Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer is here. . . . .

Summer is here!  Well it comes and go's.. three days of over 95 degrees and then it drops back in the 80's.. I can do this..
        Another great week back here in the Washington DC North Mission for me.. We started out the week by going to our lunch appointment on Monday.  When arrived at Sally's home her two cute grandkids met us and said everyone was around back.. We sat on the deck under the big umbrella, it was drizzling and the temp's were in the low 80's and it was very pleasant sitting out there.. Sally was taking care of her two grandkids, Nicholas and Hanna.. Nicholas disappeared and we were entertained by 6  year old Hannah..  As we sat & talked Sally asked us if we would like some water and we realized she had forgotten she had signed up for lunch that day.  We talked a little longer and she asked us if we were hungry, and asked if would we like to join them for lunch?  We said that would be wonderful.. After a great lunch we were talking and Sally said, "You know I signed up to have you both for lunch one day this month"..... "OH NO, IT WAS TODAY WASN'T IT"!  We laughed and said "yes, and it all worked out".. She and her husband were so fun to visit with.. Nick is retired career Navy.  They perform in a bluegrass family band, and gave us each one of their CD's.. 
Sally & Nick
Sally and her grandaughter Hanna
          We had tried to visit with Tiffanie a week ago and she was going to be gone, so we were excited to visit with her and her girls.  Lorilee who is 3 and twin girls, Mia and Evy who are 18 months.. Tiffanie and her husband team teach the Sunday school class we attend.  She is also serving as the girls camp director from the Lexington Park ward.  It was such a fun visit, the girls are VERY busy and so adorable.. They entertained us as we visited.  She said it was so fun to have someone to talk to other than little ones for a change.. Her husband is a nuclear engineer at the Lusby Nuclear Plant.  It was fun to give a very busy mom some adult conversation for awhile..


         We had an opening and called several sisters to see if we could come by and see them.. with school just getting out and summer activities, we were having trouble finding someone to visit, until we talked to Jennilee.. She was happy to have us drop over for a visit.. She has 3 darling children, Sarah 6, Bonnie 4 and Isaac who is 1.  Her husband is the bishop of Lex. Park ward and we love to visit with her.. Her husband is a very busy man being on active duty Navy on the Pax. Naval Air Base and serving as bishop.. Many long hours alone for Jennilee.. We always try to touch base with the wives of the leaders in the wards and make sure we are doing all we can for them. 

       Beth had us for lunch on Tuesday.  She lives way down south and it was a beautiful day to drive down.  She serves in the Stake Relief  Society Presidency.  We love to visit with her and share our work and get any feedback or ideas she has.  She shared with us that she never sees her visiting teachers and we were so glad we were there for her. 
 Beth's grandson Liam
 Liz was our next visit, this is our second visit with Liz, who suffers from Bi-polar disorder and she was so excited to have us come and see her.  She is the one who is so talented with clay and creates those delightful figurines.. She lives in a remote area and loves to have visitors, so we are glad that we could spend some special time with her.  It was a great visit and she is so sweet..

  Our last visit if the day was with Ada.. such a sweet lady.  She has been having many health issues and the last time we were there, she was getting ready to have some procedures done and not feeling well.  When we called to see if we could come visit her this week, she was very excited to have us over.  She was feeling so much better.. She is the single caregiver of her 49 year old son who suffers from autism and other severe disorders.  She is an amazing lady and we feel such a wonderful spirit when we are visiting with her..

          Our day at the temple was wonderful.  When I was working in the office answering the phone, a gentleman called and asked about the time the distribution center downstairs closed.. I told him 5:30 and he said they were driving and probably wouldn't make it in time. I asked him where he was coming from and he said South Carolina.. I shared with him that my grandson was serving a mission in South Carolina.. He wanted to know where Kelly was serving to see if maybe he knew him.. He is the mission leader in his ward.. We discovered that Kelly has not served in his ward as of yet, but he did take down Kelly's information and said that he is going to look him up when they get back to South Carolina.. We had a very nice talk also about my mission and what I am doing on my mission.. It was such a nice conversation..

