Sunday, May 27, 2012

         The first thing I want to say this week is "I love my mission", I love the concept of being of service to the women who live in the Suitland Stake of the Washington DC North Mission.  Our area as I have described before goes from the District to the southern tip of Maryland, between the Potomac river and the Chesapeake bay..The area we are serving in right now is the most beautiful place I have ever lived.. As I meet with the sisters and get to know each of them I am amazed at their compassion and love for us. It is such a joy and I love each day more than the last.
            Our first visit this week was with the sweet family of Bishop Lowe.  Jennilee and their 3 children. Sarah, Bonnie & Issac.  They are a military family, Bishop Lowe is the Air Force liaison to the Navy Missile program at Patuxtent Naval Air Base.  We were invited for lunch with Jennilee and the kids and had a wonderful time.  She is such a wonderful young mom and I just loved getting to know her and spend some quality time with her and the girls.

Jenni with Sara, Bonnie & Issac
            Kim was our next visit, she has just been called to be the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society in the Lexinton Park Ward.  What a great lady she is.... she is a very talented seamstress, plays the piano & loves to read. Kim is a nurse practitioner and the mother of 4.  Two of their children are married and they have 6 grandchildren. Her husband works for Lockheed at the Naval Air base. It was so fun talking to her and sharing her story.

            Tuesday morning I was up at  5:00 a.m. to take Sister Brown to the airport.. She needed to be at the Regan National Airport at 7:00.. There was a critical accident on the freeway that we usually take, so we were re-routed  along with everyone else on another route.. We made it to the airport by 7:20 so it was in plenty of time. So I am an empty nester until June 9th.

            I spent Tuesday evening with Bishop Martin and his family. They invited me to dinner and to attend their daughter Emily's end of year concert at her school.  Since I would be missing the concerts of my own grandkids, I jumped at the chance to go. It was the 6th, 7th & 8th grade choir and strings concert of John Hanson Middle School.  Emily did a great job.  Bishop Martin is feeling great after his surgery, placing a titanium disk in his neck to relieve the pressure and severe pain he had experienced for over 8 months. I just love spending time with them.  They have adopted me into their family.

            Wednesdays are rainy days and temple days.. they seem to go into go hand in hand each Wednesday.  That didn't dampen our spirits though.. Bonnie and I drove up together and had a wonderful day serving in the temple. On the way home we decided to stop at Wegmans.. a giant gourmet grocery store.  Ann Giles (from my Phoenix home ward) had said that it was someplace that I needed to go to for sure while I was living in DC.. It was her favorite place to go in DC.. WOW... it is so neat.. a huge area of prepared food for sit down or take out..and then the store has everything you ever wanted and then so many you never thought of.  I was able to find several of my favorite non-dairy foods that I can't find anywhere else.. so it was a great stop.

            Beth had invited me to lunch on Thursday so we decided to meet at Panera's. I asked Bonnie Ramon if she would like to go with me on my visits and she said "she would love to". Since she is the stake Relief Society President and the one overseeing our schedule and service of our mission, I thought it would be good for her to see just what we do each day.  We met Beth and her adorable grandson, who is 6 months old.  She had invited another sister Jodi Davis and her beautiful daughter Abby. Beth is also in the Stake Relief Society Presidency and in the Lexington Park Ward with us.  I had met Jodi before but really didn't know her so it was really great to get to know her.. We had a wonderful lunch and talked and laughed and had a great time.
 Jodi & Abby

Beth and her grandson
            Tami Tennat is a young bride who I met last Sunday and church and asked if I could visit with her.. the tough thing is that she and her husband are moving to Virginia on Saturday.. She hasn't been able to find a job since moving here and things were getting tight, so they looked in Virginia where they met and both lived before they got married..Tami is a dental hygienist and found a 2 part time jobs back there and her husband got a job back at the company he was at before they moved.  I am so glad that I got to meet her, what a special young woman she is. 

            I wanted Bonnie to meet one of the favorite ladies we visit, so I called Arline to see if we could come by and she said she would be happy to see us.  Arline is so lonely and always loves to have visits. Since she has lived in this area for 40 years she know so many people and she and Bonnie knew so many of the same people. When we were leaving Arline just kept talking and didn't want us to leave. She just loves to have someone to talk to and loves to have us come over..

            Bonnie invited me to have dinner with her and Gary.. they are the other two that have taken me under their wing and make me feel so special and part of their family. I always love spending time with them..       

            Friday morning I was getting ready for the appointments that I had down south, i called Mary to see if noon was a good time to arrive at her house. She apologized and said that she forgot she wasn't going to be home today.  So we agreed to visit in the next couple weeks.  Then I called Marsha about my 2:30 appointment  and she said that she had forgotten that she had a dentist appointment this afternoon.. So we rescheduled  for next Tuesday afternoon.  Marsha is a sister that has been having severe health problems that have kept her away from church and she has just started back..

            Since our new area is at least one hour south, I didn't want to just head out and drive and drive trying to find someone home..  Lots of folks have Memorial Day plans and were not available on Friday afternoon, so I set up appointments for next week and worked on my card class that I am teaching here the first of June for the card club in 1st ward.  I am teaching 2 cards and making my wedding card for the exchange.

Saturday =    
got my car serviced (way over my service mileage )
             ran errands with Bonnie 
             bought my birthday present . . . a new acer tablet

       Sunday I started out by going to White Plains 2nd ward to see old friends and to support Bonnie who was talking in sacrament meeting.. It was so fun to see so many old friends and have then excited to see me and hugs, lots of hugs.. I left after their sacrament meeting and headed south to the Patuxent Ward for their church meetings.. I was sitting in relief society and talking to Jeanette who was sitting next to me and asked if I could come over and visit with her and she said sure, but not this next week.. Her mom was here and would be here for the another week.. When the meeting started they introduced Jeanette's mom and she said she was visiting from "Nampa, Idaho", I said no way!  we have to talk.. I found out she is the older sister of another girl I went to school with named Joanne Decker.. She said that I really look familiar and she couldn't figure out why.  Wow that is so neat.. 2 people in this ward who are the nieces of classmates of mine from high school.. It was fun to talk to her and she was excited to call Joanne and tell her that she met me.. She remembered Kent too.  It was a long day but a very neat one.. Love both of these wards and was so happy that I attended both today..

            Tomorrow is Memorial Day and I have been invited by Bishop Vance to attend the special tribute at Arlington National Cemetery by President Obama.  Bishop Vance plays in the Army concert band and they are performing at the tribute.. I am excited and will share with you next week.

 I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

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