Friday, January 29, 2010

Bell ringers

when a person comes in to tell us they got a job, they get to ring this huge, loud, clear bell! I then, of course, take their picture. We have to have some kind of celebration! HAPPPY DAY! for Bill.

Good things are happening

January 20, 10
Something really special happened today! Bill Crisler got a job at McDonalds as a maintenance man. Something Else special happened, He also got an apartment of his own. He will no longer have to live in a tiny tiny room with his sister who smokes. Wow! The Lord is blessing him so much! We are seeing him grow and also make friends with a very nice single lady in our ward. They both some into the center every day and are enjoying each other’s company. It would be so wonderful if they could find each other as eternal companions if not, then it is still great to have a friend when you are lonely. I hope this works out for them. That would be a day to really s out about.

Something else happened. We are going to have to work at. We have just been asked (but not announced yet) to be the office managers. This means that we will be the glue and not leave the office all day. Easier for me than Jerry. This is not what we thought we would be doing when we received the call but we knew it could be a possibility. It will bring not only responsibility but great satisfaction because we will be there to greet and meet the people who come in for help and we will be bonding with them and helping them find work and , for some of them, the gospel. Our prayer is that the spirit will always be strong there and people will feel it. We have had many people tell us that it is really strong and they can feel it powerfully when they enter the doors. Bp. Dohm, our manager tells us that it was not there before we came and that we bring it. It will be better when all the contention leaves in a couple of weeks. this will free up Bp. Dohm to do some of the much needed travel he should be doing but has not been able to do.

We have already seen a record number of baptisms in the month we have been here. Three people have already announced their baptisms. Ron and Carlos and his wife
from Honduras. We are taking Ron and his wife, Sharon, to dinner Saturday night to Jack's Fish House and you have already heard about it. Maybe I can get some pictures this time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Special Letter

We got a letter the other day from Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi. We gave him a copy of the DVD we had made of the Donna Carson video where she talked to our Blackfoot South Stake Conference (Saturday night meeting). Elder K was here for our Stake Conference in the Gulfport Stake.

For those of you who haven't heard of Donna. She was paralyzed from the neck down from polio which she contracted on her mission in Boston in about 1955. Many people were blessed by serving her. Many General Authorities of the church came to visit her whenever they were in the area. Elder Kikuchi was the last of them to visit her. He just kept saying "35 years!" that is how long she was in bed at that time.
He asked that a book be written about the service and an article was written or maybe it would make a pamphlet, but it was never published to my knowledge. she did get her own life story published, however.

this is what the letter said.
Dear Elder and sister Matson,
thank you very much for your kind letter and a special lthan you for sharing Donna Carson's testimony before she died. I remember visitng Donna and it was apparent that she had a strong, but sweet testimony of the Gospel which came straight from her heart. The Lord loves he so much and needed her. she is now in a peaceful place, workiing very hard to share the gospel with many people.

When you have a chance to talk to Sister Carson's family please give them my love.

May the Lord bless you as you serve as couple missionaries in Mississippi Jackson Mission. Please take excellent care of your health.

Sincerely yours,
Yoshihiko Kikuchi

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We had catfish this week. It is delicious. so much fried food. Had to skip breakfast but it was fun to have that and hush puppies and sweet potatoes cakes. and crawfish and jalepeno peppers. All of it is deep fat fried of course. Not to good for the diet.

This was not normal week but we ate out in New Orleans and had fried chicken and jambalaya and coleslaw with rabbit in it. also as I pictured last post, the bigniets which are square doughnuts with a pile of powdered sugar on them.

In slidell Bp. Dohm took us the a great place called Camellia's. Jerry had a huge plate of fried shrimp and french fries. I had a salad with grilled chicken on top and it was scrumptious. Not like anything I have ever had before.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We went to New Orleans on Martin Luther King Day (Monday Jan. 18)
New Orleans is a fun place to visit. We took another set of missionaries who work in the Bps. storehouse. They are great people on their second mission, fran and Vince Earnhart. vince speaks 8 languages. He talks to everyone. He makes a chance to talk about the church to them. We took the town tour by way of the buggy ride and walked around the town and ate the wonderful foods and even had some famouse pralines. yum! the masks you see are all over and not too expensive though I did not buy one. We had Caijun fried chicken and jambalya and french doughnuts called beignets (benyays). they are square and loaded with powdered sugar. We watched them being made. It is amazing that anyone survived Katrina but they did and they are doing quite well. some other time I will get some pictures of the destruction that is still around.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bill's son, Michael. You have got to read t his!

Bill, that I posted before, told me the story of his little son Michael and all he went through and how brave he was and so gregarious. He ended up with snap on ears that look real! His facial bones were rebuilt. I haven't found a picture of him yet. He was a cheerful boy who went through a lot and just wanted to help other children when he heard about the Oklahoma bombing.

