Wednesday, November 29, 2017

In Every Thing, Give Thanks! 1 Thes. 5:18

Greetings to our dear family and friends, 

What a special time of year to count our blessings. We hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a time to gather and enjoy family and special friends as you reflected on blessings granted. As we review the myriad of opportunities we've had as missionaries here in the Australia Brisbane Mission, we feel so richly blessed.  Though Thanksgiving came and went largely unnoticed by Aussies, we keenly felt the goodness of the day and season to return thanks to our Heavenly Father for all we are given each day.  You all are among those most precious gifts we've been showered with through no merit of our own!    

Our Thanksgiving Day was spent with our two PathwayConnect classes.  Our turkey was in miniature---a roasted Costco chicken!  Many of our Pathway students had never tasted pumpkin pie, so we stopped at Costco en route north and bought 3 pies, much to their delight!  Yes, if you put enough sweet whipped cream on the pie, anyone will wolf it down!  Australia has amazing squashes, so we must admit, the pies were divine.The chefs probably used a sweet pumpkin for the occasion.  Pictured here are the Levasa brothers, our Lead Students for the Academic gathering portion of our evening class.  Ether on the right just returned from a Fijian mission, and Enoch awaits his call soon!  Talk about polished young Samoan men---they are rock solid!  If every ward was blessed with such YSA, we'd have automatic "Armies of Helaman" marching forth in light worldwide!  Notice Enoch's footwear---or lack of it.  Yes, it's culturally quite normal to wear flip flops to church and even shed them once inside the building.  The boys' Mom and Dad are also in PathwayConnect---a family endeavor because they believe in gaining all the education and knowledge they can.  For most everyone, it's a fine opportunity to attend University on a tight budget and having the benefit of BYU online studies for a fraction of the cost.  After 3
Life's just a bowl of frangipani and
passion fruit blossoms! 
semesters of PathwayConnect, students who earn at least a B average can go on for an Associate and Bachelor's degrees at the same CHEAP cost of PathwayConnect--$69 per credit!!  Hey, enrollment's open now for Winter Semester 2018, so check out their website at  And, no this isn't a paid announcement, just a plug from an excited missionary couple who are just finishing up their 4th semester of teaching Pathway and have witnessed abundant growth and miracles in the lives of their students!  

Our gratitude continues as we said goodbye to the only other self-reliance missionary couple in the mission, the Osbornes, who have completed their mission.  We have been serving side by side for our entire mission,
A fond farewell to our "right hand couple", the Osbornes, the
 only other Self-Reliance couple in all of Queensland!
and they are headed on a cruise  before returning to St. George. We have learned so much from them as they served another Self-Reliance mission before this one.  Great friends and mentors they are, for sure. Now our workload increases as we attempt to cover our assignments and pick up all we can of their responsibilities.  It will be a busy run for us, but we truly owe the Lord some "double time" as He blessed Elder Yates so marvelously during our triple bypass adventure with its attendant "down time."  Yes, Elder Yates continues to gain strength and endurance to handle these productive days which hold plenty of opportunities to assist others.  

Darling baby koala's first day out in the public's view at the koala sanctuary!
With no fences or cages keep them in the sanctuary, they're born free to roam.

Two  of our precious family members came for a long-awaited visit the first week in November.  Hurrah! Michael and Rochelle Yates filled the bill to quell our longing for family. Planning ahead, we cleared most of our schedule to have a few Aussie Adventures during our splendid days together.  Hikes to a beautiful waterfall outlook, precarious roads leading to a tree-top canopy adventure, basking in the unusual privilege of dwelling with the wallabies and kangaroos, and even seeing 3 new baby koalas out with their moms were among our enjoyable activities. Nothing could beat the two close encounters with wild birds and parrots flying in from the rain forest to be fed.  Ah, this had to be near the top of our 'favorites' list.   How we adored the few days spent with Michael and Rochelle!  Thanks guys for coming to Queensland to share a bit of the paradise we've been immersed in for the past glorious 15 months! Mother Nature is astounding and spent plenty of extra time dolling up the vistas and wildlife here. For the beauty of the earth and skies  we are so thankful!

