Sunday, April 29, 2012

Seven months and counting. . . .

     Seven months and counting.. We arrived in Maryland just seven months ago on September 22nd.. What a fantastic journey it has been so far.. Each week we make new friends, see new sights and love our mission more than the week before.       This week started out with Sister Brown under the weather & I was feeling better so I made the trip down to Lexington Park alone to visit two sisters.. First I stopped at the Mesmer's home.  We had visited them last week and told Arline that we would come back and help her set up Skype on her computer so she could see a very special award that her daughter was receiving in Utah.  I got started on her computer setting up Skype and then her husband Pete came in and asked what we were doing and she said that she wanted skype on her computer so she could video talk to her kids.. he just laughed and said that she couldn't do that because there wasn't a camera on her monitor.. we all had a good laugh and he assured her that she could skype on her I-Pad that he had already set up for her.. After that we were talking about the planes in his office, since he is a retired Eastern Airlines pilot he loves planes.  I told him my dad was a radioman in the Navy stationed on a aircraft carrier out of Hawaii.. so he pulled up a picture of the plane that my dad probably flew on.  He had a great program on his computer that is just like a flight simulator.. he can choose any plane ever flown and the location he wants to fly and the weather.. He has a joy stick and foot pedals just like a pilot has.. So he showed me what it would have looked like flying the plane.. It was really cool.. I had a great time visiting with them..
 Setting up Skype, or so we thought

Pete and his flight simulator

     My second stop was at Sue Weavers place.  She lives in an assisted living apartment.  She gets around in a motorized wheelchair and doesn't skip a beat. Sue is a real southern lady and it was really fun visiting her.  She had invited me for lunch and shared many great stories with me as we ate.  She is very lonely and I loved my time with her.  She is an artist and showed me a lot her artwork.. She worked a costume company in her 20's and designed the costumes for customers all over the world..  her stories were fascinating and I can't wait to go back and visit with her again.

Sue Weaver

     That evening we went to dinner at the Volk's.. Leann is in the card club I go to and President Volk is in the stake presidency.. they are also in our empty nesters family home evening group that meets once a month. President Volk serves as a protocol officer for a 4 star general who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He told us about his job and the things involved in it.  He travels all over the world with the general and is in charge of all events and the planning and carrying out of each one. The elders also came to dinner and we had a wonderful time.. dinner was great and the conversation was stimulating.. it was great evening.
The Volks and Elder Shurtleff & Elder Epperson

     Tuesday we were privileged to accompany a wonderful sister Shirley Weaver as she went through the temple for the first time.. She is in the White Plains 2nd ward and we talked to her at least two to three times a month while we were serving in that ward and finally got to get in to see her right before we moved to the new wards.. I had shared her story a few weeks ago in my blog. Shirley was so excited and so thankful that we were able to go with her.. It was a very special day.. We drove up with Bonnie and Gary Ramon to be with her.  After we left the temple the 4 of us went to an early dinner at Chevy's.. yum... great food.. Sister Brown made it through the day and then went to bed when we got home.. I headed over to Gary and Rebekah Griesmeyer's for a surprise going home party for Elder Shurtleff,  He was being released after a wonderful mission on Weds. So his roommates wanted to throw a party for him.. The Griesmeyers are such a wonderful family that we have really grown to love so much.  They have 4 adorable boys and a darling baby girl.  When I got to the door Rebekah just hugged me and said she really needed a hug.. she said it had been a DAY!  I helped her get ready for the party and played with those sweet boys.. In a few minutes Gary arrived home after a long day at work.  He is the lead investigator for the ACIS ( Army Criminal Investigative Services) at Quantico.. I feel so comfortable at their home and they treat me like family.. When we saw the elders drive up we turned off the lights and of course yelled "surprise"  when Elder Shurtleff walked in.. It was a fun evening and I know that the missionaries had a great time..

