September 1, 2019 - Our Savior Jesus Christ paid the price that we may live again and has taken the sting out of death. We add to that message: We can live again with our families - families are for ever. Death is never easy, whether the young or old die. We are sad at the loss of our loved ones. But they are NOT lost, we will "find" them on the other side where we can continue our relationships with them. They are only gone for a short while.

Sisters Oleson & Wiese and Karen and Eva. We went out to Eva's school again and helped her make a welcome bulletin board in the hall by her classroom. We also did name cards for where the students would be sitting and to show where they should hang their coats.
Sister Wiese and Oleson writing first names on the students name cards. The lucky kindergarten kids get to have Eva for their teacher.
Sadly, we went to a funeral this week for member Betsy's father-in-law who was a staunch Catholic. The funeral was held in St Patrick's Church in Brasher Falls. The church had about 20 beautiful stained glass windows. The Priest welcomed us and was so excited to have us come. Years ago he was the priest in Potsdam and had a great relationship with the members there. When we meet someone who says they are Catholic, we tell them, "We love the Catholics! We do lots of charitable work with Catholic Charities. Before we could say much to the priest, in so many words, he stole our thunder and in essence he said, "We love the Mormons! I have had so many good experiences with your church members!" We testify that our Heavenly Father loves ALL of His children. And that the world is a better place when we work side by side to serve those around us. And we know that we can be together as families on the other side.
A week ago, President Vest visited our Potsdam District Council to do interviews and Sister Vest took our picture: Elder & Sister St Julien, Sisters, Chanipo, Eloff, Oleson, Wiese, Elders Kelley, Roper, Seyfreid, Weber, President Vest, Mark & Karen.
Mark, Karen, Sister and Elder St Julien. Sister St Julien is the former Lorna Golding from Price, Utah where Karen and I grew up. Her dad was my 9th grade gym teacher. Small world.
When we went to visit a member of the branch, Gail, she showed us the 4 chicks that her daughter had bought her for her birthday. (With Gail's permission.) She was keeping them in the bathroom with a red warming light until they were ready to go out into the chicken coop. (My children better not get any ideas - I don't want any chickens - cute or not!!)
Sisters Oleson & Wiese at the Miniature Golf Course in Massena on preparation day. Sister Wiese wanted a rematch, she got whooped last time we went. I tried to teach her the "touch" that was required to be a successful putter. I gave her a few more pointers this time and all I have to say, is that I must be an awesome teacher...
We ran into Tom (a member of our Massena Branch) who was playing with his family including a very excited young grandson.
Sisters Oleson, Spear & Wiese. Karen is smiling because she beat me.
Sisters Oleson & Wiese are also smiling because them beat me.
I kept the score card and still lost. How can that be? I had two chances to win, one with my putter which failed me and one with my addition - but alas I felt compelled to keep a fair and accurate accounting of the game - must be the accountant in me! But clearly, with Sister Wiese leaping from last to first, I must be the world's best teacher!

We just finished a seven-week Bible Study Class that the Sisters taught each Friday. We had some great discussions and felt a very sweet spirit as we studied the Savior's Life. Other Branch Members and a few people that are currently being taught joined us. Here is the schedule:

This was a difficult week for us. We have gone with the Sisters when they visited with Reggie for several months. Karen and I made several visits by ourselves to talk with and help Reggie. He loved Dairy Queen Blizzards and we would try to bring one we we came. He had been in and out of the hospital, nursing home and rehab center. We visited on Wednesday and he was doing great - the best in a long time. He was so encouraged. He asked questions about what happens next when we leave this life. And we talked with him for a few minutes and told him that he needed to talk with the Sister Missionaries and let them teach him. He told us to have them come over, he was ready. We called Reggie on Thursday night, and he was not doing well. The Sisters got a hold of him and he said he couldn't meet he just wasn't doing well. When he didn't respond on Friday, they felt that they should go by Saturday morning.. There were several cars at Reggie's house and lots of people. They went and knocked and were told that Reggie had just passed away with his family gathered around. We know that Reggie is going to meet Karen's dad and when Frank asks Reggie where he came from and that he is from Massena, Frank is going to say, I have a daughter and her husband who are serving a mission there. Come with me, I will take care of you. So, long Reggie, we love you. Tell Frank Hi for us!
Tonya at Nature Nuts at the Nature Center. They talked with kids about Otters this week.
We had a service project this week at the church. The shrubs on one side of the driveway have grown out too much and you couldn't see the traffic, so Chris & Rita who are currently being taught the gospel along with Karen and I, cleared them out. Safe driving ahead! Thanks, Chris & Rita.
Shake Night! 17 people this week. This is Rozani, Rebekah, Craig and Maxwell - a family from our Branch that came.
Carrie is the YW President in our Branch. She is awesome and the girls love her. She earned her shake - she was great at remembering all the names from the name game. She was on my team one time and made me look really good. The Sisters gave another great message - such a wonderful feeling coming together for a lesson and shakes!

Two deaths in one week are two too many. We are grateful for our knowledge of the Great Plan of Happiness: We can return to live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with our families. We pray for these families, that the Holy Ghost will comfort them and support them in their time of loss. I have found comfort in this poem:

The Ship - Bishop Brent
What is dying?
I am standing on the seashore, a ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says: "She is gone."
Gone from my sight that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone!"
There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes!"
And that is dying.