Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Love Him. I'll Serve Him. He is my Savior.

My Savior, My Brother, My Friend

The time is almost here.  In just a few short days we report to the MTC to start training for our mission.  I have had many tender moments as I think of leaving all those I love and will miss so much.  Tears have come to my eyes as I have sat with grandchildren on my lap or watched my children together this past couple of weeks.

When Tony and I served in the MTC for four years working with the young men and women who were there getting ready to serve their own full time missions.  Many came with heavy hearts.  There were many worries about problems at home.  Sickness, financial burdens, family struggles and homesickness.  Leaving home is hard.

The scripture we shared quite often with our missionaries comes from Doctrine and Covenants 100:1.
The background of this revelation to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon  is they had been absent from their families for several days as they went out to preach the Gospel.  They had left their families in dire straights but followed Heavenly Father's will to go bring others unto Christ.  They were worried about their families.  Their hearts were heavy.
The scripture reads:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends Sidney and Joseph, your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power.

As Tony and I prepare to leave, we are exercising much faith in the message of this scripture.  We have family concerns and many who count on us for different reasons.  We have faith that Heavenly Father will take care of our loved ones.  He can do it much better than we can.  He knows their needs, loves them and knows how best to help them.  The Lord will provide.  We know that our family will be blessed as we serve Him with all our hearts, might, mind and strength.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Grandbaby, Change in Mission Assignment and Travel, Change in MTC Plans!

The time is coming so fast!!  When we first got our call back in March, four and a half months seemed like forever until we would be leaving.  Now it's flying by.  Time seems to have both speeded up and slowed down at the same time now that we are getting so close.

It has been hard getting ready because we can't really pack until it's time to go but I have slowly been getting some organization done and have been going through about 20 years of collecting stuff since we moved into this house.  I have thrown away (Oh look!  This medication expired 10 years ago!), given away and now will be packing away a lot of stuff that we won't be needing on our mission. This will give Andie a clean and mostly empty room and bathroom to move into while we're gone (at least my half of the space will be packed up).

Tony and I (we are still Tony and Carrie until August 7th then we become Elder and Sister Pearce) recently went to Portland, Oregon for the birth of our 18th grandchild, Luci Yulia Rose Setzer.  Born to Lydia and Trevor.  She is a beautiful little girl.  Lydia and Trevor are wonderful parents.  The next time we see her she will be a toddler! They are hoping to come to England and visit while we are there.  We're hoping as well! We LOVE being grandparents!  It brings us so much happiness and joy!  Thank goodness for SKYPE! We will miss our family so much!

The very first day we were in Portland, we were on our way to visit with my bonus Dad, Bob Garrard, in Newport, Oregon, which is several hours away from Portland on the beautiful west coast. As we were driving we got a call from President Gubler telling us about a change in our overall mission assignment and also letting us know where we will be assigned for the duration of our mission.

He got permission from church headquarters to include YSA (Young Single Adults) in our mission assignment.  In addition to our Member Leadership Support calling we will be teaching Institute and missionary prep classes and helping with the YSA activities.  We will also be helping out the young missionaries whenever we can and helping in the ward and stake we are assigned to.

Because of the additional responsibilities we will be at the MTC for three days longer and will be getting trained for CES (Church Education System) responsibilities.  This is quite intimidating to me. Sit with me in the living room or get trapped in a car with me and I can talk your ear off and impart to you all my amazing years of wisdom, knowledge and stories (until your eyes roll back into your head and you wonder if I will ever shut up. Kind of like this post), but get me in front of a class or congregation and I get terrible stage fright and don't seem to be able to put together my thoughts and give a cognitive presentation.  Most people don't believe me that I am basically a shy person.

I have great faith that Heavenly Father qualifies those whom he serves.  I also know without a shadow of a doubt that if we are willing to listen with our heart, without any criticism of the person who is speaking or teaching and they have tried to prepare and are doing their best, the Spirit can and will teach you what YOU personally need to hear.  I truly believe this is how all teaching in the church happens.  Whether it's missionary work, lessons on Sunday, Sacrament meeting, Temple attendance, reading the scriptures, etc.  I know He will help me if I put the effort of preparation and faith.  I'm counting on it!

See how I wander???!!!

Getting back to where we will be assigned, we will be in a ward west of London in a village called Wandsworth.  President Gubler told us the ward there has members from all over the world.  We are SO excited!  There is so much we can learn and people and cultures we will get to know and love. We are so blessed to get this assignment.

This is a map of the England London South mission boundaries.  On preparation days we will be able to do a bit of sightseeing as long as we stay within the mission boundaries but we can get special permission to go outside mission boundaries. Since so many have mentioned that they want to come and visit while we're there, we will be able to visit some wonderful places.

This map shows where Wandsworth is in relation to London.  Eric tells us it's pretty much in London proper but a nice area.  We will be living in a flat with two bedrooms, living room, bathroom and kitchen. Tony and I will have fun learning to share the bathroom!
On Monday we were able to take a tour of the MTC and see all the new buildings that have just been finished and opened up for use.  It was very nostalgic for us to be there as we served in MTC branch presidencies for four years.  The open house is just getting going so if you are interested, you can go and see it for yourselves. The new buildings are pretty amazing and the new outdoor areas are welcoming and inviting.
There are amazing murals on the walls depicting the life of Christ and other beautiful artwork.

