Friday, February 28, 2014

Well, this evening, we finished up our 14 month long study of the Doctrine and Covenants! It has been an incredible learning experience for each of us who have been involved. We have had many students who have come and gone, who have had the opportunity to receive portions of the instruction.We will embark on a six week study of the Pearl of Great Price next week and will finish it up on our Final Friday here. Teaching Institute has been a real joy; preparing lessons week after week for these past 22 months has taught us that we need to completely rely on the inspiration that comes from the Holy Ghost. There is no way we could teach without his direct and continuous inspiration.

Sister Gowans' leg/knee has been doing much better over the past few days. It must be finally beginning to heal.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

This morning while getting the laundry done, Elder Gowans put together a schedule for the last 6 weeks of Institute that we will be teaching. We will conclude our study of the Doctrine and Covenants on Friday and then we will dive into the Pearl of Great Price and cover it these last 6 weeks. We divided it up into a study of The Creation, The Fall, The Mission of Enoch and then the Joseph Smith-Matthew, Joseph Smith-History and the Articles of Faith.

This evening we had a nice visit with the Amidan Family; he will graduate right after our mission completes. He and his wife had the baby while here and so it has been fun to watch the cute family grow. We love them as we love all our soldiers.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This morning, we attended the annual Prayer Breakfast here at Fort Gordon. It was very well attended and the command chaplain did a fine job in delivering the address to the group. We were joined at our table by the Esteps, Sister Arnett, Brother Allen, Brother Woodley, Sister Amidan, the Shoults and then one lady who none of us new, but with whom we enjoyed a nice visit with.

After the Prayer Breakfast, we drove to the library and was able to fit in a little over 3 hours of service.

This afternoon, Sister Gowans had another session of PT and after that we headed back to post for Brother Warner's and a nonmember friend, Brother Beach's graduation. As always, it will be sad to see Brother Warner go, but we are excited for him to get back to his new wife; they've been together only a few months in the year they've been married.

 Brother Warner is on the  right; his battle buddy Private Lee, we just met today. Brother Warner was very active in coming out to church nearly every week he was here. We will miss him.
Brother Beach is on the right, he is not a member of the church, but he was raised with LDS standards; he said keep after him to come to church, so we did, but still he never did come out. We wish him all the best. His battle buddy on the left we just met today also. 

After graduation, we stopped in to see Sister Dixon and then Brother Campbell to see how they are doing. Both seem well in particular circumstances of life at this time.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We have had a very full day! This morning, we attended our weekly DDM; during the DDM we were challenged to visit a member and role play with them how they would introduce the gospel to a friend. Since we had two appointments tonight with members, we decided we would take that challenge out with us and accomplish the task. However, before that, this afternoon we had a real nice visit with sister Mitton our friend from North Augusta. She came by the apartment for a visit and to catch us up on the things going on in her life. After the visit, Elder Gowans gave her a blessing and we said our goodbyes.

Sister Mitton

So this evening, we had a nice visit with Brother Halford; we challenged him to role play with us and he did a great job. We then visited Sister Marzolf while on the way up to see Sister Arnett. Sister Marzolf's husband is in Alaska for a while doing cold soak testing on some equipment that is in development. After our visit with her, we went on up to see Vickie; we challenged her to do the same role play and she did a great job too. We had a wonderful day and look forward to tomorrow's eventful day.

Monday, February 24, 2014

We suppose you might say that this has been a typical Monday. Morning, Red Cross; afternoon, Physical Therapy; Evening, Family Home Evening. Lately we have had quite a turnout of young men who are here TDY for training. This evening we had 2 permanent party, 3 TDY, 2 Elders and then us and the Esteps. After our FHE ended, we had a short, but nice visit with Brother Wolfe; it was him who I helped by a car about 3 weeks ago. He has been called to be our Branch Organist; he does a real good job.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

We had a wonderful group of soldiers come out to church today. We even had a new young lady, permanent party, who came out for the first time. We all thought she was a member, but then learned that she is not. We hope that she will continue to come and that at some point in time she will desire baptism. Over the next month or so, we will see several more of our soldiers graduate. They are all fine young men and we will miss them; they have been a central core to our activities for quite sometime. As always, we will be sure to post their photos up.

