Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rachel's Mission Call

Got up at 4 am this morning to try and FaceTime to family to see if we could watch Rachel open her mission call.  Who knew that Facebook now has a live feed.  Nathan put up the feed and we logged in and watched the whole thing live.  We didn't even have any internet glitches to interfere.  

Well our Rachel is going to Barcelona Spain on her mission.  Can't wait sweet Rachel to see you in action speaking Spanish. She is beautiful inside and out and that is a fact.

Her twin brother Elder Lincoln J. Barlow just arrived in the Singapore Malaysia mission where he is speaking Mandarin,  Her cousin Elder Ethan Ormsby is serving his mission as a Volunteer (no longer missionaries there but volunteers) In Vladavostok Russia Mission speaking Russian and our adopted son Elder Andy Romero is in the Mexico City Mission speaking Spanish. 

I was just thinking how we are getting quite an international mission group in our family. 

Our returned grandsons have added to our international status.  Ryan served in Scotland/Ireland mission, Michael served in Moldova Romania Mission speaking Romanian and Adam served in the West Indies Mission speaking French. Put that together with our sons who have been on missions, Mark served in Honolulu Hawaii mission, Matt served in the Milan Italy Mission speaking Italian.  Ben served in the Toronto North Canadian Mission speaking Canadian ( I am sure that is a foreign language).  Nathan served in Australia speaking Mandarin Chinese.  Dean served in Boston Mission (thats kind of a foreign language)and Keith served in the Cali Columbia Mission speaking Spanish.

Add in Farrell who served in the French East mission  where he learned French and has since served three French speaking missions with his companion including Kinshasa DR Congo Mission, Burundi-DR Congo-Kenya Humanitarian Mission as Clean Water Specialists with LDS Charities  and now currently serving in the Lubumbashi DR Congo mission all french speaking. 

We truly are an international family. And I have come to realize that this world is very small and we are all connected and if we would only treat each other like family our world would be a safe and wonderful world to live in.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


We wanted to share with you or learning experience with Elder Bednar.  Before he came to Lubumbashi he asked us to read 4 talks that he had written.  We ask that you too read these talks before we share our learning experience with you.  read them with the intent of learning something you didn't know, building on something that you have already started to learn or as a refresher of things that you haven't thought about for awhile.  After you have read them contemplate and ask yourself what you have learned and how these things will change your life.

"Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins"

"Seek Learning by Faith"
Address to CES Religious Education Feb 3, 2006  Jordan Institute of Religion (can't find a link)

"Ask In Faith"

"Convert Unto the Lord"

This was such a special experience we want to share it with you.  After you have read and pondered these talks.  We will share with you our thoughts and feelings.  We ask that you also share what you; learned, how you will apply it to your lives and what questions do you wish you could ask ElderBednar.
If you take the challenge please post your thoughts in the comments of this blog  
The following are our thoughts.
1.  Father in Heaven knows me, he knows my name.
2. Just be good and the Holy Ghost will be able to use me in many ways whether I am aware of it or not.
3. One by one is a principle I can practice daily with who ever I meet realizing everyone is a child of our Father in Heaven and each one is important to him and therefore to me.
4.  Conversion is a process.  I will continue to work toward having my actions show I am truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For The Strength of Youth Conference
Lubumbashi, DR Congo!

EFY is just part of the summer fun in the USA but here in Lubumbashi it is new stuff.
This summer the DR Congo Lubumbashi Mission area had its first EFY all though here is is called JSF, JEUNES, SOYEZ FORTS.

What an exciting event. The youth from all over the mission came for a full week to participate in discussions, inspirational talks, activities, games, talent show, a dance and a grand testimony meeting.

There were 240 kids in attendance and they stayed at a college. They were put in to groups of 10 kids and were mentored by a counselor who was a returned missionary or a youth leader.
It was the first time most of the youth had left their homes and it was a very big deal.
We were not involved in the program but watched from afar and witnessed the first Strength for Youth program in this area.

Our MTC experience (again).  One week of Preach My Gospel and it was worth our time.  We had done it all before but then it never hurts to review and  then we got to partake of the missionary atmosphere of the MTC which can't be beat.  Thousands of people preparing to go out and serve.  Got to love it.

We have always loved  to listen to Elder Bednar's talks in conference, looking forward to see what inspiration we might get to change and improve our lives.  While in the MTC we got a real Bednar fix.  We heard him speak 3 times that week, twice in video and once at the devotional.  We want to share what we learned during this time.