        On Thursday we had lunch with Jamie and her kids.. Her oldest daughter is 13 and her youngest son is 4, with a son and daughter in between.. Jamie teaches seminary during the school year and loves it.  She is also a very, very talented artist.. In Relief Society one Sunday they were telling the sisters about us and that we would be visiting the sisters in the ward and Jamie said "they are really fun to have over for a visit"..  since Lex. Park is a very small ward (people wise) that is really spread out geographically, many sisters don't get visits often from anyone, so it has been really wonderful to be able to visit  these sisters..

        Faye was our next visit..she is suffering from a very disfiguring condition that effects her face and other major health issues.. She is such a wonderful sister and we love to visit with her.  She recently had cataract surgery so she could get her drivers license back.  She was very excited about this.  She has also started painting again.. She said that we inspired her on our last visit to take up her artwork again.  She is a very talented tole painter and had stopped when she became ill.  She was excited to show us the work she has started.  She is painting a wooden nativity set.  The first piece she is starting on is Joseph and he is about 12" tall.. We are so happy for her and her progress.. a real success story.

         Friday, Sister Brown had another procedure on her back.  Her doctor injected steroids along her spine in 8 locations with an epidural injection to block the pain.  She had a single injection the first week of May and the pain returned shortly after. So her doctor wanted to take a more aggressive route with the 8 injections this time and see if the block would work longer than the last one.

         Saturday we stopped at a large farmers market that is just a few miles from our apartment.  We thought it had mainly Amish booths, but found out upon arrival that the majority of the booths were just a large garage sale.. At the Amish booths that were there we were able to get fresh peaches, cherries and a Peach pie.  We saw our friend Katie Byerlie, who is the Amish lady that let us feed her baby goats on her farm.. It was so nice to see her. 

        This weekend is stake conference and I love to be able to see old friends as we all meet together for this special weekend.  Saturday evening we all met at the stake center which is about 45 minutes from our apartment.  It was so fun to see so many people that we knew and re-connect with them for a few minutes.  I was so inspired by the speakers and the music which were wonderful.  The Sunday meeting was broadcast to each of the ward buildings, since our stake is so spread out and many live so far from the stake center.  We decided to go to the White Plains building and be with all of our friends there.. Since we served there for 7 1/2 months we were really close to so many.. It was a very full chapel and we loved being with them.  The speakers and music was amazing again.. the Suitland Stake is really filled with very talented people. 

        This is going to be our last week to serve in Lex. Park and Patuxent wards.. Bishop Lowe of the Lexington Park ward asked us to contact some of the less active sisters in the ward and see if we could encourage them to come out to church.. as I called about 12 sisters today, I received many no answers and left messages.. I did get to talk to several and they were nice, I told them we were thinking about them and asked them if there was anything we could do to help them and no one accepted the offer.. at least we touched base with them and they know we care.

         "One of God’s greatest gifts to man is freedom of choice. At an early period in the journey through life, man finds himself at a crossroad where he must choose one of two great highways—the right, leading to progress and happiness; and the wrong, leading to retardation and sorrow. There exists this eternal law that each human soul, through the choices he makes, will shape his own destiny. Our success or failure, peace or discontent, happiness or misery, depend on the choices we make each day."        --N. Eldon Tanner

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Half way Mark. . . . .

Half way down - Half way to go.....
We are on the downhill part of our mission.. We reached our 9 month anniversary on Tuesday the 12th..
        Happy Fathers day to all of you wonderful fathers.. I know so many wonderful men who set the example each day of what a father is.. my own father was an excellent example to all who knew him.  My husband Kent was the worlds best father to our three children, he adored them and would do anything for them.. My 2 sons and my son in law are the most wonderful fathers to my grandchildren and I love them so much..           