This evening, we had three appointments all set up, then 2 of them cancelled; the 3rd appointment was not until 8 pm, so we called them and made arrangements to arrival at 6:30 pm. The Strebel family has just returned from an assignment in Korea; they said they really enjoyed their time there and really hated to have to leave, but they do enjoy being back in the United States. We look forward to this coming week. We have several appointments all lined up, plus the prayer breakfast is on Wednesday, that is always an enjoyable event.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

This morning, we were able to get back up to Post and look up our new students; we were very successful in finding Brothers Robinson and Call. They are both new to Fort Gordon and it was great to meet them. We also was able to visit several others of our older soldiers and also visit with one of our sisters who is from American Somoa. We invited her to come out to our activities and make her stay her more memorable. We felt good about our work that we accomplished this morning.

Then this afternoon, we attended a baptism for two individuals out in the Grovetown ward. One young lady who married a member of the church last summer serves in the Navy, she and her husband, who serves in the Army, will have to figure something out eventually so they can stay together. Also baptized, was a young man who has been living with them who is also in the Army. It was a real nice baptismal service.

After the baptismal service, we drove out to see Sister Stott; she is an accountant, so currently she is very busy. She was not at home, but her sister was there holding down the fort. It is going to be difficult to see her during this busy time of the year. We then drove out to see Sister Westbrook; we knocked on her door and realized when she answered that she had been asleep; she told us she is now working nights. We visited for a moment and then let her get back to bed. Oops!

This evening we had a nice visit with Brother KC Sanders, along with Brother Haderly who is his Home Teacher. We had a good discussion about very deceitful stuff he has found on the internet, and encouraged him to prayerfully study the scriptures, not the stuff on the internet. We also visit Brother Smidt and Brother Beck who are both here going through a couple of months of training. It is wonderful to meet these fine people who have strong testimonies of the gospel and who have made their relationship with Heavenly Father a priority in their lives.

Friday, February 21, 2014

This morning, the apartment maintenance guys came by and fixed up our front door. Elder Gowans had them increase the depth of the hole for the dead bolt so it would sit further into the door jam. They removed and replaced the door knob and strengthened the entire door jam. Hopefully, this will dissuade anyone who would thing about breaking in again. We also took more positive measures to make our aparment more lived in; leave the lights on, turn on a radio. Hopefully, no more problems. We are sure grateful to Heavenly Father for watching out over our belongings.

Sister Gowans had her P.T. today; hopefully she will continue to heal well.

This evening, we covered the final sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. What a wonderful book! We discussed the need and purpose of pondering on the scriptures and, of course, used President Joseph F. Smith's example of the marvelous vision that came as a result of his pondering 1 Peter chapters 3 and 4. We had a real  good turn out tonight and look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This morning, we attended to all our domestic needs after which, we drove into Grovetown to visit with Sister Malcom. We were going to get a photo of her, but neglected to do that, but we did photos of her house and all the tree debris that we removed on Monday. On the drive up we wondered if a bush had been trimmed back that was bent over her yard. She had asked us to trim it back so it wouldn't hang over the lawn; upon our arrival we saw that it had not been trimmed back. She heard us drive up and came out to meet us. Elder Gowans asked her if she had her trimmer handy and that he would trim the bush while her and Sister Gowans visited. At first she refused since Elder Gowans was in his suit, but he insisted so she opened the garage door and he got the trimmer and went right to it. It took about 15 minutes to trim the bush and then drag all the limbs out to the curb. After going back inside, Sister Malcom was talking about a jewelry box that her husband had ordered and sent to her, but that when it arrived it the doors were broken; so they called and reported the breakage and when the second one came, it too, had broken doors. So Elder Gowans got up and examined it. It stands about 4' tall and has drawers in front, then on the sides it has two doors that open up reveling an area to hand necklaces and so forth. Well, the hinge on one door was completely inoperative. It was missing the center shaft that the hinge hinges around. The other 3 hinges were all poorly mounted and the screws had cracked the wood upon the initial hole being bored. Thus they were not holding the hinge in place and the doors wobbled when opened. Elder Gowans asked Sister Malcom if she had a phillips screw driver and some glue. He removed all the screws and then placed a little glue on the end of each screw and replaced the screws. He then had a brilliant idea inspired by Sister Malcom's talking about the first box that came. He went out and removed a good hinge off the first box and then replaced the defective hinge on the 2nd box. Within about 30 minutes or so, he had the 2nd box all fixed up and usable for her. She was already to call the company and tell them to come pick up both boxes, that she was fed up and through with them. So fortunately we were there to assist and help. Here are some photos of her yard and house.
 Where the broken tree stump is, there were several trees in there we had to remove as they were bent well over the driveway.
 This is the left end of a large workshop. If you look closely you can see a limb pointing down to the right. Elder Gowans had to climb up onto the roof and trim several branches back that had crashed down on top of the building. It was also covered with dirt and pine needles you can see on the ground. 

