Friday, November 16, 2012

Simple Blessings or Tender Mercies

Young Elders to assist the Old Elders
My Brother Lloyd cares for the beautiful grounds

The World Map

639 Missionaries Arrived Wednesday

Missions of the World
George and Sharon Peterson going to San Juan with us

We have had some simple blessings take place this week that have confirmed to me that God is real, he is alive, and he cares about me.  I have also learned, however, that this mission is not about me.  I’ll explain that first.  We have been trained by some really sharp young trainers.  These young men and women are returned missionaries who have been hired to train us to be effective missionaries.  I am sure they have guidance in setting up their lesson plans and in getting us to respond to their instructions and challenges.  However, they all demonstrate a love of life and a love of God that is infectious.  They are confident but not overbearing.  They are serious but also fun to  be around.  They have demonstrated wisdom beyond their years as they have encouraged us older citizens to scrape away the cobwebs and rise to levels we have not been at for a long time.  The MTC experience has been beyond amazing.  I am really left without the ability to describe it.
Our District

We left home early Monday morning.  I could not find my wallet, but we had to go to the airport to catch the flight to Salt Lake.  We had our passports so getting on the flight was not a problem.  However, not knowing the location of my wallet was really bugging me.  We arrived at the MTC where some young missionaries helped us get our bags up to our room.  I was thinking about how I was going to get my documents replaced because the wallet was missing.  Gaye and I knelt and expressed thanks for the safe journey and simply asked that we could find the wallet.  We had a small block of time so we began to unpack the bags.  It was not in the big bag.  I opened up the carry-on I brought with me and there it was in plain sight.  Now most people would have a simple explanation for that, and I am not saying it was left in Twin Falls and miraculously showed up here, but I am sure I looked inside that bag at least twice before we left home.  No matter, it was found.  And I felt an answer to my prayer.  It was lost and then it was found.

We are taking laptops with us to wherever we are going.  I have an Apple MacBook and Gaye has a nice PC.  Well, she tried to get into her PC and could not open it up.  We took it to the tech support people here at the MTC.  They are like Geek Squad assigned to this one facility.  They said it could not be opened without some sophisticated software manipulations.  I felt like the computer Gaye said was hers was really heavy, but I had no reason to think it was a wrong unit.  We finally called Tom and asked him for the password.  This computer is the one he got at dental school but decided to replace with an Apple unit.  His password did not help.  So we called Lindsay and asked her to come get it and take it to the tech people at Tom’s school so they could open it.  She drove down here and we made the transfer outside the gate of the MTC.  There is actually a gate that is manned 24/7 and missionaries are expected to sign out and in so we can all be accounted for.  Anyway, Lindsay took the heavy Dell unit back to Tom.  Gaye and I were at our room so we knelt and prayed that we would find that computer.

Not long after that Tom called and said that the computer Lindsay had brought to him was not the one he had received when he started school.  What!  How could it be!  Surely the TSA people at Twin Falls airport didn’t switch it.  Could it have been inadvertently confused and switched when it went through the scanners?  Tom had a location device on it and was able to track it down.  There had been a switch when it was scanned.  Gaye was pulled to the side and hand scanned because her new bionic hip was setting off the metal detectors.  I watched the trays of our belongings as they came down the ramp and took the computers and shoes and belt and watch, quickly crammed them into our bags and marched out to board the plane.  Neither we nor the guy who had our computer by mistake had any idea of the mixup.  So we haver now made arrangements to get his back to him and Ashlee will be bringing ours down from Twin Falls when she and Trevor return to their home on Sunday.  Coincidence?  maybe, but I choose to believe that our prayer was answered.  The computer was lost and now it is found.

I have learned that this mission is not about me.  It is about God’s love for his children.  It is about selfless and faithful service as we go out to our area of assignment.  I have no idea where we will be assigned specifically, and I have no specific idea who we will be working with, but we have been called of God through the actions of one of the Apostles and President Monson to our specific mission.  When we reach San Juan we will be assigned, under inspiration to our mission president, to a specific branch on an island in the mission.  That is a sobering realization.  We did not choose where we would serve.  We go willingly to where we have been called.  Great adventures await us, and we are ready to go.


  1. I can't believe you are here just a few blocks from my home. I think of the two of you every day as I drive past the MTC. I am looking forward to hearing more of your experiences. Thank you for your words and your testimony. Margaret

  2. From the perspective of your children, its cool to see how you and all of us have already been blessed by your sacrifice.