Sunday, February 24, 2008

February 23, 2008 Saturday

Grandparents again! Congratulations to Nathan and Jani. Our 9th grandson and 14th grandchild…… what a cutie! Eli John Cotton. Dad was very touched and got quite emotional saying the name and looking at his cute picture. We are indeed blessed!!!!!

This week marks our 6th month into the mission. We got about 6 e-mails from different missionary couples we were in the MTC with. After reading some of their experiences we feel very fortunate to be here in Jordan. We have had so many opportunities to be involved with many good productive projects. It seems that is not the case in some of the areas of the world. We feel very blessed to be so busy! Even when there are days we might think different.

Our 2nd wheelchair container came with no real problems. The distribution went well with only a few little aggravations. But, after the last one we have nothing to complain about, right? This week has been full with getting the wheelchairs out to the people. We went to a wheelchair ceremony in the Mafraq desert. It was quite impressive. As we drove up into a large field looking out over the desert, there in front of us were huge tents set up with runners of colorful flags flapping in the wind and draping across the ceremony area. Large pieces of carpets laid over the dirt that indicated the path we were to follow. I don’t know where they got all the carpet, but I bet there were many homes in the area with bare floors and empty rooms. We were led to one of the tents with several soft chairs and sofa’s lined up in front with bright red pieces of material placed on each seat. Hands were stretched out with the motion that we understood that this was our reserved seats…… we were 2 of the honored guests! After the ceremony, of course, we were invited to eat a feast. Mansaf …....again! We should feel honored. This is the dish that is to be the meal of all meals. Not our favorite! It is said that….. “it is all in the presentation”. The presentation is quite the ceremony. The meal is brought in on huge round trays that are set before you. The meal is hidden under large thin sheets of bread that are draped over a goat head. The head is set in the middle of a mound of rice as the skeleton jaws gape wide opened. Then with a sudden jerk of the bread being snatched away….. the head is unveiled and the steam from the rice finally escapes. Surprised? Only if the eye balls are still there! Now, that’s when we decline the honor of being honored. We draw the line with eating the eyeballs! We wanted to get pictures but it didn’t seem appropriate at the time. Last night we were guest at another dinner and were offered the tongue. Another honor! We never know what is in store for us. We just smile and take a deep breath!

We hope all is well with you. We sure love you and pray for each of you daily

Thinking of you always!


Dad and Mom

Your Jordan Missionaries

This weeks newsletter

Saturday, February 16, 2008

February 15, 2008 Friday

Hello….. yes, even in Jordan this is a common greeting, but add the Jordanian accent,

Hope all of you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I woke up and there sitting on the counter was a red rose from your dad. I don’t know when or how he managed to get it…. I won’t even ask, but I was impressed.

We just got back from visiting some families in the Branch. The Tashmans had invited us for Mansaf. A typical local dish of rice and lamb/chicken with a strong yogurt sauce that usually smells so BAD that it is even hard for Dad to get passed his nose. But we do our best! Like we have said before, the people here are so kind and gracious and always inviting us to eat. After dinner Dad got caught up in a friendly game of UNO. I laughed so hard! What a fun family! We speak very little Arabic and they speak very little English but we seem to understand each other. Some things are universal.

Tomorrow we finally have our 2nd Wheelchair Container being delivered out in the East Desert of Mafraq. We are relieved that this one has come without any real problems. But the real test will be tomorrow. We will start early and it will be an all day project to unload and distribute 250 wheelchairs to all the NGO’s and Societies. Making sure that the right sizes go to the right places will be my job. Dad will take care of un-loading the container. Sounds like fun, uh?

We hope all is well with you. It is so wonderful to get your emails. We enjoy feeling like we have had a nice visit with you. It’s such a great and easy way to communicate. What a blessing to be able to sit down and say what’s on your mind and send it with just a push of a button. Modern technology, Isn’t it amazing?

We send our love and prayers. We appreciate all of you and thank the Lord for blessing us with so much. Have a great week.

