Memories of my Grandmothers

When I think of my grandmothers I always have great memories of them.  I can think of all of the amazing meals that we enjoyed together, the vacations we took together, the camping trips, and the lessons that they taught me.  These memories are often stirred when I see different things that they gave me or am reminded of a lesson they imparted.


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Great Memories of Grandma Z.


A Grandmother has a very important place in the life of grandchildren.  I am so very thankful for all of the lessons that they taught me.


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Great Memories of Grandma Candee


One of my grandmothers really did a great job of correcting my grammar and helping me understand the difference between “can” and “may.”  My other grandmother’s lesson that stands out is “learn something new each day.”


Dealing with Grief: Missing My Grandmother

I received news last Friday that my last living grandmother passed away that morning.  It has been difficult to walk through this loss and I find myself thinking about her during different times throughout each day sense I heard.  Each time I think of her I have a multitude of emotions that accompany each thought.



Grandma Feeling Better


I do know that I will be dealing with this loss for a while and I am thankful for the memories of her that I have of all the times we spent together.  I was truly blessed to know my grandmother and thankful to have wonderful memories to dwell on for the rest of my life.


Year in Review: Missionary Family

When I left the US to become a missionary I knew that I was leaving my family behind and hoped that I would get a new family with the other missionaries on the field.  I am thankful for the missions team because I am able to spend time with them during the different holidays that come up throughout the year.

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Holiday Celebrations

I got to meet all of the missionaries who were on the field in Brazil at the all Brazil conference this year.  It was great to be able to meet and talk with all of the other missionaries from all over the country.

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All Brazilian Missionaries

One of the things that I enjoyed this year was being able to pray with the missionary team in Rio Grande do Sul.  We get together quarterly to give updates on the different ministries, have fellowship and pray for one another.

Field Team

Team Meetings


Grandma’s Memorial Weekend

It was great to drive up to Lake Tahoe to scatter my grandmother’s ashes.  My father and I drove up to the cabin before all of the others arrived to help prepare for the arrival of the rest.  I was excited to see snow on the side of the highway and on the top’s of the mountains.  Lake Tahoe is just as beautiful as I remember it.

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Beautiful Lake Tahoe with Snow on the Mountains

The majority of the family was able to gather for this event.  It is clear from this picture that we all enjoyed our time together.  I am so thankful that I was able to take a week off and travel from Brasil for this precious weekend.

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Checking to see that Grandma’s ashes are in the box

There were a couple of times this weekend where we had to make sure that we had grandma’s ashes to scatter.  This time I caught my cousin’s husband, Justin, checking to see that the ashes were in the box.


Family Picture before scattering the ashes

Over 5 years ago our family scattered my grandfather’s ashes in Lake Tahoe and this weekend we were able to scatter grandmother’s ashes to join his in the lake.  After my father scattered the ashes into the lake we were able to take some time and share some memories of grandma with each other.  What I shared was a phrase that I always remember my grandmother sharing, “Try to learn something new each day.”  This speaks to her desire for knowledge and how she knew so much even without ever going to college and moving to the United States after marrying my grandfather when she was 19.  I have tried to emulate her by learning at least one new thing each day.  I was touched by all of the other memories that was shared by the other family members.  It was a very emotional time.

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Grandma’s ashes joining Grandpa’s ashes in Lake Tahoe

I really enjoyed getting spending time with the family.  There were multiple children running all around and the adults had a great time playing cards and chatting.  My grandmother would have really enjoyed seeing the entire family spending time like this together.

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Kid’s running around and Adults Playing Cards in the cabin



Time to Read

For a long time I have enjoyed reading,  I can remember hiding under my covers witha  flashlight to finish reading a book after my partents told me to go to bed.  During the past few months I have had more time to read than I normally do.  Reading has been a great help for me here in Brazil.  First is that it provides some comfort because it is very familiar to me because it is in English.  Second it provides something to do that is not studying Portuguese.  Third,  I am rereading lots of books that bring back great memories for me.  The series pictured is the Redwall series which I first read as a child with my dad and then reread multiple times as I grew up.  I have great memories reading these books at the house I grew up in, while in college and now in Brazil.


Redwall Series

Missionary Difficulties: Death in the Family

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Grandpa and Grandma 1949

When I left the United States to be a missionary in Brazil I knew that there would be some difficulties that would happen.  One of those difficulties I thought through was “How do you deal with the death of a family member?”  This has already happened to me.  On July 9th when I woke up to a message saying that one of my grandmothers had passed away.

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Grandpa and Grandma with their 3 children 1963

I had thought through two different options: Stay in Brazil or Return to the United States.  This is a real issue that I am thinking through again.  I absolutely love my grandmother and always thought it would be an easy decision but now that I am facing the decision there is no easy answer.  No matter what I decide I will have some regrets.