The true "King Parrot" of Australia.  They're the only parrot to have red heads. At least, the male does.  Female's head is green.  They are close cousins to the crimson rosella, but they don't look very similar to the eye!  See one below... 
Cousins, my foot!  As witnessed below, once crimson rosellas are introduced to humans, they
don't forget it!  Naturally they eat eucalyptus seeds, grasses, shrubs and tree blossoms.
Their diets will diversify to include insects and oh, tuna sandwiches?  What's up with that?
Hey, make room for one more, please!  Michael
feeds the wild king parrots and a rosella lunch.
A cheeky crimson rosella invites himself to our picnic! Don't
take your eyes off your food or it will instantly 'fly' away!
"Ah, this is the life!  Free lunch and a back rub,
and all I had to do was bat my big brown eyes!'
Back to our missionary adventures:  On Halloween, we began meeting with a group of refugees from
all over the world through a governmental non-profit organization, the Mercy Foundation, to help them find jobs.  We didn't quite know what to expect as we've not worked under the direction of another agency before.  The experience has been challenging and very rewarding.  The 6-week course will be over next week, and these dear folks have stories to tell that humble us to the core.  Some are political or religious refugees, but most are economic refugees.  One man, Mahdi, had to flee Iran when he converted from Islam to Christianity.  He will never be safe to enter his country again.  He would be killed as an infidel.  Even his parents turned on him. Another,  Teddy struggled for 3 years to make it from Ethiopia to Brisbane, by way of several countries.  Finally making it to Indonesia, he stayed there one year, finally securing a visa to enter Australia.  His case is still pending in court as to whether he'll

be granted a "bridging visa" which will allow him to stay 5 years longer and become a profitable citizen.  These folks have skills and experience in their own country, but they can't compete in the job market against the locals because of inadequate English skills. Also, often their credentials from their home country are not
An imaginative painting created by one of the refugees.
honored.  They're now asking us to please teach them more English after the course is over!  Truly, there is so much work needed in this world to give people a needed hand.  We are blessed with so much and often don't recognize all that we have been so freely given. Epitetus  reminds us, "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."  This axiom is so evident in their lives---they're so grateful for what little they have! In talking to our manager in this morning's meeting, we're looking at ways to perhaps carry on in a dual role---job searches and English classes.   The group varies from week to week.  The picture above shows (back  left)  Bushre from Iraq;  Front left, Hamida from Iran, Winnie from Papua New Guinea, Raj from Sri Lanka, Mei Lein from near Beijing, China, and Carl Maurer, our Regional Self-Reliance Manager. We'll see how we go! 

A November thunder buster hits Brisbane with all its fury
As winter settles over the US, we're swamped by summer thunderstorms' bounteous rainfall.  One night this month a horrific thunderstorm blew through landing over 173,000 lightning strikes in less than two hours!  Loud beyond anything we've ever heard out of the sky, we watched the sky intently knowing we were witnessing something grand and ominous at the same time. There are often many ways the Lord preaches His sermons.  This one spoke loudly to us, reminding us of the power of nature and of He who created this incredible planet we inhabit!  

Caught in the act--Cockatoo snacking on vital wiring! 
And speaking of  creations, a lovely critter is causing big problems in Queensland!  A large white parrot, the sulphur-crested cockatoo, has decided to sharpen its beak on whatever it can find to chew on.  Like many animals, their beak continues to grow, and if not worn down naturally by them foraging for food, they'll take to wearing down their beaks on anything they can get it around or into!  These birds are beautiful yet very noisy. They chew on buildings, open the rubbish bins for more ffood, which isn't natural foraging.  Thus, their beaks get overgrown and need to be worn down.  Their latest favorite thing to chew is wiring---mostly the wiring for the new high-speed internet system that Brisbane has been installing since we got here.  The birds have taken a shine to the taste of the wires, and have done millions of dollars worth of damage. They've downed the project so it's 6 months behind.  (We'll be home before they figure out how to protect all this wiring from the cockatoos' attacks!!  The locals are quipping,  "Well, if the snakes and the spiders in Australia don't get you, the cockies will!!"

ThatWe'll sign off with a blooming shower of purple to white blossoms all on the same tree found in Tambourine Mtn.  The sunset is a shot out our back window of the gorgeous sun setting over the Pacific,  The 'sky-blue-pink' sunsets never cease to gladden our hearts. Please know of our love and admiration for each of you as you live exemplary lives.  Good on ya! We always think about you, our special friends, neighbors and loved ones, and you are so much a part of the fabric of our lives!  Happy days as we head into the Christmas season with all its joys!   

