Bold Adventurers

Elder Reed and Sister Vicki Fanning, LDS Senior Missionaries

July 7, 2017

For us, preparing to serve a mission is more than spiritual preparation.  We have to vacate a rental property and put all of our earthly belongings in storage.  We rented a small house after we returned from the California Fresno Mission last June. It is about ¼ mile from our house, where our daughter lives with her family.  It was easier for us to rent someplace for the year between missions than to move our daughter in and out, before and after each mission.

Today was our final day to pack and get everything ready for the crew to come tomorrow to move everything to storage.  We moved into a hotel on Wednesday to facilitate laundry and cleaning.  We thought almost everything was done, but today, we found many small and large things that still needed packing, cleaning, organizing, and moving.

For anyone who does not know, Elder Fanning had a second stroke on May 9th that was not diagnosed by the hospital.  After additional symptoms appeared, and a second trip to the hospital on June 3rd, we found out that he had a stroke on May 9th that did permanent damage to his brain.  As a result, he lost the vision in the left half of both eyes, and his short- and long-term memory have been affected.  Some of his vision has returned, but not enough to drive safely.  Interestingly enough, one of the results of the vision loss is not being able to recognize faces. However, he was cleared by the ophthalmologist and cardiologist to serve a mission.  He received a blessing from Elder Brent Alder, an Area Authority Seventy who visited our Stake Conference, and was told that his health would be sufficient to complete the mission.

After spending the day and evening at the house, we went to the Stake offices to be set apart.  We took our 10-year-old grandson, Quinn.  After Sister Fanning was set apart, he said, “That was long.”   The Stake President told Elder Fanning in his blessing that he would have good enough health to complete our mission. We are thankful for the support that President Doug Alley has given us.

We returned to the house to finish final preparations, and got back to the hotel around midnight, tired but satisfied that we had done almost everything that needed to be done before the crew comes in the morning.

June 5, 2016


We went to Stake Conference this morning.  We saw more people that we had not seen for a long time.  We feel bad that we are not going back to the same Ward with all the people who were in the Ward when we left.  We will just have to get used to the new Ward boundaries that split our Ward in thirds.

The conference session was really good.  We had good speakers, and Elder Bowen spoke on the Book of Mormon.

We met with the Stake President to be released.  He agreed that we would attend the 7th Ward where our grandchildren go.  That way we can get them to Church as much as possible.  He also asked us to speak in both the 5th and 7th Wards. We talked to him about our mission for about an hour.  He also released us.  We removed our name tags for good.  Until next time.

Elder Fanning called the Bishops of both Wards. We will be speaking in the 5th Ward on August 14th.  We will be speaking in the 7th Ward on July 31st.   We have plenty of time to prepare our talks and get settled before our homecoming talks.

Sister Fanning made stir fry and microwaved rice for dinner.  We still have not found our eating utensils.  Maybe in a week or two.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing.  Sister Fanning took a nap.  We had a nice Sabbath.

This is our last blog for our California Fresno Mission since we were released today.  We look forward to starting up the blog for the next one.  Perhaps we will be unpacked by then.

June 4, 2016


Today was a very busy day.  Will and his family were here from Nampa.  They stopped by to see us for a few minutes. We were all going to the baptism of a grandson of our close friends. They went to run some errands while we finished getting ready.

We were a little bit late for the baptism because Sister Fanning took longer to get ready.  We also got lost because we were not sure which chapel on Hawthorne road was the right one.  It was a stake baptism so four little boys were getting baptized.  We left a little early, right after the confirmation.

Our granddaughter, Marissa, was in a production of Cinderella by her dance studio.  She was supposed to have a major part, but she broke her collar bone in gymnastics and was only in a small number and the finale.  She did very well.  All of the kids did a good job.  It was really fun seeing the tiny tots doing their thing on stage.

As soon as we were done, we came home and had frozen pizza for lunch.

Elder Fanning went to a comedy improv group.  Sister Fanning was not feeling well so she stayed home.  The group had LDS comics, and it was clean comedy.  Sister Fanning rested and unpacked a few things.

We had the adult session of Stake Conference tonight.  We got to see lots of people that we had not seen for two years.  The Stake President made an appointment with us for Sunday at 1:30 to release us.  We had a good session led by Elder Bradford Bowen of the Seventy.

We got home about 9:30.  We went right to bed.

June 3, 2016


We are still wearing our missionary badges because we have not been released.  We hope that we get released this weekend.

We left at 9:30 for Ogden.  We were a half hour late leaving because Sister Fanning was moving so slow.

We went to see Diana, our adopted daughter from England.  We have not seen her for over three years.  She was visiting for a week to attend a friend’s wedding.  We were so excited that our schedule worked out so we could see her.  We were just disappointed that her family was not able to come.  Her husband has not been well, so we are concerned about him.

