Friday, August 31, 2012

This has been an incredible day, it began at 2:30 this morning. We received a very frantic phone call from a wonderful young man who had just received a text message from a mutual friend of ours saying she had given up hope and just swallowed a bottle full of her prescription sleeping pills. He has no transportation, he literally walks wherever he goes, so we told him we would be at his place on post in 20 minutes. Less than 20 minutes later we pulled up in front of his barracks, he hopped in and off we dashed to find her. She had told our young friend that she had left her husband and had checked into the Holiday Inn, so we headed  there as quickly as we could, which wasn't too fast since the speed limit around most of the Post is 25 mph. In about 7 or 8 minutes we pulled into the Holiday Inn; he jumped out and ran into the hotel to get security to open her door for us, Sister Gowans went with him and Elder Gowans parked the car. We all dashed to her room and security opened the door. Despite all her stuff being there, she was not. Our friend found an empty pill bottle, so we knew that she had done what she said she had done. We immediately began looking around the hotel grounds. Not a minute later we hear our friend call out that he had found her unconscious in the parking lot. He and Elder Gowans stood her up on her feet and tried to get her to react to them. She reacted only slightly. Meanwhile, security called the police and they were on the scene within a minute or two. Shortly thereafter an ambulance arrived. They proceeded to act in a very professional manner and soon had her on a stretcher and got her in the ambulance. Meanwhile, our friend had finally got her husband out of bed and on the phone. After the ambulance left we went back to the Post and picked him up at his house and we all drove up to Doctor's Hospital.We waited there for nearly three hours while the professional staff there worked on her. After she was finally taken to ICU and was in a somewhat stable condition, we took her husband back to the hotel so he could collect her stuff. We said our goodbyes at that point and we went back to the apartment. It was around 7 am; at this point, we took a short nap before we got our breakfast and headed to Sister Gowans' appointment with the Endodontist. Her appointment lasted about 2 hours; the root canal was accomplished after some difficulty in getting her numbed up properly. From there we did some shopping and then we went home. By now it was around noon. We decided that we had better go up to the Post Hospital to have a problem area looked at on her backside. After we got  all checked in, we ended up waiting nearly 2 hours for a doctor. It seems that while we waited they had 4 ambulances come in with medical emergencies. We finally left the hospital around 5:20 pm. We dashed home to prepare dinner for Institute class. Sister Gowans cooked up the taco meat and Elder Gowans changed into his good clothes and cut up the vegetables. Sister Gowans stayed home for the evening while Elder Gowans took care of Institute. He picked up the missionaries on the way and then, they, together, picked up two AIT students. Elder Gowans finally got home around 9:45 pm. We have not had any news on our young female friend, who just about did herself in.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tonight was one of those evenings we could have just stayed home for an extra hour. However, knowing that nothing good happens when just sitting on the couch, we felt prompted to go and drop in on a fellow who was very ill last week. His wife is deployed to Korea, so he is home with his two daughters. His mother has been staying with the family to help out with normal motherly duties. When we arrived we learned that she had fallen and hurt her shoulder quite badly. So he and I administered to her and afterward we had a nice visit. Good things come when you are up and out, following the example of our Savior. 

Then we had a real nice visit with a family who we had dropped in on last week. We hope that we can continue to help and be of service to those who need us. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This morning we drove up to Irmo, SC for transfer meeting. This is where all the missionaries gather who are being transferred to a new area and who are receiving new companions. We first hear a short testimony from the new missionaries who have just arrived in the mission, then a testimony from those missionaries who are going home. Afterward, President Holm will then announce via a power point presentation all the changes. He will announce by Zone and then by district and then by area.Once this is completed every one transfers all their baggage, bikes and so forth from the vehicle that brought them up to the new vehicle that will take them back. We went up mostly to have our temple recommends renewed, however, we did enjoy the meeting particularly since we received 3 new missionaries in our area.

