Saturday, February 11, 2012

So many temple trips and each one has been special in it's own way.  We've been able to experience with those who go to the temple for the first time, or returning after a long absence, that wonderful joy that can only be found when doing work for our ancestors who have not had the opportunity while on this earth.  February 4 was one of those extra special experiences.  We had the largest branch attendance since we have been here - 19 members of the Marion Branch (we consider us to be members of the branch).  It was our Stake baptism day for the youth.  Our youth consisted of 1 teenager, our newest member - age 23 - a giant of a man both spiritually and next to the rest of us, physically (6' 9" - not small in stature), 1 deaf mute, 2 downs syndrome (ages 29-41) a brother my age and a sister just younger than me - all so very young at heart. Only 2 of them had done baptisms before so it was an amazing experience watching them.

This is our group.  We didn't realize Sis. Weatherford
was still in the temple and Bro. Weatherford was in
his car taking a catnap, so they missed the photo shoot.
Now, for the workings of the spirit.  Sis. Page had a son take his own life 2 years ago this month.  Her health has not been good for a long time and many times we thought she was going to give up.  Because of some other circumstances, she had to get permission from the first presidency to have his work done.  The day she received the letter giving her permission and the temple card along with it, her health completely turned around.  She was able to go to the temple to witness him being  baptized and confirmed by proxy along with her mother and grandmother. The spirit was so strong.  We had a total of 58 family names to be baptized.  Pres. Harvey handed me the names to sort out according to priority in case we were unable to get them all done.  So, I put them in groups of 5 (that's all they wanted each one to do).  Sis. Page and Sis. Allen had come only to observe and Bro. Lane came to do his own family names so they were top of the list.  The rest were just randomly sorted.  Our new member had the privilege of being baptized for Sis. Page's son, and the rest were from the Hill family. As he was looking through the cards, he noticed that two of the cards were his ancestors - he didn't have time to get names for himself.  The Lord does work in mysterious ways.  And, all 58 were baptized and confirmed.  Sis. Allen and Sis. Page were able to get confirmed for their female ancestors. Elder Lovell did the endowments for Sis. Woodard's father while she attended the same session.  Four other endowments for family names were done.  Not bad for our small branch.  The spirit of Elijah is strong.
Bro. Allen, Ricky, and Bro. Lane waiting for the
group to gather
Sis. Page with Chris, her proxy son

Our group waiting for others to join us.

Monday, December 26, 2011

DJ, Kim, & Kolter

One of the hardest things about being away from family is when new babies are born. Kolter was the first grandchild not seen within the first 24 hours of life on this earth. Damian & Kim knew that a visit to introduce him to us would definitely be appreciated so they brought him out for a visit. It was such a delight and Kolter, Grandma, and Grandpa had a great time getting to know each other. As with Alease, Mike and Nancy, we visited the Temple, Myrtle Beach, and members. One of the highlights was taking them to church so more could meet them, and having a baby in church is a real treat here. He made his presence known by letting out a couple of real loud burps. Parents turned a little red, but members loved it! The only thing that would have made it perfect would to have had Lexi, Parker, & Taegen as well, but understood the $ end of it. They seemed to enjoy staying with cousins, though. Historical places to visit are a little scarce within our branch as most of them are just a marker so they were limited on that part but we had a great time doing what we did. We are so glad they came!
The Temple was closed but made a
beautiful background and we always
like to share it with those who
Grandpa enjoyed his moments with Kolter. Feeding
a baby is always a relaxing and precious time.
Kolter with Sister McCray. He enjoyed meeting the
members and they loved him!

This is one of my favorite trees especially as the petals
fall making a beautiful pink carpet with the stone bench
beneath. I pictured our granddaughters sitting there &
in Kim's blog she mentioned "she had to do" since the
others weren't available. However, I think this
with her & Kolter is perfect!

Having this picture taken with Grandma & Grandpa
was a stopper! There were those who stopped so they
wouldn't interrupt the picture taking, but it was
interesting to see those who had plenty of room between
the camera & the buildings to keep going, but stopped to
 watch instead! It was all because he was so cute!

Kolter was very happy to be here! We got lots of smiles!

Daddy & Kolter enjoying the peace the ocean can
give you.

Damian, Kim & Kolter marking their
visit - Too bad it got washed away!
Grandma & Kolter had many wonderful conversations.
He has such a wonderful spirit! Thanks, Kim for
catching this moment!

Mike & Nancy

Our branch goes to the North Carolina border. We can't
go over there but Mike & Nancy could.
My cousin Nancy, and her husband, Mike, spent spud harvest with us. The weather was perfect while they were here. They were able to participate in our District Development Meeting and also a Senior Missionary get together with President and Sister Holm at the mission home. It was interesting that they were seated in a different place than us for the dinner and it was if they belonged there. We also attended the temple, so it was a very uplifting time here. Visits and dinners with members of our branch and a trip to the beach, of course, was part of our itinery. They blended in very well and we think it was a great opportunity for them to get a taste of missionary life and we think they will be naturals being proselyting missionaries. The members loved them as they did Alease. Bro. Brayboy was very grateful to Mike as he played a detective and found the family who introduced him to the church, who he will be eternally grateful. Through his efforts, Bro.Crane called Bro. Brayboy and what a phone reunion after over 30 years! It was a wonderful time and we love sharing our mission with family. Just wish we could pick up the branch and take them home with us. Mike & Nancy are ready to come back with us to visit.

Nancy pickin' okra. We're going to try
growing it in Idaho. The blossoms
are large and gorgeous.

Nancy & Sister Lovell pickin' cotton. It was in full bloom.