We went to lunch at the Greenery Restaurant at Rainbow Gardens.  There was a very large menu, but Sister Fanning and Diana ordered the same thing.  We laughed about that.  We had so much fun catching up on people from the Ward in England, her family, and things that she was doing.  We wandered around the gift shop and chatted some more.  We drove down to the Ogden Temple and wandered around the grounds.  We had not seen it since it was remodeled.

We drove back to where she was staying, but no one was home.  We went to see Elder Fanning’s sister and her husband.  They were getting ready to go to Salt Lake to serve as hosts in the Joseph Smith Building.  They have been serving there as service missionaries for 13 years.  We talked for about 10 minutes.  We then went to Farr’s Ice Cream for a treat and talked some more.

We took Diana back to her friend’s home and were surprised to see that we had spent five and a half hours with her.  It did not seem that long.

We stopped to get some drinks and then drove home.  We got home about 7:30.  We spent some time unpacking again.  We just keep unpacking bins, and they seem to be multiplying.

June 2, 2016


We had cold cereal for breakfast and continued the unpacking process. There is hardly any cabinet space in the kitchen.  We found a set of metal shelves in the basement.  After we cleaned them up, they made a nice place for storage in the laundry room.  We have definitely decided that we need to downsize and get rid of things, especially clothes.  We have one closet that is probably only five feet wide.  We also do not have a dresser, only a shelf unit with eight bins for clothing storage.

Sister Fanning made an appointment with Dr. Bailey for her virus flare.  She also made an appointment with Dr. Finn for a chiropractic adjustment.  Until the appointments this afternoon, we worked some more on unpacking.  We have not yet got any of the rooms done, but most of them are more livable.

Sister Fanning saw Dr. Bailey’s nurse practitioner.  She gave her a mega dose of antiviral to try to knock the virus down.  She took 2 grams of antiviral twice, 12 hours apart.  Her mouth was better the next day.

Her appointment with Dr. Finn did not go as well.  He was not able to move her neck.  So he used a new technique to move the spinal facets one at a time.  When he tried to move her back, all he did was get her into position and the spine moved on its own, but it was so painful that she cried.  When he tried to adjust more, her body guarded and he stopped.  She was in a lot of pain when she got home later that night from the muscles not being used to the spine being in place.  She is concerned that she is using pain meds during the daytime.  But she can’t get by without them.

She picked up dinner from Panda Express on the way home.  We did some more unpacking, and went to bed early again.

June 1, 2016


We left Nampa about 11:00.  We spent some time with the grandkids.  Our new little grandbaby is a mama’s boy.  He was not very happy for us to hold him.  We need to stay longer so we can get to know him.  Sister Fanning was really feeling the trip.  She was not used to driving, so her arms, neck and, shoulders were hurting.  She was also very tired and achy all over.  She will be glad to get to the rheumatologist in a couple of weeks to see what is going on.

We drove to Burley and stopped to eat at Burger King.  We also got some gas.

We met our daughter and grandkids at the new house about 3:00.  April left the kids, but had to get back to work.  They started unpacking the truck.  They got everything out that could be removed except the large things. Elder Fanning started calling around to see if he could find anyone home to help.  Sister Fanning went to the cable TV office to get our internet and cable TV set up.  Since it is a busy season, we have to wait until next Tuesday for them to hook it up.

Elder Fanning called the Loveland’s to get the missionaries’ phone number.  It was not a correct number.  The Lovelands showed up a short time later.  He called our former bishop’s wife to see when he got home from work.  Shortly after that, the Buckley’s showed up.  Then our son-in-law showed up.  We were able to get the rest of the truck unloaded and the bed set up.  We made the bed and did some minor unpacking.

We went to dinner at Café Rio.  Sister Fanning was struggling with her cytomegalovirus that had attacked her mouth.  She was having problems eating.  She had taken a round of her regular anti-viral, but they had only suppressed the virus temporarily. We also went to Winco to buy some groceries.  We got home and realized that we had bought a frozen pizza, but had not unpacked a pizza cutter or pizza pan.  We also had ice cream, but no ice cream scoop and nothing to eat it with except plastic spoons.  We are not sure where everything is packed.

We were exhausted.  We did a little bit of unpacking and then went to bed.

May 31, 2016


We left about 10:00 this morning after having breakfast at the hotel and packing the car.  We made it to Lovelock, Nevada, before we needed gasoline.  We stopped in Winnemucca for lunch at McDonalds and gasoline.

Sister Fanning stopped in McDermitt, Nevada, for gasoline and an ice cream sandwich to keep her awake.  Elder Fanning kept going because he had enough gas to get to Nampa.  Sister Fanning kept thinking she would catch up with him, but she got to Jordan River, Oregon, and did not see him.

