Friday, January 24, 2014

December - January posts

December 1st - This month will be filled with lots of Christmas dinners, programs and ward Christmas dinners.  Today being fast Sunday was very nice.  Sister Carol Koch, our newest baptized member bore her testimony in Relief Society and it was really nice even though she told Sister Neese later she was so nervous.

Each year Bishop Guenther and his wife have the missionaries come to their home to put together Christmas packages to take to less actives and new members homes.  We always love the gatherings at the Guenther home.

December 6th, Friday - Tonight was our Ward Christmas party.  It was a packed cultural hall with a dinner, traditional turkey, ham and all the trimmings.  A fun night, a great night visiting the members and talking to the less actives who attended.

December 7th, Saturday - Temperatures dipped to -5 Celsius and no hot water this morning.  Talking to a few people here in the park, Elder Neese learned he needed to crawl into the baggage/storage area, heat up a 12 inch plumbing pipe and insulate good so it doesn't happen again.  No money spent,, 1 hour later we were good to go.

December 8th, Sunday we had Stake Conference weekend today so due to the snow everywhere we didn't dare take the chance to travel to Abbotsford to the Stake Center for this session.

We won't take the time to tell you about all the less actives we visit and have made friends with other than to say they are children of our Father in Heaven, we love them and enjoy each visit.  The Christmas packages we put together at the Guenther home we took around through the week to their homes and were enjoyed by all and we wished them well.

Our study time here in the Mission Field has been so enjoyable, reading and studying together and on our own.  We read the Book of Mormon together, and I have two Book of Mormon study books and Jesus the Christ by Talmage which I enjoy and Emily has been reading Church History for LDS Families (loaned to us by Sister Guenther).  Plus working with our Elders and Sisters on all levels, ward, district and zone levels is choice.  Our future church leaders in these young people looks very bright.

December 22nd, Sunday --This evening we had a video cam visit with all of the Family at Spencer and Kimberly's  new home.  Jeff and his family, daughter Michelle and family and the star of the evening was McKay, our newest addition to the family.  He is Spencer and Kimberly's first child.

December 24th, Tuesday -- We spent our Christmas Eve at the Guenther's to enjoy their family and of course a table filled with all kinds of goodies to eat.  We watched LDS Bible videos, talked about family traditions at Christmas and had a great time.

December 25th, Wednesday -- Christmas Day, we opened our gifts from kids then Skyped with the Corbin family later that evening.  We had so much fun talking with them it went on for more than an
Some of our presents
hour.  Time goes fast when your having fun.
Sister Neese with some of the presents we got (see 3 shirts above her head).

Skipper enjoying the celebration?

We had a very nice Christmas dinner at Lyn Smith's home in Agassiz.  Her daughter, Chelsea and husband Tony were there to enjoy with us.  She is a very giving sister we have been working with for some time now to reactivate her again.  The Elders were able to join us for awhile before going to one or two other dinner appointments. 

L-R Elder Bradley, Elder Whited, Chelsea & Tony (Lyn's daughter with husband)

Elder Bradley & Elder Whited (new Elder)

January 1st,  Wednesday-- Happy New Year.  Our day started with a District Meeting.  Came home to study and plan our visits for the next few days.

January 9th,Thursday-- Thursday nights are our regular nights to meet with our investigator, Jane Lu.  It was no regular visit however.  We have been working with Jane about 3 months and tonight our mission President, President Karl Tilleman joined us for Jane's baptismal interview and we set a date for her baptism for next Friday night the 17th.  It was nice to have the President there with us.  He is incredible the way he travels all over the BC mission to do these interviews when needed.

January 17th, Friday Baptism.  Tonight was Jane Lu's (Jing Bo Lu) night.   An exciting time for her and us and the Sister Missionaries.  Sister Neese gave the talk on the Gift of The Holy Ghost with Elder Neese baptizing Jane.  President Tilleman confirmed her then Jane bore a beautiful touching testimony about living the commandments and knowing the Holy Ghost will help her in her life.  She was so grateful to have the church in her life.  Born and raised in China, she was not familiar with the Christian ways and teachings.  So we went very slow teaching her of our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  She loved everything she heard and was so excited to become a member of His church.  She is such a sweet lady.  This makes a mission so worth it.
Elder Neese, Jane Lu and Sister Neese

Us with Jane Lu, Sister Strumpler & Sister Dockstader

Sisters, Zheng Lu with his mother Jane, Sister and President Tilleman and us

Zheng Lu with his mother Jane and Sister and President Tilleman

Elder Neese explaining baptism method again.

Bishop Dale Guenther presenting Jane with a Chinese 3 in 1

January 18th, Saturday-- We were invited to dinner at Jane's home the following night to show us her appreciation for being her friend and teaching her the gospel.  Authentic Chinese food prepared by Jane and her husband Lu.  The Sister missionaries were also invited to dinner with us. The food was spectacular and more then we could eat.  An evening to remember. 

Table setting of all the food prepared for our dinner.

This is Lu who helped to prepare the food.  He is a good cook!

Jane with her mother who is living with her for awhile.

January 21st, Tuesday we were invited to dinner with Carol Koch and her family, where her daughter, Michelle, wanted to cook a meal for us.  We had a fondue with shrimp, scallops, baked salmon with sliced potatoes as a base, rice, broccoli salad and baked carrots.  It was our first fondue dinner and was fun to experience this type of dinner.
Andrew Morriss (Carol's son) Elder and Sister Neese

Carol's husband Shaun, daughter Michelle with her son Joseph

Michelle's birthday celebration, Carol holding the cake

A variety of foods to eat.

Tomorrow was going to be Michelle's 19th birthday.   Joseph, her little boy loved smearing the icing on his mom's nose.

