Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Elder Ballard's Invitation

We have an wonderful idea on how you can be even a greater support to your missionary and help them to be even more excited about the work of salvation. This is something that we feel very impressed to share with you.   Here is how our idea came to be. 

When we were at the Mission President's Seminar with Elder Ballard he repeated to us what he said at the October General Conference of 2013.  "I encouraged members to pray to be led to at least one person to whom they could extend an invitation to learn about the restored gospel..."

In this last general conference he suggested that members could be more consistently involved in missionary work if they would invite someone once a quarter to be taught by the full-time missionaries.

We believe that if you take this invitation and do just what it says and then share your experiences with your missionary that it would be the best thing you can do to support and motivate your missionary!  It will also create a greater bond between you as you share experiences and ideas. 

We know of a wonderful book that has many ideas to help us be member missionaries.  It is called  "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton M. Christensen.  It is available through Deseret Book.  There is also a website at everydaymissionaries.org that has a free version of this book in Spanish!  You can find this free spanish edition  at the bottom of the home webpage under "other languages".  There are also ideas on this website on how to be an "everyday missionary".  Brother Christensen promises that if we want to feel the spirit in our own lives and in our families that the best thing we can do it to share the gospel.  It is a wonderful book and will be a great help to you in your missionary efforts!

There is also a website on lds.org to help us.

Our son-in-law Jake is the Ward Mission Leader and our daughter Liz is a Ward Missionary in their ward in Michigan. This is the Family Mission Plan that they created to use in their ward.  This is a great way to set some specific goals as a family.  It will be so wonderful for you to be able to  share your success and failures with your missionary.  What a blessing this will be to your entire family!

 If you would like to get a clearer copy of this Family Mission in English  you can get it by using the link below.
To help members achieve this goal, Elder Ballard extended an invitation to all members, regardless of current calling, to obtain a copy of Preach My Gospel.

"Read it, study it and then apply what you learn to help you understand how to bring souls to Christ through invitation and follow up," said Elder Ballard.

He asked, ""Can you even begin to fathom the extraordinary outpouring of atoning grace that will be ours, individually and collectively, according to the Savior's promise to all who bear testimony in the process of inviting souls to come unto Him—and then following up on those invitations."

If we follow up, the lord will not let us down.

"I have seen the unspeakable joy that accompanies testimony-driven inviting and faithful follow up among members of the Church the world over."


Elder Ballard quoted Doctrine and Covenants 88:73
Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.
He said that now is that time.   

Invitación del Élder Ballard

Tenemos una idea maravillosa de cómo pueden tener aun mayor apoyo a su misionero y ayudarles a que sean más animados acerca de la obra de salvación. Esto es algo que nos sentimos muy impresionados compartir con ustedes. Aquí es como llegó a ser nuestra idea.

Cuando estábamos en el Seminario para los Presidentes de Misión con el Elder Ballard, él nos repitió lo que había dicho en la Conferencia General de octubre de 2013. “Yo animé a los miembros a orar para ser guiados a una persona por lo menos la cual podrían entender una invitación a aprender acerca del evangelio restaurado…”

En esta última conferencia general él sugirió que los miembros pudieran ser más involucrados en la obra misional si podrían invitar a alguien una vez al trimestre para ser enseñado por los misioneros de tiempo completo.

¡Creemos que si ustedes toman esta invitación y hacer justo lo que dice y después, las comparten sus experiencias con su misionero, que sería la mejor cosa que podrían hacer para apoyar y animar a su misionero! También, puede crear un mejor lazo entre ustedes mientras comparten experiencias e ideas.

Conocemos un libro maravilloso que tiene muchas ideas para ayudarnos a ser miembros misioneros. Se llama, “El Poder de Misioneros Diarios” (The Power of Everyday Missionaries) por Clayton M. Christensen. Es disponible por Deseret Book. También hay un sitio web a everydaymissionaries.org que tiene una versión gratis de este libro en español! Se puede encontrar esta edición gratis en Español En la parte del fondo de la página inicial bajo "otros idiomas". Hay ideas en este sitio web de cómo ser un “misionero diario”. El Hermano Christensen nos promete que si queremos sentir el espíritu en nuestras propias vidas y en las de nuestras familias, que la mejor cosa que podemos hacer es de compartir el evangelio. Es un libro maravilloso y será una gran ayuda para ustedes en sus esfuerzos misionales!

