Saturday, April 13, 2013


April 2nd we made our final trip to Columbia South Carolina. First we had an interview with President Holm and were told we were relieved of our responsibilities in Augusta Ward and would be released as missionaries by our stake president upon our return home. The interview was followed by lunch with the President and the office missionaries, senior training then dinner at the mission home with all the senior missionaries. We had such an enjoyable time although it was bitter sweet, sad to be leaving the mission field but looking forward to our return home. During the past eighteen months we have served with many wonderful and faithful senior couples, elders and sisters, we love them all as we served in Augusta, Georgia. We are kindred spirits and will remain so eternally. 
President and sister Holm

Wednesday morning bright and early Elder Berry and I took a quick trip to Sarasota, Florida to visit our friend Marie. On the way we stopped in Orlando and went to the temple which is beautiful and we enjoyed the spirit  Marie and I served in the Las Vegas temple for over ten years. I was released to serve this mission and Marie moved to Florida to be close to her son. She has a beautiful home and we enjoyed visiting with her. As we returned to Augusta we drove through St. Petersburg and Tampa taking lots of pictures but too many to post but wonderful memories. 

Mick Mouse high power light pole driving through Orlando near Disney World. Elder Berry got really excited over this pole as he thought it was unique ( he doesn't care for amusement parks)

By the time we made it to Dayton Beach it had turned cold, the wind was blowing hard, looked like rain and the beach was closed.

Saturday we went to church and watched two sessions of conference and enjoyed hearing the message and feeling the spirit as our prophet and other church leaders spoke. Saturday evening just as the second session was over Elder Berry and I got in the car to make some visits before Priesthood session. As Elder Berry sat in the car he had a pain in his kidney which gradually got worse. At the first pain he said "I'm sorry but I'm having a kidney stone. We went to church ans spoke to Brother Brosnahan our ward mission leader who is a  doctor. Instead of going to the hospital he told him how much pain medication to take, go home and drink, drink, drink, and if the pain got too severe then go to the emergency room. That is just what we did and Elder Berry paced for about three hours in severe pain, finally when the Elders got out of Priesthood meeting they came over and gave him a blessing. Shortly after the Elders left Elder Berry passed the stone and was back to his normal self. We even made a trip to the grocery store at even o'clock in preparation for pot luck dinner between conference sessions the next day. We know our prayers were answered and are grateful for the immediate answer especially since we were anticipating our return trip home on Monday also Elder Berry was able to enjoy conference on Sunday. 

 Sister Crystal who joined the church almost a year ago made us this beautiful quilt. It is all hand made, no machine stitching on it. Elder Berry and I went with the Elders as they taught her and she didn't have a car at the time so we were her transportation also.  Sister Crystal suffers from a Bipolar disorder and is involved in a program to help others who also suffer from this same disorder and she hopes to start a program helping others make quilts and other activities as a diversion. We love this quilt and it will always be a treasure.

We weren't as organized as we hoped to be on Monday but thanks to the Elders who helped us load our car and Elder & Sister Gowans helping finish in the apartment we made it out of Augusta at 3:30 PM heading west to Atlanta to visit with two of Elder Berry Sisters. The first stop on on journey home.

 Give the Elders a camera and they love to play.

Do you think our third companion will get us to Vegas fully loaded?

As the curtain closes on the past eighteen months we thank all our family and friends and everyone who have kept us in their prayers.We have seen miracles in the lives of those we have served and in our life as we were able to overcome our physical limitations and illnesses. Elder Berry and I know the Lord knows what is best for all of us and that we were sent to Augusta under inspiration. The people in Augusta will forever be in our hearts and a part of our lives. We love all the missionaries and cherish all the experiences we have enjoyed serving together although we had many disappointments but we were able to overcome. Our mission president, President Holm is inspired in his leadership and has motivated us to become better missionaries and serve with greater purpose and power. Monday as we were preparing to leave a sister called to wish us well and share an experience with us. This sister is a single sister who cares for her elderly mother who had a stroke November of last year. We went by often but were never invited into her home because she said it was a mess. Elder Berry cut her grass twice last summer and we offered to help her do some home improvement projects and she always said she would when she got her house in order. During this phone conversation on Monday she told me she had being praying for someone to help and advise her because she had finally decided to get serious with making improvements in her home. She said she begged the Lord for several days to send her someone to help with this overwhelming project. She said after several prayers she heard a voice as plain as day say to her, "I sent you Elder Berry." Although she finally decided her house didn't need to be in order and to ask for help we were leaving. We encouraged her to speak with her home teachers and believe she is ready to follow through. We have been blessed to serve so close to my Sister Patti and her family and have been able to spend time with them. Thanks Patti for all you have done for us!
In June the Augusta, Georgia Stake will no longer be part of the Columbia, South Carolina mission but will be part of the Macon, Georgia Mission. Although we will be many miles away Augusta will always have a part of our heart and we will meet again but until then, "God Be With You Till We Meet again"