This evening we had one appointment, but since it was later, we decided to drop in on a couple of families. The first was one of the first families that we met. They had a baby girl at the time that was only a week or so old; now the baby is 3 months old. Next, we dropped in on a family whose wife was expecting twins. The husband came to the door and was obviously very anxious about something. He told us that at his wife's routine exam it was discovered that she was 3 centimeters dilated. Of course we were shocked to hear this. He was on his way to the hospital; we told him to please keep us informed, we have not heard anything yet. We will keep them in our prayers.

We then had a nice visit with a new family that had moved into the ward about 4 weeks ago. They have one baby boy, a very cute little guy. Our visit with them was very enjoyable. We hope that we can develop in these families enough confidence and trust where they would call upon us if they need anything.

On the way home we stopped in to see a family whose husband is TDY. They were baking cookies for a drive up to see him tomorrow. He visited briefly and wished them well and then left. They were appreciative of our brief visit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This morning Elder Gowans left early to go mow our Sister's lawn since he was not able to do it yesterday. There was a light rain, but he felt very blessed that it was not pouring. Over the weeks he has been doing all the trimming by hand since she does not have a weed eater. Last week he had the young Elders come out and help him do the trim around the yard. As a result nearly all of it was complete, the only thing he needed to do today was one side of the house and along the driveway. With all the rain we have had over the past month, the ground has been very soft, so the weeds pull very easily. It only took 10 minutes or so before it was all complete. With all the trimming completed he was able to get right into the mowing. It lightly drizzled most of the time he mowed, but it kept it comfortably cool.

After the mowing was complete we got ready for the afternoon. Elder Gowans attended his 3rd chaplains' meeting and Sister Gowans went to her appointment to have some fluid shot into her knee to see if that would help jump start the knee producing its own fluid in greater abundance. It has been rather painful this evening.

Later in the afternoon we visited a member family out in Martinez. We had two more families to visit that evening in the same general location, so we stayed out there for supper and ate dinner at a Mexican diner. It was very good. Afterward we visited two more families. One of the families, the husband knew our son Jacob from dental school. He was a year behind him in school, but they had met from time-to-time. It is a small world.

Monday, August 27, 2012

After our Red Cross service today, Elder Gowans took the car into the KIA shop to have the 25,000-mile check up done. It was also time to change the oil, rotate the tires and check the pressure. We got all that done and everything looks fine with the vehicle. Afterwards he went to pick up two of our Elders and take them to the bike shop so he could finish repairing his bike. Hopefully he will have it all done by Wednesday, which is transfers. He will be training a new Elder coming into the mission today. Our other 3 Elders will all be transferred. We are looking forward to getting acquainted with them.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

This morning we made our first visit to the Harlem Ward. The city of Harlem was the birth place of Oliver Hardy for all of you who remember the Laurel and Hardy comic team. If you don't I'm sure you can google them; they were a great team. You may remember, they were the ones who did, "Whose on first". Anyway, we had a nice visit and were able to see some of the families that we have visited in the past. We met the Bishop, the High Priest Group Leader and reacquainted ourselves with the Elder's quorum president.

At the Servicemen's group we had to pick up or escort 3 of our soldiers to church so that they could go, not having a battle buddy to go with them. It is quite a walk from the furthest barracks up to the Friendship Chapel. It is a pleasure to walk up with them to be able to make sure they can go to church. After church we   headed home for an hour to relax before our evening visits.

The first family we visited have a small son, dad is a linguist like so many other of our families; the mom however is from Latvia. The two of them met on line. He worked for Delta and wanted to make a trip somewhere to use his flight pass, so he chose Latvia where this young lady lived who he had been communicating with online. He made a few trips over and back, obviously they eventually got married. She was not a member of the church at the time, but she converted shortly afterward. A very sweet family.

The second family was the same we visited last night. This time the husband was home. We had a real nice and very frank discussion about how their future is going to be with him gone most of the next 5 years. We will visit them often over the next 4 months prior to his departure to help strengthen them and prepare them for the difficult time ahead.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our typical Saturday of meeting with the AIT students was not up to it usual standards. We went to meet with a young man who we hadn't seen for a while and he wouldn't come down to see us. Then we went to meet with another young man and he was gone. We then needed to go to the church house for a baptism, which was very nice. Elder Gowans had been asked to give the opening prayer.

