Thursday, September 25, 2014

“Heathrow Delivers Jobs and Ionut Alexandru Antonie” by Elder Phillips

I had been praying for ways to bless the Britannia Ward and use the gifts and experience Father has given me for His work and His children. As I prayed I was impressed to write an email to the CEO of ECI, the company that bought my company, Digital Gateway. My impression was that they would have employment opportunities for our YSA, given they had three of their acquisitions in Europe and one in London. That email was generated on a Wednesday to the CEO and I got his reply two day later. He opened his email by saying that my timing was perfect because he was coming to Heathrow the following week and he’d love to see me. He did wonder how my email could be so perfectly timed. I reminded him of the heavenly help that I’ve always enjoyed (like the sale of DGI to ECI) and we both had a good laugh.

I know Heavenly Father’s impression had purpose far beyond what I supposed. I took the tube to Heathrow Terminal 4 and got off and went across to the Hyatt Hotel where Ron was having his meetings. We started our meeting at 1:30pm and completed it at 3:00 pm. I told them about an entire army of 200 YSA that we’re working with and indicated that we had some super talent here in London. They disclosed that they have 18 open positions that we’ll get the opportunity to fill through our London Employment Center. The ECI crusty CFO/ HR VP responsible for all hiring walked up while we were in the meeting. I asked him what are his most pressing needs regarding hiring the right people in Europe. He said without hesitation that he needed a top HR consultant to lead his hiring activities and work with all their European Companies. He knew I had done business in Europe with Procter & Gamble and IBM and had HR friends in high places. I had credibility with him and that’s not easy to do. My people at Digital Gateway had proven to be ECI’s strongest and deepest team of all the 14 companies they’d acquired. I used that credibility to suggest sending all their needs regarding employment to our Hyde Park Employment Center. I gave him the brochure for our center and Glenn commented that it was impressive what our Church does to help our members. 

As we were completing our discussion on this subject a girl’s name came into my mind that we’ve been reactivating.  She hasn’t been active for 10 years and is just returning to the kingdom. It just so happened that I had a conversation with her days before regarding her HR background and what she had done in her career. That discussion allowed me to suggest her as a candidate for consideration for his number one priority, the HR job. It interests me how Father knows his children better than we ever can. Since that impression I’ve come to know this talented sister very well and of course Father was right to put her name in my mind. She has since had several follow up conversations that I believe will lead to a year contract with ECI leading their HR Development role here in Europe.

Lesson: One of Father’s children decides to turn back to God and the parable of the Prodigal Son unfolds right before me. The minute the son decides to return to his family, the Father runs to him and brings him home as a returning Prince. This is what I’m watching with this very talented young woman. I am reviewing her one year proposal that ECI requested today that will very likely be the foundation client needed to build her Consulting Business she started this year. She just had to “knock and repent and the Father has flung the door wide open”. I bear witness that Father is deeply concerned about the “one”. He knows us by name and wants to be involved in the important decisions of our life if we’ll let Him.

Speaking of decisions let me now tell you the rest of the Heathrow story. Ionut Alexandru Antonie arrives at Heathrow Terminal 4 from Italy where he’d been living. Alex has been on a personal journey for the last four years to find the true church in Italy. One day as Alex was praying to know what to do the inspiration that he received was to pack up everything he had and move to London. All that he had in the world fit into a carry on suit case. He obeyed the prompting he’d received to buy a plane ticket to London that left him with 30 pounds in the world. He deplaned and went straight to the Terminal 4 tube station to London. He said that he prayed to know what train he should get on. Two trains left before he got the impression that this was the right one that would take him to where he needed to go. Of course that was the train I was on. I witnessed this young Rumanian Boy almost begging a lady sitting in front of him for the right tube station to get off at for Central London. I was five seats away witnessing this conversation and hearing the desperate need for directions. I moved just across from Alex and asked him if he was from Rumania and he looked at me and said yes. I then asked him if he was trying to come to London to find work and he said yes again. He indicated that he needed to find a hostel in downtown London. I told him to follow me when I got off.

