Monday, July 3, 2017

So far no Rattlesnake Sightings!

Short Version:
It has been a very busy few weeks. But also very rewarding. It is kind of like a yoyo where I have these spiritual and emotional highs and then I’m tired. Then I have another spiritual high and then I’m tired. But I am happy and enjoying myself. I was able to spend a few days in the shop lately and some parts came in for some equipment that was broken so I was able to get some things fixed and back in use.
Saturday we were serving in the Visitor’s Center and this sweet family came through with 3 couples and 8 kids. They wanted to take a handcart into the Cove. They were waiting by the lawn and picnic area while we retrieved a handcart for them to take. When we got back one of the dads had picked up this big bull snake and of course you know me and snakes we don’t like them. He is showing all the kids and asking if they want to hold it. The mothers are all “no, no don’t let them hold it.” He asked Sister Sigmon “What do you want me to do with this snake?” She says “Whatever you do don’t give it to Elder Sigmon. Maybe go let it go by the river over there.”  He then says “They make a hissing noise and said do you want to hear it hiss?” As he keeps moving closer to my ear as I keep moving away. About that time I look over towards the office and President Pace walks out. So he is standing there looking at us and I just kind of shrug my shoulders and tell the guy to go let it go over by the river. The man goes to turn it loose and President Pace comes walking over to me “Huh, Elder Sigmon that ought to be great. We are having a baptism over there in an hour. We’ll just see if that snake comes back around or moves on. Maybe you should conduct it.” He did say it with a smile. Part of me wanted to say when the guy asked me what he should do with it. I was tempted to say “chop it up into little pieces and throw it into the bushes!”
We had one trek this week. It was a smaller group of about 80 people. They were well prepared and had a great spirit about them. As I was leading the head cart a small little Mia Maid about 14 years old was helping pull the cart. I was asking her questions and making conversation with her. I was asking her how her Mia Maid class in church was going and if she had been to girls camp yet, how she was enjoying the trek, etc. Then she kind of turns the table on me and started asking me questions. She said “Elder, what are you doing to prepare for the Second Coming?” I thought wow that’s a great question! I then told her I was following our prophet’s counsel which was reading the scriptures, having family home evening, family prayer and bore my testimony about living prophets and if we follow their counsel we would be prepared for the Second Coming. She then told me that she had a personal goal. I asked her “What was that?” She said “I want to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ like Joseph Smith and other Pioneers had.” My heart was so full of joy when she said that. I told her that she could have that and that Heavenly Father loved her and Jesus Christ loved her. I just wanted to stop the trek and give her a big hug but I couldn’t. The more I work with the youth the hope and faith it gives me that the church will be alright as we move forward towards the Second Coming. 
On Monday night we had Family Home Evening. We had a camp fire and made S’mores. Each District was to tell some kind of camp fire story. I was able to tell how my Great, Great Grandfather who lived in the Hayward Valley in Georgia was converted when the missionary, John Morgan, came through as a missionary.  There were 25-30 families who had their bibles marked a week before by a man who came through. He said a man would soon come and explain those scriptures to them. It was John Morgan who came and stopped to have dinner with the first family and talked to them about the church and showed them some scriptures. These were the same ones which had been previously marked. It turned out that every family except a few ended up joining the church. John Morgan and others believe perhaps this was one of the 3 Nephites who came and marked the verses. When I finished the story one of the Sisters in the group asked if that was a true story and if it was documented. Guess she might have thought I was making it up. I told her it was true and it is documented. We had a wonderful evening with the others telling their stories.
I love you all. I continue to be homesick. I don’t think that will ever go away.
Elder Sigmon

For the longer version read on.
This week was our first week of care packages. The first one was from my sister and her daughter, Kylie, who spent some of their free time making lanyards for the wood medallions we give away to the school children and kids who come to the Visitor’s Center. There were 620 of them. It was fun to open the package and see all the lanyard and colors. Thanks guys!
The other package was a nice surprise! One of Elder Sigmon’s favorite desserts is homemade carrot cake from his family. Well believe it or not you can mail a carrot cake from Colorado to Wyoming and it can arrive in tack and very much able to be eaten. We also got some other nice goodies snuck in the package. Thank you to his Sister Suzan.
I have to insert a picture of humor. As you know the mechanic twins are Elder Roundy and Elder Sigmon. Well today we had three of them all ready to work and they have worked together and can cause their own mischief. You know the saying “Two boys are half a boy and 3 boys aren’t a boy at all!” Just looking at the three of them all excited about maybe working together. It has been quite a while since we have been so busy and on different assignments. Sister Hough and I laughed and decided we needed to get a picture of these guys together. We decided that the three of them should be called “Triple Trouble!” I want you to notice Elder Hough on the left end there. He isn’t afraid of Elder Sigmon or doesn’t want him to touch him. He is trying to stand on his tippy toes so he can be a little taller. When I went to take the picture he did say something about not taking a picture of the feet. I didn’t understand what he was talking about until later. It was so funny! He is just trying to stay on the sidewalk and not fall over but be taller.
Left to Right: Elder Hough, Elder Sigmon, Elder Roundy
Later in the week we over at a neighbor’s home welcoming them back from Rock Creek Hollow and hearing about their experiences. Elder Hough and Sigmon were sitting on the picnic table and Sister Hough commented on how she thought they looked like twins so I took another picture. I actually really like this picture of them together.
Left to Right: Elder Ward, Elder Sigmon, Elder Hough
They were suspicious of our smiling and picture taking. Elder Sigmon thinks I just take pictures to make fun or tease him. Totally not true! I am innocent!

