Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Being Taught by an Apostle

Today was, literally, an experience of a lifetime. The entire mission was invited to a conference with Elder Quentin L. Cook, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and  Elder Randy Bluth, an Area Seventy. Talk about a remarkable  meeting! I didn't even think that they had all-mission conferences anymore, so that was a delightful surprise.

Before the meeting began, all 3 men stood in the front of the chapel and shook every missionary's hand. I thought it was a very heartfelt gesture and greatly appreciated the opportunity. Then we sang the opening hymn, "Behold a Royal Army," and I knew we were off to a powerful start. Hearing 200 missionaries sing that hymn started the tears flowing and almost instantly brought the Spirit. I'd love to reiterate everything that was said, but that' impossible, so I'll try to share a few main points and ideas.

Sister Hansen began, and, as usual, packed great lesson into a short message. She's actually a convert to the Church. Her family joined when she was 16. Speaking from personal experience, she said converts don't understand the long term implications of joining the Church. It's our responsibility to give them that vision. She cited 2 Nephi 2:2. Lehi tells Jacob, "thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain." Trials that we, converts, or anyone experience now will help us later.

President Hansen said that each of us has a different story of why we're in the Church. His family goes back several generation, and he related the story of his great great great grandmother who joined the Church in Denmark. She would go from door to door to get sewing. One winter her legs froze and she couldn't straighten them out. Her father built something for her to exercise and stretch her legs and worked continually to help her. Then she found the Church, but he was opposed to her joining because he feared that she would move to America. When she boarded the train, leaving to join the Saints, he raced his sled to the next train station and begged her not to go, to no avail.

Elder Cook brought greetings from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and told us, "You are loved." If you read the last chapter of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and the last 2 chapters of John the message is, almost exclusively, to preach the gospel. Who else, in all the world, can preach the gospel but the Savior's disciples. That's not always easy for any of us because of disinterest, persecution, etc, but we must realize that we are following the Savior.

Then Elder Cook said he had 3 messages for us.
1 - In proclaiming the Gospel you are branch and ward builders. You are not the marketing arm of the Church. D&C 31:7 "I will open  the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand." Do everything you can to strengthen and build the wards and branches.

2 - You are the message. You'll always have at least one convert--you! Be spiritually in tune to find those who are ready.

3 - You succeed when you invite; you haven't failed. Share that message with members. They succeed, also, when they invite.

Next, Elder Cook opened the time up for questions and answers. The first question kind of took me by surprise.

Q. Why did you come here.
A. The Quorum of the Twelve assigns their members to hold Priesthood Leadership Trainings all over the world, but whatever else they do is up to them. So he requested that we have this Mission Conference and probably the special Stake Conference that will be held tomorrow.

Q. How does obedience correlate with the Spirit of Revelation?
A. Obedience is essential! Some missionaries "get it" early in their missions and others never do, and they struggle against the rules. Giving your will to the Lord is the only thing we can really give Him. You only need to make the decision once that you will be obedient. Revelation comes when we give our will to the Lord. We block the revelatory process by disobedience.

Q. Hm. I didn't write it down but loved the answer.
A. The essence of faith is personal righteousness. Substitute "personal righteousness" for faith in the scriptures. For example Ether 12:15 "Behold, it was the faith (personal righteousness) of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites." Personal righteousness is the key to your success. You're only successful to the extent that we "hear" the Lord. See D&C 76:10, 130:21, 29:7

Q. Why are some less obedient missionaries able to sometime have more baptisms than the obedient?
A. Success may be because the people are elect even though the missionary is not the most obedient.

Q. How do we know we've given ourselves completely to the Lord?
A. Do your best. Don't be overwhelmed, but put forth your best effort. Dont' get down on yourself for not doing everything. You need balance. Don't be overwhelmed by perfectionism.

