Monday, June 19, 2017

Incredible Week!!

One week ago today we found out that our ninth grandchild coming in December (Les & Jord) is going to be a GIRL!!! The streak of boys is broken!  We will have 8 grandsons, and one granddaughter!  We are thrilled!  But we would have been just as thrilled had it been grandson #9!
And then today, little Jacob Ashton Miles was born to Katy and Brad (#7 grandson).  We are so grateful he is here and healthy and everything went well!  We have been looking at pictures being sent all afternoon!  I have to admit, it is really difficult to not be there.  I know by now I would have been to the hospital snuggling him, and also helping out tend Sam and Drew.  So, I will just send my love and hugs through texts, and send prayers of gratitude for this sweet new addition to our family.
We have been blessed this week, too, to have another new senior couple arrive in our mission--the McNary's who will be replacing the Thorley's serving in the office.  They arrived late Saturday, and we were able to meet them Sunday, and we are so thrilled to have them here.  They will be a wonderful addition to our office.  So, our office is really turning over, with the Stephenson's on board, and now the McNary's.  They are all 'training' and trying to learning their various responsibilities, and feeling a little overwhelmed, but they will be super.  We are so grateful for the service of senior couples.  They are invaluable!  Next week the Thorleys will be headed home, and we will miss them. They have been of such great service in our office, and have given their all to serve, and we are so appreciative.
Tuesday we attended a district meeting in the Foothills zone, and it was such a great meeting. I know I say it every time, but I am so inspired by our missionaries as they teach and train each other.  They really have such an incredible spirit about them.  I learn from every meeting I go to--I learn from them, and I love it.
Friday we had our New Trainer's meeting.  These missionaries will be training the new ones that arrive on Wednesday.  There are 10 new missionaries coming, although 2 are visa-waiters, so we won't have them for long.  The new trainers are always so excited to receive the assignment to train a new missionary.  It is a lot of trust placed in them.  We realize that a new missionary's mission is impacted greatly by their trainer, so we pray hard to determine who is to train.  We are excited about this group of trainers, and know the Lord will bless them in this assignment.
Saturday we participated in the Calgary Stake Conference, Steve in the priesthood leadership meeting, and both of us in the Saturday evening session.  We brought up all of our missionaries to the front and had them recite their mission purpose and our mission scripture.  It was quite a powerful sight to see these disciples of Christ all stand together.  We are so proud of them.  They really have such a great desire to share the gospel.  While Steve was in the priesthood session, I was able to teach an investigator with Sister Burnside and Hatch.  It was a 17 year old girl named Bethel from Ethiopia.  She was the sweetest thing, and we taught her the Plan of Salvation.  The sisters did a great job, and there was a sweet spirit there.  Bethel had even been reading the Book of Mormon on her own, and she had written down questions she had!  That is amazing!  And the sisters were able to get her a copy in her native language, and she was so excited about that.  It was a great experience for me.  I love to be able to teach with our missionaries.
Sunday we were able to attend the baptism of Olivia and her 12 year old son, Rain, in the Mandarin branch.  It was such a sweet baptism, and she was so excited.  Olivia moved here from China last year, and within one month, she had met the missionaries and they began teaching her.  She has been taught for a little over 6 months, but she finally chose to be baptized, and she was so joyful.  She leaves to go back to China in July--so I can see the Lord's hand in her conversion.  I believe she really came to Canada just to find the gospel, and now she will go back to China and tell others about it.  And the cool thing is, the city where she lives, actually has a branch there, and the missionaries here have already found out the details for her so she can go when she gets home.  It is so amazing--these little miracles.  I have come to know on our mission that miracles happen all the time as we exercise our faith and believe and trust in the Lord.
Sunday being Father's Day, we had a bbq with our assistants, after they met with Steve to talk over the transfer.  I made Steve potato salad--his favorite--which he hasn't had in 2 years.  And then 4 of our sisters, Sisters Carillo, Caldwell, Bodily and Johnson surprised us with a decorated front door, and a scrumptious chocolate cake!  Sister Bodily makes cakes professionally, and it was delicious!  They are so good to us, and we loved their doorbell ditching!
Tomorrow we say goodbye to 12 wonderful missionaries that we love.  They have been dedicated servants, and we will miss them all!  But we are excited to see what lies ahead for them, and then on Wednesday we welcome our new ones.  Our treadmill just keeps on going--it never stops!
This is great work, and we love it.  We love being with our missionaries and feeling of their faith and testimonies.  We are grateful for this time to serve here, to serve them, and to serve together and be instruments in the Lord's hands.
Elders Tate & Ibanez wishing Steve Happy Father's Day

Elders Lee and Boss directing traffic at stake conference

Elder & Sister Stephenson, coming to serve in our office

District meeting in Foothills!

Lunch after New Trainer's meeting

Olivia and Rain's baptism--the two Elder Chen's baptized them.

Father's Day door decorations!

Cake made by Sister Bodily

Elder and Sister McNary-coming from Sandy, Utah

Jacob Ashton Miles!!!! So sweet!

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