Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Medford we checked into the Holiday Inn Express, then went to the temple. I had forgotten my recommend, but fortunately the temple president was able to contact Bishop Bean and I got in. (Alas, Eugene had also forgotten his recommend, and his bishop could not be located. He waited in the car.)
The next morning we
attended zone conference. Elder Kikuchi was the guest speaker and he gave a great presentation.



10-28-10 – Headed over to Medford for our first zone conference. We stopped at the Jedediah Smith State Park to walk around in some groves of giant redwoods. It is a beautiful and amazing area. It was raining quite steadily, though, so we weren’t able to enjoy it as much as if it had been nice weather. Also it was too dark and wet to take pictures.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Okay - finally some pics of where we live. There are several state parks all around us. One of our faves is a place called Indian Sands. After a walk through the woods, you come out onto a stretch of sand dunes, which end in some steep, craggy, volcanic-rock type cliffs overlooking the ocean.

video

We like to scare ourselves by climbing out onto the cliffs and getting as close as we dare to the ocean. Don't worry - we are not THAT close!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is the first photo we took in Oregon. It's in the town of Glide, near where we spent the first night. I wasn't purposely closing my eyes; I was merely blinking. (Notice Eugene always looks good in his photos.)
But let's back up just a little. After leaving Utah, we spent Saturday night in Winnemucca, NV. Sunday morning we found a sacrament meeting to attend and one of the speakers was a young man who clearly had some disabilities. He told a story that impressed us both very much and we found it later on the internet:

Clay Balls (author unknown)

"A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone.

Excited the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure.

He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he just threw it away.

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person by God.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay.

May we see the people in our world as God sees them. "

I could just imagine that during this young man's life he had probably been regarded by many as not very valuable because of the clay vessel they saw. His father, who was the next speaker, said that when this young man was turning eight years old, there was some question about whether he needed to be baptized. He insisted on it, however, and so he was. When he was old enough he insisted on serving a mission, so they made special arrangements for him to live with a member in Salt Lake City, close enough for him to ride his bicycle every day to Welfare Square, where he served a full time mission washing dishes in the kitchen there. It was all quite inspiring to hear.

We like the story so much we have been using it as we visit with the members.

So, eventually we made it out of the wasteland that is Nevada and into Oregon, where the scenery changed immediately to lush green forests, mountains and rivers. Anyway, it seemed that way! After traveling many hours through endless forests and canyons, and one time going in the wrong direction 40 miles, we arrived at the home of President Smith and his lovely wife, Laura. President Smith is second counselor in the mission presidency and is assigned to work with the senior couples. They welcomed us warmly into their beautiful home, fed us a yummy dinner and gave us a comfy room for the night. This was way better than many bed and breakfast places we have stayed!

The next morning as we left Laura told us to be sure to stop and see the place where 3 rivers meet, so that is what the picture is of. Unfortunately, you cannot see that much detail from the picture. It was a pretty spot.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Here we are in the MTC, doing the obligatory "point to the place you are going" pose, with Eugene doing the pointing to Brookings, Oregon.
Maybe I should explain a little bit about who Eugene the Jeep is. You kids who are too young to know need to find an old - really old - black and white Popeye cartoon. The Jeep was Popeye's magical disappearing dog. You can probably find one of the cartoons on youtube.
While in the MTC for 5 days, we met some really great people, headed all over the world for different types of missions. We heard some inspiring speakers and had excellent teachers, too.
For those of you planning to serve a mission anytime in your future, be warned - the food is not as fabulous as you may have heard. However, there are some pretty okay desserts and there is always ice cream.


Post number 2!
This is us outside Dyleah's house (Dylan plus Leah equals Dyleah). Leah took this of us Oct. 11 just before we entered the MTC.
This was the first public appearance of our little mascot, Eugene the Jeep. (get it - Oregon EUGENE Mission?) He will show up now and then in our photos. It just seemed so fitting that we take him along.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This was going to be our photo for submitting with our mission papers, but it was the wrong size. So it will be our first blog picture instead!
We have been called to serve in the Oregon Eugene Mission, starting October 11, 2010. We are assigned to the southern coastal town of Brookings for 18 months. We are pretty happy about it, because Brookings is beautiful, we have a nice home to live in, and members of the ward are friendly and eager to help us find people to teach.
All our married life we have planned to serve a mission together and the day is finally here. We are excited and a little scared. But we are willing!