Love in bunches, ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’Ÿ
Elder and Sister Yates
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
David and Marsha


Sunday, October 29, 2017

With A Spring in Our Step and Our Surroundings!

Elder Yates Happily Graduates from Physio As We 'Carry On' in the ABM!

 GREETINGS to our loved ones and dear friends scattered abroad but close in our hearts, 

Pres. Zeisel's back yard with ocean behind back houses
Thank you again for all your well-wishes and thoughtful prayers in behalf of Elder Yates.  We are beginning to realize from many people's stories that he is a 'model of fine and swift recovery' from triple bypass surgery.  Just yesterday we were invited to share lunch between PathwayConnect sessions with one of our students, Connie Ziesel, the wife of the North Brisbane Stake President. Since he works from home, President Zeisel was there as well.  During lunch she found out E. Yates had triple bypass surgery and was just coming up on the 12-week post-op mark.  She was astounded at his magnificent recovery and would not have guessed it was so recent a surgery.  Her brother had the same surgery a bit ago at Elder Yates' age and had quite a difficult recovery. The lunch was delightful and they thanked us for our service as PathwayConnect teachers in their stake for the past 14 months.  They live on an inlet about 500 yards from the ocean and boats decorate everyone's back yards!  Ziesels have no boat but use their kayak to get their exercise. Also, a nurse recently commented that "he was far ahead" in stamina and regaining  full function to the degree that it surprised her! Gratefully, we acknowledge the hand of the Lord in
preserving Elder Yates to receive the blessing of a quality prolongation of his life!  He just walked in the door with his certificate of graduation for the fairly challenging 6 weeks of physical therapy he has successfully and cheerfully completed--Phase II Cardio Rehabilitation Program.  Now, without the use of their hospital gym, we'll have to invent some creative ways to exercise in addition to walking so he can continue to strengthen his whole body.  His sternum should be pretty well-knitted together, so he is free to do most "normal" activities. Caution is still needed for heavy lifting, pushing or pulling! 

This month we've been busily engaged in the Self-Reliance work in many stakes and wards.  Sister Yates was asked to speak at Centenary Stake's Women's (JEWELS) Conference to present two sessions on Strengthening Families and Relationships. JEWELS stood for Journey of Extraordinary Women Enriched in Love and Strengthening our Sisterhood. It was a stretch from our normal presentations so required some prayerful preparation. However, it was a joyful experience all around!  The stake is mostly South Pacific Islanders, and the sisters divided into "troops" representing noble women in the scriptures. The partial troop pictured here honored Rebekah.  The conference lasted 2.5 days. They don't do things small around here!  Big programs, big celebrations, and big feeds!  You'll note the sisters are casually dressed because they just finished a Pioneer Hike before their breakfast.  Elder Yates is pictured with one of the brethren who was serving up "cacao mush," their Samoan cereal!  Mmm, it's very good because it has freshly roasted and ground cacao beans as the flavor!  And, oh, how cute these Polynesian babies are!  Their eyes are captivating, and they are the happiest babies we've EVER seen!  This little angel baby girl has her attentive cousin looking after her while her mother participates in the conference.  My presentation hopefully touched some hearts and I heard immediately from several sisters their reactions and 'take-away' messages.  This sister pictured here came up to me on her way out and said, 'I'm a visitor from  Sydney, and I'm going home a changed woman!"  That was a powerful statement to hear, and she quickly elaborated on what meant so much to her.  Yes, the Holy Ghost is the teacher who softens our hearts and allows us to have witness borne to our souls as to what we need to do to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The "Big Feed" after the baptism of the 4 Tu Sing immigrant
children who just arrived 3 weeks ago from Samoa.  We
had 10 Senior Missionaries and 6 young Elders and Sisters
attend this amazing event.  The Lord is gathering His precious
children from near and far into the gospel net.  (More on this
Elder Yates at our PathwayConnect meeting where we teach AM and PM
2 1/2 hour classes, plus tutoring, etc.  We enjoy the students so much
and watch them take off in their often first University classes.  This is
our quick break before the last hour of our evening class.  The students
take turns bringing 'snacks.'  This spread was brought by 1 very large
young Samoan man who is getting married next month to an American
girl!  Notice, the size of the spread matched his eating habits!! 
Now that man knows how to eat!