También, hay un sitio web en lds.org para ayudarnos.

http://www.lds.org/training/wwlt/2013/hastening (Sólo tiene que cambiar el idioma a español)

Nuestro yerno Jake es el líder de la obra misional en su barrio y nuestra hija Liz es misionera del barrio en su barrio en Michigan. Esto es el Plan de la Misión para la Familia que ellos crearon para usar en su barrio. Esto es una buena manera para fijar metas específicas como familia. Será tan maravilloso para ustedes poder compartir los éxitos y desafíos con sus misioneros. ¡Qué bendición será para su familia entera!

Si le gustaría tener una copia más clara de esta Plan de la Misión de la Familia en Ingles se puede ver lo al ir al siguiente sitio.

Para ayudar a los miembros lograr esta meta, el Elder Ballard extendió una invitación a todos los miembros, independiente de llamamientos que tienen, de obtener una copia de Predicad Mi Evangelio.
“Léanla, estúdienla y luego apliquen lo que aprendan a fin de comprender cómo llevar almas a Cristo mediante la invitación y el seguimiento,” dijo el Elder Ballard
Él preguntó, “¿Tienen siquiera una idea de las extraordinarias bendiciones de la gracia expiatoria que recibiremos, tanto individual como colectivamente, de acuerdo con la promesa del Señor a todos los que testifiquen al participar en invitar almas a venir a Él, y después dar seguimiento a esas invitaciones?”

“Si hacemos seguimiento, el Señor no nos fallará.”

“He visto el gozo indescriptible que acompaña a la invitación motivada por el testimonio y el seguimiento fiel que ocurre entre los miembros de la Iglesia por todo el mundo.”


El Elder Ballard citó Doctrina y Convenios 88:73

He aquí, apresuraré mi obra en su tiempo.

Él dijo que la hora es ahora.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Welcome to The Casa Grande!

Thank you Elder Ehmke for writing this post!

Our mission has been very fortunate to rent a large home located close to the mission office and mission home.  It is called "La Casa Grande" or the "Big House" because it has four bedrooms in the main house and with the nine bunk beds in the garage, the house can sleep 26 missionaries!  We also have places to shower with the five bathrooms counting the one in the pool house!  Yes!  The Casa Grande has a pool along with a beautiful front yard and large spacious backyard ideal for playing volleyball and soccer.


The backyard of the Casa Grande has several trees including this olive tree along with a lemon and a cherry tree.  The swimming pool is a visual reminder that we are missionaries and the best way to use the pool is to keep it empty! 

The Casa Grande serves many purposes.  First of all, it is the home to the Assistants to the President, and the office staff including the mission nurse and office manager, Elder and Sister Ehmke.

 You may wonder how we, as a Senior Couple, are able to live in a house full of Elders.  This is our "little corner of the world."  The Elders are very respectful of our space, always knock when the door is closed and even ask "permiso" before entering when it is open.  One of our favorite things is Family Prayer around our bed with our Argentina Sons.

The Casa Grande also serves as the mission "hotel" for visiting Elders.  When there are Leadership Councils, mission transfers, or other reasons for Elders to come into Neuquen we are fortunate to have them spend the night in our bunk house.

The bunk house also has been a wonderful asset as we have received our new Elders into the mission.  This last fall we received groups of as many as 58 missionaries (Elders and Sisters)  at a time.  The Casa Grande was a perfect place to host these eager, enthusiastic new Elders.

The Casa Grande has a large living room and dining room that convert easily to a study hall.  There are times the Spirit is so strong in the house.  We feel the Lord´s presence as He invites these young missionaries to learn more about Him.


Of course, a home full of young men gives us all an opportunity to cook and to eat!  We have laughed as we have bumped into one another as we have all tried to help out in the kitchen at the same time.  Food and young Elders go hand in hand.

We seem to never miss and opportunity to celebrate with a special breakfast on our Preparation Days.

This big family breakfast was held on a General Conference Sunday morning when we gathered together to watch the Priesthood Session of conference.  Since there is a three-hour delay in time zones, it is much too late for our missionaries to stay up to participate in the Saturday evening broadcast.  Besides that, the Priesthood Session also seems to feel better with a breakfast of French toast, chorizzo and fruit salad!