During the afternoon we met with one of our families; he is an AIT student; his wife and children moved out about 3 weeks ago to be with dad. We had a nice visit with them. He still hasn't received permission to live off post with his family. Someone is dragging their feet. He is able to spend the weekends with them.

This evening we visited with two more families. The first was a single sister who is in the Navy. We met her for dinner and had a real nice visit. She is a convert to the church of about two years. Her family lives in Arizona, so she lives pretty much across country. The second family consists of mom, dad, and 3 children. She is also a convert, he has been a member all of his life. He will soon be returning to language school to learn a new language with the instructions that once complete (approximately 1 1/2 years), he will be put on some sort of team where he will be deployed quite frequently. The family will remain here in Augusta while he goes. They will not see him much while he is in school, maybe 1 time, unless they travel out there to see him. Then when he is completed and joins the team, I mentioned, he will be stationed in Maryland, and the family will continue to live here in Augusta. So they may see him a little more often, but it may still continue to be rarely. We will be meeting with them often to assist and serve as needed.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sister Gowans went back to the Dentist this morning for a good cleaning. Then we scheduled her appointment to get the abyss taken care of. It will be next Friday.

This evening we had a very nice Institute class, it was our largest group yet. We had 14 people there. The lesson was built around 3 Nephi 18-19. We discussed the importance of the Sacrament, prayer and the Holy Ghost. Afterward we went out to Tootie Fruite.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This afternoon our 6pm appointment called and postponed our visit due to sickness in the family. So we decided to pop in on the family that stood us up last night. We caught them home and had a short, but nice visit with them. I'm sure we will be seeing more of them in the future.

To further use our time wisely, we decided to pop in on a couple of more families who we don't have numbers for. We caught one family home, the dad anyway, and set up an appointment for next week. The other family, we determined, had moved out. We then drove out to Harlem to our 7:30 appointment. We found both men home as planned. One fellow lives by himself there and the other is rooming with him until his separation orders come through, then he will move to Washington State.

It has been a good day! Congratulations to Josie for earning her first kindness coin!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sister Gowans had an appointment with the dentist today. The Doctor said she has an abyss under a crown that Doctor Hansen put in a while back. That will have to be taken care of soon. Otherwise she seems to be in pretty good oral health.

This evening we had an appointment with one of our military families, however, they would not answer the door. We could hear a TV or radio on; so we don't know if they simply weren't home and had left a noise on in the house or if they purposely stood us up! We called their number, but no one answered. So, we decided to go out and look up some folks that we were planning on dropping in on; these are folks that either we don't have a telephone number for or who we have not been able to contact in any other way. So we found two families that we have been trying to find. One fellow was sick, so we stayed only a minute and then the second family was just sitting down to eat, so we made an appointment with them to return next week. It turned out to be a successful evening. It just goes to show you have to have a back-up plan.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today we finally got an opportunity to begin work on Friday's Institute class. We will be covering 3 Nephi 18 and 19. We are hoping to have a few new folks there; the same ones who came to FHE on Monday. We also invite other couples when we have an opportunity to meet them.

 We attended our DDM this afternoon also. Sister Gowans likes to go early so she can practice the piano for Sunday's meetings.

We met two knew families  this evening. One is an Army Captain and works in the school environment and the second is a submarine rider. Rider is the term used for those who are not actually part of the submarine crew, but who are on board for a specific mission. So he is not on a crew, but rather due to his technical mission, he is assigned to ride the submarine when is specific skills are needed for the submarine crew to accomplish its task. He just returned from a 3 1/2 month deployment and will probably go out again within 6 months. It is a rough life for these Navy folks.

