Monday, July 23, 2012

What a fun week. . . .

        Our third week in Calvert started with our Monday planning session.. We started by calling the remaining 29 sisters that the Relief Society President had designated for us to pay special attention to.  We were able to fill out our week with appointments and left many, many messages for hopefully a return phone call..
         Last week I finished my letter on Friday and sent it on Saturday and so I missed a great lunch we had with Heather.. She is the sister whose husband is deployed in Afghanistan.  She is doing well and this was her morning to run errands alone without her children.. everyone needs that every once in awhile.. We loved being able to visit with during lunch..

         Our first visit this week was with Dora.. She is an 83 year old sister who was such a delight to spend some time with. Her husband died in the last couple years.  She is the mother of 5 girls and they also raised a set of twins that belonged to her cousin.  They got the twins when they were 11 months old, so she and her husband really had a house full.. Dora served in the Navy where she met her husband.. She loves ceramics and has her own kiln and pours her own molds.. She showed us some beautiful things that she had made.  She and her daughters choose a humanitarian project each year and work the entire year on it.  This year they are making newborn kits for local hospitals.. a great lady.

          Cheryl was our next visit. She is a high school Spanish teacher that is off for the summer.  She and her husband have a son 22 and they have also adopted 3 children from China.  They got two girls Adri & Bella when they were each 11 months old about two years apart. Then they adopted a little 3 year old boy Eli.   The girls are 9 and 11 and Eli is 6.  Each of the children had been in orphanages in China when Cheryl and her husband got them.  Adri was very underweight and withdrawn, Bella was a happy vibrant baby.. Bella is helping Adri come out of her shell.. Cheryl said that Adri didn't know how to laugh or to have fun and Bella helped her, by showing her how to have fun.  When they decided to adopt another child, Cheryl called the adoption agency and said they would love to adopt a little boy, with a cleft pallet and some emotional issues that they could help him with.. The lady on the other end of the phone went silent and when Cheryl asked her what was the matter, she said she had a file right in front of her that fit the profile exactly.. So they got Eli.. He is a hand full and has come through a lot, but there is so much love in that family and he is growing up surrounded with love and care and is a great addition to their family.

                                                          Adri, Bella, Cheryl and Eli

          Julie really needed a visit she said and was so very happy that we were able to come see her.  She is a nurse and is working in a private hospital, & is having an interview with a large national hospital this week and is hoping to get a job with them.. She is currently going through a divorce after 25 years of marriage.. She is a recent convert and needs the support of all of us in the ward.  She is the mother of 5 and step mother of 2, all grown and out on their own.  She is a hard worker and was really fun to have a visit with..

          Desiree is the young mom of 2 girls and 2 boys.  Her husband is the Elders quorum president in the ward and a JAG attorney in the Air Force. They have lived in all over like most of the military families we have met.  She has her degree in Physical Education and loves to run and enjoys all kinds of sports. She is a talented pianist and teaches as well as plays for the primary at church. While we were there her 9 year old daughter was having a piano lesson of her own and she was playing and it was amazing.. a very talented family.  She was so fun to visit with.
                                                                     Desiree & family

          We were invited to have lunch with Judy and her husband.  They live on a couple acres & have chickens and a small garden. We had BLT's with their home grown tomatoes..yummy.. They sent us home with a dozen fresh eggs and some tomatoes.. Everyone is so warm and giving to us.. Judy & her husband also serve in the temple on Weds. They serve on the evening shift, so we see them as they are arriving and we are getting ready to leave.  Judy is very musical, she plays the piano and sings in several choirs in the area.. Her husband suffers from MS and is in the advanced stages of the disease.  He still can walk very slowly using a cane or his walker, so he can still feel some independence.. What a special couple. So happy we could spend some time with them and get to know them better. 

        Peg lives down by Chesapeake Bay in a darling beach house that was built in 1937.  She has lived there for 17 years and when she was having some renovation work done they found a newspaper under a floorboard that was from 1937..she had the front page framed.  She suffered for about 20 years with depression and the fear of leaving her home for longer than a brief time. Then about 18 months ago she said that one day she decided to run an errand and later that afternoon discovered that she had been out of her house all day. She said she felt like she had been freed from the fear that had gripped her for so many years.. She is such a delight and so happy and so involved with the people at church and in her neighborhood.  She loves to travel now and does often.  She was such a fun lady to visit.. we had a great time.. You would never know she once suffered from depression. 

