Friday, September 21, 2012

  February 19 - 26, 2012
    This week has certainly been a lot better than last one was…last Sunday, I went to ward council and Sacrament Meeting, and Elizabeth, one of the sisters from the 1st ward brought chicken parmesan to us for dinner. I am overwhelmed by the love and support that has been shown to us while I have been down. Thanks to all of you who have called or emailed this week with your love and concern—I am doing just great now. Heavenly Father has really watched over and blessed me.
    Monday I started back to physical therapy for my back and we spent the rest of the day making calls and planning out this week and part of next. We made thirteen phone calls, and from this, made nine appointments, including a luncheon appointment and two dinner appointments. When we first arrived here, at one time we made eighteen calls and made two appointments, so you can see how things are changing as the sisters are beginning to know us more and more and know that we aren’t a threat, but just want to be friends and a help to them.
    Tuesday morning I went to my orthopedic doctor for my back. He seems to feel that things are getting better, but that I should continue with physical therapy for a while longer. After that we attended the funeral of Virginia Redding, a sister in the 1st ward who passed away of breast cancer. This is the seventh funeral we’ve had since the first of December. Her daughter, Tammy lives in the 2nd ward and we go visiting teaching to her, but haven’t been able to contact her before this time. We met her at the funeral, and she was very accepting of us and wants us to come and visit her at any time. Another example that we are not here to preach, just to friendship and help…
    Tuesday evening we went to Lin’s home for a visit and dinner. She works in the temple, yet has major issues at home. She can only have association with the church outside of the home or when her husband is out of town. She has a beautiful home on an acre of land with woods in the back. She is multi-talented; she’s a master gardener, plays the clarinet in the city band, and plays the guitar. She wants to have a beautiful yard, but everything gets eaten by the deer, squirrels, raccoons, etc., so she has started taking after them with a pellet gun. They basically just bounce off the deer, but opossum and red-tailed hawks take care of the other things she gets. To look at her, you would never guess that she’s a ‘sharp-shooter’.
Lin & Sister Brown
   Lin's Backyard Where the Critters Hang Out
I loved going back to the temple after missing last week. It seems like each week you miss is a month, so I was really happy to be there. I have so many friends who are ordinance workers with me, and I love the peaceful, wonderful feeling that is always within the walls of the temple, whenever you go.
   Thursday after my physical therapy, our first stop was at Linda’s. She’s the sister who we helped decorate her house for Christmas. Since that time, she has been very stand-offish and didn’t want us to come by. Last Sunday she finally agreed that it would be okay if we came by, but when we arrived her soap opera was on and she said we would have to let her finish watching it before we could talk to her. We sat there for 30 minutes before it was over, but we did get to visit with her, so I guess that is something. From Linda’s we went to Elaine and Heather’s (Elaine’s daughter). They live on Dr. Samuel Mudd’s Rd. (Dr. Mudd is the doctor who hid John Wilkes Booth after he shot Pres. Abe Lincoln) When we got there, Elaine had gone to Fredericksburg, VA. to a quilt show, so we visited with Heather. She has four children and home-schools the oldest three. Adrian, the youngest, took right to me and sat on my lap the whole time we were there.
    As a thank-you for us taking her to the temple each week, Kathleen invited us to dinner Thursday night. On our way there, we roundeda corner and there were nine deer in the front yard of someone’s house. After a delicious salmon dinner, we stayed to visit for a while… Kathleen’s mother-in-law, Mattie, who is 92 and suffers from Alzheimer’s, came out to join us. She would interact with her grandson, Roy, then laugh, and laugh, and we would too. It was like watching a comedy skit that went on and on…she is such a sweetheart and we had such an enjoyable time! Can’t wait to go back again…

   We have been trying to get down to Pat’s since we came to Maryland, but something always comes up either for us or her. Friday we finally made it! She lives down on the Patuxent River, about 35 miles from us in a little house that the Amish made for her and her first husband in 1977. He passed away in 2001 and she married Doug in 2003. They are the cutest couple ever! They are both 80, but have more energy than most 40 year olds!!! She said to come for lunch, and had a great spread out for us; afterward, we went down to the beach for about an hour and a half enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful view. Pat is an ccomplished artist who has had over 200 paintings commissioned
After leaving Pat's we went down the road to Tanya’s. She is a funny, musically talented sister with one adopted daughter, Miranda, whom she home schools. She and her husband, Todd, met at the MTC and both went to the Swiss mission and were re-united at BYU afterward. He works for the government at the U.S. Census Bureau. While we were there, the skies opened up and we had a terrific rainfall for about an hour, complete with thunder and lightening. When it subsided enough for us to drive safely, we continued on our way…                                                                  
    On the way home we stopped in to check on Dorothy, the grandmother who has a 30 year-old son that is autistic and two young grandsons that she is raising. Jahare’, 10, plays the piano, clarinet, and violin, is a crossing guard and gets straight A’s at school, and Jared 4, is in Pre-K and is just as cute as a bug. We try to check on Dorothy as often as we can; she has so much on her plate and really needs all the support she can get.
    Saturday we went to the Stake Conference Adult Meeting. We talked to Pres. Sakai, and he mentioned that they want us to expand our work to cover the entire stake instead of just the two wards that we have been in. I’ll fill you in as it happens…It was so great to hear all of the Stake Presidency speak. They had sections reserved for the missionaries, so it was really great that we didn’t have to get there early (too bad we didn’t know that until after we got there an hour early so we could get good seats!).                
One of the Presidency shared this thought:
“When you feel like you’re drowning in life, don’t worry, your
Lifeguard walks on water”