Elder Bednar came and taught us a great idea for studying the book of Mormon.  He said to ge t a paperback BofM and choose a topic you want to learn about such as the "One on One" and as you read mark everything in the book relating to that topic.  He stated that he had many paperback Book of Mormon's sitting on his shelf as his study reference.  

He taught us about The Character of Christ and the principle of one by one. He asked us to pay attention to this principle as we read the scriptures and note the examples of how this was practiced and also how to apply this principle in our daily lives.  As you study the scriptures look for the pattern of 'One to One'.

After teaching this principle of One by One he introduced his new song he had written and told the story of his desire to write a children's song and asking Paul Cardall to help him.  The song was sung to us by the MTC choir and 5 children.  It was so beautiful and such a treat to hear the story and listen to the song prior to it being released in the New Era.  

Another principle he taught was about our relationship with the Holy Ghost.  He explained that we often will not know we are being prompted and may never know but that we should always be ready to act on good thoughts as they are promptings from the Spirit.

He told the story of the 20 Mark Note.  This is referenced in a talk by Boyd K. Packard.20 Mark Note

The story from his side is that while serving in the missionfield he got a call from a missionary that was in the airportand was stranded.  He said his name was Elder Packard.  Elder Bednar racked his brain trying to remember a missionary in their mission by the name of Packard and finally ralizing he was talking to THE Elder Packard he and his companion went to the airport and picked Elder Packard up along with his wife.  They returned to the Mission home (mission president was out of town) and eventually took them to the train station as they were able to get tickets on the train.  This is where Elder Bennars story ended but 20 years later when he was serving as a Stake President in Alabama, Elder Packard came to a regional meeting to meet with the stake presidents.  Elder Bednar asked him if he remembered getting grounded in Germany and having to take the train to which Eldler Packard said he did remember and related the story that he told in his talk.  The point of Elder sharing this story was that he did not remember giving Elder Packard any money nor did he know anything about the intervention of the Holy Ghost in this incident.  . . . we often will not know we are being prompted and may never know . . .
Do; you wonder if the spirit is speaking to you? Quit worrying about it and . . . just be good boys and girls.

Our take on this experience in the MTC was focus on relationships, one on one experiences, emulate the Savior in our daily actions and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you by just being good.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Only took another month for our Visa to come through.  Along with us waiting was our new mission president, Pres. and Soeur Shumard.  They had been at the MTC for two months learning French, then attended their Mission President's conference and still had to wait.  We finally got our visas on July 15 and had travel plans to fly
out on the 18th, being routed through Johannesburg, South Africa.

Leaving Salt Lake City.  Getting pretty excited for our long flight to Africa.

    24 hr plane trip to South Africa then nearly 2 hrs waiting in line for visa check. 16 checking stations but only 3 staff to clear visas. Welcome to Africa.
    we were in the middle of the line of four flights about 800 people.
    We got to know all the people in line with us pretty well by the time we got through.
    When we got out of the airport there was a car waiting for us.  Poor driver had been waiting for us for nearly 3 hours.  He was glad to get us to the hotel so he could go home.
    Next morning we were off to Lubumbshi but we had been through this little airport several times and knew what to expect and nothing had changed except they did put in a cement floor.  Last time we were trying to walk over broken tile that was being removed.
    So good to be n the mission field of Africa again.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to the Congo we go!

Here we are again, heading back to Africa.  Since we were headed back to the Congo we decided to just continue our Congo Blog.
Who would have thought we would return to Africa after all grandma Mildred told us we needed to stay home tell she was safely dead.  Well she is very healthy and may out live all of us.
April 8th we recieved a call from Elder Brent Nielson's office.  When wewent to visit him he asked us if we would return to Africa to the Lubumbashi DR Congo mission to support the new mission president Pres. Larry Shumard.  Pres. Shumard had been called to serve but did not know french.  He was on a fast tract to learn french but couold benefit from our cultural experiences in Africa and from Farrell's ability with the french language.
Everything fell into place very quicky and we submitted our papers within two weeks.  We entered the MTC June 6.  Our MTC District was awesome and we learned so much even though it was our third time around.

Elder and Sister Card, The Smiths, __________________, and us.  Cards were going to Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Center and BYU Hawaii, Smiths were going to Redlands, California and we were going to Africa.  Go figure.
After our MTC Week  we headed home to wait for our Visas to come through.  And so we waited and waited . . .