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

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