Boy of Action

by Steve Dougherty
No Stranger to Pain, Michael Crisler Reaches Out to Bomb Victims
PULLING ON HIS PRIZED POWER Rangers sneakers, Michael Crisler, 7, bounds into the living room of his Denver home and executes a ninja spin that would do any action hero proud. "Whisssk!" he hisses, vanquishing an unseen bad guy with a wicked karate punch. "Wham!"

In real life, though, the first grader performs feats too ambitious for even a Power Ranger. On May 23, Michael, who suffers facial deformities caused by a birth defect known as Treacher Collins syndrome, presented a check for $27,077 to Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating—his contribution to a relief fund for survivors and families of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. Michael raised the money at a May 13 bowl-a-thon he conceived, helped organize and entered. "This is one of the largest donations we have received from any single individual, let alone a child," said Matt McClin-tock, a spokesman for the governor. "To see one child, and one with a handicap, raising this much is really touching."

Like many Americans, Michael was moved by the plight of the children at the America's Kids daycare center in the doomed Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. A Colorado State Junior Olympics bowler who also participates in Denver's annual Children's Miracle Network Bowl-a-Thon, a fund-raiser for a local hospital, Michael decided to stage a bowl-a-thon of his own to aid the bombing's tiniest victims. "I know what it feels like," he says, "because I've been in the hospital too."

With the permission of his mother, Gayle, 35, Michael helped arrange for the use of the Heather Ridge Lanes and canvassed his neighborhood to sign up 40 other kids and adults to participate. In the end more than 300 sponsors contributed money for every frame bowled. "I asked Michael how much he wanted to raise, and he said $20,000," says Gayle, who talked him down to $10,000. Worried that even that amount would be unattainable, she listed the goal on a promotional poster as $5,000. "He said, 'Mother! You forget I'm in first grade. I know how to read.' He was very upset, so I changed it."

Thanks to local TV coverage that spurred donations from dozens of businesses, Michael far exceeded his goal. So impressive was Michael's feat, he was introduced to both houses of the Colorado legislature and met the governor. "I give a lot of awards to a lot of people," Colorado Gov. Roy Romer told Michael, "but you have to be one of the most caring people I know."

Michael's compassion is not fully explained by his own knowledge of pain, though that is extensive. "When he was born, he was in intensive care for five days" due to bone malformations that affected his ears, eyes, chin and soft palate, says Gayle, a homemaker who also suffers from Treacher Collins and whose own facial deformities have required 30 operations to correct. "They wouldn't let me take him home until I talked to a support group." A month later, Gayle and Michael's father, Bill, 41, a disabled maintenance worker, moved from New Orleans to Denver, where they entered Michael in beautiful-baby contests to nurture his self-esteem. "He just stole everybody's heart," says Michael's grandmother Alva Munds, 58. As he grew older, Gayle says, "we could point to the trophies he won and say, 'It can't be so bad if you got those.' "

Michael, who attended a preschool for special-needs children before enrolling in a public elementary school, has had four major surgeries in the last five years to rebuild his facial bones. Last year doctors at Denver's Children's Hospital grafted bone from his ribs to build up his eye sockets; on June 15 he is scheduled for further surgery on his eyes and chin. "The last surgery was pretty painful," says Gayle, who estimates that Michael will have to undergo at least 13 more operations. "The next one," she adds sadly, "will be even worse."

"He's a brave kid," says Dr. Karen Leamer, pediatrician at Denver's Children's Medical Center, where Michael is a patient. "For all his physical deformities, he remains cheerful. And he's gutsy. Michael hits us up yearly for his [Miracle Network] bowl-a-thon. He's really a motivated little kid."

And a busy one. When not involved with his charity work, Michael collects pennies, which he donates by the bagful to a missionary fund at his family's First Church of the Nazarene. He also bowls, plays soccer, sings with his church choir and plays keyboards, harmonica and is starting guitar. "When I grow up," Michael says, "I want to be a star." With that he dashes outside to shoot baskets, unaware, as only a real-life action hero could be, that he is already something more.

VICKIE BANE in Denver and Oklahoma City
Vickie Bane.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Ron is not a member of our Church but he is a religious man with high principals and has probably been a church goer all his life and now goes to our church with his wife who is a convert from RLDS. He has been out of work for some time. they love horses and have several and remind me so much of our old rodeo days. Jerry was immediately drawn to him when he first saw him. the first time I saw them I thought they were a missionary couple. He is looking for a job in the funeral industry and is a licensed funeral director etc. (thanks to Tom for some leads). turns out that his niece works in Boise with Tom. When Ron needed a suit Jerry just went home and got an extra one that he brought for what reason he didn't know then. It was a perfect fit. the day he came in was ONE day before his funeral director license ran out. Mike was able to help him get it renewed easily.

When Ron first came in he was looking for a job as a truck driver because that is what he did in the past and in the last job he had. It is his safety net.

