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

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