We arrived at South Kensington Station and Alex was right behind me following my every step. I took him to Cromwell Road so I could point him to the hostel called Baden House, the original home of the Boy Scouts and its founder. As I gave Alex the directions he looked at me and said, “I only have 30 pounds.”  He told me he’d find somewhere else to sleep. I asked him did he know anyone in London and he said no. I asked him what he was going to do for work and he said he’d go door to door in the restaurants and tell them that he is a cook until someone hired him. I stood all amazed at the faith he was exhibiting. I told him again to follow me and took him to Hyde Park Chapel with me. It was Thursday night so Sister Phillips was cooking and I invited him to dinner. This gave me a chance to call Marius, another Rumania, that had also left his homeland of Romania and had just came to London. I told Marius that I needed him to help me with Alex. Marius dropped everything and jumped on the same bike that he rode for 11 hours to get to the temple and back. Marius rode an hour to Hyde Park Chapel to meet with him. Alexander my “rain man” that sets up our tables and chairs perfectly for Thursday night dinners was keeping Alex busy speaking Italian with him. By the way this is only one of the four languages Alexander my “rain man” and friend speaks. 

Marius arrived during dinner and I told him what I needed him to do with Alex and the rest is history. Marius made sure he got to a hostel for the night and met him the next day to help him. They spent the day together and Marius called me and said I could trust Alex. Alex had told Marius his life story and found out that they were born the same month and their fathers were born in the same city in the same month also. These Romanian brothers at heart had to find each other in London and have been inseparable since.

Marius just baptized Alex three weeks after he arrived from Heathrow. After I gave Alex the Holy Ghost he hugged me and said this is why I came to London. I saw Alex on Thursday night and he came up and hugged me and said, “ I will be going on a mission in one year.” He proclaimed that he would learn English better than his big new brother Marius that was standing there smiling. These two are brothers from a different mother. Marius is using Alex in his remodeling company and living with his partner. They will both start attending my Mission Prep class that starts in October. 

Lesson: Obey the voice of the Lord because it will tell you all thing you should do.
I thought I had the impression to go to Heathrow for jobs for the YSA but the Lord had a different agenda. I like his so much better. May we all be swallowed up in the will of the Lord and obey his voice even if it   doesn’t make sense to us. 

Visitors From Home and Amazing Missionary Stories

How can it be 16 day since my last blog? For the last several days I've been pressed to get to this and finally got up early this morning, a Thursday morning that is usually full of cooking for Institute but tonight one of our young men is making an Indian dinner India for all of us, which allows me to work on the blog. 

One of the problems of waiting so long in-between is there is so much to share. It's overwhelming! I'm just going to try and share the highlights.

Di and Charlene's Visit

We got our first visitors of our mission from home when Diane Lungo and her roommate Charlene arrived on Wednesday morning, Sept 10th for a week visit. It was such a fun taste of home to have Diane with us. She was able to fill us in about the Powell trip and what's happening at home. Luckily she came the last week of the summer doldrums and we were able to use P-days we hadn't taken to go do some touristy things with them. Here was our week:

Wednesday: They were exhausted from their trip. We talked all morning, then took a fun walk around Kensington and Hyde Park ending up at the Hyde Park Chapel where they got to meet some of our missionaries and new members. Typical of our mission, in the middle of our walk Elder Phillips got a call from Pres. Jordan asking him to come help him brain storm about some training for the next day for all his missionary leadership. Jim ended up doing some team building exercises for the leaders the next day at their conference.

Thursday: I had to do dinner for Institute so Diane and Charlene got passes on a Hop On Bus and took a bus tour of all of the main sights of London. It lasted several hours. Then that night, while we were at Institute they went and saw "Wicked". I love this show but poor Diane was so jet lagged that she feel asleep through part of it.

Friday: We took the train to Watford and then a bus to Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio. If you love Harry Potter this is a must! It contains all the sets and props used to make Harry Potter so magical. We were there almost 4 hours. It was amazing!!
Saturday: Jim stayed home, but the three of us took the train to Canterbury, my favorite town I've seen to so far. We happened to be there on the weekend of the Hops Festival (Hops is what makes beer beer!) They had minstrels in the streets and musical acts all along the cobbled city streets. When we went to see the Cathedral we found it was having a special service to celebrate the holiday, along with an Evensong (that's when the boys choir sings) at 3:15 instead of 6:00. We were able to go to the service and hear the heavenly choir sing in the most amazing Cathedral of them all. After the service the Bishop invited everyone to a high tea in his rectory back yard. SO WE WENT!!! I don't think they intended for american missionaries to join them, but it was amazing. The yard was beautiful, the scones were lovely and we made friends with the Deacon from the church at Plymouth. It was surreal and SO CHARMING!!
Canterbury Cathedral
There are so many stain glass windows you can't count them all.
This is one part of the ceiling of Canterbury Cathedral. It's overwhelming just standing in that great testament and prayer to God.
The Sacrament table
The pathway back to the garden and High Tea. Isn't this beautiful!!!

