Mission Up Date 12/1/2013

Dear Family,

We hear you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday together!  We are still waiting for Janell or someone to call for the details.  It does our hearts good to know that you were all together.  We can just imagine the fun and food and craziness.  All of you are great!

We had a nice Thanksgiving meal at the Zone Leaders home.  We played cards afterwards and had a good time. Our favorite couple, Elder and Sister Johnson from Salt Lake, will be going home in three weeks.  We will miss them. However, we get one of their couches so we are excited about that.  We have a new missionary couple coming in from the Midwest so it will be fun to get to know them and see what we can learn about them.  We also went to the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and Choir.  Wow!  they did Holiday Pops so it started off the Christmas season well.  The lights have been turned on at the Mesa Temple.  We will help at the visitor’s center each Wednesday to count the people who come through the doors.  That will be nice.  There is a different choir that sings each night.

Susette and Robyn will be here Fri., Sat. and Sun. of this week.  We will spend some time with them and go to Natalie’s Christmas concert Sat. night.  We are going to go to a Craft fair in Tempe on Fri. and do something on Sat before the concert. We live about a mile and a half from the Mesa Temple and about three miles from the Mesa Arts Center where the concert will be.  So maybe they can stop and see where we live and serve.

Each day is interesting and we are meeting some interesting people.  Elder Stephen who sits by us at his computer is a convert to the church.  His family are of the Mofia type from back east and he has some very interesting stories.  He is always asking us what we did for fun if we didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs.  He has a fun sense of humor but often crosses the line with a few swear words.  He isn’t totally converted and sometimes thinks we are a cult. So we pray for him and hope we are a good influence on him. He really likes Dad and asks me if he can corrupt him.  He doesn’t have much family.  Hates his brother.  Never talks to his Mother back east. Just a different bringing up.

We thank the Lord each night for all of you and for your love and support.  We just can’t say that enough  Thank you.  We were at a swap meet and Dad bought a license cover that said “I bought this car for my wife.  Pretty good trade huh!”  Where have you heard that before? Funny Funny Dad.  Have a great week!  Keep counting your blessings. Tis the season.

Love you Dad and Mom

P.S.  We try everyday to get our moneys worth!!!

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Rebecca Nurse – has been found

Rebecca Nurse is definitely in our Family Line

Dear Family;  (I know some of you were interested to know the following information, also some of your children were very interested to find out how Rebecca Nurse fit into our family)

I finally found our line that relates us to Rebecca Nurse, who was one of 19 hanged as Witches in the infamous Salem Witch Trials.  It is through my Dad, Lucine Otto Howard.  His Dad was Stanton Howard.

Stanton Howard’s Dad was Ira Stanton Howard (1864-1932)
Ira Stanton Howard’s Mom was Tirza Paermelia Warner (1835-1900)
Tirza Paermelia Warner’s dad was Luther Warner (1798-1850)
Luther Warner’s mother was Mary Russell (1743-1846)
Mary Russell’s dad was Archelaus Russell(1730-1902)
Archelous Russell’s Dad was Ebenezr Russell (1688-1761)
Ebenezr Russell’s Mom was Elizabeth Nurse (1665-1733)
Elizabeth Nurse’s Mom was Rebecca (Town) Nurse (1621-1692)

That would make her my 8th Great Grandmother as I see it.
I attached an article that I found on the internet of her life.  I found it very interesting.  Your children have studied or will study about this in their History classes.  I know Daisy has and she read “The Crucible” in her class which is about this trial.

I might win the prize at our Center for the most interesting ancestor.

Love you all,  Sister Larsen

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Mission Up Date 11/17/2013

Hi family,

I think I will write a few times a month because there isn’t much variation in my letters.  We go to the ROC center every day and do various things.  We do have a few different things during the month of December so that will add variety.  We have a Zone Meeting where we will bring potluck and have the Stake President over our center come and speak to us and have a few musical numbers planned.  Then the Mission President has planned a temple day with activities after and a New Years party with lunch and dinner that should be enjoyable for the whole mission which includes the young elders and sisters.

We have been going to a class on Ancestral Qwest at the Family History library each Wednesday.  We think we want to purchase Ancestral Qwest for our own personal way to keep our genealogy.  It talks well with Family Tree so Dad down loaded it today ( the free trial package) and we are going to start putting information about our family which includes you.  I wish I had my thumb drive from Pickleville with all our families vital information on it so I could put it on Ancestral Qwest.  I might be bugging you again for some dates.  Then if we all use the same program then we can talk back and forth to each other in exchanging information.  We will learn it well then be able to teach you.  In the meantime, whevever you get time, play around with Family Tree on the internet and learn you way around that.  There are some stories about some of your ancestors on there and I am putting on a few more here in a few weeks.