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve attend and meet monthly at the temple. One of the Apostles said to President Hinckley when he was about 96, "I wish you wouldn't work yourself so hard." President Hinckley's response was classic. "I want you to know that I want to wear myself out in the service of the Lord. If I die sooner, there's plenty to do on the other side!"

There were other questions, but that's all I'm including. Maybe I'll add them later, and I'll definitely finish transcribing my notes, but I'm done for tonight.
Lafayette Sisters picking up commissary--Sisters Lucherini, Hockemier, Earl and Worthington

Elders waiting for their ride back to the Alexandria area--Elder Sabey and Elder Smith

Sister Call and Sister McMullin, from Many and Natchitoches

The Alexandria Zone Elders, Assistants and Office Elders

Elder Andrews, Metairie ZL, and Elder Navitikula, Luling. Sister Carpenter and Sister Hafford from Hammond and Sister Boehme and Sister Dejourdy from Chalmette. Sister Dejourdy is the Temple Square sister who is now teaching her own referral sent from Temple Square

Sister Arntz, Sister Kongaika-Aholelei, Sister Neeley, Sister Plumb and Sister Abercrombie--five more sisters from the Alexandria Zone

Friday, January 30, 2015

Jenna's Back in Baton Rouge

Another fun surprise today when Jenna Schmutz and her parents came into the office. Doesn't she look great? It's hard to believe that she went home in August and has already completed a semester at BYU-I. She'd attended for 3 semesters before her mission, so she just received her AA degree and will be transferring somewhere that has a good landscape architecture school.

The Schmutz are only in LA for a few days but are enjoying seeing the sights. Tonight they're spending the night with one of Jenna's converts and attending a baptism of a little girl she was close to in the Baton Rouge I Ward.

It was wonderful to see Jenna, to know that she's moving forward in a great way and dating someone special!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

No Coincidence

This is a great story that Sister Hansen and Sister M, one of our new Temple Square Sisters, shared with me today. Several weeks ago Sister D, our other Temple Square Sister who was still in Salt Lake at the time, met and taught a lady who was quite interested in hearing about the Gospel. After their visit, Sister D put her name into the referral system. I don't know how long it takes for a name to get from Temple Square to the Provo MTC (where the names are actually sent out) then to the missions, but it was sent to our mission, and I forwarded it to the missionaries in the area where the contact lives. The contact that Sister D had sent happened to be in Chalmette--a district in New Orleans South Zone. Last Wednesday, Sister M and Sister D arrived from Temple Square, and where was Sister D assigned? Chalmette! That was not a coincidence!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lunch Bunch

Toward the end of the month, all missionaries' support cards are pretty low on funds, if not completely depleted, so we brought in Chinese take-out for some of the elders. Elder Abbott and Elder Jean Louis were here helping the Office Elders and Assistants film a video about auto safety. It's supposed to be instructional, but I'm thinking that it will most likely have plenty of humor.
Yes, Elder Morrell is doing what it looks like he's doing!
Elder Hansen, Elder Abbott and Elder Jean Louis

Elders and Sisters, please check your tire pressure
Baton Rouge missionaries at the office to star in the video
Elder Morrell's new T-shirt. What's wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Old Van, New Van

The new mission van arrived a few weeks ago and the elders were, in their words, pumped! The poor, retiring van has 94,000 very hard, Louisiana miles on it. But the outside is nothing compared to the inside. Quite frankly, it's a wreck! There's been so many missionaries, suitcases, commissary orders, bikes, furniture and who knows what else in there, so it was a welcome change.
Old van

New van
Happy elders
Just a note: It seemed very strange today to send out papers to an incoming missionary that I'll never meet! She enters the Mexico City MTC in June but won't arrive in Baton Rouge until July, and we'll be gone be gone by then. That's pretty hard to believe.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Al Lino Connection

These are 4 of the best missionaries ever! We had the opportunity to have the Assistants and Office Elders over for lunch today. With Elder Hansen going home and the upcoming week going into transfer mode, we knew this might be the last opportunity to get these 4 together. I know I've said this over and over, but they are such outstanding young men. They're smart and fun, but most of all, they have solid testimonies of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. They're so wise beyond their years.

