Sunday, June 24, 2012

June Snail Mail...

Elder Rice gets a monthly snail mail, complete with pics, from home. I have stood in the same spots, mostly, and include a Phoenix Temple update. By the time he returns in a couple of years, it should be complete.

Poor sad garden...

...though his bell peppers look awesome!

Grammy's Grape Gazebo...covered with grapes...

He is building a new table near the playground

The Phoenix Temple...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fathers' Day

Fathers' Day...with six kids, it becomes a weekend. Dee enjoyed lots of visits, and calls.

Doran, Amber and Kelsie came by Saturday...awesome!

Kayty had a perfect gift for him on Sunday.

John Wayne movies and a Jalapeno Griller (He and Elder Rice would spend some evenings watching them ol' John  Wayne flicks. ... Oh, how I miss Elder Rice, cuz now, I am going to have to watch...ugh!)

I made him king for a day: whatever he wanted, he got.
Bowl of Cherries...not exactly Biscuits and Gravy...but I let him sleep late, so we had to get to church.

The Annual Fathers' Day Pie Social for the men was held during the final hour of church. He got a piece of cherry and a piece of apple...Both were superb.

A visit from Ethan and Cameo...though I forgot to take pics of it...dummy me!

Talked to Morgan on the phone.

Talked to Allison and the grandkiddos on the phone...their phone wasn't working so we couldn't skype.

Got a letter mention in the weekly missionary Korea email.

He said it was a perfect weekend....from his absolutely perfect children and grandchildren.

Being a father is a big job, though Dee never ever flinched. We started our family as soon as the Lord chose, and he never stopped. Our home was full of six wonderful children, whom he would not trade for all the money in the world. He has always been cautious with our money...very careful...The kids teasing call him the Power Nazi, because lights must be off when we are not using them. Oh, if they only knew just how little money we had...He worked 40+ hours as a machinist, 15+ hours as a disc jockey, each and every week. He coached t-ball. He watched dance recitals. He scrimped and dealt so we had a flute, a saxophone, a french horn, three clarinets, a trumpet, and a piccolo (that I play). He built fires, put up tents, and took a grumbly group in a blessed 15 passenger van to The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, Lake Powell, Salt Lake City, Woods Canyon Lake, Big Sur, Monterrey Bay. He fixed the cars himself. He mowed himself. He repaired himself. He layed a brick patio and repaired a picket fence at Pioneer Arizona for two eagle scout projects, and then he helped put in a watering system at a bird sanctuary and built easels for a charter school for the other two eagle projects. He helped create science projects. He built bunk beds, Barbie houses. He fixed bike tires. He baited hook...after hook...after hook. He cheered when they were chosen a little league all star, when they made the Society of Female scholars, when they kicked a goal, when their poem was published in the district poetry contest, when their artwork went to a show, when they sang in the chorus concert, when photos were published. He went with them when their heads were stitched up, when they were sick with a horrible fever, when they were hit with a fast pitch in the shoulder, when they twisted their ankle. He was the first one to get barfed on when they would come in sick. He taught them to mow, to dig, to change the oil, to repair the brakes, to fish, to pitch, to catch. He cheered them in every sport: football, soccer, track, baseball. He cried when they were hurt, he tried to build them. He was often very, very tired. And, to this day, he looks out for each and every one. He searches yard sales for cast iron ware, for tools, for backpacks, for knife sharpeners. He grows, he builds, he watches...and I walk in every morning as he is on his knees for them: that they will be able to convey all their talents and gifts in their job interview, that they will learn a new language in a new land, that they will be guided in their decisions, that they will have health. Even right now, he is outside, in 112 degree weather, cleaning a transmission, so that in a little less than two years, when the youngest comes home, with some help from his sons, there will be a 1960 Ford truck out in front that is not inooperable, not so dented, and maybe that metallic green he wanted...and I bet that ol' panel truck of his will still be sitting in our driveway, primer green, no engine, and a bit more rusty. He is their dad...not perfect...learning to be a better dad every day. And he loves them, and their spouses, and their children...

Friday, June 22, 2012


Dee and I received the BEST news...on April 25th...the day after our 32nd wedding anniversary.

Ethan and Cameo are going to have their first baby!


This is "Rice Cake" as Grampa Wade and Grandma Liz (they haven't decided yet what little bit will call them) refer to him or her.

Cam wanted to tell everyone, herself. It was the best surprise for us...and we were willing to comply (Well, I was...but Papa had to have a few reminders...)

So thankful Mike kept Papa very busy in Vegas when they were moving, so he was too doggone busy to think about it.

