post and visit Fort Bragg members and the next day we will travel to Cameron and visit out there.  We usually receive a new move-in roster every other month and go thru it to visit and welcome the new ward members.  It is so much fun to meet them and find out where they were stationed before and all about them!  By doing this this month, we found a family where the husband graduated from Boise High School and he served his mission in Scotland!  With us living in Meridian, Idaho, which is a suburb of Boise, and Elder Wadley also serving his mission in Scotland, we found we had a lot in common with them.  The husband's family had come from Boise for their grandson's baptism and it was so much fun visiting with them about "back home!"  We have said so many times to members that it never ceases to amaze us how small the world is when we start talking to members of the church who are in the military!  You always seems to find something you have in common with them.

It was the Fayetteville North Carolina West Stake Conference this month.  President Chandler is such a neat man!  He is an anesthesiologist at the Moore General Hospital in Pinehurst and we have gone over to his house on several occasions for YSA Family Home Evenings nights.  His daughter, Madison, just came back from serving a mission in Rome, Italy and one evening she made lasagna for everyone and we had FHE there with President Dickerson, the YSA Branch President, showing slides of when his company installed the bell at the top of the Nauvoo Temple.  What a great story that is!  At Stake Conference, one of the YSA members, Justin, talked on Saturday evening about his life and serving a mission.  Justin had just baptized Poi, who is from Hawaii.  Justin is Tongan.  Justin said that his parents got up at 4:30 a.m. every Friday morning to take a boat to go to the mainland to the temple.  He remembers 2 things his parents would always come back and talk to them about:  missionary work and temple attendance.  He said that his parents told him he should join the army to get some money to go on a mission.  They didn't have enough money to send him.  He went to a recruiter and began his enlistment papers.  he prayed and realized he needed to serve a mission NOW. He stopped his enlistment process and put in his papers for a mission call.  His parents were very concerned.  He knew that is what he needed to do.  When he went in to see the bishop, the bishop told him that an anonymous doner had come to see the bishop and told him, "here is a check we want to donate to the next person who needs money for a mission."  It was enough to cover his entire mission expenses.  His mission had been paid for!  He served his mission and then is now active duty in the army!  It was a very powerful testimony on Saturday evening and he is SUCH a great man!  He has gone over with us to visit another island family in the Fort Bragg Military Ward who are semi-active and has helped us get them out to church.

We continue to work with part member families to help encourage their spouses to allow the young full-time missionaries in to teach them the gospel. More than anything, we have been able to establish a great friendship with them!  They realize that we love them and care about them, and they are usually very happy to have us stop by for a visit.

We received word that my sister's mother-in-law had passed away this month.  She was such a kind, loving lady.  She has suffered with breast cancer for the past year and it finally took her life.  She lived a good, long life and died at 95 years of age.  They sent us a copy of the funeral program, along with pictures of Jean in her casket and she looked beautiful.  Ann and Richard did a wonderful job in making the arrangements for her burial.  We had so hoped that we would be able to finish our mission before her passing, but that wasn't the Lord's plan.  She is now at peace with her eternal companion.

As we finish our blog for May, it is Memorial Day and our daughter, Kathryn, called and asked if we could meet them on the very edge of our mission to take Verl to lunch for his birthday.  He turns 69 years old tomorrow!  We try to take advantage of each of these quick visits to be able to hug those grand kids whom we won't be seeing a lot of after our mission. They will drive a distance and we will and we will have a nice lunch together today!

As usual, Sister Wadley has told our story very well.  This Bell's Palsy is certainly humbling.  Maybe I needed some humbling at this time.  I always remember President Benson's wonderful conference talk on pride and humility.  He said, "God will have a humble people.  Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.  Alma said, 'Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.'  Let us choose to be humble."  (See chapter 18 of President Benson's manual).  I am so grateful for the many prayers of family and friends in my behalf.  I've felt those prayers and am sure they will be answered for me, and also with a blessing for them.  I will always bear testimony of the power of prayer.

We have both been so blessed to serve this mission.  I was certain that it would be a great experience, but it has already exceeded my highest expectations.  We give thanks each day for this time in North Carolina.  We pray that the Lord will bless all of you family and friends too.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

APRIL, 2016

April showers bring May is the case here in beautiful North Carolina!  We have had our share of rain and BEAUTIFUL weather.  The dogwood trees are in full bloom and the pines are exploding in beauty throughout the area.

