April 7-20, 2014

     It's been a great two great weeks in the Reno Mission. It's much warmer and with all the trees in bloom and the grasses turning green it reminds us so much of Utah.  Every morning we are awakened by the pleasant sounds of birds.  Our apartment complex is blessed with many kinds--Canadian geese, pigeons, quail, robins, and a multitude of others.  We are puzzled about what attracts them to us, but we simply enjoy them swooping overhead and scurrying across the ground.

     All the Nevada Reno senior couple missionaries got together on April 9th.  There are only 8 couples in our mission -- four in the office, where we were first assigned, and four in the field.  Overall the Church desperately needs about twice the number of couples they now have.   Three of our couples in the office are live-at-home missionaries.  When the office missionaries leave it is hard to replace them with Church assigned couples from away and so the mission has been recruiting at home couples from this area. Besides us in Sparks the field couples are in Elko (4 1/2 hours from mission headquarters), Carson City (30 minutes away) , and Washoe Valley (45 minutes away).  None of them are local people.  We enjoyed the day doing an endowment session, lunch at the mission home followed by reports on topics related to our special assignments.  Paul followed with a presentation on a topic of his choice.  He talked about "Temple Ordinances in New Testament Times".  We concluded the day with dinner at the Olive Garden.  It was very inspiring and uplifting to be with the other couples and President and Sister Hermansen.
Nevada Reno Couple Missionaries
Back: President and Sister Hermansen, Widmars, Zappes, Sophie Blankenship, Huffs
Front: Riewes, Mowers, Smiths and Smedleys

Of course the highlight of these two weeks was a visit from the Izu family.  They came for five days with Clark and Ethan skiing for three of those days and Griffin joining them for one.  Mt. Rose ski resort was still open but not much new snow.  It's about an hour from where we live.
Ethan and Clark

Clark and Ethan

 The rest of us just had time to have a good visit.  And Jenny helped Gail with her summer wardrobe. Gail needed more skirts and tops as she wears them everyday and had nothing cool for the hot desert weather.   We did little missionary work but that is allowed when families come to town.  Everyone is now gone and we're working twice as hard this week.

Ethan and Griffin
Ethan, Clark, Griffin in the kitchen



        We continue to make visits to the inactive families of our class students and are on the second or more visits with some of those families.  We did have a high of 16 attend class on April 13th--but that included two missionaries, and two investigators they brought with them, and our two grandsons (who by-the-way answered most of the questions).  We have started printing a one sheet recap of our lessons each month and take them with us, as we visit, to give to the kids if they aren't at church.  Maybe something will be absorbed someway.

Paul and Gail teaching class

Red Hill Ward Youth Sunday School Class-4/13/2014
Griffin and Ethan Front Left
     Happy 74th Birthday to Paul.  We celebrated with the Izus one night with apple pie and then again with each other on his actual birthday with his traditional key lime pie.  "Seventy-four big years and 50 of them together."

We hope you all enjoyed a beautiful Easter Sunday.  Sorry we did not call any of you.  We prayed for and waited at the chapel doors to see if any of our inactives would show up at church.  We didn't see any that we had encouraged to come.  Of all days to not remember the Savior and his Atonement, He must be sad too.  We ate dinner with the Smedleys--the other couple that lives in our apartment complex and shared the preparation of it.  We missed family but enjoyed a lovely day.

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