Now, all Papa can be around others safely. He is quite the proud one.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wilkins on the Move May 31, 2012

I am just trying to catch up, so forgive if things are a bit out of order.  Allison and Mike found a lovely home to rent, thanks to a dear person at church who is moving to Utah to become a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir...awesome on both accounts. Papa and I were assigned as designated babysitters...awesome as well. I thought we were going to rent a car, but he thought the heap Jeep would make it. Fine. It ended up being a big help, moving a mattress, a washing machine, driving sweeties to school, attending a scout fishing activity. As usual, you either have fun...or take pictures. We had fun!!!

We set out bright an early. Papa was loaded with "road treats" (raw almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, apples, bananas, sunflower seeds, pink and white animal cookies, etc.). The trip was good. Even saw these antelope just eating right by the road in Boulder City, Nevada. 

Adam with the new ball Papa got for him to play four square with in his own backyard!

Joshy in the chair we found for him, eating the rest of Papa's road animal cookie treats. 

Right after a long day in kindergarten
We arrived to a house full of boxes. That sweet family had been up very late the night before unloading the container that they had been allowed to use by Deseret Industries. Originally, there were to be two containers available, but that changed and they had to quickly unload, have it moved to the apartment, re-load, and unload after moving. So, brilliant Allison invented a Jolly Rancher Moving Game that got that container unloaded in a snap.

Papa and I helped get kids to and from school. Papa and Daddy were able to participate in the Kindergarten  Parent Softball Game, and Grammy was invited to hand out drinks at Adam's Third Grade Summer Birthdays Celebration. 
Papa spoiled Joshy with his Very Own French Fries
With moving complete, there was only clean up left. Well, meanwhile, the night we arrived, the Stake President came to issue a church calling to Michael. He would be called ...that serve in the bishopric as the Second Counselor and be ordained to the office of a High Priest. So, after calling his parents, Gary and Kathy Wilkins headed up from Phoenix on Saturday evening. Saturday was also filled with an excellent Primary Activity Day...and Papa and Adam attended the Cub Scout Fishing Trip.

 Since both grandparents were gonna be there, Allison and Mike hurried to complete the old apartment clean up, and Adam and Grace and Grammy went to wash walls and baseboards, repair cabinets, patch walls, etc. Grace and I came home. She just went to watch tv for a minute...and she was gone! Such a great wall washer!

Mike made an awesome tostado dinner. We all played, puzzled, read, bathed, and hit the sack.

Sunday morning went well. Church was awesome. After church, Grandma and Grampa Wilkins headed for Phoenix, and Grammy and Papa followed a few hours later.

Quite a weekend! They are happy and loving life in their beautiful new home with the big oak tree out front. Awesome!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Iksan South Korea June 11, 2012

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Nathan Rice" <>
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 10:41:13 PM
Subject: Re: Dad letter 7-9-2012

So another fun week in 익산.

My translator is awesome. I had to give a talk yesterday and it was
very useful in helping me. The only problem it doesn't translate
sentences. So i still have to think, but its sweet, and the
member we baptized loves technology so its a good common ground to talk
about and be friends. 

So this week was good. Now we have 13 investigators. Sounds cool right. 
This week was weird because they kept cancelling appointments with us. 
One day they all cancelled and we had 3 hours open so we did lots 
of 전더, street contacting. We have goals for every week, as you know. 
One of Taejeon Mission goals is to keep track of how many people you 
talked with. The standard for the mission is 140 a
week. We had 180 last week. 

As were were doing 전더, I talked to this man, and I talked about 
eternal families. He seemed interested and I talked about 
The Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Then, he asked
about baptism, I was like wow ya,  and he said "Do you have sin?" "Well
everyone does," was my reply, "but we repent". He said, "No I have no sin. I
have been born again," and he kept quoting John 3:5 "Except a man be born
of water and ..." So i said, "Baptism by water is baptism and the
other (baptism of the spirit) is receiving the Holy Ghost. He said it wasnt. 
I said that I was out of time, (this whole time my companion was talking 
to someone else...I was on my own. ) and asked if we could meet again later. 
he said ya. We met him yesterday, and he went on and on about Original Sin, 
showing scriptures that totally didn't prove him right at all. We just said, 
"Well, the Bible with the Book of Mormon we can know the truths. That's
why we have both; so we can have 2 witnesses. and we left.  That was