We are happy you are all spending Thanksgiving together.  Have fun!  We are going to the Kruckenburg’s for Thanksgiving dinner then the next night going to the symphony.  We went to Natalie’s last Sunday night and played Farkel and had homemade pumpkin pie.  That was fun.  Nat seems really happy.  Sue and Robyn are coming down to her concert on Dec. 7th so that is fun to look forward to and to spent the weekend with them.

We had the missionaries over last week for dinner.  I can’t believe the Church gives them each mini I-pads.  It is awesome!  They pulled up a little video clip and then we discussed the topic.  They want us to come to a gentleman’s apt with them one of these nights and listen to them have a discussion with him.  Love you all,  Elder and Sister Larsen

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Mission Up Date 11/22/2013

Hi family,

I think I will write a few times a month because there isn’t much variation in my letters.  We go to the ROC center every day and do various things.  We do have a few different things during the month of December so that will add variety.  We have a Zone Meeting where we will bring potluck and have the Stake President over our center come and speak to us and have a few musical numbers planned.  Then the Mission President has planned a temple day with activities after and a New Years party with lunch and dinner that should be enjoyable for the whole mission which includes the young elders and sisters.

We have been going to a class on Ancestral Qwest at the Family History library each Wednesday.  We think we want to purchase Ancestral Qwest for our own personal way to keep our genealogy.  It talks well with Family Tree so Dad down loaded it today ( the free trial package) and we are going to start putting information about our family which includes you.  I wish I had my thumb drive from Pickleville with all our families vital information on it so I could put it on Ancestral Qwest.  I might be bugging you again for some dates.  Then if we all use the same program then we can talk back and forth to each other in exchanging information.  We will learn it well then be able to teach you.  In the meantime, whevever you get time, play around with Family Tree on the internet and learn you way around that.  There are some stories about some of your ancestors on there and I am putting on a few more here in a few weeks.

We are happy you are all spending Thanksgiving together.  Have fun!  We are going to the Kruckenburg’s for Thanksgiving dinner then the next night going to the symphony.  We went to Natalie’s last Sunday night and played Farkel and had homemade pumpkin pie.  That was fun.  Nat seems really happy.  Sue and Robyn are coming down to her concert on Dec. 7th so that is fun to look forward to and to spent the weekend with them.

We had the missionaries over last week for dinner.  I can’t believe the Church gives them each mini I-pads.  It is awesome!  They pulled up a little video clip and then we discussed the topic.  They want us to come to a gentleman’s apt with them one of these nights and listen to them have a discussion with him.  Love you all,  Elder and Sister Larsen

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Autobiography of Mary Dunn Ensign

A story about your Great Great Grandmother

Dear Family;

I have been looking on Family Tree (familysearch.org) and I found an amazing story of our Great Great Grandmother, Mary Dunn Ensign (1833-1920)  If you go to your family tree and click on Martin Luther Ensign (1831-1911) who was her husband, you can find the biography of Mary Dunn Ensign.  She was 15 yrs old and her family lived next door to the ProphetJoseph Smith.  She tells about meeting the Prophet and her story about living in Nauvoo during the time the Prophet Joseph was killed.  It is very touching.  Their oldest daughter is our great grandmother – Mary Adeline (Addi) Ensign and she married John Lloyd Roberts who also has some pictures and stories on Family tree. (Click on this link to read what she saw and did)

 

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Searching for Emma

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She Wanted Me to Find Her

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Discovery through Stories (Esbey have a look)

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Talk given at the ROC

For The Beauties of The Earth

Presented Oct 30, 2013 by Judy Larsen at the Devotional at the ROC (Record Operations Center)

Since we arrived in Mesa, Arizona, I have marveled at the beauties of nature and God’s creations.  I am so thankful to have eyes to see.  I get much joy and happiness in thinking about the different places we have visited and my amazement in their beauty.  Just in the last year we have enjoyed the beauties of:

  • Rolling green fields of Wisconsin and the well kept farms, barns and houses
  • The big red woods in the forests of Oregon
  • The beauties of the Pacific Ocean and Islands
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the life style of the Amish and their beautiful horses that trot down the roads pulling their unique carriages
  • Pine trees of Island Park, Idaho surrounding beautiful lakes
  • Beautiful Rocky Mountains surrounding Cache Valley, Utah.  The canyon that leads to Bear Lake with the most beautiful blue lake ever. I do miss the Fall season.

M Russell Ballard said:

“The advent of the fall season here in the Rocky Mountains brings with it the glorius colors of leaves transforming from green to blazing oranges, reds, and yellows.  During the fall all nature is in a state of transition, preparing for the cold, austere beauty of winter.”

