Sunday, March 31, 2013

 Hope that you had a  HAPPY EASTER today!
           Our Branch was very small in numbers at Church today with everyone home for Easter break, but what it lacked in numbers it achieved in spirituality.   We focused on our Savior, and His Atonement.

                            "No matter how daunting the challenges in our lives or in the world around us,
                              we know we can have peace through the power of the infinite Atonement."
                                       Elder Paul V. Johnson Of the Seventy

Weekly we are traveling to Havelock and love to stop at New Bern for lunches so here are some pictures of our adventures.  Sister Hoyt and Sister Smith below.

 This was St. Patrick's Day just before the parade.  Showing their Irish side are Chris Downey and Brian Moran - some great members of our Branch.

          Below is our green meal.  Yes, we dyed our milk, and mashed potatoes green and tried something new, "Shamrock meatloaf" - Sister Smith's family tradition.

 Above is a monument which is dedicated to the
soldiers who fought in the Civil war, "To our Confederate Dead".
We toured the Robert Lee Humbert home on our Preparation Day as well.  And as it was our last day with Sister Smith we just had to throw in some shopping too.  Like the shoes?

     The next day Sister Vasques arrived and  Sister Smith went to New Bern with Sister McPherson.   We ALWAYS look for the Sisters when we are in Havelock and New Bern - but haven't seen them out riding their bikes yet.

 Below, Sister Vasques and Sister Hoyt are helping make the veggie kabobs for the First Ward's Relief Society Garden Party that the Branch was invited to attend.  It was FUN!

  We were trying to find a member while enjoying all their birds - peacocks, chickens and pigeons.

We experienced a lesson on the importance of living close to the Savior and trusting in his love for you - even during trials.  As the young man we were teaching expressed his doubt in the Lord and His caring about him - discouragement, darkness and sadness  filled the room.  Then as we (the Holy Ghost) taught him about hope, faith and the love our Savior has for each of us, the feeling in the room changed completely to peace, hope and happiness.  The difference in the room was so strong that the young man felt it and commented on it.
Dear family and loved ones, this Gospel is True!  Our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ love you more than you know.  Please live close to them through scripture study and prayer.  There is power in these two daily habits.  We love you!  Take care!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hello Y'All  
 March has been a good month and here are some highlights!
 A week ago went hiking with Sisters Smith and Tillman on preparation day knowing that we were coming up to transfers soon.  The weather was cold but we had a fun time anyway!  This is our usual picnic on the bridge (Town Commons) before going to River Park North. As the water was still high we were only able to walk half way through the park but we saw lots of awesome birds.

 This flower is a gardenia which bloomed all through the winter.

          Our next adventure was to Wilmington with the Couple Missionaries.  We toured the Poplar Grove Plantation which built in the 1800's.  It was a peanut plantation which hired 65 task slaves.  Their tenant houses were out back.  Our guide presented our tour as Harriet, a daughter of the Foy family who built the home.  We also enjoyed walking around the property and watching a weaving demonstration.  These people were very frugal people - they grew, and harvested everything including their salt for cooking.

                                        The tree on the right is Spanish Moss.   Lovely to look at but do not touch as it is full of ticks and chiggers.   
On the boardwalk at Wilmington by the ocean.  
Our Branch has been extremely blessed this month.  The first week,  Lauren was baptized.   She is a very sweet girl who is loved by everyone.  

         The second week was a day of baptisms in all three Greenville wards.  First we had a very special baptism for a lady named Trish who is fighting cancer.  We felt priviledged to get to know her as the Elders taught her.  The second ward then held a baptism for a young man and next our Branch had a baptism for Alicia.  Again we learned how much the gospel can change lives, and the miracles that happen as we follow our Savior, Jesus Christ.

          And finally this WAS our Greenville District before Tuesday.  We grow so close to the Elders and Sisters as we serve with them.  We love them so very much!  It is hard to have them transfer as they feel like our family here.  
         We have enjoyed doing service with Elder Perryman and Elder Dewey - from raking lawns,  putting in a toilet, to working at the Food Bank as well as singing with them in Lannie and Canary's home and Christmas Caroling.
          Elder Mortensen has been a wonderful district leader with his companion Elder Balaich.  We have enjoyed going out with them to teach lessons and singing with them as well at the Rest Home in Grifton.  We enjoyed Christmas with them also.

       The sisters have served with us in the Branch.  We have gone shopping for clothes, jewlery, traded hair cuts, hiked, gone to lunch, remodeled clothes, traveled to many meetings and have appreciated all their help fixing the food for Institute and Break the Fast too.

       And as these three missionaries move on, we know that we will learn to love Elder Jensen, our new district leader, Elder Jensen and Sister Hoyt as well. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is TRUE.  Miracles are happening here everyday and our Heavenly Father is preparing people to hear the gospel. This is a GREAT TIME in our Church's history to be a missionary!   In the Raleigh Mission we have grown from 12 sister missionaries to 31 in two transfers and are looking forward to more coming here soon.

     Thank you for reading your Book of Mormon and praying everyday.   We are so proud of you and the good things you are doing.  Thank you for your support and prayers.  We love you very much!!!  Take care.