Sunday: Di and Charlene got to come to Britannia Ward. The Relief Society meeting was on Family History and both Di and Charlene were able to make some wonderfully wise comments that added much to our meeting.

Monday: We went for the first time to Buckingham Palace. It's the actual residence of the Queen. It was everything you would dream a palace to be. It's so over the top but very "royal". The grounds are spectacular. I can't imagine living there! That night we went to see "War Horse". You've all seen the movie but what was special about this show is all the animals are life size puppets, manned by 3-4 people. The horses are big enough that the actors actually ride them. The puppetry skills are amazing. You soon forget they aren't real because their movement are so life like. There was only one problem. About 30 minutes before the conclusion of the show, one of the horses broke down. We waited 30 minutes and they came back out and said they "thought" they might be able to fix it but it would take another 30-45 minutes. We decided we knew the ending and went home.

Tuesday: Jim and I looked ahead at the rest of the week and realized we HAD to make our Costco run on Tuesday instead of Wednesday to fit everything in so we left the girls here to do the local museums and took our 5 hour run to Costco. It was a break Di and Charlene needed because the next day they were leaving to go to Prague and they needed to pack and take it easy that day. They were able to go to the Natural History Museum. That night Jim and I went to Pres. and Sister Jordan's flat to say goodbye to our dear friends Elder and Sister Garner. They are the senior couple who were over the employment center who have become such dear friends. It was an extraordinary meeting. Pres. Jordan told two stories I will share later.
Wednesday morning Jim got up at 7:00 am to help take their bags and get them safely on the tube that goes directly from our stop to Heathrow and their flight to Prague. We were so grateful for our visit and the excuse to do some of the tourist things we hadn't done before.

They left just in time for us to get back to work; with our Institute dinner on Thursday, a temple trip ALL DAY on Friday with our Britannia Ward YSA and then a Breakfast and Stake YSA Training at our flat on Saturday morning. Saturday night we had a highly anticipated baptism that I just wrote up for our Sharon 5th Ward Newsletter that explains what happened and why it was so significant to us.

SHARON 5TH WARD NEWSLETTER ARTICLE                                                                                                                                                             
Oh how we miss our Sharon 5th Ward Family. You have played such an amazing part in the lives of our family for twenty two years. We are so grateful for your love and support.

The indication of what our mission would be came at the first Institute Class we taught. We had 8 students attend; eight students that spoke 8 different languages. As a Grandma from Orem Utah I was astounded. Since then we have realized that we sit at the crossroads of the world, watching as all nations come to or pass through London. What a marvelous vantage point to watch as the hand of the Lord is manifest throughout the world.

A few examples; last Saturday we had Alex and Marianna baptized by Marius, all from Romania. This coming weekend we have Chillie and Maggie being baptized. These girls are brilliant students attending Imperial College from mainland China. We have a Stake YSA Council that are made up of 1 American, 2 Brits and 8 YSA either born in African or of African descent. It’s marvelous to behold.

I would like to share an experience Elder Phillips had 3 weeks ago as he traveled to Heathrow Airport to meet with some previous business associates to look for jobs for some of our kids. As he returned on the tube he noticed a young man who looked like a deer in the headlights. He was trying to question a woman next to him what tube spot he needed to get off for central London. His English was poor and she wasn’t understanding him. Elder Phillips offered his help and told the boy to follow him because that’s where he was going. As they traveled Elder Phillips found out the young man was from Romania and had come looking for work. All he had was 30 pounds in his pocket and one backpack with all his possessions in it. When they arrived Elder Phillips took him directly to our chapel for our Thursday night dinner I cook for all the YSA. Because he had a hard time communicating Elder Phillips called our Romanian Marius to come over. Marius is preparing to serve a mission. He became a missionary to Alex. They were able to find him a place to stay and work. The very next day Alex begin the missionary discussions and he was baptized by Marius last Saturday with Elder Phillips confirming him on Sunday. When he bore his testimony at his baptism he confessed that as he stood at the airport deciding which tube he should take, he prayed, “Lord is it this one?” “No.” Three trains later he knew that was the one he was to take. And there was Elder Phillips waiting to bring him to the gospel. Alex closed his testimony with these words, “It is for this gospel I was to come to London.”
Two weeks ago at a European Woman’s Conference four Family History Senior Sister Missionaries sat in front of me. When they found out I was serving the Britannia YSA Ward they smiled and said, “Oh you’re on a cooking mission.” I replied, “Oh I cook for the kids but I wasn’t called to be a cooking missionary! We have been called to gather.” This mission is a mission of holding on to those in front of us. This mission is rescuing those that have slipped away and bringing them back. This mission is finding those young adults who are seeking the truth and bringing them into the fold of God! This mission is about gathering God’s children and bringing them safely home. In humility we feel honored and privileged to be a part of this great work of the Lord that is beginning to cover the whole earth.

