Thursday, March 8, 2012


February 5, 2012

   This has been a fun week that has taken us from the top of our area to the bottom…  Sunday evening, Brother Henrichsen, who lost his wife in December, invited us, his home teaching companion, and two widows, Sisters March and Walker, to his home for dinner. When we walked in we were so impressed—he had the table set complete with a tablecloth, floral china, and a complete salad bar. Then for dinner he served salmon with stuffed crab and shrimp, with fruit compote for dessert—yum! Afterward he showed a BYU fireside by Pres. Monson about gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon; the spirit really testified to me and I was in tears all the way through it. The same thing happened during the sacrament…it has been quite exhausting emotionally. From Brother Henrichsen’s, we went to see Rebekah and Gary; she has something to help my back. They have such a cute family—four active boys and a darling baby girl, so we get lots of loves from them. He is military and is a senior special agent equivalent to NCIS.   
   Monday I started the day bright and early at physical therapy for my back. I found out after my MRI that I don’t have to have surgery, just more physical therapy. Without my knowledge, the 1st ward had prayers in my behalf, and with all of your prayers, I know that is why this is so. Thank you for caring about me so much—I know that prayers are heard and answered!!! Our visits took us to Chris’, the sister who is so talented with quilting, painting, and basket making, to borrow a light-box for my quilting. While we were there she showed us the food storage room that they are working on; it is incredible—one that any of us would be envious of. From there we went to see Linda and her daughter, Rachel, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. Linda suffers from health problems that have kept her from attending church the last couple of years, so we wanted to make sure that she is remembered and to see if she needed any help. Rachel is working on her master’s degree in computer science.
   Tuesday we went to visit Shirley, a sister we have been trying to see since we first arrived. We had such a fun time getting to know her—she is in her early 70’s and is in a dance troupe that performs all over the area doing hula, clogging and line dancing. She is about 4’8”, has eight children and 27 grandchildren.  We said good-bye to two of the four elders that are in our two wards, as Wednesday is transfers. Elder Hurd is going to the singles ward up by the temple and will be a Zone Leader, and Elder Goodman will be in DC and will now be a District Leader. It’s always hard to have the elders leave, but we become just as attached to the new ones that come in no time at all…
   Thursday I drove 90 miles round trip to visit two sisters. Joyce lives in Nanjemoy, at the southern tip of Maryland on the Potomac River. When we arrived at their driveway, we drove in another mile on a gravel road, across a bridge (which had a beaver dam on the right-hand side), before reaching the house. They own 100 acres of land from the main road, so you don’t see another home while you are there—however, they do have beaver, raccoon, fox, deer, and other “critters”. Their home is darling; right on the edge of the river, which is about four miles wide, with Virginia on the other side. Joyce’s parents were both born within a few miles of her home on the river, so she had great stories to share with us. She and her husband are the parents of ten, the grandparents of 65 and the great-grandparents of 14. They are in the empty-nesters group that we attend each month. We spent the morning visiting with Joyce; then she shared lunch with us before we went on our way to Vivian’s.
   We met Vivian at church last Sunday; we saw her sitting alone and asked if we could sit with her. She stated that it was her first week, so we stayed with her and found out that she just moved into the ward and is just coming back into activity. At the end of church we made an appointment to visit her. She lives in a town called Marbury, about 25 miles from us. She told us of her very hard life; she is divorced, has five children and 15 grandchildren. She has such a profound love for the Savior, and told us how happy she is and how wonderful her life is when she goes to church and obeys the laws of the gospel. We laughed and laughed as she told us of her conversion as the missionaries delivered the Book of Mormon that she had ordered on line…She was worried because we wouldn’t be in the 1st ward this week, but we assured her that all would be well, and made sure that Roz, the RS Pres. would be there to take her under her wing.
   Friday, we were supposed to go to Salena’s for lunch on the Indian Head Naval Base, but things didn’t work out, so we met at Marie’s Diner in LaPlata. Salena brought her youngest of six children, Jace, who is four. He is such a cute boy and has a sharp sense of humor that really kept us laughing…Salena is our compassionate service leader and her husband is in the bishopric of the 1st ward. His job is Air Force liaison officer with Hill Air Force Base and has something to do with overseeing the production of ejection seats for fighter jets on the base. They are the only Air Force family on the naval base.
   Friday evening we prepared sack lunches for the “Safe Home” homeless shelter. Different churches provide lunches for those who stay in the shelter. The people eat dinner there, stay for the night, have breakfast, and leave for the day with their lunch. One of the homeless people attends our wards. He is homeless by choice. He has a suit that he wears each week and sings in the choir of both wards; then when church is over he returns to the life of the homeless. He is friendly, but a definite loner; he has family in the area that he spends holidays with.  
   So you can see, each week is different than the one before, each sister has a different story than the one before her. President Matsumori asked us if we thought we were close to a point where we would need a transfer—we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface here!!!