Monday, November 28, 2011


Hi President, We had a miracle day on Saturday. A dear sweet member who is 77 years old named Sister Alarcon accompanied us from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.! This dear woman taught me the true meaning of missionary work. From the moment she got in the car, she thanked us for inviting her and told us that she had always wanted to be a missionary. She filled our car with her love and the Spirit. From the moment she got out of the car, SHE contacted everyone she saw. She ran up to them and hugged them, then held their hand as she asked where they were from and introduced herself. She immediately bore her testimony of God's love, that Christ lives and that we have a prophet today who is led by Jesus Christ. Wow, it was a beautiful thing to behold.

At one point, we were on our way to an appointment, when I noticed a man sitting in his car. The Spirit whispered to go talk to him, but I brushed it away and tried to get in our car to go to the next appt. As I was about to sit down, I looked over and saw dear sweet Sister Alarcon hugging this man and sharing the Gospel with him. It turns out that this young father and his wife had previously been taught by Elders Tovar and Cuevas not too long ago and he still carries his Book of Mormon with him and reads it daily. He now has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. We stopped by later that day, and had a beautiful, spirit-filled lesson. They even came to church the next day. Dear Sister Alarcon has changed my mission forever by her example. There was not one person who rejected her, even if they didn't have true interest, they were all so touched by her love and testimony. I can only pray to develop her faith and energy!

Love, Sister Dana


We received this wonderful letter in the mail this week and thought it needed to be shared.

Dear President Albright,

I wanted to send a letter to the Mormon Church and to your missionaries to express the sincere and eternal thanks of myself, my wife and my family for the kindness shown by your Elders during a family crisis we experienced some 2 years ago. I send this letter to emphasis how the good works done by your missionaries and the Mormon Church can brighten faith and belief to those who may have differing opinions regards the nature of God and religion.

Two years ago my eldest daughter Amber, then 3, started to stumble and fall over. On one such fall she banged her head and we took her to see a doctor to ensure she had not concussed herself. During what was meant to be a routine CT scan we were informed that the protective layer around her brain was suffering from severe demyelination, that is the protective sheath was eroding at an uncontrollable rate and causing her to fall over.

Not being doctors we of course didn’t know what that meant, so we took Amber to see a specialist, somewhat concerned by the results. During a meeting with a leading expert in the field we were told very clearly that the condition could not be treated and would at best result in her dying within 3-5 years, and to make matters even worse she would end up in a vegetative state. Amber was a bright, fun loving and wonderful child. Like any parents hearing the news that nothing could save our daughter we were devastated. Both myself and my wife come from military backgrounds and we are used to finding solutions to problems. Indeed, the nature of the company we own is based on finding solutions to complex and difficult solutions in order to protect people. Hearing that there were no solutions and no matter how much effort, time, resources nor money we could put against this situation would solve it. This was a very hard pill to swallow.

We engaged multiple experts on the matter hoping to hear that the analysis was wrong, only to be told the same thing, that she had a very rare condition against which there was no hope, no treatment and no solution and as such we should make the best use of our remaining time together. We saw other children suffering from the same conditions our child would face in the various clinics and hospitals we visited. It was appalling to watch these poor children and their families suffer through the situation, knowing our happy and lively child would soon be wheelchair bound, unable to move, talk or even think in the weeks leading up to her death. Any parent will know that the sense of helplessness in such a situation is very hard to deal with. During this time we were told that we should have a second scan 6 months later to see the rate of the demyelination, which of course seemed like an eternity to our family.

During this time your missionaries were visiting our neighborhood and my wife struck up a friendship with your elders. They would meet once every week or so and during one meeting your elders offered to come by with a group of LDS members and form a prayer group (my apologies if the term is not correct). While not being of your faith we were open to anything that might help of course and welcomed the offer, not expecting any change to the situation. Around eight members of your Church came to our home and prayed for Amber and gave her a blessing.

We took Amber to have her second CT scan the next week and several days later received an urgent call to meet with our neurologist. To his and our surprise the specialist informed us that the disease had not only stopped, but the brain had repaired itself. They informed us that medically there was no explanation for this, and that the brain could not fix itself in such a manner. We of course wanted to believe that our daughter was healed, but didn’t want to get our hopes up, so we repeated the CT scan and engaged other specialists – they all said the same thing – that this form of healing had never been reported before and that they didn’t know how our daughter was now a fit and healthy child.

My wife is a Catholic and I was an agnostic. If I had not believed in some divine being or force before that day I truly believe now. I believe that your Church and Elders were part of the miraculous healing of our child. I believe that our fun loving 5 year old, who has just been assessed as being a gifted child and eligible for a specialist school may not be here today, and certainly not in her bright, fun and clever state of being if your Elders had not prayed for her wellbeing and blessed her to recover. We cannot thank you and your Church enough for the love and effort they showed to a little girl who needed the hand of God to save her. Our appreciation and thoughts go to the Mormon Church and we hope that your interventions bring hope and light to other families.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mike and Kristen


Dear President Albright,
I wanted to tell you of a miracle that happened whilst I was temporarily assigned to the Provo Utah Mission. My companions were Elders Abplanalp, from Switzerland, and Elder Crain, from North Little Rock, Arkansas. On this particular day, Elder Abplanalp and I were out and about, trying to see if there were any less actives we could share a quick message with, or do some type of re-activation work, as investigators are pretty hard to come by in the area.