We may have visited for a bit longer than the suggested hour meal time, but I'm sure it's because we were taking care of some mission business. In the course of our conversation we discovered that Elder H's dad served his mission in Jamaica and was companions with Al Lino! If you aren't Tongan or didn't live in Hacienda Heights in the 80's, that name won't mean a thing. But Al was a regular at our house. He played football on the high school team and spent time with his football buddy who lived across the street but managed to find his way to our house around dinnertime. He was the only member of the Church in his family and could use moral support, so we were happy to have him be a part of our lives. Marc wrote him regularly while Al was serving his mission.
Lunch Bunch

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sister Merrill from Temple Square

What happens "If You Give a Pig a Pancake," or "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," or "If You Give a Missionary an IPhone?" This is what happens. They have a camera party! Elder Bennett and Elder Hansen were on their way to the body shop to take pictures of one of the cars that's in for repairs. I offered to let them use my phone as Elder B said it takes better pics than his camera. I should have known that they'd get more than damaged car pics:)
Smug mugs
Not even sure what to say about this one!

A very focused driver

What a character!
Sister Amar and Sister Fiso returned to Temple Square on Wednesday, and they will truly be missed. It seems like that was a very fast three months. In their place we happily welcomed Sister Merrill from Idaho and Sister Desjourdy from Canada. Sister Merrill and Sister King dropped by the office this afternoon, and we were able to meet Sister Merrill for the first time. I'm hoping that she'll get to stay in Baton Rouge so we can get to know her. We didn't have the opportunity to meet Sister Desjourdy before she was whisked off to Chalmette with her companion, Sister Boehme.
Sister Merrill and Sister King
Elder Hansen and I had a brief, but very tender, conversation today. I asked him how he's feeling now that he's nearing the completion of his missionary service. He said he's so emotional but feels "complete." If a soon-to-be-homebound elder can say that at the end of two years he probably worked with all his "heart, might, mind and strength" and is going home with no regrets. It looks like he can successfully close this chapter in his book of life. Elder H also said that all the challenges he had were meant for him and helped him to grow and progress (That might not have been his exact words) and he feels like he received more than he gave. Well, I totally disagree with that! Personally, I think he's been a welcome addition to the office. I must admit that my eyebrows raised when he was assigned here. Normally an office elder spends at least 4-6 months in that position--learning, doing, then training his replacement. So I was just plain surprised, but it's been a blessing to have had seven weeks to get to know him.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Random Post

For about a year I've been wondering why MSY is the airport code for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, since it has nothing to do with Louie Armstrong or New Orleans. MSY stands for Moisant Stock Yards. Before the airport was built, an early aviation pioneer, John Moisant, crashed a small plane on the property. John was known as the "King of Aviators" and crashed on December 31, 1910 while preparing to try for a new world's record for sustained flight. At that time the location was the Harahan Plantation. After the crash, the property was turned into cattle stock yards and named Moisant Stock Yards. Then the airport was built on the same site. Since most residents knew where Moisant Stock Yards were located, the name was used as the first identifier for the airport. The original name of the airport was Moisant Field. The name was changed to New Orleans International Airport, but the identifier stayed the same since it's somewhat difficult to change airports identifiers. The End!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lots of Visitors!

I love surprises--especially when they come in the form of former missionaries. Today it was Christine Lyons. She came in Monday from Canada and will be here for another week. It's just so great to see missionaries that you don't know if you'll see again or not. Christine has gone back to her former profession as a hair stylist or cosmetologist. She's also going to take a job with a contractor doing office work. She likes keeping busy. It was great to have a few minutes with her before she headed out to see friends in Lafayette.
Christine Lyons
Brother Tolbert used to be in the Denham Springs Stake Presidency but was called as the YM President a few months ago. What a generous man he is! Among other things he comes in regularly to take the Elders to lunch. Today the Assistants went to The Londoner--a pub & grill in Baton Rouge that serves great British food. And, lucky me, they brought an unsolicited lunch back to me. Thanks, Brother Tolbert!
Elder White, Brother Tolbert and Elder Morrell

Elder Benson and Elder Ross 

New companions--Hermana Astle and Hermana Palmer. I probably should've been calling our Spanish Sisters Hermana from the beginning, but I just didn't think about it. 

