Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Dear Loved ones
The time is once again flying by.  With trying to live out of two different houses, organizing the Christmas party, having the Mission Christmas party, taking a friend to the airport and preparing to speak in church has kept us on the go. 
Without a washer and dryer at our house we have had to go to the other place to do the laundry.  Not really having time to make the whole move has been a little frustrating but who wants to move during Christmas.  The move is planned for this Wednesday though so that is a good thing.  We have continually taken stuff over as we have gone to do laundry so the actual move shouldn’t be too bad (if any move can be an easy thing).

The Christmas party went off really well.  We had 8 nonmembers there which was great.  It was so fun to dress the kids up and see how much fun it was for them.  Wilson’s had brought 4 of their grandkids so we had a little girl to be Mary so didn’t need to use Hardman’s daughter and son-in-law.  The Osborn boys stole the show as the wise men.  William was so cute carrying the “gold”.  I had told them they could have some of the gold to eat if they were really good and no one could believe how good he was.  For him to hold still that long was a Christmas miracle.  We watched the Luke 2 video after doing the nativity and then closed with Silent night.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.  I felt really good when President Hardman complimented me on a job well done.  He really did seem pleased and he is usually so grumpy that when he was smiling I felt like he really was pleased. 
On Monday we went to Crestwood for the Mission Christmas party.  It was really fun to have the whole mission together.  We had a nice program which showed off some of the talent in the mission.  Some of those people have voices that they could sing professionally if they desired.  We then had a very nice lunch with ham, baked potatoes, salad, green beans and pie.  After the dinner we moved all the tables and played some extreme games.  We divided into 4 teams, Comet, Dasher, Rudolph and Prancer.  We were on the Comet team and our team won most of the competition.  They started out with an Elder from each team and they had to put together a 48 piece puzzle and we won.  Then they had an Elder and Sister from each team throw an egg back and forth until there was only one team left with an egg and we won.  We also won the cow roping contest and the hula contest.  We missed on the ping pong ball throw, the orange peel and the marshmallow stuffing contest but they were split between other teams so we came out ahead.  We then put all the chairs into two circles with the Sisters in the center and the Elders around the outside.  We each had a scarf or tie and played a game where President Brough read a story and every time he said right we passed it right and every time he said left it would go left and when the story ended whatever scarf we had was the one we kept.  We had all brought scarves and ties for the game so everyone got one.  It was such a good experience to see all of the missionaries who have been in our district but are now in other areas.  Can I just say again that I love Mormon Missionaries.
 The Elders came to our house to make their phone calls (Facetime calls) on Christmas Day and then we went to the first dinner appointment.  We had a wonderful feast and then played the gift game where you have a number and choose a gift but someone with a higher number can swipe your gift.  It was really fun with so much of the Skeen family.  Evan ended up with a tie he swiped from one of the Elders who had swiped it from someone else and I got a small throw that I swiped and then gave the snowman pillow with it to one of our friends who collects snowmen but was gracious enough to not swipe it from me.
We then went and opened our gifts from the kids and then went to the next dinner appointment.  None of us were very hungry but made a good show of it.  I have lost some weight from being sick so long so am trying to not eat all the extra treats and gain the weight back.
Now it seems that Christmas was so long ago.  On Friday we were back into the usual routine of a District Meeting.  It is always good to feel the spirit at those meetings.
We have done something a little different this week though.  Our friends who went to Idaho for Christmas left us a key to their house and we have gone out and enjoyed the use of their hot tub on three different evenings.  That has really been a treat.  We are going to try and get in one more soak after FHE this evening.
Thank you to all who have sent cards and emails.  We feel of your love and support and appreciate it especially at this season.  I was just a little (ok maybe more than a little) homesick but hearing from you all helped.  We both have testimonies of our Savior and His atonement and are so grateful for the opportunity to share that with the good people in this area. 
We love you all
Elder and Sister Fullmer

