Thursday, April 16, 2015


We walked to the White Plains train station and arrived at Grand Central Station in time to have lunch.  Jerry had Chinese and I had a salad.  While we were having lunch we visited with a man from Lebanon who is an industrial engineer who does consultation on the underground water, heating and power at Grand Central and other places.  He has a project to replace the 8,000 man hole covers in NYC with a fiber optic security system.  I gave him a #BecauseHeLives pass along card.

We took the subway to Time Square and then the Red Line to 50th Street.  It is a Froehliche Tag! German for Beautiful Day, with warm temperatures, blue skies and flowers blooming.

We arrived at Radio City Music Hall for the Rockettes New York Spring Spectacular and entered the line about 45 minutes before the show. It was spectacular indeed.  It was a celebration of New York City and everything about it.  It tells the story of Bernie, a tour guide who is about to be replaced by technology.  The goal of Derek Hough, from Dancing With the Stars fame, is to convince singer, Laura Benanti, that the personal touch is still needed.  Various comedy, sports, media and fashion stars make the show come to life with movie clips like: West Side Story, Barefoot in the Park, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Crocodile Dundee, Saturday Night Fever, The Wiz, Sleepless in Seattle, An Affair to Remember, Big and Spiderman are featured.  The New York Rangers, Giants, Knicks, and Yankees are fun to see, as the Rockettes dance in the various sports uniforms.  The real show stopper was Singing' In The Rain (which included Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head).  The Rockettes tap-dance exuberantly as 500 gallons of water pour down on them.  They wield umbrellas, and wear daffodil-yellow raincoats with bright purple trim, and matching boots fitted with waterproof mikes.

A visit to the Metropolitan Art Museum, with real ballet dancers from the Degas painting, a huge Statue of Liberty talking head, a dance through Central Park, and dancing on the top floor of the Empire State Building are all amazing.  The finale is to New York, New York.  Even four elders from The Book of Mormon Musical join the show doing gymnastic moves.  It was by far one of the most fantastic extravangaza shows we have ever seen.

After the show, we decided to take a City Tour bus.  It was such a beautiful day that we went to the top of the open bus.  Sometimes the NYC traffic was at a stand still, but we passed and listened to a lively commentary through our ear phones, and saw many famous buildings, parks, museums and even a demonstration for higher minimum wages.  By the time we walked back to Grand Central Station, stopping to get a slice of pizza on the way, and then took our train back to White Plains, and walked four blocks to our Avalon Apartments, we could say it was quite a fabulous day, and we were ready for a good nights sleep.


The big news of this Sunday was new leadership positions caused by Transfers, it was a bittersweet time with many changes.  Elder Johansen is going to be the Zone Leader in Olmstead.  Elders Critchfield, Michael Christensen and Elder Beardall are also going there as well.  Elder Cheyne Christensen was so thrilled he will be staying and will be an Office Elder with Elder Haycock.  Sisters Aleccia and Terry will be staying together in the New Rochelle 2nd Ward.  Elder Karch Smith, one of the Assistants to the President is the new Zone Leader in the West Chester Zone because he will be going home in the May transfer.  The new AP will be Elder Keni Reid, from Hawaii.  He is a happy elder and will be a good companion to Elder Daniel Duvall.

We had three wonderful days of Zone Conferences in March.  Tuesday was in Ossining, Thursday in the Bronx, and Friday in New York City Lincoln Center.  President Dave Checketts, Stake President from the Yorktown Stake came and talked to the missionaries on Tuesday.  Elder Dale and Sister Nancy Braithwaite spoke at the conferences.  Elder Braithwaite is the Area Medical Adviser.  The Braithwaite's are faithful servants and spent so much of their time talking to the missionaries about health issues and just being their friends. Elder Braithwaite talked about being a young missionary himself in Holland and then gave some great advice about athletes foot and keeping your feet clean and other skin health concerns like acne.  Sister Nancy Braithwaite talked about getting good exercise every day.  She shared this quote, "If you do something out of duty it will deplete you; but if you do something out of love it will energize you!"  This applies to so many aspects of mission life, especially being obedient to exercise every day! She also adapted our mission motto: Loyal to the COREcan also mean Complete Obedience to Regular Exercise.
Elder Gardner, our Vehicle Coordinator, spoke each morning about the care and upkeep of  mission cars. Sister Morgan wrote on the mission blog: "We're so grateful for Elder and Sister Gardner.  They're experienced, kind and hard working."
New i-pads were issued to the  mission at the zone conferences. Every missionary turned in their old i-pad and received a new one. These i-pads will be their own to use in the mission and to take home. It is such a blessing to be an online proselyting mission. We have seen so many blessings come to the NYNYN through using digital tools and apps as well as social media.  It's always so wonderful to see the missionaries and feel of their love and dedication to the work. The young men and young women of the NYNYN are valiant servants.
Each Zone Conference was started out by a bagel and juice visiting breakfast.  Missionaries were also able to bring the clothes they no longer wanted, and exchange for other items.
TRANSFER - February 2015