Now for a splash of Brisbane's spring colors and critters!  Be sure to spot the Padymelon--not a fruit!

The cuteness of these little yearling koalas never wears off !  Oh, that we could tuck one in our suitcase upon our return!
No better way to spend a rainy day than feeding these
free-roaming wallabies.  It had been raining for 3 days
and they were sopping wet and really hungry!  At least they
don't have to worry about being too cold here!  No snow ever!

We were really likin' this vibrant prolific lichen!
(Actually, it's probably a full-blown fungus!)
Adjacent were the rainbow mushrooms below.
Probably few of you have seen the smallest
member of the kangaroo family, the padymelon.
It's a rainforest-dwelling marsupial. They are
about 2 feet tall and rather pudgy from behind.
Being secretive, we were lucky to get a
semi-decent shot of one about 50 feet away.
One of 1,000's of Jacaranda trees dotting the city and countryside this month.
Below spot the shy Padymelon who is the tiniest kangaroo variety!

 There's never a shortage of vistas to delight the eye, and the inhabitants in those vistas to make us smile. We visited again the Lamington National Forest for an afternoon and some roads are STILL  washed out and impassable from last February's destructive Cyclone Debbie and the subsequent flooding.  What we saw was gorgeous hinterland forests with huge gum trees (eucalyptus) towering much higher than our forests down here at Brisbane's sea level.  One gum tree is nearly 2,000 years old---a usual age they can live up to! That's a ton of history these wise old trees have witnessed.  Their  growth can be attributed to more rain as the storms hit the highlands and dump their growth-producing loads of water.  

We continue to attend all the baptisms we can and to make certain to support our wards and stakes in their endeavors.  Two surprising baptisms we attended two weeks ago were under unusual circumstances.   One family with 2 children lived in Samoa and the mother passed away.  The children were sent to Brisbane to live with their grandparents permanently.  The other situation involved a dear family in our ward, the Tu Sing's, who have Samoan/Asian roots and  live in Brisbane.  His brother was entrenched with troubles trying to provide for his family in Samoa and asked the Tu Sing family in our ward (Brother Tu Sing is the Uncle) to take their four youngest children to give them a better life and education here.  Quickly they were legally adopted so they could get entry into Australia and will no doubt live their lives here. How grateful we should be for our opportunities to better ourselves and gain an education.  The children are ages 16 to 9 and are capable and beautiful kids but speak almost no English.  So school is an abrupt change, but they love being here!
We sing, and sing, and sing here! Names here are choice as well---  Left to Right: Sister Pekipaki, Sis. Yates, Sister Timoteo, and Sister Hazel Mataikamovita. These Pacific Islanders love their music!  This was a Sunday Evening Stake Relief Society Fireside wherein each ward in Logan Stake put together a choir to present a special number.  There was a beautiful narrative program that accompanied it.  These are devoted and faithful Saints!!
Elder Yates takes time to feed the rainbow lorikeets in the pouring rain!  

One truth among the many lessons we've witnessed in people's lives here shows the mission of Self-Reliance in action. It is that IF PEOPLE SEEK THE LORD'S HELP IN FAITH, HE WILL HELP THEM IN ALL OF THEIR AFFAIRS IN LIFE, BOTH TEMPORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY!  These dear people we labor with are so trusting and faithful, and live their faith with enthusiasm.  Though they may have sizable limitations, they humbly exercise their faith and miracles do
happen!  One dear family had tried and tried for years to save enough to buy a house but a housing bubble here has sent prices skyrocketing. After taking the "Personal Finance for Self-Reliance" course we taught several months ago, they put their savings plan into hyper-mode!  They had such faith that there was a house out there that met their needs. Last week they found a suitable house which they felt very strongly was the right house.  In faith they carried forward and met the criteria.  Now they have found that the house is in an area with many church members surrounding them in a town called Narangba Valley. Its residents call it "little Provo. What a blessing! 
The work is moving forward and the gospel is getting stronger here in Queensland.  Each day provides us a golden opportunity to share our message of hope through greater Self-Reliance. This week we begin our first class partnering with a QLD government entity to assist some recent immigrants in getting work!  We may need several translators, but we are excited for the opportunity to help out!  We'll let you know how we go.  Today we taught a Self-Reliance class in a Mandarin branch! Having our words translated was a new experience.  All was graciously received. 