       When we arrived for our next appointment the large gate was closed, we rang the bell that was by the gate and called her on the phone to no avail.. so it was a lost visit..

         When we arrived at the next location we discovered we had the wrong address.. The lady who answered the door said she wasn't Bonnie and didn't know her.  We called Bonnie to find out her address and she said we had the right one.. She was asking us if we crossed a certain road or turned at a certain corner.... I told her I have no idea.. I don't know this area and I really have no idea how I got here, I just followed the GPS.. So we are making another appointment and getting directions to her home.. Weird to think that there are 2 address's just the same..

         Shauna is the mother of 9  (8 girls and 1 boy) ages 30 to 4, and what a wonderful visit we had with her. Her 3 oldest girls are out of the house 2 are married and one in college. We got to meet all the kids who are still home.. Such a delightful family.. Shauna's husband is a contract IT consultant with the government.  We had a wonderful visit with Shauna and her wonderful family.

         Megan is a 26 year old young woman with such a hard life.  When we arrived at her mobile home she was such a gracious hostess.. As we sat and talked to her, she started crying and said she was having such a hard time in her life..she was looking for another job because the one she had didn't pay much and she really needed to get another one that was better paying. She then told us she was 3 months pregnant  and she had kicked the baby's father out, because of his drug habit.  She is really trying to get her life back on track and thinking about her future.. with or without the baby.  She said her mother lives near by but really isn't much help because of her own health issues.. We promised we would talk to the Bishop and see what could be done to help her.  She was so thankful that we came to visit her, we assured we would be back again.. While we were there she received a phone call about a new job she had applied for and was told the training was going to be next week.  We were so happy that we called Megan and got to visit with her.  Such a sweet girl.

              I am now at home in Phoenix.. after a l-o-n-g day traveling .. I left BWI airport at 12:30 and landed in Atlanta at 2:30 and took off for Phoenix finally at 4:45.. anticipating a 4 1/2 hour flight to Phoenix.  As we neared the Phoenix airport we were put into a holding pattern for an hour due to the giant Haboob dust storm.  The only two places in the world that this phenomenon happens is the Gobi desert and The Phoenix area.  So our plane headed for Las Vegas.. At arriving at the LV airport we were told that as soon as we were gassed up we would head back to Phoenix.. No such luck... They then informed us that the plane was having mechanical problem.. so we waited and they were going to have us get off the plane then they changed their minds and decided that the plane could take off.. then when we were about to take off we headed back to the gate and told to all get off.. they gave us each a voucher for a meal and we waited for the plane to be repaired.. We were then told that we were changing gates and planes.. we all got on the new plane and headed to Phoenix.. arrived and got my rental car and headed to my son Steve's home.. I arrived at 1:45 a.m. (which is 4:45 a.m. Maryland time) , so I had been up 22 1/2 hours.. but was so happy to be there and we talked and talked..  I discovered that my whole family had been at the airport to surprise me and waited for 5 hours, thinking my plane would be there any minute.. What a great family I have..

 The "Haboob" giant dust storm

         It was so much fun to walk into my own ward today at church, got a lot of hugs, saw lots of friends and I loved seeing the 4 year olds that I taught in church before I left for my mission.  When they saw me today they were so excited and happy to see me.  What a fun day.  After church my whole family met for a fun dinner and evening together.. What a joy to spend the day with my family.  Everyone is going to the airport with signs and banners to welcome him home.  Then he will have his homecoming at church on Sunday.. My granddaughter from Chicago will come home on Weds. so my entire family will be here except my grandson Kelly who is on our mission in South Carolina.. So we are having a week of family fun..

                                         I am in Phoenix until August 2nd... will keep you updated..

Friday, July 13, 2012

         I honestly don't know what we would do without our GPS.. We drive on back roads off the main roads about 90% of the time.. beautiful curving roads, rolling hills, back woods and farm land.. In Maryland the roads have "2" names one is a number like highway 5 or Mattawoman Beantown Road.. the locals use the numbers and many times it is listed as the name.. so without our trusty GPS we would be so totally lost..  We are finding our way around the peninsula called Calvert.. The landscape is so full right now and even the trees and bushes are covered with vines so it is solid green everywhere.. it is rare to see the trunks of trees that are not covered..

Solid Green Everywhere

 Crape Myrtle trees in various colors are in beautiful bloom here now.