January 22nd, Wednesday, Elder Neese teaching the Seminary class for Chilliwack 2nd ward.  This was our second time to teach Seminary with these young people.  They love the gospel and are a delight to teach and work with.

Reading scriptures

Owen Tinney searching for an answer

Ryan Nelson making a comment (red hair)

It was a wonderful experience again being able to teach these students.  Very bright about the gospel and 4 are seniors and are thinking of putting in papers for a mission when able.

We are already half way through our mission, 6 months and we feel like we have only been here about a month.  This mission for us has been the best way for 2 seniors to grow and extend ourselves beyond our comfort zone and we are having fun doing it. 

Yesterday we celebrated, along with the Corbin family, the return of Elder Brandon Corbin after serving 2 years in serving a mission in Mexico.  The Corbin's now have 2 other missionaries, Sister DaeNeese Corbin serving in Guatemala and Elder Brett Corbin serving in Oklahoma.  Conner Corbin will be putting in his paperwork for a mission in the next few months by this time DaeNeese will have returned from her mission.

Look for our next blog about the end of February, hope you enjoy this last entry.  We send our love to you all.  Elder and Sister Neese

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our Entries for Novmeber

      This month brought about the first baptism for the Chilliwack 2nd Ward in a year or so.  Sister Neese and I, along with the Elders taught Carol Koch who is from Bolivia and witnessed her baptism, Sunday, November 10th.  Carol has a son 17 years old and will be baptized very soon as well.  Below are pictures from her baptismal  service.

Carol Koch on her baptism night, Nov. 10, 2013
Elder Bradley, Carol, Andrew (her son) & Elder Pont

Elder Bradley and Carol before her baptism

Elder and Sister Neese at Carol's baptism with Andrew, her son.

       Another investigator we are teaching, we are hoping will be baptized in December or January.
       November 11th, Veterans Day, Remembrance Day for Canada, we found that patriotism and honoring veterans is very big here.  The people here in Canada love their country and their military.
      The second half of this month was almost totally dedicated to visiting less actives and a trip to the beautiful Vancouver Temple.  Next month, December, will be the busiest month since starting our mission.  We love what we are doing and enjoy watching the lives of each person we work with and serve.
October was a really good month for us.  The month started out with the LDS General Conference broadcast Saturday October 5th and Sunday the 6th.  We always look forward to these broadcasts every April and October each year.  It is so inspiring to hear the words of our Prophet and Apostles and sisters and other leaders of the church.  And we love the music of the Tabernacle Choir.

Don had the opportunity to teach our Ward Seminary class, Monday morning with our young men and young women.  Two young men are getting ready to serve missions soon.

Monday, October 14th was Thanksgiving Day her in Canada.  We were invited to two homes to celebrate their Thanksgiving dinners.  Bishop Dale Guenther and his wife, Shirley on Sunday, Emily's birthday and Monday the 14th to Sister Lyn Smith's home.  The food was quite similar to our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, except they both served brussel sprouts!

Fun things outside of missionary work included the visit of our son, Spencer, his wife Kimberly and their little one, McKay.  We celebrated McKay's 1st birthday and Emily's birthday as well.  See pictures below.  A day in Vancouver with the kids, pictures of a train show here in Chilliwack and Birthday celebrations for McKay and Emily at a favorite British sweet shop called Dicken's Sweets and a museum there as well of English memorabilia as well.  Lot's of fun.

Table setting for McKay;s 1st Birthday
McKay checking out his birthday hat
McKay with his Birthday presents
A really Cool Dude/Birthday present
More presents

Nice Yellow shirt and warm sweatshirt for birthday
Emily opening birthday package
Pretty Canadian Maple Leaf necklace from Spencer & Kimberly

Bringing McKay's birthday cupcakes
McKay checking out his cupcakes
He was really enjoying the cupcake, smearing it all over the table
Entering the park for the Train Show

A volunteer conductor at the Train show

Grandma and McKay watching the trains
Grandpa showing McKay a wood train set we bought for him
Grandpa and McKay watching the trains
Kimberly, Spencer and Grandma with McKay at train show
Getting back to Missionary work
Elders in our District, 2 on left are 2nd Ward - 2 in middle are 1st Ward

On the left are some pictures of young Elders and Sister Missionaries we are working with currently, taken in District and Coordination meetings.  We enjoy working with these young missionaries.  They are a great spiritual strength to the work and fun to be around.

District Meeting Elder Pont leader, Bradley, Alden & Butler

Coordination Meeting with Sisters Dockstader & Struempler,Bro. Calling & Bishop Guenther in back

  Part of missionary work is to help people with packing and moving.  At the end of October that's just what we did.  With 3 trucks and a trailer and eight of us helping, we got Sister Lyn Smith moved from a city called Hope, B.C. to a city called Agassiz, B.C.  Sister Neese and Sister Lyn Smith packing up her garage
Helping Lyn Smith pack boxes for moving to another home

Lyn would hate us for posting this picture of her.

The month ended as all Octobers do with Halloween.  All missionaries were told to go to their apartments for the evening from 5PM on, and do their November planning.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Another beautiful P-Day trip

Please excuse the extra pictures in the last post.  We are still trying to figure this program out..

On this P-Day trip we discovered the beautiful Minter Gardens in Agassiz some 15 miles from Chilliwack.  As you will see this is one of the most beautiful gardens in British Columbia.  Minter Gardens is the creation of Brian and Faye Minter.  They first discovered the area on Christmas Day of 1977, it opened in May of 1980.  There are 12 themed gardens covering 32 acres with lakes and waterfalls and Chinese bonsai rock gardens.  Enjoy the pictures below which can't begin to display the beauty found in the gardens.


Notice the two trees growing out of the trunk of a fallen tree.