Monday, August 20, 2012

We did our Red Cross service this morning; since moving to the 6th floor, Elder Gowans has been busier. Today he took 12 patients out to the parking lot. He still managed to read a few pages of Jesus the Christ and the Ensign magazine. One of the patients was a small child who had been tongue tied and so she had been operated on to correct that; another was a young child who had tubes put in her ears.

At our weekly Family Home Evening we had a new couple come out who is in training until December and the wife of an AIT student. It is nice to have new folks come out.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our Saturday morning visits paid off in a small way today. We had 2 of our new AIT students come out to Sacrament meeting today, and a couple of others who we have been visiting and helping out regularly. It was great to see them come out.

After our typical Sabbath Day services, we had an appointment with a family who live in their RV. The Post has an RV camp located out by Leitner Lake. It is quite a drive to get out there from the main part of the Post, but the drive is beautiful through an extensive wooded area. Finally, you get out to the lake and we find that the RV sites are not numbered with visible indications of which site is which. So rather than looking for site 10 we simply looked for the site with the car with Utah license plates. While we visited we learned that in the 6 years they have been a military family, they have moved 10 times. So sometime ago they decided to buy an RV and put their children on virtual school based on Utah's school system. They will be here at Fort Gordon for about 6 months, then off they will go again. We had a very enjoyable visit with them. Elder Gowans left them with a thought that was no doubt in his mind inspired of heaven. Everything he taught was taught to him at the moment by the Holy Spirit. He began the thought asking the children if they had ever planted a seed (the children are 11a boy and 7 a girl). They both shook their heads yes and then revealed at the front of the RV in the window behind the drapes several pots of herbs growing. So they brought him a pot of basil. He then asked them what the important elements were to grow the seeds. 1. Fertile Soil, 2. Sunshine, 3. Water. So then he likened this to the Word of God being planted in our hearts. Our hearts are the fertile soil; then he asked them what the other two elements would be likened to. The children came up with the answers: Prayer would be the sunshine and the rain would be scripture study. With the combination of these 3 elements, our testimonies would grow in our hearts.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This morning we met up with 18 of our AIT students. Among the 18 were 5 that we had not as yet met. We feel very blessed to have been able to meet so many. Also, one young lady came up to us and introduced herself as a member; we had a nice visit with her. We had a nice visit with another fellow who had done the same last week. Sometimes these young men and young women simply get busy and forget what is most important and that is their relationship with God. We tend to think, "Well this is my career, this is how I'm going to support my family", but if people will put God first in their lives, He will make sure everything else falls into place.

This evening we had a most wonderful visit with a sweet family. Dad, is a musician; he is a very accomplished vocalist. He and his wife have two beautiful daughters, who have obviously put God and family first in their lives. We ate dinner together and visited with them for nearly 2 1/2 hours. It was a complete delight.

Friday, August 17, 2012

This morning we prepared some more for our institute class and then went out to Harlem to visit a young man whose wife left him earlier in the year and took with her their two children. It was obvious as we visited with him that he was still very hurt and longed to be with his family. Divorce is rarely all one sided, but usually there is fault with both parties. If both will realize this and work together not to dwell on the negative characteristics of the other then hopefully the two can work out their differences and live happily together; after all, at the time of marriage the positives certainly out weighed the negatives. It is so sad when you see a family torn apart and the hurt and the pain that go with it. Certainly the worst hurt are the children.

We had a wonderful institute this evening. The Spirit of the Lord was very strong as we discussed 3 Nephi chapters 15-17. It was a small group this evening, but our faithful soldier who always comes was there despite having his wisdom teeth pulled this morning. We love this young man.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This morning at the library we went through every Child and Juvenal book and made sure they were in their proper order on the shelves. That is quite a task; the problem is however, that tomorrow after a day of children and youth going pulling them off and putting them back, they will be all out of sorts. It will give us something to do next week! :)

We met two fine families this evening. The first was a family of 7; the dad travels nearly 70% of the year. So he is gone a lot. We asked them to please consider us if there is anything assistance they should ever need. The second was a family of 4 with one on the way. He is working on becoming a doctor, he is hoping to be selected for a program this year that will help him help him on his way.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

At noon, today, we had an opportunity to meet a family, which is rather unusual, but dad works mostly in the evenings; so he asked us to come at noon when he gets out of bed. During the visit we realized that the wife is the daughter of Sally DeFord; we almost asked her to play something on the piano for us, but we didn't. It was interesting to talk to her about her mother's work. Elder Gowans used a lot of her music when he was a choir director, 12 years ago.