Tony and I have been really looking forward to our MTC experience.  Even though we live close enough to commute there daily, we decided we wanted to stay at the MTC and get the total immersion experience and that was our plan. Yesterday however we got a call from the MTC asking us if we could stay in our own home and come down daily.  Apparently they have so many missionaries arriving at the same time as us (Summer is the highest occupancy at the MTC) that they are having to find hotels to put everyone in.  Some almost as far away as we already are.  I'm assuming all the hotel missionaries are senior couples like us.  We are a bit disappointed but more than willing to stay in our own beds on Purple for another week and a half. We will study, eat lunch and dinner with the other missionaries, then come home to sleep and prepare for the next day.  Depending on traffic, it will add one and a half to two hours of commute time every day.

I wish everyone could experience the Spirit that is felt at the MTC.  It can be overwhelming and beautiful.  Many tears are shed and hearts are opened as missionaries come to be trained in how to teach and learn languages but more importantly, to come to Christ themselves so that they can know what having His spirit with them always really feels like.  It's amazing!

Click on the below link to see information if you want to take a tour.  Children are welcome.  It's fun. You will get to see where the missionaries eat, live, study and you will get to see rooms inside the new classroom buildings.  Missionaries who are actually at the MTC right now getting ready to go to their various missions join with you in line on the tour as you go through so that any questions you want to ask, even if it's about themselves or where they are from or where they are going to serve can be answered. At the end of the tour there is a short video in one of the new buildings explaining the purpose of the MTC and of missionary work.

We will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting (Our non farewell) at 1:00 p.m. on July 30th in the Alpine 4th Ward.  The address is:  910 South High Bench Road, Alpine, UT 84004.
All are welcome who want to come and we will have an open house following Sacrament meeting at our home.  If you want to stay for all three meetings then come over to visit, you are more than welcome to do that as well.

We will be flying out on August 17th.  Then eighteen months of devoting all our might, mind and strength to serving our Heavenly Father and his children.  What a wonderful time of life this is!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Our next Phaze.....Senior Missionaries!

It's finally here!  Our mission call!
About 5 1/2 years ago we were ready to submit our applications to become a senior missionary couple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  At that time it was not to be.
Tony was called to serve in the Provo Missionary Training Center and I was to accompany him as he became first a councilor in a branch presidency and eventually a branch president to missionaries going to the Philippines.  We weren't in the least bit sad!  We LOVED serving in the MTC and were sad when we were released.
Since this is a 4 year calling, we had to put our mission plans on hold.
At the end of 4 years we were released but so much was happening with our company, it still wasn't a good time to go.  I'm sure we could have kept having that happen but finally after another year we just said, "Let's GO!"  There will never be a "Good time to go."  There will always be things happening at work, babies being born, family members with special needs and the list goes on.  We just needed to bite the bullet, exercise faith and submit our applications.
In the meantime, our dear friend who was our first branch president at the MTC, Ron Gubler, was called to be the mission president of the England London South mission.
For many years I have been saying and wishing aloud, that if I could pick the perfect mission to go to it would be the London South mission.  After all, what could be better than going to a foreign mission and still be able to visit with some of your family.  Eric and his family have lived in England, just 5 minutes away from the mission office for about 10 years.
To make a long story short, President Gubler requested us, we were more than willing to accept that call (although we did put on our papers that we were willing to serve wherever Heavenly Father wanted us to go).  When the call came, it was indeed to the England London South mission to serve as MSL missionaries, or Member Leadership Support missionaries.  We will be helping out the leaders of the local unit where we are assigned in whatever capacity they need us to.  We will also be finding service projects to participate in, driving young missionaries around and even do some sight seeing.
We feel like we have been blessed so abundantly and love the Gospel of Jesus Christ so much that it's the least we can do to go for 18 months to serve.
The rules for senior couples are different than for young missionaries.  We will get to Skype with our grandkids and kids, make phone calls home whenever we need to.  We don't have to keep the same long hours that young missionaries do because after all, we ARE seniors!  Another difference is that we don't get moved around to different areas like the young missionaries do and we get to keep the same companion for our entire mission!  That's a bonus!
We report to the Provo Missionary Training Center, the same one we served in for 4 years, only this time as missionaries ourselves, on August 7th 2017.  We will give our farewell talks in Sacrament meeting on July 30th.
I'm so thankful to be able to have a good part of the summer to hang out with our family before we go.  The past 2 1/2 months since we got our call has flown by and I'm starting to get a bit anxious about getting everything done that needs to be done before we leave and also getting some butterflies in my tummy about the whole prospect!
Emily, Luis and Olivia will be living here, as well as Bryan and Andie and her current roommate.
What an exciting time of our lives!

I Love Him. I'll Serve Him. He is my Savior.

My Savior, My Brother, My Friend The time is almost here.  In just a few short days we report to the MTC to start training for our miss...