Sister Morgan wrote on the mission blog: "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail," will stop the NYNYN from doing the Lord's work! We have had all four of these weather patterns this month and it has been one of the coldest ever! We had a record low of -23 in Scarsdale this past month! BRRR!!
But nothing will keep our amazing missionaries from coming and going. Transfers this month were great. We had 21 missionaries return home to their families. They are Loyal to the CORE in every way."

Returning Missionaries: Elder Henry Diaz, Elder Jerek Lewis, Elder Joseph Sevy, Elder Brandon Miller, Elder Michael Delahunty, Elder Lucas Rydalch, Elder Ben Hunt, Elder Zach Jensen, Elder Adam Kia, Elder David Reynolds, Elder Cameron Burr, Elder Brett Cloward, Elder Hayden Kroff, and Sister Emily Livingston, Sister Marcella Toronto, Sister Savannah Astle, Sister Tessa Palmer, Sister Sadie Dodson, Sister Manielyn Arquero, Sister Yesenia Hoyos, Sister Victoria Tirado
14 New Missionaries arrivedSister Erika Smith, Sister Dakodah Terry, Sister Madeleine DeFord, Sister Erin Geiger, Sister Kayla Larsen, Sister Holly McAlister, Sister Alexis Spender, Sister Makenna Petersen, Elder Alec Unice, Elder Ryan Cheney, Elder Darius Nutall, Elder Kaden Muirbrook, Elder Anthony Jagneaux, Elder Christopher Rankin


Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will gather in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, as well in chapels and homes around the world, Oct. 5 and 6 to participate in the 183rd Semiannual General Conference.
General Relief Society Meeting
Saturday Morning Session
Saturday Afternoon Session
Priesthood Session
Sunday Morning Session
Sunday Afternoon Session

Today, was our P-day and the weather was sunny and in the upper 40s this morning.  We decided to take advantage of this combination of events to re-live a little history.  It was during the 1776 campaign and a failed attempt by George Washington to control the Hudson River.  By bringing ships up the Hudson, the British would be able to split the colonies in two.  During the summer of that year 31,000 British troops landed on Staten Island and in August Washington’s army was trapped in Brooklyn with their back to the East River at the tip of Manhattan Island.  It is a miracle that the entire revolutionary army, thus trapped, was able to evacuate across the East River to Manhattan Island during one long night with the help of unseasonable fog (that covered the river) and currents in the river (that kept the British Men-o-War ships in the bay). General Howe and his brother Admiral Howe then chased Washington and the surviving army North towards White Plains (where Grandma and I now live).  There were two forts (Fort Washington on the New York Side and Fort Lee on the New Jersey side) of the Hudson River, built by the colonists to keep any enemy from moving North. Both were at the present crossing of the George Washington Bridge. Both were captured by the overwhelming British throng.  Today we visited the remnants of both Forts and walked one mile across the Hudson River on the GW Bridge.  It is fun for me to close my eyes and imagine what life would have been like during these critical moments in the history of our country. Over and over again, men and women of great faith and courage stood firm in times of crisis to keep the dream alive.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY - March 17, 2015

What a wonderful Sabbath Day!  In Sacrament Meeting this morning it was all about Christ.  Elder Johansen talked about Christ's love and when Christ cast the man with legions of evil spirits in him, and into swine, as they ran over the cliff and drowned in the sea.
A new couple in the ward Jessica and Brock spoke about Christ too.  I liked what he said about the Resurrection being such a big part of the Atonement, because without it, we would be subject to Satan.  Brother Gibbs always gives such a wonderful Sunday School lesson.  Today it was about "Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God."  In Relief Society the teacher gave a great lesson from the Ezra Taft Benson manual, "Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer."

