Monday, October 19, 2015

10/18/15 Phoenix, Birthday, Auxiliary Training, Plan of Salvation

We posted this on facebook, but just in case you didn't see it, it is worth putting here, although it doesn't have anything to do with our mission.  Actually, maybe it does, because missionaries everywhere are teaching the reality and message of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.  Certainly amazing and beautiful sights like this are evidence of the world they created for us "both to please the eye and gladden the heart."  (D&C 59)  These things couldn't be by chance.
       The photo was taken by James Witt in Phoenix AZ - he calls it Phoenix rising. 
(for those of you who don't know, Lynnette grew up in Snowflake, Arizona, and attended Arizona State University for a couple of years before going to BYU -- so Arizona pictures always have the feel of home.)

Birthday in Saratov - The missionaries and the Institute youth made it a fun birthday, hand warmers, notes, pictures, a "don't sell my horse", and the tradition in Russia - always flowers, plus a shopping trip a couple of days later with Mike to find something of Russia for me.

Elder Larry S. Kacher of the Second Quorum of the Seventy is the new counselor in our Eastern European Area Presidency.  He and his wife, Pauline, and Sister Carol McConkie, First Counselor in the YW General Presidency, and her husband, Oscar, were here to do a training for the branch auxiliaries.  It was well attended and all four of them did a great job getting over the message and then they took time after each meeting to talk with members.  Zhenia Markelov, our CES director did the translating for the general meetings.  After the meetings, the missionaries helped translate as they each met with individual members.  It was fun for us to have them here, testimony building as well as informative, and such a lift for the members.
The Kachers and McConkies had a full schedule.  They flew in Monday afternoon (from another training) held a District FHE on Monday night, a Zone Conference for the missionaries on Tuesday afternoon, then Tuesday night was the Auxiliary Training.  They left for Samara Wednesday morning for a repeat and also had one more series of meetings in Eastern Europe before they went home.
Elder Kacher

 Oscar and Carol McConkie with Dixie & Anne's granddaughter, Sister Hannah Leavitt who is serving in our mission.  Oscar is a first cousin to our friend Mary McConkie Donoho and the McConkie's daughter is married to Dixie and Anne's youngest son, Matthew.  Such a small world.  My dad always said you should take care how you behave no matter where you were because someone was bound to know your parents or a member of your family.
A couple of the moms held a little nursery at the back of the building so they could be there.
Mike wasn't supposed to take this picture, but since he did, thought we might as well share it .. I have a 2 kg weight (a whopping 4.4 lbs) in each hand.  With my head on the stool it makes it just right for my "reps" whatever those are.  We decided that part of my exercise is getting in and out of the chair - and it is good entertainment for Mike.  I need to get him doing his sit-ups or push-ups on video, but he looks good doing his and I just look funny.
Note, this is American made Pyrex we have in our apartrment .. see the 8 oz, but above it is 1/2 pint - isn't 8 oz 1/2 pint?  Further up is 16 oz and above that 1 pt.  (although just now in googling this we found out that a British imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces compared to the American pint of 16 fluid ounces so maybe this is a British measuring cup.)
Family History - our Branch President's wife's lesson for Young Womens was on family history .. so she brought some of their engagement/wedding pictures.  The Volga Bridge is behind them in the top one, and they are at Victory Park for the next one.
The pictures of their ancestors are fun to look at because it is such a different setting than what we are used to.  Her great great great grandfather is in the middle.  They call it gran gran gran grandfather.

Her father's aunt is second from the right.
 A good scripture from Jarom is when he says the plates are small, so he cannot write very much.  Then he underlines the simplicity and importance of the plan of salvation "but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations.  For what could I write more than my fathers have written?  For have not they revealed the plan of salvation?   I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me."   That plan is pretty amazing, answers lots of questions and provides direction.  Seems like we learn more about it all the time.  It is humbling to see it change the lives of people.

         From "The Plan of Salvation - A Flight Plan for Life" 
by Elder Duane Gerrard of the Second Quorum of the Seventy:
What a great and wonderful plan is the plan of salvation, which ...teaches true principles to allow completion of our journey through life...Many people wonder, “Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?” Our Eternal Father did not send us to earth on an aimless, meaningless journey. He provided for us a plan to follow. He is the author of that plan. It is designed for man’s progress and ultimate salvation and exaltation. Quoting from the missionary guide Preach My Gospel:  
“God is the Father of our spirits. We are literally His children, and He loves us. We lived as spirit children of our Father in Heaven before we were born on this earth. We were not, however, like our Heavenly Father, nor could we ever become like Him and enjoy all the blessings that He enjoys without the experience of living in mortality with a physical body.
“God’s whole purpose—His work and His glory—is to enable each of us to enjoy all His blessings. He has provided a perfect plan to accomplish His purpose. We understood and accepted this plan before we came to the earth” ([2004], 48).
We pray that things are going well for all of you, we are grateful for you each and all .  .   love   the waites

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