Elder Bennett--the eternal clown--was playing with my phone. Can you imagine how much fun he is to have in the office?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Arrivederci Marc and Tanner!

Our day began with a trip to New Orleans and the sad departure of 2 outstanding grandsons. I'm so very proud of them for the young men that they've become. It's so hard to think that it will be over 2 years before we see Marc again but are thrilled with the new chapter in his life that will begin soon and how it will mold him into the person he will become. And Tanner is not far behind. He anticipates being in the mission field by the end of the year. Wow! Poor Danielle. I know exactly how she is and will be feeling. But as sad as it is to have children leave home for missions, we wouldn't want it any other way. But they're not so serious that we can't have a ton of fun!

The Monday office meeting was postponed until this afternoon because of schedule conflicts. Elder Hansen (not to be confused with Pres. Hansen), who'll be going home in 2 weeks, gave a very tender spiritual thought about charity. Anytime someone uses Moroni 7:45-48 they have my attention, and today was no different. Elder Hansen began with a quote from President Monson who said: "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." He tied it into the verses on charity, then shared the example of how Elder White, one of the Assistants, illustrated the very point he was making about loving and caring for him in time of need. Elder White has a very kind and tender soul, so it was easy to see that connection. We'll be sad to see Elder Hansen go home but know he'll return as an even better young man than he was before he came. We haven't had much time to get to know him but enough to recognize some great traits in him, such as humility and gratitude. Hm, those are two of President Hinckley's 6 "B's." I'm thinking that he's also smart, clean, true and faithful, which are the other four.
Elder Fowler and Elder Jacildo--the Zachary Elders

Monday, January 19, 2015

Brother Shute

Last week was High Council Sunday, and the High Councilman, Brother Ferguson, brought Brother Shute as his companion speaker. I've been hearing about Brother S since we arrived in Baton Rouge a year ago--mainly that he makes and gives away bread almost daily and feeds the missionaries regularly. Someone wrote about him in 2013 and sent it to the Church News, although I'm not sure it was published. This is the article:

Brother Richard Dean Shute, 73, of the Baton Rouge 3rd Ward personifies the scripture, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt 25:40)
The missionaries serving in the LSU area estimated that over the past 32 years, Brother Shute has baked 45 loaves of wheat bread a week for a total of 75,000 loaves. He brings his basket of fresh, homemade bread to the stake center and distributes the loaves to various ward and stake members at no charge. The ward uses his bread for Sacrament Meeting. He doesn't drive and gives a loaf of bread in exchange for rides.

Brother Shute quotes his feelings about his bread making service from the second verse of Hymn #219, Because I Have Been Given Much. "Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care, I cannot see another's lack and I not share my flowing fire, my loaf of bread, my roof's safe shelter overhead, that he too may be comforted."

He is an ordinance worker at the Baton Rouge Temple. He is very compassionate and thoughtfully remembers the temple workers by leaving two loaves of his bread on the break room table to nourish them. They are especially thankful for this act of kindness, since it is a small temple without a cafeteria or vending machines.

The missionaries are grateful to Brother Shute for his generosity in providing meals for them. On Mondays, he has as many as 10 elders at one time for a dinner of red beans and rice--their favorite! Since Monday is one of his baking days, each companionship leaves with a loaf of bread.

During the holidays Brother Shute is especially busy, and his bread is in great demand. Once for a ward presentation of "Christmas Around the World," he baked bread from some of his recipes of 65 countries for a tasting booth.