Grandpa and Grandma as I remember them

As a missionary there are difficulties in the course of life that we will face.  “The death of a family member” is a difficulty that I expected to have happen during my time as a missionary but I did not expect it to happen so quickly.  Being away from family at this time provides a clear opportunity to trust and be comforted by Christ.  I am struggling with my love for my earthly family, specifically my grandmother, and my longing for being with my heavenly family.  Longing to be with my heavenly family has brought me to be in Brazil.  As I am struggling with this difficulty I have had to find comfort in the scriptures.  Specifically, I find peace that the scriptures that say leaving your family is worth the cost to share the gospel and follow Christ.  Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, and Luke 14:26 all very clearly teach that being a missionary in another country is worth the cost.  The difficulties and hardships are very real but so is the comfort that I find with knowing these scriptures.  I am also comforted in knowing that my family is not limited to only those who are flesh and blood.  The scriptures say that when you become a Christian you gain more family.  Matthew 12:30, Mark 3:35, and Luke 8:21 all say that the Christians family is those who are doing the will of the Father.  I am comforted by the knowledge that I am getting to know more family here in Brazil.

Building Dedication Service


Outside of Church Building

Last Saturday evening we had a building dedication service.  It was a great event that is the culmination of lots of work but the beginning of lots more.  The building is awesome.  When I visited South Brazil in 2015 the church was in the process of purchasing the land for this building.  I can remember talking with the missionary about his dream for the building.  I think that this building is different than his dream but it is still awesome.

Dedication 1

Pre Service Conversations

The dedication really showed off how large the church building is.  There was plenty of room to have 200+ seats for a service and then to also have enough room to have an after service hang out area.  It was very encouraging to see people from 5+ churches attend the 8 pm Saturday night service.  I was so encouraged to see all of excitement that the church body had at this dedication.

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Packed House – Church members brought their own chairs

I am looking forward to all of the different ways that this building is going to be used.  It is my prayer that the LORD would use this building for his glory and many opportunities for ministry would be facilitated through this building.

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Someone Wanted a Picture with Me

Love from the States

It is so encouraging to know that there are many people in the United State who are praying for me and care about me.  I know that every missionary enjoys to hear from the people who helped send them to their final destination.  There are four specific ways that I have felt encouragement from those back in the states.  The most simple was is the e-mail and phone communication that I have received from supporters in the United States.  I really enjoy reading all of the e-mails that I get in response to the prayer letters and updates that I send out on a monthly and quarterly basis.  If you want to receive the monthly prayer letters and quarterly updates please sign up here.

The second way that I feel encouraged is by the communication that I have gotten from my sending church.  I have gotten messages from different leaders who are my friends.  One of the other major ways that I have felt encouraged over the past couple of months is a Skype call that I have received from my sending church pastors.  I remember talking with another missionary who had been on the field for over 11 years before getting contacted by their sending church.

Sending Church

Skype with Placerita Church Pastors

The third way that I have been encouraged is from receiving gifts from different families in my sending church.  These gifts have normally come in the form of different items placed into a white envelope.  Each envelope contains different items which represent the individual or families who have filled it.

May Gift

Contents of a Gift Envelope

The fourth way that I have felt encouragement from the states is to have my sending church and many others lifting me up in prayer.

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Sending Church Updating the Body




Final Walk through Sacramento

I was able to reflect on my last walkthrough Sacramento this past week.  I grew up in this city and have many different memories of past events which happened at different places all throughout the city.


Pyramid Building and Delta King

When I think of Old Town Sacramento two of the things that come to mind are the Pyramid Building and the Delta King.  The Pyramid Building is a West Sacramento landmark which I have actually never been to but have always looked for when in Sacramento.  The Delta King is a wonderful reminder of the rich river life history that is found in Sacramento.


California State Capital

I have spent many afternoons walking through tours in the Capital.  Many of my thoughts here went to my life during junior or senior high.


K Street Mall

When I view this mall I think of my youth when they had a Thursday Night Farmer’s Market which would fill this street with booths and people.  I really enjoyed this time in my youth.


Golden 1 Center

The Golden 1 Center is the new basketball arena which was built in downtown.  This beautiful building reminds me of watching many Sacramento Kings games when I was a youth.  One day I hope to come back and watch a Kings game in this arena.


Golden 1 Center


Flying Gift

My mother said that she had a gift for me to bring on my carry on.  I decided to wait until Toronto to open the gift.  I am so thankful for my mother who decided to look through all of the books that I was taking to find if I had this book or not.


Gift from my Mother

When I first felt this gift I knew that it was a book.  The only question was what book.  It is great to have this book as a reminder of home and to read while I hurry up and wait on all of the different things that I need to do to get set up with everything here in Brasil.


My Gift