Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Cool Yule to all of y’all,
Julee  (Sister Bernhisel) and I are celebrating our third Christmas in Raleigh North Carolina and we love being here with our exceptional missionaries and members and the wonderful people of North Carolina who live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Our mission work is going very well, and quite frankly, we are a little saddened by the prospect of returning to “normal life” in six months, although we will never be the same after experiencing the “tender mercies” of being a part of the work of the Lord and from the changes of joy we’ve seen so readily in so many people.
It has been a very busy December with two special Christmas Zone Conferences (three zones each in a North and South Conference) combined with a musical Christmas program, a Sister Missionary Conference and a Spanish speaking missionary conference with a visiting General Authority and our Area Authority. Our missionaries in the musical program of the Christmas Zone Conferences have amazed us with their talent and enthusiasm. We have ended that program in our conferences, by something familiar to those who have attended our Bernhisel neighborhood ‘Christmas Family Home Evening’ in Riverview Florida, with my Stille Nacht/Silent Night story and group singing of Silent Night, accompanied by the guitar. (You can see us somewhere in all three pictures if you look hard enough or have a magnifying glass). The upper picture  is the Sister's Conference. The picture on the right, below is us demonstrating the '12 Days of Christmas-Bernhisel style'

A quick update on our kids and grandkids: We have had four grandchildren born while we have been on our mission and our daughter Brooke is expecting a little girl in the springtime. Heidi and Tyler and their four children moved to a new home,  a few miles from their old  home, to Seneca S.C.. Preston and Karee and their four children, including Cambelle, born this past March, are in Dallas Texas. Brooke and Mike and their three children, left the South (Atlanta) for California this year and a new great job. Their son Ethan was born just after we came to North Carolina and their new little one, ‘Brooklyn’, will be born just before we leave. Lyndi and Kevin and their three children live an Acworth (close to Atlanta) and had little Elsie born in March of this year as well. Jenny Leigh and Lance are on their way by car to visit us for Christmas with their three children from their home in Houston Texas. Just over a year ago little Millie was born. She and all the rest of the grandkids are the sparkles in our eyes.

As we reflect and ponder on the spiritual bounties of Christmas, the title of one of my favorite Christmas Hymns come to mind, ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’. This is an interesting time in the history of the world where there are so many evidences of Heavenly Father’s love and merci. These evidences serve to strengthen that faith in the babe born in the humblest of circumstances in Bethlehem, Jesus the Christ. The same who gave His life to reclaim and redeem us. In contrast, it is astonishingly evident that there is a lack of faith and even the secular distain for Godly truths by the world in large, an absence of which will always be accompanied by ultimate grief and despair.
Behold, doth [Jeusus Christ] cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price. Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men… Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?...Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive. (2nd Nephi 26:25,26. 3rd Nephi 9:13,14-The Book of Mormon)
Julee and I know that God lives and is aware of the smallest details, happy or sad, in all of our lives. We also know that His Son Jesus, is the Christ and through His sacrifice and the enabling capacities of His atonement, He has not only given us life after death, but individual growth, happiness and joy in this life. He has also prepared the pathway to Eternal life, which is life with our Heavenly Parents and our precious families in the world to come. Isn’t that great?
We love y’all
Marc (President Bernhisel) and Julee (Sister Bernhisel)

P.S. Great, short, Christmas videos: 1) Piano guys with David Archuleta “Angles we have hear on High” 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving-y’all-(See the Duke Gardens Pictures below this post)
“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.” (Psalms 105:1,2)
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 107:2)

Thanksgiving has got to be one of my favorite holidays. It seems overshadowed and almost forgotten in all the Christmas advertising, but I love it that the title of the holiday implies the admonition to all to give thanks unto the Lord for his love and “his mercy (which) endureth forever.”
The Bernhisel concept of celebrating Thanksgiving is a little different. Instead of the pressed table clothes; the seldomly seen silverware and the formal dinner, we would camp out in tents by the beach in Florida and enjoy deep fried turkey along with our smores by the campfire. It is our marvelous way to enjoy family and enjoy the beautiful creations that the Lord has blessed us with and give thanks for the simple things of life.

