Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This is New Year's Eve, 2008. No celebrating for us. We are busy with final packing and John is attempting to put order to his garage.

We are having intensive training at the MTC(Missionary Training Center) which is here in Provo just two miles north of us. We have chosen to stay at home and eat some of our meals there. Ummm - what delicious food and what a great selection! All the "young" missionaries treat us with such consideration, holding doors open and stepping back for us to select our food before them. Our teachers, most of them young men and women who have served missions, are so knowledgeable and are such effective teachers. Of the 70+ senior missionaries in our training group, at least half of them are going to places like Mongolia, Czech Republic, Romania, Kiev, Croatia, Armenia, Stockholm, Ireland, India, various places in South and Central America, Guam, Samoa, Tonga--John was quite envious as they told of the exotic places he has always wanted to see. Still, we are very happy to be serving in Michigan.

We had a wonderful time learning from the couple who just completed their year's service at the Institute of Religion at Michigan State University. They were having a hard time "letting go" and I am sure we are in for a wonderful experience.

On the health front: John spent 4 hours at the dentist office Monday. We left feeling satisfied that things were finally "right." (Still, he finds his mouth is too tender to eat normally.) The next morning, one of his permanent teeth broke so it was back to the dentist yesterday. We deferred the preferred treatment which would have interferred with the remainder of our training and cost another $2500. He is having a fake tooth made to fill the gap and we will deal with the necessary procedure at a later time.

We have two more days at the MTC and weather permitting will leave Provo Saturday morning. We'll post again as soon as we are settled in East Lansing.

John and Ranelle - "Dad & Mom" - "Grandpa and Grandma"

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hi Everyone,

Today we had an email from Elder and Sister Porcaro whom we will be replacing. He was so enthusiastic.

"You will absolutely LOVE your mission assignment. You will have most of what you do right here in the Student Center, the Institute, and the University Ward. And that is a wonderful assignment. You can do it just by being you, and being a grandma and grandpa to students that are for the most part far from home and need you as an adult they can look up to.

Your teaching assignment, at this time , will be Mission Preparation and The Gospel and the Productive Life, along with other Institute assignments. However, we saw a change in assigned classes and you will have input later on for courses you would like to teach. Your classes will be small, from 2 to 12 students.

We have a long list of things we will leave for you or you can borrow from the Institute kitchen so you will not have to overload your vehicle.

We will get back with you and hopefully meet with you before you enter the MTC.

I do remember your daughter Erin when I was at Timpview between 1980 and 1990. Tell her hello for me.

Best from Beautiful Downtown East Lansing, The best mission ever!!!

Elder and Sister Porcaro"

We are getting excited.

Ranelle & John


Hi Erin, Dale, Jesse, Calista, and Dylan

April, Leland, Tiffany, and Sarah,

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of last week we attended the training for Church Education missionaries. We chose to do this training with the group of missionaries who entered the MTC on November 17 rather than with those who enter the MTC on December 29. It will allow us to leave five days earlier for Michigan--traveling in the winter to Michigan needs more than four days and the semester at Michigan State University begins on January 12.

There were 20 couples in our training group. They came from all over the United States and were going all over the world: Wales, Tonga, Berlin, Brazil, Ireland, Finland, Honolulu, South Africa, Cambodia, and 8 or 9 places in the United States.

We were taught ways to improve our ability to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the classroom--in a nutshell, find the principle and the application in the scripture block. If we can develop that skill, we will certainly be better students or the gospel and better teachers to the students in East Lansing, Michigan.

I can't figure out how to add the picture of us at the MTC so I'll have to have help or write later.


Dad & Mom

Grandpa and Grandma O'Dell