Monday, November 23, 2015

A full week celebrating Savannah, friendship and missionary work!

We celebrated Savannah's 16th birthday this past week!  She loved the "16" balloons and got lots of "happy birthday" shoutouts as we walked through Central Park with them on Saturday.  On Sunday we had Elder Gore and Elder Leishman over for dinner and Savannah literally squealed with excitement when Sister Dunford and Sister Johnson showed up to wish her Happy Birthday in person.  She has gotten especially close to Sister Dunford these past several months.  My kids love these missionaries like they are their big brothers and sisters.  

We had to get a birthday picture with Carlos, one of our favorite parking attendants!

It was so fun to see our friends from Texas, The Johsnon's this weekend as well.  Savannah and Sadie are close friends so it made her birthday extra special.

We spent FHE with The Johnsons at Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. 

We loved seeing our dear friends of 25 years, Ben & Brenda Thomas in Manhattan.

When your standing on the street corner after the rain and a taxi drives by...

Missions are so awesome for kids!  We are blessed to have the best Spanish tutors...Sis. Garcia Early from Spain and Sister Lotito from Chile.  Shoutout to Elder Gore who often helps with Spanish as well!

The Westchester Zone missionaries attended a Diversity Breakfast with the Interfaith Council this past week.  It was a great opportunity to interact with people of various faiths who are working to build bridges.  Many missionaries had opportunity to share testimony and testify of the restoration.  All had a great experience.  Elder Gordon Smith, former US Senator from Oregon and currently our Area Seventy was also in attendance.

We were privileged to attend a hearing at the UN on human trafficking.  It was fascinating yet so disturbing.  The world is full of evil yet there is so much light and hope.  I am grateful to good people everywhere who do what they can to bring awareness, help others, and spread goodness in this world.    I know in my heart the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to all the world's suffering.  We may not be able to change the world all at once but each of us can do our part in our sphere of influence. 

Our friend, Felipe, from the Harlem 2nd Ward, works at the UN.  He was a wonderful host!

Dave was able to spend a few minutes with another great friend this week, Mark Mabry.  Mark did the Reflections of Christ Photography a few years ago.  It beautifully portrays the life of the Savior through photography.  Our missionaries love his work as we have several hanging in the mission home and display them at various meetings. We are grateful for his talents and his friendship!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...big tree going up!

Just for fun...Elder L'Esperance and Elder Glick

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Returning missionary meeting

Today has been an awesome day!  All of the missionaries who will be returning home on the next transfer gathered in our home for a "what's next" meeting.  We discussed many of decisions and issues that face them as they head back home.  This is a great group of missionaries who have grown in countless ways as they have been selfless in their service.  They have consecrated their time and talents to the Savior, his church and the people of the NYNYN area.  They have served valiantly.  We will miss their wisdom and examples but we are excited for all that is to come in their lives.  Our missionaries have become so dear to us in such a short time.  They have touched our lives in countless ways and we are forever connected now.  It gets harder and harder to say goodbye.

We all enjoyed my favorite...Chipotle...for lunch!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Zone Conferences

This past week was filled with zone conferences.  We hold 4 different ones, one for each Stake.  All the zones serving in a particular Stake attend.  It is a day full of training, testimony, music, and inspiration.  The missionaries come prepared to learn and be taught, and to interact together to edify one another.  I especially loved this week because we were able to see all our missionaries.  I usually left the mission home just after the kids walked to the bus and stayed until around 2:30 each day so I was home when my kids walked in the door.  The zone conferences go from 9-3:30, with bagels and juice served at 8:15 am.  I am thankful to Elder and Sister Gardner this week and our office Elders, Elders Dutson and Casper, for taking care of providing breakfast and lunch each day.  

President Smith takes a "selfie" with each zone


Poughkeepsie Zone

Newburgh Zone 


Kingsbridge Zone 

Olmstead Zone

Westchester Zone 


Manhattan Central Zone "Central Man"

Manhattan South Zone  "South Man"

Manhattan North Zone "North Man" 


Stamford Zone

Yorktown Zone 

Big THANKS to Sister Gardner for taking so many pictures of the missionaries!  

The missionaries love Sister Morgan's famous chocolate chip cream cheese.  Thanks to the Zimmermans for making a big batch!

William was excited to have Jordan Bachynski and his darling wife, Malia move into our ward.  He is currently playing for the Westchester Knicks, the NBA development league affiliated with the NY Knicks.  He stands tall at 7'2"