Monday, January 22, 2018

New Mission - Brooklyn, New York!!!! and Week #1 - Jan 15 - Jan 20

Dear Family and Friends,

I am hunkered down in North Platte, NE due to blizzard conditions so have time to get out my first of many emails and pictures of our (Scott and Robin) mission to New York, specifically the Bronx.

For those of you who are not of my faith, some of my journal entries will speak of the Savior and the impact He has had on my life. I am hopeful this does not offend you; it is because of Him I am serving this mission.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Scott and I were set apart as fulltime missionaries tonight by members of the Stake Presidency. They came to our home; it was wonderful to have them in our home. The Petersens, Luckys and us went to dinner prior to this event. I have come to love these 2 women dearly. Serving with them in the temple as coordinators was a sweet blessing for the 3 of us as we became such good friends. In addition to them being with us tonight, we had Scott's mom, sister and brother in law; our Bishop and his sweet daughter, Maddie; Bill and Lisa Busath. All the men were in the circle and it was a tender moment for me. After all left, Scott and Stan gave Mom Kanzler a blessing, and in turn Deb was given one. Mom Kanzler has been ill with a terrible cough (much like the one Scott has) and Deb was struck with Bell's Palsy a little over a week ago. After everyone was gone, Scott gave me a blessing assuring me of the welfare and well being of our home, animals and my sweet mom.
One more day at home to get ready and we are off for whatever is in store for us.

Being Set Apart at our home

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Arrived here in Lehi, Utah without incident, though it was difficult to leave home this morning. It is one thing to announce for the past 3 months that we would be serving a mission commencing January 15th, it is another item to actually go forward with the decision. It is easier said than done as I live in this temporary realm of more consecrated service. Leaving family, friends and home is not easy.

Friday, January 12, 2018
Scott and I attended President Monson's funeral this afternoon; after it was announced that he has consecrated his life to service to the Lord for 67 years commencing when he was called as a bishop at the age of 22, I had a reality check and concluded I could certainly consecrate 6 months of my life to serving the people in the New York New York North Mission. Two quotes of President Monson that were shared today: “I feel we have done some good today,” and “Never let a problem 2 be solved be more important than a person to be loved.”

On the tram to President Monson's funeral

Lunch Time!!!

On a lighter note, I was looking in our packed car for something this morning when I discovered tennis rackets and pickle ball rackets – what??? When I questioned Scott about it and questioned where in the Bronx did he think we would be playing either sport, he exclaimed we aren't in West Africa (third world) we are in the US; really, tennis courts in the Bronx? He also confessed he packed my golf clubs as well. I told him not waste the space in the car with them, but of course he didn't listen to me. Really, pickle ball courts in the Bronx? I don't think so!

Went to church with Loren!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Outside MTC prior to be checked in

The MTC Map!

It has been a whirl wind day getting checked into the MTC and settled in our room; in addition getting assigned to a district, having our first training meeting and then FHE where a rebroadcast of a talk Elder Bednar gave Christmas day 2016 at the MTC. It was powerful. He spoke of the difference of a testimony and conversion. A summary of his remarks follows:

- “There would be no atoning sacrifice except for the character of Jesus Christ.” Neil A. Maxwell
- What is the character of the Savior? He turns outward in love, service and compassion
- In the Garden of Gethsemane after asking his disciples to wait for him and remain awake; 3 times he admonished them to no avail. Having just taken upon Him the sins, sorrows, ills of all mankind, having bled from every pore; and then betrayed by one of His disciples. As He is approached to be arrested, Peter draws his sword and severs the ear of one of the Roman soldiers. What is the character of the Savior? He turns outward and restores the ear to the soldier.
- This mission isn't about me! Get over myself and turn outward towards others. The greatest conversion on my mission can be me if I get over myself and turn outward.
- If I am converted unto the Lord, I will never fall away; one who only has a testimony stands a chance of leaving the church.
- Conversion is being consistently true to what I know to be true.
- Faith, then Testimony and the ultimate of Conversion
- One's lifelong pursuit should be learning of the Savior not about Him.
- With desire and diligence, my discovery of the character of the Savior will bind me to Him and I will not fall away.

During one of our general meetings, we as mission couples were counseled to be mindful of each other, hold hands and generally look like we care about each other. This was because a statistic was given that out of all the missionaries who come through the MTC only 20% of these wonderful young people come from homes where there is a mother and father and they go to church on Sunday; the other 80% come from single parent homes with additional challenges.

Full time missionaries with disabilities

Laundry Time

Missionaries with disabilities serving in the Call Center

Our new friends, the Gunnells, who are the new office couple in the Sacramento, CA Mission 

Senior Couples - New Friends

Friday, January 19, 2018
A lot has transpired since Monday and when I think about it, it makes me tired. We had training every day until 4:30 in the afternoon; it has been exhausting but Scott and I have had a wonderful time learning and discovering we are able to teach together even though we have different styles.

Besides the MTC this week, a list of what else has transpired:
- We bumped into the Plennerts from home; they were to have flown to their field of labor last Saturday, the 13th, but Gerhart became very ill and they could not travel. They were quite discouraged, but he is well enough to fly and they leave in the morning.
- We drove to Santaquin last night and had dinner with Shirley. It was so good to eat at “home” and bypass the MTC food.
Wednesday, we rendezvoused with Robb and Ellen Seader at the BYU Creamery. They were a humanitarian couple serving in Sierra Leone while we were there. It was so fun to see them again.

Creamery date with the Seader's

It is currently snowing, so we don't know what our travel plans will be tomorrow.
I am happy, not pining too much for home.

Saturday, January 20, 2018
We left Provo this morning at 9:00 after having our last meal in the “missionary mess hall.” Most seniors had already left; will miss my association with them. 5 days in the MTC is pretty intense but a very endearing experience as we meet with the same missionaries every day; the Mollers (going to Bismark, ND serving the native Americans), the Schows (going to St. Johns Island, Nova Scotia); the Taylors (serving at home in Highland, UT) and of course, us (serving in New York, NY).

My overall experience in the MTC – wonderful! The food was challenging and other than that, I learned a lot and am anxious to get to New York.

Weather across Wyoming was quite dicey and we ended up staying the night in Laramie, Wyoming; we had hoped to get to Cheyenne, but too stormy and dark.
Highway 80 heading East

Welcome to Little America, Wyoming

Love to all!

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