When Elder Fanning got to Nampa, he went straight to Costco for gasoline.  A short time later, Sister Fanning pulled up next to him.  Sister Fanning finished filling up first and headed for Will’s house.  Bridget and Liam were keeping watch outside for any sign of the grandparents.  They were excited to see her.

When she went in the house, she saw the dining room table set for a fancy welcome dinner.  Elder Fanning got there just as the food was coming out of the oven.  Heidi made lime cilantro chicken, salad, homemade rolls, and frozen lemonade.  We played Clue with the grandkids and talked and hugged. Will was in San Antonio interviewing for a job.  He got home very late that night.

We got to bed pretty late.

May 30, 2016


We got up early today to get started on the rest of the packing.  By the time we got the truck and car packed with the rest of the bins, suitcases, boxes, etc. it was close to 11:00.  We dropped off the rest of the items and the apartment keys to the Gressels, and hit the road for the trip home.

We stopped in Fresno to turn in the cable and internet equipment.  We tried to get gas at Costco, not realizing it was closed for Memorial Day.  We stopped at a gas station down the street for gas.  We tried to stop at In and Out Burger for lunch, but the parking lot was packed and the rental truck was a problem. We left Fresno on the 99 because traffic looked good on the map.  Traveling north on the 99 can be problematic.  We stopped in Madera at Jack in the Box for lunch.

After we got on I80, we stopped for gas in Newcastle, just before we entered the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We were surprised that traffic was so light going north and then east.  Traffic was backed up for miles on the other side of the I80.  Everyone was going back home from a weekend in the mountains.

We arrived at the hotel in Reno about 6:30.  We checked the load in the truck and found out that the mattress had slipped backwards coming over the mountains.  It was half off the shelf and leaning on the rest of the things.  We partially unloaded the truck to try to shift the mattress back on the shelf.  It was too heavy, so we built a column of bins for the mattress to rest on.  We hope it will stay there for the rest of the trip.

We checked into the hotel.  We went to Outback for dinner.  We got back to the hotel about 8:30.  We did not realize how tired we were.  We went to bed without even getting our laptops out of the bags.

May 29, 2016


This morning we went to Church at 9:00 since there was no Ward Council.  The Gressels spoke in Sacrament Meeting.

We wanted to give a challenge coin to the Williamsons.  He is young men’s president, and she is young women’s president.  They always helped us with babysitting for the resiliency class.  We forgot to bring them, so Sister Fanning ran home to get one.  We forgot that Elder Fanning had already taken her apartment key. She could not get in to the apartment.  So Elder Fanning went to get one during Priesthood Meeting.

We had a huge gospel principles class.  We had several investigators and recent converts.  We had a good lesson.  The new Ward Mission Leader is a former stake president, and he is an excellent teacher.

Nothing unusual or exceptional that happened in Relief Society and Priesthood.

The Ward had a linger-longer to welcome the Gressels and say goodbye to us.  Delta made a really cute cake using edible ink.  They set up a table where people could write us messages and the kids could draw pictures.  We were able to visit with many of the Ward members.  We took lots of pictures and cried a little bit.  We stayed until almost 1:30.

We spent the rest of the day finishing the packing.  We thought we could get it all done.  Plans changed, due to visitors.

First, the Ward Mission Leader and his wife, a counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, came to say goodbye.  They wanted us to sign their missionary book.  They keep a book with all of the missionaries who have served in Lemoore.  We had a nice chat with them.

The facilitator for our Lemoore Addiction Recovery Group came to see us with his wife.  They brought cookies.  We had never met her before.  We had a nice chat with them.

Then the other counselor in the Relief Society Presidency came.  She brought all of the pictures and notes that people had written to us.  She had mounted them all in a book.  It was so nice.  We had a nice chat with her.  We will miss all of the good people in Lemoore.

We did some additional packing and got to bed pretty late.  We still were not able to get everything finished.

The Cake


Some of the people we will miss.





May 28, 2016


We had a busy day packing and cleaning today.  Two members of the High Priests Group came to help load the truck this morning. We got the bed loaded and the rest of the furniture and bins were packed.  We will load the rest as we get things packed.

We still have a lot to do.  We think we can finish tomorrow so we can leave early Monday.  We have a lot of things to give to the Gressels.  As we sort, we make a trip to their apartment.  We had to go to K-Mart to buy seven more bins today.  It does not seem like we accumulated that much more stuff.  I think we lost some bins when we loaned them to the missionaries.

Jess and Libby invited us to dinner with the Gressels.  Jess is such a good cook.  He made stuffed flank steak.  He stuffed it with spinach and blue cheese.  We had a really good dinner.  We spent the evening just listening as the Gressels and Jess and Libby got to know each other.  We will miss Jess and Libby.  They are thinking about starting a bed and breakfast near Boise when he retires in a year or so.

We got home about 8:00.  We spent some time packing.

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