Today he and his wife came in for final help on his resume' and Jerry had some more job leads. He stayed and worked with Jerry and Mike for a couple of hours and Mike asked him if he would like a blessing. Jerry gave it and it was a spiritual high. very touching and promising and well recieved.

We do not believe in coincidencs. the Lord leads these people here and it is pretty special to see a plan come together for them.

After that, Mike shared his very special story of Katrina. (for another time)


This guy made our day. He was baptized in August. Has poor health but has been seriously looking for a job and coming in daily. this morning someone gave us a lead for a tax realted job that we thought would be just right for him. Mike (aka Bp. Dohm) suggested that we look into it. It looked good but Bill didn't have any suit jacket or suits or ties or probably button shirts to wear and his hair was to his shoulders. It was recently cut from being almost waist lenght and he gave it to "locks of love". He just has a glow about him.

Jerry called the friends who run CCC (Community Christian Concern) and arranged for them to get him something to wear for his interview. We give them lots of cases of food and they give food and clothes to the needy. they screen them like we do too.

Bill went off to the CCC. After lunch he came back in with a huge smile and was wearing this suit, shirt and tie. His hair to his shoulders and a big fake diamond earring in his left ear. Mike took one look and said. OK,today is the day for the haircut. He called a sister in the ward and she was ready to cut hair so he took him there for them each to have a haircut. this lady gives free hairacuts to anyone who needs them and goes to the prison and rest homes to serve in that way.

He came back with an even bigger smile and had also taken out the earring at Mike's suggestion and was happy to do it.

He went off to the interview and called in just a little while to say that the position had already been filled but had a good talk with the guy in charge and left his name and application.

He is pumped and we are excited for him and the huge difference it has made in him. He said "wow, I have had so many blessings today that I just can't believe it. I feel like a million bucks!

some days are quiet and not much happening but today was popping all day. God knows and cares for every one of his children.

bill told me his story and a fantastic story of his son. that is for another time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saturday night and sunday was the Gulfport Stake Conference with Yoshihiko Kikuchi of the first quorum of the seventy. He was wonderful. His spirit is so strong and he speaks with great wisdom and conviction. He told of the atonement of the Savior and his last days in a very personal and sacred manner. WE all felt closer to the Savior through his eyes. He stressed that husbands should treat their wives with more courtesy and always open the car door for them and respect them. Wives are not a possession they are daughters of God. Women must learn to let their husbands give them this respect and learn to be ladies and stay in the car as long as it takes. We heard some funny stories about that too if you can imagine. He talked about tithing by taking a bite from an apple and illustrating the bite seaction as being stingy with God. He spoke of the great blessings that temples are and how sacred they are and what a privilege it is to be able to go there and even for a child to touch it. He told of his little grandson touching it and being so thrilled and singing "I Love to See The Temple"

Eld K is a fine singer and he sung to us as well and had the stake , mission and temple Presidents and counselors stand and sing "As I Have Loved You. but it was Elder K in the mike and he brought tears to our eyes.

Tuesday night we went to the Baton Rouge Temple and he was in the session with our ward. there were 32 people from our ward there. 40 in the session. That included the temple Pres, Elder K and 3 other stake Presidents. We got to shake his had and introduce ourselves. We had the Stake Pres. wife give him a DVE of Donna Carson from us since he visited her and asked that a book be written about the service. He thanked us for the DVD and we told him that his visit meant a lot to Donna.

Afterward we went with the Earnharts (Missionaries) to eat at "Copeland's" they specialize in Cheesecake. sis E and I split one. It is the best thing I ever tasted. It was a white chocolate and macadamia nut cheesecake. MMMM heavenly. we didn't get home until 12:30 AM but it was a day well spent.

Tue morning we attended the career workshop taught by Marguerite Garcia and Bp. Dohm. we enjoyed avery minute of it. It was really helpful to us to get to know the class members better too.

this is an award that was presented to the church and to Mike Dohm (our director and Bishop)from the Employment services and Bishop's Storehouse. Our center is where all the great Mormon Helping Hands came from and where all the donations of food and supplies from the church were distributed. There was a nice article in the church News about it and I "just happened" to find it in my brief case after we recieved our call. It was published in Feb. 2006. I don't believe in coincidences. I had to take a special picture of this award that was presented by the Slidell Fire Department. It is really neat. This aid given by the church to the victims of Katrina (almost everyone in a huge area here) changed the feelings of most of the people here toward the Church and we are now finally recognized as Christians and good people in the community by almost everyone.

I havae been trying to download the pictures of our apartment and Employment center but it is very very slow. we just installed the AT&T internet service. I am trying to be patient. How long can 3 pictures take? Maybe 10 minutes or so it looks like that it took. the apartment is nice but on the third floor. We are handling that OK. Jerry does all the heavy hauling of things but we think about what we buy and remember that it has to go all the way up here.