Thursday, October 30, 2008


We continue to be stunned by the beauty of the Lord's creations. He planned for us to have a joyous life experience along with all the challenges, and the waning summer, beautiful to behold, is one of those joyous experiences.
Today's post is a simple photo gallery of autumn scenes.

Our mailman

Winter wheat, newly born.

The mall parking lot for dogs!

Tucking the garden in for the winter night.

Goodby Autumn!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We gathered this week for a tri-zone conference. Some called it a mission conference. Anyway, it was wonderful, and we were motivated and invigorated by the teaching of President Matern and Area Authority Elder Kearon and his wife.

Missionaries arriving at the chapel in Zurich. As for us, we took a dry run with our GPS last week so we would know exactly where we were going in that busy city.

Gathering in the chapel.

Just happy to be here!

Look, Marci! We found him!

Our grandson is serving in Ukraine, and Elder Nilsson is one of his very best friends. I'm sorry, president, but I just had to give him a quick hug!

In the meeting, he and his companion, Elder Flitton, told a great member missionary story. They received a late night phone call from Canada, telling them a non-member cousin was in the hospital. Would they go visit her and give her a blessing? They did, and told her who sent them. Her daughter and children came in and because they respected their cousin, are allowing the missionaries to teach them. The missionaries had prayed not only to find people to teach, but that people would find them. It happened.

Elder Stenquist and Elder King related another member-missionary story. They met a man on the street who came up to them and called them "brothers". They had a brief word, then he was gone without their getting his name or number. A week or two went by and they really wanted to find him, and prayed that they would. Then they found him in the bahnhof (train station), and now are teaching him. He had been in touch with a member woman on the internet who told him to look up the elders. That is another great example of member missionary work and how Elder Ballard has encouraged us to use the internet.

Sister Matern prepared lunch for us . . .

. . . and President Matern helped us eat it!

Elder and Sister Kearon were such excellent teachers!

They had us in the palms of their hands every minute they were instructing us. Their messages of obedience and faith left us ready to conquer the world! Or at least spread the message in Switzerland!

Elder and Sister Larson arrived in Switzerland just a week ago, but they are already out teaching!

I can't help it! They are just so darn cute!

More great missionary faces.

The Lord's noble servants.

And we leave you with this.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Elder Howell, the newest missionary in our district is waiting his turn at the pool table before district meeting.

He's going to make a great addition to the district!

Right after district meeting, the elders moved the furniture, and the sisters and we changed into our painting clothes and finished the job not quite completed last month.

I can't let this opportunity pass to mention general conference last weekend. I have always said each time, "It can't get better than this," and then I feel the same way next conference.

We saw the conference in the chapel in Zollikofen, right next to the temple. On Saturday evening we saw the Saturday morning session live. Then on Sunday morning, the brethren saw priesthood meeting recorded. In the afternoon Sunday we saw Saturday afternoon recorded, and on Sunday evening we saw The Spoken Word and Sunday morning session live. We will see Sunday afternoon next week in our sacrament meetings. I am astounded at the technology that brings us all together almost simultaneously around the world. And we hear the messages in our own language. What a blessing to live when we do!

Now, I have to say that there was a glitch in the Sunday morning broadcast. The transmission faded in and out. While President Eyering was speaking the screen would go black for a few minutes and then come back on, but more time was black than on. Finally it stayed black, so we started to sing hymns. By the time Elder Bednar spoke we were singing along and he would come on the screen for a second or two, and the singing would fade hopefully, then it would go black again and we would continue singing without having missed a beat. That continued through out his talk. It was really funny and fun. Except it was also frustrating because everybody wanted to hear Elder Bednar, of course.So we didn't really hear his message or anything that followed. Lenski and I are going to watch that session on the internet tomorrow while our laundry is washing.

I haven't heard them all yet, but one of my favorite talks this time was Elder Neil A. Andersen. His theme was, "You don't know everything, but you know enough." Very comforting, especially to missionaries, new moms, and gospel doctrine teachers. He made several other quotable statements that would make be good sound bites. One that stood out for me is,

"Faith is not only a feeling. It is also a decision."