 We had a great week, we had booked several appointments for this week prior to Monday so in our Monday morning planning meeting, we made 8 calls got a few no answers but we were able to fill in the rest of the week.  Can I just say how much I love the people we have been able to visit in this area.. they have been so warm and welcoming and are making us feel so loved. 

         Kim was our first visit of the week. She is the wife of our Stake President and we were very excited to spend some time with her.  What a delight she is.. She and Pres. Sakai were both raised in Hawaii. They have known each other since they were 5 years old.  Kim serves in the Primary Presidency and is such a support to her husband.  They have one daughter Lily who is 7.  We know how important it is to visit the leaders families, since so many think that they are so busy and have it all and really don't need  a visit.. But they often times need a visit more than anyone because their husbands are so very busy in their callings plus their demanding professions.  So we always try to make sure we touch base with those sisters.  Kim was such a joy to visit with, she has a very infectious laugh and we had so much fun with her.  She was a wealth of information about the dynamics of the entire stake and answered so many questions that we had about the different wards we will be serving in.
 Kim & Lily
 Love their house

       Kristin was our next visit. She is a busy mom of 3, Hanna who is 7, Lucy who is 4 and Perry who is 2.  They live way out in the country and were one of the families who lost power in the huge storm that we had a couple weeks ago.  They have their own well and so without power they cannot even get water.  Their neighbor brought over a generator for them to use and they were able to get by for the 6 days until their power was restored.  They lost a couple big trees, but all else was fine.  She loves to sew and is very active in all kinds of sports. She is homebound, because they only have one car and her husband needs it to get to the Navy base each day.  So we loved being able to visit with her.
Lucy, Kristin, Perry & Hannah

       Sharyn is the Young Women's President in the ward and had just returned from girls camp.  She and her family moved to Maryland after her husband was laid off from his job in Pennsylvania a few months ago.  He now works for NASA.  Sharyn loves to play the piano and loves photography and painting..They have 4 children aging from 17 to 10.  She is loving living in the ward, the number of youth in the ward is huge and so she has her hands full with her family and her new calling..

        Ann was our next visit and we also got to visit with her sweet mother Shirley who lives with them.. Shirley asked us to meet in her room, which Ann and her husband had added to their home in 2009.. It is a beautiful addition just like a studio apartment.. Ann has 5 children, 1 married, 2 in college and 2 at home. Their 17 year old daughter suffers from the effects of having Guillain Barre' while their family was living out of the country. This is an acute disorder affecting the nervous system, causing progressive muscle weakness and paralysis.  She can now walk with the help of leg braces.. Such a brave young woman..   Ann's husband is an environmental JAG attorney for the Air Force.. as she said "a tree hugger".. Her mom Shirley is the cutest little 85 year old lady and so much fun to visit with.. She asked us to come see her often, since she loves to have visitors.. It was a wonderful visit..
Ann & Shirley

        Nancy was our next visit, she is the mother of 9, all at home with the exception of their oldest son who is serving a mission in Brazil.  She loves to run, and she said she loves anything outdoors.. She also loves to bake.  I fell in love with her youngest son Jack.. He was sitting close to me, very absorbed in his animated movie and we just hit it off.. She is a very busy mom, with 8 children at home and loved to have us come over to give her some adult conversation.  Her husband is a private business consultant and serves in the bishopric, so he is very busy.. It was nice that we got to give Nancy a break for an hour or so. 



         Tanji and her family just moved back to Maryland after living in San Diego for 3 years.  Their son just received his mission call to Chili and leaves in November. So that will make "9" missionaries serving from the Calvert ward.  They have 1 married daughter & 2 grandsons.. Tanji is one of the most talented people I have ever met.. Her hobby is woodworking.. She made much of the furniture in their home.. and it is so beautiful.  She was so modest and said that she just has great tools..  She also created this amazing Noah's Ark with all the individual animals, all hand carved.. (you have to look on my blog to see the pictures).. Her husband serves in Human Resources at the Pentagon for the Navy. We asked her what we could do to help her and she asked if we could to with her on her visiting teaching route, since she doesn't know the sisters yet. Sister Brown is going to go with Tanji  while I am in Arizona.. Since they just moved back here, she doesn't know a lot of people..this ward is so large and since it is mainly military, there have move in's and out's quite frequently.

 The Ark she made ! all the animals and figures are hand carved
She made this beautiful piece too. .