       To begin our week we were asked to search out 7 sisters from Patuxent ward and see if we could find them and talk to them..We only had a phone # for one, so I called and left a message to see if we could come over to see her. We started out our Monday morning mapping out the route to take and put the names in order, so we wouldn't drive all over. We had a plan and headed out to the first name on the list..she was not home and her mother in law said she was on vacation in Rhode Island for a week, so we headed to #2... She was the one phone number we had so we called and no answer. Upon arrival at her place we discovered she was not home either.  We then headed for #3. . . on our list and was told she didn't live at the address we were given.. her son said, "it's complicated".. we were not discouraged and then headed to #4.. When we arrived at her home she was sitting on the front steps, I asked if she was Robin and she said she was.. We introduced ourselves and she invited us in for a visit.. She was a very sweet gal.. upon further conversation we discovered she is very involved in another church and heads up the youth ministry for the church.. We told her how happy we were that she was happy and involved.. She had joined our church over 20 years ago and wasn't a member very long before she stopped going. Upon marriage and the birth of her children she became active in another church.. She was so much fun to talk to.

        Our next visit was with Colleen the RS president of Patuxent ward, we had a wonderful meeting with her and discussed our findings so far on the sisters we were asked to visit, along with several others we had news or concerns about.  Colleen and her family are just wonderful and we have so much fun when we visit with her.  After our meeting we were just talking and she told us about her jewelry line and we asked if we could see it.  She brought out these beautiful pendants. Each one is unique and so different. She creates each one and fires it in her own kiln.  The process is called dichroic glass.. It is layers of paper thin glass sandwiched together with jewel colors and metallics and comes out of the kiln absolutely beautiful.. she is so talented..
            After we left Colleens we were invited to dinner at Amy Henderson's home.  She and her family were very fun to visit with. They have 4 boys and 2 girls. The older 4 are out of the home and married. Her youngest son is 17 and her youngest daughter Julia is 20.  They joined us for dinner along with J.T. a friend of their sons.  Their daughter Julia is a very talented musician & plays the cello.. She had studied with the Washington DC National Symphony and was getting ready to attend a strings music camp in Aspen.  It was a great dinner and a fun evening. 
 The Henderson's Home
Brother and Sister Henderson & Julia

            Our next visit was with Donna who loves to garden and had beautiful strawberry plants in her front flowerbed.  She had blueberry, grape and raspberry plants also as well as a vegetable garden. She loves to baby-sit her granddaughters too.. What a sweet lady.

            Ann was our next visit and she and her husband live in the bottom part of the home of her daughter and son-in-law.  She was very excited to have us visit and sad that we were leaving to start serving in another area.  We had a wonderful visit with her.

            The temple was a wonderful experience as usual. Sister Brown and I were both busy with many assignments all day..meeting many wonderful people. 

            We made a wonderful visit this week to one of our favorite people, Sue.  She is the older sister who lives in an assisted living apartment.  Such a joy to spend time with and hear her fascinating stories. She was raised in the south and is truly a southern lady.  She is such a talented artist and we got to see several of her creations and they were so beautiful.  She always sends us home with food and we tell her we really don't want to take her food, but she insists that what she gets it for.. She is very lonesome and loves to have us come to see her.. we love her so much. 

We got a text message this week on our mission phone:

Text:         Hey older lady missionaries, I want to add your birthdays to my calendar

Me:           Who's asking?

Answer:     It's Kimberly W.

Me:            Oh, hi.. we want to come visit you, are you available today?

Answer:     Oh, today is not good, I am babysitting a sick grandson

Me:             How about next week, I'll call and we can set up an appointment

Answer:      Sounds great..

Me:             We loved visiting with you and can't wait to see you again.

Answer:      Me too.. have a nice weekend    

            This is a sister that we visited one of our first weeks serving down in this area and we have tried to get a hold of her for another visit..  so prayers are answered for sure.

