Monday, February 29, 2016

5th Anniversary!

Today Dave and I celebrate an "official" anniversary...our 5th!  I am grateful for each and every day I have with him.  When we were dating he always made me laugh.  That laughter has carried us through the ups and downs of life.  But I fully attribute our happiness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our common goal is and always has been eternal life together with our children.  I am grateful for his faithfulness, his example and his unconditional love.  I am continually amazed how the Lord blesses us in our calling and makes up for all that we lack.  We are learning everyday!  I am grateful for my 3 beautiful children and 200 + missionaries whom we love as our own.  I look forward to the many more that will come into our lives in the next couple of years.  This is a day I celebrate with gratitude to a loving Heavenly Father for all the tender blessings he has poured out upon me.  I am grateful for that charming young David Smith who saw potential in me and took a chance at joining our lives together.   I am forever grateful for the love he has shown me these past 20 years.  
Now here's to Eternity...







I loved these pictures the sisters sent...





Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WestPoint, Sisters Training and random pics from the week!

We had a historical event in the NYNYN mission this past Sunday. 
 The West Point Branch became the West Point Ward.  It was a privilege to be in attendance.



 West Point Ward Bishopric, President Smith, Newburgh Stake Presidency

West Point Elders
Elder Ribeiro and Elder L'Esperance



On Tuesday we had Specialized Training for the Sisters.  It was such an amazing uplifting day.  
We began the day in the chapel where Sister Helen Goo addressed us.  Elder and Sister Goo serve as full time Senior Missionaries in Chinatown.  Sister Goo has a remarkable story.  You can listen to her sharing this on youtube BYUWC HelenGoo 01.  

Sister Gardner, Sister Hunt, Sister Goo and Sister Frei
We are so thankful for these Senior Sisters and the service that they give daily.

Following Sister Goo we had 2 wonderful classes taught by Sister Julie Colton, a Public Affairs missionary serving at the United Nations, and Sister Lori Draper from LDS Family Services.



Following the classes we once again gathered in the Chapel.  Sister Nicolette Sam sang beautifully "How can I keep from Singing"  She was accompanied by Sister Beverly Zimmerman

Sister Sam (on the right) with her Companion Sister Ballou
Sister Zimmerman

Following Sister Sam, Lori Mortensen, a member of the Westchester First Ward, and a beautiful example of righteous womanhood spoke to us.  Following Sister Mortensen I spoke and then Dave was the concluding speaker.
We ended the training with a wonderful lunch provided by my dear friends in the Westchester Ward, Desiree Barlow and Liz Hawkins.  They put together a fabulous salad bar that the sisters loved!
Lauren created this beautiful heart display of cups


                                                                

Liz Hawkins, Lori Mortensen & Desiree Barlow

During lunch Sister Alina Derzon sang a fun rendition of "Sisters" from the musical White Christmas

Sisters, Sisters, there where never such devoted sisters.
Never had to have a chaperon no sir.. 

Sight and Sound: I keep my eye on her. 


Caring, sharing,
Every little thing that we are wearing. 
When a certain referral came from Rome.
She wore the skirt I brought from home.

All kinds of weather, we stick together 

in the freezing wind or sun.

two different faces but in tight places 

we think and we teach as one. 
Uh hu.



The Lord - needs us.
The spirit of the Sisters is the sweetest. 
We came here to teach and preach and share God's Glorious plan.


Lord, not a whisper can come between me and my sister,
and Lord bless these Sisters, we're putting our faith in Thy hands. 

Sister  Colleen Gardner, our fabulous photographer made this cute photo booth and made sure she got pictures of each of the sisters.  She also did the table decorations.  I am so grateful for all her help.









































William Hawkins let Dave know he did not like getting his picture taken.
  He was happy until the flash went off!!

 We were so thankful to Elder Jimenez and Elder Brasiliero for all their help
cleaning up and putting  the tables and chairs away after the meeting.

A few random pictures from the week...


Sister Gibby was so excited about this spiral Spanish Hymnbook Elder Gardner made her.









Today we attended the Manhattan Temple with this group of 8 awesome missionaries that return home next week.  I remember specifically looking at their release dates last summer and thinking "we get them for a long time, they don't go home until next March".  Time has flown by.  We have become very attached to them and once again it is so hard to let them go...but we know there are great things ahead and many at home waiting anxiously for their return!



Dave on the mission conference call...miracle line