 The right end of the building. 
 This tree was completely broken down by the ice storm.
 A beautiful home.
 Here is all the debris we hauled out last Monday. 

After we finished our visit at the Malcomb's we drove all the way from Grovetown down to old Augusta clear down by the Savannah river. We visited with a new fellow and his wife and son. We learned that he just got out of the Army and was waiting for a job to open up on Post, but it was taking a long time for things to get worked out. He has a cute  little family; we had a nice visit with them and encouraged them to remain patient, faithful and that Heavenly Father will work out everything for their good.

From there we went back to Post and had a very nice visit with Sister Lonsberry. While there the cell phone started ringing off the hook; we tried to ignore it since we were in the appointment. But then one text message caught Elder Gowans' eye, "Your apartment has been burglarized". We continued our visit and gave her our message and then departed. We made some phone calls on the way back and learned that someone had kicked the door in. They went through our apartment, but apparently found nothing of value or nothing they wanted. Thank goodness they didn't take our computer. Heavenly Father was definitely watching over us and our apartment tonight! Thank you for watching over us and protecting our goods! We love you!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We had to cut short our service at the Library this morning to take Sister Gowans to her Physical Therapy. In the two or so hours we were there, we were able to accomplish the work that had been set out for us. So it all worked out real well.

This afternoon, we attended Brother Mardanlou's graduation; as with so many others, it is difficult to see these wonderful young men depart. Although we are happy that they can now move on, we are sad to lose good friends. Brother Mardanlou was one of those good friends. Here are a couple of photos of us with Brother Mardanlou at his graduation.
Abraham Jay Mardanlou

This evening, we had a real nice visit with a man by the name of Brother Douglass. We first met him at our Stake Conference Meeting at the Friendship Chapel. He came to our meeting since he had missed his. We had a nice visit. He has 3 children who currently live with their mother up in Maryland. It is difficult for him to be separted from them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This morning we spent some time catching up on administrivia, such as bank accounts, bill paying, that sort of thing. Then this afternoon, Elder Gowans attend the monthly RSO meeting, or as he says, the Chaplains' Meeting. In this meeting they review every faith group and have any discussion necessary about what they are doing to minister to their people. Interestingly enough, most all the other churches do things to entice people to come out; bands, t-shirts, and other such things. We are the only ones that we know of who go out and minister to the individual one-on-one and extend an invitation to come out and participate; no bands and no t-shirts.

This evening, we had a nice visit with Brother Lund who is here on training; we talked a lot about his family; he admires his wife and her ability to manage the house, children, job and a primary calling, all involving 8 year olds.

After a nice visit with Brother Lund, we visited with the Olson family. They have 4 very busy children, 3 boys and a girl. They have purchased some property out in the Waynesboro Ward area and so will soon be moving out. He is a private pilot, he owns his own experimental aircraft and hopes to have a job in aviation once he retires. He and his wife met while both were at Monterrey, CA in language school; she was Navy, he was Air Force. She eventually separated after 7 years of service.

Monday, February 17, 2014

This morning, we continued our assistance to the people of Augusta with the cleanup of their yards. We all met at the church at 0900 with people on our list who needed assistance. Brother Eller, a member of the Bishopric stated he had a sister in mind who he had heard needed assistance, but when we got up to her house, there was no work that needed to be done, in fact she didn't even have any trees in her yard. Elder Gowans told them he had a lady who could really use our assistance, her husband being away in Afghanistan. So we drove out to her house and found her home; there was indeed a great deal of work that needed our attention. They live on four acres of very wooded property and there was a lot of damage to the trees in the yard and along the drive way; there was also a large branch on top of their shop way back in the lot behind the house. We spent about 2 1/2 hours dragging broken tree limbs, cutting down damaged trees that were bent well over the driveway all out to the street side where the county said they would come by and pick up all the debris. Sister Malcom, was very appreciative of all the effort we put in to getting it all taken care of. She would never have been able to get it all cleaned up her self. Present with us was Brother Eller and his daughter and the daughter's girl friend; Brother and Sister Drainsfield and Brother Beck, a young man who is here TDY for training.

This afternoon, after lunch, Sister Gowans attended her second PT session. she will have a session 3 days a week for a while.

