Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Missionaries, August 2012

No matter how many times we get new missionaries, we are always amazed at the quality and goodness we see in each new group.  This group was not just "no exception;" this group seemed exceptional!  Here they come now:
President Baird with Elder Ellsworth, AP,
Elder Ito, AP, and Elder Koesashi, Commissarian
All waiting patiently.

Elder Berrett is
our Recorder and is usually very busy at the
airport as our videographer.

Our first great missionary, Elder Hilton

Tired and happy to be here.
Elders Hilton, Ahuna, Gillespie, Doll,
and Sister Thayne

That special moment--Elder Gillespie
meeting President Baird.

Elder Gish, getting his first of many hugs.

Elder Perkins, excited to get started.

The first "teaching."
Elder Gish, Hilton, Doll, Ahuna, and Sister Thayne

The famous picture at the Dragon.
From left, Elders Hilton, Doll, Gillespie,
Sisters Thayne and Baird, President Baird,
Elders Gish, Ahuna, Macdonald, and Perkins

We are hungry.  We are tired.  But we are smiling.

Of course, we ate.  This is Sister Baird's famous Lasagna.  See her recipe in this blog.

First train trip in Japan.

We proselyted.  We can do this!
Our three missionaries are Elders  Koesashi,
Macdonald, and Doll.

You never know--this guy may get baptized.
        And after a good night's sleep and several hours of training, we met our new companions:
(All new missionaries are on the left.)
Sister Thayne with Sister Yamada
Sister Anna Mari Thayne calls two places home:  Naha, Okinawa, Japan and St. George, Utah.  She has one brother who was also a missionary in Japan.  She got her associate degree from Dixie College just before coming on her mission.  She enjoys baking, hiking and running, among other things.  She is outgoing and friendly.  She has come to realize that no matter what she does in life, nothing can help people more than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that is why she decided to serve a mission.

Sister Yamada's goal is to have a happy family. She enjoys talking with people
and is cheerful.  She works very hard and doesn’t give up until    
she finishes her task.  She also enjoys baking and is very active.  She 
has a strong testimony of prayer and loves the scriptures.

Elder Ahuna  with Elder Matson
Elder James Ahuna is the youngest of six children.  All of his siblings 
have served missions and been married in the temple.  His family has traveled 
and performed around the world, doing missionary work by sharing their talents in 
Hawaiian song and dance.  Elder Ahuna would like to get a degree in finance and 
become a financial planner in Hawaii, which is where he is from.  
He also wants to continue using his talents to share the gospel.  He plays piano 
and ukelele, does the Samoan fireknife dance and Navajo Indian 22-hoop dance, 
sings and plays drums.  He is friendly and outgoing and is good at saving money. 

One missionary who Elder Matson trained said that Elder Matson is the most obedient 
missionary that he knows.  He reviews the rules and focuses on being 
completely obedient.  He cares what he does, plans well,  is very dedicated, 
and prays like a champion.  This missionary said he really admires Elder Matson.

Elder Doll with Elder Sarager
Elder Brian Doll hails to us from McLean, Virginia.  He has one younger sister.  Elder Doll loves bowling and has bowled in a league since he was 11.  He also likes basketball, and loves to learn new things.  He is well-balanced and enjoys being a leader.  He was shocked when he got his call to serve in Japan because it had never crossed his mind, but he wants to share the joy he has received from the Gospel, and to be an example to his family.

Elder Sarager likes to plan and be prepared for things.  He doesn't like
 "winging it."  He is also a curious person and likes to know the "why" of things.

Elder Gish (left) with his trainer, Elder Gauthier

West Jordan, Utah is home to Elder Braydon Gish.  He is the middle child of five, 
and his sister is serving in Russia.  Elder Gish's biggest goal is to please his Savior 
and make it back to live with Him.  He wants not only to be a good missionary 
while on this mission, but for the rest of his life. He enjoys basketball, football and tennis, 
and just talking with friends and their families.  He appreciates the good friends 
he chose to have and has talked with them a lot about scriptures 
and understanding the Gospel.  

