Saturday, June 30, 2012

Missionary Purpose

Elder Bielefeldt loves conducting tours. He loves telling all the interesting stories of the pioneers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Omaha Area Scenery

Today we took a little drive from Omaha, into Iowa and back to Glen Cunningham Lake Park and discovered a couple of great spots - one to picnic at and one to buy peaches at further North. (I think it was north) We saw many corn fields and green bean fields and several Christmas tree farms as we traveled. The Cunningham Lake was beyond where our Garmin said it was, but we kept going and drove right to it. Today is 103 degrees with high humidity, but breezy. It was hot in the sun when we walked down the trail to the lake, but we enjoyed a pleasant picnic under the gazebo with the cool breezes. This is truly Heaven's Country.

Oops, we were trying to take a panorama where it looked like we were standing together. Oh well, at least we are together in purpose.
 Hay is rolled here instead of baled in a square.
This farm equipment was for sell. Looks useful!
 Corn fields everywhere in all stages of growth - most of what we saw were without sprinkling system. I don't think they do irrigation here the way we do in Arizona.
 Christmas tree farms.
 Elder B can't wait to fix fresh green beans the way his mother did, fried with bacon. I think they will be available in a couple of weeks.
 The peaches we got here are from Georgia and so very sweet!!
 Beautiful lane to the fun place where we bought the peaches.

Elder B liked this sculpture - a little town N of Omaha with a BIG sculpture!
 Oh how beautiful is Omaha!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farewell to President Kunz

Monday evening the Senior Elders and Sisters enjoyed a wonderful dutch oven supper as we all bid farewell to our wonderful mission President Kunz and his kind wife, Sister Kunz. Much fun was had as they were honored with special gifts and a fun song and many hugs and tears. Even though he and his wife are much youngers than us "Seniors", they have shared countless words of wisdom and are greatly loved.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Winterquarters Trail Center and Kanesville Tabernacle

Winterquarters Temple
Kanesville Tabernacle

Winterquarters Cemetary

A darling family all dressed up as they toured the Trail Center.
Their tour guide is a darling missionary, Sister Robertson.

Three of the beautiful young sister missionaries and three of us senior missionaries.

We have loved our first week in Omaha. We are serving at the Trail Center and at the Kanesville Tabernacle. As we visited the Mormon Trail Center for the first time, I was so overcome with emotion as I realized the sacrifice the first Mormons made in leaving the comforts of home, family and friends to escape persecution and search for a place to worship in peace. The camp at Winterquarters was truly a victory of faith, hope, courage and charity as the Pioneers followed the revelation given to the prophet.

Provo to Omaha

We left by car on a beautiful Saturday morning to drive the 2 day journey to Omaha. As we drove we imagined the trip the pioneers  made over 150 years earlier by covered wagon and handcart. From mountain terrain to prairie, 1000 miles of steady travel through all weather conditions, with little food and many hardships. We had a great stopover at Ft. Bridger in Wyoming.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dear Friends

 Today was our last day here in Provo. We have made many dear friends. This picture is of the beautiful people in our class that we studied with all week. They are going (from left to right)the Maples to Hawaii, us to Omaha Nebraska, our absolutely adorable young, single teacher, Sister Thomas, the Zaleski's to Chinle Arizona with the Navajos, the Gibbons to Denver Colorado and the Brewers to St. Petersburg Russia.
 Us with our beautiful teacher - Sister Thomas.

What an amazing week!! Tomorrow we leave for Omaha and plan 2 days on the road. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

View from our room at the mission training center in Provo. 
The hymn, "Firm as the mountains around us" comes to mind as I enjoy the beautiful view from the window in our view. The mountains remind me of the need to be unwavering in faith, hope and charity.
Tomorrow is our last day here before we begin our journey to Nebraska and our home for the next 18 months. Sometimes friends wonder why we would leave home, at our own expense, and serve as missionaries in a Christian area.

There is a need for seniors to serve as support in many ways all over the world where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is established. This week we have met many seniors who are giving of their time and money to serve as missionaries all over the world. Some are working in visitor centers; some as facility management over gardens; some in temples;  some in offices; some in high school religious instruction; some in young adult religious instruction; some in repairs of vehicles; some are working in genealogy; and one couple is working in the archives in Washington DC. There are also many other areas of service for the seniors who range in age from around 50 to 80. 

The amazing thing is the dedication and faith of these amazing people who come from all walks of life - from farmers to accounting and a variety of professionals--all who willingly pay their own way - all their own expenses - as we do also. Why would we do this? Because we feel with all our hearts the true and pure gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and can bless the lives of families and individuals as they accept the additional truths His restored gospel adds to their own religious beliefs. 

3 Nephi 27:20  "Repent all ye ends of the earth and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost."

I know that I feel great peace and happiness when I improve myself by repenting, or changing habits that cause me to feel angry, etc. and replacing them with desires to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ more completely as I read and study all his revealed scriptures. It is wonderful to feel the warm, happy and peaceful feelings given through the Holy Ghost that gives me great hope in the midst of trials and challenges.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

As we finish our 3rd day at the mission training center in Provo, we are anticipating our travel along the Mormon trail from Salt Lake City going backwards from the original pioneer trek, with our destination Omaha, Nebraska where the pioneers waited at "winter quarters" while preparing for the long trek to Salt Lake Valley. We will begin our own personal trek on Saturday.

We enjoyed singing with the crowd of 2000 missionaries, where it seemed as if we really could sing gloriously. There are 100 seniors like us preparing to go all over the world, including Russia, Tokeo, South Africa, Ghana, Chinle Arizona, London, Germany, Micronesia, Portugal, Phillipines, Mississippi, Washington DC national archives, etc.  
The rest of the 2000 are young men and women.

There is an abundance of enthusiasm, love of the Lord, love of one another and kindnesses as the missionaries prepare to share their testimonies of gratitude for the Lord, Jesus Christ - for His atonement as he gave his life willingly so that all of Heavenly Father's children could receive the wonderful blessing of being families forever with those we love so dearly.

It is a sweet experience to teach with my eternal companion and share many new experiences.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tomorrow we will begin a week in Provo, Utah, training for missionary service. We feel grateful for the opportunity to retire and serve others in the Winter Quarters Temple and at the Trail Center visitor center.

As I have tried to pack my belongings in our small car, I have thought of the early pioneers in the church who had to pack some of their belongings and food in handcarts or covered wagons, sometimes with very little notice, and leave their homes and most of their treasured belongings behind as they sought refuge from the persecutions of those who forced them to leave.

Just as they walked into unknown territory, we walk into unknown territory.
Just as they relied on faith and trust in the Lord, we rely on faith and trust in the Lord.
However, they went in great discomfort and we go in great comfort.

As Tiny Tim said in The Christmas Carol, "May God bless us, everyone!"