Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sister time

While I was away at Zone Conference, Sister Jones joined the Sister Missionaries from the district around the mission office for a picnic. 

Zone Conferences

Rachel and Jacob's sealing in Detroit was sandwiched between two weeks with 3 zone conferences each week.  I attended them all and gave a presentation on budgeting.  Susan went to two of them and covered the office the other  days.  It is quite stimulating to visit with the missionaries, feel of their spirit and dedication, and observe the spiritual depth of these young people (and a few senior missionaries).

This is a group picture of the Buffalo South Zone.  It is one of the larger ones and also the tallest. 

One of the tasks addressed at Zone Conference is car inspections.  Elder Spencer is the vehicle coordinator and I assist him with rating the vehicles.

Elder and Sister Workman are the housing coordinator and nurse who will be released very shortly.  They entertain and inform the missionaries with skits during lunch.  This is a visit from the "Laundry Fairy" to an Elder perplexed about how to clean his clothes. 

Time out for Family Rachel and Jacob's Sealing

We received permission to take a day and a half away from our missionary duties to attend the sealing of Jacob and Rachel in the Detroit Temple on August 18th.  It was a very blessed event and we were thrilled to be there for it.

This was taken the day after the sealing during their reception in Marquette at Presque Isle Park.  Below are the newlyweds leaving the Temple. 

The Johnson sisters.

The old and the young. 

Mom, the Bride, and Gramma

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Peter Whitmer Farm

After attending the Corn Festival, we traveled to the Peter Whitmer Farm, which was our main objective of the day. It is out in the country away from any town, the closest being Fayette. It is a very peaceful setting.

Sister Jones stands in the replica of the room where the Church was organized on April 6, 1830.  To the right is the replica of the room and table where Joseph Smith completed the translation on the Book of Mormon.

We are standing outside the Whitmer's log cabin. There is a Visitor Center nearby and it is also a functioning ward meeting house.  The videos and displays are very good and there are interactive displays for children.  We were inspired by our visit there and appreciated Elder Pond for the informative tour.

Around the mission

Saturday, we had time to chart our own course and see sights around the mission.  Our co-missionaries in the mission office, the Spencers, joined us to get out into the beautiful countryside.

 The town of Avon (Av-on) about 25 miles south west of us has an annual corn festival.  The local missionaries and Zone Leader were staffing a booth there, so we decided to go over to show support. It was a good turn out with over nearly 50 booths and three locations for free music.  We were there in the late morning, but there was already a good crowd.  Since it was morning, we did not hit the food booths. 

I learned that the local Rotary Club sponsored the event. I struck up conversations with several Rotarians. There was a human being inside the corn cob outfit in the center picture.  It gives real meaning to the term "roasting ear."

Our last stop of the day was at a Mennonite grocery store, Sauders, that is widely known and endorsed by the Senior Missionaries in the mission.  I kind of envisioned a old barn type building with old folks peddling overpriced goods and crafts.  I was really pleased with a modern grocery with competitively priced goods and a delicious deli.  They also had bite sized samples of several items around the store.  The sales and check out staff were all dressed in modest Mennonite skirts but were young ladies.  It was a pleasant shopping experience.   The place just seemed wholesome. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Visitors from Marquette past

Dr. Shinsuke Tsuchiya and his family dropped by the mission office to visit. It was a pleasure to meet Alyssa, Ryuta, and Kiyoshi in person after seeing them on facebook the last couple of years. Shinsuke recently received his doctorate in Japanese from Ohio State University. The family will be moving to Utah where he has a job teaching at BYU. They were in the area to see the church history sites and we were thrilled that they stopped by to visit us.
Shinsuke spent some of his high school years in Marquette living with the Blotter family. The Blotters had met his family while they were in Japan with the Navy.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Church History websites

When we visited the Grandin Printing Site, the Sisters who gave the tour promised to share some links to church history sites that cover the Smith Farm, Sacred Grove, and Grandin Site.  Here they are:

If you are coming to visit, they would be good to review beforehand to deepen your understanding

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Visit from the Hockemas

Amy and Chuck's family had been vacationing in Canada and came back through New York to visit us and see the church history sites.  They were on a tight schedule.  We met them in Palmyra and toured the Grandin Print Shop where the first copies of the Book of Mormon were printed and bound. Sister Barlow provided an excellent tour.

We then drove to the Smith Farm and Sacred Grove for a quick walk through.  This is the Angel Moroni atop the Palmyra Temple visible from the farm and Sacred Grove.

We hurried to drive up the Hill Cumorah at dusk and got up and down before closing at 9 pm.  Drove home to a supper of pulled pork sandwiches and cole slaw.  Everyone was pretty tired.

Wednesday morning, I prepared  a hearty but leisurely breakfast.  We went over to the Brigham Young baptism site and then drove to the Tomlinson Inn and Tomlinson cemetery.  Then the Hockemas headed eastward.  It was great to have them here.

Farewell to Homeward Bound Missionaries

Fourteen missionaries left for home Tuesday.  They gathered at the mission home Monday evening for supper.  The office staff supported the event by preparing the food.  It was a joy to be around these exceptional young people who served the Lord to build up his church for 18 to 24 months.

 Tuesday morning was the transfer day for the remaining missionaries.

They flew out Tuesday morning and 15 flew in Tuesday evening to carry on the work.  Wednesday morning, they went to the sacred history sites, then came to the office for training.  This involved a lot of work by our support staff compounded by one of the companionships having a collision with a deer Tuesday evening.

It has been very busy in the mission office.