Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

We had interviews with our mission president this past week and he said that we have an office couple coming in but no one else in the foreseeable future.  While he was doing interviews the AP’s gave the training.  It was a really good training on the “7 deadly fallacies of the GKLM”  (Great Kentucky Louisville Mission) and then squashed each one.     Fallacy #1.  Humility is tearing yourself down and emphasizing every flaw.  Rather it is recognizing our weaknesses and our strengths and being grateful for them.  They talked about the difference between confidence and pride.  Fallacy #2  We are here to have “fun”.  We need to remember our purpose.    Fallacy  #3  Being bold but not offensive.  No sissies in the scriptures.  Getting rid of the fluff and making boldness =prayer +study+skills.  Fallacy #4  We don’t need to study PMG chap. 3.  We did a quiz and it showed me the areas I need to focus more on studying.  “the devil is the master of complexity but God is the master of simplicity.”   They told of Brother Huntsinger whose mother was a new member who set up a meeting with the Elders and ask him to please come.  He said he would but only wanted answers to his questions from the Bible.  They answered his questions with the Bible and then backed them all up with the Book of Mormon and he knew it was true.   Fallacy #5 The Lord’s work will get done no matter what I do.”  I know we each can touch someone because of who we are or how we relate to them.  It may be someone that no one else has been able to reach.   Fallacy #6  Losing yourself in the work means becoming a robot or holier than thou or “bro”.  The consecrated missionary is exactly obedient but humble.  We still need to keep our personalities and be us but be obedient in all things.  Fallacy #7 We cannot baptize.  Hermana Magale told us about getting to dance in Japan.  The singer for the group was named Jermain and he had served his mission in Japan 10 years before.  His goal had been to baptize a family but he only baptized. Ding.  Going home from his mission to Australia he had a taxi driver who was really helpful but he didn’t have enough money to pay him but gave him a Japanese Book of Mormon which the driver accepted just because he was helpful.  At their dance performance Jermain suddenly stopped singing because he saw Ding.  When he talked to him he found that Ding had just recently returned from his mission to Australia.  He told of a family that was getting ready for baptism and he was helping them move and noticed a Japanese Book of Mormon on the shelf.  He picked it up and the man told him he couldn’t even read it.  Ding saw that it was signed by Jermain.  So Jermain taught and baptized Ding, shared a Book of Mormon and 10 years later Ding taught the family of the man who received the Book of Mormon.  We never know what the Lord’s time frame is.   It was such a good training in which they taught with spiritual experiences, humor, role playing, videoing with the iPads  and challenges.
Last night we drove to Louisville to the monthly fireside for new members and investigators.  It was such a boost for Sydney to hear of others struggles but to feel of their testimonies.  She truly bore a strong testimony of the Savior and the help the gospel has been to her.  She had so many people stop her afterwards to tell her how she had touched them.  Even with her struggles and the baby steps she is taking it was a good experience for her.  She also had a friend with her who seemed to enjoy it all.  That is one thing we all need to remember with a new member.  They are sometimes coming from a totally different world and are making huge changes in their lives and we need to love and help them and not be critical if they don’t immediately understand and change everything. 
Other than that day the rest of the week has been pretty normal.  We did have our usual monthly temple trip which is always a good break.  We talked to a young woman here on a school trip whose parents just got their mission call to Alabama.  SENIOR COUPLES ARE SO NEEDED.  If you know anyone who could serve please encourage them to do so.  I looked at the opportunities for senior missionaries on the church site and there are so many senior couples needed in so many places.  We have been so blessed in being able to serve here.  It will be interesting to see where the Lord takes us next.  
We hope you are all taking opportunities to share your testimonies and love of the gospel.  That is what hastening the work is all about.

Love
Elder and sister Fullmer

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 3-22, 2015

It is hard to believe that it has been 3 weeks since my last email.  Time just flies so fast and the days now seem so ordinary that it is hard to write.  We still visit the less actives each month as well as doing lots of home and visiting teaching.  
We really enjoyed watching nature unfold in our front yard the past 3 weeks.  We noticed a killdeer that had a nest in our front yard which is just gravel.  She would sit on her four eggs faithfully or stand beside them to shade them.  It was so hard to even see her until we knew exactly where to look she blended in so well with the gravel.  If we would notice that she wasn’t on her nest we would try and sneak out to see her eggs but she or the male were never far away and would start screeching and scolding us and try to lead us away.  We studied up on this bird and learned that when the eggs hatch they don’t need to be fed like robins do or take time to develop because they incubate for two weeks longer than other birds and just come out and immediately start running and following their mother.  Unfortunately for me the eggs all hatched while I was in Utah and I missed their first exploration outside their eggs.  Evan took pictures and told me about it and it was fun to see them when I got home.  They have long skinny legs and just run so fast.  They were around for a few days but we can’t find them now and with the storms we have been having we don’t have any idea where they could be.  It really was fascinating.
 