Gary Greismeyer & his baby girl Emma

Elder Shurtleff at his farwell party

     Wednesday Sister Brown was still not feeling well so I drove to the temple with our friend Kathleen.. It was such an amazing day at the temple.. I was initiatory director and had a full house for most of my shift and then I worked in the baptistery and had a wonderful youth group come in to do baptisms.. As they were sitting there waiting two girls started singing hymns very quietly and then two young men joined them and soon they had a group singing so reverently and beautiful.. It really touched my heart.. to see the love they have for the gospel..  Our drive home was entirely in the daylight, which I loved.

     On Thursday evening our home teacher Joe Michela showed up at our apartment with a Rebel Pro-Form recumbent bike & cross trainer.  He had asked us if there was anything we needed and we said an exercise bike would be nice, if someone had one they weren't using anymore.. We are excited to be able to exercise, since most of our day is sitting, either in the car or in peoples homes as we visit.. I got on it and knew I was out of shape.. but I am determined to make it a part of my life. 

      We live about a mile from the Blue Crab Minor League baseball stadium and they have fireworks at each of their home games, so on Thursday we were able to see the show from our balcony.. we will have lots of fireworks this spring and summer..

      On Thursday evening we had a visit from Elder Shurtleff and his mom and sister.. We were so happy to meet both of them and share with them how wonderful their missionary was and how much we will miss him.  They flew out to visit the areas in his mission and meet some of the people he worked with.  We felt so happy that he chose to introduce his family to us.  He will be missed. . . .

Rianne, Me & Patsy
     Friday was a beautiful day and Sister Brown was feeling much better and we headed south for our lunch appointment.. We were having lunch with Patsy Russell.. when we arrived at her apartment she had invited her cousin Sharon and her next door neighbor Rianne, and a young man Justin who has been living with Patsy and her son for a few months.  After a wonderful lunch we sat and talked for awhile.. I learned that Rianne is from Nampa, Idaho my home town.  She and her family moved here about a month ago and she is very homesick.. It was fun to talk to her about Nampa and I think it helped her too.. Her father-in-law went to the same high school as me, he was 3 years younger than me.. I will have to look him up in my yearbook when I am home..  The visit at Patsy's was so much fun, she is a wonderful sister. 
      We then went to visit a sister who is living in a nursing home, Diane Baird.  She was excited to see us and is such a sweet sister.. She was in the middle of PT so we didn't want to stay to long.. We promised we would visit her again soon..
       Then we drove over to Rolinda Mesokwski's home. She is recuperating from just having back surgery.  When we arrived at her home, her husband said she had just gone down for a nap. We asked how she was doing and he said she was coming along great.  We asked him to let her know that we had come by to visit and that we would come again soon. 

Elder Epperson, Sister Brown, Elder Mataele & me

     We have a new elder in our group.  He is Elder Mataele and has been serving for 17 months.  He grew up in Hawaii.. He is the only boy in his family with 4 sisters.  I'm sure that he will really make a hit in the 1st ward.  Everyone will love having him here. 
      Sunday is our day at the Patuxent Ward which meets at 1:00 and after church they had a "lunch & linger", a huge potluck lunch was set up for everyone to eat and visit. We couldn't stay for it because we were invited to dinner at the home of Holly Meza. Holly and her husband are the parents of 6 and what a cute family they have.  Her husband is an engineer with the Navy and had to go out of town on Navy business today so we didn't get to meet him, but we had a great time with Holly and her family.

     After we left their home which is about 1 1/2 hours from our apartment we drove over to Bishop Martins of White Plains 1st ward.. We have become very close with their family, since we served for seven months in their ward.  Bishop Martin is having a special surgical procedure on his neck this coming Weds. to repair some major damage.   He has been in excruciating pain for several months and finally is able to have the surgery..  We wanted to make sure we spent some time with them before Weds.  It was a wonderful day. 

     We have appointments set for a few visits next week and I am sure we will fill out the week with no problem. I hope everyone has a wonderful week also.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

There is beauty all around. . . .

