Monday, May 30, 2011

KSL Video: "Group rides out Joplin tornado inside LDS church building"

There are many remarkable stories of survival from the recent tornado in Joplin, Missouri, including this story about eight members of the church who rode out the F5 tornado in a local stake center.  The video (below) that accompanies the story shows how amazing it is that anyone survived.

Video Courtesy of

News from Purcell, Oklahoma

We didn't receive an email from Elliot today, likely because of the Memorial Day holiday.  Maybe tomorrow.  So in lieu of news from Elliot, it might be fun to take a look at the headlines from the Purcell Register, the local newspaper where Elliot is currently assigned.

The top story today is a reminder that the Purcell Public Library will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday due to a resurfacing project at the Human Resources Center facility.  Due dates to return items will be extended and fines will not be imposed while the library is closed.

The next story, "Devastating," describes the local damage caused by last week's tornadoes.  The nearby communities of Washington and Goldsby were struck by two tornadoes, and homes were damaged in Dibble.  Thankfully, no lives were lost in McClain County, although there are reports of as many as 25 people injured, with two in critical condition (as of last Thursday).  The story describes what happened in Purcell:
Sirens wailed in Purcell starting about 5:26 [p.m.] with public shelters quickly filling to capacity. There was no damage or hail in Purcell and no measurable precipitation in Purcell or Lexington. Purcell’s unofficial rainfall out of the storm was .05.

Devastation statewide was immense after one of the biggest tornado outbreaks in state history.

Purcell City Manager Dale Bunn reported city crews were assisting personnel in the Dibble, Goldsby and Washington areas after multiple funnels moved through the area.

Bunn said as soon as Purcell Public Safety officials were sure Purcell was out of danger they starting lending assistance to neighbors.
I wonder if Elliot was in a shelter when all this was going on.

Next is a story on "Helping Joplin Victims," which tells local folks how they can help those suffering from the effects of the tornado that killed so many and caused massive destruction in Joplin.   The local chapter of the National Mission Disaster Response Team and the Lighthouse Worship Center are both providing assistance.

There is also a story listing all the tornado shelters available in Purcell.  I hope all the missionaries knew where to go!

There are a few other stories and editorials typical of a local, weekly newspaper.  It's fun to read to get a flavor of Elliot's experience in the area.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Frederick News Post: "Mormon departs for 18-month mission to 'share the Gospel'"

Today's top story in the art/life section of the Frederick News Post is all about 22-year-old Vita Jeudy, a member of the Church from Walkersville, Maryland.  Sister Jeudy, a convert to the Church of some eleven years, just left on her mission to Oklahoma.  No, she did not go to Oklahoma City, but instead to Tulsa, which is close enough to warrant a mention on Elliot's blog, right?  It is great to see the local media cover a young woman's decision to serve a mission as a newsworthy story. 

The story does a great job of telling of the conversion of Sister Jeudy and her family, and goes on to describe what mission life is all about.  Sister Jeudy, a recent graduate of BYU-Idaho, describes her feelings about going on a mission:
"I feel the love and the truthfulness of the Gospel in the people around us," she said. "They teach us to serve and to have love for those around us, but I never truly felt it until now."
Jeudy said she's not serving a mission to persuade people to be baptized; she's in it to share the Gospel.
"If you join, you join. If you don't, I've tried to share a message that I think should be heard," she said.
We wish Sister Jeudy all the best on her mission (even though she doesn't get to go to Oklahoma City!).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oklahoma City missionaries are all safe

We received a very nice email yesterday evening from Elliot's mission president, Nolan Taylor (pictured with his wife, Rhonda).  Thankfully, all the missionaries in the Oklahoma City mission are safe and accounted for after yesterday's tornadoes.  We appreciate having someone watching out for Elliot while he's gone!  Here is President Taylor's message:
Dear parents:  All the missionaries in the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission have checked in and all are safe following this afternoon’s storms.  We experienced a number of significant tornados and severe thunderstorms around the mission this afternoon.  The storms caused damage around the state but it is too early to know the full extent of the damage.  We have emergency procedures in place in the event of severe storms and these procedures are posted in all of our apartments and we remind our missionaries of these procedures regularly.  The procedures worked today but most importantly, we were protected by The Lord today.  We will be assisting the wards and stakes with clean up as needed.  Thank you for your support and love for our missionaries.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oklahoma Tornadoes

