Thursday, August 7, 2014

July 28-August 3, 2014

Let's get this blogging started!

Here we are in week 10 of our mission in the beautiful and historical America NorthEast and I am finally attempting to blog our adventures here.

And what an adventure it is!

Rather than start at the beginning at this point, I am going to talk about our most recent events and then go back and fill in the beginnings when time allows.

I will launch by recapping last week , July 28-Aug. 3.

The View From Our Hotel Room

Happy Anniversary to the Moores!

On Our Hotel Grounds

Perkins Cove, Ogunquit

Monday, the 28th was Susan and Mike's 24th Anniversary so we helped them celebrate in style by going on a quick overnighter to Maine with them.  It was glorious and we discovered new places and sites that were everything you'd ever picture Maine to be.  We read about Ogunquit in the book " 1000 Places to See Before You Die" and decided to stay there . It's name comes from Maine's native Indians and means "a beautiful place by the sea".  It did not disappoint! They got that name exactly right! It was breathtaking! It was quintessential Maine: rocky, craggy wild coastline, charming villages, gorgeous homes of classic New England style, and lobster shacks and lighthouses a plenty! We fell in love immediately and it seemed as if we were walking inside a storybook come to life. Perkins Cove was a delightful seaside village where we ate our delicious lobster dinners.  Marginal Way is a captivating walkway along the sea which spans guite a nice length and provides a wonderful, scenic walk.

The Three Photos Above Were Taken On The Marginal Way Walking Path

We were sad to leave such a lovely place but we also wanted to visit Kennebunkport so after a leisurely morning we bid farewell and drove only about 20 miles north where we explored, saw more natural beauty, more charming villages and ate more wonderful food.   On our way back to Boston we decided to stop at Nubble Lighthouse and we are so happy we did! Talk about quintessential Maine! It's perhaps one of the prettiest lighthouses I've ever seen in my life and looks like the ones you've seen  in pictures. It's on a little island all by itself and has a white picket fence,  gingerbread cutouts American flag flying, rocky coastline- it was perfect. We stayed there probably about 45 minutes just savoring it's beauty and perfectness.  We look forward to many more trips to Maine and that beautiful coastline.

The Bush's Kennebunkport Compound

We Fell In Love With This Gorgeous Pond (complete with otters!)


Checking Off Our "Foodie List" Like Crazy!

Our Favorite Lighthouse in the World (so far!)

Wednesday evening was a  spiritual highlight. We had heard so many other missionaries senior missionaries and young missionaries talk about this night and it was our first opportunity to attend what is referred to as  the 'transfer week' meeting. It's a meeting in which all the missionaries who are leaving their missions meet together at a stake center along with the mission presidency and their wives and share their testimonies. They're allowed to invite any members, new converts or investigators or anyone that they feel close to you to come and enjoy this evening and to feel the spirit there. Even though we've only been here a little over two months we've already grown very attached to the missionaries that we work with in our district and zone. We had several that were going home. It is a very bittersweet experience for us .  We will miss them very much along with their   great spirits and their wonderful talents. It was an incredible experience to be in that room and feel the spirit of all of these young people who have spent the last  few years serving the Lord, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ,and bearing witness of Him.  They bore very articulate, very mature and most impressive sincere testimonies. Dale and I say over and over again how probably the highlight of our mission is rubbing shoulders with these missionaries.  We are impressed with them every single time we are around them.  We admire them and we respect them and we learn from them.   They are amazing. We were also privileged to sit next to Will who is one of our investigators.  We went with the sisters the week prior to help teach him and we had a wonderful visit with him. We loved our time getting to know him and sharing our testimonies with him.  He is an exceptionally bright young man with lots of questions who is seeking the truth and it was wonderful to share that experience with him.  He is an atheist but is intrigued by the gospel and is captivated by the Book of Mormon. He is devouring it.

Sister Budvarson, One of Our Departing Missionaries 

 The next day brought even more blessings with the departing missionaries as it was their day to go to the temple.  Missionaries aren't able to go to the temple very often but our mission president makes sure it is  one of the very last things they do before they leave their mission.   All the departing missionaries come to the temple at the same time along with President and Sister Packard.  We requested that we could be in the session with them which was a great blessing for us to see them in this environment one last time.  We able to go through the session with them and then  I was able to be in the celestial with them afterwards. President Packard tells them this is a wonderful opportunity for them to reflect on the past years of service  and to give an accounting to the Lord, to ask if their offering was accepted by Him. You can tell by the tears that they  feel accepted with love and gratitude. After this temple experience they get to go to the mission home where the mission president and his wife have a red carpet extending from their front door down to the street to welcome them to their last meal together in the mission home before they depart next morning.  We are enjoying working in the temple but these experiences with the missionaries are some of our favorite moments there.
 I've also enjoyed very much being able to train my very own sister Susan to work in the temple.  She is doing an incredible job and learning very quickly. It's been a joy to serve together.  We both can't help but feel that our mother and father are looking down upon us and are very pleased and happy that we are able to do this work together.

