"For if we had not come..."

Not long ago this verse penetrated my soul and I realized that we could relate to it because of our current service. It's been humbling to know that many things which have occurred here wouldn't have taken place had we not come. 

"For if we had not come up out of the land of Zarahemla, these our dearly beloved brethren, who have so dearly beloved us, would still have been racked with hatred against us, yea, and they would also have been strangers to God." - Alma 26:9

More than anything, we feel humbled to have been able to serve here amongst people we have grown to know and love. And, with so many of them, we have felt that we've known them forever. (and maybe we have)  :)

FHE (family home evening) games.... :)
FHE activity: 'Fathers are Superheroes' (they gave Elder Hendricks the batman cape)

To be engaged in the work of the Lord is the most glorious thing we can imagine. Sure, it is very hard work. We sometimes get home after a long day, completely exhausted physically and emotionally, wondering how we're going to be able to do it again the next day. But, the next morning we are refreshed and ready to go again.

We are so grateful for the Savior's example and desire to do our own small part:
"wist ye not that I be about My Father's business".....

Our 'district' of missionaries in June

4th of July Ward Breakfast (we were all in appropriate colors)  :)

In talking to our beloved Mission President Smith, (an attorney from Arizona) we know that he and many of the others' closer to our age range - experience similar. It is a testament to the verse which teaches "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.".  Isaiah 40:31
(mission blog)

We know that it is the Lord who strengthens us as He asks us to help strengthen others'. What an incredible concept and blessing that is!

He is here for us. We feel His guidance everyday as we seek to know and do His will. 

A few items of interest since last month:
1.  One of our sister's trailer burned down. It was very traumatic for her and her son (who got out safely) but we are seeing some needed blessings that have come from this challenge. 

A total loss

2.  A group of sisters have just finished up their second 12-week self-reliance course on 'Getting a Better Education'. The Spirit has been very strong in these meetings and these teachings have greatly blessed their lives and the generations that follow. We LOVE these Self-Reliance Courses and recommend them to ALL!

3.  After our "30-day Book of Mormon Reading Challenge"; a group of 27 received an additional 'reward' (the reading and pondering was the great reward) of a trip to see the dolphins. They seemed to have a nice time and appreciated the opportunity to be on the water (a first for many of them.)

....and off they go......

TOO cute to not put on here. :) We love this precious little guy!

4.  English Classes are going well again. We're on level 3 and have had 4 new people come these past few weeks. It's been wonderful and we have a great time in class - learning and loving and laughing together.  Soon we'll be starting up a new 25-week course which is different than what we've been doing - and will require 10 hrs. of study time per week for them, but, contains more grammar and lessons - and is part of the new Self-Reliance program. We'll let you know how that goes.  :)

5.  We're ALMOST done with the one trailer we've been working on the most. It's been a real 'labor' of love and we have seen many blessings in a variety of ways, come from that service.

6.  THE GREAT BIG VOICE: We work near Eglin Air Force Base (a huge military base in this area). We often hear the loud-speaker giving instructions as per training exercises. One of the ones we've laughed at is the one that booms out loudly "this is a test of the great big voice" repeated slowly several times. Well, in the spirit of learning from everything we're experiencing, we realized the significance of that in comparison with the 'still small voice' of the spirit of the Lord. The world is often loud and booming to get people's attention. But, the Spirit, is mostly quiet, still, soft, and we get to be the same if we want to be in-tune to hear it. We're grateful for the symbolism of that and the reminders we receive daily of the importance of keeping ourselves 'tuned' to the proper frequency so that we can receive the spiritual training and guidance we need. 

Elder Hendricks - with a reminder of all the things he's loved..... :)
7. We were able to attend to Birmingham Alabama LDS Temple recently with our ward-mission leader Bro. Gescat. We love him and we had a very special trip.

Crossing the state line....
Birmingham Temple
Birmingham Alabama LDS Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Returning 'home'

8.  Just read this today and appreciated it so we thought we'd share:
"Obedience is the lifeblood of faith. It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls."  - Pres. Uchtdorf


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