        Anne serves in the RS Presidency and invited us to lunch.. She is the mom of 4 delightful children with special needs.. She is so patient and such an awesome mom.. We were so impressed at the entire family.. Her 11 year old daughter was busy making cookies, she also has a 15 year old daughter with autism who is so excited to be a freshman , her 12 year old son was just ordained a deacon and has ADHD, and an adorable son who is 4.  What a great visit we had with the whole family.. Her husband is a private contractor specializing in computer programming for the Navy.  Anne teaches water aerobics, and loves her garden.. She had been canning beans and they looked wonderful.. She also loves to bake bread.. and we got to have some with our luscious lunch.. It was a great visit..
          Sarah was one of the speakers in church last week and we knew we wanted to make sure we had a visit with her. She is a very shy person and we were asked to see if we could get in and visit with her.. She was a delight to visit with.  She two little boys and they keep her hopping.. She has been helping out in summer daily vacation bible school.  Her talent is decorating her home and yard work.. both are beautiful.. She is quite the shopper and said that she hunts and hunts until she finds exactly what piece of furniture or accessory with fit into her beautiful home.  Her husband works for the census bureau. One of the few who isn't in the military or works for the military. 
                                                      Sarah with Andrew & Matthew

       Carol was a sister that we were very anxious to meet.. We had heard so many wonderful things about her and couldn't wait to visit her.  She was the stake girls camp director, and was called to be the director just 3 weeks before camp when the other camp director bowed out & hadn't prepared anything for camp.. What a task Carol had ahead of her, and she did a fantastic job and camp was a wonderful success.. She and her husband have 6 girls.. 3 still at home.. it was a wonderful visit.. They moved here about a year ago from Texas, her husband works at the Patuxent Naval Air Base in the testing department for the new fighter jet..

Carol and her youngest daughter
Carol's father built this full size organ from a kit.
 It is amazing and I couldn't believe anyone could do that.

        Our last visit this week was with Nicole.. She is a single sister who had her 11 year old daughter Tatiana visiting with her from California for the summer.. They are very involved in creating their own line of bath salts, lotions and soaps using all natural ingredients and essential oils.. Nicole has recently become very involved in church again and has been through the temple about a month ago. We are going to visit her often to keep her spirits up after Tatiana leaves.  She lost custody of her a few years ago and has really turned her life around and is really on the right track now.. She is a counselor for patients and their families who are suffering with PTSD.. We had a wonderful lunch with them and saw such love with them both. A wonderful mother and daughter..
Nicole & Tatiana
The 4 of us. .

       On Thursday evening we went into DC with Bishop Vance and his family to see him perform with the Army concert band at free concert on the west lawn of the US Capitol.  The band and choir were set up right in front of the steps of the capitol and we set our chairs up on the grass close by.. It was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed the music and the friendship so much.  The Army performs there every Friday night during the summer, but this was a special added concert bringing back many of the alumni who had played with the band in past years.. It was fantastic.
Sunsets with a Soundtrack:The U.S. Army Band Alumni Concert : : We feature current and past conductors and musicians on light and listenable music from all genres of great concert-band music. The concert featured The U.S. Army Concert Band, The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, and The U.S. Army Chorus.

The concert is over...

         Friday morning Sister Brown had her second round of epidural injections in her back.. We are hoping that this series works, since the last ones didn't seem to make a difference in the back pain.  So keep her in your prayers that it will finally ease the pain. I was in charge of keeping her down and having her rest for the day..

"The trick is to enjoy life.
 Don't wish away your days waiting for
      better one ahead" 
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm proud to be an American

      We started out our week with a bang.. Monday morning we called 24 sisters to set appointments and left many messages but were able to set several appointments for this week and next.  We felt really good about the number of visits we have on our schedule and were ready to head out and get to know these sisters better. 
         Monday we were invited to the Tate's for dinner and Family Home Evening.. They live right on the water and their property is beautiful.  They have lived there for 17 years and love sailing and being right on the water.. They have a live in housekeeper Victoria that has been with them for 30 years.. She is a darling sister from Liberia.  Brother Tate is an attorney and his office is in Virginia, so he has quite a drive each way. There were 5 of us for a wonderful dinner, with a couple dishes made with vegetables from their garden and a yummy dessert that had home grown raspberries in it.  We then gathered in the living room for a very fun FHE.. Sister Tate had asked each of us to share something from the previous week, either funny or spititual or memorable. I shared the funny phone call from the sister who wouldn't give me her name. Then Sister Tate asked us to share what our mission was all about and some of the experiences we have had while serving here.   A lovely evening and wonderful way to start our service in the Calvert Ward.
The back yard of the Tate home,,
Their boats
Sister Tate and group finishing dinner
Dining room
Living Room
Our senior mission group is going to go on a sailing outing & crab boil later this month with the Tate's and the Talbot's, another family in the ward. I was so sad that I would be gone for that very fun day, but then discovered that the missionaries that serve in the temple are going in August after I return from Arizona.. so I am going with them. 

