For those of you stopping by for the very first time we recently had the opportunity to fly from Orlando, FL to Sacramento, CA for a brief visit to witness a grandson's blessing and a daughter's wedding. So we took a week off from our Blog and are now back in Orlando, Florida, serving as missionaries, busy as ever, with hopes of highlighting just a few of the special moments we enjoyed while there.
On Thursday, April 10, 2014 Wade was given a name and a blessing by his father.
Saturday, April 12, 2014 we were blessed to witness the wedding of Josh Chance and our daughter, Katie, at the Capitol Rose Garden in downtown Sacramento.
All of our kids and grand kids were there to offer their love and support!
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so to make a long story short, just a few of our favorite things...
The Esslinger Family-#1 daughter
The Gibson-Chance Family-daughter #2
The Bacchus Family-#3 daughter
The Hudson Family-daughter #4
The Busath Family-#1 son
The Peterson Family-daughter #6 our baby with her husband and baby
"Grandpa" and Jill Jill and her "new" big sister Haylee
3 Beautiful granddaughters
GG and Katie
BFF's-Dave and Janie Pollmann-who drove all the way from Idaho
to share this moment with us!
Matching T shirts :)
Packages from home, even if not one single one is for us.
On Sunday, April 13th we returned to Orlando, Florida tired but happy, and ready to complete the remaining 10 months of our mission. It was tough to leave Sacramento, but with the Lord's help we know that we truly can do hard things.
Bright and early Monday morning we were greeted with a brief rain shower and MAIL, home again.
It's as though we never left :)
It's Easter Sunday so please allow us to share one last thing
He was nine - in a Primary class of eight-year-olds. Eight-year-olds can be cruel. The third-graders did not welcome Philip to their group. Not just because he was older. He was "different." He suffered from Downs syndrome and its obvious signs: round face, slow responses. One Sunday after Easter the Primary teacher gathered some of those plastic eggs - the kind in which some ladies pantyhose are packaged. Plastic eggs which pull apart in the middle. The Primary teacher gave one of these plastic eggs to each child. On that beautiful spring day each child was to go outdoors and discover for himself some symbol of "new life" and place that symbolic seed or leaf or whatever inside his egg. They would then open their eggs one by one, and each youngster would explain how his find was a symbol of "new life. "So... The youngsters gathered around on the appointed day and put their eggs on a table, and the teacher began to open them. One child found a flower. All the children "oohed" and "aahed" at the lovely symbol of new life. In another was a butterfly. "Beautiful," the girls said. And it's not easy for an eight-year-old to say "beautiful." Another egg was opened to reveal a rock. Some of the children laughed. "That's crazy!" one said. "How is a rock supposed to be like new life?!?" Immediately the boy spoke up and said, "That's mine. I knew everybody would get flowers and leaves and butterflies and all that stuff, so I got a rock to be different." Everyone laughed. The teacher opened the last one, and there was nothing inside. "That's not fair!" someone said. "That's stupid!" said another. Teacher felt a tug on his shirt. It was Philip. Looking up he said, "It's mine. I did do it. It's empty. I have new life because the tomb is empty." The class fell silent. From that day on Philip became part of the group. They welcomed him. Whatever had made him different was never mentioned again. Philip's family had known he would not have a long life; just too many things wrong with the tiny body. That summer, overcome with infection, Philip died. On the day of his funeral nine eight-year-old boys and girls confronted the reality of death and marched up to the altar - not with flowers. Nine children with their Primary teacher placed on the casket of their friend their gift of love - AN EMPTY EGG.
Jesus Christ loves each of us very much, he died for us. Jesus was the first person to be resurrected. Because of what he did for us, we will be resurrected and may live again with Heavenly Father. When we think of Easter we should remember the love that Jesus Christ has for each one of us. He gave his life for us. He was resurrected and because we know this we can show our gratitude today and every day by keeping His commandments and thinking of him always.
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission at this time and share this wonderful message of a new life with others and to show our appreciation for the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
Wishing each of you a Happy Easter!