We headed to a little house on the corner of the street. Our ward directory map told us that a man named Delbert lived there, and that he was not a member of the Church. We knocked on the door and we were greeted by an old man, probably in his mid 80s. Stooped with age, and very tiny. He invited us in his warm and humble home. As we sat down and started talking we came to find out that Delbert had been excommunicated from the Church about 40 years ago. He recounted his story in tears, and soon we were in tears also. He also spoke of his deceased wife, and how he longed to be sealed to her before he departs this world, but he had lost all hope, as his case needed to be cleared by the First Presidency, and that might take a couple of years.

I was fresh out the MTC and I couldn’t have told you what was up and what was down. As we sat there and listened to this man, I just felt a love for him that I couldn’t explain. I mentioned this to him and he just about grabbed both of us by the lapels and told us that we should never ever lose our testimonies- no matter what happens in the course of our lives. He said he had seen many missionaries come and go, but he wanted us to promise him, that we would never go astray. We promised him. Then I received a distinct impression to give him a blessing in the name of the Lord and His priesthood, that if he started the necessary process for baptism, he would be sealed to his beloved Edna, who was faithful in the Church for all those many years.

Over the next couple of weeks, under close supervision of the stake president (who lived a few doors down), we taught Delbert as per his request, which was : "to teach (him) the gospel as if he has never heard it before". And we did. We grew to love old Delbert, he reminded us of the old man in the Disney-Pixar movie "Up". and he sure looked like him too! Well, the time soon came that I had to come to the D.C South Mission, and so I walked to his door with a heavy heart. He seemed to know what was going on in my mind and he just gave me a big old hug! At that moment I just couldn’t stop thinking about the tremendous faith and courage it took for him to finally do what everybody in the neighborhood was praying for during the past 40 years. We said our goodbyes and some hours later I arrived in the D.C South Mission.

That was almost 9 months ago now, and I have been keeping in touch with Delbert since then. I send him letters and he tells me what he’s doing. This past week I received a letter from him. He said that he finally took "the big plunge" and was baptized on the 23 October! Both his Bishop and Stake President were amazed that it only took 3 weeks to get approval from President Monson! Best of all was the support from the ward at the baptism. He was only expecting about 15, but there were over 100 people there. He is now looking forward to being sealed to his beloved Edna, just as we had promised him. He has a hard time seeing so he can’t read the Book of Mormon all too well; so somebody got him the tapes and he is listening to them!

He wished us all well in the D.C South Mission and sent his love. Delbert is awesome, and he is a perfect example of the true meaning of repentance, and humbling ourselves and coming unto Christ.

I love this work and this gospel. Its true! The Lord is very concerned about the details, and he knows exactly where and when His missionaries have to be. This is my testimony, in the name of Him who has Redeemed us all, even Jesus Christ. Amen

Kindest Regards,

Elder Sphelele Mngoma

of Durban, South Africa

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Elder Doman's family came to pick him up from his mission. They spent about a week here visiting and sightseeing. We were delighted to have them to the mission home and get to know them a little bit.
Elder Doman is a fantastic Elder, one of the kindest and most loving of all missionaries. He has lots of other wonderful characteristics, but I always loved this about him. He was so good to everyone.
We will really miss him. He served as Assistant for about 7 months.


Elders Markestein, Doman, Jacobson, LaRochelle, Kotyk, and Stewart. These were the last missionaries to leave. We were up at 5:00 to take the first group to the airport. But these missionaries were leaving on later flights or being picked up by parents.
Elders LaRochelle, Kotyk, Jacobson and Doman.
Elder Doman and President Albright
Elder LaRochelle's flight left last. And he lives the closest. In Ohio. We've loved having him here. A really great zone leader.
Elder Stewart's family came to pick him up.
Elder Stewart with his parents and sister.
Elder Stewart sees his mom.
Elder Markestein and his parents.
The Markesteins with us. We love this elder. He is one of the most special elders we ever had.
He was loved by all the missionaries.
Elder Lawson with his little sister. Somehow I didn't get a picture of the rest of the family. His little sister was so excited to surprize him and show up. Fun to get this moment.


After departing dinner and a wonderful testimony meeting, we had a group of anxious, excited missionaries. Not able to sleep--so it's off for late night bowling. Had a great time watching this group. They are so fun. Especially watching Elders Davie and Doman compete.
Elders Lawson, Reeves, Jacobson
Elders Shupe, Butcher and Hadfield
Elders Lawson, Sis Garbrick, Elders Bluemel, Reeves, Brazzel and Jacobson.
Elder Allen

Elder Butcher
Elder Shupe
Elders Markestein and Tamir
Elders Peterson and LaRochelle
Elders Stewart, Allen, Peterson, LaRochelle
Pres, and Elders Davie, Stuart and Doman

Elder Lawson
E. Doman

E Tamir
E. Peterson

President takes a stance
E. Markestein
E LaRochelle
E Bluemel

E. Davie
Elders Stewart and Brazzel
Pres , Elders Davie and Kotyk
E Doman
E Kotyk

E Reeves
E Jacobson
Elder Hadfield

Elders Jacobson, Brazzel, Hougaard, Sister Garbrick, ElderBluemel, Hadfield, Lawson, Pomeroy, Stewart, Markestein, Allen, Stuart, Reeves, Shupe, Davie, Doman, Kotyk, Peterson, LaRochelle, and Butcher.