Sunday, January 25, 2015


Much has happened since the time of our last post and our time here in the CLAM has nearly come to an end. It this a metaphor for life? Maybe. But we don't think are done living just because the mission will soon end. At least we hope not.

So, what's happened since November? How about a pictorial tour of the past two months?

November 10 - Hiked to the Hollywood sign from the Griffith Observatory
On the trail
Almost there
The long trail seen from the Observatory
Lunch in Chinatown afterwards 
November 26 - The Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple in Pacific Palisades

November 27 - Thanksgiving dinner in the Patron Apartments multipurpose room

Waiting for the turkey

November 28 - Big Bear Lake

Boat ramp and dock
The lake with ski resort on the mountain
Some birds
December 13 - Westwood Ward Christmas Party
Mexican dancers
December 27-January 1 - Family Reunion
David's family and Jenny at the Venice Canals
Jennifer Hong
Laura on the beach at Marina Del Rey
David's family at the beach
Connor playing in the sand

Hallie making sand castles
On the screamer at Disneyland
Emily at Disneyland
Katie at Disneyland
At Disneyland
At Toon Town
Erin and Alex waiting in line
Up a tree at Point Vicente 
Matthew wants to play football 
Up a tree at Point Vicente
Connor and Hallie at Point Vicente
Matthew and Carolyn whale-watching at Point Vicente
Point Vicente

Eating Titos Tacos for lunch in the condos
With the Hong children
Joshua, Matthew and Jennifer playing ping-pong in condo
Los Angeles Temple
Max and Mary with the grandkids at the temple
After they all went home, we have spent our time working at the Family History Library and going out with others to eat.

One Monday we went to the Reagan Presidential Library, had lunch, got an inside tour of the archives, and a special tour of the museum with one of the docents who we know. It cost us, however; Max was the guest speaker at the monthly docents' meeting.

One Friday we went with a local couple who are church service missionaries to see some of the sites we haven't yet seen. We visited the San Gabriel Mission, then went to Pasadena for a tour of the Fenyes mansion and to see the Pasadena City hall. We then had lunch at Philippe's Deli, an LA institution since 1908; they have great french-dip sandwiches.  

Last Friday we visited the photo archives of Twentieth-Century Fox at their studio in Century City. A member of the Westwood Ward, the Elder's quorum president, showed us around the archives and the Fox studios campus, which begin on that site in 1937. It was very interesting.

Then last night the other Family History senior missionaries treated us to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. And tomorrow all of the senior missionaries will have their monthly family home evening, another time to say goodbye.  A church service missionary at the library will take us out to eat at Norms a week from Monday.

This will probably be our last blog from LA. We plan to leave here Thursday morning, February 5, drive to Glendale, Arizona, where we will stay for two nights. We plan to visit with Mary's brother, Richard and his wife, Vicki, the snowbirds, and with a senior couple who went home to Gilbert last year. We will also visit the Gilbert and Phoenix temples before leaving for St. George. We will be there Saturday night and drive to Salt Lake City on Sunday after Church.

Love you all!  See you soon.

Elder and Sister Evans

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Hi everyone,

We are going into the holiday season.  There were two pumpkins as Halloween decorations in the library--after cooking them up, Mary made a big bowl of pureed pumpkin for pies and bread.  Max and Mary will celebrate Thanksgiving here by eating a turkey dinner in the recreation room of the apartments. Everybody who will be staying here then, signs up to bring a part of the feast.  Christmas will be an exciting time when our children and grand-children will come for a week after Christmas. They are planning to go to Disneyland as well as enjoy the ocean.  We will also hike to the Hollywood sign and take in a few of the sights.  Wait until they see the temple grounds all lit up with red and green lights on the palm trees. And the Rose Parade on New Year's Day.

Pizza Party Practice
We have now been reassigned to a branch near Watts instead of the Westwood 1st Ward.  The Southwest Los Angeles Branch is a struggling branch consisting mainly of Blacks, Hispanics and Polynesian families.  The Senior missionaries serve mainly by teaching and providing music.  The first Sunday we were there, Max was asked to substitute in teaching Priesthood and Mary to play the piano in either Primary or Relief Society.  Then Nancy Dial, another Senior missionary, was going to be out of town, so Mary helped practice for the Primary program and then played 11 songs for 10 children to sing at the actual Sunday program.

