Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gabriel Hess Prepares to Serve

After my mission I returned to BYU and continued working on my bachelors, living in the French immersion housing (part of the Foreign Language Student Residence) to help improve my French. When I've been at home in Maryland I have attended a brand new French-speaking branch (the first and only branch of its kind in the United States) where I have been able to practice my French and my Haitian Creole and serve in the church.
My first summer back I became a certified lifeguard and began working at two pools, including a pool with the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC), where I am still working during the summer, now as a pool manager, swim instructor, and lifeguard.
My first Fall back from my mission (2009) I took an Arabic course and became conversant by the end of the school year. I intend to pick up where I left off this coming Fall with Arabic, schedule allowing. Beginning last year I began taking social/ballroom dance classes at BYU which I have enjoyed. I have since reached the gold level and hope to continue taking classes and just enjoying ballroom.
What I also picked up as I returned to school was the Army ROTC. I continued in the program as a freshman and then as a sophomore, with little responsibility. In my junior year all junior year cadets were given extensive responsibilities (comparable to mission leadership responsibilities, although more strenuous in my experience) modeled exactly after real-world Army ranks and positions. Next summer I'll be attending an evaluative course called LDAC that will determine the rest of my Army career.
Last summer I was privileged with the opportunity to attend a volunteer Army special school called Airborne. There I joined with other Army cadets, officers, NCOs, enlisted, as well as officers and enlisted from every branch of the military (Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, etc) and even foreign militaries, in training to jump out of an airplane in flight. I now have experienced five solo jumps from an aircraft, which I can say is quite exhilarating (though the build up is freaky), and claim a small part of the Airborne heritage.
Beginning this past school year (2010-2011) I attended training and began volunteering for a suicide/crisis line in Provo while I was at school. It was a rewarding experience. When I return this fall I intend to move on to volunteer on a similar specialty crisis line called the rape crisis team which will require more training.
This summer I just finished taking a course to become an Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B) and am now volunteering on an ambulance near where I live in Maryland. I hope to go on to upgrade to become a Wilderness EMT, which will help supplement my skills and preparedness to serve in the Army and help the troops.
I am still pursuing a career as a chaplain (in the Army). My undergrad will be complete in two more school years, then I have a masters to complete, as well as some other requirements that will be taken care of before that time.
Otherwise, life has been good. I've been doing my best to fulfill my callings wherever I've served. I've kept up on the dating scene, although I'm still single (RSMs take note :P ). I look forward to seeing everyone soon at the next mission reunion!

-Gabriel Hess

Spencer Corley and Nikki Fox Marry

Spencer Corley and Nikki Fox were married in the Mesa Az Temple in July. Former missionaries from the FTM, James Terry, Ezra Wery and Clint Wire, were in attendance along with a convert friend from Lehigh Acres, now President Charlie Perry. The newly weds plan to move to Flagstaff to attend school at No Arizona University.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Summer from the Coltons

Dear Returned Missionaries of the FTM,

Happy summer, 2011. It is sweltering here in Virginia. I hope you are fairing better in the west. Time passes quickly. We think of you often and talk about the many paths and contributions that will be yours. Often we receive wedding announcements and we are so pleased to be remembered and a part of this monumental step in your lives. Phone calls and emails have kept us up on many of your lives. We always love hearing from you. It is simply a joy to have two years/eighteen months – as a foundation for a life long and eternal friendship.

We report that the trip to Kirtland with the youth of our stake was a memorable and rich experience. About 140 youth participated this year. They were well taught having had church history as part of their seminary curriculum this year. Therefore, the experience in Kirtland was particularly poignant and meaningful. The sacrament meeting in the Kirtland temple was very sacred. The following day, the testimony meeting held in the Kirtland Stake Center went on for three hours. Were it not for the waiting buses, we could have gone on for much longer. However, we had to bring the meeting to a close. The testimonies born by these young people were focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and the blessings of the restoration; especially the sacrifices of the Prophet Joseph. It was a riveting and spiritual meeting. We are grateful that we were able to be there.

President Colton continues his involvement in his profession life. He is involved in thinking through housing policy and financial issues facing our country. A lot happened in this area while we were on our mission. I continue my passion for writing children's stories, always hoping for a break in the wild and wooly world of publishing. Together we spend our most treasured time visiting our grandchildren and working in the Washington, DC temple. We really love being in the temple.

As you know, the FTM Reunion will be held September 30th in the Draper Crescent View Stake Center located at 11626 South, 300 East in Draper, Utah from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. We will begin with a brief meeting in the chapel and then enjoy eating and visiting for the rest of the evening. We hope to see you there. We also remind you to check the mission blog:

Please email me any updates on yourself for me to post.We hope this finds each of you well, happy and progressing

With love,

President and Sister Colton

Melissa Broderick to Wed Russel Lyon

Melissa Broderick will wed Russell Lyon in the Salt Lake Temple on August 12, 2011

Jami and Jason Welcome Taylor Allyse

Jami (Sister Lambert) and Jason Hirst are parents to Taylor Allyse born March 11, 2011. Provo will remain home to the Hirsts as Jason attends BYU Law School, beginning this September. Jami is keeping the home fire's burning and loves being a mother.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lunts Head East

Bryce and Anna Lunt graduate from Brigham Young University on August 12, 2011. Bryce receives a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Anna receives her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders. The Lunts are moving to Pittsburgh shortly after graduation where Bryce will begin graduate work toward his Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear friends from the Florida Tampa Mission. My wife Allie and I are out east because I am selling security systems with Vivint. We were in Pittsburg for 2 months and now we are in Winchester Virginia for the rest of the summer. It has been a great experience to learn to sell. Its been hard but rewarding and I am enjoying the time that I get to spend with Allie although during the week it is limited. Here's us in Pittsburg. Love you all take care

Jordan and Allie Crafton

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Colton Hickman Update

Hey everyone, sorry I haven't been writing and today I don't have a ton of time to write either, but I just thought I'd try. Last week I finished my radiation! So, now I just wait for a while and soon they'll scan me again. I should get scans every 3-6 months to make sure it doesn't start growing again. YAY!! I shave my head down to the skin every few days because of the bald spots radiation gave me. I've been working a lot it feels like and getting ready for school in the fall. Yesterday my dad gave me and my brother a motorcycle that has just been sitting around his house. We're going to put it in my name and get it running in no time. This is great because Colin and I share a car and we're not both going to the same college this fall, so we needed another vehicle. The best news is that Josh Patrick, one of my very best friends since we were 2 years old in preschool, is coming home from his mission on Thursday from the Dominican Republic! I'm so excited to see him. I'm much more excited about him coming home than I was about me.