Now, I am not suggesting that the Bernhisel Thanksgiving is the only way to celebrate and to give thanks (and moms who read this, don’t give up on your homemade rolls and apple pies, which sound great right now), but that we should daily, multiple times daily, pause and thank the Lord for the tender mercies which we have been given.

Thomas S. Monson has said “Do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also  unlocks the doors of heaven and  helps us feel God’s love.” (Ensign Nov 2010, 87) We find an example of giving thanks with the Lord Jesus Christ as “he took the seven loaves and the fishes and gave thanks.” Observe how He rendered  thanks and then a miracle followed as 4,000 were fed and “that was left [was] seven baskets full.” (see Matthew 15:32-38). Miracles happen by  “unlock[ing] the doors of heaven” as we give thanks and in the process, it  “helps us feel God’s love.” What a blessing for us by simply recognizing the hand of the Lord in all the things we see and do.  President Monson in the Ensign article quoted the English author Aldous Huxley-“Most human beings have almost an infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” We certainly should not take the things given to us by God, for granted.
What about the hard times and challenges we all face? 

Deiter F. Uchtdorf  “It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation.” (April ’14  Gen. Conference ‘Grateful in any circumstances’)

Let me bear my testimony from personal experience that this “gentle peace,” “my peace (that) I give unto thee” (John 14:27)  from the attitude of gratefulness is so real and so consoling to give one not only peace, but also trust in the Lord’s purpose and confidence in our purpose in this mission of ours and in life.
I love you and never does a day go by that I don’t thank Heavenly Father for you.

Love, Marc Bernhisel

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11/23/ 2014
After a long, but rewarding week doing missionary interviews, Julee and I took a trip to one of our favorite spots both now and thirty years ago-while I was at Duke University doing my fellowship in medicine. This is Duke Gardens (Sarah P. Duke Gardens). The fall leaves were spectacular. From Duke Gardens, we went to Dames Chicken and Waffles (really)-one of our favorites. Happy Thanksgiving to y'all from the Bernhisels.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

40th Anniversary -Marc and Julee Bernhisel

I did not realize, 40 years ago, when I saw this beautiful girl kneeling across the alter from me in the Salt Lake Temple, how fulfilled and happy I could be. We were married by Thomas S. Monson who declared to us, not only our marriage vows as husband and wife, but also pronounced the union of our future family together. When the temple ordinance, which bound us and our family together through eternity by the sealing power of the Priesthood, was declared, little did I know or anticipate our wonderful life together,

which Julee and I would have with the arrivals of our five outstanding children and our 17 delightful grandchildren. This family delightfulness has been enhanced a hundred fold with our companionship as missionaries in the Lord's service.

Each year on our anniversary, I give my sweetheart, Julee, at least a dozen roses (more now that we are out of the poverty of medical school, residency/fellowship, and academic medicine) and one-single white rose. The "One White Rose" is a fraternity song sung at "pinnings" (pre-engagement ceremony) and weddings. It was sung by my Sigma Chi Fraternity brothers at our wedding reception.

One White Rose
One White Rose, True love shows
Emblem of a sweetheart's love that cannot die

True to me she will be
So my love is like the rose of Sigma Chi
(original lyrics)

One White Rose, True love grows
Nurtured by God's love and by His charity
Bound by faith, in time and space
So our love will thrive and grow for all eternity
(my words)
I love my girl of 40 years and look forward to another year (slightly less now) in our mission and a great life afterward.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


What happens next?

