Dear family and friends,
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Roses are Red
Violets are blue
You are wonderful
And we love everybody!!!!!
Our FHE!! We love to play games!!!
So funny!! I get laughing so hard, the tears come!!! Can you believe it?
Sister Nebeker's and Elder Tamilarason's farewell front row Sister Nebeker, Sister Lawler
from left to right: me, Emily Anderson, Chris Matthewman, Cheryl Li, Elder Tamilarason, Lindsay Lucas, Elder Aurus, Carl Hutber (ward mission leader) back row; Will Baistow, Dan Lucas, Kalil Studier, Sam Dearden, Madeleine Ary
Sister Nebeker and Sister Lawler
It’s funny, but as I start writing my weekly blog, I have to look at my planner to see what has happened! It’s amazing how each day just rolls into the next day, and the week flies by. In talking to one of our Elders today, he made the comment, I can’t even remember what I did each day unless I look at my planner, so it isn’t just an old age thing!!
Our highlight this week was a baptism in Bury St. Edmunds, a village about 25 miles from Cambridge. Our sweet Elders, Elder Nielsen and Elder Wood were responsible for teaching Nicole. All the missionaries in Cambridge along with the Zone Leaders participated in the baptism held at the beautiful Bury chapel. The little chapel was full. We had two non-members from Cambridge attend. They were both very inspired by the meeting. We are hoping that they will soon enter the waters of baptism as well. I got to accompany the missionaries as they sang, “Because I have been Given Much”, and “I Believe in Christ”. Sister Nebeker played the violin. As they sang, the tears just coursed down my cheeks, as I felt the Spirit of these incredible missionaries. Brad sang with them as well! It was magnificent! Following the baptism, a buffet was served and everyone munched and mingled. There was such a sweet feeling of love. I told Chris and Lucy (the investigators) that no matter where you go in the world, when you walk into a “Mormon” church, the feeling is the same, a feeling that you have just come home! They loved the feeling they felt there!
We taught the Tilbrooks the third discussion this week, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It went well, but we still feel like Andrew is just not filled with a desire to believe. He is such a good and kind man. We wonder if he is just listening to the gospel because of his wife Gail. He made the comment that all churches feel as if theirs is the right church, so how do you know? We told him again about Joseph Smith, that he had the same question. Andrew needs to ask. The Lord will tell him! We reminded him about the priesthood authority restored to the earth. We also told him that our job is to invite him to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ, by teaching him, but it is the Holy Ghost that converts and testifies. This week in our planning and study, we feel very strongly we need to teach him the Word of Wisdom. He enjoys his liquor on occasion and his coffee in the morning. So this discussion might make or break him. Our feeling is if he has faith to live the word of wisdom, the Spirit will testify to him of the truthfulness of what we are teaching. So we’ll let you know how our next visit goes!!
Brad had the opportunity to help dress Barry Palmer, (the dear man who passed away) and move him into his casket. He went with two other brethren in the ward. It was a very sacred experience for him, one for which he was very grateful. He had never done this before and it was a holy experience.
We are teaching a sweet lady in our ward the temple preparation classes. She is preparing to go to Los Angeles and with her family be sealed to their parents. She is so anxious to complete the lessons, so she can receive her own endowments. Because she is going soon, we are giving her an accelerated course! She has had a very hard life, and we are so very excited for her to be with her family.
We had our last day of cleaning the Methodist church for the homeless housing project this week. We have come to love these people we serve with! They asked us if we would be available to help next winter. Of course!!!! We feel this has helped us build a bond and friendship with these wonderful neighbors.
One of our own, our dear Sister Nebeker will be leaving us. She has served valiantly as a missionary and has made such a positive impact on the members and non- members alike here. She will be very much missed. We were able to have an open house Sunday night here with members and investigators here to wish her well. We love her like a daughter and have learned so much from her enthusiasm, her strict obedience, and her love of the gospel! Too bad we don’t have any more sons! She’s a good one!!! In fact, yesterday, Monday, we went with Sister Nebeker and Sister Lawler to a teaching appointment to a man named David. As she testified of Joseph Smith and shared the First Vision experience, I think all four of us were emotional. She even challenged David to baptism, and he was put on date!!!! What a way to leave the mission! We are so very proud of her. David agreed to say the closing prayer, his first time in a public setting. He was so willing, humble and honest. He said, “I’m thankful for these sisters and these other two people I don’t know!” Brad and I were so touched and grateful for this sacred experience!
We love you all so much!!! We know all of you have been challenged with health issues. We pray for our babies every day and their parents! We hope that warmer weather will be just around the corner!
We know our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us and our needs and desires! He lives and cares intimately for each one of you. We pray that you have a great week! Stay warm!
Love you all,
Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
Elder and Sister JackmanBrad and Vicki