  • The landscape of the red rock in, St. George and Zions National Park
  • And now the palm trees, orange and grapefruit trees, all different kinds of cactus, lots of blue sky and beautiful sunsets in Mesa, Arizona
  • As you think in your mind and envision the places you have visited, think how you remember certain places of beauty and sat in awe. It is wonderful we have pictures to remind us.  (if you have ever been to the Redwood Forest, it is impossible to take pictures that really see the wonderment of the majestic trees)

In D&C 59:18-20

“Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.  Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.  And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man.”

The account of the Creation is a testament of God’s love for His children.  He could of given us just the basics needed to live and survive, but, instead, the Savior, under the direction of our Heavenly Father, created a masterpiece of unsurpassed and breathtaking beauty and variety.  Instead of one kind of everything, there are hundreds of varieties of foliage, flowers, fruits and vegetables, birds, animals, fishes and insects, and each is suited to its particular environment.  Instead of one climate and terrain, there are innumerable types of geographical variations that make the earth a tribute not only to God’s creative powers but also to His desire to please our eyes and gladden our hearts.  Where ever we choose to live, there is a special and unique beauty attached to all living things.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie reminds us that the beauties of the earth are a testament to the love and goodness of the Creator:  “An all-wise Creator has structured all the creations of his hands in such a way, not only to call attention to himself as the Maker, Preserver, and Upholder of all things, but to bear record of the nature and kind of Being he is…the voice of his creations declare his divinity… If men fail to live that law which enables them to see the divine face and converse with their Creator in plain words, at least they are obligated to hear the voice of Nature, which is also the voice of God”

Someone wrote that we should find wisdom in the beauty of nature and to glean from each part of creation that which it would teach us about its creator.

In John 1:3 is reads “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”

Robert Louis Stevenson offered an insightful definition of an abundant life:

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much: who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task, who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauties, nor failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life is an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

In Luke 12:15 it reads “For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”

I am thankful to be serving our mission in Mesa, Arizona.  I am thankful for the things I am learning every day about myself and about the work that we are doing at the ROC.  I am thankful for the beautiful people we serve with.  I am amazed at the abilities of the members of the church.  The Family History department of the Church is amazing.  I am grasping the importance of this work.

Dallin H. Oaks said:

“Let us not forget that the activity in which we are engaged is to turn our hearts to the fathers.  We should reach out to them.  We should identify with and emulate their great qualities and make them known to our own children.  (also)

When individuals and families search out their ancestors inspiring actions and words, they will receive strength and direction for their own lives.

I am finding stories about some of my ancestors that have been put in Family Search.  I have gained respect for their lives and can see that if they can do hard things, so can I.  I am thankful for my heritage.

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Mission Up Date 10/13/2013

Hi family,

Wow! conference was really good.  We watched it on Elder Larsen’s lap top and it was nice.  Sounds like we have to do all we can to trust in the Lord.  We hope all of you caught the spirit of missionary work.  All of you are great examples of loving your neighbor and caring for others.  People around you love you and admire you and know they could call on you if they needed help.  We love each of you for your faithfulness and goodness.  We know you are trying hard to teach your children about Jesus Christ and how much Heavenly Father loves us.  I am anxious to read each talk again and ponder each message.

We spent quite a few hours in training this week.  My head is busting with instructions.  We come  home exhausted.  It was a nice relaxing weekend.  We each have our Saturday chores so we get them done in the morning.  We have tried coming home from the center this last week and immediately going to the workout room.  If we hesitate, we end up talking ourselves out of going.  It does make us feel better after sitting all day.

We did get a library card this week.  The chairs at the library are much more comfortable to sit in and read.  They do not have many church books like our libraries in Logan.  We did check out a few DVD’s.Queen palm tree

The only thing I can say about the weather is that it is perfect right now.  The summer grass goes dormant and then they re-seed the lawns with winter grass.  Very interesting.  I am learning about the different kinds of palm trees.  We have a queen palm tree outside our apartment.  I will send a picture this week.  The church keeps the palm trees on the temple grounds so nice and cleaned up.  Some around town can look pretty shabby.  At our center they are nice also because the church owns those grounds.

If you go on Familysearch.org and see your pedigree fan and click on a name, a square will come up with that persons name in it with his birth and death date and where they were born.  Also the little boxes at the bottom of the square will show you if there are any pictures or stories about that person.  I clicked on my mother’s grandmother Martha Ann Ward and noticed that she died the day I was born, Feb. 26th, 1948.  That is probably why my mother gave me the middle name of Ann.  She probably told me that years ago but I had forgotten.  The my mother’s Great Grandfather John Lloyd Roberts has some stories about him and how he lived the commandment of plural marriage and 2 of his wife’s nick names were Addie and Izzy.  So it has been fun to search and get to know my way around family search a little bit.  I would love to get the teenagers into indexing.  I think they would enjoy it.

Our prayers are with each of you.  We know you are going through some hard things.  We put names on the temple roll.  We know the Lord love each of you  and will be there for you.  Keep the faith.  Love and miss you.  Love Elder and Sister Larsen

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