Finally, this evening we enjoyed a fun FHE with the Esteps, Brother Beck, Brother Bryson, Brother Wolfe and Sister Lonsberry.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

We are finally back in business here in Augusta! Our Internet service was finally restored today, Sunday, after being out for about 5 days. What we will try to do is recapture these past few days for you so you can see what has been happening here.

Being a four day weekend, we lost a lot of our Soldiers to the holiday, many of them took the opportunity to go off somewhere with family. We had a smaller church service today, not only due to the holiday, but also due to the fact we have had several graduations; we have also had some companies begin to change or stiffen their rules against allowing us to battle soldiers to church. Nor will they allow two battles to battle one person to church and then return to get them after church; learning to adjust and flow with these changes is always a huge problem; particularly when you get new cadre in who don't know the rules, but pretend to.

Yesterday, Saturday, a great group of brothers and sisters gathered to participate in Mormon Helping Hands. We divided up into several groups and headed out to the homes of many neighbors who had called in requesting help clearing broken trees and limbs from their yards. On Wednesday, we had a huge ice storm that devastated the area. Huge trees were completely destroyed, particularly those trees who don't lose their leaves such as the local oak trees, pecan and others. So, Saturday, Elder Gowans was on a team who was able to serve four homes; these homes were all occupied by our senior citizens. The first family we served had quite a forest in their backyard, which sloped down toward a small body of water. The trees were mostly down near the water and away from the house. Many branches and broken trees lay strewed all across the lower and back part of the yard. We worked there for nearly 3 hours. Elder Gowans operated one of the chain saws and cut up many of the larger logs with the great saw that was given him to use.

From there we moved onto another real nice home. They at one time had a real nice landscaped back yard with tall pines and obviously beautiful undergrowth; the ice ripped off the tree limbs which in turn buried the beautiful bushes, smaller trees, which made up the lovely landscape. We worked on this property for nearly 1 1/2 hours and then moved next door where at one time a gigantic oak tree had graced and shaded a large, 1/2 acre back yard, it had been completely destroyed by the ice. When we first arrived Elder Gowans thought it was a large hedge which ran along the middle of the yard, then as we got closer, it was obvious that it was large limbs and branches from this once beautiful tree. We spent the next 1 1/2 hours cutting it into logs to burn in the fireplace! Such a terrible shame! After this a few went two doors down and helped clear a driveway of tree debris; Elder Gowans, by then was worn out and had to head home for an appointment that evening. He would get home just in time to shower, change, cook dinner and get on the road. We thought we were meeting with the Sanders that night, but we obviously we had the wrong night as they were having a cookout with some friends, so we went and looked up a few soldiers who we hadn't seen for a while and invited them to rejoin us at church to be able to partake of the sacrament and feel the Spirit with us.

On Friday, we held our Institute class as normal, by then the weather was getting back to normal, however, that evening at 1030 the area was hit by an earthquake measuring 4.4 on the rector scale. What else can you add to the week? Well, during the week we were without power for about 36 hours, not as bad as some and longer than others. We had just got to the point where we were worried about the food in the fridge and had taken some outside on the patio where it was much colder than in the fridge. As you can probably imagine, there was not a lot of ministering going on; we did what we could via the phone, but even the phone signal was very week and we had a hard time getting any connectivity.

All this time gave Sister Gowans some time to recuperate, but still she suffers from too much pain. We hope she will be getting past the pain here shortly.

The following photos were taken around our apartment complex Thursday after the storm:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This has been a rough day for Sister Gowans. She suffers from an overdose of nausea and pain. Hopefully tomorrow will be better for her. As a result we didn't do much today. Elder Gowans did attend his Branch Presidency meeting this evening.

Monday, February 10, 2014

This morning, Sister Gowans got all ready to go do her Red Cross service and at the last minute backed out, feeling too much pain in her knee. So Elder Gowans went and took care of his servcie and afterward, after returning home, he took Sister Gowans to her first physical therepy appointment; she will go 3 times a week for the next 6 weeks if need be. She is still experiencing a lot of pain and swelling and some nausea from time-to-time.

After our visit to the physical therepist, Elder Gowans was able to use the final 3 hours of the afternoon to come up with a first good draft of an outline for institute on Friday. He sure is grateful for the Spirit of the Lord who inspires him in the construction of these lessons.

This evening, we had a real good FHE. We had two knew soldiers come out, Brother Beck who is here for two months of NCO Accademy and Brother Wolfe who just arrived; he is permanent party and is a linguist. We always appreciate those who come out and support our Branch programs.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sister Gowans continues to recover. She still continues to suffer some from nausea, swelling and pain. Her appetite is better in the morning than in the evening. Hopefully she will rest well tonight and feel better in the morning. She has her first visit to the physical therapist tomorrow.

