Sunday, September 8, 2013

Service is Who We Are

 August 27th brought a new group of missionaries to the Mesa Mission.  Alas, there weren't any VC- assigned among them, but we will be getting to know Sisters Evans, Simmons, Ricks, and Hamberger who will be trained by VC sisters.  Lucky girls on both sides!

Transfers always mean 'Grab Bag' items show up on the sofa in our break room.  Usually that just means that our sisters can go 'shopping' for free.  However, this transfer a tender mercy of the Lord really touched my heart.  A Young Women's leader and a teenage girl came into the center on the Saturday morning after transfers.  The young girl was supposed to do baptisms for the dead at the temple but had come in pants from Casa Grande - about an hour drive south of Mesa.  The Young Women's leader asked if any of our sisters might have a skirt that the young girl could borrow to go into the temple.  We went into the break room and the girl was able to find a skirt in the grab-bag  that fit her and allowed her to participate with her ward in the temple.  Because her mother was not a member and her father basically inactive, this young sister needed the uplift that a temple baptism experience would provide.  The YW leader tearfully said, "There are still miracles happening in our lives every day."  Any other weekend of the transfer this sofa would have been bare.  It is plain that the Lord's hand is in even the tiny details of our lives. 
Transfers brought an unexpected surprise.  Because President Jenkins desperately needed good trainers for the newly arriving sisters, Sister Valladares was released from her calling as VC Trainer and reassigned to train in the field.  Sister Longshore was then called to fill the vacancy created by Sister Valladares' new assignment.  We are so grateful to have such amazing young sisters who cheerfully do whatever the Lord requires of them whether in the VC or in the field. 

Also arriving in Mesa the week of transfers were two technicians from Salt Lake City who came to work on the aging equipment at the Visitors' Center.  Here we see Scott installing a new DVD player in teaching room #1.  We were so grateful to have these upgrades since a lot of our equipment is feeling its' age.

Mat worked on the DVD player in Teaching Room #2.  It hasn't had sound for over a week.  The upgrades these technicians provided will be a welcome change for the center.  But the BIG NEWS is:  Ta-da!   Wait for it.....

WE HAVE WIFI!!!  These big smiles represent the satisfaction of knowing our new WiFi connection is available anywhere in the Center.  (I know - it's 2013, we should have had WiFi several year ago.  That's why we're so excited to finally have it available throughout the center!)  Thanks guys!

 Polka Dot Day was observed at the center on August 30th.  When these missionaries appeared at our prep. meeting I thought I was seeing spots before my eyes.  Oh, wait - I really was!  Elder Ballard even got into the spirit of the occasion and wore a red tie with big spots. What fun!  I don't think I've seen so many polka dots in one place in my entire life!
We started the month of September with a service project for Christmas Lights.  Bright and early on Monday, Sept. 2nd, the sisters arrived to help string lights for the annual display. 

Sister Jackson, the Christmas Lights Chairman, instructed the sisters on the task at hand.   She asked us to add clear lights to the strands of orange lights that were going to be hung in the trees south of the Visitors' Center.

She carefully explained what needed to be done as Sister Jeppson and Leon observed the process. 

These young ladies got right to work.  Sisters Younce, Hourrutiner, Rios, and Luna were a very efficient team.

Each table had four sisters working together. 

Sister Brown demonstrates how she straightens the orange strands before adding the clear lights.  Yes, she's quite a character!

Sisters Orr, Fry, and Brown are also an efficient team (when they're not stopping to pose for the camera, that is..)

Sister Ibuyan - don't eat the lights!  There is always a comedian in the group.
Here I caught Sisters Simmons, Evans, Weedman, and Smith 'anxiously engaged' in this good cause.
Sister Jackson is helping Sister Valladares and Sister Picket with their lights.  She spends many hours a week here at the Tri-Stake Center getting everything ready for the eventual hanging of the lights on temple grounds.  That process will begin in less than a month - it's hard to believe.
All of us had a great time helping with the lights.  It is always such fun to serve together, and when we have the opportunity to prepare for an event that brings so many people to the Temple Grounds (and hopefully into the Visitors' Center) it is especially rewarding.

The Visitors' Center looks beautiful again with the new lawn in the bowl greening up so nicely.  This is a wonderful place to serve.

Elder Beckstrand and I feel so blessed to be here in Mesa, and we love working with all of these amazing senior couples.  On Wednesday, September 4th we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Tia Rosa following a staff meeting at the Mission Office.  President and Sister Jenkins, Elder and Sister Hansen, Elder and Sister Nilsen, and Elder Inglish unknowingly helped us celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary on this occasion.  I can't think of a nicer way to commemorate the day. 


  1. Thank you so much for the great photo of the new missionaries!! Makes a mommy feel better to know Elder Bigler arrived safely and is so happy to be in Mesa. Elder Bigler was in awe of the magnificent Temple and visitor center that they all have to bring investigators to. That was one of his first comments in his first letter home from Mesa. Always watching your blog to see the latest news from the mission. Thank you for posing this!! Mama bigz :-)

  2. Great pictures and wonderful events. Love the blog.

  3. Thanks for your great blog, Sister Beckstrand.... I see my son in the picture too, Elder Spencer Smith. Thanks for keeping us informed about what's going on at the vc and thanks for your great service. It looks beautiful! - Katie Smith (Ogden, UT)