Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mission Completed!

Jens and Jessica Howe visited us on May 15, 2014, as they were relocating to Daytona Beach, Florida, where Jens will play Division 1 football and Jessica will work at an Oral Surgeon's medical practice.

 The Curt & Carrie Cox Family and Dale & Crystal Howe Family visited us on May 25th!

We made one last visit to The Kaufmann Memorial Gardens on May 27th.  We always enjoyed the secluded, peaceful, and beautiful environment of this garden when visiting the Country Club Plaza district of Kansas City, Missouri.

Sisters Bott, Rackham, Jorgensen, Hansen, White, and Almodovar at the Kaufmann Gardens.

The same Sister Missionaries in the Kaufmann Gardens.

Sister Pyne standing beside the "Birdie Art" outside the Nelson-Atkin Art Museum.

At PF Chang's in the Country Club Plaza.

Our last breakfast at the Brenchley's home with the Sister Missionaries!

Group photo of the Sister Missionaries at the Brenchley's home.  Front row from left to right: Sisters Bott, Walton, Fonua, Moody, Rogers, Jacobs, Wood, Adams, Thurston, Hansen, Almodovar.  Back row from left to right:  Erikson, Forbush, Raymer, Rackham, Jorgensen, Morris, White (in red cardigan), Taylor (behind Sister White),Villanueva, Kaimarama.

Dinner at Cheddar's with Elder Fisihetau, Elder & Sister Pyne, Richard & Palo Rustin, and Elder Kaafi.

Wearing lays given to us as gifts from the Polynesian members of the Independence 1st Ward.

A visitor center senior couple reception in a meeting room at the Historic Liberty Jail (sitting left to right, Sister & Elder Jones, Elder & Sister Simper, Sister & Elder Brenchley).  Sister Anderson (standing in the foreground) and Sister Heylen (standing in the background) provided the life, energy, and entertainment for the party.

Additional senior missionaries at the senior couple reception (left to right, Elder Pyne, Elder & Sister Melin, and Sister & Elder Kastel).

Sisters Diederich, Hunter, Anderson, and Heylen, at the senior couple reception.

 Departing senior missionaries, Elder & Sister Pyne, and Sister & Elder Simper.

"Dress like an elder day" at the Independence Visitor Center.

"Rainbow day" at the Visitor Center.

Standing in front of the Independence Visitor Centers on one of our final days.

After a remarkable musical fireside provided by the Sister Missionaries, photos were taken in front of the Independence Visitor Center, including this photo of the Fauletau Family, and Sisters Heylen, Almodovar, and Jorgensen, along with the Pyne's.

Sister Heylen, Sister Nive Fauletau, Sister Jorgensen, and Sister Almodovar.

The Brown's, with Sister Anderson in the background.

Elder & Sister Pyne, Sister Heylen, Sister Anderson, Sister Luening, and Sister McDonnel, at a final luncheon at the Country Corner Cafe in Liberty, Missouri.

Those returning home, at the Visitor Center Departure Breakfast held June 11, 2014.  From left to right, Elder & Sister Pyne, Sister Jorgensen, Sister Ewell, Sister & Elder Simper, Sister Aldous, Sister Perez, Sister Thurston, and Sister Forbush.

The departing missionaries in front of the Christus in the Independence Visitor Center.

The Simper's (to the left) and the Pyne's (to the right), with Visitor Center Directors, Elder & Sister Brenchley.

Listening to customized songs sung by the sister missionaries for each of the departing missionaries.

With Sister Erikson, who, along with Sister Fonua, kindly brought over cookies and a kind note to our apartment, as we were packing and loading on the evening of June 11th.

The sister missionaries requested a kiss.  Elder Pyne was sick with a cold & cough, so Sister Pyne obliged with a kiss to the cheek.

Sister White arranged to have the sister missionaries phone during the early hours of June 12th, just prior to our departing, to sing "Called to Serve" and "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" .  It brought tears to our eyes.

A selfie with Sister Forbush as we were leaving the Independence Visitor Center.  It's sad to leave the people and the work we have come to love.

