Sunday, February 5, 2012

Whoever is happy will make others happy too. 
Mark Twain

 I love this quote that I read the other day.. I always love to smile with everyone I see and hope they smile back.. I love to talk to everyone and get in to so many fun conversations as a result of just wanting to meet people.

This past week I talked with friends and with those that I wanted to be friends with..
  • We met with Linda and her daughter Rachel.  Linda has been having health problems which keep her from coming to church so we wanted to make sure we met her and offered to help in any way we could.. She is so positive and upbeat and it was a wonderful visit.  She has a daughter who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome. She was a delight to visit with also.  She is attending college and has her bachelors degree and is working on a master's degree in computer science.  Linda is the VT supervisor in one of our wards and was happy to hear of our visits and that we would be able to give her a report each month on our progress. She and Rachel put together the weekly program for church.
  • Our next visit was with Chris.. she is the sister that is so talented in quilting and painting and basket making.  Sister Brown was borrowing her light box to help with her project she is working on. Chris & her husband are working on their food storage in the basement and she was excited to show us their progress.  They had ordered the metal food storage racks that automatically rotate the canned goods and they look fantastic.  We love to visit with Chris and support her.
  • We have been trying to get an appointment to visit with Shirley for a few weeks. We were at her house a few weeks back and she was in Spokane for the birth of a grandaughter, and had a great visit with her husband.  Shirley is such a fun lady, she is in her 70's and dances with a group that entertains across Maryland.  She performs in hula, line dancing and clogging.. She is a tiny little lady about 4' 9" and so full of energy.  She also is a reflexologist, a mother of 10 and grandmother of 65 and 14 great grandchildren.. We had such a fun visit.
  • Brother Ramon of the 2nd ward put together a interactive map of the ward with it divided into 17 zones and little flags where each family lives in the ward.. What a blessing this is for us.  Since our wards comprise the southern 3rd of Maryland.. It helps us know how we can consolidate visits, by grouping them by zone.  We put together all the charts and lists in a notebook so that we can take it with us each day on our visits. 
  • This week was transfers for the missionaries.. Elder Hurd and Goodman both were transferred to the DC area.  Elder Hurd was made a Zone leader and Elder Goodman a District Leader.  It is hard to see them go, we really do get close to them while they serve in our two wards. I'm sure we will soon grow to love the 2 new Elders that will be serving here.  Sister Brown hurried and finished the alterations on the pants for the elders before they left..
  • Wednesday was our temple day and Kathleen rode up with us again this week.  I love my new assignment at the temple that I have each week from 1 to 4:30 and it really went smooth this week.. two of the areas I worked later in the afternoon were in the office, as the receptionist and as the greeter when patrons enter the temple. 
  • It is so beautiful in the temple and so peaceful.. I love it. 
  • Thursday we drove 90 miles round trip to visit 2 wonderful sisters.  Joyce lives in Nanjemoy, at the southern tip of Maryland right on the Potomac river.  It was 35 miles to get to her house and when the GPS said we had arrived all we saw was a long road with tall trees on each side, then we saw the sign for the entrance their place..  As we drove a mile down the gravel road, we saw a beaver dam in a small stream.. we then turned the bend in the road & there it was, the river and the cutest house.. They have over 100 acres from the main road and so you don't see any other homes while you are there.  The river is about 4 miles wide..the other side of the river is Virginia. Joyce & her husband are in the empty nester's family home evening group that we meet with each month.  They are parents to 10 and grandparents to 61 and great grandparents to 5.  Both of Joyce's parents were born just north and south on the river in the same area where she now lives, so she had some great stories to share with us. We spent the morning visiting with Joyce and then she fixed us lunch before we headed on our way to our next visit. 
 Joyce and Hershey with me
 Her darling living room
 The view of the Potomac from the deck
A picture of their immediate family