We met another new troop, Brother Beck, at the Augusta ward today; he will be here for a period of two months and then return home. We have had several trainees come in over the past month. Currently, we must have 6 to 8 soldiers here TDY.

We had excellent meetings today at the Branch. Sisters Lonsberry and Arnett spoke today. They did real well. We also had another good turnout at church today. Brother Ned Bennet came out for the first time since he returned from deployment last fall. We were so happy to see him. Hopefully he is turning over a new leaf and will come out steadily.

This evening we had a real nice visit with the Johnsons and the Janssens. We continue to encourage the Johnsons to activity, hopefully someday they will make a firm committment to be active and faithful to their covenants. The Janssens are progressing real well. We gave them both a triple combination (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price Combination) that we purchased at the book store near the Temple. We also dropped one off with Brother Sanders. We reviewed with the Janssens the restoration of the gospel.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

This morning, Elder Gowans, Brother and Sister Shault and the Esteps escorted our soldiers up to the Columbia, SC Temple. We had 12 total people attend; it was a wonderful turnout. Brother Johnson had prepared himself to go over the past two months, then suddenly he is told he can't go. Elder Gowans felt prompted to go by his barracks and ask the desk Sargent if it would be permissable for him to go. They actually called the commander and he gave permission to go. This was his first time attending the temple, it was a great experience for him.

 From left to right, Elder Gowans, Brother Hancock, Brother Johnson, Brother Moore, Brother Mardanlou and Brother Barnes. The temple is in the background, taken from the Bookstore parking lot. 
On our way home from the temple, Elder Gowans received a phone call from Brother Steimle asking if he knew of anyone who could assist a friend of his, a permant party member of the church who just arrived on post get a car. Elder Gowans told him he would help him. He called the Meachams to see if they were any where near Sister Gowans, they happened to be right there. So he asked her how she was, she said she was doing fine. He told her he was going to help this young man get a car. Unfortunately, it took 7 to 8 hours. The young man, Charles, did get himself a nice car. Sister Gowans is resting in bed. She has been having some nausia, hopefully tomorrow she will feel better.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sister Gowans is recovering well, still experiencing some sore pain from time-to-time. Elder Gowans helped by buying ice so she could keep the ice water flowing through her knee pack; he bought a bag this morning and this evening, hopefully that will keep her in ice through tomorrow afternoon.

This evening, Elder Gowans instructed the Institute class from Doctrine and Covenants 134, the statement on Government. We studied the rights and responsibilities of the government, individuals and religions and their proper rolls. We had a normal good group there. We did our final coordination for the temple trip tomorrow and look forward to taking several of our soldiers to the temple.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The alarms rang at 4 am this morning and by 5 we were on our way to the hospital. We were ushered into the reception area at which time we all got checked in. To make a long story short, we left the hospital around 1 pm. Yes, we are both tired of spending so many hours in the hosptial the past few days. Sister Gowans is doing well, she was experiencing some nausia, but once she had some dinner, her stomach settled down; she has rested or slept most of the afternoon and has been in bed now for about 40 minutes. Thanks to all for keeping her in your prayers, and thanks to Brother and Sister Marzolf for a delicous bowl of stew.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This morning, we were really put to work at the Library! It was a real good productive 4 hours. Sister Gowans went completely through the children's section organizing all the children's books and Elder Gowans went through all the music CDs finding missing cases and matching them up with their CDs. This afternoon, we attended Brother Slade's graduation. He has been a very active member of the branch for the past several months, hardly missing any church meetings. Due to his schedule, he wasn't able to come to our Monday and Friday activities, but he was always at church. As with the others, we will miss him.

This evening Elder Gowans and Elder Meacham gave Sister Gowans a blessing prior to tomorrow's surgery. We have confidence that all will be well. After the blessing Elder Gowans went up to the church to visit with the new Ward Executive Secretary and discuss with him a few families that need to get in to see our new Bishop. We hope that with this new change, that these good families will be able to, with the Bishop's assistance, mark a path to the temple.

