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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…
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We just finished listening to the General Women's Conference and I choose to be "glad".

Our first full day of Fall was delightful warm sunny day.  We went to an area near downtown St Louis where one of our missionaries, also an artist, was invited to participate in "Paint Louis".  This is a yearly event where a mile and a half of a flood wall near the Mississippi, invites artists to participate by expressing their artistic talents and literally paint the wall.  The participants come from many places; the artists next to the missionaries were from the Netherlands.  My favorite piece was, of course, Elder Burgoyne's depiction of the Savior.  Elder McIntyre is his companion and his dedicated helper.  It was great to be with these young men; they even let George do a little spray painting. 


One young man from Chicago was thoughtfully looking at his space to paint (the wall is at least 20 feet high and his area was at least 40 feet long).  He said he usually does …
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On Labor Day we went to The Butterfly House in Chesterfield with the Whitlock's; our CES missionary friends.  It's a butterfly 'zoo' of around 2,000 butterflies with over 80 species from all over the world.  It is located in a greenhouse with unusual plants and exotic flowers.  Colorful butterflies are all around.  George went just because I was interested, but he really enjoyed it as well.  I could use the caterpillar/butterfly metamorphosis as an analogy for missionaries:  there are always changes and opportunities for growth and it isn't easy!  But the end result is amazing.



We then ate at Charlie Gitto's From The Hill; probably one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at and the service was perfect.  Just saying, if you ever come to St Louis, this is the place to go.


The next three days we traveled almost a thousand miles going to Zone Conferences in the far corners of the mission.  We love being with the missionaries and they look forward to this time t…
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Tuesday morning we gathered at the Frontenac Building for Transfer day.  What a great time to visit with missionaries we haven't seen in a while!  One couple (a recent convert and reactivation) love the missionaries!  They brought bottles of water, cookies, candy and chips for snacks for the missionaries.  It was a hit!  Lot's of new trainers were gathering as well in anticipation of getting a brand new missionary to teach the ropes.

Later in the day, twenty-two missionaries arrived at the mission office from the airport.  They received a little tour of important destinations in St Louis, including the St Louis Temple.  We arrived later at the mission home for dinner and interviews and enjoyed getting to know these tired travelers.

You wouldn't think flying here from Salt Lake City, Utah would be a big deal.  But to make their connections, they needed to be up around 1 am to catch a bus around 3 am.  Some decided why should we even go to bed?  Of course then there is a lay …
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This morning we started our day by going to the airport.  Departures are always handled by President and Sister Bateman, the APs and the office Elders, but one missionary was leaving a couple of hours earlier than the rest, so George and I got to be the ones to make sure he made his flight.  We were able to extend farewell greetings to the seventeen missionaries preparing to return home.


Highlights from last week, included viewing the eclipse.  The greater St Louis area was in the path for many areas to have a total eclipse.  We viewed the eclipse from the mission office and it was approximately 99%.  As the sky turned twilight, the cicadas started their "singing".  But when it started getting light, I think the cicadas were a little confused, but eventually stopped making their curious noise only to start up hours later when it was truly dusk.  What a great experience!  We saw a star and all the outside lights turned on.  Many people traveled to the St Louis area to view t…
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George and I walked over to our missionary friends apartment for dinner this afternoon and were greeted, "Hi Sister Mower and Sister Mower". George didn't look at his badge very well and was wearing one of mine.  Whoops ;-).


We are really enjoying this time of our lives!  But this experience, although we are thankful for this opportunity, it isn't anything like our last mission in the Philippines where every day was an adventure.  We have a wonderful Mission President and his wife and daughter.  We love the missionaries and are grateful for little snippets of time we have to be with them.  One missionary told me this week that I am "the bomb".  I had to ask the meaning, and was relieved to find out this is a compliment.


Friday we visited missionaries.  Why didn't I take pictures; not sure.  We were enjoying the beautiful rolling hills and green flora in several small towns north of St Louis.  The missionaries in this area all live about 20 miles from each…
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Today at Sacrament Meeting, the announcement of a new baby in the ward was given.  Little Sophie, who is not so little was born late last night. This is the first baby born in a long time and members of the branch cheered the news!  We love being able to attend this small gathering every Sunday.

Later in the day we shared dinner with good friends and senior missionaries.  

Saturday we always get up early and meet at the St Louis Temple at 6:00 am for prayer meeting.  George and I especially treasure and love this time of our lives serving in the St Louis Temple.  We work with wonderful people from Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri and lots of other places who make it a priority in their lives to come to the Temple.

Friday, I got to help with the Missionary Leadership Council luncheon.  Sister Slagle, the mission secretary did an outstanding job organizing this meal.  The missionaries enjoyed this treat.  George stayed back at the mission office and held down the fort.  
The rest of the week wa…
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It's a record: St Louis hit 108 degrees yesterday.  The previous record of 107 degrees was set a few years ago on July 22, 1901.  We had a storm in the night and the temperature is only 90 degrees today with humidity of only 42%; a pretty nice day.


Last Sunday we were witness to the changing of the presidency of the Pagedale Branch.  In the twenty six year history a president has been called to serve from their home ward.  Our new president lives within the boundaries of the branch and is a wonderful man. There was a strong spirit present in the meeting and the news was exciting to the members.  Many of us believe the change will help move the branch forward in growth and acceptance.


Every six weeks major change comes to the Mission.  Many missionaries completed their missions and returned home.  Then come transfers; they are always exciting for the Elders and Sisters.  They enjoy meeting old acquaintances and leave with new companions.  It was a warm day.  This week we have had sev…