SO ya I had to speak (in church) yesterday. I talked about studying scriptures. 
I didnt know what to talk about at first but I was in personal study and
I read 1 Nephi 15: 24 (from the Book of Mormon)It talked about holding to
the Word of God and you will not fall away and be helped to resist
temptation. And I remembered what Bishop Fuller said, that as long as you
read your scriptures everyday, you won't commit serious sin. So, I felt
like I should talk about that. It was good. I wasn't as nervous to speak
this time, haha my legs were still shaking though. Before church, we
were depressed because we had no investigators there. That's a huge
problem because we have 13, and 4 have baptisimal dates. Well so after
my talk my companion took me out of the chapel and said the professor
called and he's on his way. So, we ran to pick him up. It was great
because the stake partiarch spoke and other people talked about The
Restoration. Awesome. Afterwards,our amazing bishop and patriarch came
and talked to him. He said he felt peaceful there, too, so that's

Also we met with a new investigator and he really wanna learn
English, so we taught for a bit then talked about the Gospel and set a
baptisimal date with him right there yay. 

We got a call last week from one of our investigators. They are a couple 
that we have been meeting with for 9 months. He has a Word of Wisdom issue. 
Well, she(his wife)called and said he hadn't smoked for 2 days. She says 
the hearts and the picture we gave him helped. It was awesome. She said 
thank you so much. awesome.miracles. 

Another great thing this week. Did I tell you about the man
that can't speak? He is at the bus stop and he can't speak and he always
shakes our hands and salutes us. Well, me and Elder Lee both think we
need to share the Gospel with him and we couldn't find him. We went
through an entire apartment building looking for him and couldn't. We checked
the busstop one day and he wasn't there. So we went back and studied
more, and then went to go get lunch. We walked and passed the bus stop.
Then all of a sudden, my companion looks back and he gets off the bus.
He doesn't have money, so we went and bought him a burger (and us too) and
talked and he wants to meet again and hear our message! Love it.

So, today I'm emailing late because we hiked with the English 학완 man
(English teacher) Long fun hike haha. Awesome view (I have pics I'm
sending). The mountain was green! I saw a pheasant on it.
Also, there are benches at the top, and a store that sells drinks and
ice cream... at the top of a mountain! Weird right? Az needs to do that
haha. Then, we went to his mother in laws house (he had to pick
something up) and they gave us mulberry juice, and mulberrry
sandwiches. (Bet dad's jealous!)Everything grows better here.
It's gettin humid here now and warm. It's nice though , except I sweat
a lot haha, Koreans dont sweat. (so jealous)

Well ya thank you for your great emails. Once again you
said exactly what I needed to hear. I struggle a lot here, like its
hard to forget myself and think about the investigators and lessons
and everything. But I'm trying... that's a big struggle, but its what I
gotta do so im gonna work at it.

In the language, when people say things, I can discern words, like its not
just a bunch of mumble now to me, but still I don't know most words
and can pick our some words and guess what the conversation is a lot
though, so thats good. haha. 

I love you all! Take care of Jessica,

Love you all!
Love Elder Rice

Monday, June 4, 2012

Elder Rice June 4, 2012

From: "Nathan Rice" <>
Sent: Sunday, June 3, 2012 8:07:16 PM
Subject: Re: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hey family,

( Care Package information )So any kind of mac and cheese. I like the Velveeta and the powder
stuff. We do have an oven so we can bake, and we dont have peanut
butter, and i miss those chocolate chips (Ghiardelli Dark)  hehehe If thats too much, you
dont have to. I am planning on buying a translator today. I
found one I like. It's about 200 dollars but its got built in mp3 so i
can have church music on it too.

So I never read the Ensign or New Era (church publications for all ages and teens) at home, and that was so dumb.
They gave each missionary The Liahona (International church publication with elements of all church magazines)
I got the General Conference one (May issue) and June. oh wow they are 
amazing. I love studying the conference talks
They are so amazing. I love them. I am learning so much. It's the best
and they help our investigators and ward members. Like we have a
ward member that has some health issues they suffer from and recently
hurt her ankle really bad. I talked to her because she speaks English
and she keeps saying, "Why does this happen to me?" And I read President
Eyering's talk in Saturday morning session (
and thats what she needed to hear. So I'm trying to figure our how to get her The Liahona in her
language haha. 

So this week we confirmed our awesome person haha. It
was cool. Then we gave a sister in the ward a (priesthood) blessing. 
Idk why because it was all in Korean.
I got so confused on Sunday after church was over. We were all singing.
I thought because class ended early. We sang ok awesome, but then it went
for an hour. So afterwards, I asked my companion what just happened. He said
we were practicing for choir conference. I'm still confused but it was
fun to sing with the ward.