This month has been what Elder Wadley and I would probably characterize as a month of Temple blessings.  We have been able to attend the temple twice.  Once for Zone Conference and once to attend with Brother and Sister Boucher from the Fort Bragg Military Ward who went through to receive their own endowments.  We have been fortunate enough to teach them the Temple Preparation lessons.  They will be sealed and have their children sealed to them next month.  It was such a wonderful time in the Raleigh Temple with them and their many ward family members.  They are the only members of either of their families.  First generation's you might say!  Sister Boucher was called last week as a counselor in the Primary Presidency and Brother Boucher is a teacher in the Elder's Quorum now.  A really awesome family!

Our Zone Temple trip was wonderful!  We all went thru the 10:30 session and then went over to the ward next door where President Taggart, the Raleigh Temple President talked to us about the temple and answered questions.  We were fed lunch and then Elder Wadley and I ran to Costco for supplies and then hurried back to the post for a ward picnic "start the fast picnic."  It turned out to be a very windy and cold late afternoon. Many families still came and quickly ate their dinner and left.  For being so cold, it was really a pretty good turnout.

What a wonderful General Conference!  How exciting to have 4 new temples announced!  We loved hearing from our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and took to heart his message on "Choices."  Elder Wadley and I have seen so many tragedies because of people's poor choices.  Satan is working overtime to fulfill his desire to stop the eternal progression of so many of our Heavenly Father's spirit children.  He seems to be in full force here in the military.  Families are torn apart and sadness abounds.

 President Eyring talked about the letters he had received at his office written by converts whose feelings of love for the Lord were lessening and they feared if they couldn't regain that love, the trials of the day would overcome their faith.  This definitely struck a note with Elder Wadley and myself because each day we go out and visit those who have lost a portion of their faith in the Lord and their love for Him.  This is where member fellowship is ever so vital!  If members only knew the impact they have on new converts and converts of a few years...they need an arm of love around them and sometimes a shoulder to cry on.  It is so important.

We continue to make daily plans the night before to go out and make visits to new move-ins, less actives, those with spouses deployed, and anyone else the Relief Society President or Elder's Quorum President or High Priest Group Leader would like us to visit.  It makes for a full day, but a very blessed day!

We had Zone Leadership Training on April 6th.  This will be Elder Wion and Sister Pruner's last Zone Training.  They will finish their missions on April 26th.  Sister Pruner trained Elder Wadley and I in our first area (Cameron.)  She will head back to Canada and Elder Wion to Las Vegas.  Great servants of the Lord!

We have finished teaching the Montanez' their Temple Preparation lessons and they plan to receive their endowments in the Raleigh Temple the first part of May.  We will be going with them.  What an awesome young couple!  They will be PCSing (permanent change of station) to the Pentagon the last of May and will be sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple (the temple Sister Montanez' mother and father were sealed in!)  Sister Monanez is also joining the Army in D.C.  We will have a farewell dinner for them in the next week or 2.

We have 2 or 3 Russian families in the Fort Bragg Military Ward now and we have been to visit all of them.  It is so much fun to talk to them about where in Russia they are from and let them know of our son's experience when he served a mission there and our experience going there to pick him up. 2 are here to teach Russian to the Special Forces (new term for the Green Berets!)  The other one works with artillery.  Fun young families!

We had the Von Latta's over for dinner and games this month.  They are a less active couple who were stationed in England in the Air Force the same time we were.  We have made such a good friendship with them.  They are having us over next week and want us to take a day trip with them to see a little miniature railroad town a couple of hours away.  We will have to see if we are able to do that. They suggested it because we both lived near a wonderful little village in England that was famous for it's miniature railroad in the village.  They have begun asking us some questions about the church and we are hoping that in time, they will see their way back to the Cameron Ward.  They are wonderful people!

A sister living in northern Idaho apparently read our blog to find some missionaries serving in Fort Bragg who could contact her husband who just arrived here and see that he got to church.  She has their car in Idaho so he is on foot until he flies back to bring the family here.  We contacted him and he went to the ward picnic with us and came over to the house to visit afterwards.  He and his wife are both from Lewiston, Idaho and they have 3 children.  He is planning to fly back to bring the family out in about 3 weeks.  We took him to church the next day and he came home and had dinner with us.  It's been fun to get to know him!