Mike & Nancy on the pier at Myrtle Beach

Mike on Bro. Brayboy's Harley - one of the
guys favorite things to see.
Mike & Nancy with Sister Jackson. She is 93 (94 on Dec. 24)

Monday, October 31, 2011


Alease with Bro. Brayboy

Our day at the Temple
At the beach - Yes it was windy!
And she was the only one who got to get
in the water.
Enjoying her seafood casserole. I shared my shrimp & grits
with her. It was delicious!

Our guide in Charleston. This is how he guided
the mules most of the time.

On Sept. 1 my sister-in-law, Alease Guymon, came to visit us for a week. (For those who don't know her, she is the wife of my brother, DelRoy who passed away shortly after we left).  It was wonderful having her here.  It gave us our time to grieve together along with her being able to experience mission life, including the middle of night phone calls. She witnessed the poverty, the struggles, and the small miracles we are so involved in.  She was able to meet the "famous" Bro. Brayboy, the one we met at the time we would've been on the plane to attend DelRoy's funeral.  He was excited to meet her and continues to ask about her. Our monthly Temple Trip was while she was here. Along with meeting as many as we could during the time she was here, we took time to go to the beach. The first part of our p-day included a music lesson and being fed a wonderful meal. Since it was our p-day and the young Elders were with us, they got permission to go with us. We had a great time and got them home in time for them to go work for the rest of the evening. We she got to experience the wonderful fire ants, but later discovered she also "enjoyed" poison oak she must've run into at the Weatherford's while we were in the grapes taking pictures. She loved the southern cooking taking pictures of just about everything she ate (and the pork she didn't want to eat such as pig stomach, tails, feet, etc.) The day before we took her to the plane we spent in Charleston. There is a lot of history there as that was where the Civil War started.  A few places were free or little cost but most were very quite expensive.  One plantation charged $25 to get in, then another $14-$18 to take a buggy tour to two different areas.  If you wanted to take the walking self-tour it was still another $7.  We finally decided to have one splurge and take a wagon tour around the city.  It was still $20 each (no extra fees) but we quite enjoyed it. The driver was very talented as he guided the mules down narrow city streets along with the traffic and did most of it talking to us, only glancing at the mules now and then.  He supplied us with historical facts and trivia of the homes and buildings. We also visited the Slave Museum Mart.  This is where the slave auctions took place.  They had stories, pictures, etc. there.  There was a chart showing the average purchase price of a slave according to age at that time along with current value.  All I can say is that we wouldn't be worth much, in fact, they probably couldn't give us away at our current age. It was a great week! (We took so many pictures it was hard to pick which ones to blog.)
Her visit with Sister Stanford and Sister Scott who
regularly feed us great southern cooking as well as
Sister Weatherford.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

A beautiful view of before the storm. Actually it
didn't change much more than this.

Sister Weatherford enjoying the storm
Our experience with Hurricane Irene was uneventful as far as wind and rain but it was a wonderful experience in setting up and practicing emergency preparedness. We're grateful for that.  The worst of the rain hit earlier than expected. We had taken a member who was still healing from surgery to a meeting, and when we got home just as we got out of the car (her husband had gone to unlock the house) the clouds opened up so we sat back in the car. Her husband brought out a coat to cover her with then ran back to the car so I walked with her to the house. By the time we got there, I was soaked clear through. Elder Lovell said I looked like I had jumped into a swimming pool with my clothes on. I felt like it, too. The Sister Missionaries were evacuated to Sumter and the Elders were sent to Florence.  We stayed with the Weatherfords. It was a very pleasant evening sitting on the front porch with the trees slightly swaying. It wasn't supposed to hit us until about midnight so at 1:15 a.m. my fire ant bite woke me up so I checked the trees and they were pretty calm.  This morning there were a couple of wind gusts but not much more than most of our Idaho breezes.  Bro. Weatherford checked his rain gauge and it said we got about 2" of rain.  We'll start calling our part of the phone tree to make sure members faired as well as we did.  Thanks for your concern and prayers during this time.

August 14 - Wonderful day!

There are some days that one can mark on their calendar as almost a perfect day. Even though we were not able to be a part of physically, it will always be memorable. To start, it was Brett and Jalin's 13th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, their oldest son, Brandon, received the Aaronic Priesthood, their youngest son, Spencer, was confirmed. Then at the end of the day, Kolter Matthew Lovell (son of Damian and Kim) made his entrance into this mortal life. We are so glad Mom and baby did well. We're looking forward to meeting him in person. We don't have any pictures of the Bingham family events, but we were given permission to put Kolter's picture on our blog so we can do the "grandparent brag" for those of you who may not get it otherwise.
I think he will be loved by his sister and brothers!

Kolter Matthew Lovell - Isn't he a cutie?!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Update on Elder Lovell

Two weeks plus since his surgery and he is doing really well. When he had the staples out, Dr. Lee told us how sick he really was.  He read the report (in medical terms) then explained that it meant that his gallbladder was gangreous. He said if we had waited a few more days he would've been in real trouble. Sometimes we look at moments of trial such as his second attack, then realize that it really was a tender mercy as it got him in sooner than planned and was a blessing in the long run. Dr. Lee kept mentioning how sick he was and yet how well the surgery went. We are so grateful for the power of Priesthood blessings and prayers of family and friends. Thanks for your faith.

Just a fun little sidenote - The hospital is made up of many buildings, two are connected by a long corridor. I kept getting my directions mixed up every time I went to the cafeteria and I would end up on the wrong elevator or going to the wrong building. One time Lisa was with me and she was trying to show me which direction I should go but I was sure she was wrong.  We saw a family with a cute toddler in his stroller and he was grinning and waving at us.  I went up to him and said, "Hi" and in the conversation I told him I was lost and asked him if he could tell me which way to go. He just grinned and pointed - the same way Lisa was telling me. The family got a big kick out of it and especially Lisa because he ws right! By little children we will be led.