Brother Shute performs his labor of love volunteering many hours at great personal cost and with several physical handicaps. He is truly a disciple of Christ and shows his love for his fellow saints by his actions as "The Bread Man."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Learning from our Plaquemine Missionaries

Today being Sunday, we did our standard driving tour to the smallest doctor's office ever, Nottoway Plantation, the smallest church in the world, Mike the tiger and the capitol. But the best part of the day was at church where our 4 Plaquemine missionaries spoke in Sacrament Meeting. I tried my best to take notes but didn't get down as much as I would've liked.

Brother Stabler had asked each of them to talk about how their missions had changed them. Since each has a variety of service times it was a good variety of challenges overcome or to be overcome and experiences.

Sister Morris, the newest of the 4--having served for almost 5 months, started with some of the words to "You Raise Me Up," and "Footprints." She said that she doesn't recognize any changes yet because it's still early in her mission. It made me so happy to hear her resolve to depend on the Savior to lift he and strengthen her, because I know she's struggled with missing her family. But it sounds like she's on her way to becoming a great missionary.  Sister M used scriptures from the Doctrine & Covenants and applied them to her circumstances.

D&C 6:8 "...even as you desire of me so it shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation." She knows she has the means of "doing much good in this generation," and is here in Louisiana for a reason.

D& 6:14 "...blessed art thou for what thou has done' for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou has inquired thou has received instruction of my Spirit. If is had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time." The Lord has a plan for each of us, and if we will inquire of Him, we will be taught and we will be given direction.

When I am down and oh, my soul so weary. When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence until You come and sit awhile with me.

Your raise me up so I can stand on mountains. You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong when I am on Your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.

Elder Baker shared how he decided to com on a mission. After he was baptized in 2012 he had no intentions of serving a mission even though he was encouraged by his mom, Bishop and friends.While some of his friends were preparing for their mission there was a day when he was alone at home and decided to pray. Then he started reading Alma 37 and began to feel a joy so strong that after reading verse 33 it hit him so hard that he couldn't even finish the chapter. Alma 37:33 begins: "Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ..." He was filled with love and happiness and received a strong feeling from the Spirit. It was then that he vocally said to the Lord, "I will serve a mission."

Something Elder Baker said he'd learned is to say "I love you" to people. He was never able to do that--even to his mom. It took a lot of work and prayer to love everyone but as missionaries "we need to love all who we serve and teach as especially our Savior and Heavenly Father. My love has grown for them immensely. I have prayed to love as they love and see people as they see people." Elder B now has a strong testimony of that. Missionary work is so important to him now. If we love the Savior and Heavenly Father we'll love doing their work and will help bring His children back to Him.

Sister Lindstrom, who'll be going home on February 5, gave a powerful talk on learning how to submit to the Lord's will. She talked about Amulek, in the book of Alma, who said, "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." Submission to God's will is more than accepting our circumstances, but it's doing and being our best and enduring the hardest, as well as, the easiest times. She quoted the Apostle Paul. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

The Lord provides strength for us through the Atonement. These are 5 ways Sister L has been given His enabling power.
     1 - The power of the Holy Ghost. As baptized members we have been given this gift. Do everything you can to live worthy of his constant companionship.
     2 - The Book of Mormon. The whole purpose of the Book of Mormon is to help us get closer to the Savior.
     3 - Prayer--communication with God throughout the entire day, not just morning and evening prayers.
     4 - Serving others. During difficult times, when I've chosen to focus on helping others, Heavenly Father has ALWAYS met my needs.
     5 - Temple attendance. The temple is powerful. Attending regularly before my mission helped prepare me to receive revelation at other times.

The principle of submission is illustrated in the scriptures. One example is Alma and his people who were in bondage to Amulon and the Lamanites. The Lord answered their silent prayers by "easing the burdens put upon their shoulders" and they were able to "bear them with ease."

The second example was that of the Savior in Gethsemane. "If thou be willing, remove this cup...nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." An angel then appeared and strengthened Him.