It is time for me to tell you about the day I was a cohort in being sneaky.  I know I have mentioned Sister Scussel was going to have surgery on Wednesday last week. She finally ended up having it late in the day and coming home about 10 p.m. Everything went well and she was expected to have a quick recovery but on Thursday I was in the office to try and help handle things or if she was coherent do things she needed me to do. Well on the way in I stopped to talk to her husband at base and she how she was doing and if I could go in and check on her. His statement was “please do. I gave her medicine at 6 this morning and she is due again for another at noon.” When I went in to check on her after our correlation meeting. It was about 9. She was still a little tired and was going to sleep another hour before maybe thinking about breakfast. The other side of the coin is as a scheduler for treks she talks with a contact person for each group. Some them you end up developing a relationship with over all the communications. That is what happened with this one group coming in from Laguna Niguel Stake in California. So this group came in the night before and she really really wanted meet up with the lady. They were already out on the trail and so she had asked me how they were doing and where they were.

I had gone back out to the office which is attached to her house and in about 15 minutes she shows up at the door all dressed and telling me to come into the house and help her. I’m like “what are you doing?” As if I didn’t already know she is planning on going out to meet the trek on the trail so she can visit with this girl. I was right. So I made her eat a little breakfast and then I had to make 2 slings for her to get her arms in with ice. The dish towels were just a little too short to tie around her neck. Then just as we are about to get in the truck and drive to base where we can walk down to the statues her husband calls on the radio and wants me to go to the private channel so he can check on her. I think he is like Elder Sigmon, just kind of has a sixth sense of what I am up to. He asks me “How is she doing?” So I tell him “Oh good she has eaten breakfast and is doing pretty good.” Then the next question…”What is her intentions?” All I could say was “well you know your wife pretty good and we will be at base in 5 minutes.” His reply, ”that’s what I thought.” As we are driving out Sister Scussel tells me the doctor had called to check on her and she did say she felt like taking a walk and he told sure no problem, go ahead. I just looked at her and said “you neglected to tell him it was part of a trek!” Then she tells me “you need to be prepared when you see Elder, he’s going to have a grouchy face.” You think? lol 

Well he did say “How stubborn can you be?” but because I was with her off we went. She wasn’t sure if she was going to go into the Cove. I informed her she was not going that far. Then as we are walking she tells me you can’t let Sister Bowden know what we did. (She is another missionary but also a nurse.) Well the next thing I know we are walking past another trek and there is Sister Bowden’s husband looking at us going “Oh No! Oh No!” She was so busted. As we are getting closer to the statues Sister Scussel says I think we will be okay because I think President Pace is in the Cove and so he shouldn’t see me. Then the next thing as we approach I see President Pace and he is just looking at us. I’m like “Sister Scussel I think that worked because I think that is President Pace.” Then he walks over to someone and then I see Sister Pace’s head come up and look at us. So I tell her “I think you are going to get me fired and my office privileges revoked!” Actually President and Sister Pace took it very well since I was with her. I told them she wasn’t going into the cove. She did get to visit with the Sister she was looking for and so all was well. I did tell President Pace I was trying to figure out the best way to get her back to the Homestead. Either walk on to handcart parking and have base bring in a rover or backtrack to base and drive her back home. Her husband didn’t take a car out so he could drive his own car back if we didn’t go get it. President told me he liked plan A…bring in the rover to go back. So as we started walking to handcart parking her husband at base asked if everything was okay and I told him yes we were heading to handcart parking and then needed a rover. So he calls Trek Coordinator and asks for an “Extraction” which means a medical extraction. Sister Scussel wasn’t happy and it was his way of getting even with her lol. When we got back she went to bed and rested. I know how much this group meant to her and if it was any other group it wouldn’t have been such a big deal. I didn’t get fired or end up losing any privileges but she totally got busted and wasn’t very sneaky as she thought! In the picture left to right Sister Pace, Sister Harris who was the Trek Host, and Sister Scussel. President said this moment needed to be documented since here is Sister Scussel just hours from having surgery and Sister Pace wearing a hat who said she would never wear a hat. I even matched the slings with fabric from the sewing center to match her blouse to be less conspicuous.
Left to Right: Sister Pace, Sister Harris, Sister Scussel
That’s about it! We spent today the 3rd of July with Karl’s sister and her husband who came into Casper to see the other new grandchild who was born recently. Her name is Abriel and is very cute. We enjoyed good food and good company.

Hope you all have a fun and safe holiday. 
Love Karl and Monica

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