June 23, 2019 - On July 1, 2019 the New York Utica Mission and the New York Rochester Mission are combining into one Mission which is going to be the New York Syracuse Mission. The Rochester Mission has gone down from about 150 Missionaries to about 85 Missionaries in preparation of the merge. The Utica Mission is currently going down from about 150 Missionaries to the same 85 Missionaries.

The Mission Office asked us to help clean apartments that are now vacant because we are decreasing the complement of missionaries assigned to the New York Utica Mission. This Sisters apartment in Oneida, New York was a large apartment on the second floor of a older Victorian style home. There was this beautiful stained glass window in the outside wall of the home as you came up the stairs.
Sometimes, I'm not the only one that is LOST! We were trying to find the apartment in Oneida, NY and the GPS was as lost as we were!!! Fortunately, we got it worked out.
Besides learning our New Mission's name, we got new sisters in our Massena Branch. Sisters Oleson and Wiese, Karen and Mark - We took the Sisters to see a ship in the Lock on preparation day. Sister Wiese just came from the MTC and she is from Phoenix, Arizona - I am positive she will love the nice cold winters in the North Country. Sister Wiese has been out about a year and is from West Point, Utah.

This ship is going down to the ocean - it came into the lock and dropped 42 feet so it could sail out on the other side and make its way down the St Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean.

Sister Oleson thought we said we were having a Pajama Party and so she wore her slippers to Missionary Coordination Meeting. We're going to get along great!!! She's brand new, but has already learned our 4 word summary for our Branch Mission Plan: Pray Daily, Invite Often! We had a great meeting and love working with the Sister Missionaries and Bro & Sis Hann who are Branch Missionaries.
A snapping turtle is laying its eggs (sometimes 25 or more) in the grass right off the road leading to the Nature Center. They told us that the turtle's will often lay eggs by pavement because they like the heat that radiates off the pavement from the sun.
Mark, Chris, John and Everette are getting ready to install a flag pole for John.
Hole has been dug, we put into some rock and then some sand and now the concrete. Check back next week to see the flag unfurling in the wind.
The geese hang out in the St Lawrence River right by our house - lots of baby goslings with their mothers.
Flowers that Karen saw on her walk along the dyke by the golf course.
We helped recent convert Karen get things ready for her garage sale.
There is a fighter plane in the park outside recent convert Tom's apartment. We parked and called him on the phone. We were going to wave at him to come down so we could talk, but he didn't answer his phone. Karen went up and knocked on his door and invited him to church.

We had Zone Conference in Utica this week. Great training on Finding people to teach. President Vest discussed foreordination. Being foreordained doesn't mean that it WILL happen - what happens is based upon how we use our agency. One of our greatest desires should be to be true to who we were foreordained to be. I invite each of you to ponder on who you were foreordained to be and then strive each day to be true to who you can be.

We had Zone Conference in Utica this week. Sisters Oleson and Wiese. That's their Toyota truck that they get to drive. All the Elders in the Mission are jealous! (The Elders used to drive the 2 or 3 trucks in the mission, but they lost privileges - guess they had too much fun with the trucks.) The mission office installed new tiwi's in all the mission cars and trucks...these little GPS devices track everything - speed, location, aggressive driving, etc. And the info gets reported to the Mission Office. Too many infractions and the missionaries loose their driving privileges. Good thing they don't put one of those on our car - Karen would be walking for sure!!!
Potsdam Elders - Elder Proper (who used to serve in Massena with us) and Elder Weber who was our District Leader but is now our Zone Leader.
Sister Vest and Karen chatting after Zone Conference
Sister Oleson and Wiese with other Sister Missionaries at Zone Conference

After cleaning the missionary apartment in Oneida, we drove to Jessy's house so that we could watch Will's Championship Little League baseball game.
Will was leadoff hitter and got a Single!

Will stole second and then stole third. Unfortunately he was stranded on third.
Jessy and Karen - Best fans in the stands: Mom and Grammy
Will pitched, played catcher, first base and short stop. He did great. It took extra innings, but they won 12-7. Way to go Will - we were so glad that we got to see you play.

We had a great week and were able to work with a lot of members and friends of the church. This is the Lord's work and we are grateful to do our small part.