Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Dear Family,

Cheryl and Paul's son, Paul Jr, has also gone on his mission this month. Paul received a call to the Taiwan Taipei Mission.  Here is a shot of Paul Jr, and his Opa Wirthlin outside  the Holladay Chapel.

Paul had one mammoth Sunday; he had his farewell, got ordained an Elder and received his Eagle award after that, and then there was a big reception at home that went into the late evening....quite a day!  They had been traveling so Paul missed the Eagle Court of Honor with the live Eagle so the Scoutmaster came over to the home for the award.  Paul sr.  did the ordination.

We attended his farewell which was outstanding. Several members of the family participated; Annabelle, Olivia and Jon Huntsman Senior.  Annabelle gave a talk, Olivia played a tricky assortment of church hymns and  Jon Senior was the concluding speaker.  Paul gave a very good talk and showed  a mature understanding of the Gospel and our missionary message.  He will make a very fine Missionary. The meeting was packed with friends of the family and the large assortment of Paul's friends as well. Not to mention several rows from the Wirthlin side of the family.

Following the meeting, there was a great reception that Cheryl organized, it was almost a ward dinner.  Lot's of kids, friends and tons of goodies.

The next week, we went with Paul jr, Cheryl, Paul Sr. and Madeline to the Jordan Temple for his endowment and that was also very special.  Paul's uncle is the Temple President so Paul Jr. received extra attention.  It was so great to be in the temple with them.

Then they invited us  to go down to Provo to drop Paul,(now Elder Huntsman) off at the Mission Training Center where he will get missionary training and an intense start on the Mandarin language.  The trip to drop off a missionary was interesting because I had never done this with our sons.  We were back in Michigan and I was totally tied up so there were no great trips out to Utah plus we had a few kids at home.  Well that is something I missed.

We drove down in Paul's huge black Mercedes van  that held all of us.  The routine is interesting.  The MTC gives you a specific time to arrive and you drive to a specific spot in the sidewalk where there are a bunch of missionaries assigned to escort each missionary.  600 new missionaries arrived that day. We all got out and said goodbye.  Here is a clip that Mom took.

He is doing well his first week in the MTC and met his dousing, Elder Wirthlin. Here they have met up.

Great to see this generation taking over the missionary effort,  We now have Douglas, Jake, Natalie, Joseph and Paul on missions.

So great and Heaven bless you all,

Love, Opa

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


 Dear Family,

We had a great time and family get-together at our little farm in St. Charles Idaho on the banks of Bear Lake.  Here is a view of our place from the air as Roy came with his airplane and buzzed the house as he had made his way to Paris, ID, to land.  You can see the house, garage and a great collection of cottonwood trees that surround our place.

Roy buzzed our house at about 200 feet to let us know he was coming. He brought with him his son, Adam, and a bunch of shooting  gear for our annual Fourth of July Schutzenfest.  Here he is exiting his airplane in Paris, ID. He recently recertified instrument flying. It only takes 1 1/2 hours  to fly from Denver to Paris, Idaho.

Jeff drove over as well.  He was doing his locum tenens or psychiatric
on call at the hospital in Idaho Falls,  He drove over and brought the great sleeping chair from Spokane.  He also stopped in Montpelier and bought a bunch of groceries including some rib eye steaks.  He could only stay a short while so we grilled him a steak and off he went.

Suzanne and her family were there as well as Rebecca and her family.  It was great.  At one point there were 28 people on the scene.. Emily and Joseph came also. Mike and Rayanne and their children (now reduced with one on study abroad in England and one entering the MTC) came with their tent trailer which increased the sleeping capacity.  It was great! The weather was perfect, much cooler than SLC and the stars were out at night.

Everyone went to the beach each day.  Suz and Emily would go to the North Beach at 7:30 in the morning and save a spot for the pop up canopies.  They had it down to a science.  Paul and Rebecca got out our jet boat and Paul pulled numerous kids around the lake with tubes.  Mike brought over the paddle boat and it was non stop beach each day

The kids entertained themselves the entire day.  Here they are after building an Aztec temple in the sand.