      Have you ever been so moved by the beautiful landscape that you knew without a doubt that our Heavenly Father is the creator of all things.  We were driving through the tall green trees and the amazing farms in our new area, the sky was a beautiful blue with white fluffy clouds and I was overcome with the sure assurance that this wonderful world was created with love for each of us by a loving Heavenly Father, who loves me so much.

Our new areas are from Waldorf south to the tip of Maryland
past Ridge between the Potomac river and the Chesapeake Bay.
     As we were driving to our first appoinment on Monday we turned a corner and came upon this Amish buckboard filled with beautiful flowers.  The two little girls sat beside the man on the front seat.  In this area of Maryland, the Amish have the right-a-way on the roads.  We drove slow and followed then for a little ways until they turned off. 
      Our first week in the Patuxent  ward was great.  We had a no show and a sister who said she was to busy to go with us on our visits, but that didn't discourage us.. We drove over to a gravel road that fed into threes beautiful farms.. we didn't know which one was the home of  Kimberly. So we stopped the car and were approached by a lady in a truck that came up to our car and asked "what are you doing here, this is private land", we explained that we were trying to find Kimberly and she showed us which house was hers and then said "well if you would have shown me your missionary badge, I would have known who you were here to see.. She smiled and we were on our way down the road.  Kimberly and her husband Richard were both home and we were welcomed into their home.  We had a wonderful visit with her and every once in a while we would hear an answer coming from the other room.  We invited Richard to join us and he declined saying it was girl talk.  Kimberly recently lost her job due to down sizing in the company she had worked for 10 years.  She said she was enjoying the time to spend with her two young children and would start looking for a job in a month or so.  We loved talking to her and can't wait to visit her again.  We then drove over to our next appt. and no one was home.. We called and found out that she would be home in an hour.. We were given another sisters name to visit so we headed down the road to see if she was home.. upon arriving we were told thru a window that she wasn't home.. so we headed home.. 95 one day..
     Tuesday we had two awesome visits.. first Becky a darling young mother who moved here with her family about a year ago from New Mexico for a job transfer.. they have 3 kids a home a daughter and 2 sons. They have daughter and grandaughter who live in Arizona.. Becky home schools her two boys and they are 12 & 14 and her daughter is 16.  I noticed her wedding portrait, she and her husband were married in the Mesa Arizona temple.. She is so sweet and we had wonderful visit with her.
     We then headed over to Bishop Reeds home to visit with his wife Angie.  She is recuperating from major back surgery.  Sister Brown was anxious to talk to her and bounce some questions off her about her back issues and the surgery.  We also got to meet their 3 daughters, a 10 year old and 16 year old twins.. They have a son who just left for his mission and is now in the MTC in Guatemala.  Such a wonderful family, we loved getting to know them and spending time with them. 
                                             Really HIGH bridge to the Solomon Island

Stoney's Restaurant = awesome crab cakes
   We didn't have any other appointments so we decided to go to Solomon's Island for dinner.  We had gone there with Bishop and Haleigh Vance for crab cakes at Stoney's restaurant and that sounded really good.. Since Solomon's Island is in our current area, we headed south and over the "really HIGH" bridge.. thank goodness Sister Brown was driving.. I had knots in my stomach just riding over it.. But it was worth it to have the wonderful dinner at Stoney's. The restaurant sits right on the water and we watched the sailboats and had a relaxing evening.  Another 95 mile day..  we are thinking it will be a norm in the Patuxent ward and probably put more miles on our cars the weeks we are in the Lexington Park ward boundaries, because it goes to the southern most tip of Maryland.. but the drives are so beautiful and we really don't mind the drive.
     Wednesday we now have Bonnie & Kathleen in the ride up to the temple.  Bonnie changed to the same shift we work on so she could ride up with us each week.  It is so  much fun to all be together.. This was the Wednesday at the temple that the missionaries who are leaving next Weds.go to, so we got to see them.  Six of the darling young sister missionaries that we have grown to love are going home and it was really hard to say goodbye.. We got so close to them when we worked together in the visitors center in December and each one is so special to me.. they were amazing missionaries and served with dedication and love. They will be missed.  We also got to see Elder Kinne, he was one of the missionaries that served in our ward when we first arrived here in Maryland and we got very close to him.  He is from Prescott, Arizona and such a joy to be with.  Elder Shurtleff will be leaving also and we will really miss him, he is so much fun to have living in the same apartment complex.  He has served an awesome mission and touched so many lives, ours included. 
     Thursday we had a full day of visits scheduled.  Our first visit was with Arline, she lives right on the water and it was a beautiful drive down there.  Her husband Pete an ex-airline pilot for Eastern Airlines, built their beautiful home.  They have had 10 children and lost 2 as adults, which is so sad. Their daughter died just a year ago and we were able to listen to Arline, as she told us about each of their children. They have 2 sons and their son-in law living with them at this time, so she is surrounded by men and loved having us visit so she could have some girl talk.  We spent quite a bit of time with her and she invited us back any time.. In fact we are going back next week to help her set up Skype so she can see her daughter receive a major award..