We knew there would be days like this when we sent Elliot off to Oklahoma.  Days of worry about his safety, frantically hitting the refresh button to get the latest updates on the internet, listening to the local emergency weather radio channel, watching for news on CNN/Fox/msnbc.  It has definitely not been a happy day.  But as of late Tuesday evening, the storm systems have moved to the east and Elliot's immediate area does not appear to have been impacted by the worst of the weather, although there was one tornado near Washington that was too close for comfort.  Sadly, there were many parts of Oklahoma that were greatly impacted by tornadoes and other severe weather.  The news reports are frightening.  According to the most recent update from The Oklahoman:
At least five people were killed and dozens more injured after multiple tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma on Tuesday, including a massive twister that left a trail of damage 50 miles long.
Four of the deaths were in Canadian County, said Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner. A fifth person died in Chickasha when a tornado hit a mobile home park, fire Capt. Chris Calhoun said. An Edmond woman also died in a car wreck as she rushed home to seek shelter from the storms, authorities said.
Motorists seem to have borne the worst of the impacts:
At least three of the fatalities in Canadian County were on Interstate 40 near mile marker 113 where cars were blown off the highway, authorities said.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said troopers still were working to identify the victims late Tuesday. He said some of the victims were found 300 to 400 yards from abandoned vehicles.
Four cars on I-40 were torn apart by the twister, and the highway was littered with car parts. A tractor-trailer also was severely damaged, but the driver survived.
The most destructive tornado struck in the vicinity of El Reno, Oklahoma:
Much of the damage Tuesday came from one large tornado that touched down north of Lookeba in Caddo County and moved northeast into Canadian County, where it killed people on I-40 and destroyed homes and businesses west and north of El Reno.
The twister destroyed more homes in the Piedmont area and caused serious injuries before it moved into southeastern Kingfisher County, damaging homes south of Cashion, and continued into Logan County, causing more damage. The storm continued to cause damage into Payne County near Stillwater.
The video footage is powerful:

The Oklahoman has posted a series of photos, some of which you can see after the jump.

We'll look forward to hearing from Elliot next Monday but we're confident he's fine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornado in Joplin, Missouri

Oklahoma is the hotbed of tornado activity in the United States.  But this tornado season -- the deadliest in over 50 years -- has extended far beyond Oklahoma.  Most recently, a tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, just 10 miles from the northeastern corner of Oklahoma and about 250 miles from Purcell, Oklahoma, where Elliot is currently assigned.  By now, we've all seen the reports of the devastation caused by the Joplin tornado, killing over 100 people, injuring many hundreds more, and causing extensive property damage throughout the city.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this disaster.  I have added a pair video news reports of the tornado's impact, one before the jump and one after.

This evening, western Oklahoma was under a tornado watch.  Earlier, a pair of tornadoes was sighted in the northern part of the state, with no reports of injury or damage.  In Elliot's email today, he reported some severe storms last week but, thankfully, he has managed to avoid tornadoes.  We'll keep our fingers crossed that his luck continues.

More pictures of Elliot

I recently discovered that Elliot's mission president and his wife, Nolan and Rhonda Taylor (pictured at right), maintain a blog about their mission experience in Oklahoma.  It's great to see what's going on in Elliot's mission, beyond what we learn from his weekly emails.  And best of all, there are some pictures of Elliot that we hadn't seen before.  I've copied them below, after the jump.  We'll follow the mission blog and post any new pictures we find.

Elliot's May 23 email and pictures

Here's the latest email from Elliot, along with some new pictures after the jump.


Tell Alyssa congrats on everything! That's super exciting. I couldn't hear the singing on these library computers, but it looks like it was awesome. [Alyssa is wrapping up her senior year at Hart High.  On Friday, she sang a solo at the spring concert.  She graduates Wednesday and heads to BYU in August.]

We did get a lot of rain and crazy thunder and lightning and everything! We were okay, it actually never was raining while we were out, but we were under a few tornado watches and stuff. Oklahoma is exciting!

