Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

On New Years Eve, we joined 5 other couples and the Zone Leaders at the Spencers across the street for a fun evening of great food (Sister Jones made cranberry meatballs over rice) and games.  We played a true/false get to know you game, slap happy, Pterodactyl, and Left - Right - Center, a game using 3 dice.  I won all the little Andes candies stacked in from of me!   Welcome 2017.

On the way up

The number of baptisms in creased 7% in 2016 after a downward trend for 7 years!  Sister Jones enters the baptism records and tracks the progress.  She also does a bit of cheerleading. 
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

After being pretty much exhausted by the Christmas Eve Conference, it was enjoyable to drive to Batavia for Christmas Sunday.  The music was excellent and there was fellowship afterward where Elders Self, Gwilliam, and Moon opened Christmas presents.  They got wash cloths, towels, and deodorant among other items...hmmmmm. We put (our traditional) mini cereal packages into each of their Christmas boxes.

Then we drove to Jefferies' apartment in Brockport and joined the Spencers for a Christmas dinner of  ham and the traditional sides.  We played a variation of Monopoly that awards the merciless.  Then we headed home to phone calls and Skype to end a wonderful day.  We had picturesque snow cover for Christmas that disappeared the next day with rain. 

We are missing our friend Toney whom we visited for several months and has been transferred from the Rochester Psychiatric Forensic Unit to another facility. 

Light the World

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Conference

The Christmas Conference is the only time all year that the entire mission is together.  There is so much energy, enthusiasm, and love abounding.  

Sister Jones made the table center pieces. 

Sorry for the poor picture.  The ladies on the office staff take the lead on meal preparation for 140 people and are assisted my MLS and FM missionaries and spouses.  Sister Spencer planned a Mexican menu with pulled pork as the meat and all was delicious.

Here is the group in the Cultural Hall doing the white elephant gift exchange. 

There was a talent show of live talent and humorous videos. 

Elder Larson, an AP as MC for the show. 

The day concluded in the chapel with some unparalleled musical renditions and memorable talks by President Spencer. 

On the way home, the Missionaries picked up the many, many packages and letters that Sister Jones had sorted.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Counting our blessings- A Snowblower

As senior  missionaries, we are fortunate to have not only a garage, but a snowblower.  The Facility Management group does contract for snow plowing, it comes after we have left for work.  Elder Spencer is from Arizona, so he wanted to try his hand with the snowblower Saturday morning.

I had not seen a snowblower with a track rather than wheels.  It is slower, but it gives the impression that you are attacking the snow with a tank. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Released to school

In addition to the regular transfer, 13 missionaries went home in December so that they could be back in time to enroll in the spring semester of college.  This represented 10% of the mission departing.   Here they are checking their packets with flight information and guidance for the future.

Elder Gibby, one of the Assistants to the President, who we worked closely with. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Special Mission Leadership Conference

There is a monthly Mission Leadership Conference for instruction and correlation.  This month was special with two members of the Missionary Department, Elders Hemingway and Jackman, giving talks to the missionaries.  About 50 of the missionaries were in attendance.  Sisters Spencer and Jones did their usual culinary delight.

The famed "million dollar pie"


Monday, December 12, 2016

An old fashioned Christmas at the Joseph Smith, Sr Farm

The site missionaries host a Christmas program at the Joseph Smith Farm that was a most enjoyable evening.

Elder Lawton as Joseph Smith, Sr reads the Christmas story in Luke. 

Elder and Sister Lawton at the door of Smith log house. 

Demonstrating spinning flax and caroling in the Smith frame house. 

Sisters Cahoon and Lucas

Sisters Erickson and Cahoon

Then to the barn for a dance and games. 

Sisters Packard,       , Reynolds, and Crofts

We ended at the visitor center with cookies and hot chocolate.  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas in Batavia

We attend the Batavia Branch by assignment.  

We went there on December 10 for the morning baptism of Sister Schwartz.  

Then we helped with setting up for the Branch Christmas party and enjoyed the festivities.  

Sister Jones chatting with Sister Long. 

Present President Weiler and Past President Pierce.

The food line and happy Elders. 

A full plate and then some!

Branch members sharing talents.

Brother Haggerty, the branch's very talented piano player added some levity. 

During set up it was learned that the Santa would not be available.   Everyone seemed to think that I should fill the vacancy.  They felt that I was a right jolly old elf.  With Santa's helpers, Sister Jones, Elders Gwilliam, Self, and Moon.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas on the Farm

We greatly enjoy living in the historic John Young Farmhouse, built in 1826.  We especially appreciate the pastoral beauty of this winter season.  We keep the porch light on until we get home and have the tree in the bay window, doing our part to Light the World. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Transfers

December is very busy.  On this transfer, 6 went home and 4 arrived.  

The departing missionaries were a very solid, dedicated group.  They enjoyed the Hawaiian haystacks for their send off. 

Transporting the remaining missionaries around the Mission.

The mission van shuffles off to Buffalo. 

Here is the arriving group with the Assistants to the President.