Tuesday, February 28, 2017


We had a very busy week with 15 missionaries arriving. Sister Jones was chief cook for this transfer and prepared chicken curry served on rice with a variety of toppings to choose from:  pineapple, coconut, peanuts,  for a group of 25.

This group of Elders was a different demographic from the Utah domination we usually receive.   There were Elders from Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida and even Hawaii with only one Utahn.  However, all 5 Sisters are from Utah. 

In addition to integrating the new arrivals, there are other changes due to tenure and leadership considerations.  This transfer, 80% of the companionships experienced changes.  So on one day, we have a massive Chinese fire drill.  At best it is managed chaos. 

Elder Spencer visits with Elder Lopez who is headed to Buffalo.

Elder and Sister Jefferies drive the mission van to Buffalo with the missionaries reassigned there.  Here are Elders Barone and Lopez and Sister Moberly eager to go. 

We had gotten to know Elders Case and Peterson very well while they served in the vicinity of the mission office. Now they are companions again in Niagara Falls. Elder Peterson was the first NYRM we met when we spent our first night in Batavia. 

These Elders were hanging around the office waiting for the van to bring their new companions:  Elders Knorr, Earl, Cummings, Marks, and Broadhead.  

Chaos managed- everyone had a roof over their head, their assigned car, phone, and iPad, and their very own companion at the end of transfer. 

All this happened in addition to closing an apartment and moving the furnishings to a new apartment on Monday, closing an apartment located 2 hours from the office and loading the furnishing on Thursday, and opening an apartment and moving in the furnishing in Rochester on Friday.  This caused me some paperwork hoop jumping over the weekend to get ready for this and caused Elder Jefferies some  logistical challenges.  Fortunately, the Lord is on our side. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Rainy Day on the Road

The weather has kept us kinda close to home for a couple of months.  Sister Spencer heard about a restaurant Cartwright's Maple Tree Inn near Angelica which is famous in the region for its pancakes. So a trip was organized for the 3 office couples plus the 2 Facility Management couples,, the Marsings and Loveridges, and we were joined there by an MLS couple, the Aldrichs who serve in Arcade.

The 5 couples boarded the mission van at the John Young Farm and headed first to the Abbey of the Genesee.  In addition to a beautiful chapel, they had a bakery with "Monk's Bread" that Sister Jones purchased as well some jams.

Then Sister Jefferies got a call in her role of mission nurse and we detoured to Wellsville, which was in the vicinity of our destination for a wellness visit.  We all had a good visit with Elders Callister and Edwards at their apartment, which was in first class condition.

Next stop was the Maple Grove Cemetery near Friendship, NY, the final resting place of Sydney Rigdon who was a key person in the early days of the Church serving as first counselor to the Prophet Joseph at the time of the martyrdom.  He maintained that he should be Joseph's successor but Brigham Young as President of the Quorum of the Twelve was chosen.  Rigdon returned to the East and was buried here in 1876.

Sister Jones noted that a passerby would have thought we were attending a funeral.

We then continued on to Cartwright's Maple Tree Inn, our primary destination.  True to predictions, the parking lot was overflowing and the line extended out the door for a couple hundred feet.  We waited in line for an hour and a half due in part to our large group size. As people left the restaurant, we would ask if it was worth the wait and those departing would always answer affirmatively.  

There were some amusing and interesting diversions while standing in line.

Finally, we were headed to our seats and saw the prized reason for our travels. 

Here we are enjoying the ambiance and awaiting our pancakes.  They were good, but considering the drive and time waiting.....

It was a great day of fellowship with the other senior missionaries and a chance to say "Oh sure, we were there." when one of western New York's iconic locations is mentioned. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Moving Experiences

I had the chance to get out of the office a bit this week and help with some moving.  On Wednesday, I joined the Jefferies and drove to Gowanda to close an apartment known as "The Mansion." It was a pretty nice abode with a fireplace and sunroom with a great view.  However, the utility bills were sky high so we moved them into town to an apartment left vacant when a senior couple, the Griffens, were released to go home.  The move was pretty easy since the landlord owned a lot of the furnishings and Elders Hunt and Emry did the heavy lifting. 

Thursday, I met a crew at the storage units to reload stuff to take to Hornell where a senior couple is arriving in March.  Here is Elder Jefferies supervising Elders Whicker and Anderson.  I went back to the office while the Jefferies made the run to Hornell.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Valentine's Day at Batavia

The Batavia Branch had another delicious social event.  This one celebrated Valentine's Day with Italian food. 

 Senior Missionaries are forgetful and Sister Jones forgot that missionaries are not to hold babies.  Month-old Wyatt was irresistible,  She repented, as did I for offering to babysit.

There was a best dessert contest. 

This is the Page family.  Sister Page had gone to Arizona for her pregnancy, so they are very happy to be reunited.  Brother Page is the local Marine Corps recruiter. 

At the History Sites

I had planned to go to the temple to help with baptisms for our new member in Batavia, Sister Schwartz, but Elder Moon has helped teach her and was to be part of it, so I accompanied his companion, Elder Gardner in showing the history sites to a new member, Brother David Taylor.

In the Christus Room at the Hill Cumorah Visitor's Center. 

Brother Taylor in the Sacred Grove.

Elder Gardner and Brother Taylor at the Hill Cumorah Stature.

This was a very enjoyable day. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

February Mission Leadership Conference

Sister Jones was the main cook for the monthly Mission Leadership Conference.  Her large servings of meatloaf along with mashed potatoes and gravy and mixed vegetables plus Sister Jefferies cherry topped chocolate cake was a big hit.  One of the Sisters called it meatcake. Sister Jones gave her all. 

  • Some of the Elders- Russell, Pederson, Larson, Peterson,]ordan, and Hawkins. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Not a photogenic event, but noteworthy:  I spent Saturday morning with the annual audit.  No big concerns, just a couple of errors discovered from several years ago.  Good to have it done.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Winter Grove

Here we are visiting the Sacred Grove.  We went to the Joseph Smith, Sr. Farm to tour some of the church owned housing that Sister Missionaries will be moving into this spring.  Elder and Sister Bradford, the site supervisors, led us and the Jefferies, the housing coordinator and nurse for the mission.
Afterward, we had lunch with the Jefferies at the Athena Restaurant in Palmyra.  Contrary to its Greek name, it was basic comfort food served to down-to-earth, small town folks (with gyros on the menu), nothing mythical or Olympian. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Winter Zone Conferences

Car inspections at winter zone conferences are rather grueling, especially for our Arizona vehicle manager, Elder Spencer.  But he soldiers on.  Some of the missionaries write off external cleanliness in the winter as hopeless, but these missionaries shine in any weather.  The ever-cheerful, even joyful, Elder Leon with Elder Emry above and the more serious but equally dedicated to cleanliness Elder Cummings went over their cars again after arriving at the meeting to make them spotless.  Each won the coveted "Golden Plates" award for their zone.

The Zone Conferences were also a spiritual feast with the messages delivered by President and Sister Evans as well as the zone leaders and Assistants to the President.  The APs presented on the topic of using technology on the mission including giving lessons by Skype.

The Area Medical Advisor and his wife, Elder and Sister Sonkins were with us.  They are based in Boston and were delightful to get to know.