My new companion, Elder Derrick Nield (from Smithfield, UT) is awesome. We've been having a good time and the work's going pretty well. He's definitely adjusted to the routine of missionary work quickly. We're getting referrals and working hard!  [I found some pictures of Elder Nield from his high school basketball days here.  And here is a link to his page on]

We had a tougher week. We took one of the recent converts in the ward to a set of 3 appointments we had set up, all of which fell through. It was a mega bummer. But I've learned that when something seems to go wrong, 5 things go right. We headed up to Noble after, and finding we had about an hour of free time, went tracting. We prayed to know where we should go, and looking at a map of the town, felt inspired to go to a block on the complete opposite side of town from where we were. But, of course, God knows better than we do, so we went. We tracted a street and didn't find anyone wanting to hear from us, so we walked back towards the car, and saw a guy working on his car around the corner from where we were parked. We offered to lend a hand (even though I don't know how in the world to work on cars), and he politely declined. We got to talking though. He was from Guatemala, had talked to missionaries there a few times, but never got a chance to learn much. The Spirit was strong though. He was very receptive, took a Book of Mormon, and we have plans to go back and visit later. Finding those that you're supposed to is the greatest feeling in the mission, I think. Later on we had a lesson with one of our investigators who said she really didn't feel ready to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ in her life, though she was quick to recognize us as representatives of the Lord. It was hard, seeing her unwilling to read, pray, attend church and do the things that would make her life so much better, but that's how it goes. We left feeling we did all we could, but a bit disheartened, understandably. Just then a member calls us a gives us this awesome referral. The guy had been going through a real tough time. His house burned down, and all that wasn't destroyed got stolen. He expressed to the member that he was unsatisfied with his current church, and the member promptly invited him to come to ours. He did. After church yesterday, he said that he felt right at home as soon as he entered the building, and he knew that's where the Lord wanted him. He wants to come next week with his family. We're visiting them tonight, and are going to invite them to be baptized. 

I guess that's why the mission, this inspired work, leaves me so happy in the end. It seems like no matter what, the good outweighs the bad in the end. It's tough, humid, sticky, slow, but awesome.

I love you!

Elder Elliot Adair

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New pictures of Elder Kyle Hill in Italy

We have featured Elder Kyle Hill of the Newhall First Ward on Elliot's blog before.  Kyle arrived in Italy just a few days ago, on Wednesday, May 18.  His first area will be Catania on the island of Sicily.  You can follow Kyle on his blog.  Here are a couple of great pictures from the day he arrived in Rome.  The first picture shows Kyle with his new mission president and his wife, Thomas and Kathleen Kelly of Salt Lake City.  The second picture shows all the new missionaries who went to Italy with Kyle.  We look forward to reading all about his mission.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rain in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has been suffering from severe drought conditions for many months, as we reported a few weeks ago.  Thankfully, recent rain storms have eased the drought somewhat, including in the area where Elliot is currently assigned.  We'll see if he has anything to say about the rain in his upcoming email.  According to a recent news story,
The recent storms brought 2 to 4 inches of rain in general, with locally heavier amounts in southwestern Oklahoma. That was also the case up through Oklahoma County, [Gary] McManus [of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey] said. However, there were areas of western and northwestern Oklahoma, as well as the Panhandle, where rainfall totals were a half-inch or less.
The drought is not over but the heavy rain certainly helps.
"For those areas that had received good rains previously to this one, such as in central Oklahoma, [the recent rains] will go a long way toward lessening the drought conditions,” McManus said.
“For other areas, like extreme southwestern Oklahoma, it's a good start. As of midday Friday, much of western and northwestern Oklahoma still needed a good drink to even start thinking about drought relief. For most of western Oklahoma, it's a county-by-county process.”
The rain caused some flooding and property damage, as you can see in the pictures and a video after the jump.  Farmers and ranchers are undoubtedly thrilled to get some rain, despite the damage, although it may have come too late in the growing season to help everyone.
On the bad news side for wheat production in Oklahoma, it was too little too late, [Mark] Hodges [of Plains Grains Inc.] said. In many areas the drought led to little or no crops. And there's a risk that weeds may germinate in crops that are out there, he said.
“While the moisture is too little too late and there are potential problems, I don't think you will find the industry complaining, with the exception it came two months too late,” he said.
Check out the video and pictures after the jump.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mormon Messages: "Book of Mormon: An Introduction"