It is always wonderful to see the missionaries in the foyer between sessions. We have Elders Johansen, Haycock, Driggs and Christensen and Sisters Aleccia and Terry.  The Spanish speaking Elders are Zone Leaders Critchfield and Christensen, and Hermanas Hazelton and Hill.  The Portuguese elders are Beardall, Rebireor and Stanford.  They were all in the foyer as we were leaving our New Rochelle 2nd Ward, and we were able to shake hands with all of them.

We came home.  Jerry made the calendars for the Missionaries dinner appointments, and I made a salad for the dinner appointment.  We went to the Brooks and it was a wonderful time.  Dave talked to us about his mission to Norway with JD.  He replaced JD as AP after we picked up JD from his mission.  Dave Brooks has many piano students.  His wife Cyndi is a very talented singer and pianist as well.  They fixed Corn Beef and Cabbage, potatoes and carrots.  I made a spinach salad with fruit in it.

Sisters Aleccia and Terry came and left a message about following the prophet and watching General Conference.  Dave played their piano as we all sang, "Follow the Prophet."  Brooks family have four children:  Matthew-12, Lauren-10, Parker-8 and 
Nathan-2.  He is so cute, but is a handful like Hugo.
#BecauseHeLives - Easter Initative - March 2015  

The Church had another beautiful two minute video about our Savior Jesus Christ, along with pass along cards that missionaries can share throughout the world.  On the Church Website it says:
"Jesus Christ lived.  He walked the Holy Land, worked miracles and teaching truth.  Then He was crucified.  But His death was not the end.  Because of His Resurrection, we will live again.  Because of His sacrifice, we can rise above sin to experience true joy.  Because He lives, we can fin His help and healing every day of our lives.  The last week of Jesus Christ's life changed the world forever.  See how each day can help us better understand His miraculous mission - then and now.  No matter where you are, Jesus Christ's love is universal."

UNITED NATIONS - March 30, 2015
We walked about eight blocks to the United Nations building.  The cold wind was blowing and the flags of the world were really whipping in the wind.  We waited about 30 minutes and our Mormon group started to arrive.  Our Public Affairs guide from the country of Georgia met is.    She joined the Church when she was 12 through Humanitarian Missionaries and grew up, went on a mission to London and is a student of BYU-Idaho doing an internship here in NYC with the Church Public Affairs Department.  Elder Sowby met us and took a picture of our group on the UN stairs.

The UN Water meeting was very interesting with a goal to improve pure water, sanitation and hygiene throughout the world.  We are so blessed to have clean water to drink, to use to wash our clothes and take showers.  A great part of the world doesn't have good water and many babies and people die because of water problems.  We heard from keynote speakers and then from many countries like Japan, Cuba, Slovakia, Georgia, Slovenia, Korea, South Africa, Nicaragua, Italy, Singapore, Finland, Spain, France,
SISTER CALEE GARDNER - Preston, England MTC - February 27-April 7, 2015
Calee is a missionary!  She left her home in Lindon, Utah and flew on Delta Airlines to England where she learned how to be a missionary, led the MTC Choir, and improved her German speaking.  Her companion was Sister Burgess from Australia.  
On a cold wintery day in January we had all the Senior Missionaries come to the mission home for a pot luck lunch. These amazing Senior Missionaries work so hard and give so much, to help our mission. We're grateful for each and every one of them! We're so lucky to have so many faithful seniors serving in the NYNYN. Our Senior Missionary assignments include: Member Leadership Support, Family History, Public Relations, United Nations Government Relations, Records Preservation, Military Relations, Employment Center, Church Education Systems, Apartment Coordinators, Vehicle Coordination, Mission Historian, Mission Secretary and Finance Secretary. We couldn't run the mission without these wonderful people! We are grateful every day for their dedicated service.