We pray we can represent you well.

Extraordinary Conversion Stories Shared by President Jordan

At the farewell for Elder and Sister Garner we were able to share our experience with Alex to all the senior missionaries that had gathered to say goodbye to them. Then President shared two stories from our mission that have just recently happened that were amazing enough for me to want to share with you. This first story was recorded in his weekly letter on Sept.16 from Pres. Jordan:

Tram and Her Father

Here is Sister Lee’s account of the miracle of the Lord preparing the heart of Tram, a 27 year old young woman from Vietnam, who is being taught by her and Sister Stoja in Northampton:

Tram's father and his two sisters heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a friend during the war in Vietnam when they were young. They all had the desire to learn more and follow the gospel; however, the communists soon took over the whole country, and they were not allowed to have religious freedom. Being under this situation, they had very limited information about the Church. The two sisters of Tram's father eventually got to moved out of Vietnam, and one of them found the Church in the States while the other one joined the Church in Australia. According to Tram, her aunts have been members of the Church for almost 30 years. Throughout these years, they have been trying to share the gospel with Tram's family in Vietnam.

Fifteen years ago, Tram's father passed away, and in his will to Tram, he expressed that his wish was for Tram to find the Mormon church and join them if she gets to leave the country one day. Tram continued to keep in contact with her aunt in the States and learned about the Church little by little via email. Her aunt's testimony and her experience of how the gospel has helped her come closer to God and be happier really touched Tram's heart and she really desired to follow the wish of her father. She had always been praying in her heart that she would find the Mormons in the future. 

When she was sure that she was coming to England to study, which was her first time being abroad, she got the email of the mission president in Birmingham mission somehow and wrote to him to find out more about the Mormon church in Northampton where her university is. The mission president gave her the phone number of the sister missionaries in Northampton. Tram wrote to her aunt and asked her what she should do, and her aunt replied to her that she should contact the missionaries and they would tell her everything she needs to know to become a member. Therefore, she called the missionaries in Northampton with great excitement to inform them that she would be coming to England soon and she would like to come to Church on her first Sunday in England. She accepted a baptismal date for 11th October 2014 right away in her first meeting with the sister missionaries. Even though she does not have a clear idea who God is, her desire of coming closer to her Heavenly Father and her faith are remarkable. She told the missionaries, "God has guided me here, and He has sent you to me.

Elder Zhou and His Parents
The second story he told was about an Elder serving in our area; Elder Zhou. Elder Zhou's parents are from main-land China. Twenty years ago when they were newly married they were sent to New York to do advanced studies there. They met and were converted by friends while at University and were ultimately baptized, knowing that on return to China they would have to keep it a secret because they both were going to be professors at state-run Universities. If it was ever found out that they were Mormons they would lose their jobs and even their freedom. While in the states Elder Zhou was born and later a younger sister was born. Growing up in China neither one of them ever knew anything about their parents' membership in the church. But their parents never forgot or lost their testimonies. Carefully they crafted a way to introduce the church to their children.

The parents applied and received permission for both their children to do student exchange programs in America. And where do you think they applied? Utah, of course! Elder Zhou ended up at Lone Peak High School where he quickly made many Mormon friends and lived with an active Mormon family. It wasn't long before both he and his sister were converted to the church. In fear and trepidation they skyped their parents in China to ask permission to be baptized. Can you even imagine the joy they must have felt to hear from their parents' lips that they, too, were members of the church? Elder Zhou and his sister were both baptized and one year later the family was sealed together forever in the Hong Kong Temple. That son now serves in the London Mission and his sister is currently serving in the New York Mission. I love these parents quietly, patiently, persevering for years. And now their JOY is full! It's so the pattern of mortality!

Well I guess that's it for today. I want you all to be so proud of me for adding at least some pictures. I guess now that Di has shown me how to do it we both need to start carrying our camera and taking pictures. That will be a first!!!!

We miss you all. We are truly being blessed for our efforts as we see progress being made by "OUR KIDS". What a blessing to be here engaged in this work. I pray our efforts will bless YOUR lives. It's the deal I've made with the Lord; we'll watch over His children here if He will watch over our children at home! Feel our love, our prayers and our thoughts for you. We love you all so much! Mom

Monday, September 8, 2014

September's Arrived and We're Off and Running!!!