Afterwards we drove up to the Post, ate lunch and picked up a lady who  needed a ride home from her doctor's appointment. She is unable to drive and her husband was not able to get away to assist her, so she called us. We are happy to help her out.

Later in the evening we met with two more families; one lady, who is active duty Navy, recently went through a divorce; she has a cute little four year old daughter, she is sending her up to Maryland to stay with her dad for the rest of the summer. The other lady had a son about the same age. Everyday we meet wonderful families who work hard to serve our country and keep their families strong and healthy. From time-to-time we are able to do something to assist them in doing that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This morning we got to work on our Friday's Institute lesson, then we went up to the church for our weekly DDM with the younger missionaries. It was a good meeting, I think we are able to help them out when they role play their teaching skills. We learned while at the meeting that last night two of our Elders were victims of drive by shootings by people shooting BB guns. People! really, you are a very sad lot when you sink to such levels as this, shooting at two young men on bikes, who are out trying to do good for others.

Sister Gowans had an appointment today to have her knee checked out. The doctor told her there is arthritis in the knee and a lack of fluid that should be in there. So she will go back once a week for 3 weeks to have injections to see if that will help stimulate the knee to produce its own fluid.

We had two great appointments this evening; the first one was with a fellow who works in the same area that Elder Gowans does his Red Cross service. A very nice family with a very interesting history. The second family lives out in Harlem, GA and are members of the Harlem Ward; he is the Elder's Quorum President. He was very helpful in supplying names of military families along with phone numbers and addresses for us to use in contacting them. It will be a big help to us to have this list. This evening we made contact with several of them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

This morning when we arrived at the hospital for our Red Cross service, Elder Gowans was asked if he wanted to stay on the ninth floor or move down to the 6th floor where he was needed much more urgently. He said he would happily move to the 6th floor; after all that is why he volunteered there; not to sit and do nothing. The sixth floor handles all the patients recovering from same day procedures. Once they recover then they are taken down to the front and taken home.

This afternoon Elder Gowans mowed the lawn of our sister whose husband recently deployed. It is a good sized yard and takes about an hour and a half. She does not have a weed eater, so he weeds by hand; he does a section at a time every week. Hopefully she will eventually buy a weed eater.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It has been a long, busy, but successful Sabbath Day. We welcomed two new soldiers to our Servicemen's group this afternoon. It is always wonderful to see new soldiers make the effort to come out and worship. One of the soldiers is suffering from stress fractures in both legs. Elder Gowans went to his CQ and asked if he could be transported to the chapel in the company van; the CQ was rather reluctant, but said he would. We waited to go until after the CQ had checked out all those waiting to go places so they wouldn't have to wait for the van to leave and come back.  The CQ took him down to the chapel and Elder Gowans had to jog down since it is against the rules for civilians to ride in the company van.

This evening we visited two families who both attend the Augusta Ward. We have nearly completed visiting all the Grovetown ward military members. While we were visiting the second family they told us of a lady who lived just two doors down who was military and low and behold it was a lady who we had been trying to find. When we are out and about the Lord helps us find His lost sheep, they are not lost to Him, and if we are out and about doing our duty, then He can lead us to those who are lost. If we are just sitting home on the couch, then there is not much He can do to help us.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

As normal, Saturdays turn out to be wonderful! This morning when we left our apartment to go up to Post and visit with the soldiers, it was  nice and sunny. When we pulled out on Gordon Highway heading west toward the Post we saw a black cloud way off in the distance. We thought it would not rain for a while since the cloud appeared to be a ways off. (We have had some very incredible rainstorms lately) We had not began our visits for very long when the rain began. We had first tried to find 3 new soldiers who had just reported in this week. We met the first fellow right away, but then while we waited for the other two, we got stuck at the CQ's office due to extreme thundershowers. We must have waited for nearly an hour before the rain began to lighten up sufficiently for us to venture out. While we waited for the soldiers to come down, we also waited for the rain to stop. The soldier never did come, but then the CQ realized that they had an off Post pass to be with their families. Usually, the first weekend on Post and before their duty begins they can be given an off Post pass to be with family. So this is where they were. We were able to finally contact them via text message.

