August 1-September 7, 2014

After our ward added a section of another Sparks ward our Sacrament meeting and our Sunday School have about doubled in size.  Our new bishop, Dennis Robinson, is from this added section and has been their bishop for about one year.  He is a good leader and supports the missionary program.  We have visited all but one of the new families--some active and some inactive.  In class we now average 16, but one day had a high of 21.  When we leave in November they will divide the class-- one for the older youth and one for the younger.  The other day the Stake President asked us if we wanted a change of assignment but we told him we preferred to stay with the Red Hill ward and it's youth.   We taught about Temple Marriage in August.  The month concluded with a lesson on chastity and Paul was very frank with them.  McKenzie was here and in the class.

Our class swim party was fun and we had 14 there--with some of the new kids. (Angie suggested I text to remind them--and it was the perfect thing to do.  Thanks Ang!)  I forget the do these new things.

They swam and ate lunch--including sugar cookie flip flops for dessert.  There was some mingling of the two groups.  It will take time for them to get close but it is so great having more kids involved.  

We just have to tell you about last night.  We went to a fireside for new converts, in-actives and investigators on "Families Can Be Forever".  After the fireside one of our youth, Tiana, came up and talked to Gail.   (Some of our grand-daugthers  got her picture in their birthday card).  Her mother is Catholic and her father  LDS, but he just got out of prison.  We visited her when we first arrived on our mission and she came out to class several times.  She just graduated from the Catholic high school here and was a cheerleader. She told us she has started at the University of Nevada Reno and took an Institute class this summer.  She said when we started contacting her we were influential in her coming back to the church and she appreciated it.  It was music to our ears as we were beginning to wonder if we have had any effect on those that are still pretty much inactive, which is the majority of the youth on our rolls.  We visit, call them and try to get them involved but would appreciate more of a response from them. Maybe we do make a difference with a few. 

The Nevada Reno mission was two years old this summer.  All the original Elders who were assigned to this mission left in July and August so we've had big transfer days with 20 or more leaving and the same number replacing those who left.  It was sad to see them go as they were all the leaders of the mission, zones and districts.  We are so impressed with these young people and how articulate they are in expressing themselves and teaching the gospel.  Most were very dedicated and followed "Preach My Gospel" to the tee.  "Exact Obedience"  President Hermansen calls it.    They are definitely the future leaders of the Church and well prepared.   

Every month now the mission senior couples get together on the first Monday of the month for dinner and family home evening.  The couples want Paul to give some of his presentations to them.  Tonight he is doing one on the translation (transmission) of the Book of Mormon and will also tell about some of the newest research that is being done on the book and it's language, which dates to between 1470 and 1670.  

Gail has got 133  temple names now ready for the Elders and Sisters to do the endowments on their mission temple trips in September.  She has gotten so much genealogy work accomplished in her time while Paul prepares classes and firesides--another blessing of being on a mission.  The youth do the baptisms, we do the initiatory and sealings and the missionaries do the endowments.  Gail is working now with a new convert who wants to go to the temple and do baptisms for her family.  In 45 minutes the other night she helped her find her parents, siblings, grandparents on one side, and aunts and uncles. This was all on the site which Kevin has given us access to.  They were stoked to say the least.  If you want access to this site I think it is now available to all church members through their church ID number otherwise I will give you the ID and Password from Kevin.

In doing initiatories last week the ordinance worker just all of a sudden broke down.  Speaking of the family name for whom the work was done, Nancy Wilkinson, she said "She must be close."  That same morning Paul was doing male names and the ordinance worker said to him "He is a very special guy, Stanford Wilkinson.  I feel him nearby."   After coming home we looked up the names to see if there was a connection between them.  They were not married but are nephew and aunt.  The nephew never married as far as I can tell--couldn't find a spouse.  Makes us wonder.  

We have to tell you about the Allens in our ward.  Both he and her work on customizing "street rods" or what we use to call hot rods. It's their hobby.  They came for dinner one night and Karolyn took Gail for a ride in her "Pink Lady". They drove it all around Sparks. Karolyn did all the restoring of the body but had a professional paint job.  Her son put a big engine it it so it's got a lot of power.   They race and show off the car  and it has won many trophies.  They hauled it to Alaska this summer for a show and race.  

Lake Tahoe
We certainly enjoyed the Labor day weekend with Brandon and Emily and their family.  They arrived late Friday night.  Saturday we went to Lake Tahoe for a picnic lunch and swimming.  We drove to South Lake Tahoe because Paul had never seen it.  After coming home the kids, Paul and Brandon got in the apartment hot tub.  The pool was too cold.  We ate pizza at the bowery and would have gotten back in the tub after dinner but Grandmother fell on  slippery wet grass and hit her head on the building above her eye.  She now has a beautiful black eye to prove it.  The grandkids were so concerned and wanted to take her to the hospital but it wasn't even bleeding.

Our Grandkids Mekenzie, Payson, Carson and Addie
 Sunday the family went to church with us and after dinner we went on a Truckee River Walk and drove up to show them the Reno Temple.  Their trip was much too short but we are so glad they came to see us.   We were continually entertained all weekend by the grandkids.  Everyone had a favorite song or trick for Carson to perform for us.  He can sing all the words to "I Am a Child of God ".  He really loves his brother and sisters and they spend a lot of time playing and teaching him cute things.  
Brandon and Emily

McKenzie-age 12
Going home to Utah

We wish the best to the grandkids headed off to another year, or their first year, of college--Christian and Sydney at BYU Idaho and Abby at BYU.  We hope to see you when we get home in two months.

Two other family members have been through a lot this last month.  Paula successfully had her back surgery.  We know the power of prayer and fasting as a family.  She seems to be doing very well although the recovery is slow.  Gail wishes she could have gone to be of assistance but knows Greg and the children took good care of her when she got home from the hospital.  Angie and Sheyna are flying down from Virginia this Wednesday to help and be with her for a week now that Christian and Sydney have left for school.

We were sorry to hear of Brady's accident to his shoulder.  We found out this morning that the clavical is broken in 3 places.  It's interesting to know it will pretty much heal without surgery once the swelling is gone down.  We wish him a speedy recovery.  He has good home care but nurse Zann has her hands full!

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