Well, so much for a calm, low key summer. It's amazing how you can literally feel the energy rising and we are only through the first week of September. School doesn't actually start for another 3 weeks but kids are setting up house and getting ready for school to start. We have new kids arriving daily. I've got to kick start my memory chip so I can remember all the new names (I've been truly amazed at how well I remember the names of our kids. Believe me it's not my memorization skills, but an endowment.) I love the energy! It's motivating and fun to add new YSA to our circle of friends!

This has been one of the sweetest weeks since we've been here. We've had almost daily miracles, sweet promptings and seeing the hand of the Lord at work in the lives of our youth. Also I truly never believed I could love Jim more deeply, but my love and respect just continues to grow as I watch him magnify his priesthood, give wise and prudent counsel and continuously serve and support me. It's almost scary how in sync we have become. One of us can't even have a thought that in that instant it doesn't come out of the other's mouth. What a privilege it is to able to serve with my sweetheart and feel our love expand not only to include our kids, but one another. It's been one of the many gifts of our mission.

Thursday Dinners? Meeting with the Stake Presidency

We had a meeting this past Saturday with our Stake Presidency concerning the Institute and YSA program for the upcoming year. We love our Stake President but we have come to realize that words of affirmation are not the British way and not to expect it. What a sweet and tender surprise when Pres. Phillips started the meeting by saying, "In my memory and I've been involved with Britannia Ward one way or another for 17 years, I have never seen two Senior Missionaries more loved and having greater impact than the two of you. In those 17 years I've seen a couple periods of time that I would identify as a golden era where things just clicked and we saw amazing growth with the YSA. We feel that we've entered it once again with you and newly called Bishop White. We are so grateful you are here! You are making a difference." It was such a sweet confirmation that what we are striving to do has had an impact. It was very tender.

This meeting was called because our CES Institute teacher, Mark, is wanting to eliminate the dinner on Thursday nights. He feels it take too much time and puts a limit to how many kids can come to class (we are up to 80 and I don't know if I could personally cook for more than 100 so it actually could become an issue.) The Presidency wanted to get our opinion.

It's so interesting the evolution of our commitment to this Thursday dinner. When we first got here my opinion was that I hadn't come on a mission to cook. I was sure we could find another way to minister without having to cook for that many. Initially it was overwhelming. But it took only a couple weeks for me to see its value and what an amazing tool dinner on Thursday was. We all know how food draws us together. I watched as YSA would come hungry from a day at school or work and gather together for both physical and spiritual nourishment and fellowship. I watched as the missionaries at the Visitor Center would have a place to bring young investigators to dinner where they would see kids their own age talking and loving each other and feel the spirit. The kitchen became my personal counseling center, with kids helping me with dinner or sitting around the island just talking and laughing. Quickly I realized that dinner was not optional, that whatever work it required was SO WORTH IT!!! I still feel that way seven months later. Along with Bishop White, that's what we said to our Presidency.

There has been no decision made. They will let us know this weekend. I pray that we can continue and if the numbers get to a point it's no longer feasible THEN we can adjust. I have to smile to myself. Who would have ever thought I would be fighting to keep dinner for 80 going!!! NOT ME!!!

Another Tuesday Dinner Story. The Best One Yet!

I need to preface this next part by saying I asked and received permission from "I" to share this unbelievable experience on my blog.

This past Tuesday dinner was divinely orchestrated. The previous Sunday a girl I had been trying to meet for 3 months showed up at church. I'll call her "I".  She's 28 years old and has been inactive for 10 years. She was a good friend of our Catherine's. Catherine knew of my futile efforts in trying to reach out to her so when Catherine saw her at church the first thing she did was drag her over to meet us at the close of Sacrament Meeting. It took only a few minutes before we all felt like we had known each other for years. We found out she was a corporate consultant; instant connection with Jim. They had so much to talk about. By the end of our conversation we had gotten her to commit to come to dinner with Catherine and another one of our amazing YSA; Lola. Lola is a beautiful woman of Nigerian descent. Her father is our stake Patriarch here in London. Lola also had a couple years of inactivity but found her way back and is now one of our most valiant members. We adore her! It was the perfect trio for dinner.