In the evenings and some mornings, it was laying around the couches watching real old movies and musicals.  Here are a bunch of them watching Mr. Bean.  Note the little Bear Footstool and Bison trophy on the wall..

Scott and Roy worked on the plumbing leak in the bathroom and after a lot of work and multiple trips to Ace Hardware, they replaced pipes and got it all soldered up.  There were moments without water so the kids had to resort to a hand pump in the front yard to get water to the facilities.

We found time for target practice and sighting in a couple of rifles.  Here is Tillie acting like an Annie Oakley hitting cans all over with her BB gun.  We managed to make a few booms with the Tannerite as well.  Roy did his sniper school and all were busting cans at 150 yards or more.

We had picked up some fireworks and mortars in Wyoming and had a grand firework display on the evening of the Fourth,  It was so great to have everyone there.

In the evenings, Scott, who is a master trout fisherman, went to the local streams and kept us in fresh trout.  Here are two beauties he came home with one night.  Suz and Becca and Scott made some fish tacos with ingredients that Jeff brought over.

On Sunday, we went to the St. Charles ward.  There must have been over a thousand there with all the vacationers and second home owners coming for the holiday.  They were finally turning people away and routing them to the ward in Paris.  We saw so many of our friends from Salt Lake there.  The meetings there are great.

Everyone left and Mom and I were there alone and it was deathly quiet.  We sat and watched two operas, La Boheme, and Hansel und Gretel.  We closed up on Monday and it was back home.  I never get tired of having the family get together.  We have had partial reunions all year.  Next year we hope to have the entire family to a reunion for my 80th celebration.  Start planning.

Love, Dad


Dear Family,

So much going on each and every day, I need to stop and mention a few things,.  We have had high school and college graduations.   There have been visits from all over from family and grandkids and there have been some momentous events as well.

The most significant events however there are two grandsons who entered the MTC to serve their missions. This will be about Joseph Taylor Wirthlin, Mike and Rayanne's, son who has been called to serve in the Berlin Germany and mission. Here is a picture of Elder Wirthlin as he prepares to enter the MTC with his German flag lapel pin.

I must say we were tickled when he received his call  to the Berlin- Germany mission. There has been a long tradition of members of the Wirthlin family serving in German-speaking missions since the 1870s. My great-grandfather, Leopold Wirthlin,  a Swiss convert and immigrant, returned to Switzerland and served a 14 months mission. He left behind a wife and several children in humble circumstances, returned because of sickness in the family. But while there, he accomplished much good and found success working among the people of Switzerland.

My uncles served in the Swiss-German mission with my uncle Joseph coming home because of the first world war.   His son Joseph (Elder Wirthlin) , served in the Swiss German mission and had to  leave at the outbreak of World War II. His younger brothers, Richard and David, served in  the Swiss- Austrian mission. David and I served in the Swiss-Austin Mission together. My brother Alvin and my sister Barbara served in that mission as well. There have been numerous second cousins who also  served missions in German-speaking countries. However with my eight sons, no one was called to Germany but they served all over the world.

It does not matter where you serve that much but I must say one does adopt the countries he serves in and they always hold a warm place in your heart  and we are tickled when others go ro the same place of missionary activity.

Here is a photo of  Opa (me), Joseph, and his proud dad, Mike at one of our get-togethers. Joseph gave a wonderful talk at his missionary farewell and his sisters participated in the program as well. We took Joseph and his family to Sigfrieds, a German like restaurant in Salt Lake, to experience a first taste of German cooking. We had Sauerkraut, Wurst and Spaetzle.  We then went through the Salt Lake Temple together

Suz worked her magic and made special German flag cupcakes for the for the get together following the farewell service.

Elder Wirthlin has been in the MTC three weeks and is beginning to include German expressions in his emails home.  Good luck Elder Wirthlin, we are all proud of you,

Love, Opa