Billerica Ward Mission Leader
I took this driveway shot quite a while later (about 1976) at Timbaloo in Arlington, but this seemed like a good place to display my lovely companion. She’s holding our Rebecca, and Pat Cantera has their daughter of the same vintage; maybe one of these days I’ll remember the baby’s name.
Brunnhilde’s here, too. In Billerica, Valerie was soon called to the Stake Primary, and she put five hundred miles a month on our faithful wagon, visiting ward and branch Primaries from Keene to Laconia to Sanford, Maine. After several years in the more compact Boston Stake, and now in the company of our small children, she came to depend heavily on the reliability and durability of our Brunnhilde. I think that’s when we signed up for Triple-A. 0922ewValPat.jpg
Pat belongs here, because we met Ron and Pat Cantera while I was Ward Mission Leader in Billerica. One of my duties was to assign missionaries to meet with people who expressed interest in our faith and to answer their questions. The Canteras had a lot of questions, approached them seriously, and had exceeded the patience of some excellent missionaries. Selfishly, I assigned myself to this lovely family. Every Wednesday evening, for more than a year, I went to their home in Bedford, and we talked about joy, about eternity, about knowledge, about the Savior. And the Canteras and the Andersons became good friends. Gradually, at their pace, they came to savor my message and to desire its fruits in their family life. We spent so much time on joy and its concomitants that they gave a daughter Joy for a middle name. I think it was an older sister of this cutie.

I came in for some criticism for spending so much time with the Canteras. Especially inasmuch as my missionary visits made it impossible for Valerie to attend Wednesday-night meetings of the Relief Society. She was OK with the sacrifice (if not, I’d have made other arrangements), but one of our High Councilors (whose wife was Stake Relief Society President) beat on Bishop Kent Pugmire until he agreed to have me stand up before the congregation and defend my actions. Which I did, and didn’t get excommunicated for it.

They became ready for baptism only after we’d moved to Arlington, out of the Billerica Ward. We returned for the occasion: I baptized Ron, and we embraced there, waist-deep in the water. I then baptized their oldest son Chris. Ron and Chris later baptized Pat and the other kids.
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