The Casa Grande gives us special moments with these outstanding representatives of the Lord.  Sometimes it is staying up late working together on college entrance papers, or pitting cherries from our own tree.

Sometimes it is just gathering around to share several tubs of ice cream after a long day in Leadership Council.

Time always has to be taken to enjoy the beautiful spring and summer days in our backyard for a family picnic

Hermana Ehmke has become famous though out the mission for her baking skills.  Our Elders enjoy her homemade apple pies, cobbler and torts as well as her Mission Brownies and variety of cookies.  It seems that whenever there is a group of Elders spending the night in the Casa Grande, homemade goodies magically appear!

As the "House Parents" we have the privilege of getting involved in many feasts and activities.  This has been an unexpected blessing of the mission.  We will long remember the smiles, expressions of love and abrazos that are so generously given.

Oh, did we mention that these young men love to eat?  We have learned that happiness and food go hand in hand!

There is great joy to be found in the garden and yards of the Casa Grande.  Elder Ehmke enjoys time "puttering" with the decorative trees, beautiful roses and heavy laden grape arbor.

The Casa Grande also has an interior atrium that brings light and greenery indoors.  We have watched the plants grow from seedlings into hearty vegetation.

The holidays are always special times in the Casa Grande.  One year Christmas gave us the opportunity to sport new soccer shirts.  We felt we were competing for team championship in Argentina!

Decorating the Christmas tree, sorting through presents sent by parents to share with others and giving to one another helped fill our thoughts of home during the Christmas season.  

Hermana Ehmke gets her very own maté cup!

One of our Casa Grande sons received this rather bright tie and was eager to try it out!

In addition to baking, Sister Ehmke loves to decorate for every season.  St. Patrick´s Day, The Fourth of July and Thanksgiving always create many questions from our Spanish missionaries while Easter, Halloween and Christmas bring memories from home for all of us.

We have learned that eating and playing together seem to go better after spending time working together.  When we first arrived at the Casa Grande it needed a "bit of cleaning" to become a home.  The Elders had lived there six months without a senior couple and were eager for the direction from Sister Ehmke on what to clean first.  Her answer was simple, "Everything!"  We all pitched in washing windows, laundering and ironing window treatments and scrubbing floors.  We hope you notice the smiles on the Elders´ faces.  Working together can be a great deal of fun!

Of course, playing together is also a lot of fun.  We never seem to find enough time to get in all of the P-Day playing that we need.  Whether it be playing soccer in the backyard on New Years Eve or volleyball on a summer morning, it is just good to run, holler and exercise together.

A great game of soccer always leaves our Argentina sons relaxed and happy!

The Casa Grande is a house where love is freely expressed and deeply felt.  What a privilege it is to come home after traveling to a different location in the mission to find that we were missed and loved.  Our Elders have always been so thoughtful leaving notes on our pillows, in our refrigerator or on the bulletin board, even remembering Mother's Day.

We learned a great deal about love from our Elders.  How eager they are to express their love for their companion, for others in the home and for us.  Happiness is sharing abrazos for Elder Ehmke while Sister Ehmke invites each Elder to come see us in Arizona so she can give each a hug after the mission.

While happiness is heartfelt and often expressed, the Casa Grande also has its sad moments.  These seem to come when it is time to tell one another good-bye,  We are never amazed at how quickly we learn to love these great young men and acknowledge the tremendous leadership the Church has in its future.  Yet we are frequently amazed at how quickly our time with them flies by.  Saying good-bye is a bitter-sweet experience. Our Argentine sons are leaving the Casa Grande but we know they will be returning home to their own families.

The joy comes in knowing that the Casa Grande always has room for more bright faces, more eager spirits and more valiant servants of the Lord.  Each new group of missionaries is a joy to receive.  Each group of worthy Elders going home leaves us with memories of love and treasured experiences.

We want our Elders to know that the Casa Grande is their home away from home, that they are loved and honored for their dedicated service.  Thank you, Elders, for the joy you have brought us and the love you have shared with us.  Come back soon.  Your beds are made and ready for you!

Los Ehmkes en Argentina