10 March 2011
Dear Former FTM Missionaries,
We hope you are coming out of hibernation after a long winter’s nap. Actually, many of us are just looking for that Florida sun. This has been our first return to winter since our three years in Florida. There is much to miss - the friends we made there and especially each one of you. Our love for you is timeless and our excitement to see you expand your horizons on strong footing is now our joy.
The Utah homeland seems to call to many of you. However, even us in Virginia had the joy of a returning missionary couple passing through here on their way back to Utah from Florida –a diversion from I-80 West. Elder and Sister Chambers stopped and had lunch with us (and their daughter and her family). It was so good to see them and hear news of our beloved people in Florida. They return to Logan, Utah where you at Utah State will undoubtedly see them.
This seems to be the month for marriages – especially sister missionary marriages. Sister Virginia Todd, Sister Veronica Para and Sister Mandi Murray get married this year within days of each other. President and Sister Colton celebrate a March wedding date as well (17th of March). We honor 44 years of marriage this year as Sister Michelle Kinyon White celebrates her one year anniversary of marriage - all in March. Now I realize that there may be others of you getting married this month too or in the near future or recent past. If so, and we have not heard, so send us an announcement please! There are other great things in addition to or besides marriage happening in your lives too. We are very interested to hear about all aspect of your journey.
The ski season called to us and we ventured out to Utah for a few short days with our children and grandchildren to ski. Three of the five families (nine of the twelve grandchildren) were able to join us. With so little time we didn’t get together with you ski enthusiasts in Utah this year but we will do so sometime in the future. It was great fun and another step in getting back to the normal groove. Speaking of the normal groove, that is a misnomer for sure. That groove keeps changing and getting better and better (though not easier). Life is meant to change us, right? And we all hope and work for the better.
President Colton continues to write, research and consult on housing and housing finance policy, the challenges of the recent past and thoughts on what needs to happen going forward. He has had a lot of catch-up to do to really understand the difficulties of those years during our mission when the housing market fell and the financial markets were shaken so badly. He is enjoying immersing himself again in this field. I continue to write my little books and immerse myself in family. We putter around the yard together trying to scare away the deer, skunks, raccoons, and ground hogs. We are hopeful for a vegetable garden this year if we are successful with the former! The answer is a seven foot fence, I fear. Yes, and I keep threatening to get goats and chickens. That is my dream.
Plans for the Kirtland trip for the Stake Youth Conference continues to move forward. We are loving our preparations for this event with the youth. Studying about the Kirtland years and the phenomenal leadership of Prophet Joseph is a highlight. Our temple service continues to bring great joy and peace as we are able to spend each Tuesday evening there together.
We love hearing from many of you. We would love to hear from all of you. If you encounter a former missionary who has not gotten an email from us, please give them our email address and have them reach us. We are not always able to get all the information.
Please send your pictures and something about yourself to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I then will post it on the blog.