Sunday, March 31, 2013

This has been a wonderful Easter Sunday. This morning we started out with our weekly missionary correlation meeting with the Augusta ward. Even though it started a half an hour late it was a good and informative meeting. From there we went home until it was time to go to the Post for our Branch services. Over the past couple of weeks, we have received several new soldiers, most of them are returned missionaries, so we hope that they will be a blessing to our Branch by way of their support of our functions. We have been able to meet most of them, we are still missing a couple. Elder Gowans went and picked up one of the soldiers today who was without a Battle Buddy, his name is Brother Buck, a very nice fellow.

Elder Gowans spoke in sacrament meeting, of course, on the topic of the Resurrection and the atonement. It went very well. At the beginning of the meeting, we only had about 6 people in the congregation, but over the next 5 minutes or so we had nearly 15 people come in. So we ended up with a good group.

This evening we went out and met a new soldier who had just come in, Brother Smith; then we went and met  with the Wooley family, Brother Woodley, Sister Stock and her family and then we ended up with the Rockhill family who we have been working with, helping them come back into activity. This evening we discussed with them the commandments. One of the important things that we wanted to emphasize is found in D&C 20:7. Since they are already members and are already very aware of many of the commandments, we wanted to make sure they understood the purpose of commandments. The scripture reference helps us understand that commandments are given to inspire us; as we all know, commandments will usually come with a promise or a promised blessing. The promises and the blessings are given to inspire. For example, the sacrament prayers, the promises in the Word of Wisdom and so forth. Many people view commandments as restrictive, or binding, but we know they are also given to protect us as well as inspire us.

Here are some more photos of our little trip:
 The Aiken-Rhett House: In some of the homes it was forbidden to take photos, this was one of them. So all the photos are of the exterior.

 This is the kitchen building; the upper floor was the slave quarters. In most of these homes, the kitchen was always detached so as to prevent burning the house down if ever there was a fire in the kitchen.
 The back of the home.

 The stables.

 The backyard, back beyond the kitchen, slave quarters and the stables.

The back of the home from the back yard.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

This morning President and Sister Estep joined us again in a hunt for our AIT students. The ladies went to find Sister Poyur who has been here for a couple of weeks, but we had no contact information on her. They were successful in finding her and introducing themselves to her. The second sister they were able to visit was sister Bodley. She has been her for 5 weeks or so, but has never been able to come out. They committed her to come out and we will do all we can to make that happen.

President Estep and I found Brother McNeil and Brother Callahan. We also visited with Brother Ward, whose wife and daughter will be baptized in a week. We had a real good visit with all these young men. Brother Callahan is all by himself in his company, so it will be some work to get him out to church, but we have done it before and I'm sure we will be able to do it again.

Later in the day we were able to contact Brother Smith, another new fellow and had text contact with Brother Nation. We have had several new contacts lately and hope to be able to see to their spiritual needs.

Also this afternoon we attended a baptism of an 8 year old young lady in our ward and then attended a ward pot luck dinner to celebrate Easter and to welcome all the new families from the Fort into the ward.

Then later in the afternoon we went out to visit a newly baptized sister, Sister Holubec. She is in the Navy and so we wanted to get to know her; we also had attended her baptism a couple of weeks ago. She is very sweet and very excited about her membership in the church. She is looking forward to a great future in the church.

Here are some more photos from our trip to Charleston:

 From the center of the front yard looking at the house.
 From the center of the front yard looking at the front entrance.
 Decorative ironwork under the porch
 The side of the house.
 The crown molding.
 The formal dinning area.
 The front entrance way
 The drawing room.
 The stair case.
 A close up of the wood work around the front entrance way.
 Fire place and portrait of one of the ladies of the family.
 The candles are placed in front of the reflective mirror to add light to the room.

Friday, March 29, 2013

We apologize for not being able to make any blog entries for the past two days. The computer at Joint Base Charleston Inn would not allow access to Social Media such as Blogger or Facebook. So we will have to catch you up over the next several days with photos and such. We returned home safely this afternoon just in time to get ourselves ready for Institute. Earlier in the week we hustled and got it all planned and then while on our little trip to Charleston we reviewed it to ensure we would be able to present it properly. It was taken from Section 29 of the Doctrine and Covenants. We discussed the importance of the Gathering of the Saints into Stakes, with temples near by that would assist in keeping them safe from the influences of the devil. We also discussed the great and indispensable gift of Agency. Then we discussed the prophecies of the last days as recorded in section 29. It was a good class.

After arrival on Wednesday in Charleston, SC, about 1030, we went right to the visitor's center. There we purchased a two day Heritage Pass along with a carriage ride for Friday. The first place we visited was the Charleston Museum. Here are some photos from the Museum:
 A funeral carriage
 Some uniforms warn by different groups of soldiers in the Charleston area

 A whale skeleton
 Some Indian arrowheads
 Giant shark teeth
 Confederate Money
 A cannon
 An 18' Crocodile skeleton
 A dinosaur
 A real mummy!