Afterwards, Elder Gowans left to drive out to Harlem to visit with the New Grovetown Bishopric. He was unable to visit with the Bishop as planned, he was behind on his interviews, but he did meet with his two counselors. They discussed the military members of the ward and made sure that they were all up to date on their records.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Today has been one of those days that you wonder if anything will go right! This morning after an abbreviated workout and breakfast, we headed to the hospital for Sister Gowans' Pre-op appointment. We thought, "Certainly it won't be more than an hour or two." Well, 6 hours later, we finally finish up. Six hours of Pre-op for a 25 minutes procedure. How ridiculous is that? So during that 6 hours, we missed our District Development Meeting.

We had planned on doing our grocery shopping this afternoon; so after we finished up at the hospital and wishing we had brought the grocery list with us, we dashed home for a late lunch, picked up the grocery list and then headed back to post. We didn't have time to get to all the shopping, but we got what we needed to last us to Friday. After returning home, we then received a text from our 7:30 appointment cancelling due to a late work day and then we got a phone call from our 6:00 appointment stating he may not make it home due to an extra detail. We said we would go up and visit with his family until he returned home. He arrived at 7:10; so we had a quick introduction to his Home Teacher, which was our purpose in visiting, to introduce home teachers to the family.

It was a very chopped up day, but we survived. Sister Gowans' surgery will be on Thursday, but we won't know the time until Wednesday afternoon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

After our Red Cross service this morning, we took lunch at the hospital cafe and then headed over to see Sister Swartz, one of our lonely Sisters. She is doing well; she may also have a torn meniscus. Interestingly enough, she will be visiting the doctor about her knee the same day as Sister Gowans is being operated on. We told her we would call her and give her an update on Sister Gowans and also find out what the doctor says about her. We had a very enjoyable FHE. We had four soldiers come out along with our full-time missionaries, Elders Eklof and Spence. Sister Estep has been giving lessons out of Preach My Gospel and the chapter on developing Christ-like attributes. Today's lesson covered Knowledge: A man cannot be saved in ignorance.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Not much out of the ordinary today. In the Augusta Ward this morning, the Bishopric was released and, of course, a new Bishopric was sustained and set apart. This may give Elder and Sister Morris a new direction to work, different than what we have been doing under Bishop Burgess. We will wait and see what happens.  We had a real good turnout today in our Branch meetings. Over the past several months, we have seen an increase in returned missionaries and a decrease in 18 year olds; certainly it is due to the change in missionary age. We ordained Brother Hancock a priest today in our meetings. We have also seen an increase in the desire of these young men to advance in the priesthood, attend the temple and ready themselves for the full ordinances of the temple. It has been a fine day.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

This morning, we left a little later than normal to go up to post with the hope that it would warm up some. We had a nice visit with several of our soldiers in B-447; we still have 7 soldiers in this single company. From there we went to find our female soldiers over in the 369; we found one, the other two were probably involved in their finance briefing; we never could get them to respond to our text messages. Hopefully they will be out to church tomorrow. From there we went to see Brother Larsen and to find a new fellow who had just arrived yesterday, Brother Aaron Simpson. He and Brother Larsen are in the same Battalion, but different platoons; Brother Larsen will be graduating soon, so Brother Simpson will be without a good LDS battle buddy in a week and a half. When we met with him, we told him that we would do everything we could to ensure that he could get to church. He was very happy to hear that; I'm confident that Brother Simpson will be one of our fine, active members.

Upon returning home, Elder Gowans took the young Elders over to see Tony Watson. Tony is getting over the death of his wife. He had written a letter to us that contained his feelings and questions, which we read. All his questions and feelings could be addressed through a good discussion of the Plan of Salvation; so that is what we did is taught him that through God's plan for us we can have hope in the future and we can also grow to love God with a deep love as we come to know how truly merciful and just He truly is. We spent quite a bit of time teaching him that he, through the ordinances of the Gospel, can be sealed to his wife through all eternity; that love was not meant to die at death nor were our relationships meant to end at death either. We left him with a wonderful spirit in the home. He promised that he would pray about the teachings that we left him.

Upon our return home to the apartment, we found that our neighbor, Elane and her husband was moving out. The three of us offered to help and they readily accepted; so for the next two hours or so we assisted in loading up their U-Haul; we'd never seen so much crowed into such a small 2 bedroom apartment! We think she had 4 TVs in there!

After helping with the move, we ate our lunch and then ran the Elders over to the church so they could prepare for Billie Wilson's baptism. Here are a couple of photos:
 This is Elder Hatch and Brother Wilson
This is Roberta and Sister Meacham; Roberta was baptized about 2 months ago. She is the lady who is Rosalee's age and has a teenage son and an infant at home. What would we do without the gift of repentance!