     Our next visit was with Kelly Gillingwaters family for dinner. Her husband is in the bishopric and Kelly's mom lives with them & is on dialysis every day.  It was a very fun dinner appointment and we really enjoyed the company of the Gillingwaters.  Brother Gillingwater works for the Dept. of Agriculture and Kelly works in a dental office.  Their children are all raised.
                                                               Cecilia & Trudy


     After our dinner we had an appointment with Darlene W. We met Trudy B & her mom Cecilia Y. at Darlene's home.  Trudy is the sister of our friend Tina in the White Plains 1st ward and Cecilia is her mom.  Darlene lost her husband a year ago to a combination of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and a form of Muscular Dystrophy.   She is having major health issues herself and has been going to several doctors to find a resolution to her problems. We had a great visit with them and were so glad we got to meet Tina's sister and mom. 
     It was a long day, but a very fulfilling one for us.  We love getting to meet new people and making new friends. 
      Friday I woke up feeling like *#@ and so we had to re-schedule our appointments of  that day to the following week.  I was down all day and then wiped out on Saturday.. We had been on the go for 10 days and I guess it was time for a couple days of rest..
      I woke up on Sunday feeling so much better and was ready to hit the road running.. We attended the Lexington Park ward.  Susie McGhee the RS president was so prepared for us; she had a ward roster all highlighted and and bullet point notes by each name, she also had our lunch schedule filled out for the week.  We spent a few minutes at the first of the meeting introducing ourselves and telling the sisters what our mission was all about.  It was so much fun to see so many of the sisters we visited during the week and see the smiles when they saw us.. it makes us feel so welcome.  After church we had dinner at Susie's home.  She and her husband still have two sons at home, Joe is 12 and Sam is 18 and getting ready to leave for college.. It was such a fun time at their house.. They shared many fun stories..
     It started raining here on Saturday evening and it poured all day Sunday.. They were expecting 3" of rain and I'm sure we received at least that.
     We are excited for the coming week and visiting the sisters of Lexington Park....

Have a wonderful week..

Monday, April 16, 2012

      Another week in paradise here on the east coast.  As we drive through the countryside we are amazed at the beauty that surrounds us on every road.. The fields are bright green, the trees are full of foliage and the vines and ground covers are filling in all the gaps between the trees.. Last week was our last week in the White Plains 1st & 2nd ward and I had such mixed feelings.. excited to start serving in our new area and sad to leave so many wonderful friends.. We wanted to make the best of this last week..
     We met Kristi and Nicole for a visiting teaching lunch at a new cute  place for me.. California Taco..  We talked and laughed and talked some more for a couple hours.  Sister Brown got sick as lunch was winding down so I took her home to go to bed and I ran errands. 
     I was glad that our monthly card club was this past week at Tinas.  The theme was flowers and there were 10 of us there.  I love the friends I have made with this fun group of gals and love the inspiration I receive each month as we each share our cards with each other. 