Thursday, September 20, 2012


 April 2 - 8, 2012

        Monday was spent making calls (27) for appointments for visits and talking to sisters in the White Plains 1st and 2nd Wards, as we start our new assignment in the Lexington Park and Patuxent Wards next Sunday. This change of assignment comes with mixed emotions; I am so fond of and have made so many dear friends in the 1st and 2nd wards that it makes it very difficult to move on, but I’m also excited to make and serve new friends and to spread the “news” of our mission, in hopes that other sisters will be able to go on one like this in the near future…

          A few of the sisters we were able to visit this week included:

          *Elsie, our 86 year-old-friend who is a dyed in the wool Red-Skins fan, and is as sharp as a tack. She always has great stories to tell us.

          *We met our good friend, Kristi, for lunch. She has been going through a really tough time, but was more positive and clear-thinking than the last time we met. We had a fun time together and promised to keep in touch…

          *We enjoyed an evening of great conversation and wonderful food with our friend Janice. Her boys were home, but her husband, Dave, was working late, which gave us a chance for “girl talk”. It’s always fun to be with Janice, she’s always so positive, and is compassionate and loving to everyone she meets.

          *Ethyl is one of our favorites by far! She went on a mission to Bolivia when she was in her early 70’s—talk about spunk!!! Then later she was a seminary teacher and the kids told her that Friday was donut day, so she and the other teacher decided that if all the kids were going to do was eat donuts on Friday, they would cancel it—so they only held seminary Monday through Thursday that year…the next year, the Bishop found out and told them that it would be really nice if they would teach on Friday also! We love to go over to visit her; she has wonderful stories to tell about her life and has such a great sense of humor, and she always lets us know how welcome we are in her home.
Ethyl Dubois

          *We went to Olive Garden for a visiting teacher’s lunch with Renee, Tamesha, Linda, Bonnie, Carol, Shirley, Lucy, Dela, and Marcie. There was plenty of good food and great conversation to last the afternoon!
Marcie March, Sister Brown, Renee Backen, Tamesha Rogers
Linda Haycock, Bonnie Kirby
Carol Candela, Shirley Paoule, Sister Harper, Lucy..., Dela Able, Marcie March
       *Friday night was a night in Spain with Maria and David Morningstar. Maria was born in Spain and met David there when he was in the Air Force. She made us a marvelous dinner of Spanish paella with chicken and shrimp, and a wonderful flan for dessert. She then showed us postcards and pictures of Spain where she grew up and the area around it and some of her heirlooms from her grandmother: a mantilla and tall comb, as well as beautiful handmade shawls. It was really a fun night!

    Easter Sunday is always special at Church. Wonderful talks, special musical numbers, and for some reason, the sacrament takes on even more meaning on this sacred day.

   We were invited to the home of Chuck and Deanna Van Slyke for Easter dinner. It was so fun to share the afternoon with them and their three children, Bryant, 8, Garrison, 7, and Elena, 4. Being in the home with children is such a joy, but it is kind of double-sided, as it makes me even more homesick for my cute grandkids. These are a lot like my own, even down to the “talent show” from Elena.

   Spring in Maryland is absolutely beautiful! It seems as though you can see the trees explode into bloom, then foliage right before your eyes…as we travel to the temple each week, the beltway is lined with pear trees and it has been so fun to see them turn from winter gloom to spring beauty right before our eyes! Then we saw the Cherry Blossoms and magnolias in full bloom in DC—what a sight to behold!!! Now the dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom in their array of colors; who could ask for more?

   To see spring arrive each year reminds me of the great love our Heavenly Father has for us; no matter how hard our trials may be (winter), He is there to bring us through the storms to brighter, warmer days ahead (spring). I am so grateful for this Easter season when we celebrate the death on the cross and resurrection of our brother, Jesus Christ, thus giving us the opportunity for Eternal Life with our family and loved ones. I am so grateful for the comfort I receive from my Brother as He wraps His loving arms around me in times of need or comfort. I know He is with me every day, waiting to help or comfort me...