Sunday, November 13, 2011

Busy. . . Busy . . . Week

The cute cabin of Rachel Oniones that we visited on Friday

Amazing trees that caught my eye this week
Zone conference; all the sisters in our zone with Sister Matsumori & Sister Kearon
Elder Patrick Kearon of the First Quorum of the Seventy
the visiting authoruty at our Zone conference.
Mangled pieces from the twin towers of 9/11
The tall ship "Constellation" moored at Baltimore Harbor
Us with the Murdocks from Utah
At Fort Mc Henry

My nephew Chris, he lives in Baltimore and was able to come spend an hour with me at the Fort.
A replica of the flag that was flying the night that the "Star Spangled Banner"
 was written by Francis Scott Key

What a fantastic time we had this week.. Every day was filled to the brim with activities and spiritual events.
  • Monday started off with our planning meeting and deciding which sisters we would visit this week. We scheduled 9 from each ward to call on.  I started making phone calls to see if we could come over to visit and only 2 calls were answered..of the 19 calls I made,  and one of those wanted to know who was calling because it comes up as unknown when we call from our mission cell.  In talking to several people this week they all admitted that they do not answer the phone if unknown comes up as the caller.. So we have to get the wards to put our phone number in the program and ask everyone to put us in their phone so we can get in touch with them.   So that day was discouraging to say the least.  Of the 2 that answered only one was available for us to come visit. It was a wonderful visit.  She is a sweet lady in her 80's who has lived in the area her whole life and my son-in-law Don would have loved to visit with her, because she is a die-hard Redskins fan. 
  • At the temple on Weds.  I was working in the baptistery helping a group of young men and young women get ready for baptisms.  One of their leaders came up and I was talking to him and he asked where I was from and I said Arizona and  he asked if I knew any Neil's, I said yes I did and then he said, do you know Betty and Scotty Neil.. Wow.. I have known them since 1973.. and then I discovered that he is the cousin of Scott Neil.. His name is Jay Nair and it was so much fun talking to him.  I got to work all over the temple this week which was really fun and one of the areas was as a greeter.  The DC temple has a long corridor after you check in that has floor to ceiling windows the entire length of the area.  I got to sit in their for an hour and look at the beautiful trees in all their splendor of reds, gold's, yellows and many shades of green.  It was so beautiful and peaceful and very spiritual..  We leave the temple around 7:30 in the evening and drive thru a park on our way to the freeway.. as we were driving Sister Brown said "deer, deer, deer" and I looked and standing right next to the roadway was a fawn looking right at us and it was so amazing. Then about a minute later it was "deer, deer, deer" again.. Wow I was so shocked to see them so close, everyone says that there are deer everywhere here and we have seen them a ways away but never this close. 
  • On Thursday we had Mission Zone Conference with Elder Patrick Kearon  of the first quorum of the seventy and his wife Jennifer.  The elders in our wards asked if they could ride up with us, so we had a car full.  It started at 9:00 and before the meeting started Elder Kearon, Sister Kearon & the Matsumori's stood in a receiving line and we each got to meet them and shake their hand and give Sister Kearon a hug. Then everyone stood and sang "Call to Serve".. it was so moving.. to hear 150 young elders and 15 young sisters and the others sing this song with such enthusiasm that I couldn't sing, I just cried as I felt the spirit wash over me as they sang. Then President Matsumori and Sister Matsumori both spoke and then the  Kearon's spoke.  It was an amazing day, and we learned many things to help make our mission more meaningful and productive. Sister Kearon asked all the sisters, both young and senior to meet with her when the meeting was over and she shared some thoughts with us and we had a picture taken with her.   It lasted until 4:00.. What a wonderful day.   
  • On Friday, Sister Brown and I prayerfully laid out our day.  We decided to go to the part of our mission called Indian Head and call on a few of the sisters who live down there.  It is about 45 minutes from our apartment.. We drove through beautiful countryside to get down there.  We got to see all the sisters that we had on our list that day which was wonderful.  Two that stood out were:
  •             Sister Stephanie Drake, she has just returned from deployment in Afghanistan.  She and her husband are both in the Air Force. Stephanie repairs medical equipment & Brother Drake is assigned to special duty to guard the President and make sure that he is kept out of harms way.  They were both there when we visited them and it was such a wonderful visit.  They shared some of the things they had been doing, showed us pictures of the Marine Ball that they had attended the weekend before and told us several facts about their duties.  It was a great visit.  
  •             Our next visit was a darling sister who just had a baby, and lives in the coolest log cabin in the woods.  I loved it as we drove up to her house and saw her house, it was so neat.  She is alone all day and has no car and living so far out in the woods.  She was so happy that we came to see her and we loved being able to spend time with her and baby Elizabeth.
  • On Saturday our senior group of missionaries had our monthly field trip.  We went up to Baltimore to Fort Mc Henry.  This is where Francis Scott Key was when he wrote the "Star Spangled Banner".  The fort is right on the waterfront and it was a beautiful day as we toured and learned all about the history of this historic battlefront.  My nephew Chris Harper lives in Baltimore and he was able to come and spend about an hour with me there, which was a highlight of my day.  After we left the Fort we went to the Harbor for lunch at Uno Pizza.. Our table was right by the window, so we could see the waterfront and downtown too.  We walked around the harbor after lunch and I loved to be near the water. The tall ship the Constellation is moored there.  They have a memorial dedicated to the tragedy of 9/11 in front of the Baltimore Trade Center.  It has some large pieces from the Pentagon and a huge piece of twisted metal from the twin towers.  The city also erected a large monument in honor of the men and women of Baltimore who died that day.  
  • Today we were able to attend the baptism of Jasmine and Michael Wallace.  They are the children of a family who are just getting re-activated in the church.  The room was full with those who were there to support the Wallace family.  It was a very special day. 
I am so very thankful for the love that we feel in the wards we serve in.  Everyone is so loving and thoughtful.  We feel so at home here and love each day that we can serve in this amazing mission.  Tomorrow one of the sisters is taking us to Amish country and I am so excited.. Since I love reading Amish novels.  May the Lord bless each of you and may you have a wonderful week.

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