The children did an amazing job; it was wonderful. Branch President Allen asked Max and Mary to teach the Temple preparation class during Sunday School to 3 people:  Chris, a young missionary going to Texas, Susie, a new convert of 1 year, and Laisa, a reactivated sister.

We missed going to the Southwest Branch last week because we flew home for Laura's son, Alex's baptism. We stayed with Emily in our home in Cottonwood Heights. We went to the neighborhood truck-or-treat in our meetinghouse parking lot on Friday. The baptism was Saturday morning in Lehi, with a brunch afterwords at the Daniels' home. Many of Alex's aunts, uncles, cousins, and all grandparents, including a great-grandmother, were there. We had dinner Saturday night at the Olive Garden with Mary's sisters: Sarah and Susan and Susan's husband, Robert. We went to Church in our ward Sunday morning, then went to Max's sister's house for dinner with three of his sisters and their husbands. Then we flew home again on Monday.
Mary with Alex before baptism
Laura and Jared's family at the baptism

Emily at Laura's house

Tuesday at 8:00 AM Max was at the library to teach the first two classes of our monthly three-day intensive course. Mary taught another class, Church Records, on the afternoon of the last day.

Yesterday was the Howcroft's last day of their six-month mission. They are on their way back to their home in Idaho Falls. This is a photo taken last week of our full-time missionaries.
Back: Elder Tripp, Richard McBride (director), Lani Bucchelli (computer guru),
Elder Howcroft, Elder Evans, Elder Dial, Elder McKinstry
Front: Sister Young, Sister Tripp, Sister Howcroft, Sister Evans, Sister Dial, Sister McKinstry

Folk art
The Watts Towers
Today after Church, we drove to see the Watts Tower, a folk-art masterpiece completed in 1954 representing the life's work of Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant.  There are 3 tall cone-shaped spires adorned with colored pieces of tile, glass, pottery, and shells.  Kind-of unusual, but worth seeing.

Stick horse

Another day we walked (over 5 miles round-trip) to the outdoor Sculpture garden in UCLA; Mary's favorite one was entitled "Noble Burdens" by artist Emile-Antoine Bourdelle of a pregnant woman holding an infant in front of her and carrying a basket of fruit on her head.  Max liked the horse made out of sticks.

Often we help patrons find names to take to the temple. One day Mary helped a lady who said all her work had been done by an aunt who wrote a book about her ancestors. She had heard that she could look for cousins to find names.  Mary helped her look at her descendancy view and clicked on the sister of an ancestor.  Through searching a little, they discovered a child that had died at a young age whose father, she thinks, was divorced from the mother.  She realized that there would be no descendants and that she was, in effect, the closest living relative.  Mary printed off the card; the lady said that she and her husband were going to a sealing session that same day at 5 PM.  So she could have that child sealed to her parents. She said it was a miracle!  She didn't really think there were any names available at all.

One day we helped a couple who came to the library with the visitor center young sister missionaries. They are both new converts. Max helped the husband. He has had a very hard life, but finding the gospel gives him a new perspective. Max helped him with his family history by starting a tree with the little information this brother could remember about his parents and grandparents. After searching historical records we began to fill in the blanks and extend his tree. We got his father's mother's maiden name from a death index record and found that the family was living with her uncle when the father was an infant. He promised to come back and look for more family. I think he will want to take names to the temple for baptisms. then when he receives his own endowments, will want to do the rest of the work, including sealings. Elder Anderson wrote recently of the oneness of the Lord's work. Missionary, family history, and temple work are all part of one unified plan. They support and build together and build faith in the members.