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Hello everyone
The highlight of the past week was going to transfer meeting.  Our Elder Caldwell finished up his mission and was ready to go home.  We had such a good meeting with some really wise “words of wisdom” from the awesome missionaries.  We sent 20 Sisters and 7 Elders home this time and only had 17 come in.  The time has come when the rush with the age change has evened out.  The mission has to close several areas now because of the lack of missionaries.  Our Elder Evans got a brand new greenie to train and he is doing well already.  Elder Caldwell’s parents flew out to get him and drove to Tell City on Wednesday and we were all able to go out and eat together.  He said it seemed weird to have his mission family and his real family together.
I finally gave in and went to a different doctor because my cough hasn’t gotten any better.  He gave me a steroid shot and some very pricey drugs.  He told me that I had pneumonia in my right lung and if I wasn’t feeling better by today to come back and see him.  I did go back today and he said the x-rays showed I didn’t have pneumonia but did have bronchitis.  He said it sounds like I am probably ¼ of the way over it and to just keep taking the drugs, my cough drops and cough medicine but that I am not really contagious and can go to Zone meeting tomorrow.  I also sliced a finger when I broke a glass yesterday but he said it had already started to heal and he wasn’t going to stitch it.  It is of course on my right hand and is numb but if I accidentally straighten it get quite a shock.  We were going to try and move this week but with the Christmas party we are in charge of, the cough and now the sore finger we have decided to wait until after Christmas.  We might change our minds again but it is good to know we don’t have to do it all right now.  The rest of the week we will spend setting up and preparing for the party.  It is so different to plan a party for 60 instead of a whole ward but still a responsibility I take seriously.  Last year at home I was in charge of the treat bags for every member of the ward.  We put names on each bag and anyone who didn’t come to the party got a visit from the bishopric with their bags.  We did about 250 bags last year so it is a real change.
We are looking forward to our mission Christmas conference and party next Monday.  We have never been with the whole mission at once and it is going to be great to see some of those who were in our district and now in the other part of the mission.  It is so easy to love these missionaries as they work so hard to share the gospel.
Our weather has been more like September to us and it is hard to realize that Christmas is just over a week away.  We are told that this is a normal December.  It makes it easier to travel with no snow but I kind of do miss a white Christmas—probably would only want a day or two and then back to enjoying the weather we are having though.
It is certainly easier to remember the reason we celebrate Christmas when we aren’t even thinking about gifts for anyone.  We have watched the #Sharethegift video over and over as well as the one that was done with the live nativity in Utah.  That really is the reason for the joy of this season.  I was missing buying books for the grandkids though so found some books for the 4 little boys we get to be with every coordination meeting.  Buying a train book and a construction book made me smile as I thought of our grandsons Max and Zane and their love of those books.

Remember we love all of you.  We love the opportunity to serve and we certainly love the people here.  The gospel is true, the Savior is the reason, we need to all do our part in spreading the joy.

Elder and Sister Fullmer etc.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Dear Loved Ones
This has been a rather slow week as I am still coughing so hard I am afraid to go visit anyone.  We made a number of phone visits to check up on people but spent most of the early part of the week just cleaning the new apartment and moving some of the things we don’t use much.  It has taken some major cleaning but I think we are about ready for the move whenever we decide to actually do it.
We were able to go to Louisville on Thursday for the Senior Couples dinner at the mission home. We took a tour of the mission home and saw the basement which has a big dorm for the Elders and two smaller rooms for the Sisters along with a commons room where they do training.  The house was built especially for a mission home.  There is a staircase for the Elders and one for the Sisters and never the twain shall meet.  It also has a bedroom for the visiting authorities or a senior couple who might stay there.  President Brough had to go to the airport to pick up Elder Kopischka so we just went around the room and each told a little about ourselves, where we are serving, how we met and our testimonies.  It was really nice to get to know some of the other couples.  President Brough kept calling to tell us the flight was delayed and by the time he got back with Elder K it was about 9:45 so he didn’t actually talk for very long.  We could tell that we were in for a special meeting on Friday.
It was nice to stay in a hotel, enjoy a continental breakfast and leisurely drive to the mission office.  Our meeting wasn’t until 1:45 so we had time to sleep in a little and be lazy.  We then went over to the mission office and picked up a microwave, some new frying pans and some other odds and ends that we need for the new apartment.  They have a recliner that they are going to bring to us when they come and get the washer and dryer on the 16th.  That will probably be when we actually move because once the washer and dryer are gone we are going to want to get it done.
We were told last Sunday that “the missionaries always do the Christmas Party” so we have been scrambling to get things organized.  We have a generous budget but I sure miss Winco.  Trying to get candy in bulk just isn’t happening and because the branch has never done just bags of candy and the orange and peanuts that are so traditional at home we wanted to do them.  It will all come together but take a little more careful planning.
We will be taking the Elders to Louisville tomorrow as Elder C goes home.  His parents are already here to pick him up as his mother served her mission here a number of years ago and came to visit with some of the people she has kept in contact with.  They are actually coming back to Tell City on Wednesday and we are doing a Christmas dinner for them.  It will be nice to meet his parents.  We are excited as always to learn who our new Elder will be.  We have heard that Elder E will be training a greeny which will be awesome.  Elder E is such a dynamic Elder that he will be a great trainer.
That’s all the news for rainy Indiana.  Remember that we each need to share our testimony at every opportunity.  That is something that has impressed me since we got here.  We have been here for 9 Fast Sunday’s and not once has there been any pause between testimonies.  These people love to share their testimonies and the spirit is always so strong.  There are seldom any talkamonies or travelogues but just sincere testimony.  We love our branch.
Elder and Sister Fullmer

