Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Saturday, December 2


Us Seniors
Latest update on our Mission

We found out that the reason we don't report to the MTC until April is because it takes 150 days to get a French Resident Visa these days,although there seems to be some indication we could report earlier than April 2. Family and Church History Records Preservation work amounts to microfilming old church and other vital public records. We will also be expected to do whatever else our mission president asks of us. Records preservation work can be dirty work so we get to wear "work clothes" except, of course, on Sundays and whenever we are doing other Missionary work or on Temple days, apparently we will get to go to the temple occasionally.

The Lord shows His love for us, even in small ways. JoAnn has trouble with her feet and must wear really ugly shoes.  She feels very self-conscious wearing them with a dress and since sister missionaries "always" wear dresses, she was working at getting used to the idea and not worrying about how they looked.  But the Lord, in His infinite love, gave us a mission where she gets to wear pants most of the time (and the ugly shoes are almost unnoticeable when wearing pants).

It is such an involved process to get a French Visa. We have to fly out to San Francisco and appear in person at the French Consulate to apply for our Visas. The church will pay for that trip. But first we have to get a lot of paperwork in order…Marriage License, Birth Certificates, letters from our bank, extra passport photos, applications filled out in quadruplicate, and on and on. Missionaries need a visa if they are planning to spend more than three months in the country. It wasn't that way years ago. I just took my passport and shot record to the local Prefect of Police in each city and they put a visa stamp in my Passport.

Because we don't report until April, JoAnn has time to take a French class at the community college. The MTC also has a foreign language tutoring program for senior couples, and of course, I'll be helping her with it. I have every confidence she'll pick it up quickly. She is so smart and is highly motivated. Also, while JoAnn was looking for the linens for Thanksgiving dinner she found an unopened package titled, “French for Latter Day Saints” It has a book and a set of Cassette tapes. I don’t remember buying it nor does she, but there is was. Wow!!! She started it this week. I've kept current with the language by teaching French at one of the high schools here in Vegas. I teach French I, II, III-Honors and IV-AP. Plus I took a lot of French Classes at BYU when I got home from my mission, a couple of French Literature classes, and I'd have gotten a minor in French. Can’t believe it was 45 years ago that I served there on my first mission?

Though it's been 45 years ago, my memories of France are fond and quite vivid. But I spent most of my time in the opposite corner of the country from where we will serve this time. I served in the north-eastern part of France. The closest I got to Bordeaux was Claremont Ferrand when I was zone leader in Lyon. Our Stake President touched my heart when he wrote: “This time you get to take your eternal companion. That will make your mission a thousand times better than your last one.”

We're both so excited to be preparing for this call. It was an emotional moment when we opened our envelope and found our two letters signed by President Gordon B. Hinckley. I still have the letter from my first call signed by President David O. McKay.

Unlike the young missionaries who pay a flat amount regardless of where they serve, (I believe it's $400 / mo.) as you are aware, senior couples must pay their full expenses or have family or in some cases their home ward or stake assist in their expenses. Our wonderful married daughters are assisting in our expenses or we would not have qualified for this mission to France where expenses can be quite high..

It is truly humbling to accept this assignment. We both love Family History and have done work back to 50 AD on one line and found our ancestry goes to France in several areas. On one line we trace back to the 1100s to Agnes of Aquitane, Charles of Aquitaine, Guillaume of Aquitaine, Beatrix of Aquitaine and others all of which were very influential in the area of Bordeaux which is in the Department of Aquitaine. (Departments in France are roughly the equivalent of our states but are more the size of a county.)

We have a new E-Mail address that we'll use on our mission because we won't have access to COX cable there. Our new one is: but the old one will still work until we leave.

It's JoAnn's 63rd birthday today...took her out to a nice restaurant to celebrate. Her attorney boss, Elizabeth Brickfield, paid the tab as her birthday present.... Filet Mignon... mmmMMMMmmmmm!!!!

Love to All
Arnold and JoAnn / Elder and Sister Miller