Sunday, December 27, 2015

Waiting for D-Day

The last week I have felt like we are sitting in a boat in the English Channel waiting for D-Day.  The second week of our mission we spent the first two days learning the mission management system.  I was real impressed in its scope and how well it works.  It's kind of like the programs we used at Zions except it is easy to use and works.  I got to know more of the missionaries and had some real good experiences.  On  Sunday night we had a fireside from the director of the MTC.  He talked about doing our duty from Exodus when Moses held up his arms when the Israelites were at battle.  It was real good.  

We then drove to Cedar City to spend two days with Renee's dad.  He was in good spirits and it was real good to see him once more.  We have been in SLC since Christmas Eve with Stephanie.  We had a wonderful Christmas with them that included "lego nation" and a train set.  How could it be better.  We have had so much fun with the grand kids including  a snowball fight in the new snow and a nice manicure for Renee from her granddaughters. 

We also got to say good bye to my sister, Kristine and my brother, Dave and Renee's sister Angela.  Family is a big deal.  I am so grateful that our families are joined together forever.  I am certain that this is true.

Tomorrow we head to Uruguay.  We board the plane at 8:30 A. M. and arrive in Montevideo, Uruguay at 10:30 A. M. on Tues.  I expect a long ride.  I want to close by saying that I know that this is  the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is our Savior.  He suffered and died for us so that we can live on this earth and return to Him.  I am excited to get to Uruguay and get in the game.  We love you all.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

First Week in the MTC (Mission Training Center)

Our first week was wonderful.  Our group consisted of about 80 people, mostly couples.  As we got to know them the first thing that came to mind was what a first class group.  Even though we are sure there is a lot of leadership represented, I don't remember one person stating what they had done in the Church.  We had a very broad range of experience.  Elder Donahoe and his wife are going to Lansing Michigan as Medical advisors as Elder Donahoe is a retired ear, nose and throat specialist.  He also can play any hymn in the book.  Elder Cofts and his wife are retired county recorders of Weber Co.  They live in Roy.  Elder Miller and his wife are retired GE salesmen.  He actually sold washers and dryers to President Cook at Blacker Furniture.  Elder and Sister Ord are the ones we got the closest to.  He is a retired college history professor and she is a piano teacher.  They even sang in the Tabernacle Choir.  They were a little quiet and didn't know how to take us.  She was fascinated that Renee still laughs at my jokes.  What can I say.  We spent the week in training with Preach My Gospel.  What a great experience.  We feel bad that we may never get to see many of these people again. 

We also got to see Elder Baker from our home ward and send a text of the picture to his mother.  That was fun. 

 A word about the food.  Ewwwwww!  I have had scout trips that had better grub.  You have such high hopes, but then you taste it.  Renee says a little salt helps, but it needs more than help. I think it is geared for 18-20 year old boys.  I have to add  that Kandi's roast beef dinner in Delta today was a dream come true.   Anyway only two more days and then we are done.

We have had great firesides. Elder Bednar Elder Holland, Elder Lynn G. Robbins who served in my mission at the same time I did and  members of the MTC staff.  The teachers are all young and have a lot of enthusiasm. We have also met several younger Elders and Sisters, some of which are going to Argentina.  It is so exciting.   We have learned so much from the Spirit and are looking forward to Uruguay.

We love you.  May God bless you all.

Wankiers to Serve Mission in Uruguay

For the original article on the Idaho State Journal's website, please visit here.

  • Gordon Wankier, the manager of Zions Bank’s Blackfoot Financial Center, is retiring from the post he’s held for nearly a decade, but he’ll continue using some of his skills in the future.
    Wankier and his wife, Renee, will leave on Dec. 14 to serve a two-year mission in Uruguay for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While there, they will be assisting the mission president with book keeping and other management responsibilities. And they will also have opportunities to do some proselytizing, he said.
    Wankier believes such work is important because it’s one of the last things Jesus Christ asked his disciples to do.
    “The last thing he said was go preach the gospel to (all the) world. That’s what we do,” Wankier stated.
    He says he will miss the work he’s been doing for years and the many friends he’s made a long the way. He will also miss his 16 grandchildren. He gets emotional just thinking about being away from them. But he also he believes in what he’s doing.
    “Your grandkids aren’t the reason to stay, they’re the reason to go, (because you) love them and want to set an example for them,” Wankier said.
    Even though he will miss some important milestones while he’s gone, Wankier noted that he will be able to keep in touch with his grandchildren through online video chats.
    This will be Wankier’s second mission for his church. As a young man, he also served a two-year mission in Argentina.
  • He’s looking forward to the chance to do so again — this time with his wife by his side.
    “(I’ll get to) spend the next two years exclusively with my wife. We’ll get to be together every day and share our lives,” he said.
    He’s also looking forward to meeting new people and seeing some new places.
    “You grow to love the people. That’s what it’s kind of all about,” he said.