           Tuesday we met with Elaine, a darling sister who we sat in front of at church on Sunday and thought it would be really fun to visit her.  For those who know Carolyn Neil, I just kept looking at Elaine and thought wow Elaine could be her sister, she looks a whole lot like Carolyn.. Elaine suffers from MS and has had it since she was 26.  She doesn't let it get her down though. She is very active, she jokes and say's that she can do anything it just takes her a long time, since she moves so slow.. Her husband was an officer in the Air Force and flew fighter planes and now is a private contractor for the Navy.  They have 2 children, a daughter who is 21 and in college in Vermont and a 17 year old son in HS.  She was so much fun to visit and we can't wait to visit her again.
  Melody approached us on Sunday and asked us to visit her.  When we arrived she was so excited to have us there.  She serves in the Young Women in the ward and is a very vivacious person.  She told us that she was inspired to have us visit her when she heard our testimonies on Sunday. She said as she looked at us standing up at the podium she felt the desire to talk to us and knew that we would be able to help her.  She is struggling with severe communication issues with her husband.  He gets stressed out easily over finances and other things and won't talk to her about it.  She was in tears as she shared these personal issues with us.. We listened and offered advice and when we were ready to leave, she said she knew that our visit was inspired and that she felt so much better, just being able to talk out her problems with someone.. The spirit was so strong as we were talking to her we all had tears in our eyes.. Such a wonderful sister.. she served a mission in Italy in her youth.  She loved hearing about our mission and said that she hopes it is rolled out church wide..what an awesome opportunity for single sisters to serve..

         Tuesday evening we went into DC to watch the dress rehearsal of the Capitol 4th concert.. We were invited to join Bishop Martin & family in their July 4th celebrations.  We sat on the steps of the capitol and the huge stage was set up in front of us on the west lawn. We were among the thousands there to see the awesome entertainment.. Tom Bergeron was the host and some of those performing included: bands from all branches of the military as well as;  
  •   “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips
  • Acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty of NBC’s show "Smash"
  • Two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick
  • Country music star Josh Turner
  • R&B superstars Kool & The Gang
  • Actress and singer Amber Riley from "Glee"
  • Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno  hosted a tribute to Team USA, honoring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, featuring five-time Academy Award-winner, composer John Williams conducting his “Olympic Fanfare.”
PBS tapes the rehearsal in case the weather is stormy on the 4th and they can still have a concert to show.. But the storm hit on the 3rd instead.. We saw about 2/3 of the show and then left, because we overheard security say that they were evacuating the venue because of oncoming lightening and storm.. We made it to our car just as the rain hit.. Even though we didn't get to see the entire show it still was a fun evening..

The view of the stage from our seats
Me, Sabrina, Emily, Sis. Brown & Suz

  On the 4th we joined the Martins for a bar-b-cue and then made our way into DC for the fireworks show.  We parked at the Pentagon and walked about 3/4 a mile to sit on the bridge that goes over the Potomac River between Arlington Cemetery and the Lincoln Memorial..They close the bridge and it is the perfect place to watch the fireworks.. I thought the bridge would be packed, but there weren't that many people there, so we set up our chairs and enjoyed the beautiful evening watching the people and the boats while we waited for the fireworks to start... and what an awesome show.. I am so happy that I am getting to be a part of so many wonderful events in the nation's capitol that will be a once in a lifetime experience for me.. The Martins are such a special family to include us in their family celebrations.. We love spending the time with them..
Some of the many boats on the Potomac waiting for the fireworks
Our excellent location on the bridge

The fireworks were fired between the two monuments right over our head

          I have started walking in the evenings with Suz Martin.. I really am glad that she is willing to walk, since Sister Brown cannot and I really did want to get some exercise.  We walk about 3 miles in the evening 3 or 4 days a week.. We start around 8:00 since it is so HOT here now and it is a little cooler then.  I make sure I have lots of water and that I really drink before I go out. 