Bishop Hamner of the Fort Bragg Military Ward said in Ward Council that the ward will be losing about 1/3 of its members due to PCS's.  WOW!  Actually, Cameron Ward will be losing a good amount as well.  These wards are constantly transient.  We receive a new move-in roster every month and there are at least 4 to 5 families on it.  As many as move out, seem to be replaced by new ones and this is how the military wards survive!  It's a lot of fun!!!!

We continue to go out to Camp MacKall to furnish Sacrament Meeting to the soldiers going through survival schools out there.  We had a very spiritual thing happen when we went out on the 10th of April.  Brother Wood, who is an instructor out there, usually accompanies us.  He was ill and not able to go, so the 3 Senior Military Relations Couples went out for the first time alone.  Elder Wadley and I have been going out for 8 months now, so we were familiar with everything we needed to do.  When we got to the gate, we showed the guard our military I.D.'s and he looked on his sheet and said none of our names were on it.  They had put both Elder Wadley's and my names and I.D. numbers on the sheet when we first started going out there.  So the guard turned us away and we were driving off when Elder Wadley said, "wait a minute, pull over please."  He told me later that he had said a little prayer and asked Heavenly Father, "what would Brother Wood do if he were here?"  He determined that he would call Chaplain Cottle, who is the chaplain out at Camp MacKall, to see if he could get us in.  So this is what he did.  He had his number and called him.  Chaplain Cottle answered and was so kind!  He said, "oh no problem, you go back to the gate and I'll have my assistant come and get you through."  That is exactly what happened.  We found out afterwards that the names only stay on the record for 6 months and then they have to be renewed.  So we took care of that and the assistant told us that there were 3 LDS military members who were wondering if there was going to be LDS services.  When we got to the classroom, in walked the 3 as we were setting chairs up and the men were preparing the Sacrament. It happened to be Fast and Testimony Meeting.  We sang the opening hymn, had the opening prayer and had the Sacrament and then we had the bearing of testimonies.  One of the soldiers stood up and began to cry and said, "I have been waiting all week for this meeting and when I walked in and it was dark, I was so discouraged and then when I found out that you were on your way, I thought to myself, "the Lord didn't let me down.  He knew how much I needed this today."  He continued crying and before long, everyone in the room was crying.  Before the meeting came to a close, Elder Wadley got up and explained the circumstances of our being a bit late and we all knew and witnessed the Lord's hand in allowing us to be able to bring the Sacrament to these soldier's who are going thru some of the most trying times in their young lives.  What a faith promoting experience that has been for us - probably one of the most faith promoting experiences we have had thus far on our mission.

We have begun teaching 2 other couples the Temple Prep lessons.  The Cameron Elders have accompanied us to one of the families, since they have been working to reactivate them.  It has been such a very sweet experience!  The Wightman's have a darling little girl, Victoria, who just sits on my lap during the lessons and I show her her toys and she is so good.  Brother Wightman has been a member all of his life and sister Wightman has been a member a couple of years.  They are both from Colorado Springs and will be going back there around November and want to be sealed in the temple before they go back.  What a blessing in their lives!

We continue to visit the Kirby's.  Sister Kirby has stage 4 breast cancer and bone cancer and Brother Kirby takes care of her.  It is almost too much for him.  He is 82 years old.  Elder Wadley takes Brother Kirby to get groceries and pick up medicine for Sister Kirby and Sister Wadley visits with Sister Kirby while they are gone.  We had to help Brother Kirby and another young man he knows, move Sister Kirby from one bed to another bed.  That was quite challenging because she is in a fair amount of pain.  Sister Wadley has had some very spiritual visits with Sister Kirby.  She knows so much about the scriptures and she always ends our visits with "only the Lord knows."  She has so much faith.  Brother Kirby's friend, Pedro, had surgery on his sinuses and so Elder Wadley and I have been driving him back and forth to doctor's appointments along with helping Brother Kirby get supplies he needs.

Two of our deployed fathers have finally come home!!!  Brother Ralston got home from Germany on the 11th and Brother Welsh came back from Camp MacKall on the 14th.  Brother Walker still has 8 months to go and Brother Dunn should be home mid June.  Soooo long for these families!  But as most of them tell us, "this is our life!"