I knew it was going to be a magical night when "I" brought me a pot of my favorite flowers; blue hydrangeas!! The dinner began.  It was perfect chemistry at the table. It's like we all had known "I" forever. She felt the same. And as the night proceeded she opened up and with complete candor told us her story. When she was 18 she became interested in a missionary that served here. He came back after his mission and they fell in love. "I" followed him back to the states where they got engaged. Her family was concerned, cautioning her to wait but she was sure it was right. Two weeks before the wedding, when everything was bought, plane tickets purchased and wedding arrangements made, her fiance broke off the engagement. She had to come home with her tail between her legs.

That experience hardened her to the church and to the spirit. She begin by breaking the Word of Wisdom, then on to worse things. For the past 10 years she has been living as far from church standards as you could get and she didn't try to make any excuses for it to us.  But through it all she admitted she has never been able to deny the church or her belief in God. Even so she has had no interest in living it.

One experience she shared was indicative of how deep her beliefs went without her even knowing it; beliefs planted by righteous, caring parents. She meet a guy at a party that invited her and one of her friend back to his place to do something illegal. She went and as they walked into the house there on the wall was a very "Mormon" picture of the Savior. She turned to the guy and asked incredulously, "Are you a Mormon?" He answered, "No, but my mom is." "I" said to us, "Can you imagine trying to do what I was there to do with that picture of Christ in the same room?" She had to get out of there. As she left she made the decision she would never do drugs again. And she hasn't!

The experience at dinner was an amazing thing to behold. It was like an onion peeling back, one layer at a time. With each layer the spirit just kept getting stronger and stronger, until there was no denying the feeling that was there at the table. Finally in tears "I" admitted she felt her actions and lifestyle had taken her beyond the reach of the Atonement. She felt she was too far gone, too unworthy for even the Savior to save her. She had lost all confidence in her ability to change. Oh how I wish you all could have been at the table to hear the sweet testimonies each of us were able to share with her, expressing our own stories of how He has redeemed us.  Lola told her to read the talk on Grace by Brad Wilcox. She bore testimony it would give her the hope she needed to go forward. Lola was so inspired. As the night went on I felt her begin to believe us when we said that the Lord loved her and no one is beyond His reach.

The night ended. We hugged each other, everyone filled with love and the spirit, and said good night. When they were all gone I turned to Jim and said,"Whether she comes back now or later, there's no doubt she will eventually come back." Jim looked at me and said, "She's not going to wait. She's coming."

Three days later we got an email from "I" asking if she could have a favor from Jim. She asked Jim for a priesthood blessing and a chance to tell us about what was happening in her life. I was blown away. She came to church yesterday. We ended up missing both Sunday School and Relief Society as she shared with us.

She said when she got home from dinner at our place she knelt down for the first time in years and prayed. She said it was hard and uncomfortable but she felt compelled to do it. The next morning after the best night's sleep she had had in years she awoke and said another prayer, this time much easier than the previous one. Then without a thought, she got up and started to clean. She begin by throwing things away, things she no longer wanted in her life. She recognized that it was symbolic of what she wanted to do in her personal life. She was able to resist her cigarettes. Throughout the week people would ask her what was different about her, most recognizing there was something spiritually different about her. She received a letter from a girl from the states who feel impressed to write her a letter encouraging her to take back her life, sending her an article about how vices in our life give us the excuse to not live up to our divine potential . She had an atheist brother-in-law ask if she had gone to church or something because she felt so different and then ask if he could meet with us to understand what had happened to her. She DID read Brad Wilcox's talk on Grace and it filled her with hope. This went on every day. She was flabbergasted. It was so divinely personal. She turned and there He was. In Him she found hope. She gained the courage to try. She is coming back! We feel it such a gift to be a part of and to witness the Atonement at work. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for this beautiful soul who has become so dear to us.

Diane's Coming!

So excited to Diane and Charlene coming to stay with us. We are going to get a little taste of home. We have some fun things planned. I'm trying to get my 8 pork shoulder roasts cooked and shredded for Thursday night dinner before she gets here so we can play. Poor Di is bringing a suitcase full of things we can't get here. I should be paying for her ticket with everything she's bringing for us. Poor Megan has had to gather and buy a bunch of stuff for her to bring. You would think England and American would have mostly the same things, but they don't. Thank you Di and Meg.

My blog is acting funny so I'm going to close before I loose what I've written. I just want you all to know that we are happy to be here and we are seeing fruits of our labor. We love serving the Lord and His children. We love the YSA that are so badly in need of example and parents. We are striving to do both. Most of all we love and adore you. We pray every day for each of you by name. I testify He lives. He's real. He keeps His promises if we keep ours to Him. I know these things are true. Mom