We were knocking on doors in an apartment and this group of kids saw
me and were saying things to me in English, so we talked for a bit and
went our way and they followed us and they kept saying "you crazy". Ha ha
funny and they wanted me to pick them leaves. (Perhaps because he is tall?)
Then, because Koreans don't have much hair on their arms, they saw my hairy arms and
one kid started pulling my arm hair. Ouch. They were funny. An older
gentleman distracted them so we could escape. haha They were awesome.

We have 2 new investigators this week. One is a police officer and
its cool. We (Elder Lee and Elder Rice) were walking last week and our code word 
to talk to someone is "chicken". So we were walking and a man in a green shirt was
walking towards us on the sidewalk and we both said "chicken". So I went
and introduced us and what we are. Then he said something back, so I
looked at Elder Lee and he took over haha. He wanted to meet again.
So,  we met and he wants to learn English. We explained how we do 40 min
English 20 Gospel lesson,  and he said yes. Exciting! The other is a
referral from a city by us. A sister wanted us to teach her brother. So we
met with him. He is really cool.  Our other family that is half Korean
half Philipino... I love them. They speak Engish. We taught about
Word of Wisdom because they have been taught everything and have a
testimony and want to be baptized, but he loves smoking and drinking. So 
gave him a picture of us to inspire him to quit.I hope he does. 

Oh, the professor we meet with, I still havent talked about the tmj with him 
yet, but i will. But ya we were going over the 17 points of the True Church, the "einstein article",
and he asked about where we go after this life. So we're teaching Plan of
Salvation next time. yay. And we invited him to church and he said yes
this time, sweet. But right before church started, he called and said
his son has a soccer game. danget.  

There is this person that comes to Engish class. He asked about the church 2 weeks ago 
and so we met with him before class last week to play ping pong and talk about the
Gospel. He was late so we only ping ponged, but I think he likes us so
that can help with us teaching next time. Also, he wants us to join
his soccer team at college. Sweet right? We call it "soccer jon do",
soccer tracting haha. That will be great.  

Well ya this week good. We had zone conference that was awesome! My mission president is so awesome!I love him. They had the Asia Area medical people come and talk about
health haha. So, I'm jump roping every morning because my companion can't
run a lot. So its cool. Jump rope is fun! It also made me want to be
better at missionary work. The elders and sister leaving soon all bore
there testimonies and one said somethings really cool. He said he
wants to be able to come home and say to his family he worked hard and
did his best. He especially wants to tell Heavenly Father the same. So
that made me want to live everyday so I can come home March 13, 2014
and tell you all,  and Heavenly Father that I did my best and worked hard.
Thats my goal. I will try to do better. I have days where I feel like
I can't do it and I'm so overwhelmed and stressed that I want to just quit.
But my companion said when you can't do it, trust the Lord and He will
help. So I'm really relying on Him because I can't do this on my own.
And hey,  I dont quit. I remember everyday of football I thought about
quitting. When coach made us run laps one day for an hour, everytime 
we passed him, he said "You can quit now and go home." But something
in me, no matter how difficult it was, would never let me quit. 114
degree days, I didn't quit. So I can do this. The Advesary tells me to
quit all the time, but that just motivates me to work harder hhaha. 

I love you all. Be safe. Hope your all doing well. I'm great here. Its
getting warm but awesome. Love it here. The people here are so cool.
Little old ladies sit on the sidewalks and sell vegetables and  people
drive like crazy here . haha But the people are awesome. Our ward is so
small but amazing. Like the brother that cleans the building very
thoroughly every week. He's always there studying his scriptures.
His wife isnt a member, so I think he loves being at the church. The
bishop has the best smile. This one sister, her daughter was at the MTC
with me. She is awesome. She rides her bike to church by herself every
Wednesday to come to seminary there. btw every Wednesday, we have
seminary (religious education for students) taught by either the stake president 
or the bishop. The people here are so committed to the Church its amazing.  And this family in
the ward gave us bread one day and then on Wednesday gave us son kyop
sar. I have pics here.  And then yesterday, a less active member we
visit invited us for dinner for son kyop sar. It's so good! Its like rib
meat and so good.  

Well I love you all be safe and do good. And take
care of Jessica haha. Love all of you. 

love Elder Rice

btw the pics are son kyop sal and how we eat and the rice and egg pic
is my food when we have nothing else. It's super delicious. I love rice.
and that's my angry birds bus pass so cool. My other pass broke so this
one is my new awesome pass. Sweet. Well i gotta go. We're going bowling
in Jeonju with our zone. Love you all bye
love Elder Rice