Love, Elder and Sister Evans

Monday, October 13, 2014


Balloon man at farmers' market
Mary celebrated her birthday on Saturday, September 20. by going with Max to Cerritos, a nice community southwest of Los Angeles. The Cerritos Stake held a family history fair at one of the meetinghouses. Max was the keynote speaker at 10:00AM. They had breakout sessions at 11:00 and 12:00. Each breakout slot had a getting started class and a class on the family tree. They both also had two recorded sessions from the 2013 RootsTech conference. We noticed a farmers' market across the street from the church. We spent the 11:00 hour there and stocked up on nice, fresh fruits and vegetables. We attended the last session, a video on

Max sent Mary a bouquet of roses for her birthday. The ones in charge of the Cerritos fair also surprised her with a bouquet in a nice vase.

Max spoke about the importance of sources in family history. They are important to get the facts right, but just as importance to help us understand the lives of our ancestors. He used the life stories of William Clark and Jane Stevenson as his examples. William and his parents joined the Mormon church in England in the late 1840's. Their Worcestershire neighbors, the Bryants, also became Mormons just months before William and Emily Knowles Bryant were married on her 19th birthday, September 20th, 1848 . The two families sailed on the Henry Ware from Liverpool to New Orleans. The party consisted of William, his father, mother, a 16-year old sister; and his new bride and her parents.

They landed on American soil, April 9, 1849, and began the next stage of their journey: up the Mississippi to St. Louis and from there on to the Mormon encampments in Pottawattamie County,  western Iowa. William's parents and sister went on to Iowa, but we find William and Emily in the 1850 census, September 2, living next to Emily’s parents. Their baby girl, Mary Ann Esther Clark, would be born the next day. Sadly, less than three weeks later, both Emily and her newborn die, September 20, Emily’s 23rd birthday and the second anniversary of her wedding. 

John Wheeler Clark, William's father, returns to Missouri on a mission of mercy, only to be taken as well by whatever relentless sickness had afflicted the family. 

William, his mother and sister are soon found in the records of the Council Point, Iowa, emigration company, listed near a Jane Ross, and her three children.

Jane Stevenson had married Steven Weeks Ross in Sussex County, New Jersey, 1839. He was 27 years old and she was just 18. She joined the LDS Church January 1840. They became the parents of five children, two sons and a daughter born in 1840, 1841, and 1843; and two more sons, both who had been born and died between 1846 and 1850. Stephen also died, in December 1849, just weeks before the birth of his last child.  By July 1850, Jane was a 30-year old widow with three young children living with her mother-in-law in New Jersey. She would leave to join the saints in May 1851. The family arrived in Iowa, in July. The entry for Jane Ross  in the camp journal would include this note, "United to Wm. Clark.”

Preparing, using iPad, laptop, and desktop
Jane and William were to be married January 1852, in Council Point. They joined the John Tidwell emigration company, departing the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa, June 1852. They would arrive in Salt Lake City, three months later. The rest of the Clark and Bryant families also made the overland trek to Utah. 

William and Jane Clark made their home in Lehi, Utah. Together they had seven children and adopted one more. Each child survived to adulthood and married. Most lived long lives and had children of their own. One of them, Martha Geneva Clark, married William Samuel Evans and became the parents of Max's grandfather Hyrum Clark Evans.

Their story, discovered by studying the sources, touches our hearts.

We drove to Manhattan Beach and walked in the sand one lovely Friday morning.

Surfers near the pier

On another p-day we went to Virginia Robinson gardens in Beverly Hills. Mrs. Robinson died at age 99, leaving behind no children. She and her husband built the first mansion in Beverly Hills. She collected, planted, and maintained this six-acre site. It is now a county park, bequeathed by Mrs. Robinson in her will.
Us at the rose garden
Virginia Robinson's swimming pool and pool house

Last week, for General Conference, we drove to Indio, near Palm Springs. We stayed at the WorldMark resort where we watched conference Saturday and Sunday morning. We got it by wifi on the iPad, connected to the flat screen TV in the room. We listened to the Sunday afternoon session as we drove back to Los Angeles.
Indio, California

Sunday this week we helped staff a booth at the Brentwood community arts fair. We talked to visitors about family history. A lot of Jewish people stopped by to learn about the resources available at the LA Family History Library. Sister Hemming, from Public Affairs was with us. She introduced people to, a Church sponsored website to encourage volunteerism.
At the booth
We are enjoying our mission.  It is very fulfilling.  Love, Elder and Sister Evans