As the rain lightened, we ventured out to find one of our new members. We made it to his CQ's office just in time for the rain and thunder and lightening returned with a vengeance. However, this proved to be fortuitous.  While at the CQ, many of our members came down to visit and for a while we had members and nonmembers gathered around visiting and talking with us. It turned out to be a great social event and we all had time to visit and get to know each other better. Our new member friend even recommitted to attending church and others who had not been very diligent in attending promised they would come out too. The rain turned out to be a great blessing to us as it kept people inside, which gave us a chance to visit with many of them.

Prior to departing we visited one more young lady who had just had her wisdom teeth removed and then we went down to visit a couple of more of our troops in a different company. We found one, but not the second we were looking for, apparently he was in a special class.

Afterwards we ate lunch and then picked up a young lady who was to give a talk at a baptismal service at noon. A mom and her daughter were baptized; it was very nice event, rich in spirit and love.

After the baptism, we went back home to prepare for Sunday and to make phone calls to set up appointments for next week. Later that evening the Grovetown ward had a special Family Home Evening (FHE) social to demonstrate and teach families how to prepare, conduct and carry out a successful FHE. We had a lot of fun. During the evening we received a text message from our troop who we have mentioned before who is troubled in mind and who has no one to talk to at home; Elder Gowans went up after the social and spent an hour with him to let him pour out the feelings of his heart and then to give him a blessing of comfort. While there he met the brother that we went to meet that morning, but could not find since he was in a special class all day. He also learned that his wife has also moved out here and has set up an apartment near by where they will be able to be together a little more often.

It has been a great day full of wonderful events that have, once again, shown us how the Lord is with us and helping us accomplish our work. We believe we were able to visit with 13 of our troops today.

Friday, August 10, 2012

This morning we rose early and drove to West Columbia to attend our 3rd zone conference of our mission. We received an assignment to inspect mission vehicles prior to the beginning of the meetings; so we arrived at 0815 and assisted inspecting around 20 cars that the Elders and Sisters drive. We inspected the fluids, the tires, all the lights and signals and also the cleanliness of the vehicles. By far, they were all in pretty good shape, the missionaries take pretty good care of them.

The conference centered around becoming better teachers. We received a great deal of instruction and then did a lot of roll planing. It was a very fine day.

This evening we taught our normal Friday Institute class. This week we were teaching from 3 Nephi chapters 12 - 14. We had a good class and a lot of good interaction between the students discussing the lesson material which centered around the Beatitudes and the 10 commandments.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This morning we did our normal service in the Post Library. We had been doing it on Tuesday, however, we changed days to Thursday to accommodate the young missionaries so they could go back to holding their District Development Meetings on Tuesday. They like Tuesdays for some reason, maybe it is because it falls right after their P-Day, which gives them an opportunity to prepare a little more for the week ahead.

This afternoon Elder Gowans mowed the lawn of one of the sister's whose husband is deployed. It was not as hot as it was two weeks ago when he did it before. He is happy to do it for her, it is a lot of work and she has two small children that she cannot watch while she is out mowing.

