Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great, Strong LDS Missionaries Around the World

When we came out to the mission field at the end of December, I thought I knew all about missionaries and missions because we had three sons go on missions and many relatives and friends go on missions, but I guess I never really understood the greatness of the service that each of these missionaries provides to members worldwide and to our Heavenly Father. Now we are here to witness it firsthand and it makes me want to thank the great parents and families of these missionaries for the way that they have been taught and the great examples they are of dedication.
When we came out, our son, Brian, told me that one of my main jobs would be to take good care of the young missionaries: To feed them, mother them a little, and help them out when needed. That has been a job that has been easy for me to do. We have great missionaries here in the Mitcham Ward. I have sent a picture of them, so I will tell you a little about them. We have two sets of missionaries that we work with here. Our District Leader was Elder Carlberg from Sweden until Thursday. He just went home and we will miss him. He has been a great example of service and following the letter of the law. His companion is Elder Holzel, from Germany. He has only been in the country for about 3 months, but has acquired a great command of the language in that short amount of time. The other set of Elders is Elder Binks, from Spanish Fork. He is an ex football star at Spanish Fork High School. His family has just moved to Ohio. He is the cream of the crop, so sincere, but still a big joker. He loves to pull tricks on everyone. His companion is Elder Jackson, from Northern England. He is an ex-professional Rugby player. He is a wonderful young man, who we have grown to love a lot. He has been here with us for the past 4 months. The missionaries come to eat at our house regularly, usually several times a week. No matter what I fix, they eat everything. It can be tacos, spaghetti, pancakes and scrambled eggs, beef roast and potatoes, pork chops and rice, fish and chips, or whatever. Everything I put out on the table disappears, even all of the green salad!!! Then of course, we always have ICE CREAM AND COOKIES. They love the fact that Kenneth is always prepared with dessert!
We also hear from the missionaries regularly when they don't feel well. They call when they have a cold, the flu, a headache, athlete's foot, rashes, a stomach ache, etc. They want to know if I have some medicine that will make them feel better or if I have some good advice on how to fix their problem.
We also get piles of shirts without buttons, torn pants, and other assorted problems with clothing. I do the best I can with a needle and thread, super glue, and some assorted iron on patches. Iron on patches here are not nearly as good as those in the states. Often I have to supplement the glue on those with a little super glue of my own.
We have been stressing cleanliness here and how it even helps you feel better both mentally and physically if your flat is clean. So quite often the Elders come to borrow mops, brooms, soap, cleaning products, the vacuum cleaners, etc. They say they have less mold on their walls now and that makes them feel better, so I hope they keep that up.
We love these young men. They are great examples of everything good. The work here is hard, but they are always upbeat and an inspiration to both of us. Included in the picture are two other missionaries that are in our District. They serve in Wimbledon, which is near here, but we don't see them often. They are Elder Roberts from Cedar City and Elder Christofferson from back east somewhere.
We are keeping busy, as usual. I did manage to go to Hyde Park to the Family History Center this week and I now have 10 names from my mother's side of the family ready to do temple work on. It is so exciting to me. What a great opportunity this is for me to be able to find these family connections.
We had our first visitors this week from home. Brent and Carolyn Russen (she was Carol Jeppson) from SLC came to visit for a few days. They got here on Saturday and left on Monday evening. We were so excited to see them. It was great to have good friends here to spend time with. We hope to see more of you in the next 14 months.
Well, I must tell you that we love to hear from you all. It is so exciting whenever we get an email from home. We love you and appreciate how all of of you have touched our lives for good through the years. Have a great week.