Thursday, August 1, 2013

What a week!

I'm sure that most of you are aware of the missionary whose first assignment was a train wreck.  Looking back on this week there have been many tender mercies and not a few miracles.  We are all SOO grateful that Elder Ward is alive and recovering and doing well.  We all thought Elder Ward to be an outstanding young man from the first time we met him at the MTC the second week of June.  He is talented, smart, happy, spiritual and fun.  And very articulate.  We noticed that when he was asked to give the blessing on our 4th of July picnic that included 3 missionaries from Russia and 3 missionaries from the UK.  His prayer was so sensitive to the feelings of those who are not Americans.  It was remarkable.  And he has had to give about a dozen interviews with the press.  Not an easy thing to do at any age.  When he was asked if he would talk to them, he said to Pres. Jackson if that would help further the missionary work then he would be glad to do it.  He did the interviews with those international news organizations when he wasn't feeling up to par (we can only imagine!)  And when he related his story to the missionaries in the MTC (Sunday) and the Madrid Centro Zona (yesterday) he downplays himself and gives credit to everyone else and is extremely grateful to be alive and grateful he did not have to go home for surgery and recovery and is just anxious to get on with the work.  When Pres. Jackson talked a little about him yesterday at the zone meeting, Elder Ward said, "He (Pres. Jackson) makes me sound like a much cooler guy than I really am".  So much has happened in a week.  I will show some pictures so his family can see the scars.

Elder Ward and Elder Sargent contacting in the park

In Retiro Parque, Elders Shoell, Sargent, sweet lady, Ward and Clark

Three giants! Elders Clark, Nielsen, and Ward

The staples.

Notice he is always smiling

You can see the stitches in his right eyebrow

And his chin--we were hoping for a bolt of lightning scar because he is the missionary that lived!  He was so glad to get the stitches out on Monday so he could shave.

He got his own clothes back!

This is the picture seen around the world; immediately following the train wreck.  218 passengers, 1/3 of whom died, with many still in hospitals in critical condition, including some members of the Church. Elder Ward is walking on what he thought was a broken leg, but turned out to just be a severe contusion.

Bless his heart.  He wanted to sing with us Sunday! Back row, right corner.

This is the Sunday before he left the MTC, when we had a talent show.  He is playing the piano blindfolded.  He also accompanied Bruce and me while we sang "Do You Love Me".

 He will stay in the MTC and continue to get his strength back.  His biggest complaint is that he can't find a comfortable position to rest his head with the neck brace on. Then he will be assigned somewhere close in Madrid so we can keep an eye on him.

P.S. There is a post for July 29, 2013 on the Zimmerman's blog showing the new group of missionaries singing on the steps of the Temple.


  1. Thank you so much for posting all these pictures and for the kindness that all of you have shown to my son! He loved the time he spent at the Spain MTC.

  2. We heard this morning that he is going home. I think that is good. He needs his mom for a little while.

  3. I absolutely love reading your blog--especially hearing the missionaries sing--and seeing the pictures!

    I especially liked hearing the missionaries sing the hymns in Spanish! When I went on BYU Study Abroad 30 years ago, we always sang all the songs in German to help us learn the language as fast as possible.