This evening we visited with another wonderful family. They are expecting their first child in February, to  complicate matters, she is diabetic and has trouble controlling her blood sugars. She is rather anxious about it all, but we encouraged her to be prayerful, study the scriptures, and to not be afraid to ask Heavenly Father for the things she needs. We also reminded her to be thankful for the blessings she does enjoy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This morning, at the request of the mom, Elder Gowans had the opportunity to go and bless 3 children as they start a new school year. Typically this would be dad's job, but dad is on a long TDY. If you read our post from a few days ago, this is the family that the Spirit directed us to go drop in on and we found out that dad had just received a short notice, lengthy TDY. She asked us to return today to give her 3 children blessings for the new school year. It was a wonderful, and very spiritual experience.

After lunch we drove up to doctor's hospital to return to our friend his clean clothes that we washed for him. He was hoping that he would be released in the next week or so, but another doctor said it would not be for nearly a month. Wow! That would certainly be a blow. The doctor said that they need to see the tendon in his arm increase in health and then still do one more skin graft. He has already been in the hospital for more than 3 weeks and possibly another month still to go.

This evening we visited our chaplain's family and had a very enjoyable visit with them. He looks a lot like my brother Mike, so it made me wish I could be with him and his family too. After visiting with them, we went to visit a single sister, who will soon be engaged to marry. She and her near fiance plan on marrying in March, but as of yet they haven't made it official. We sure enjoy our visits with these great families.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This morning we were able to get a good start on Friday's institute class. We were supposed to have had DDM today with the young Elders in our district, but most had a case of food poisoning. Then this afternoon Elder Gowans went to mow a sister's lawn, but she was not home, so he weeded her flower and vegetable garden.

This evening we attended a baptism for a young 9 year old young lady. She is very sweet, her baptism was a  wonderful experience for her and everyone who was there. Afterward we visited a family whose husband will deploy shortly after his twin boys are born. Once he deploys he won't see them for 9 months. These boys will be their first children. We were able to educate them on our mission and to let them know we will be there for her whenever she needs us.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our Red Cross service was today, as normal; however, what was not normal was that Elder Gowans was asked to move down to the sixth floor, to the outpatient surgery center where a great volume of patients need transporting out. This area used to be maned by teenagers, but since school is starting back up they will not be available. He will also be available to the ninth floor if needed.

 Elders Clark, Angell, Tonga
 Elder Tonga

 Elder Angell
 Elder Gowans, twice he came close to a turkey.
We took the young Elders bowling today. Every Monday after 1300 is $1 games, shoes, hot dogs and fries.  We played two games and had a lot of fun together.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We had a wonderful Sabbath day. Elder Gowans taught our Gospel principles class today, a class for those who are investigating the church. The lesson subject matter was on the topic of Sacrifice; we learned that the Lord requires of us certain things and those things maybe different for each individual. Of course the commandments are all the same for each of us, however, as Christ's encounter with the Rich Young Man teaches us that for him to receive salvation the Lord required of him to sell all that he hath and distribute to the poor. Then we learned that our sacrifices need to be offered willingly, not with a doubtful heart, or with sorrow, but with faith.

We visited our friend again up in Doctor's hospital. We took his dirty clothes home with us and washed them this evening so that when he returns home he will have clean clothes to wear. He hopes to return home in about 10 days or less.

We had a rather sad visit with a military family this evening. When it came down to the end they said that they were happy in their inactivity in the church; they didn't feel like anything was missing in their lives. What they were not taking into account was their children. The children will grow up without the fullness of the gospel of Christ in their lives. Yes, their parents may teach them good values, but there will not be any example of fellowship with the Saints while attending the Sabbath meetings. There will not be any saving ordinances performed such as baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We encouraged them to at sometime meet with the Bishop and discuss this with him and see if he had any counsel for them.

We love our work!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Today has been one of those days that a missionary always loves and looks forward to. It is one of those days when you know that the Spirit of the Lord has directed your path, it is one of those days when you know you are where you are supposed to be, talking or visiting with those with whom you are supposed to be with.