     Our drive to the temple is in daylight going and coming home now.. which makes it so much nicer.. I was serving in the baptistery again this week and it was wonderful.  We had 2 large youth groups come in and they were all so fantastic.  I just love working with the youth.

     Our zone conference was held on Thursday and it is always one of my favorite meeting to attend.  We received guidance and counsel from both President and Sister Matsumori.. They are so inspired and loving to the mission.  It is also fun to see all the missionaries in our zone and be able to touch base with them.  Two of my favorite elders are going home in a week and they will really be missed.  Elder Kinne was in the first group in our wards when we arrived and is such an amazing young man.. the other elder going home in Elder Shurtleff who is in our apartments now & we love him so much.. It is great  to have the elders so close by and know they are here to help out any time we need them.. We seem to adopt every one we serve with..
Elder Shurtleff

     We had been trying to get down to see Mollyanne for a couple months and just knew that we had to make it down to her home on the Chesapeake Bay before our transfer.. We made arrangements to have a visiting teaching lunch get together first.  So we met with Mollyanne, Janice and Mary and had a great visit.. Then we followed Mollyanne down to Swan Point, Maryland..  Her home is right on the bay and it was a wonderful visit.  Her husband Marty collects antique trains and has a large room dedicated to his hobby.  The walls are covered in shelves filled with trains.. (pictures on my blog).. Mollyanne collects orential tea sets and antique toys and fire engines.. Their home is beautiful and they are such gracious hosts.. We had a wonderful time visiting with them. 

    Our District met on Saturday morning at the visitors center for our adventure.  We took the metro to the district and then had a personal tour of the East Wing of the White House.  We had worked with a great lady named Lili and she set is up for us.  She works at the white house as a telecommunications manager.  She has her doctorate in English Studies and was the associate dean of studies at the university of Hawaii, before she retired and joined the staff of the White House.  She loves her job and was a joy to spend the day with. 

Old Ebbits Grill

We took her to lunch at the Old Ebbit Grill which is across the street from the White House and the food was fantastic.  It is Washington's oldest & most historic saloon founded in 1856.  Each table in the Ebbit was graced  by a blue history card that read, " Many other famous statesmen, naval and military hero's, too numerous to mention, have been guests of this house".  After lunch we visited the White House Visitors Center and watched a movie on the history of the White House. I was able to purchase a replica of  one of the Easter Eggs that were part of the 2012 Easter egg roll at the White House.  Saturday was also the Cherry Blossom Festival parade in downtown DC.. so the city was bustling and very crowded.. It was a very fun day.. and the next outing for our district has been assigned to Sister Brown and myself.. We are taking them down to Solomon's Island at the tip of Maryland for crab cakes and then tour the area and visit the Amish Market and then go to a Blue Crab Baseball game.. they were excited for the adventure and to see where we serve..

     Sunday was our first day to go to our new wards.  We were going with Bonnie and the new stake RS presidency.. So we met at 10:00 and followed each other down to Lexington Park.. It is about an hour drive for us from our apartment.  We attended the relief society meeting of the Lexington Park ward and then the 3 meeting block of the Patuxent Ward.  They were so sweet and served us lunch in-between meetings since we were there all day. We met so many nice people and are very anxious to visit with them and form friendships.  As we were waiting for our meeting with the bishop I was talking to a fellow and discovered I went to high school with his father-in-law at Nampa High School. We then had a meeting with Bishop Reed & Colleen Martines of the Patuxent Ward to fill them in on our mission and the service we could provide for the sisters in their ward.  We will rotate wards and visit the sisters in each ward during the week.. After our meeting we were invited to dinner at Colleens house.. She has a wonderful family and it was a so much fun to spend the evening with them  She has 5 children, a daughter 13, 10 year old twins, a boy and a girl and a son who is 7 and a beautiful baby girl.. After dinner we went over the ward roster and discussed the needs of the ward.  We finally called it an evening and arrived home about 10:15 pm.   

