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.

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