I had a wonderful but way too short time in Utah with my girls.  We of course stayed up way too late, ate too much and talked and laughed a lot. One day I went to see my dentist and had a crown put on a broken tooth.  It meant I also went to our house and had forgotten what a whirlwind we had left in.  It could use some major tidying but will still be there when we get home.  It was a rejuvenating 5 days even if it did wear me out to get back on those late flights.
 
We have had a great experience this past week.  We took the Elders to visit some families about 20 miles away but no one was home so we stopped in to see a less active we catch occasionally.  She was home and also asked her 15 year old daughter to come in and read with us.  The daughter Alyssa has since read in the Book of Mormon and wants to know more.  We had committed her to reading the introduction to the Book of Mormon before our return and she has since been texting the elders asking them lots of questions about what she has been reading.   She is way past where we thought she would be.   She is reading but doesn’t understand.  It will be hard if she is the one prepared for the gospel because she is only 15 and lives so far out of town and doesn’t have a driver’s license but maybe this is what it will take to get her mother to come back.  They did cancel our Sunday meeting because of father’s day but we are scheduled for tomorrow.  We believe in miracles.
 
We have had some magnificent thunder and lightning storms the last few days.  At 3:30 this morning the lightning seemed to strike right outside our bedroom window.  We have had major tornado warnings but thankfully they have all passed us by.  We seem to always be in another part of our area when the tornadoes are spotted in town.  We saw pictures of a funnel cloud on our street but of course we were miles away.  I guess all the prayers for the safety of the missionaries are really being fulfilled in our behalf. 
 
I was feeling a little down one day wondering if we have really made any difference in this branch and was talking to the mother of the 4 young boys and she said we had made a huge difference for them because they had been able to go to the temple every month because we have been willing to tend their boys which they haven't been able to do for a long time.  Not having any young women in our branch has limited them as to who they even knew to use for a babysitter.  Others reassured me that the family history work we have been able to do has been a blessing for the branch so I guess we have been helping in some ways.  Elder Fullmer did take a member who was less active for years to the temple a couple of weeks ago and did baptisms for the dead.  He is trying to get ready for the temple in another few months so there has been some progress.
 
President Hardman called us in yesterday and asked me to unofficially be the Primary President.  Many Sundays in the past year I have been filling in as the president had cancer and her daughter who is her caretaker were so often gone.  Now they have moved to Utah so there really is no one else.  Sydney is willing to do whatever I explain to her needs to be done but is still so new.  We are working well together sharing responsibilities.  We are thankful for being able to download the primary songs as our pianist only knows some of the songs and our boys really do love to sing.  Sydney is learning right along with the boys and the primary lessons are just what she needs.  It truly helps me as I prepare a lesson for a range of ages from 4 up to 20.  She just soaks it all up like a sponge.  I never thought I would spend as much time on a primary lesson as I used to spend on a Gospel Doctrine lesson.
 
We visited with a man who had his name taken off the records of the church probably 35 years ago.  His wife is less active but we really enjoy their company.  Elder Fullmer just ask him if he had ever thought about coming back to the church and he said that was the first time anyone had ever ask him.  We spent the next 3 hours talking and discussing his questions.  He said that science isn't answering his questions and he always thought religion wasn't.  Sometimes it just takes being bold and asking.   The gospel is true so what else matters.  Don't be afraid to ask someone what they know and if they would like to know more.   Remember D&C 123:12 "who are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it."
 
Love Elder and Sister Fullmer
Mom and Dad
Imagine how hard it would have been to see this momma bird standing on our porch looking into the gravel.  You couldn't see the baby birds until I cropped the picture and inlarged them.

 