We had a Young Single Adult baptism on the 16th as well as a child of record.  Poi from Hawaii became a member of the church!  What a great man!  He has been attending the Branch for about 5 months now and the Family Home Evenings as well.  His roommate, Jason, in the barracks on post baptized him.  He is from Tonga.  What a very spiritual evening that was!  So many YSA members attended and supported him.  He wanted to get baptized before returning home to Hawaii for some leave.  He will be put to good use in the branch!  Brother and Sister Dagley's son was also baptized. She is the Young Women President and Brother Dagley is the Ward Executive Secretary.  After the baptism, Sister Wadley was walking down the hall and President Willard's daughter Angelee, was just standing there leaning against the wall in her cute long skirt and shirt, waiting for her family to come. She was just going to have her 9th birthday party that day.  President Willard is the Elder's Quorum President and he and his wife have been members about 3 years.  Sister Wadley went up to her and told her how cute she looked today.  She very shyly said thank you.  Sister Wadley then said, "you are going to make a great missionary some day!  Well...actually, you are a missionary RIGHT NOW!  She looked up at Sister Wadley and so very innocently said, "well, I'm not a missionary now because my mom and dad still own us!"  Elder Wadley and I have gotten such a kick out of that!

It has been the Fort Bragg Military Ward's month to clean the stake center so Elder Wadley and I have been going each Saturday morning to help out.  He is now a professional industrial vacuum handler and Sister Wadley is now a professional toilet cleaner!  The members make it a fun time!

We traveled down to Wilmington near the Atlantic Coast for our 4 Zone Conference on the 13th of April.  We met in a stake center there and had instruction from President James and his Counselor, President Catlett, who is in the Fayetteville Stake and is a dentist in Fayetteville.  We had met him the first week he was called to be in the mission presidency.  He came to the Cameron Ward's Gospel Principles Class.  After the instruction, which included all of the missionaries who are completing their missions bearing their testimonies (Elder Wion and Sister Hesen!), we had a nice lunch put on by one of the Relief Societies there and then headed over to walk thru some botanical gardens.  It was a really nice day.  It was about 2 1/2 hours away and we had all 3 Cameron Elders in the back seat.  Two of them are big elders....they were crunched but accepted it so graciously and were so appreciative of the drive.  We had a bag of goodies for each of them and plenty of water.

On the 15th we drove to Aberdeen and picked up Sister Hesen and her companion and took them to Pic 'n Pig for lunch to say goodbye to Sister Hesen.  We had such a fun time!  She asked us to write in her testimony journal.  Parting is such sweet sorrow!  Sister Wadley has made sure she has given each of the missionaries in our district our home address and told them that we expect wedding announcements sent to us!  They all just laugh at her and tell her they for sure will do it!

Laura, one of the YSA members returned from her TDY on the 16th.  We have been watering her plants for her while she has been gone.  She lives in a nice apartment right on the post.

We have had Sacrament Meetings out to Camp MacKall every Sunday in April.  Elder Wadley and I spoke on the 17th out there.  I spoke on President Monson's talk this month at General Conference on "Choices" and Elder Wadley spoke about his experience with prayer when he was flying in Desert Storm.  We feel like both of them went very well.

They are installing a new form of checking our military I.D.'s when we enter the post.  On the 19th of this month, Elder Wadley and I had left the post at 9:30 in the morning to head up to Linden Oaks and the traffic coming into the post was backed up for about 2 miles!  Hopefully, this won't last long.

Our oldest child, Kathryn, turned 41 on April 21st.  We were able to travel over for the day to Charlotte to wish her a happy birthday.  The GRANDkids were so excited to see us.  We took everyone out to eat at Olive Garden and had a great time.  We surprised her with a wreath for her front door....made entirely of flip flops and flowers for summer.  We THINK she liked it!  She said she did.  We say this because it is pretty BIG and pretty WILD!!!  Happy birthday Bogie!

The YSA Branch is exploding with active members!  On the 17th there were 61 in attendance at Sacrament Meeting and on the 24th there were 42.  President and Sister Dickerson and the entire branch council have done a super job in activating the less active.  We also have several who are home for the summer from school and about 5 here for the summer working for Vivent.  There are many many very beautiful homes in Pinehurst, where the US Open Golf Tournament has been held twice!  We're sure many of them are having security systems installed.

Elder Hancock from the Cameron area is being transferred on the 26th.  He has been such a super missionary!  Didn't have any intention of serving a mission, but thru many visits with his Young Men leader and caring ward leaders, decided he needed to do this and has been outstanding!  Cameron has been his first area.  We really hate to see him go.  We have sent so many elders and sisters off to other areas or home from their missions, and it is always a sad time.  Sister Wadley makes sure each of them have our home address and she tells them she expects an invitation to their wedding receptions!  They always get a real kick out of that!