Your Jordan Missionaries

Here's this weeks newsletter

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Friday 9, 2008 Saturday

As -Sa Laam Aleekum

Let me begin by saying how grateful we are for the blessings we have.... Our family, friends, health and the knowledge we have of the Savior Jesus Christ. This past few weeks have been a little emotional. I'm not sure why. It's been a time of reflection and soul searching. I remember as a young mother feeling frustrated and wishing I could "be there" for all my children in all that they did and all that they were involved in... But having 8 active children that was not possible, and even now it is still not possible. In every stage of life we come to... there is an "evaluating point", and we have to decide how we go forward. Whether in a physical way, or an emotional way I've come to realize that "change" is an important part of the Lords Plan. We are given those periods to make changes and to improve. To you, my children, how I wish I was there to help each of you. My feelings are much the same that I remember as that young mother. The one difference is.... being so far away I know I can't be there right now. I am constantly praying for each one of you and each one of our sweet Grandchildren. We love you all so much! The comfort that comes to me is I know the Lord is guiding this family in all the changes that are going on in each of our lives. It is truly a blessing to have children that love one another. Who are each other's friends. Who are willing to help and support each other through the "changes". I certainly know it is not always easy or convenient. So, I thank each of you for being the people that you are. I've asked myself.... "if I knew what would be going on during this time would I have gone on this mission?" I won't answer that! I'm just glad the Lord gave us the conformation that it was time to go. Aren't we glad that the Lord knows the beginning through the end? Aren't we glad that it is HIS plan we are trying to live and know it will "all work out for our good?"

My prayer is that you will all constantly feel our love and our support no matter the distance. We in turn are constantly feeling each of your support and love no matter the distance. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve in Jordan. We are grateful to be having the experiences that cause the 'stretch marks' and reminds us that we are growing. Thank you for your good examples. I pray that you feel the strength of the Lord in each of your lives and know He is very mindful of you and what you are going through. He is very near...... and that is the real comfort that I seek for each of you.

Quote "Enjoying each day is an opportunity. But worrying about
the things and events that make up each day is a choice."

ove, Your Jordan Missionaries

Here's this weeks newsletter

Friday, February 1, 2008

February 1, 2008 Friday

As-Sa Laam Aleekum (Greetings, Peace be upon you)

We’re back!...... It has been a few weeks since we have sent out our “Jordan Missionary news.” I don’t know how time can go by so fast. The days are filled with so much to do. This past week as we have been out driving around Jordan we have spent time reflecting on the service that our dear Prophet has given throughout his life. What a tremendous example of service in action. We appreciate all of you that thought of us over here and took the time to email us the news of his passing last Sunday. Thank you!

We had our district conference a few weeks ago with Elder Kopescke. It was wonderful to be instructed and edified! We have had the opportunity to have him here several times over the last few months. I guess the Middle East continues to be of great concern because we are constantly being checked on and watched over. It’s good to know we are being “watched over” as we try to “watch over” and serve the people here in Jordan.

The other missionary couple, the Dews that were serving here in Jordan has recently gone home. We will miss them. They are not being replaced. So we have spent that last few weeks going through all the “stuff” that has been accumulated over the past few years by the different missionaries. What a job! We’ve been sorting through boxes and boxes of papers that have represented the files of humanitarian records, and church related material, not to mention all the other stuff. Being Country Directors of Jordan has had its opportunities! It’s just taken a lot of time and concentration to get everything updated and organized. BUT… I’m beginning to see some noticeable results. You know me…give me something to do when I see the “before” and “after” results…. I’m driven! Dad’s been teasing me about that!

I was reading some words of Dad’s that he wrote down in our “Quote and Thoughts” book today. I thought I’d share one of his thoughts. Remember how Dad is always writing thoughts in his planner?

"I love to fish. I have come to know that Christ does too. If I will let him,
He will take me fishing to lakes that I never knew before." JFC 12/1/07

Just something to think about! We sure love you all. Have a wonderful week and "remember who you are"!

Your Jordan Missionaries

Here's this weeks newsletter