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

Dear Loved Ones
We had Zone conference last week which is always such a spiritual high.  President Brough told about how in our mission it takes 71 new investigators to get 1 baptism and the rest of the world it takes 15-20.  We need to talk to people not contact them.  We need to be more open and friendly and not just treat it as “we have to have so many contacts so we will harass everyone we meet” kind of contacts.  He also told us of being a fighter pilot and how they were trained to keep turning to keep the “enemy” on their 3 o’clock position so they were always in sight.  The saying was Lose sight-lose fight.  We need to know what the goals are and how to achieve them.  He then told of going on his mission to England back in 1969.  That year that mission had set a goal to have 1200 baptisms.  It was December and the mission was close to their goal.  Pres. And his companion had set their goal as 7.  They had the number 7 all over their apartment, on 3x5 cards and a great big one in their window.  They talked to everyone they could and did get their 7 which gave the mission 1207 baptism for the year.  They never lost sight of their goal and accomplished it.
When we were talking about being prompted by the spirit Elder Pollack read a quote that Elder Bednar had given at the MTC.  He said “quit worrying about it.  Quit fussing with it.  Quit magnifying it. Keep the commandments and I promise you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that as you press forward with faith in Christ your footsteps will be guided.  As you open your mouth, it will be filled and you will be where you need to be and most of the time you will not even have any idea how you got there.”  Sometimes when we make our visits that is just how I feel.  We don’t know why we are prompted to go visit someone but it always seems to work out.
Most of last week I spent in bed and Evan worked on his talk.  I caught a cold and then it turned into a nasty cough.  I have felt pretty good except the cough.  Sleeping sitting up hasn’t helped much but that has been the only way I could keep from coughing.  I have to be over the cough by Thursday because we get to have a Senior Couples dinner and fireside on Thursday evening.  The fireside is with Elder Kopishke from the 70’s.  It will be so nice to meet all the other Senior Couples and have time to really get acquainted.  We are staying overnight in a hotel in Louisville because it worked out that because of a late flight Elder Kopishke won’t be able to start the fireside until 9:00 and we also have a mini mission conference with him the next day so rather than drive clear home and then back the next day we are staying over.  I am looking forward to the hot tub in our hotel.
We were able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with different families.  It was interesting to have real southern cooking and see the traditional dishes from here but I must say that I missed some of our traditional favorites.
It is official.  We are moving the first week in January.  Our current landlord is raising the rent on our home and we were able to find a duplex for less money.  We can actually start moving any time now as the new landlady said she didn’t even care about December’s rent but wanted us to move before the weather gets too bad.  I am going over to clean cupboards this morning and then we will probably start moving a few things.  It is surprising how much more stuff is in this house than was on the list from the mission office.  The couples before us have collected quite an assortment of furniture and kitchen appliances and as we are moving into a smaller place we need to get rid of some things. 
This week I have been so grateful for good health.  When an inconvenience such as the cold and cough which I have had the past week come along it is such a good reminder of how blessed we are to have good health and to be able to serve here.
 The gospel is true and we must be part of the hastening of the work. Take every opportunity to reach out to others and share what we are so blessed to have.
Elder and Sister Fullmer etc.