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Today was our last Sunday at the Pagedale Branch.  We will miss going to Church there.  As tears streamed down my face I thanked many and received big hugs in return, "Thank you for making us feel at home".  Church was only Sacrament Meeting as a big ice storm is headed our way and it was fast Sunday, but a kind woman brought spaghetti and all the trimmings for a lunch after Church.


Christmas and New Years have come and gone.  We have spent time with Elder and Sister Whitlock who came out the same day we did and sweet Sister Slagle.  We also had a Senior Missionary Mexican feast at the President's home.  I think George would agree, our favorite activity was making sure all missionaries received a package during the holidays.  Several generous people donated funds to help make this happen.


Missionaries have completed their missions and returned home.  Transfers happened in a Church parking lot with 7 degree F weather.  Burrrr! Although quite cold, Missionaries just hung out…
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We watched an interfaith effort of The Forgotten Carols.  Our good friends and CES Missionary Couple; Elder & Sister Whitlock sang in the choir.  We love Jen and Reed; they are always looking for ways to serve in the community.  Jen had decorated the halls of the theater with treasures gathered on walks including  leaves, pine trimming and extra chopped wood from the neighboring housing area.  Missionaries also helped building the sets.  The director didn't quite understand when she would ask one missionary for help, and they always brought along their companion.


This week we attended our last zone conferences.  It was a holiday theme that included skits prepared by all the districts.  Elder Mower was mentioned in several (the car guy).  They also did a white elephant exchange. . moving junk from one apartment to another hmmmmm.  We shared some training and our testimonies with the other departing missionaries. It was wonderful to share our last goodbyes with many of the missio…
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Yesterday to kick off #Light the World, the monthly Mission Leadership Council gathered together  and did service.  They ended up doing service in our little Branch.  Today we went to the open house at our branch and witnessed some of their handiwork that included preparing the Church for today.  The Branch President showed me around and talked about the hard work of the missionaries.  They also helped a few people in their yards and brought food.


I will have to admit, we have had mild weather the last week or so.  I have enjoyed it every minute! Okay I did walk to work the other day and it was 27 degrees F, but by afternoon it was in the 50's.  I hope it stays like this for a few more weeks; like six weeks.  The clerk in the grocery store told me, he was just done with this weather and he wants it cold and snowy.


One of the highlights we have enjoyed in St Louis, is serving in the Temple Saturday mornings.  We are delighted to work with and associate with great people; some who …
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We talked on the way home from Church today of the love we have for the members of the small branch we attend.  We have grown to love everyone in the branch and I do not throw out these kind of compliments easily.  No pretense here!


One Sister, recently turned 70 and still works full time.  She is a dialysis patient.  Her husband has had a stroke and she also cares for him.  He has a fondness for beautiful music and is the Choir Director.  The last time the Choir sang, because of his more recent health problems, his sweet wife lead the music.  She also plays the organ for Sacrament meetings and is the Primary Chorister.  When we were facilitators for a finance class, she came faithfully and shared thoughtful experiences.  She said the best thing she learned and changed in her life was daily scripture reading.  I have never seen her when she didn't have a big smile on her face.  I hugged her today and thanked her for being such a good example to me.  Her long hair hangs to the mid…
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In a school presentation this last week, our ten year old grandson talked about the "spectacular experience" of seeing colorful falling leaves this time of year.  It is kind of an oxymoron in that Nathen lives in southern Arizona, where leaves, for the most part, do not change color and drop.  But George and I have enjoyed experiencing our first real Fall in many years.  The trees are shedding their leaves, changing to vibrant hues of gold and red, and it is fun to walk through the crunchy leaves.  Okay, it is getting cold too.  I think we have seen the last of our warm days and this morning we woke up to our first hard freeze and walked in 28 degree weather.


Friday, we got out of the mission office and did some apartment inspections.  We shared insights from President Nelson's talk on the Book of Mormon.  I also discovered that Sister Nielsen and I share the same ancestor a few generations back.  We even stopped in Wentzville and enjoyed probably our last custard at Fr…
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Two weeks have slipped by since we last wrote.  We enjoyed conference, but on Sunday, our 2 year old grandson became very ill and in a few short hours ended up in critical care.  We prayed through the long night of October 1st, that little Alex would survive.  Although Alex is still in critical care, he has passed some giant hurdles.  The social worker presented the family with a bag and as Alex makes steps in improvement, a bead is added to the bag.  There are many beads in the bag and more are added daily.  There have been many miracles and he is well on his way to recovery.  We were thrilled when the ECMO was able to be removed earlier this week and his mom and dad got to hold him.


Tuesday, we got to go to the Temple with our missionaries preparing to complete their mission and those who have reached milestones of 6, 12, and 18 months.  Every six weeks, it becomes harder to say goodbye to wonderful young men and women.  But on a bright note, it is great to welcome new …
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Yesterday was our oldest Grandson Nathen's birthday; he turned 10.  Our son Spencer, said Alex (2) heard his older brother say, "It's my birthday" and saw that he got special privileges.  So Alex started saying, "It's my birthday" hoping for the same results.  We sure love our family :).

Friday night was the Pagedale Branch Temple night; although this is a small branch, twenty six people were there for this special occasion.  Three of our dear Sisters came to the Temple for the first time.  I wish I could say, it was because of the Temple Preparation Class, but these ladies had a desire to come to the Temple and we were privileged to be there.


This week we had a "Senior Dinner" (doesn't that sound old) at the mission home.  It's a potluck (with Sister Bateman doing much of the work), but it is fun to see people from all over the mission.  The Reynold's (living in a small town in Illinois of about 7,000) are finishing up their mission…