We send our best wishes to each of you for a wonderful rest of your fall and a Happy Halloween this week!  We love you all and miss you, all the while loving our work here in this beautiful land down under!  Let us hear from you if you can!  We love to catch up with you and your life's happenings!   

With much love and sending blessings your way, ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ˜‰
Elder and Sister Yates
Dad and Mom
David and Marsha
Grandpa and Grandma

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Picking Up Speed in the ABM!

Happy Fall to our family and friends,

We hope your season is blessed with a bountiful harvest, kids happily settled in a new school year, and you all enjoying the mellow days of weather as Mother Earth puts on her fall gown of glowing colors! Nothing is more enjoyable than the change of seasons, and here in the Australia Brisbane Mission, the switch is hardly noticeable.  Spring's sprinting into summer at an alarming rate and we're already "sweatin' a bucketload!" Happily we report that Elder Yates is easing back into missionary work with the Heart Surgeon's approval. At his six-week post-op visit, he got flying marks for the good healing that is taking place.  A tickling side note: When we
Elder Yates enjoying Karawatha Forest Walk  
walked into the Surgeon's office, he gasped, "Wow!  You're a very tall man!"  Immediately, we realized Dr. Wall had NEVER seen Elder Yates in any position other than lying flat on his back! We realize how far he has come when he can go a whole day without a nap, and when his chest isn't the constant center of attention. Healing of the disrupted nerves, arteries and muscles still causes him pain, but it's manageable.  Doctor Wall gave us permission to walk as much as we want to, no restrictions and to sensibly ease back into use of his whole body.  Yay!  He can lift more than 2 kilos now and do a few things he loves to do!  He began Physical Therapy two weeks ago which will help strengthen him in every way to get back on his feet to lead a fully active life again! How we count our blessings for these daily miracles leading toward a total recovery!

Now, don't think he's up to jumping jacks and 50-yard dashes just yet!  We arise early like all good missionaries, attend our meetings and do our duties, but then the reality hits---"I need a little rest!"  Deservedly,  we find time to let him rest when he needs to. Our longest day is Thursday where we now teach two PathwayConnect Classes from BYU-Pathway Worldwide, the newly-named old BYU-Idaho Pathway program which has been moved from Rexburg to Salt Lake City because it's part of an amazing new world-wide
Grabbing a much-needed catnap on the church benches!
program for our ever-increasing world-wide church!  Leaving home  by 9:30 AM, we drive way north of Brisbane to Burpengary Chapel where we have 14 morning students for 2 1/2 hours of Institute and Academic studies classes.  Again at 7 PM we teach our evening class of 24 students.  Tutoring is from 6-7 PM so we really just hang out all day at the chapel until class ends at 9:30 PM. Still,  we have some follow-up duties that take until 10 PM.  Since it's usually a 90 minute drive south to our Kuraby home,  we arrive home LATE!  One perk is that the ONLY COSTCO in Queensland is 10 minutes from the chapel.  We fuel up with our liters of petrol and a few groceries at times!
Our Vivacious Daytime PathwayConnect Students at Burpengary chapel
Our Brave Evening Class--Starting their University Studies at ages 19 to 70!
Not a pushover, butcher bird sings dozens of gorgeous songs. 
Gecko on glass! (Outside our Bathroom)
With spring comes a new flurry of blossoms and opossums!  A huge brush-tailed possum jumped up into the tree as we got into our car late after our above Pathway class.  At our flat, we're now serenaded all day with the noisy miners and butcher birds who are nesting.  We continue to be whacked in the head by them on certain walks if we near their nesting sites.  A first for me, I rounded a corner to meet an angry butcher bird who dive-bombed me twice, delivering a hefty WHAP both times!  How RUDE!  The geckos have returned in full voice claiming their territories and chirping to find a mate.  This one sang from outside our bathroom window.  I hope his dream girl shows up soon, for he and his friends sing a great chorus all around the flat!  The latest spring surprise is the nightly screeching of the fruit bats who are drawn to the nectar of the blooming eucalyptus trees in the forest over our back fence!  These are huge, with a wingspan of about 2 1/2 feet.  Haven't been able to get a picture of one because it's night when they arrive, but we've seen and heard plenty of them.  Credit to google for this good look at one. How fun it is to live at the forest's edge.