        Thursday we started out visits with Heather. She serves in the RS presidency and such a sweetheart.  Her husband is a JAG lawyer was just deployed to Afghanistan.. They have 6 children, one of their sons is in the MTC prepping for his mission to daughter just got married and is living in Utah and the other 4 kids are at home.  They have lived all over the states and just moved here last June from their 2 year assignment in England.. She is such a delight to visit with and has everything under control.. We always like to keep a close contact with those families whose husbands are deployed to make sure they are doing fine and to be there if we are needed in any way.

 Another Heather was our next visit.. she is the Primary President in the ward and the mother of 3.. They are having their youngest son Benjamin blessed this Sunday, so they were getting ready to pick grandparents up from the airport.  Their 4 year old Madi was darling and she and her little brother Frankie entertained us the entire visit.  Heather's husband was home so we also got to meet him and get to know more about him.. He plays tuba in the Air Force band, so his schedule is varied and gets to spend more time at home.. Heather is a digital scrapbooker and shared some of her books with us.  We always like to get to know the leaders of the wards we work in, so this first week we were getting that opportunity.

Heather with her family
       Kathy serves as 2nd counselor in the young women and had  just returned from girls camp. She is an identical twin & is the mother of 5. She loves spending time with her family and when she has time she likes to read self help books.  She has her BS is Sociology.  Her husband is a Lt. Colonel & a pilot in the Air Force and is part of the Presidential pre-ops group and fly's the vice president and other leaders like Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.   They also have lived all over the world while serving in the military and really like living in Maryland. 

        Denise was our next visit.. We had met her at church and arranged for the visit. She is such a wonderful sister. She and her husband are the parents of 9.  Their 4 oldest children are married and the other 5 are in high school or older.. Denise is an avid tennis player and loves to read and she said all of her other time is spent with her family.. her husband is an Army Officer and also a pilot and fly's an Air Stream Jet for US dignitaries and the powers of DC.. He is the second one this week who has that job that we met.  Denise  and her family are host family to Iris, a foreign exchange student from  Germany. Their family has lived all over the world and the US.. We got to meet her daughter Whitney who is home from college and their son Jesse who is the 5th oldest and still at home.  The others were all getting ready to go for a swim after their tennis games that morning.. Such a fun visit..

Iris, Whitney, Denise & Jesse

Their beautiful home

                                                   Some of the flowers around their home

          One of the perks of serving in the Calvert ward is the Chesapeake Bay and we got to spend some time walking along a long pier in-between visits on Thursday.  The town of Chesapeake Beach is such a quite little town that lives up to my idea of what a small beach front town would be like.  There are a couple of roads that lead right to the bay and it is such a beautiful site to see the little homes along the street and then at the end of the street the bay.  On Friday we had a couple hours between visits and decided to have lunch at Sweet Sue's, a darling little sandwich shop right near the beach with great food and wonderful service.

Chesapeake Beach

Sue's Sweets Sandwich Shop

            We had a meeting with Bonnie the Stake RS president this week. She has been out of town for a couple weeks and we wanted to touch base with her and bring her up to speed on our activities.

         In all we called 46 sisters this week trying to set appointments & left lots of messages to call us back.. tough week getting through, being the 4th holiday and the beginning of summer vacations.. We did get 7 appointments set for next week.. and are looking forward to those visits and will call and see if we can fill up the week.  Next Friday Sister Brown has another epidural injection in her back.  I certainly hope it will help ease the intense pain she has each day. 

      Our drives are so beautiful as we go to our appointments each day.. The roadsides are robed in thick green foliage. It amazes me every day, just how beautiful it is.. So I wanted to share it with all of you.
                                                        Thick foliage along every road

                                                  Beautiful roads we travel on every day

         Several of those we visited with this week commented on the testimonies we shared last Sunday.. I am so glad that we were able to touch the hearts of some of those in the ward, as we shared those things we are so thankful for as we serve on our mission..

A Choice Land
Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ.  Ether 2:12

"I marvel at the miracle of America, the land which the God of Heaven long ago declared to be a land of choice above all other lands. I love America for her great and brawny strength, I love her for her generous heart. I love her for  her tremendous spiritual strengths. She is unique among the nations of the earth -- in her discovery, in her birth as a nation, in the amalgamation of the races that have come to her shores, in the strength of her government, in the goodness of  her people. God bless America, for she is His creation"..   President Gordon B Hinckley