Thirty years ago, President Bernhisel and I, and our family, spent our first Christmas in North Carolina. We bought a Kenny Rogers country Christmas cd to help bring the Christmas spirit to a very warm Christmas season. My favorite song on that cd, even today, is “Christmas Everyday’. The words go like this:
‘He was born so far away, so the story's told. We remember Christmas day, when winter days
grow cold. With the time it passes by, we put away the trim; Then we live and wonder, why we can't remember Him. The Christmas star shines once a year and then it fades away. Keep the spirit in your heart. It's Christmas everyday. It's not the bells and it's not the snow, And it's not the gifts we get. But He was born so long ago, It's easy to forget. Peace on earth, goodwill to men. But men can't go alone. We get lost along the way, but He can bring us home. Remember Him throughout the year, Without the star above. He left us all a Christmas gift. He left the gift of love The Christmas star shines once a year, and then it fades away Keep the spirit in your heart. It's Christmas everyday.
So now that Christmas day is over, what happens next?
At the First Presidency Christmas devotional, Sister Wixom, the General Primary President, shared a beautiful story of a cub scout leader who taught a group of 8-year-old boys about the birth of Christ. A young boy asked ‘What happened next’? She then continued the story of Christ’s ministry, His healings, miracles and teachings. Then, this young boy asked again, ‘so what happened next’? She then shared about the Last supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, and His crucifixion, and His resurrection. She then called each boy by name and said ‘Jesus died for you’. This young boy was surprised.
Do YOU know that Christ died for YOU?
My dear missionaries, Christ died for you as well. He died for all those around us. He died for that person who passes us on the street, that person who stands next to us in the check out line at the store.

So, now that Christmas day has passed, we ask...what happens next? We keep the spirit of our Savior deep in our hearts every day. We share that gift of love, the gift that the Savior sacrificed His life for. What happens next is found in His doctrine, in our Heavenly Father’s plan. Through the Savior, Jesus Christ, we can return and live with our Heavenly Father again. We can be with our families forever. Because of our Savior’s sacrifice, we are not alone. No man is alone. He, our Savior, Jesus Christ, can bring us home. The Savior said, ‘He that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him (D&C 84:37-38).
As we welcome in the New Year, 2014, I pray that we each will feel our Savior’s love everyday. That we will have the Christmas Spirit in our hearts as we share the Savior’s love with all those that we come in contact with, so that no man is alone! In 2014, let how we ‘celebrate Christmas everyday’ reflect what we celebrate! We celebrate eternal life. We give gifts of love, compassion, service, friendship, understanding, and sharing that which brings eternal life...just as the Savior gave.

Happy New Year!   

             Love, Sister Bernhisel  (Mom, Grandma B, Mama B, Jules, Julee)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Thoughts from the Bernhisels. 

For unto you.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2: 10-14)
For unto us.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
For unto you, for unto us, the Son of God was born with “healing in his wings” who said “come unto me” , “I will comfort the weary and console the mourning”, ”return unto me…that I might heal you”, “take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
For unto you, for unto us, “he shall go forth suffering pains and afflictions... and he will take upon him the pains and sicknesses of his people…and their infirmities…that he may know how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
For unto you, for unto us, we celebrate His birth with joy and gratitude for the example He gave us-“for the works ye have seen me do, that ye shall do [and] blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day”, “and this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
For unto you , for unto us, He did the most selfless act in the history of the world, suffering for the sins of mankind and saving us through His magnificent Atonement.

For what He did unto you and unto us, we reverently honor His name
Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory giv'n.
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord
I feel so fortunate to be in the service of the Lord during this holiday season as Representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love this work, because I love the Lord and I love you. I am happy to be on His team and yours.
Love President and Sister Bernhisel/ Marc and Julee Bernhisel
Merry Christmas.
Have a fantastic 2014.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas Y'all from Raleigh North Carolina
I would suspect that the infamous Bernhisel missive that shows up in your swollen mail boxes at this time of the year, has had at least a ten year life span. Well, mailboxes around the world are now rejoicing with the news that one less letter will be coming. However, there will be one more blog out there clogging the arteries of virtual space. Generally, I am greeting you from the south side of the Alafia river in Riverview Florida. Instead, we are are on the east side of Falls of Neuse road in Raleigh.