We posted a few stories recently on the history of the Bible and a current exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (here, here, and here).  The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and serves as a companion scripture to the Bible.  The Church recently released a video (below) to introduce the Book of Mormon to those who may be less familiar with its history, its provenance, and its relevance to our lives today.  Narrating the video is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Elliot's purpose as a missionary is to share the message of Jesus Christ, as contained in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  Preach My Gospel teaches:
The testimony of the Book of Mormon confirms the testimony of the Bible that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God and the Savior of the world. As you teach the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will testify often about the Savior and Redeemer of the world. By the power of the Holy Ghost, you will add your living witness of the truthfulness of this message.
Please enjoy the video.  And if you'd like to receive a free copy of the Book of Mormon, you can order one here.  You can also receive a free copy of the Bible here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mormon Messages for Youth: "Same Jersey"

As priesthood bearers, we must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman. We are here to live according to His law and establish the kingdom of God. We are here to build, uplift, treat fairly, and encourage all of Heavenly Father’s children.  (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Pride and the Priesthood," Ensign, November 2010.)
When Elder Uchtdorf spoke at the October 2010 General Conference, he likely had never heard of Brandon McEuen, starting quarterback for the Safford High School Bulldogs, or Teren Bingham, starting quarterback for the Thatcher High School Eagles.  But it's hard to imagine a better real-life example of the message Elder Uchtdorf sought to convey.  The video (below) tells a wonderful missionary story of Brandon and Teren, opponents on the field but teammates in the priesthood.  You can also read about them in the Church News.

(Brandon and Teren don't excel only in football.  Brandon was selected as Gila Valley basketball player of the year, and Teren was on the honorable mention team.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Elliot's May 16 email

Here's Elliot's latest email.  He has a new companion and everything seems to be going great!


My new companion, Elder Nield is awesome. He catches on quickly and really likes to just get out there and do the work. We get along well and I think we're gonna see awesome things happen in this area.

We both spoke in church this Sunday, my second time in like 4 weeks, and it went well. In fact, the Bishop got up after us and told the congregation that we're missionaries that they could trust with their friends and that they ought to give us referrals. We got some afterwards. I've never had any Bishop say something like that so this is awesome.

Other than that everything's going well. The work should be picking up even more here real soon. We have a dinner appointment every night until I think Wednesday of next week, so we're having a good time.

I gotta run, but I love you all and hope you're doing good! Good luck with the banquet mom!  [Lori is in charge of the Hart High Show Choir banquet tonight.]


Elder Elliot Adair

P.S. I would've sent a picture of me and Elder Nield but I forgot my camera! Oh well...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oklahoma City Museum of Art: "Passages" opens Monday

Several weeks ago we posted a story about "Passages," a worldwide traveling exhibit of historic biblical texts and artifacts.  The exhibit is set to open Monday, May 16, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.  Here's a great new video (below) and a news story about the exhibit, with some terrific footage of many of the items that will be on display.  Enjoy the video, and then there are some pictures after the jump.

Friday, May 13, 2011

San Antonio area missionaries perform the national anthem

Back when Elliot was in the MTC, he got to sing in a choir of missionaries at the October 2010 General Conference.  We posted about that experience, with pictures, here and here.  It was a great opportunity for Elliot and he really enjoyed it.

Missionaries are often called on to sing or perform in public settings.  I recently ran across a video of a group of missionaries serving in the San Antonio, Texas mission who were asked to perform the national anthem before a playoff game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies.*  It's a great rendition of the anthem, very traditional, and I thought it would be fun to share it on Elliot's blog.  Enjoy the video after the jump.

* The Grizzlies won that series and are now facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in the western conference semifinals.  The Thunder lead that series 3-2, with game 6 tonight.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Elliot's May 9 email and pictures

Here's the latest message from Elliot.  He sent some pictures too.  You can see them after the jump.


It was awesome talking to you guys too. [We spoke with him yesterday for Mother's Day.] Y'all are awesome and keep it up!

I guess there's really not too much to update you on that I hadn't done yesterday, but I'm excited to be training! [Elliot will get a new companion Wednesday, a brand new missionary straight from the MTC.] It makes me nervous, but I'm more excited. I just wish I knew who he was. Right now he's sitting in a classroom in Provo, UT. I remember being in his shoes like it was yesterday. It's feels like it was practically yesterday.