         Marsha is the sister that I visited a couple weeks ago, that is having major health issues with her heart. She had her heart catheter and was told she doesn't have to have bypass surgery, but still will have valve replacement on the 26th.  I talked to her this week and she was feeling so tired and said she would love to have come see her.  We drove to her home a couple days later (1 hour, 20 minutes) and when we arrived at her home, we knocked and NO ANSWER.. we were sad.. hoping that she was just napping and we really didn't want to wake her up.  We have called and left a couple messages, hoping all is OK..

           We have several appointments set up for next week and we want to see as many people as we can as we wind up our service in the southern tip of Maryland..

            Saturday we went on a field trip with Bonnie & Gary to the northern border of Maryland (about 3 hours from our apt) to visit a very special sister, Rita Mohn that we work with in the temple each week.  She heard that I love everything Amish and said that she had some pictures that her husband had painted that she wanted to give us.. Her husband passed away 3 years ago, his name was Eric Mohn. When he was 17 he was involved in a very serious automobile accident resulting in Eric not being able to feel anything from the neck down or to move anything from the neck down, he was a quadriplegic. After a long rehabilitation and much PT he and his parents were taking a vacation to North Carolina, Eric had an experience that changed his life. They visited an art gallery and Eric loved the water color art work . He had dabbled in some pen and ink drawings since his accident by holding the pen in his mouth, but after seeing the beautiful water colors he was excited to begin experimenting with this form of art.  On arrival home his father built a slanted art table and got him all set up and Eric started practicing.. Some time later he entered his work in an art contest and won and the rest is history.  He painted works of art for so many people, judges, congressmen, Elizabeth Taylor, and finally opened his own gallery.  He held the brush in his teeth and I can't believe the amazing art that he produced..  Rita asked us to visit her and said that we could have all the pictures we wanted.  They are signed and such beautiful landscapes, Amish scenes and beautiful artwork depicting Maryland and the surrounding areas.  Rita was so gracious and showed us hundreds of pieces of art.. We were overwhelmed and came away with many amazing pieces of art.. Such a gracious lady.. She said she was going to be moving and didn't want to have to move all the pictures.. She has many of  Eric's original pictures mounted, framed and hanging all over her beautiful home.. Can't wait to frame the ones I received and hang them in my home.  I need to think of something wonderful to do for Rita for her generosity.
Rita Mohn
Eric Mohn's art

            Driving to northern Maryland the landscape is very different than down where we live, there are hills and tall, tall hardwood trees.. It was so beautiful. 

            Sunday was the last time we will be attending church with the 2 wards in their building.. next week is stake conference and then the following week we start in our new area.. Calvert.  It is a long area that comprises two counties bordered on the east by the Chesapeake bay & on the west by the Patuxent river.. We had an appointment for dinner after church (we thought), but when we talked to the sister who had signed up about it, she seemed surprised and said she had to talk to her husband.. We didn't want her to be embarrassed and so we told her it was no problem and we would come another time.. Kim, one of the counselors in relief society came over to us and said "hey come over to my home, I have a pot roast on and we would love to have you join us".. needless to say we joined Kim and her family..   As we sat around the table and talked, her son Mike said that he served in the Ogden, Utah mission and I told him I knew a young man who had served there at the same time and  asked him if he knew Brad Dahl, and he said oh sure, I remember him.. they never served as companions, but he remembered Elder Dahl.. It was a very nice dinner and a super end to a fantastic week..

         "If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up.  And He always keeps His word."
--Henry B. Eyring

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

        The sky is so blue here.. with huge white fluffy clouds and I don't  remember seeing skies like this everyday since I was a kid in Idaho.  In my drives down to the south of Maryland this week I noticed the corn fields are now about 24" tall and the huge wheat and sorghum fields of beautiful green are filling out and getting taller.  Such a beautiful drive I get to make each day. The Hydrangea's are so vibrant and beautiful as we drive through the area.

