Monday, November 3, 2008

Missionary Monday

I am absolutely thrilled to 'spotlight' Sister Dana Waters (Puddington) today. She was a missionary in Hull back in 1986 and I remember her so well. She was/is a sweetheart. Dana contacted me as I had posted on the England Leeds Mission Alumni about my Dad's illness.

This picture was taken by Dana but I am adding my own words:
"You see Elder, it is just like this, I was one of the shortest on the field but I used to run with the ball that fast, no-one could catch me! You know my motto, the bigger they are , the faster I run. Up the Robins"......"seriously though Elder, our Val struck oil when she met me!"
Dana shared one of her journal entries:

John Sims is a man of impeccable integrity--I have never met anyone who is so devoted to missionary work and who absolutely loves it like he does.
In the fall of 1986 I landed in Hull, England, fresh from the States. He was the ward mission leader at the time. My trainer, Sister Lorinne Taylor, took me over to meet the Sims family when I got settled and I remember being so awkward and homesick.
With his warm and welcoming ways, he strengthened and supported me through the three months that I served in Hull. He loved to talk Rugby and share his experiences and he tied these to life and how we could use our own experiences to better serve the people of England.
He was unfailingly strict about punctuality for correlation meeting, and any baptism, fireside or cottage meeting that we had, and if we were late, he let us know of his disappointment. We had a few 'chewing out' sessions by Brother Sims, but we knew he did it out of love for us. We loved Brother Sims so much, that it broke our hearts to disappoint him; he was so committed to helping us with our work.
He also has an innate sense of knowing when a missionary was struggling and he would do anything in his power to help. As a young adult, I entered his home and watched the fun and loving relationship he had with Sister Sims, (Val) and they always flirted and teased each other comfortably around others. Val kept him in line when he got talking too much, but I could tell that this relationship was special. Also, the love he had for his children was evident in the way that he treated them and how they responded to him as their father. I came to love this family so much.
His excitement for the gospel was contagious, so if my companion and I had experienced a particularly bad day, we always stopped at the Sims home and John Sims would come right outside at the sight of us and say 'Sisters--the Gospel is true! Who have you touched today?' He would never let us feel that we hadn't made some kind of difference in Hull.
Before I left Hull, I went to say goodbye to the Sims family, and Brother Sims gifted me with one of his Hull Kingston Rovers Scarves. I felt honored to be the recipient of this gift, for I knew how much the team meant to him--but he wanted me to remember him, and I do remember him, as one who made a hard path easy for a new and insecure missionary sister.
Thank you Brother Sims, for your example of faith and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; for helping us make something better of ourselves, and for loving life as you do.
Your influence will never be forgotten by me, and your memory will be passed on to my children, as well as the children of so many young people that you have touched.
God bless you and your family.

Here is Dana sporting this fabulous scarf. She had this picture taken last night especially for this blog entry.
Thank you Dana for your kind and gracious words. It was so wonderful to read your thoughts and again realize what a wonderful Father we have. He is known for many things that are good and our family really appreciate you letting us know how you feel about our Husband/Father/Grandad.
I personally smiled when I read the part about his 'punctuality'. I am happy to let you know that from 1986 until the present, he has always stood by that. A good trait that was instilled in me.

What an absolute honor it is to have such a wonderful Father!
"We love you Dad"

1 comment:

Alan Tong said...

It is funny how so many different people view the same person so differently usually. With your dad though, there are definite things that stick out to everyone. The way he has always lived with exactness is one of them. We always called your dad "Cochise." Pronounced "Kochees.") Cochise was a red Indian, and was famous for the way his arrows would fly straight and true. I always used to say that "Johnnie Sims was straighter than Cochise's arrow." It sort of stuck with a few of us, along with the other nicknames of "Mick the Munch," "Nosher Sims," and "The Human Gannet." (He always had food in his hand.)