Elder Gauthier feels that if a missionary works hard and obeys with exactness, 
he can't fail in anything he does.  He is friendly and enthusiastic.
Elder Gillespie with Elder Sanderson
Elder Mark Gillespie calls Colorado Springs, Colorado home.  But his father is
a Colonel in the Air Force, so he has lived in other places.  Elder Gillespie wants
to help people as part of his career.  Since he enjoys science, he wants to become
a surgeon.  He also wants to become a better pianist, read all the great books,
and perhaps write music.  His first hobby, though, is reading.  He says he is a confident,
outgoing person and has known the Gospel is true for as long as he can remember. 

Elder Sanderson enjoys playing a military simulation sport called airsoft.  
He likes it because it involves many scenarios and requires cooperation with 
teammates.  In fact, he plans to own his own military simulation store and 
arena after he graduates from college.  

Elder Hilton with Elder Heo
Elder Charles Hilton is from Glenview, Illinois.  He has two older brothers
who are great examples to him.  He would love to get into BYU's
animation program after his mission and eventually work for Pixar.  He loves to draw.
He has done it all his life and it has become his greatest talent.  

Elder Heo wants to major in hotel management at BYU Hawaii 
and then become an executive for a cruise ship company.  He is looking forward 
to having his family join the church and hopes that will happen soon.

Elder Macdonald with Elder Takabori
Gilbert, Arizona is home for Elder Kyle Macdonald.  He comes from a close family who enjoys being together.  He is the middle of five chidlren.  His dad taught him to love all sports, including basketball, baseball, scuba diving, sailing, and snow skiing.  He also plays the piano.  Elder Macdonald is on a full ride scholarship at Arizona State University with plans to go to medical school.  He is fascinated with neurology.  He is ambitious and hard working, learns quickly and loves all types of foods.  He especially enjoys learning about the Savior.

Elder Takabori is competitive and likes a challenge.  His favorite game is chess.  
He wants to improve himself mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. 

Elder Perkins with Elder Ludlow

Elder Perkins is from Mesa, Arizona.  He has three sisters and one brother.
He enjoys writing short stories. He says that writing is fun for him because
it is pure creation.  He says his only weakness is to bullets.  And he has a strong
testimony of both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  Before he left on his mission,
 he shared the gospel with a close friend and she was baptized.

Elder Ludlow likes interacting with other people, taking charge of a situation,
and solving problems.  And when he is not busy doing those things, he can
also enjoy snowboarding, wakeboarding, packpacking, hiking, fishing, 
hunting and the beach.
Is there any better sight than a group of great missionaries?

And off they go to their first assignment!

How to Get a Missionary's Attention--Recipes Included

If you are a parent reading this blog post, using this post will definitely get your returned missionary's attention.

If you are the wife of a former missionary, you can melt his heart and send him down memory lane.  

If you are a returned missionary and just want to recall some special times from the Japan Nagoya  Mission, you might want to go down memory lane by cooking up one or more of the following great recipes that Sister Baird used to feed you, while you were in the Japan Nagoya Mission.  

If you are none of the above, but want some really good eats,  try one or more of the following.  

This recipe is probably Sister Baird's most famous.  New missionaries coming into the mission have even heard about it and have asked for the recipe on their first day.

Sister Baird's Famous Syrup

1/2 C. butter
1 C. buttermilk (in Japan I put 1 T. lemon juice in the measuring cup and then add milk, let it sour for about 4 minutes.)
2 T. light Karo syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (add after you have removed from heat)
Bring to slow boil and stir constantly for 7 minutes.
Remove from heat (add vanilla)
Make this in a deeper pan; the baking soda makes it foam up.

          Sister Baird's Favorite Waffles

2 C. flour (in Japan I have to add a little more)
1 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 C. oil (canola or vegetable)
2 eggs –separate, put yolks into batter and whip egg whites and fold into mixed batter.
You can mix together with a hand mixer.
Cook in waffle maker

Or you can enjoy:

                    Sister Baird’s Favorite Pancakes

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

3 C. buttermilk
2 eggs
2 T. vegetable or canola oil

Mix together (don’t overmix)

Pour out pancakes on hot oiled skillet

This lasagna is to die for!
                                 Nagoya Mission Lasagna

1 kilo (2 pounds) of hamburger (approximately)
1 onion chopped

Cottage cheese mixture:
3 cups of cottage cheese (or 3 small Japanese cartons.)  Japanese cottage cheese is really dry so you might want to rinse and dry American cottage cheese.
1 egg
1 T. dried parsley