We had a very spiritual experience happen just when we were driving home from the Fort Bragg Military Ward's Missionary Correlation Meeting on the night of the 24th.  First of all, I need to tell you that Sister Robison had approached Sister Wadley during church on Sunday and asked if there was any way we could come to the Missionary Correlation Meeting her husband holds in their home every Sunday evening.  She said the ward really needs some "adult" supervision and ideas and attending this meeting would be so helpful.  It used to be during the week night with the previous Ward Mission Leader.  Anyway we talked it over and decided this is where we were needed, since the other 2 senior Military Relations Couples always go out.  We had a very productive missionary meeting and had just about gotten home when we received a phone call from a member of the Fort Bragg Ward.  She was having some difficulty at her house and wondered if we might be able to come over and help sort it out.  This was about 9:30 p.m.  We said you bet, and away we went.  We ended up getting home about 10:30, but were able to really help someone out who was desperately in need.  Another testimony to us of following the spirit and of seeing the Lord's hand in His work.

We have been feeling the affects of realizing that we are on the "down hill" portion of our mission and it makes us so sad.  We have truly met some wonderful people, both members and non-members.  They have strengthened our love for our country, for the gospel and for our Savior, Jesus Christ.  The military life is a hard life, but if that is all you know, as was our case for 20 years...then that is your life and you live it and love it!  When a wife tells us of her husband's upcoming year deployment and she will stay here at Ft. Bragg with 2, 3, 4 or 5 children, it makes us stop and think, "oh my word, so long!"  How is she ever going to do it.  They just smile and continue raising their children and teaching them the gospel.  It is really something to see!

In one of our District Meetings in April, Elder Christiansen instructed and encouraged us on Self-Reflection.  He said that we need to practice:  obedience, prayer, being consistent and focus on what we CAN do and not on what we CAN'T do.  It was a great reminder and one that all of the missionaries can ponder and practice!

We have begun to see an influx of members coming and going with the summer approaching.  We have already begun going to member's homes and telling them goodbye.  It makes us feel sad because we feel like we have just gotten to know them and their children and now they are moving away.  Some of these families include the Welsh family, the Marble family, the Scroggins family, the Atkinson family, etc. Great members with strong testimonies that will see them thru their military careers.  We have also been able to welcome several new families:  The Hodges family, the Clayton family, and several in the Young Single Adult Branch.  Many are coming to work for Vivent Security Systems for the summer.  Others have come home from BYU Idaho, BYU, missions, etc.  Very fun and exciting!  We have had upwards of 30 out to the YSA Family Home Evening.  We have had several of them over to our house to get to know them, or ones President Dickerson has asked us to fellowship due to personal problems.  They are great soldiers and trying to do their best to fulfill both their military and church responsibilities.

It has really rained a lot this month.  Several Monday evenings out at President Dickerson's home have been pouring down rain!  No wonder this place is so green and beautiful!

The Fort Bragg Military Ward has begun having "Begin the Fast" picnic's at the park here on Pope Army Air Field.  Each family brings their own meal and then a dessert to share with everyone.  So far the 2 we have attended have been very good!  There is covered tables and a nice play area for the children.  We have been able to bring a few new families to the picnic which gives them an opportunity to meet the members before their first Sunday.  This has been a big help, since Sunday's are always so busy!

We were able to enjoy a really fun YSA Family Home Evening out top President Chandler's home in Pinehurst this month.  His daughter, Madison, just returned from a mission to Rome, Italy and she made lasagna for everyone.  They have a huge home and a big family room, so for the activity President Dickerson showed slides of his company installing the bell at the top of the Nauvoo Temple.  He told how President Hinckley came to inspect it and wanted to climb the 3 flights of narrow wooden stairs to touch the bell.  His body guards told him they didn't think that was a good idea but he insisted.  We saw pictures of him touching it.  He was also presented a replica at his office, along with the First Presidency.  The bell was purchased by the Larry Miller family and the entire family came to present it to the First Presidency.  President Hinckley asked if he could strike the bell with the rubber mallet there and President Dickerson said, "yes you can President Hinckley."  He hit it and then asked if he could hit it harder and President Dickerson again said he could hit it as hard as he wanted to.  He continued banging and banging after which President Faust said, "Gordon STOP THAT!"  At that point, President Hinckley looked at him and gave a great big swing with the mallet and hit the bell as hard as he could!  It was a really enjoyable presentation.  Afterwards, everyone played ping pong and a great time was had by all.  We drove the Zone Leaders home that night and had a fun trip home.