Typically the servicemen's group goes to the temple on the first Saturday of the month. This morning was no exception, except that we felt that we needed to stay and visit the servicemen who are confined to the Post. Two weeks ago we had learned of a young LDS man who lived in the barracks, whom we had not met nor prior to this time even knew was there. We felt impressed that we needed to go and see if we could find him home. We went to his CQ and asked to see him; the CQ sent a runner up to bring him down. Shortly there after the runner returned and this brother came following him. When he saw us a sign of familiarity raced through his eyes. We shook hands and introduced ourselves. We asked if he had a few minutes to visit, he said he did and so we went out and sat at one of the picnic tables on the grounds. As we got to know each other he confided in us that he and his wife and just spoken yesterday about the need to get back to church. Our showing up today was a sign that God had heard their concern and sent us to guide them back. We  also learned that his wife and two children were living there in Augusta and had moved out when he came out for training and that they were on their way at that moment to visit with him. We asked if we could wait with him and meet his family, he said that would be fine. When she arrived and met us she stated the same concern that he had that they had just talked yesterday about the need to get back to church. Due to the temple trip plans, we were up on Post an hour earlier than normal. If we had got to the Post an hour later, as normal, we would have missed him. Later in the day we texted them their ward and meeting times so they could go to church tomorrow and be in their proper place. We then notified the Berrys of their address and just at that time they happened to be in their neighborhood so they went to visit them. Our Father in Heaven knows his children and He knows how to put us to work in His service.

Later in the evening, we had been out to visit a beautiful family who lives on Post and whose dad and husband is deployed. We had a great visit with them and brought laughter, fun and some silliness into their home for an hour. After we left them we were to meet up with the young Elders for a visit with a family, but we had about 45 minutes before our meeting time. We felt prompted to go and visit a family who we were to have met with last week, but were not home when we came to see them. We knocked on their door and found them home, but we quickly learned that dad and husband had been given a class date for training and had left very abruptly to be able to attend the class. So mom and kids were home without him. We know that Heavenly Father had directed us there by his Spirit to minster to their pressing needs and to bring hope and love into their home.

We love being in the service of our Heavenly Father; it is days like today that show us that His hand is in our work directing it according to His will and if we will be out and about doing our duty, then He will match up our work with His will and great things will be accomplished, people's lives will be blessed.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Today was one of those days where you spend most of the time waiting for a repairman. Yesterday the junction box on the back of the range decided to short out. It was so bad that one of the electrical ends had bent 90 degrees outward and had arched against the back plate covering the junction box. However, we were able to put our time at home to good use doing lesson plans for two Sunday School classes and Institute.

One of our soldiers brought a friend with him to Institute this evening, she was a nice young lady who seemed to enjoy herself. During class the rain began to pour down; it has been pouring for 2 hours! The storms of the south can be incredible.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

We met with two great families this evening. The first family has only been here about 3 weeks and the second family is here for Advanced Warrant Officer Training. They will be here until at least November. The husband has a brother who is also stationed here so we met with all of them. As we meet with these families, we try to get to know them and help them get to know us, too. We explain to them the role and mission of the Military Relations Missionary and then invite them to call upon us if and whenever they may ever need us. We always leave them with a scriptural thought and a prayer and blessing upon them. We have met many tremendous families and we still have many more to meet.

Yesterday, we sent a text message to our young troop who has been experiencing severe pain around his heart, but he never texted us back. The impression came that he was in the hospital. Since we were going to the hospital this morning for additional blood work and medication for Sister Gowans, we thought we would check to see if he was indeed there and sure enough he was. We made time to go up and visit with him and found him to be in good spirits. We have since learned that there is nothing wrong with his heart for which we are very grateful. They are still trying to determine what is causing the severe pain that he is experiencing. Hopefully that will be done soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Elder Gowans mowed the lawn this morning. It is all done for a week. We will see what happens next week to see if it turns into a regular job. She really needs to get a weed eater; that would help a lot. We did some of our grocery shopping this afternoon and will finish up on post tomorrow. Sister Gowans needs to do some more blood tests and pick up some new prescriptions. 

We visited a good family this evening. They met while both were on active duty at Monteray, California while in language training. Both were learning Vietnamese. Interesting! She is now a mother of two lovely and energetic children. Not on active duty anymore.