  • Our next visit was with Vivian, she is just returning to church after a long absence from activity.  (I mentioned her in last weeks blog)  She lived about 26 miles from Joyce in a little town called Marbury.  When arrived at her home, she was so excited to see us.. As we sat down I asked her to tell us about herself.. As we listened to the very hard life Vivian has had, I was overwhelmed with the love that she has for her Savior.  She shared very personal things with us about herself and her family.  She is divorced and the mother of 5 and grandmother of 15.  We laughed and cried and grew to love this woman who touched our hearts in a most profound way.  She is excited to be coming back to church and shared with us how much her life improves when she attends church and follows the teachings of the Savior.  She is nervous  about being there when we aren't there, but we assured her that she would be looked after and loved by all those at church.  I got in touch with Roz our RS president and shared Vivian's concern and she told me that she would take her under her wing and keep an eye out for her.  Vivian shared her conversion story with us and we laughed and laughed with her as she explained her interaction with the missionaries who showed up at her door with her copy of the book she had ordered on line.. She is a very special person and we are going to make sure she is welcomed into the ward.      
  • Sister Brown has started PT, under the guidance of her orthopedic doctor.  She loves the therapist she is working with.  Now that she knows that she doesn't have to have surgery her spirits are soaring. 
  • Selena lives on the Indian Head Naval Base and we made arrangements to have lunch with her on Friday.. Her husband is the Air Force officer liaison with the Navy at the base.  He is involved in overseeing the production of the injector seats for the Air Force.  They are the only family living on the base that are not in the Navy.  Tim is attached to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah.  Selena called as we were about to leave for Indian Head & said she had some other things to do up near here and could we meet her for lunch at Marie's Diner in La Plata.. We were so sad that we wouldn't see the Naval base, but she promised we would do it soon.  We met with her and her youngest son Jace who is 4. It was packed and the food was delicious.. Selena's husband serves in the bishopric and she is the compassionate service coordinator in the ward.  She is so sweet and gives so much service and asks for nothing in return. She really is fantastic in her calling.  We had a great visit and can't wait to meet with her again.  She is the mother of 6, her oldest is 16.. They are such an amazing family. 
 Selena & Jace
( he had been playing with a marker and decorated his forehead)
  • That afternoon we prepared bag lunches for the "Safe Home", a shelter program for the homeless.  The different churches in the area take turns preparing lunches for those who stay at the shelters.  The people arrive in the evening for a safe place to sleep and then they are given breakfast in the morning and handed a bag lunch as they leave each day.  It was such a good feeling to know that we are helping in some way, those who are living on the streets.  We have a man who attends both of our wards that is homeless.  It is of his own choosing that he lives this way.  He was given a suit of  clothes that he wears each Sunday, he is always clean and shaved and his hair is cut short. He sings in the choir in both wards and has a great bass voice.  He is very friendly but doesn't get to close anyone, he is definitely a loner in every sense of the word.   He has a brother who lives in the area and spends holidays with them. 

We saw this church on our way from Joyce's house on our way to Vivian's
The Durham Parish was established in 1661 and chartered in 1692. The original church building was a log structure, which was replaced with the current brick church building in 1732; the 1732 building was enlarged and renovated in 1791. Durham Parish is one of the oldest surviving Episcopal church buildings in the U.S. state of Maryland.  Revolutionary War General William Smallwood and colonial Governor William Stone are buried in the churchyard.

"Faith Overcomes"
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  Matthew 17:20
There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, if we have faith.
    Have a wonderful week and smile at everyone you see!

1 comment:

  1. You are doing a great work! Vivian WAS at church. I shook her hand and introduced myself and welcomed her. I had no idea she was a member until R.S. So great to have her back . . . success for you!!!

    I've never been to Joyces house . . . I've heard a lot about it. Jealous!

    Salena's house is a HUGE old Victorian. My mouth waters with envy when I'm in it. . . . you've got to see it!

    Hope Sis Brown feels better soon!

    And we will miss Elder Goodman and his very contagious laugh . . . .

    See you Tuesday . . . !!!