October 20, 2019 - On Saturday morning, October 19th, President M Russell Ballard, acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder D Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Randall K Bennett, President of the North America Northeast Area spoke via satellite broadcast from Sharon, Vermont - the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. The meeting was broadcast to missionaries serving in the 19 missions in this Area.

Elder Bennett, President Ballard and Elder Christofferson in the visitors center at Sharon, Vermont, birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. (Church News Photo)
President Ballard and Elder Christofferson enjoying a quiet moment surrounded by the beautiful fall foliage. (Church News Photo)

One short thought by President Ballard - while his audience was full-time missionaries - I think his message applies to all of us:
When we fall in love with Jesus Christ and internalize what Gethsemane was all about - that Jesus Christ became our Savior and our Redeemer and took upon himself all of our sins and burdens, then we can get to know who He really is. We must learn to love Him from the crown of our head to the soles of our feet. Then we will get over everything that is holding us back.

We also had an adult Devotional that was also broadcast via satellite Sunday afternoon at 4pm. President Ballard, Elder Christofferson and Elder Bennett all spoke again. What a unique opportunity to hear a second time from these servants of God. We were well fed again. Elder Bennett gave us some good advice when we are trying to follow Elder Uchtdorf's counsel of inviting others to:
Come and see.
Come and help.
Come and stay.
Elder Bennett told us that we might have to add one more invitation:
Come and eat!

We helped with transfers again this week. We picked up Elder Winward in Potsdam (he was serving in Malone, but his companion brought him to Potsdam to meet with up with us.) We took him to Syracuse. Elder Winward is weighing his luggage under the watchful eye of Elder Sudsweek. He made it under the 50 pound limit: 49.8 pounds! Elder Winward was headed home after completing an honorable mission.
We went from Syracuse to the mission office at Liverpool, a suburb of Syracuse - only about 10 minutes away. We picked up Sister Potts who was being transferred from the Hill Cumorah where she had served for 6 months as a Historical Sites Missionary. She is coming to Massena to be in a trio with our Sister Missionaries. Let's just say, she had a LOT of stuff as you can see.
We also gave a ride to Elder Richins who was headed to Malone to take Elder Winward's place.
Our new trio of Sister Missionaries after transfers: Sisters Penrod, Wiese and Potts. Lucky us!!!
I had to make my quarterly trek to go to the lab to get my blood tested. My doctor is in Potsdam. After my blood tests, we went to breakfast at the Soul Waffle - they obviously specialized in yummy waffles. We get to go back next week to meet with the Doctor and review the results of the blood tests.
FHE Group - Sister Webber sitting with Sister Ward who is "smoking" a pretzel stick - she looks a lot like Groucho Marx. Tim is giving us the peace sign. The rest of the gang enjoying treats after our lesson where we discussed our Area Plan since it was emphasized in District Conference again. Maybe we will listen and act one of these days! The good news is we are trying.
This weeks Nature Nuts activity at the Nature Center where we serve each week was studying spiders. The kids got to make a spider out of a small chocolate donut, pretzels and M&M's for eyes.
The Massena Red Raiders took on the Potsdam Sandstoners in girls swimming. Two of our young women are on the team, Rebekah & Brandi (3rd & 4th from the left). I thought University High School where 4 of our children went to school was bad: it was known as U-High and the kids all said, that's a school, not a question. Well implying that the students where all high was bad enough, but the Potsdam kids refer to themselves as the "Stoners" - I would suppose that gives all of the adults heartburn!
Rebekah competing in one of several races.
Brandi is off to the races. Massena easily beat Potsdam in the meet.
Last Preparation Day we went to Thacher Park near Jessy's house and took a short hike with the kids. What a beautiful view and gorgeous day. We loved spending the day with Will, Lucy, Annie and Jack. (Oh yeah, and Jessy and Josh.)

Check out Jack and Annie racing down the slide together.

Oh to be young and so excited about zooming down the slide.

Speaking of being young - Jessy decided to race Annie down the slide.

Jack and Will playing on the slide. Josh, Jessy, Karen and Annie taking a quick rest.

Lucy and Karen playing a Rhyming Clapping Game that gets faster and harder...

The park had a great kids zip line.
Jack on zip line

Annie on zip line

Lucy on zip line

Will on zip line

Another busy week in Paradise. Non-pictured service:
Two Hospice visits to Nursing Home – Tuesday and Thursday
Young Women’s on Wednesday night
Watched Seminary Virtual Gathering with Young Women
BYU PathwayConnect – Week 5 on Thursday night – we have 21 students who are working hard.
Elder’s Quorum Presidency Meeting and visits – met with Ministering Brethren to hand out new Ministering assignments
Attended Bible Study on Friday afternoon
Virtual Zoom Mission-wide Conference to discuss Missionary Devotional – therefore, what?
Missionary Co-Ordination Meeting
Piano Lessons with 2 of the Massena Branch children
Choir Practice
2nd Devotional on Sunday afternoon with President Ballard, Elder Christofferson and Elder Bennett
Shake night - 12 people, lots of shakes, a great spiritual thought from our Sister Missionaries - we watched the video: Mountains to Climb - Gaining Power to Overcome Challenges in Life and then we played some games - always a good time - 5 nonmembers hanging out with us.
And lots of visits and delivering of treats to members and friends of the church.