Friday, June 12, 2015

May 12, 2015

Hello to all from beautiful Indiana
The weather has now turned to the hot humid days with a teaser day with cool breezes thrown in.  I love the sunshine but the heat just wears us out.  I can’t imagine what it is like where our daughter Kellie is living in Africa where it is 110 degrees.  They had the opportunity to go to Germany for a week and when I talked to their five year old and asked her what she liked most about the trip she said the hotel room with the air conditioning.  It puts it into perspective when we go from our air conditioned house to our air conditioned car to someone else’s air conditioned home.  We are so blessed.
I spent a lot of the last week working on Family Search.  I am teaching a class tonight and wanted to know all about the new changes so was going through each tab to learn what it did.  I knew there would be a lot of information on John Solomon Fullmer because of his prominent role in the church so I went to his person page.  I looked in the memories that have been put online and went through the pictures, documents and histories.  I noticed the name of Noah Thomas Guymon on one of the histories and I knew that name was from my family history.  I read the history and learned that Noah Thomas Guymon who is my great great grandfather and John Solomon Fullmer who is Evan’s great great grandfather were mission companions in England back in the early 1850’s.  We have been married for almost 45 years and never knew we had this connection.  It shows that even when you think all of your genealogy has been done there are still wonderful things you can learn about your family.
I have also been spending lots of time working on Primary trying to help our new presidency member.  We spent some time working up a sharing time with the help of some wonderful things our daughter Kimberly sent.  We only had the 3 Osborn boys to primary so it was a little different than planned but it worked well.  We taught them the abcd’s of repentance or admit, be sorry, confess and change and don’t do it again.  They wanted to come up with a word for each letter of the alphabet to do with repentance so we did.  It meant we didn’t have time for singing time or a lesson but it was them really thinking about repentance.  They came up with some good ideas of words to associate with each letter.   This wouldn’t have been possible in a larger Primary so I guess there are a few tiny perks in having such a small group.  Our little 4 year old had a hard time and ended up under his chair but was quiet doing it.  We have a challenge of keeping him interested unless we are really active.  Sydney(our new member) certainly has no hesitations when working with the kids.  She is a natural teacher and loves sharing her testimony so much. 
While I have been doing all this Evan has spent more time with the Elders or doing service with some of the members.  We both keep busy but sometimes not together.  I went and helped a family pack to get ready for their move while he was cutting wood which he so enjoys.  That is the wonderful thing about an MLS mission.  There are so many different aspects of what we can do to help.  Everything is in some way helping the members of our branch or the investigators we are working with.   This is also the way each of us should be helping in the hastening of the work.  We can do service, fulfill our callings, do family history and attend the temple.  Sometimes a service project which can involve a non-member or less active is just the thing for them to feel needed which we all need.  Family search is a great tool.  We have had several of our less actives say they are coming tonight to learn about family search which we hope happens.  They have expressed an interest in learning more about their families and as I have started looking into their lines I have found that lots of temple work has been done by members of their family somewhere.
We love you all and encourage each of you to share your testimony not only by your actions but don’t be afraid to speak up and tell people.  We know that the gospel is true and we are grateful for the opportunity to have a more active part in sharing it in our everyday life.
Love
Elder and Sister Fullmer
 
Yesterday for our preparation day we took the Elders and drove to Santa Claus.  They both wanted to go see what was there so Elder Fullmer graciously took us even though he would have rather done something else with his day.  We did manage to get him out of the car for one picture with Santa.  The other pictures are Elder Stewart and Elder Gould.
Also we saw this creature out in the woods and after taking his picture from a distance, managed to get a picture with him. We do see amazing things in this country.
 





Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015
The days are flying so fast I have had a hard time finding a minute to write.  We have kept very busy helping our friends pack up their house for the move, visiting and home teaching, appointments with the Elders, doing laundry on the fly as we run in and out, loading the dishwasher whenever we get a spare moment and generally eating whatever is quick and easy(usually fattening).  Also two days of the flu, an ice cream social, a branch temple trip and plenty of primary planning.
One of the highlights of the last two weeks was our meeting for the I-pad training.  We went to Louisville for the ipad conference.  We thought we wouldn’t be a part of the meeting but just take the Elders.  On Monday I had read President Brough’s email and he said that Elder Zwick and Brother Hemingway were coming and to not try and get pictures taken with Elder Zwick as they would be on a time schedule.  I knew cousin Mike Hemingway worked for the mission department so was pretty sure it would be him.  When they all walked into the meeting sure enough it was Mike.  We get to go through and shake hands with the visiting authority and anyone else with him as well as President and Sister Brough.  When I got to Mike I shook hands and then said “Is that all I get”.  When he realized it was me he gave me a big hug and told Elder Zwick I was his cousin.  It was fun to see him and when he got up to talk he told of how surprised he was to see his cousin Trudy-or Sister Fullmer and how our Grandma Laws was probably getting a big kick out of it.  I was able to visit with him during the break.  I told him of my desires to serve some kind of family search mission and he told me to just get in touch with him when we get home and he would help us talk to all the right people and decide what we want to do next. I wanted to get a picture but didn’t have time then.  At the end of the meeting President Brough asked that we all stay seated because they needed to get them all to the airport.  I was afraid I wouldn’t get a picture but Mike came back and had us come out in the hall where he had Evan take a picture of the two of us, then President Brough took a picture of the three of us and then Mike had Elder Zwick get in the picture.
That was the fun part of the conference but the best part was the spiritual experience of being there.  The whole conference was about the use of the new I-pads and the trust that is being put into these young people to use them correctly.  Mike read a quote from President Benson from 1974 saying the inventions coming that would help spread the gospel were beyond what we could imagine.  Mike asked what we have now that we didn’t have in 1974 –besides all of them.  These young people have grown up with so many things we never dreamed of and it is just a part of their lives.  Who ever thought we would have so much information in something as small as a cell phone.   Mike emphasized how these are for the spreading of the gospel and not just a social outlet.   
Elder Zwick talked a little bit about his mission.  His mission president was Richard G. Scott and at one point Elder Zwick went and helped build the first tiny chapel in Argentina where there is now a temple.  His father had a construction company and he had worked there and knew about building.  One of the quotes that he gave which I especially liked was “I can’t do perfect but I can do faithful or perfect obedience.”
I wish I had been able to record all of the meeting as it was so powerful.  There is no way to share the spirit that was there.
We had decided to see about extending our mission for a couple of months as we want to go to Georgia to see our son John and his wife Audie before we come home.  John said we didn’t really want to come to Georgia the end of August so we talked to our Mission President about extending.  There are no senior couples coming to our mission in the near future and we are already down from 13 couples to 6 with the office couple leaving in August and another couple in September.  We got a call from President Brough on Memorial Day and our extension was approved in Salt Lake so we are staying until October.  He said “ So your release date will be February 24 of 2016”.  We laughed and said no just until October.  Our release date would be the 24th but I asked if we could leave the 22nd so we could make it to Georgia to see John and Audie on the weekend instead of having to waste a week as the 24th is a Saturday.  He said as seniors we can leave anytime we want.  So we get to stay with the people we have grown to love for an extra two months.
For our p-day this week our friends the Wilson’s took us Mammoth Caves.  It is only 63 miles there but because of the winding roads it takes nearly two hours to get there.  When we got there we would have had to wait for an hour and a half for the historic tour so just took the small tour which turned out to be a real disappointment.  We just went down through the two main caverns, listened to the guide talk about his ancestors who didn’t come from Africa but from England as servants to a rich man, had him tell us that he couldn’t turn the lights off because another tour was coming through and then just turned them off for a brief moment and the we were done and went back to the beginning.  It was very disappointing not to actually see anything but two big open caves which were impressive in their size but nothing to brag about.  We wandered through the displays and learned some of the history.  There are 440 miles of caves which have been discovered since 1837 and they just keep finding more.  It would be nice to go back and spend more time on one of the other tours.  After leaving the park and driving back a few miles for lunch we got turned around and the phones had no signal so we just drove until we found ourselves back at the caves.  It was open enough there that we got signal and found the way to go.  It took us a totally different route which included a ferry ride across the Green River.  It was only about 5 or 6 car lengths across but still a new thing I had never done.
On Tuesday we spent 6 hours helping our friends pack up the truck for their move.  I would feel worse about them moving except for the fact that they are moving to Utah so we will have the opportunity to visit them there.  They are actually bringing the computer cabinet that was given to us by some other friends (when we moved them the second time) so we will have it when we get home.
Today we left really early to make it to the temple again with our friends the Wilson’s.  They wanted to go earlier than we usually go on our monthly trips so we could get some extra work done for her family.  After leaving the temple we were planning on going to New Albany to see mansion row but decided on the spur of the moment to go to Joe’s Crab Shack for lunch.  We looked at the prices when we got there and sort of wished we hadn’t but ended up with some really nice meals.  It is right on the Ohio River and was a nice once in a lifetime experience.  We then went to a New Albany and found the mansion row and after a wait went through the tour of the Culbertson Mansion.  They are completely restoring the mansion and it is beautiful as mansions were in the early 1800’s.  They have one room that shows just how the restoration is happening.  They take all the paint off until they find the original ceiling, put a new ceiling up and paint it just as it was originally.  The main floor is done and part of the rooms on the second floor but the third floor is pretty much as it was for so many years.  It was a fun thing to see even though it meant lots of stairs.
I am looking forward to my trip home next week.  I get to come and spend 5 days with my daughters(and any sons I can) while Elder Fullmer continues the work here with the Elders and the service he does for so many.  When we planned the trip it seemed so far in the future and now it is almost here.  The weeks seem to only be about 4 days long.
We know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the way to happiness.  We are so grateful for the knowledge we have of our Savior’s atonement and the joy it brings as we apply it in our lives.  Take time to feast on the words of the Book of Mormon and then share it with everyone you meet.
Have a great week.  We love you all.
Elder and Sister Fullmer

Mom and Dad

I will try and send pictures tomorrow.