            The gorgeous hydrangea's

         I was invited to accompany Bishop Martin and his family to the graduation of their son Tyler from Thomas Stone High School this past week. It was held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.  So different than Arizona where the graduation ceremonies are held at the school and most on the football field.  Tyler's 4 grandparents all came for his big day. It was a beautiful ceremony and I enjoyed it so much. Afterwards they had a bar-b-cue at their home with lots of yummy food. Great day.
 Tyler with grandparents, sisters, mom & dad
Me with Tyler
 Alison had me to lunch one day and brought a little bit of Arizona to her kitchen with a yummy gazpacho.. I loved it and loved my visit with her and her adorable son James who is 2.. He is about the cutest little boy ever.. He talks a mile a minute like a 15 year old with a 2 year old voice.. Just love him.. Got to spend time with her new baby Kate also.. It was a fun day. 

        I was the teacher for our monthly card group and created a tag and a card.. I showed how to create 3 dimensional flowers to embellish each.  Everyone loved the new techniques they learned and I loved teaching the class and spending time with my friends from the 1st ward..

        Since Sister Brown was still out of town and Sister Ramon having her family in town I was on my own to drive to the temple this week.  Driving on the beltway around DC is getting easier each time I go up to the temple.. The traffic in DC makes driving in Phoenix a piece of cake.. It was a beautiful day and the temple was busy and I had a wonderful day there..

Sister Wege, Me & Sister Larsen
We got there early and had great seats. . .
Elder Anderson one of the new elders in our area
Elder Petersen
They put our whole mission on the jumbo-tron a couple times
Those cute sister missionaries
            Our entire mission attended the "Washington Nationals" baseball game on Thursday and it was so fun.  I met up with the Murdock's and the Pittman's at the Branch Ave. metro station and we rode up to the game together.  The metro stop is right at the Nationals stadium.. It was in the 80's and a beautiful day for a game.. The new hot player for the "Nats" is Bryce Harper and so I had to get a Harper shirt.. Many of the young missionaries thought I was his grandmother... but alas ..not so.. They showed our entire mission on the jumbo screen a couple of times..  When the game was over it seemed like the entire crowd was taking the metro home.. thank goodness most of them were going north and we were going south, so we got on the first train.. What a fun day..

        I made 12 phone calls on Friday to set up some appointments and left many messages and finally was able to make 2 appointments.  I then drove down to have lunch with Annette. Annette is the caregiver of her 90 year old father and he is sharp as a tack. It was a very fun lunch and visit.           

We get to see the fireworks every home game..from our 3rd floor deck

          Each evening that the Blue Crab baseball team has a home game they shoot fireworks off after the game.. Our apartment is about 1/2 mile from their field and since we are on the 3rd floor we have a birds eye view of the fireworks several nights a week.  When I went to the game last week and it was rained out we got tickets for this week on Saturday.. So Sister Brown and I both got to go with the group from White Plains 2nd ward.  It was a great game.. They won in extra innings.... The Blue Crabs are owned by Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles.  The evening was beautiful and it was a packed stadium, we saw lots of people that we knew and had a wonderful time.  I even caught a shirt when they were throwing them out.. one of the guys who was on staff for the team, saw our badges and said he was happy we were there. When he threw out the shirts he made sure he threw a shirt in my direction and I reached up and caught it.   So it was really a baseball week for me.. and since I love baseball it was such a treat. 

        Today we net with the RS presidency of the Calvert ward.. to introduce ourselves and share with them what our mission is all about and what we will be doing when we start serving in their ward the first of July.  They wanted to know if we couldn't start right now and we had to let them know that we still had 3 weeks to serve in Patuxent and Lexington Park.  It was a great meeting and they are a big ward so we will be kept busy when we serve there.  The stake RS presidency joined us at church and then at the meeting.  It really is fun to meet so many wonderful sisters and have the opportunity to be of service to them.