     We had a great week, and have many wonderful memories.. Each new day is the opportunity for another wonderful friend. 

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you . . . If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.     John 13:15, 17

     Be happy in that which you do. Cultivate a spirit of gladness in your homes. Subdue and overcome all elements of anger, impatience and unbecoming talk one to another.  Pres. Hinckley

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

     I really don't think I have ever been in a more beautiful place in the springtime.  This week the dogwood trees and the red bud trees burst into bloom, along with the most vibrant azaleas. Driving along the road last week the trees were bare and this week they are covered in bright green foliage..It is so beautiful everywhere you look..
Dogwood Trees in bloom
     This week we wanted to visit a lot of our favorite people before we head out to work in our new areas.  We placed  27 phone calls on Monday to set up appointments and talked to many and received several return phone calls asking us to come visit . We plan to do the same next week to finish out our service here.  We have made so many friends and it is really hard to say goodbye to so many.  Even though we will still be living in the same place we know that we won't see everyone we have grown to love after tomorrow for quite a while. 
  • This week we met Kristi for lunch. We were worried about her and the struggle she is going thru but it was a very up-beat lunch and we had a wonderful talk.
  •                                                                        Kristi
  • The azeleas at Elsies home
  • Another of our favorites is Elsie who is 86 and such a fun lady.. We really love to visit with her and love her stories. 
  • We had a wonderful visit and dinner with Janice and her family. She is so caring and compassionate and such a wonderful example to us. 

  • We had a great visiting teachers lunch with; Renee, Linda, Bonnie, Shirley, Dela, Carol, Lucy, Marci & Tamesha at Olive Garden.. Good soup and salad all around and lots of laughter and fun as well. 
  • Ethyl
  • One of the sweetest ladies we visit is Ethyl.. She is always so eager to have us come over and visit and very spunky for an 80 year old.  We love to visit with her, she has the greatest sense of humor and we are always welcome and have a wonderful time at her home.  She found out I like the series NCIS and gave me a picture of  Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, because she likes him too.. So funny..
  • We had a very special evening with Maria as she served us authentic Spanish paella and salad and then a wonderful flan for dessert.  Maria is from Spain and we also got to see some wonderful treasures from Spain that she cherishes, a mantilla and tall comb from her grandmother and beautiful handmade shawls. We saw pictures of where she was born and had a wonderful evening with her and her husband.  
                Saturday we cleaned our apartment, and got gas, and grocery shopped..
       Easter Sunday is always special at church. The talks and the music touch my heart as I remember my Savior and his love for me.
      We were invited to Easter  dinner with Deanna and her family after church.. It is so fun to share Easter with families that have young children.. They have three kids 8, 7, 4 and they are so cute. 
       It is such a blessing to have such giving people who are happy to share their lives and families with us while we are here on our mission.
      As I reflect on this time of year and  what it means to me I know that my savior  Jesus Christ spent his last days on earth thinking only of us and not of himself. He suffered for each of our sins and died on the cross for us.. I will ever be grateful for his atoning sacrifice and the love he has for me.  I  have felt his arms surround me in times of sorrow and trouble and know that he is with me always. I am touched so often by such a strong feeling of love by my Savior and  brought to tears as I think of him and all he does each and every day for me..

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm sure Spring is here. . . .

     Another great week in Maryland.. We have had wonderful weather here in Maryland and only a light sprinkle on a couple days for a brief period.

                   This beautiful tree is on a corner that we drive by quite often, don't know
what kind of tree it is, but it is so amazingly beautiful..

     We spent several hours on Monday with a very special sister who is going through a very tough time in her marriage. We were there to listen and offer any support we could.  She is our friend and this came out of the blue for us.. At times like this I just wish I knew all the right things to say and do..  so I guess our support and listening ear were what we could offer to her and what she needed.
     On Tuesday we drove down to Lexington Park, one of the new areas we will be serving in starting in April. It is the peninsula on the eastern side of Maryland situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent river.. it is about 45 minutes south of our apartment. The drive down is beautiful and easy, one long stretch of highway the entire way.  We had a wonderful meeting with the relief society presidencies of both the Lexington Park ward and the Patuxent ward along with the stake relief society presidency.  It was so great to get to know these sisters before we started working in their area.  We were able to share with them what our mission was all about and the things we would need from them to help us serve in their areas more effectively.  They are excited for us to begin our assignment in their areas and we are excited too. 