The pattern: 1) The burdens were heavy. 2) They struggled. 3) They turned to God. 4) He strengthened them.

Sister L then shared 2 examples from her life that followed the same pattern but taught her to trust in the Lord. One was the delay in entering the mission field after receiving her call. The timing had been perfect for the holidays and schooling, but knee surgery caused a postponement, and she was devastated. Enduring and submitting to the Lord's will helped her through the challenges, and even just "surviving" her mission. She goes home having learned that the Lord has orchestrated her experiences, has been with her, strengthened her and enabled he to continue because she understands and has learned to benefit from the power of the Atonement.

Elder Brimhall didn't end up with much time but managed to share a great message. He cited D&C 4:6 "Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence." He said he thought he had these attributes before his mission but has developed so much more and learned what it really means to love your fellow men. He has learned to be humble and submissive. "My mission has changed me forever. I will continue to do what I'm doing--without a name tag." He shared a quote from Pres. Monson, who said, "Whoever will share his testimony will strengthen it. Whoever selfishly keeps it will lose it." Also, I Corinthians 9:16 "...woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." It's our duty to preach the gospel!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tabasco Again!

After beignets 3 days in a row (yesterday was in Baton Rouge) the boys had to settle for doughnuts. They survived:)

Part of today's activities took us to Avery Island and the Tabasco plant

They don't bottle on Saturdays but still conduct tours

Lunch at Prejean's with the Mardi Gras gator, Zydeco music and food with a Cajun flair--and maybe a bit too much spice. If I'd wanted that much heat I'd take cayenne capsules on an empty stomach!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Day in NOLA

First stop in the morning is always the World War II Museum, but today was just a little different. After we crossed the street from the museum parking lot we were looking inside the building pictured below. It's where they restore boats, etc. They've been working on restoring a PT boat since since long before we arrived in LA. While we were trying to see through the tinted windows the man asked if we'd like to come in. I said, "I didn't know we could." His response was, "You can't unless I say so." I'm thinking he must be the boss. Then he kindly showed us around and explained the project.

The plan is to restore it to usable condition then take it around the United States and hopefully the worlds doing tours. But I was so busy taking pictures of the boys that I didn't even take one of the boat. Where was my head? It's a lot bigger in person than I thought. McHale's Navy--with Ernest Borgnine--just didn't do it justice!

What an honor to take the grandsons to the WWII Museum! They loved it all, and we spent more time there than usual. We weren't in a hurry since we'd done much of the NOLA sightseeing on Wednesday. There's a new pavilion, Campaigns of Courage, that opened in December, and we haven't had the opportunity to see it yet, so we were there for quite awhile. This exhibit emphasizes America's effort to defeat the Axis powers in the European and Pacific Theaters. The Road to Berlin: European Theaters Galleries is what we saw. Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries will open later.

I loved the exhibits that recreate actual battle setting and villages with crumbling walls, bomb-torn rooftops and icy pathways. The museum has the great ability to make good use of multimedia which brings the reality of war much closer to home.
Then it was back to Cafe du Monde for beignets--round two!

Later in the evening we introduced the boys to the Louisiana Bass Pro Shop. It's one of their favorite stores in California, so we knew they'd love this one, and they did!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Meet Marc & Tanner

What a delight to have our oldest two grandsons arrive in New Orleans from California this afternoon. Tanner, left, just tested out of high school and is planning on doing some online classes through BYU until he can go on his mission sometime after he turns 18 in November. Marc is our pre-missionary on his way to the MTC then Italy in March.

After picking the boys up we hurried to the Metairie Cemetery to do a drive thru before closing then drove through the Garden District, on our way to the hotel, to give them a bit of the flavor of New Orleans. After checking in we headed for dinner. Poor guys had a small breakfast and hadn't eaten on the plane, so they were starving. Dinner was lousy, so it's a good thing we wrapped up the evening's activities with beignets. They were a huge hit.
First stop after their arrival was the Metairie Cemetery

Dinner in the French Market was rather unremarkable, but the boys LOVED Cafe du Monde. Welcome to New Orleans and beignets!

