What an exciting year 2003 was for us!
In January we left for a "mini-mission" to Kosrae in Micronesia. This was truly one of the most incredible experiences of our lifetime! It came about from a humanitarian effort put together by a group of dentists and ophthalmologists and the LDS Church. These highly professional people donated their time away from their busy practices and their families to serve the people in Kosrae, paying all their own expenses plus donating amazing amounts of medical equipment! What dedicated and remarkable individuals! It was a real eye-opener for us to see what good just a small group of people can accomplish. They had gathered well over $600.000 worth of supplies. The interesting was that it all began with a young man working on his eagle project and wondering what could be done with the old dental equipment when his father refurbished his dental office! What an incredible experience we had there! In the short time that we were on that small island we were able to assist the team in setting up a beautiful new dental clinic and serve about 600 peoples medical needs. It didnt take us long to develop a great love for the Polynesian people who live there and it was wonderful to strengthen the branches and support the missionaries. On the way back home we stopped in Hawaii and met Ansje and DeMoyne there and spent a few pleasant days sightseeing. What a surprise when we ran into Rosanne and Maurice at the Hawaiian Temple Visitors center! A great experience for every one. It was wonderful to get back home again just before Easter and having Kens family come to spend spring break with us.
We have traveled a lot this year. We had a fun vacation with Ken and Jen at beautiful Lake Anna in Virginia. We went to SLC in May to visit Art and his family and have a "Kosrae reunion" with all the doctors and their families. Then went to Canada with Ravonne and Ian and did sightseeing in Montreal, Ottawa and Kingston for 10 days. It was a first time visit for Ralph and I to Canada and we really enjoyed that. In September Fran and I went to Utah and spent two weeks there to visit family and friends while Ralph enjoyed his "solitude" and football games at home. We just returned from a quick trip to Colorado to be at Ralphs oldest granddaughters wedding. That was a special treat for us to be able to spend some time with his family. Its been tough for us to stick to our weekly temple schedule with all these interruptions but some how or other we have managed to stick to our assignment there fairly well.
Season is beginning here in Florida and Jack and Oeke along with John Kolman and two other friends will start the season by spending a week with us before they go on their cruise. Its time for you to get your reservations in place for our guestroom. Its booking up fast!
We will be home for Christmas!!! We are excited about that and look forward to spending it with Ravonne and Ian and decorating our home for the holidays while enjoying the wonderful weather.
We feel abundantly blessed as we reflect upon this year. The Lord has been so good to us! We are enjoying excellent health and stand in awe that we are in our 70th year and are able to do as much as we are doing.
We wish every one a wonderful Christmas and the best for 2004!