Other ingredients:
1 Large bottle Prego Spaghetti Sauce (67 oz.)
Mozzarella Cheese (shredded, just over 2 pounds)
Lasagna Noodles (I use the Barilla, LaCollezione, Lasagne all’Uovo  they are no cook and they are GREAT!  Or you can use cooked regular lasagna noodles)

In a 9 x 13 pan put a little Prego sauce on the bottom then layer:
Meat Mixture
Cottage Cheese mixture
Mozzarella Cheese

Repeat—(for the last layer save a little mozzarella cheese for the very top)

Bake at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes to an hour.  Let sit for around 10 minutes before you cut it.  This way it will come out in pretty pieces.

(Things I’ve learned:  don’t use too much meat, do use enough cheese)

  Chicken Enchiladas

1 family size (26 oz.) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 to 1-1/2 C. sour cream
1 can diced green chilies (7 oz.)
½ tsp. garlic salt
2 C. diced chicken breasts (can be more if you like it meaty)

Heat through and thin with a little milk.

Heat 10 flour tortillas
Put mixture in tortillas (not too much)
Sprinkle with Colby Jack cheese
Roll up and place in 9x13 pan

(Prepare pan with Pam spray on bottom, then spread a small amount of the chicken soup mixture with a rubber spatula on bottom, this will stop the tortillas from sticking to the bottom of the pan or drying out.)

When all the tortillas are rolled and in pan, top with remaining mixture and sprinkle more grated cheese on top.
(Be sure to cover all the tortillas with mixture or tortillas will dry out and be hard)

Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubble—about 20 minutes.  Yummy!

Brownies to die for--even better with a scoop of ice cream:

            Sister Baird’s Brownies

2 cubes butter (melted)
1/2 C. cocoa
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
1½ C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Mix together by hand (not mixer) don’t over mix. Put in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for around 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

3/4 C. softened butter
6 Tablespoons powdered unsweetened cocoa
2 C. powdered sugar (I always use more of this)
1/4 C. milk
Cream butter and cocoa, then add some of the powdered sugar. Mix at low speed adding milk then the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat until creamy (it will be quite thick and a lighter brown). If the icing is too thick to spread add a little more milk. If it’s too thin add a little more powdered sugar.
Spread on cooled brownies.

And finally, 
                              Sister Baird’s Peanut Butter Bars

3/4 C. butter                            3/4 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. sugar                             3/4 tsp baking soda
2 C. brown sugar                     1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs                                      1 ½  C. flour
2 tsp vanilla                             2 C. oats

Additional peanut butter
Chocolate frosting

Using a dough hook, cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Spread on large cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until very lightly browned.  When cooled spread a thin layer of peanut butter on top.  Frost with chocolate frosting below.


Beat together:
2 T. softened butter                4 T. cocoa
1/4 C. of evaporated milk       3½ C. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla

Sister Baird’s Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

Let foam up:
1/2 T. yeast
1 ½ C. warm water
1 tsp. sugar

4 eggs (beaten)
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 C. canola or vegetable oil
1 C. evaporated milk
1 C. hot water

7-8 C. flour  (add 1 cup at a time until dough is soft, I like my dough just barely sticky)

Knead for 10 minutes.  Oil bowl lightly with canola or veg. oil.   Put the dough in and flip it so both sides are slightly oiled.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and lid and put in warm place to rise, approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Punch dough down, let it rest for 5 minutes.  Divide dough in half.  Roll out on floured counter with floured rolling pin into rectangular shape. 

Spread with cinnamon/sugar, butter mixture:
3/4 C. softened butter (really soft but not melted)
1 C. sugar
1/8 C. cinnamon

Rollup.  Cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch rolls.  Place on greased cookie sheet and cover with sprayed (PAM) plastic wrap (don’t pull it tight just lay it over).

Rise again for 15-20 minutes
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (they will be barely browned)

1/4 C. softened butter
About ½ bag of powdered sugar
Thin with the left over evaporated milk
(I like my frosting quite thin, not thick.  I frost the rolls about 4 or 5 minutes after they come out of the oven so some of the frosting melts down in.)