Elder Morrell's Mishap

I've been waiting to find out about Elder Morrell's mishap and finally had a few minutes to get the whole story. On 12/13/14 he, Elder White and the Office Elders were playing basketball in New Orleans with an interfaith group--sanctioned by President Hansen. On the way down to NOLA Elder White received a speeding ticket:( Boo. Not a good way to begin the day.

After arriving at the old church where the game was to be played, they stretched out, warmed up and began to play. Elder M had made one basket when he went up for a rebound. The ball came directly down on his pinkie, and he felt something move. He could feel that the bone was out but thought it was just dislocated. So he tried to pull it back into place. No luck. Elder White told Elder M that he needed to go into urgent care, but he was reluctant to leave, because the game had just begun. Good thing he listened to Elder W, because x-rays showed that the bone was broken and displaced. The doctor splinted it and told Elder M that he'd need surgery for it to heal correctly.

When the 4 elders came out of the urgent care there was a parking ticket on the windshield of their car! The ticket was for parking less than 20 feet from an intersection. What makes this so annoying is that there wasn't a sign or any markings on the street or curb. On most New Orleans street corners where parking isn't allowed there's a big painted triangle indicating where you can't park. Not here. Marc and I even passed the exact location recently and are still baffled as to why they were cited. Heaven knows that all that money NOLA is taking in for parking tickets isn't going to street repairs! What a lousy day this turned out to be for 4 of our favorite elders.
Urgent Care X-rays
The misplaced pinkie
Six days later--before surgery
Lucky thing Elder Morrell is not a southpaw! Funny thing. His finger looks just like my arthritic pinkie, but his will straighten out. Mine won't. At least not in this life:)
Post-surgery pics
The pinned pinkie
Amazing what a few pins can do
He says it doesn't hurt!
I thought I should put a face on Elder Morrell's hand puppet. This reminded me of Shari Lewis and Lambchop! If you're much younger than me you won't even know what I'm talking about.
The hand puppet came off after about 2 weeks, but his finger is still immobile. Since removal of the puppet, Elder Morrell has been doing a lot of therapy on his fingers and wrist. It's amazing how quickly the body "forgets" how to move after such a short period of time. With any luck, the final bandage will come off tomorrow. (January 15)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Zone Conference with Elder Teh

Today was a combined 4 Zone Conference with Elder Teh, from the First Quorum of the Seventy. Some of the missionaries travelled 3 1/2 hours to get to Baton Rouge, so they came in yesterday and stayed with the local elders and sisters. It was great to have several of them come in either before or after the meetings. Most of the ones whose pictures I managed to take live 2 or more hours away, so we don't get to see them very often.
Sister Blaylock, Sister Ririe, Sister Butterfield, Sister Call, Sister McMullin and Sister Arntz

Elder Sabey, Elder Mecham, Elder Smith
The Assistants with the Oakdale Elders--Elder Rush (on his knees) and Elder Barker
Marksville Elders Garceau & Stevenson and Alexandria Elders Rogers & Castro
After driving in from New Orleans this morning, conducting an 8 hour conference and interviewing a few missionaries, Elder and Sister Teh came to the mission home and had dinner with all of the senior missionary couples except one. What a pleasure it was to meet  and visit with them. They were so pleasant and personable. In spite of his young age, Elder Teh has held many callings of responsibility in the Church. He moved his family to Salt Lake from the Philippines a few years ago. They have a son and daughter attending BYU and another daughter lives with them and attends LDS Business College in SLC. The Teh's were so enjoyable to talk to. It would have been nice to have more time with them, but they had to return to their hotel in New Orleans, where they're staying with their youngest daughter. Happily for them the 2-Zone Conference tomorrow is in New Orleans and they won't have far to go.