Wednesday, March 7, 2012


January 1, 2012

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope this finds all of you happy, well and ready to take on a brand new year with new-found hope and vitality.
   The holidays are over and it's time for Sister Harper and me to get back to our regular schedule in the mission field. Today was our last day at the Visitor's Center, as the Festival of Lights is coming to a close. It has been really fun serving there during the month of December, although we won't miss the hour drive each way two extra days a week. It was sad as we said our "good-bye's" today, as some of the wonderful missionaries we have become close to will have gone home by the time we serve there again next Christmas season. Elder Olsen, the Director of the Visitor's Center, said that we broke all records for attendance this year, as over 90,000+ came through the doors to see the beautiful trees, the 84 nativities from 48 different countries, and to hear the concerts that were presented in the auditorium each night. There were also over 500,000 lights on the trees outside, as well as a life-size nativity. As of last night we had received 1021 referral cards from people who wanted to hear more about the gospel and wanted to have missionaries contact them.
   Tuesday night, the concert was a jazz group called "Trifecta". It consists of a saxophone player, a pianist, and a bass player. The sax player is our bishop in the WP2nd Ward. He and the bass player are in the U.S. Army Band and the pianist is in the U.S. Air Force Band. It was really fun to watch them and see a different side to the bishop's personality.
   Wednesday, we were really busy at the temple. School is out for the holidays, so we had a lot of baptisms, and we had a lot of endowment sessions and sealings. The Spirit was so strong; I felt so priveledged to have the opportunity to serve our Heavenly Father in this capacity.
   On a sad note, we have had five sisters pass away in our two wards in the past three weeks; three from one ward and two from the other ward. Most of them were older middle-age and older, but one sweet sister passed away on Saturday at the age of 25 from breast cancer. She suffered so terribly; we are happy that she is at peace in the arms of our loving Heavenly Father.
   One great thing I forgot to tell you last week--a couple of months ago I told you about Allison, a young mother who has one-year-old twins and a three year old, and she had stage four cancer...on Christmas day she was in church with her family!!! Her cancer is in remission!!! We are all so thankful to our Heavenly Father for the blessings that He has given to Allison and her family!
   I want each of you to know that I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and I know that they know and believe in me, too. They know me better than I know myself; they know my strengths and weaknesses, my personality and my needs, emotional and physical. I am so grateful to be able to serve my Heavenly Father  as a missionary in the Washington DC North Mission. I'm so thankful for my family; for their love and support and for all they are to me. Everything!!! I wouldn't be here without them; without their love, without their support. I'm so thankful for my extended family and friends; for your love and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you!