 I thought Matt would enjoy this: A turtle skeleton
 An old organ
 Silver serving set
An old submarine, all man powered.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This afternoon during our meeting with the chaplains, the chief chaplain asked for suggestions on what we could all do to bring more of the base population out to church. It was more of a rhetorical at the moment, although he was going to ask for answers in the future. During our slide presentation President Estep asked if I had anything to add, he had never asked before; so I humbly stated that the best way I knew of bringing more out was one on one personal ministering. The room was rather quiet after that. Then after the meeting the chief chaplain came out and said that he knew that was the best way to go about bring people back to church and that the LDS had perfected it.

This evening, President Estep and I paid a visit to 3 of our soldiers who we are concerned about. We hadn't seen Sister Nuusila out for a while, so we stopped in to say hi. She said she had just been lazy. So I made her pinky promise that she would come out.

Monday, March 25, 2013

On Wednesday we are going to take a little trip up to Charleston, SC. We have wanted to make a visit and thought now would be a good time; once we change over to the Georgia Macon Mission, Charleston will be out of our mission. So today we put the final touches on Friday's institute lesson, tomorrow we will review real well together; by then hopefully we will be ready for Friday when we return from Charleston.

This evening we had a quiet little FHE; only 5 of us there. Hopefully in the future we will be able to encourage others to come out.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We had a real nice day today, much different than all the prior Sabbath's in the past. Since the realignment of the ward boundaries last week the Grovetown ward where we used to attend now meets at 1 pm out in Harlem, so we cannot attend the Grovetown ward anymore since it is at the same time as the Fort Gordon Military Branch.The Augusta ward will continue to meet at 1 pm until April 21st then they will change to 10 am. Once that happens, we will attend with them as all the church members who reside on post will attend there. So we only had two hours of church today instead of 5.

President and Sister Holm spoke in church in the North Augusta ward and then came down to the Branch and spoke there too, in between time they came and ate lunch with us. We had a real nice time with them.

After our meetings completed, we took the Grovetown Elders over to teach the Saunders family, however, they had not yet arrive home. So we left the Elders to go on their way and we went to visit the Herr family. We had not seen them for quite sometime, they had twin boys 7 months ago nearly 3 months early. The boys are growing and doing fine. Everytime we went over an emergency was in progress, so we stopped going and just kept up with them on Facebook.

After our visit with the Herr family we went back over to the Saunders and found them home. We taught them more of the commandments and reviewed with them the importance of keeping the Sabbath day; we also talked about scripture study and Family Home Evening.

Our final appointment for the day was with the Rockhill family. They are coming along real well. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson from Preach my Gospel. Progress is being made, as they did attend church today, probably the first time since last summer. We are very happy for them and thank Heavenly Father for blessing us with the opportunity to work with them.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

This morning our typical visits to the AIT students went a little flat. Unfortunately, most of our new arrivals were either off post with family for a weekend pass, which is great, or in their mandatory finance briefing. We were able to see a couple of them, which is always good. We look forward to meeting them. In the past two weeks we have had 8 new arrivals. Our numbers are building!

This afternoon we went to visit brother Derouen and take him a treat. We only stayed for a short time, then left. Unfortunately, we didn't have any appointments this evening. Everyone seems to be busy, gone or sick lately. We went over and visited with Elder and Sister Berry for a little while; they will be completing their mission in just over a week. We will miss them.

Friday, March 22, 2013

This evening's institute class covered Doctrine and Covenants sections 27 and 28. We discussed the polices on the sacrament, why we partake of bread and water. We discussed Hyram Page and how he was deceived and how many members followed him and how it could have broken up the church if it hadn't been straightened out. Then we discussed the whole armor of God, what it means, what it symbolizes and how Satan will attempt to attack us where our armor is weak. We had a good evening.

Earlier in the day, we went out and took some photos of the beautiful spring colors, especially the Azaleas. Lovely white, pink, and red azaleas.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This afternoon, we went out and visited 2 of our lonely sisters and one lonely sister to be. We had nice visits with them. Sister Voyles, Sister Sinh and Sister Mack. All these young ladies are wonderful. We are so sorry that their husbands had to deploy. We keep them in our prayers. Tonight Sister Gowans is at the Relief Society birthday celebration. So Elder Gowans is reading Jacob's book, "Flight from Blithmore".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We have had quite a day today. After lunch, we headed out to the Post to check with many of our members to make sure they knew about the ward boundary change and the time change for our meetings. Several of them had been told, but there were many who had not been told. He had several nice visits with many of the sisters who we found home; some of them had misunderstandings of the meeting times and so forth, so it was good that we had gone out to make sure everyone was informed.

In the middle of all our visits we went to AIT graduation; two of our soldiers graduated today, Brother Child and Brother Hart. Here are some photos:
Brother Child

                                                          Brother Hart and his mom

After the graduation, we took Brother Child and went to a farwell dinner for Micah Kent at the Harbor Inn seafood restaurant. Here are some photos of that event.
 The Marzolfs, he is a councilor to President Estep
 Steve Estep on the left and Micah Kent on the right; he is now out of the Army and waiting to to go to Texas.
 Brother Child and young Steve Estep
The Group.

After dinner we went to visit with Sister Murray and her family. Her husband is deployed,even though she has a great support system in family and friends, it is good to visit with her every couple of weeks.