Sunday, August 24, 2014

Abilene Stake Conference

Last weekend, we were privileged to be with Elder Renlund and Elder Meredith of the Seventy as they reorganized the Odessa Stake. We look forward to getting to know and working with President Vore!
This weekend, we were excited to spend time with Elder Keele of the Seventy, who presided at the Abilene Stake Conference. At both of these Stake Conferences, I was called upon to bear testimony without previous preparation--something that has been so hard for me to do without my emotions getting in the way. However, it has been sweet to watch the personal miracle unfold as the Spirit has literally put words in my mouth as I have born testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It really is true! I love my life. I love the missionaries of the TLM. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. (And I love my daughter, Emily, who is helping me blog...)

David told a story about a wooden pterodactyl he had hanging in his office. The pterodactyl didn't have any idea what his purpose was or what he was doing on Earth. However, he lived here, he ate, he breathed, he slept, he pooped, and then he died. Thousands of years later, that pterodactyl has turned into the oil that is such a life-blood here in Texas-the oil that allows prophets and apostles around the world to minister to the Saints.  Sometimes like the pterodactyl, we aren't sure what our purpose is, but when we trust heavenly father, he will let us know what our purpose is. When David said that the pterodactyl pooped, this little boy, who was sitting on the front row with his mom and dad, began to giggle uncontrollably!    

Friday, August 22, 2014

Roswell Youth Fireside and Odessa Stake Conference

This morning, David instructed about 90 youth in Roswell, NM about what real mission life is like. Hopefully we didn't scare them all off ;) Then our Zone Leaders, Elder Bladen and Elder Backus finished the rest of the Conference while we zoomed off to the Odessa Stake Conference.

President Heap, Elder Backus, and Elder Bladen (Some of our awesome Zone Leaders!)

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the normal scenery

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Emily's Art Project in the Mission Office

Sister Barlow didn't want Emily to be bored while she was here visiting us, so she put her to work on a little project. Since we have all these picures from this blog we need somewhere to put them- so Em made us a cute Cork Board to hang them up. TLM= Texas Lubbock Mission
Em enlisted the help of Elder Oler and Elder May after putting about 200 holes in the wall...

Elder Checketts, Emily, and Elder May with the finished product.

August MLC

We are learning to council...

Row 1: Elders Squires, Stoneking, Kirkpatrick, Smith, Cole, Backus, Watson, Cunningham, Bladen, Gadd, Clark, Carlile, and Bucknum
Row 2: President & Sister Heap, Elders Gardner, Christensen, Dunkle, Richards, Schouten, Ross, May, Davis, and Checketts
Row 3: Sisters Soules, Barlow, Bennion, Clark, Dunham, Brown, Plante, Calderwood, Capron, Crowton, Vailea, Boughton

The 5 O'Clock Frisbee Club

The frisbee club before and after transfers. Only missionaries would be crazy enough to wake up this early to exercise with each other. Pictures were taken at the end of the game, AFTER the sun came's dark for the majority of our game. We don't keep score, but we do have a dang good time!

Elders: Squires, Crompton, Greenman, McLean, Pres & Sis Heap, Laycock, Richards, Ware, Stoneking, Bucknum, and Laudie.
Sisters: Evans, Clark, Tooley, Bearnson, Affleck and Barlow.

Elders: Laudie, Mclean, Richards, Stoneking, Checketts, Ware,  Mangum, and Squires
Emily, Sisters Affleck, Clark, Christensen, Sis Heap, Bearnson, Howard, and Evans

First Transfer and Our First New Missionaries

The subject of transferring missionaries is not taken lightly. After apporaching the Lord in much prayer and fasting the preliminary transfers are made. Then President and I, along with the assistants, attend the temple to ensure each individual missionary is correctly placed as to where the Lord wants them to serve. After this is when the transfers are finalized and the calls are made. With a mission this large, the logistics of making a transfer happen smoothly are unreal. The Assistants start making arrangement for members to give the missionaries rides to and from their new areas weeks before transfers even begin. And where that's not possible, we charter a bus. The missionaries love the transfer bus and we hope to be able to make the 3 day trip at some point in the next 3 years.
Sister Howard, Brunt, Bennion, and Soules

Sister Evans

Elder Ware and his new companion Elder Mangum

Elder Walbeck and Elder Crompton's last day as a missionary

Elder Laycock and Elder Richards

Sister Clark

Elder Crompton, Elder Hammond, Walbeck, Nelson, and Hulet 

Sister Evans and Sister Tooley, Elder May and Elder Hulet

So excited for transfers!! (You would never know that its about 200 degress in the photo)...
 Fresh from the MTC, full of energy and ready to learn all that their trainers have to teach them, our 14 new missionaries flew in today! We are SO glad to have them here. We can already tell they are a good bunch!

Coming off the plane!

Elder Peterson eagerly waiting for the Luggage

Elder Slater, Braithwaite, Winward, Cuessy, Sister Vance, Elder Kersey, Sister Moore, Elder Mangum, and Elder Peterson

Official picture outside the Lubbock Temple
We love them already!
Elder Cuessy, Peterson, Sister Moore, Nicholson, Elder Kersey, Engstrom, Braithwaite, Winward, Slater, Sister Vance, Elder Farley, Hilton, and Mangum


President Heap instructs the new missionaries

The Assistants rocked the transfer. We couldn't have done it with out them!
Elder Squires, Elder Bucknum, and Elder Checketts.
After we got the new arrivals settled in with their trainers, the departing missionaries spent their last night in the mission home for a proper send off. We played some rousing games of Mafia and Missionary Charades while President Heap interviewed them, had dinner and concluded with the famous Orange Floats. We are so sad to see these great Elders and Sister go already, but feel privileged to have been able to spend these last 2 months with them. They taught us so much and we know they will be great member missionaries still.
Elder Greenman, Walbeck, Martin, Duffy, Gardner, Nielsen, Ross, Crompton, Simonson, Ross, Whiting, NeSmith, Mounce, Rios, and last but not least, Sister Dunham!


On the Road: Meeting and Greeting

Elder Velasco also spoiled me with a birthday cake- so yummy!

President Billy Riley is a hoot...a real Texan's Texan. He also happens to make the best BBQ in Texas. He had us over for "shake off the bone" ribs and chicken. We haven't put anything so tasty in our mouths for quite some time!

Elder Bucknum, Schouten, Ross, and Squires waiting for their interviews with President Heap

Checking on Elder Oler after surgery on his torn Maniscus- we felt he needed a good meal so Olive Garden it was!
Elder Oler, Dunkle, Clark, and Benegas
President, Sister Heap, and Emily

We found the Aliens in Roswell, NM! After stalking them around the restaurant, trying to take their photo, for over 20 minutes, Em finally ASKED if she could take one...they kindly obliged.

Sister Crowton and Sister Capron. These Sister Training Leaders are ON FIRE!

Our first (of 2) Appendectomies. Sister Heaton was a trooper!
Sister Heap, Soules, Heaton, McKell, and Bennion

Sister Christenson going home