Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Remembering 175 years ago

I feel to take a moment to remember the early Missouri saints that 175 years ago sacrificed so much that I may enjoy the blessings of the gospel today.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Yesterday, we were happy that Michellyn, Martin, Marco, Mary and Elijah came to church.  I hope they keep coming.

Last night we had Movie Night at the church and enjoyed seeing "Ephraim's Rescue". 

Last week, we took Gloria to her medical procedure at Houston Northwest Medical Center.  While in the waiting room, I enjoyed reading CONSIDER THE BLESSINGS by Thomas S. Monson.

We had a wonderful Zone Conference last Thursday.  President Pingree talked to us about teaching the topic of the Godhead here in the Bible Belt.  Many good people we meet share many of our beliefs.  We may differ in our views of the godhead; and have the restoration to add.

Lunch after Zone Conference

In our mission, we have been encouraged to study the Atonement.  That was something I wanted to do while serving a full-time mission here.  I was able to read THE INFINITE ATONEMENT by Tad Callister - which was excellent.

Tomas had to cancel our family history session - he had to take his brother to the Emergency Room (his brother has terminal cancer).  I had found a couple of Mexican christening records for his ancestors I wanted to bring to him.  I had used a Spanish dictionary to figure out what the words were in English, and had Elder Alvarenga proofread it to make sure I got everything straight.  He said it was okay.  So when Tomas is ready we can extend his tree back another generation.

While we were driving through Gloria's humble neighborhood, we stopped and talked to a good Christian man that was working in his nice garden.  We asked him about his garden and we explained we were serving a mission in Houston.  The conversation naturally turned to Jesus and we had a nice visit and he asked for our card. 

One thing I find unusual here - black men riding horses alongside major traffic thoroughfares.  Apparently they are not afraid their horses will get spooked by the traffic.  Someone told me that in northwest Houston there are black cowboys where that is part of their traditional culture.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I'm a little late with this post.  We've been busy.  However, we did take a little time on Monday to watch "Ephraim's Rescue" - which we enjoyed very much.

Last week, we helped Sheryle with an organizational project at her home. Her health and living conditions are very poor.

We met again with Tomas to work on his family history.  His family tree is continuing to grow nicely.  In his family they like to use the same names through the generations so we have to make sure we have each particular person in the right placement in the family tree.

We helped a family move in.

We searched for more lost sheep, and visited with a few that we found.

It is our ward's turn to clean the church this month - so we help with that every Saturday.

On Saturday, I attended the ward Relief Society visiting teaching conference - which was excellent.

We attended the temple with our zone last week.  We have 390 missionaries in our mission now.  Many of them are sister missionaries.

Yesterday we took Gloria to her medical procedure at Houston Northwest Medical Center.  She is planning to have reconstructive surgery soon.  Last year she survived a rare intestinal aneurism.

We are enjoying the lovely weather.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Week

This past week we have been busy giving members rides to doctor appointments, ward temple night, bishop's storehouse assignment, etc.  Tomas is making great progress on his family history. 

We met with the high priest group leader to discuss the arrangements that need to be made for us to teach family history classes in two weeks.

Our ward media specialist said there is talk about bringing in two computers and putting them in a secured room at our building so we can do family history here (by appointment).  We have people in our ward who do not own computers or have internet access so that would be a great blessing for them and for those who help them.

Elder De Le Mare went home and Elder Barlow got transferred.  We have one new elder fresh from the MTC - Elder Alvarenga.  He is from Charlotte, North Carolina and originally from El Salvador.  He speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.  Our zone got split and we are in a new district.  Our Elder Halterman is our new district leader.  We meet at our building and don't have to drive up to the Stake Center anymore for district meetings.  We now have 390 missionaries in our mission.

Monday, October 7, 2013


This past week we helped Tomas start his family tree on  In the process we found his grandmother's birth certificate.  We also found the birth certificates of a set of triplets in his family (I have never seen documentation for triplets before).  I am excited to help him again this week.
Tomas and Michael

We heard Alex's remarkable conversion story (three hours to tell it).  He has been a member just under two years.  He is the ward executive secretary.

We enjoyed all the sessions of general conference at the church.  What a spiritual feast.  Even C.J. (investigator) watched the sessions.

Today we went to the Holocaust Museum Houston and the Weather Museum.
Our dear Elder De Le Mare is going home this week to Sugar House.  It has been great to work with him.  He was a wonderful missionary.
We have been helping Patrick (recent move-in from Idaho) with a few things.  He is Elder Carlos Asay's (formerly of the Seventy) grandson.  Patrick's wife and children will be moving down here in about a week.  He is in the martial arts/personal security business.