It has been awhile since we have written. As stated earlier, the time seems to fly by ever faster and the work progresses at an exponential pace. It is a privilege to be a part of it.
Some highlights of year 1 from our family.
Mackenzie - creating whole food / plant-based cuisines that even her siblings will try. Singing and dancing. Making new friends in choir. Simplifying my life. Working at Living Scriptures almost full time. Finishing my book. (Almost!) Getting accepted to BYU. Hiking in the mountains. Traveling to Europe for my senior trip.
(Kenzie petting her favorite animal in Switzerland)
Emma - Mary Poppins performance, running Cross Country, lots of new friends. Turning 16 and going on lots of dates. Driving. Hammocking in virtually every tree-lined place available. I also love having 150 older brothers and sisters (missionaries).
Josh - Fun with cousins. Settled in more quickly and comfortably than I thought. More friends than I thought. I like Shadow Valley Elementary. Skiing at Snow Basin is awesome. I love seeing missionaries every Sunday. I love doing Pday activities with missionaries in the summer.
(Not a missionary Pday activity, but fun on a lake)
Eliza - I love Lagoon, especially the ride Canibal! Learning to ski. Musical firesides with missionaries. The Book of Mormon readathon with missionaries. We read the whole thing in like a day! I love playing with the Assistants in the mission on Sunday's. I love all the new friends I've met. I love my little cousins.
Amy - I love, love reading and studying the gospel of Jesus Christ. Realizing the depth of love God has for all of his missionaries that serve here from all over the world and that have prepared and sacrificed much to be here. Witnessing the devotion, love and consecration of Senior Couple Missionaries, a mission nurse, physician and LDS family services professionals. Attending the Ogden temple regularly. (It's just 15 minutes away!) Reading the Book of Mormon in 30 hours. The Mission President's Seminar last year (and this year) and being instructed by prophets and apostles. Learning from so many people who love the Lord and want to share His gospel which has brought them happiness. Attending and feeling the spirit at 36 stake conferences. (She spoke at each as well). Recreating with our children on Preparation Day (Pday) with intention to create special memories with them. We love the mountains around Ogden. They are green and majestic.
A few data tidbits of note in year 1
27 family home evenings hosted at the mission home.
71 dinners hosted (that's a lot of ham)
Attended 77 baptisms. (859 have happened since July 1 of last year).
Missionaries conducted 3 musical firesides at the tabernacle with over 4500 attendees.
117 missionaries departed for home. 131 arrived.
Spoke at 43 firesides.
Tested Samsung notebooks for missionaries.
Launched Facebook for missionaries.
Set up a monthly temple day for recent converts to attend the temple with their missionaries.
Set up a monthly missionary health meeting with mission physician, family services, nurse etc to attend to missionary spiritual, psychological and physical needs.
Most importantly however are the relationships we have established with the magnificent missionaries and people in the greater Ogden area. Our friends here are humble, diligent, smart, creative and service-oriented. They genuinely love their neighbors and do their best to uplift, inspire, set an example and serve. They emulate the Savior and have taught us so much.
Thank you for your love and support during our 3 year ministry. We feel the faith and prayers of many.