Tuesday, January 24, 2012


September 24, 2011 
   After five days of flat land and fields of corn, we arrived at the mission home of the Washington DC North Mission in Gaithersberg, MD, on Wednesday, September 22, 2011, where we were warmly greeted by Pres. and Sister Matsumori.

   Their home is so gorgeous and yet eminates love and warmth unlike I have ever felt before. It has at least ten bedrooms, baths to accomodate, two family rooms, a formal living and dining room, and a kitchen to die for.   After we got settled, we went for a walk around their neighborhood, where we saw a deer coming out of the woods. We went to dinner at a family-owned Italian restaurant, then back to the house to discuss our assignments (no one is sure about them yet), then off to bed--a long, fun, exciting day.   Thursday morning we woke up to a pancake breakfast prepared by Sister Matsumori. The Pres. was conducting exit interviews, so we got to meet five sisters who were on their way home. None of them were very anxious---they all said they would stay longer if they could!
   After breakfast, we loaded our cars again and headed to our apartment in the White Plains area of Maryland, about 1 1/2 hours south of the mission home. We met the missionaries there, who helped us unload our cars and get everything settled. We spent the rest of the day organizing and re-organizing, then went to Applebee's for dinner because we didn't have any food in the appartment.
   Friday, we took Kassy and Kristan to the airport in the morning for our last good-byes, which were really hard. I'm so grateful for the time we were able to spend together this past week!!! Kassy has been such a great help and support to me. We have been able to share some really tender moments that I'll always cherish.
   It has been raining the past few days (actually they said it hasn't stopped raining since Hurricane Irene)--the girls were to leave at 11:40am, but were delayed until 5:40pm!!! On the way home from the airport, the rain was so heavy that we were afraid that we'd have to pull off the road. You couldn't see the lines or cars ahead of you.
   We will be assigned to two wards, and last night the R.S. Pres. of the White Plains 1st Ward came over to "dubs" us for her ward! It made us feel so good!!! She gave us an idea of some of the needs they have with inactives, visiting teaching,etc., so that is good. Roz is absolutely darling and really funny!!!
  We're going to the Women's Conference tonight and to both wards tomorrow, so I'm sure we'll meet a lot of sisters...
   Well...there you have my past week in a nutshell---or a walnut tree...
I know the Gospel is true and that Jesus is my Brother and loves and is taking care of me! I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation that allows us to be Forever Families!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012


   On Friday, September 16, 2011, we left the MTC; I went home and Emily came over and helped me pack my car and put the finishing touches on the house so it would be ready for rental. Many, many thanks to Emily, Kassy, Courtney, and friends Lindy Pehrson and Sharron Campbell who helped so much so I could be ready to go. Friday night our family enjoyed a farewell dinner together at Bishop Thompson's, then Saturday morning I picked Kassy up and we were on our way!!! We met Sister Harper along the way with her daughter, Kristan Paolacci, so that we could meet up for meals and at night.
   Our first night we stayed in No. Platte, Neb., then drove to Illinois, crossed the Mississippi River and stayed in the Nauvoo Inn, then toured the towns of Nauvoo and Carthage the following day. This was such an awesome, spiritual experience. We didn't have time to go to the Nauvoo Temple, but we could really feel the Spirit as we walked around the temple grounds, through the town and visitor's center at Nauvoo, and later at the Carthage Jail.
 Crossing the Mississippi River
The Nauvoo Temple
 Kassy Buehner, Kathy Brown, Jean Harper, & Kristan Paolacci
 In the Visitor's Center

Joseph and Emma
A Child's First Steps


   We left Carthage and headed north to Chicago where Kristan's daughter, Marissa, lives and attends school at Columbia University. Working her magic, Kristan arranged for us to stay the night in the Hilton and Marriott Hotel for $100 each! The following morning we met Marissa and her boyfriend, Christopher for breakfast at a cute restaurant called 'Toast', and we were on our way once again...
Chicago Skyline
Our room at the Marriott

   We left Chicago and drove to Cranberry Township, PA., over one hill and down another, all covered with corn. To get there we drove through Illinois and Iowa, and the landscape began to get greener, even though it was still covered with corn, corn, and more corn...Cranberry Township was pretty much a nightmare~by the time we arrived, there were only four rooms left in the whole town: all in the Marriott, at $250 each~so much for the fantastic deal we got
in Chicago...
and MORE CORN!!!