And I'm grateful for the time I had with Elder Endicott too. . . . I just hope I'm llegando a ser [becoming] the person God wants me to be!

Everything else is going awesome. I'm still loving this area and the works going well. I'm glad to know it's all good back home too! I love you all and thank y'all!


Elder Elliot Adair

And just for fun I included pictures! One of me in a Model T [for members of the Newhall First Ward, you can see his blue "100 Days" challenge wristband], one of my companion Elder Endicott, and one of an awesome burrito I ate recently at Los Dos Amigos.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More new pictures of Carlton Reininger

Shannon Reininger sent some new pictures of Carlton Reininger.  These pictures come from the blog maintained by Carlton's mission president and his wife, the Lindahls.

And if you're wondering why we don't post more pictures of Elliot, he told us today that he left the charger for his camera in his last area, Clinton, but just got it back this week.  Hopefully we'll get some new pictures of Elliot soon.

Enjoy the pictures of Carlton and other missionaries from the Mendoza Argentina mission after the jump.

400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible

One of Elliot's primary purposes as a missionary to Oklahoma is to share the message of the mission of Jesus Christ, as contained in the Bible: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  (John 3:16.) 

This past week marked the 400th anniversary of the first publication of the King James Version of the Bible.  The King James Version gets its name from the English King who commissioned a new translation of the Bible, a translation that has become the most widely used English Bible and is the official English language version of the Church.

A story from the Church Newsroom reports:

Like other Christian denominations, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes the Bible to be the word of God, and members are encouraged to study it and follow its teachings. In a 2007 general conference address titled “The Miracle of the Holy Bible,” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

It is not by chance or coincidence that we have the Bible today. Righteous individuals were prompted by the Spirit to record both the sacred things they saw and the inspired words they heard and spoke. Other devoted people were prompted to protect and preserve these records. Men like John Wycliffe, the courageous William Tyndale, and Johannes Gutenberg (pictured) were prompted against much opposition to translate the Bible into language people could understand and to publish it in books people could read. I believe even the scholars of King James had spiritual promptings in their translation work.
For those who would like a free copy of the Bible, the Church makes them available here.

And here is a link to a documentary that describes the Church's effort to publish a Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Bible. Included in the publication were new chapter headings, cross-referencing footnotes linking all of the standard works, a topical guide or subject index, an improved bible dictionary, a gazetteer, and color maps. Selections from the Joseph Smith Inspired translation of the Bible were also included.

Happy Mother's Day!

One of the rules missionaries for the Church live by is that their communication with family back home is limited to a weekly email or letter and two phone calls per year, one on Christmas and the other on Mother's Day.  Those phone calls are precious experiences for the families.  We look forward to them, savor them while they last, and hate to hang up when it's time to let our missionary go.

Since today is Mother's Day, we had one of our calls with Elliot.  It was so great to hear from him and to know that he is doing well and is happy.  He is such a positive person.  He enjoys the people and the culture of Oklahoma, and the entire experience of being a missionary.  Nothing seems to phase him -- not the heat, the humidity, the bugs, and the rest of the challenges he faces.  He sends his best to everyone and appreciates the letters and emails he receives.  We'll talk to him again in December!

And in the spirit of Mother's Day, enjoy a fun video after the jump.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Missionary news from around the world: Japan and the Ivory Coast

The Church posted two news stories recently about missionary service in Japan and the Ivory Coast.  Here are brief excerpts and links to the stories.


We previously posted about missionaries in Japan and how they were affected by the earthquake and tsunami and associated problems at nuclear plants (here, here, here, and here).  In a recent story, the Church reports that some missionaries will return to areas of Japan that had been evacuated:
Six weeks after a 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami hit Japan, some missionaries that were previously removed from the Japan Tokyo and Japan Sendai Missions will return to areas now considered safe within those missions. These missionaries will be transferred in the near future, with other missionaries likely returning as conditions continue to improve.
Missionaries will return to areas located a significant distance from the region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Those returning to the Japan Tokyo Mission will be serving in areas to the south and west of Tokyo, while those returning to the Japan Sendai Mission will be located at the northern tip and western side of the island.
We're sure those missionaries will be glad as their missionary service begins to return to normal.

Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast has been hit with political strife in recent months, leading to the suspension of all missionary activities in the country.  The Church reports:
A disputed presidential election has led to widespread violence in the Ivory Coast during the last few months, leaving hundreds of people dead. There are no reports of deaths or injuries among Latter-day Saints in the country, and all missionaries are reported safe.

The Church moved all missionaries who are not native Ivorians out of the Ivory Coast in December. Non-Ivorian missionaries have been evacuated to the nearby countries of Benin and Togo, with the mission president operating from Togo. Ivorian missionaries have been given temporary leave to return to their homes or to stay with local members until it is safe to resume missionary activities. 
We're glad to hear all the missionaries are safe and will watch for further developments on this story.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oklahoma sports report

It's been over a month since our last Oklahoma sports report.  Not that there hasn't been news to report, especially now that the Oklahoma City Thunder have advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs, where they are facing the Memphis Grizzlies.  Last night the Thunder won game 2 of their series by a final score of 111-102, led by All-Stars Kevin Durant with 26 and Russell Westbrook with 24.  The series is tied 1-1.

But that wasn't the biggest Oklahoma sports story of last night.  No, the biggest story involves Roman Owen, coach of the women's basketball team at Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City.  Coach Owen attended the Thunder game last night and walked away $20,000 richer after nailing a half-court shot between the third and fourth quarters.  Even Kevin Durant took notice, posting a picture of himself with Coach Owen on his Facebook page.  Enjoy the video.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tornado tales: An update

I recently posted a story about tornadoes that struck Tushka and Atoka, Oklahoma, in mid-April.  Since that time, far more severe tornadoes and storm systems have wreaked havoc all across the southern United States, with Alabama taking the most direct hit.  The pictures of devastation in Tuscaloosa are unimaginable.  Recent reports put the death toll in Alabama at 236, with over 2,200 injured.  Nationwide, 362 tornadoes occurred during last week's storms, including a record-setting 312 in a 24-hour period.  April 27 was the most deadly day in the United States for tornadoes since 1925.  This video (below) shows the awesome power of the tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa.

Meanwhile, back in Oklahoma, recovery efforts in Tushka and Atoka continue.  A disaster recovery center operated by FEMA, the Oklahoma Emergency Management Department, and the Small Business Administration has opened in Tushka for those affected by the April 14 tornado.  The Red Cross is also offering aid to local residents.  Governor Mary Fallin has requested federal financial aid to help local towns, the county and utilities with infrastructure repairs and other storm-related costs.  And finally, country music is helping to raise funds.  Reba McEntire, who was raised in Atoka County, and Blake Shelton, a native of Ada and a current resident of neighboring Johnston County, will host the “Tornado Relief Concert” on May 26 in partnership with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Choctaw Casino Resort at the Choctaw Event Center in Durant.

Newhall First Ward missionary newsletter

Here is the most recent Newhall First Ward missionary newsletter from Sister Connie Hollingworth.  We really appreciate her putting this together every month!  If you've been keeping track, you may wonder why there is no letter from Amanda Beach.  She returned from Brazil very recently.  It's good to have her home.  And you'll see that Brett Gardiner will return home this week, just in time to help his parents move to Newhall Second Ward.  Enjoy the newsletter after the jump.

Elliot's May 2 email

Here's the latest email from Elliot.  Six more days until our Mother's Day call!

Hey family!

That's crazy that they got him [Osama bin Laden]. I actually had heard about it this morning and it's a big shocker. I wonder how it'll change tracting and stuff this week.

Okay-so for the phone call next week I'm actually not too sure yet when exactly we can do it. We have possibly 2 dinners that we're going to, and I'm not sure exactly how it'll work out, but I can promise to call after 4 my time, 2 yours. I could probably get permission to let you know later on in the week when I know for sure. Otherwise hopefully I can call later on around 5ish!

The work was kinda slow this week, for some reason appointments were just falling through and stuff. But it was still cool. We got some new investigators and actually still taught quite a few lessons. It's just great when you're out all day, feeling like nothing's happening, and then the very last door you knock before it gets too dark to tract ends up in a lesson. That's the best feeling. Going back to the apartment knowing that you did what you were supposed to, found that person you needed to, and feeling exhausted is the best for me. Nothing like it.

Other than that I'm doing good. I'm getting fed and staying healthy So I'm happy.

Sorry for the short email but I gotta run!

Love you!

Elder Elliot Adair