Love, Elder & Sister Berry

LDS Hymn
"God be with you till we meet again, 
By His counsels guide, uphold you, 
With his sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again"

Monday, April 1, 2013


OUCH - Monday night as we were out visiting I stepped on a sweet gumball that fell from a Sweetgum tree and twisted my ankle. The pain sent me to the ground right on my knees. Elder Berry helped me up and got me in the car and home to doctor the knees and the ankle. No more visiting for the evening. Hope no one saw me on the ground. Tuesday morning first thing we were at Urgent Care getting x-rays, nothing broken, just bad sprain, stay off foot for two days, keep it iced, wear a brace which they provided and come back in two weeks for another x-ray.

Sweetgum tees just beginning to bloom 
Sweetgum balls (the little devils)
Sister Crystal made the ice pack when Elder Berry was down in his back, now I am putting it to good use. 

"When The Sun Goes Down In Georgia" is a song that has some lyrics that describe how we feel about Augusta, Georgia. 
" I fell in love at a glance
Should've known I'd never have a chance
....When the sun goes down in Georgia.
I'll be driftin' back  in time"

"...And when the moonlight shines through the pine.
I'll get lost in memories......
So when the sun goes down in Georgia, oh
I'll be missin' you"

The wisteria is blooming. Driving down the street vines were taking over the light polls, trees and bushes. Beautiful. SPRING HAS FINALLY ARRIVED.
Trees in bloom, more pictures driving down the street

 This and the next three pictures are taken at our apartment complex

  This is what we see from our sliding door.

 While searching for a less active man we were excited to find this place tucked  away along the Savannah River. We made two trips to this location, never visited the man but sure enjoyed the beauty of the river.

Rail road crossing without any R's. Can you spell that without any R's? Train tracks crisscross Augusta. It isn't uncommon to get stopped by a train and it happens usually when we're running late. There is a track that runs close to our apartment complex. When we first arrived it wasn't uncommon to be woke up from a sound sleep by a train whizzing by. The other day I asked Elder Berry why the trains never come down our track anymore. I was informed that they do but we have become so accustomed to hearing them that we don't notice them anymore.

 Visiting Indiana at nursing home. She is very unhappy here and wants to go home so bad and talks of going home to Aiken South Carolina. Her family has never visited her here "because they don't know the way" because her sister only drives in the area where she lives. She said she was going to call a taxi even though it would cost over a hundred she has already made some phone calls. She is packed all ready to leave and we are looking over all her bags. We sure hope she is doing the right thing although we doubt she will leave. She loves greens grapes and we take her some when we visit.

 Sisters Berry & Gowans Saturday at ward Easter activity. Elder & Sister Gowans are now assigned to Augusta ward as Fort Gordon is in ward boundaries. We will miss them so much they are truly dedicated missionaries,.

 Highlight of the week. Nicholson family that was baptized Saturday. What a sweet family and such a sweet spirit.

Stewart family. Brother Stewart grew up in Las Vegas in Palmyra Ward. He and his family are in the Stevens Creek Ward (my sister's ward) They joined us for Easter dinner at Patti's home. We had a wonderful time and delicious dinner.

Just as the week was getting started with lots of plans to visit, assignments from the Bishopric, and packing  to be done and then I go and strep on a gumball so two days we didn't get much done. Tuesday I rode in the car as Elder Berry drove around and delivered cookies and said good-by. Wednesday I did go to Book of Mormon class then Thursday we had a long day of visiting with me in the brace limping around. One of the visits was to Katy who lives in a nursing home. We had a sweet visit with Katy, her health has improved and she is able to get around in her wheel chair now. As we were leaving the nursing home a patient was being wheeled by us and she started repeating Jesus Christ. We had never seen this patient before and she had never seen us but she knew we were special, don't know if she recognized the name tag we were wearing and knew we were missionaries. We stopped and held her hand and she continued repeating Jesus Christ. What a humbling experience because we are representatives of Jesus Christ as we share His gospel. As we go through our days we never know who we meet on the street that recognize us or watches us as we serve. 
As we have traveled around Augusta we have been treated with great respect, a nod of the head or a special have a blessed day. We love being missionaries, we love serving and representing Jesus Christ. So as the sun goes down on our service in Georgia, we can always go back in time and memory, Georgia we'll be missing you.

Elder & Sister Berry