        We were invited to have dinner with Suda, she is a native of India and she prepared an authentic Indian dinner for us that was so good.  She made traditional dishes that she grew up with. It was the first time I had eaten true Indian food and I really liked it.  She is a very sweet sister and wanted to talk to us and had some questions that we were able to help her with.  She has one grown son who is married and she lives alone, so she loves to have company.  We were so happy to be able to spend the evening with her.

 Suda preparing the flat bread....

Our individual plates and salads.. so very good
        We have new missionaries in our home wards.. that live in the same apartment complex.  Elder Pertersen is the only one who stayed.. His new companion is Elder Watson. He is from Colorado Springs and goes home in February 2013.. We really do love to have the elders come over for visits.

 Elder Petersen & Elder Watson

            "Although we come into mortality “trailing clouds of glory,” life moves relentlessly forward .Youth follows childhood, and maturity comes ever so imperceptibly. From experience we learn the need to reach heavenward for assistance as we make our way along life’s pathway."      --THOMAS S. MONSON

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Memorial Week

       Memorial Day in the nations capitol is a major event in so many venues and areas of the city.  I was lucky to be able to attend the Memorial Day Observance at the Arlington National Cemetery.  Bishop Mike Vance of the White Plains 2nd ward asked if I wanted to join Pat and Doug Gourley at the event.  Bishop Vance plays in the United States Army concert band and they were performing there and he would give us a ride.  We arrived at Arlington at 7:30 am and waited in line with thousands of others for the gates to open at 8:00 and then to get on a shuttle to take us up to the amphitheatre.  The Gourleys and I arrived early enough to get great seats.. near the front center.. the amphitheatre is all made of marble so on a hot day it was really HOT.. 90 degrees and 87% humidity..which made the heat index about 101 degrees... The program was slated to start at 11:00..There was a 21 gun salute when President Obama arrived.  The Army band played several stirring patriotic songs and they had a trio sing "Last Full Measure of Devotion".  It was so beautiful and very moving.  There were talks by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff & Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense.  They were followed by President Obama.  It was attended by many of the high ranking brass of all arms of the military and by many senators and congressmen and their families.  This was such a special event for me, something I will never get to see again..  
Bishop Mike Vance, standing in the middle

Michele Obama
President Obama
           I met with Marsha on Tuesday.. what a sweet lady. She joined the church 3 years ago and has been so happy. She is the mom of 5 and the grandmother of 8 with her first great grandson due in June.  She is an avid gardener and loves to read.  She and her  husband live down at the tip of Maryland, which was a drive for me of 1 1/2 hours, but so worth it. Her health has been in jeopardy for the last year with major heart issues.  She is getting ready to have heart surgery. Replacing a defective valve and also triple bypass.  She was very open and talked about her life in her younger years.. drugs and alcohol addiction. Marsha is so proud to be 12 years sober and has worked as an counselor at a drug and alcohol rehab center for the past 12 years.  Her husband is a retired Navy helicopter pilot and now is a private contractor for the Navy, servicing the helicopters that the US sells to countries all over the world. He travels to many countries including Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia among many others. Always accompanied by 2 secret service and 2 plain clothes body guards. Many times he is the only one most countries will let service their helicopters..  When we were talking I asked Marsha if she would like a blessing before she went for her tests at Walter Reed Hospital on Weds. and she said she would. So I called and talked to the Bishop and got that all arranged.  I called on Friday to find out the results of her tests.  She is having a heart catheter on June 6th and is scheduled for her valve replacement on June 26th.

         Amanda is the mom of 4 year old twin boys.  Anderson and Scott were born very early and weighed 2 lbs. each.  They made friends with me right away and were sharing their favorite things with me.  Amanda and her husband are expecting a baby girl in August. Her husband is a policeman in the district.. She is the daughter of one of the couples I met when we were working in the White Plains 1st ward.. It was a very fun visit.
Scott & Anderson
           Pat was one of the speakers in sacrament meeting last week and I just knew I wanted to spend some time with her and get to know her better.  When I arrived at her home I was overwhelmed at the beautiful lawn and flower gardens that surrounded her home.  She was so warm and welcoming and we had a wonderful long visit. Her two sons and one daughter are all  married and have given them 9 grandchildren.  She and her husband have lived in several states and they lived 10 years in
Saudi Arabia while he worked for a major oil company.
 Pat loves to knit and crochet and read and she showed me several of her beautiful afghans.  I am in the monthly card making club with her daughter-in-law. I had a fantastic time with Pat and can't wait to visit her again.