 Not to be outdone by the flyers and squeakers that are easily heard and spotted, the lizards of the forest have returned in their camouflaged serene silence. The spiked nearly 4-foot lizard on the left was spotted as he ambled over the bush-land floor and found a lookout on a tree just over our back fence. His rounded belly bespeaks that he fared well through the winter here. The very next day another similar lizard took the same path and climbed the same tree!  However, look at the difference in the two---this unlucky creature must have been the last one in line for every winter morsel!  Poor dear---he looks like a mere scrawny version of his former self when the weather was milder and food was plentiful.

We continue to give service wherever we can, and that includes supporting any ward or stake in any endeavor. Logan Stake in which we reside had their stake conference a couple of weeks ago.  I was asked to play the organ for the Saturday Evening session, and our own Logan ward was to provide the choir for that session as well.  Here, choirs usually have an "outfit" where the women have matching scarves or corsages, and the men matching ties.  It's a powerful bonding tradition of the Pacific Islanders.  The picture shows only four of the women's portion of the choir, for most had already split up after the meeting.  It was a great showing for one of the smallest wards in Brisbane!  We filled the numerous (60+) choir seats to overflowing, and sang with the spirit to match!  Our visiting authority was a newly called Area Seventy, Elder Tufuafu, a warm Tongan man.  He told of Elder Russell M. Nelson's Grandfather sharing a sacred story of when his Father was able to visit him from beyond the veil.  This occurred in 1891, before the 138th section of the Doctrine and Covenants was received by Pres. Joseph F. Smith and published as part of the Doctrine and Covenants in 1918. To me this astonishing account was so spiritually nourishing that after the meeting I looked the story up for more details. If you'd like a full version, go to  The questions and answers are very poignant as some of these truths had not yet been revealed.  Since we have Nielsens in our family line, notice that though Russell M. Nelson's grandfather was Andrew Clarence Nelson, his great grandfather was Mads Peter Nielsen.
How we love interfacing with our missionaries as they ready themselves to return home.  Pictured here are two sister missionaries (beside Sister Yates) who are leaving---one last week, and one next month to return home to Samoa. They happen to live in the same stake back in Samoa! In our goal
Sister Alovao, on my actual right, now has exciting hopes for her spiritual and academic future!
setting class for the two, it was hard to hear that Sr. Alovao's wish was to go back to work in the fish factory where she had worked before her mission. She hadn't graduated from high school, and had no hopes for better employment.  We told her about PathwayConnect and its possibilities for her to show in 3 semesters of Pathway that she can study successfully at university level.  With some emails back and forth to Samoa, we learned a class would be starting in January which she could join.  We urged her to go back and finish high school by getting her GED.  She'll have no trouble after being such a successful missionary! So, now, she has some goals and a plan to get there which promise much more potential for her future.  Bless all the hearts of these brave, dedicated hard-working Elders and Sisters!!

Amazing things come in twosomes this month both at home and around our flat, we have found! Mason Edgel, our oldest grandson, married His sweetheart, Brandi on Sept. 9th. ๐Ÿ’•Congratulations to them!!  New baby kookaburra gets taught proper manners by mama, while this wallaby shows off her latest springtime baby. Twin gardenias bloom in the cool of spring in our yard (can't you just smell their sweet fragrance?) while afar our new little twins in Utah are growing fast! 

As the month was one of recuperation, we have simple missionary successes to report. Our duties were put on hold and blessings flowed into Elder Yates' heart and life as we watched his healing take place steadily.  When the surgeon said at our six-week check-up, "You look so good!" I couldn't discern if it was because of his progress physically or the glow that accompanies Elder Yates as we gratefully acknowledge the Lord's hand in allowing this healing time.  Though we might have moved like tortoises physically for a while, spiritually we used the time to learn and grow. We're ready to "work with a will, our duties fulfill!" Thanks again to everyone for your support as we have felt so sustained with your love!  As we look forward to General Conference, we know that Elder Uchtdorf 's promise to us will be fulfilled: "There are messages in each General Conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations."  
May each of you be blessed and prospered in your lives and families!  You each are fine examples and dear friends and family members who light our lives with your goodness!  

Love to you and yours, 
Elder and Sister Yates
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
David and Marsha
(that about covers it!)