I had not heard it stated quite in that way before, but it rang so true to me. I love conference and afterward always feel motivated, uplifted, and that I have learned something.


We visited our friend Heinz (second from left) at the convalescent center where he is recuperating from a broken hip. We thought it would be interesting for you to see the Park View Restaurant (The other one is the River View) within the center where patients and their friends can enjoy fine dining while visiting together.
Notice the table linens and settings.
The place also has very nice swimming pools--indoor and outdoor--and a spa pool.

We are with Leonard's younger sister, Marlies (third from left) and her husband Sergio (left) as well as Heinz's wife, Cilly (right). The quality of the food matched the table.
This is a hospital . . .
. . . and we had live dinner music!

Strolling the grounds before dinner. The trees are changing color.

We sure love these dear people.

They are good and compassionate and generous!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


The Institute Council planned an activity at the center and decided that since we had offered to cook, it would be a waffle night.
And when they weren't eating they were playing. There are three game tables in the center, and you can see all in action here--pool, fussball (or kicker, as some call it) and ping pong.
Cooking the waffles . . .
. . . how full do I fill it?
Elder Grassli and I bought a waffle iron for the center, a member of the Bern Ward bishopric bought another for himself (!) and the council found two to borrow.
Sister Walker and I kept them steaming the whole time.
(The night before, I had missed Family Home Evening because I had a fever from my infected jaw. --see post below-- I also missed district meeting this morning. We prayed that I would feel well enough to do the waffles . . . after all, we had promised! You can't see my left jaw, but those who know me will notice the swelling under my chin, if they click on the picture to enlarge it. The kids were great and sympathized, but didn't make it an event. I was grateful for the blessing to be there that night with these wonderful Young Single Adults.)
Eating the waffles . . .
. . . can I put chocolate, peanut butter, and maple syrup on the same waffle?
Your choice!

I have described in a previous post how they all run around the table and keep the ball going back and forth on the table forever! When one misses a point, he stands out, and this goes on until there are two left. Then it's a real challenge to run around and not miss a hit! We tried to photo-catch the action, but not too well!

Our grandchildren should get a kick out of this photo!

Better watch out kids, he's getting pretty good!
And I'm grateful to be his missionary companion!

These activities give the YSAs a chance to enjoy being together at times other than the classes, which of course, are the prime purpose of Institute. But it's nice to relax together, too, and they can bring non-member and less active friends to have fun with them in a wholesome, accepting, and safe atmosphere. We hope they'll plan many more!

There Is No End to the Beauty of the Alps!

And isn't he just so cute!
Appropriate photo combination!
P-Day dawned bright and sunny. What luck! Those two factors do not always occur together, and when they do, we have to go see Switzerland. This time we took Sister Longhurst and Sister Walker with us, and did we ever see some gorgeous stuff!
There was only one deterrent and I'm afraid it was me.
I had some dental work done last week and it got infected and my jaw became swollen, so I was on antibiotics and pain pills and not feeling so great.
But as I told Lenski (Elder Grassli), I will hurt where ever I am, so I might as well be out seeing the beauty instead of lying around the apartment feeling sorry for myself, which I had already done for a few days.
But I was grotesque, so I had to put away any vanity and endure the stares of those on the train and in the outdoor restaurant. The dear sisters pretended I was normal and we had a good time. I was glad I went, but I was not very much fun to be with, I'm afraid.

We are in Kleine Scheidegg, today. Takes your breath away . . .and it's not the altitude!

Elder Grassli was kind to me and took this photo from afar!

But the sisters looked great and could face the camera!

The majesty of the alps is stunning to say the least. I marvel at the absoute genius of God at creating such a world for us. "Man is that he might have joy," and the Lord has given us every opportunity to experience it. May we always drink in the joyous experiences that open to us!