 Colleen Martines, RS President of Patuxtent Ward

 Beth Boswell, stake RS Presidency & her grandson Liam

Norma Goode, Stake RS Presidency

     On our way home from Lexington Park we stopped by this cute antique boutique called "The Apple Basket", and it was amazing..It is going to be hard to drive by there every day for 3 months and not stop every time.. I found a few cute things and they also carried my favorite candles by Tyler.

     Wednesday was our day to serve in the temple and we now have a new companion to ride with us.. Bonnie Ramon was working on the Thursday morning shift and changed to Wednesday so we can all ride together.  I had one of the most spiritual things happen in the area I was directing. We had a young woman who was 22 years old and a quadriplegic.  She came with her mom and her aunt. She was in a power wheel chair and her mom helped navigate her way around while she was there.  She was so sweet and so humble and I loved helping her as she served in the temple. Wednesdays are always long days for us.. We leave home about 10:45 and get home about 9:00.. but it is a good tired.. I just love the women I work with and love to serve in the temple and love to have special experiences like I had on Wednesday.
      Thursday is a slow starting day, since we had such a long day on Wednesday.. We called a couple sisters to see if we could set up visits and had to leave messages. We also contacted Elizabeth to see how she was doing. When we saw her on the weekend her knee was really swollen and red and she was expecting lots of family visiting this weekend to attend her son Jackson's baptism. She said that it was feeling much better and she was able to get ready for her company without our help..So happy her knee is doing better.. We then visited with Becky our visiting teacher and had a great talk. She is so caring and compassionate and such a joy to be with.  Our last visit of the day was with Suz, for her birthday. She had invited us over for ├ęclair cake and to celebrate.  It was not only her birthday, but also her son Tyler's also.   

     We live in the same apartment complex as the 4 elders that serve in White Plains 1st & 2nd wards with us.  They are so much fun and come visit us & check on us often.  They are such awesome missionaries and doing a fantastic job serving the Lord and the people of these 2 wards. We really want to adopt each of them as substitute grandsons..

 Elder Peterson & Elder Cottrell

 Sister Brown, Elder Cottrell & me

The 4 of us

 Elder Shurtleff & Elder Fisher

 Elder Shurtleff's new companion Elder Epperson

Elder Shurtleff will be going home on April 25, we are sad for us and excited for him.
  I am so happy that this weekend was General Conference and we got to hear counsel and inspiration from the general authorities of the church.  We spent the weekend with the Ramon's and were able to watch conference at their home, both Saturday and Sunday.   

     Saturday evening we had dinner after conference at Norma's home and then all the gals went to the "This is the Place" bookstore while the men were at the priesthood session of conference.  Conference always touches my heart and I am motivated by the beautiful music & the  talks shared.

This thought by Henry B Eyring touched me,
 "How can we lay our foundation of faith"
*Service with full heart and soul
*Personal integrity creates the solid ground in our faith
*Christ will forgive us if we forgive ourselves."

Russell M. Nelson said " The spirit needs nourishment daily just as the body requires food each day"

M. Russell Ballard said, " There is no happiness without service. If we will devote our time to our families our lives will improve". 

Neil L. Anderson said, " At the final day it will be, what think Christ of me?"

    The next couple weeks are going to be busy as we wind down our efforts in the White Plains 1st and 2nd wards & get ready to start serving in the Lexington Park & Patuxtent wards.  We will be there until July and then we switch again.. We will get to see a lot of  Maryland & DC from capital hill to the southern tip, and meet a lot of wonderful people as we work the next 11 months.