Julee and I were called to be the Mission President and companion to go to the Thailand-Bangkok mission in November 2011 for the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). I proceeded to brush off my declining Thai vocabulary that I learned as a young missionary and headed for Thai language mastery with a wonderful tutor (recently returned Thai missionary) from the Missionary Training Center in  Provo Utah via Skype twice weekly. Julee began her Thai proficiency the same way. Together we also studied the heavenly inspired book Preach My Gospel . We also began to store and pack such critical necessities  in rare supply in Thailand such as black Australian licorice, lip balm and Peppermint Life Savers for the three year commitment.

All was going well into the spring of 2012. We were saying our  goodbyes to friends, neighbors, church members, doctors, nurses and my patients. Gertrude, the less then brilliant cardinal, got a scholarship to Florida State University and left us. Buttons opted for celestial cat nip in heaven leaving her grouchy friend Scooby as the only cat in the Bernhisel garage and even Lucy, our blind, incontinent Bassett hound dog decided that heavenly belly rubs and dog bones with her buddies Bubba and Skippy beat the telestial ones hands down and left us as well.

Now the real drama occurred. I got hit by a car while road biking. Nothing too bad-some bruises, a scrapped up hand and a bent bike. However, it was the next week when fate hit us hard. Julee had a tennis  ball sized blood clot in her brain on the right side. I discovered her almost unconscious in bed, took her to the emergency room and she had brain surgery to remove the clot at 2 am in the morning. Prayers were answered and she made it through the surgery. She was in the ICU for three days and the hospital for eight days. To see her two weeks later and  now, one would have to believe in Godly miracles.

We did get our call transferred to the North Carolina-Raleigh mission. We had loved our stay in Durham during my endocrine/infertility fellowship at Duke University. Julee quickly regained her strength and  has been a tremendous companion overseeing the health of all the missionaries and so many other tasks that I have delegated to her. The missionaries adore her, particularly when she calls them up to sing "Happy Birthday to You" to them. She comes to all the conferences and interviews and participates in teaching.   She is the organizer, chef, and confidant to  up to twenty new missionaries that stay at our home their first night infield and to all that  come to the mission home who are leaving  our mission after completing their time here.

We love our missionaries and the work the we do here.   It is delightfully exhausting. We have had missionaries from all over the U.S., and from Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Kirabati and Vanuatu. We just finished speaking in 8 stake conferences so it seems that with training and interviewing all over the eastern half of North Carolina, we are not home bodies by any means.

The Bernhisel clan are doing well.   Heidi and Tyler live in beautiful Walhalla South Carolina with their 4 kids Mckenzie, Savannah, Christian and Jackson. Heidi and the kids came up in early November when the fall leaves were still a blaze in beautiful colors.   Preston and Karee moved into a new beautiful home in Dallas. We are looking forward to seeing our "Grands"-Cole, Carter and Caroline  in March.   Brooke and Mike are in the process of moving from Walhalla back to Atlanta for a change in Mike's job. Leila and Andee have a new XY sibling, Ethan, who was born in July. We have had to relegate ourselves to missing some baby blessings and some baptisms in our three years. We do not leave our mission unless their is a significant issue.   Lyndi and Kevin are in Atlanta as well. Annie also has a new brother  Rhet (named after my little brother Rhet) who was born in April of this year.   Jenny Leigh, Lance and their two boys David and Gavin are back in Houston. Lance pitched for the Durham Bulls Triple A team last summer and we attended one of his games with our senior missionaries (and he was the winning pitcher!). They lived in Durham which is in our mission.

Well, there were no climbs or great adventures this year other the most important adventure of serving our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. We love what we are doing now and for the next two and a half years.  We are excited to be working with an ever enlarging  missionary force, particularly young sister missionaries. Maybe all that time working with women at home and at work will pay dividends.
Have a truly wonderful Christmas and the best New Year remembering the blessings which we all   have,  none more great then through the atonement of Christ, giving us peace in this life and the opportunity of being with our families through eternity in the next life.
Love Marc and Julee Bernhisel