The Sisters in our Zone

Friday is our full-time missionary day.  We start out with a district meeting at 11 o'clock and then afterwards enjoy a lunch together with the entire zone. The 3 senior couples now in our zone share the responsibilities and we take turns providing lunch. It is a great experience because the missionaries are so grateful for the food. It makes you so happy to be able to serve them.  The  Harris'  served up hot dogs with all the works- chili, cheese, ,onions and you name it!   It was great and enjoyed  by all. After lunch, we typically go out with the missionaries to visit investigators, new converts people, the lonely, the elderly- whoever needs a visit or some cheer.  This time we we split up and Dale went with the elders while I went  with the sisters.  Dale drove our car and the sisters  and myself went on the bus- public transportation -a new experience for me.  The sisters are great to watch because they sit down and immediately start a conversation with whomever they're sitting next to and share the gospel with everyone they meet!
 We were able to visit a lovely family of four girls, Miranda, Alexis and two twin six-year-old's Allison and Madison.  Their mother  is pregnant and tired and was taking a nap but the girls were as good as gold and it was wonderful to see their interaction with each other and how loving and kind they were to each other and how they adore the missionaries.  We gave them a lesson on prayer and challenged them to pray daily. Miranda said she was having a hard time feeling anything when she prayed and so we challenged her for one week to just think about all the things she was thankful for each day and just give a prayer of thanks each night for those things-  a simple prayer of gratitude- and to see if that made a difference in how she feels.   I'm excited to go back on this coming Friday and see how that went.  Alexis is going to be baptized in a couple weeks.  She's 11 and we're all very excited about that. Dale's afternoon was wasn't quite as him productive. Their appointment fell through and so the missionaries had him take them to Target to buy an ironing board so they can have  nice crisp shirts. :)

 Saturday we got up early and the Moores picked us up and together we drove to Hartford Connecticut about two hours away for a senior couples' outing.  One of the missionary senior couples is assigned to the new temple site  there.   They spend their days in a trailer on the temple site where there's a mini -visitor center set up.  They answer questions and give tours of sorts to any visitors who stop by and want to know about the temple. We were able to hear a few spiritual stories and experiences that happened so far and I know they'll be many more.  We then went to lunch together at a fabulous little restaurant that overlooks a beautiful pond.  I had lobster again- what else?- lobster grilled cheese!  It was delicious as was  Dale's macaroni and cheese pizza.  It was wonderful getting to know the other senior couples better. We sat across from Tom and Marjean Harris whom we have come to love as best friends and family.   It is a privilege and blessing to serve alongside them.

 After lunch we visited Wilford Woodruff's birthplace site.  Brother Gary Hansen who has done considerable research on him talked to us about some facts that he discovered about Pres. Woodruff that were delightful and spiritually uplifting.  HIs letters to and from his children were very revealing and touching. That along with many journal entries made us all realize how important personal record keeping is.  It was a full and good day.

  Sunday we left  home early so we could pick up a couple of people that live in Dorcester and don't have cars. It takes about an hour to get there.   We picked up Landa and her children, Jayden and Zelena, and  Isabella and her little daughter who live just down the street. They attend  the Portuguese  'twig' for part of the time and then come and finish with our ward's Relief Society.  Afterwards Dale took them home while I attended the missionary correlation meeting. We then went out with the sisters and visited several people and tried to visit several more but many had fallen through.  It was still an incredible experience just to be with the sisters and watch them at work and to be around their positive energy and witness their complete trust and faith in the Lord.  We visited  Aldofina who is desperately trying to find a new place to live.   Right now she lives in a basement, which is an unfinished basement by the way, with concrete floors and exposed beams and electrical work in the ceilings, except for one tiny room that is  'finished' but there are no windows, no closets- just one square room  big enough for a bed and a tiny table and chest of drawers for she and her 11-year-old son, Clenny.  We've got the ward working on it and we're trying very, very hard to find her another place to live hopefully by the end of this week.   She's the most lovable, sweet woman -she just glows. Everyone who knows her loves her for she is beautiful inside and out.   She's done such a good job raising her son Clenny.  We are  praying and hoping that she can find a new place to live very soon.

 We didn't get home till about 7 o'clock  , ate dinner about 8, exhausted but it's a good exhaustion...a good tired.  All of a senior missionaries  kind of joke with each other that we literally are wearing ourselves out in the service of the Lord.  We have really long hours and it's hard and it's exhausting and we miss her families and loved ones very much but we know it's the right thing to do at the right time and we know there's a purpose for our being here. And we know that our families will be blessed.  We are grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way.
I think I would like to end each entry here the same way we learned President Woodruff did in his mission journals...
"And we went our way rejoicing."


  1. So happy you are blogging again. Glad you and Dale are having a great mission. Those pictures are great.

  2. Sounds amazing! I wish I could hop on a plane and visit.

  3. Love your journal and pictures. How beautiful the area and you two look great! So happy you're having these experiences and feeling the blessings of missionary work. Will keep checking your blog for updates. You did a super job, Nancy, developing your blog. Be happy, be safe, and God be with you. Florence Wagner

  4. Dear Friends, Thanks so much for the blog. It's fantastic!!!!! What a great service you two are rendering to the church & the missionaries. We are VERY PROUD of you two.Much love, The Borgquists

  5. ok, all caught up! loved every word. the experience in the celestial room with the missionaries who are going home sounds so special...i love that you got to go with them and you guys are so close to the elders and sisters in your mission. i am sure everyone adores you guys. how was the lobster pot pie?? can you send some my way please? and i was kinda laughing to myself about the macaroni and cheese pizza because kailea always calls pepperoni pizza "macaroni pizza" and i always thought it would be funny if they actually made that kind. so what did dad think of it? great pictures and commentary. love you and miss you!!