Earlier, I wrote about a little comment the Fort Bragg Military Ward's Elder's Quorum President's 9 year old daughter said to Sister Wadley after a child of record baptism at the Stake Center.  Elder and Sister Wadley were leaving and Angele was standing in the hall waiting for her family to come and Sister Wadley approached her and told her how cute she looked this morning.  She kind of sheepishly said, "thank you."  Sister Wadley then said, "you know, you look just like a missionary!"  Angele looked up at her and just as serious as can be said, "I'm not a missionary yet, my parents still own us."  Oh that was soooo funny!  Sister Wadley then said, "well you sure are a missionary now because of how kind you are to your friends and your brothers.  She smiled and shook her head like she agreed.  We told her parents about it and they just laughed and laughed.  Speaking of her parents, her dad flies the Black Hawk helicopter and he texted Elder Wadley one day and told him that he was going to be landing his Black Hawk at Pic 'n Pig, a BBQ restaurant on a landing strip in the little town of Carthage.  He said his family was going to be there and would we like to join them for dinner and family home evening.  We were so excited because the restaurant is always sending out notices of when military helicopters will be landing and we have wanted to be there for that.  We called the Cameron Elders to see if they wanted to join us.  We got a text later in the day from President Willard saying it is closed on Mondays!  He said, "I guess they close for Family Home Evening!!!"  We'll do it another time before we leave our mission.

We saw a perfect example of a member who could very easily have just hidden out and never been found, but decided she wanted to stay active and attend church, even though her husband was in training in Virginia.  Sister Stacey is such a great person!  We saw her sitting by herself one Sunday, so Sister Wadley went up and introduced herself.  She said that she was living with her brother and his wife and their little 1 year old boy while her husband was at AIT at Ft. Lee in Virginia.  She said he would be gone until December.  We asked her where she lived and she said in Linden Oaks (which is a military housing area about 15 minutes from Ft. Bragg.)  We went to visit her and we asked for "Stacy" when a lady opened the door.  She looked a little puzzled and then said, "oh you mean Hillary.  Stacey is her last name!"  Sister Stacey came to the door and we had a nice visit with her.  The next Sunday she was back again and we sat with her and she said that she hadn't been active for about 10 years.  She is from Brigham City.  She said she and her husband will be married 2 years in August.  They were married in Bear Lake and on their first anniversary they were sealed in the Logan Temple.  She said she had been teaching Primary for the last year until her husband joined the Army.  She stayed for all 3 meetings and came into Gospel Principles with us!  She is such a sweet, sweet lady and we are going to hopefully take her to Stake Conference on the 14th of May.  She is able to drive to Ft. Lee every other weekend to spend the weekend with her husband.  Her brother isn't a member and she said he doesn't like the Mormon Church.  Her sister-in-law is Catholic but told her she would probably come to church a few times with her this summer.  A perfect example of someone who has the desire to keep her testimony strong, even thru difficult circumstances and at a time where she could have chosen to just "not be found."  

One of the areas we go in to visit members of the Cameron Ward quite often is Carolina Lakes.  It is a gated community and we need to be invited in.  The gate guards know us as we are always coming and going.  One day one of the gate guards walked up to the car and asked Elder Wadley, "do you need to wear that tie everyday?"  We laughed and Elder Wadley told him, "I sure do,"  The guard then said, "well, good for you YOUNG MAN!"  He was probably our age.  We all laughed and he sent us through the gate!

We are beginning to see all the mushrooms come out on our lawn again!  We thought back when we first moved onto the post and we saw several blooming in the yard.  They are popping up again with the weather becoming warmer.  Just another fond reminder for us of North Carolina.  We will miss this place so much!

BSA activities and involvement always hold a special place in my heart.  Sister Wadley and I attended a huge Cameron Ward fundraiser at the end of the month for the Scout's summer camp.  It was a spaghetti dinner and auction.  The scouts cooked and served a nice pasta meal with french bread and tossed salad.  There were many baked goods and other items available for auction.  The auction also included several other services, such as fishing, cleaning, and planting, etc. as well as special events, like car, boat and plane rides!  We have never seen a better turnout, scouting displays, wonderful fellowship, and very successful fundraiser.  It was amazing, and we and the full-time "young" missionaries were able to visit with several investigators and new members.  Fun evening.

We send our love to all those who read our blog, and want you to know how much we are enjoying serving the Lord on a full-time basis.