Their beautiful home

The fantastic yard, so beautifully manicured
 a huge hydrangea bush with gorgeous flowers

Their back patio

      Alicia is a sister that we have tried to visit before and I finally was able to make an appointment for a visit.  She is a counselor in the Patuxtent RS.  On Sunday I noticed she was really stressed out about something and I knew that I wanted to visit with her and see if there was anything I could do to help her.  She was excited that day to be picking up her sister from the airport, so my visit was early and not quite as long as usual.  Alicia served her mission in LA and so did her husband. He is an aeronautical engineer for the Navy.

       I met Rachel Metcalf and her mother-in-law Linda at Olive Garden for lunch.  Linda  works near by and it was convenient to meet there so she could join us.  Rachel has 4 kids and is very involved with the activities of her children.  I hadn't met either Rachel or Linda before and I really enjoyed getting to know them.  Rachel's husband works at Quantico in DC.. Linda told me all about the struggles she had putting her mom in an assisted living center. She knew it was the right thing to do for her mom and that her mom would be able to get the care she needed around the clock, but she was still having a tough time with that decision.  We talked it over and I think she felt a little better after our conversation.. It was a very nice visit.

      I was able to meet with Mary later that day.  She is the mom of 2, a 9 year old son and a daughter 14.  She home schools her son.  Mary is a counselor in the Lex. Park RS. and we had a great visit.  I didn't stay long because there was a "severe storm" headed our way and I wanted to get home before the storm hit. 

       There were tornado warnings predictions and some areas were receiving hail and very strong winds along with torrential rain. I got home about 30 minutes before the first wave of rain hit.  It was calm one minute and the next it was raining BUCKETS sideways.. It lasted about 40 minutes and then stopped.  I had been invited to attend the Blue Crab Baseball game with a group from church and it looked like maybe it would miss hitting us again that evening.. We arrived at the stadium and in about 10 minutes it started to sprinkle and then the rains came... they finally cancelled the game.. they gave us vouchers for another game, so we are going next Saturday..after Sister Brown gets home..
        Saturday the sky was the most beautiful blue and the air was delightful.. in the 70's.  I cleaned the apartment and put together the kits for the card club that I am teaching at next Tuesday.. I created 2 cards for the class.. so it should be fun. Then I was invited to dinner at Bonnie and Gary Ramon's home. Bonnie's sister and brother were in town visiting with their families.  Her brother lives in Phoenix at the 101 and 7th Avenue. So we talked Phoenix and I found out what they liked to do there.  Bonnie's brothers girlfriend works in the medical building at the 101 & Tatum.. so she was telling me all the new things that are going in there.. It was a fun evening.

       I am still an empty nester. Sister Brown will be home on Saturday, June 9th.  I have had a lot of fun this week, visiting and meeting so many new people.  My mission president asked me how I was doing and I said "fine, I have lived alone for over 7 years and it was harder learning to live with someone 24-7".. thank goodness Sister Brown and I hit it off so well.. we really didn't skip a beat and love being together.

        God our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are beings of absolute, perfect, and complete honesty and truth. We are sons and daughters of God. Our destiny is to become like Him. We seek to be perfectly honest and true like our Father and His Son. Honesty describes the character of God, and therefore honesty is at the very heart of our spiritual growth and spiritual gifts.  Honesty, integrity, and truth are eternal principles that significantly shape our experience in mortality and help determine our eternal destiny. For a disciple of Christ, honesty is at the very heart of spirituality."
Neil L. Andersen