When we arrived home in Dawsonville, Georgia during the late afternoon of June 13, 2014, our family greeted us with signs, banners, fireworks, and many hugs and kisses!  These are photos with some of our grandchildren.  It's exciting to return home to be close to children and grandchildren, and to begin the next phase of our lives!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 2014 Mission Experience

Our purpose in serving this mission in Missouri has been to invite individuals to "come unto Jesus Christ", as we have worked in the visitor centers, in our congregation, and wherever we have interacted with people.  In the process, our lives have been blessed and we have drawn closer to the Savior.  At this Easter season, we testify that Christ lives!  He is our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer, for whom we are deeply grateful.  It has been a privilege and honor to serve Him on this 18-month mission!

Elder and Sister Pyne at the front desk of the Independence Visitor Center, with the painting of Christ in the background.

Kansas City is known for its outstanding BBQ restaurants.  Here we are standing in the foyer of Jack Stack's BBQ Restaurant, in the Country Club Plaza of Kansas City.  This photo is taken the day prior to Sister Stobbe (in the red skirt) returning home from her mission.  We had a enjoyable lunch with Sister Fonua and Sister Stobbe that day. 

As we were leaving the restaurant, we were stopped by a family from Des Moines, Iowa, who noticed our name tags.  They asked if we were related to the Pynes from Orem, Utah.  We replied "yes" and explained that Elder Pyne's father was Samuel Pyne.  The father of the family was the son of Anne Pyne, Elder Pyne's cousin, and daughter of his uncle Max Pyne.  This family has named two of their sons, Sam and Max.  It was such an unexpected delight to meet them as we were leaving and they were entering the restaurant.

Having Chad, Abbi, and Anna Rose visit us in Missouri was a special treat!  Here we are in front of the statue of Christ in the Independence Visitor Center.

Chad, Anna Rose, and Abbi, at Preachers Rock in Adam-Ondi-Ahman.

Sister Pyne, Anna Rose, and Elder Pyne at Preachers Rock in Adam-Ondi-Ahman.  What a joy to hold little Anna Rose!

After the Cox Family returned home to Alpine, Utah, we were visited by Jerry & Kristine Jensen and Elder Pyne's Aunt LaNon.  Jerry is Elder Pyne's cousin, Kristine is Sister Pyne's childhood friend.  We introduced Jerry and Kris to each other prior to their marriage, and they now live directly through the back yard of Abbi and Chad in Alpine.  At 86 years of age, Aunt LaNon, who lives in Orem, Utah, is doing terrific!

Following the Jensen's visit, our good friends from Eugene, Oregon, Kent and Ludene Hansen, visited for a couple of days.  They were on their way to serve an 18-month mission in Alabama.  They will be serving in a Young Adult Center connected with the University of Alabama.  It was great to spend a couple of days together, talking about old memories, families, and the experience of serving as senior missionaries.

Elder Pyne teaching the history of the early members of the Church in Missouri during the 1830's, to Elder and Sister Hansen.

The Hansen's and Sister Pyne standing in front of Clinton's Soda Fountain, where Harry Truman worked as a young man.

Next to visit us in April was Adam, Jessie, Alec, and Maddy!  What a wonderful week we had with them!

Maddy sitting atop the horse in the play area of the Independence Visitor Center.

Adam, Alec, Jessie, Maddy, Sister Pyne, and Elder Pyne.

At the Kansas City Aquarium.  Great for kids!  We also visited the Kansas City Zoo and the Deanna Rose Farmstead, which were also great for kids.

 At Preachers Rock in Adam-Ondi-Ahman.

Adam standing by the Adam-Ondi-Ahman sign.  We took a similar photo approximately 12 years ago on a previous trip to Church history sites.

Sister and Elder Mehlin, new senior missionaries at the Independence Visitor Center.

Sister and Elder Kastel, new senior missionaries at the Historic Liberty Jail.

Sister Almodovar (foreground) and Sister Jorgensen, with whom we serve in the Independence 1st Ward.  We love serving with the sister missionaries!

The Community of Christ temple, across the street from the Independence Visitor Center, on a cloudy day in Missouri.

An interior view of the spiral top of the Community of Christ temple.

A painting of the Prophet Joseph Smith, inside the Historic Liberty Jail.  Joseph Smith, as the Prophet of the Restoration of Christ's Gospel in these latter days, was refined as a person and strengthened as a leader from the unjust afflictions he suffered in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, from December 1, 1838 through April 6, 1839.