Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rain doesn't slow us down. . . .

       We start each week with our Monday planning meeting.. We prayerfully go over all the names of the members in the ward.  There are those that we know we want to visit because of previous conversations with them and then those that we are inspired to visit.  Each wards bishop and relief society president give us the names of those they would like us to visit that for various reasons.  We always try to set up some appointments at church each Sunday and then we fill in the week on Monday morning.  We called several sisters and started to fill up our days.. which is always such a great feeling.  We had made plans to have lunch with Suz Martin from White Plains 1st ward.  It is always so nice to re-connect with those we have served in the past.  Bishop & Suz Martin and their family have been so supportive of us and our mission, and we love spending time with them. 

       I had promised Kristin of the stake relief society that I would help her with the project she is preparing for the up-coming stake leadership day by cutting out leaves to go on the 36 different letters.. So I cut out several of  8 different leaves in fall colors to go on each one. 

          Tuesday we had a luncheon meeting with Tracey, the relief society president of the Calvert ward to go over those sisters we have visited and discuss any needs or concerns we felt needed to be addressed for them.  She lives right on Chesapeake Beach and the view is amazing.. She had invited Andrea to lunch also, who is a recent convert and it was great to get to meet her. She is a senior in college and is just here for a few more days before she heads back to school.  After our meeting we visited with Ann who is in the hospital.  She was suffering what the doctors thought was severe gall bladder pain and after many tests had surgery to remove her gall bladder.. Her levels still aren't where they want them and they are keeping her in the hospital for a little longer to see if they can get a handle on everything.. She was so sweet when we arrived... she said "she hoped we would come to visit her". That always makes us feel so good and so happy we made the effort to go see her. 

 Tracey's beach front house


            Wednesday was our temple day as usual and I really do love to spend the day at the temple,  being of service to all those who come. Sister Brown & Bonnie and I ride up together and it so fun. This week I met a young woman and her brother who were here on vacation.  They grew up in Switzerland but now live in Dubi, where their father is now working. They were so sweet and loved the time they have spent in the US, especially the time they have been able to spend in Washington DC. 

         Thursday we had 3 great visits. . . . first was Alisa and her two youngest children. They moved here in June from Delaware.. Alisa is from Snowflake, Arizona and has spent some time in Phoenix, so it was really fun to talk to her. She worked for the fire department while she lived in Phoenix, so she knew the area I live in and the surrounding sites.. They spent two weeks in Snowflake this summer and she said they love to go home to Arizona whenever they can.  Her husband is a JAG attorney and had decided to stay in the Air Force a while longer, until the job market in Arizona is a little better.. Alisa's son Jacob reminded me so much of my grandson Kelly when he was little.. In his Spiderman costume.  He even sounded like Kelly when he talked.. brought back some great memories..
 Alisa & her boys
 Jacob in his Spiderman costume


            Our second visit was a repeat visit with Elaine. She is the sister who suffers from M S.. She was making granola and I was so happy I got to help her by putting in the oven and then stirring often.  She is such a up-beat person with a wonderful personality. She doesn't let her M S stop her at all.. She teases that she can get it done, it will just take a little longer.. Her son who is a senior in high school came home while we were there and it was such a joy to see how he helps his mom.. without even being asked to do so.  Elaine said that when they diagnosed her condition they had a family meeting and shared with their son and daughter that this was not just a disease that their mom had it was a disease the family had..  and they all have taken it to heart and help Elaine and make the home run smooth.. we even got a hug from him.. which his mom says is a very rare thing..

         Minsun and her family just moved here 2 weeks ago.  They have 3 children 5,2 & 4 months.  Minsun and her husband are from Korea.  When Minsun graduated from high school she was looking for a college in the US and ended up at BYU. She didn't know it was a college affiliated with the church.. She registered and said that she thought the ethics code was different for a college but respected it.. and the letter of recommendation from a religious leader kind of threw her.. but her high school was a private school run by religious leaders, so she had the head of the school sign her recommendation and headed for Utah.  She loved the campus and her English classes.  She said that her roommates were members of the church and so she attended church with them each Sunday.. she eventually had the missionary lessons and joined the church.. When she returned to Korea and started going to church there, she met the young man who would become her husband.  He had served a mission in Arcadia, California.. They moved to Washington DC so he could go to law school at  Georgetown University.. He is now working for a law firm with the Bishop of our ward.  Minsun had fixed us a yummy dessert and was so excited to have us try it.. It was a pudding cake (lots of dairy), but I wouldn't have told her that I couldn't eat it for the world.. She made it for us and I wanted to make her happy by eating the yummy dessert.. It was really fun to get to meet her and hear about her life in Korea and her conversion story..
 Minsun & Grace & Lilli


            On Friday we spent the morning working at the "End Hunger" warehouse sponsored by the Calvert Christian Church.. This charity feeds so many people in need and is such a worthwhile way to spend a morning.  They had a huge warehouse filled with boxes of food to be put into boxes to be passed out to those deserving families who need their help so much.  Our first assignment was to put potatoes from this huge container that was 4' x 4' x 4' into boxes that ended up weighing 50 pounds each.. There were 4 of us on this project, while others worked on boxing food stuffs and canned goods.. When our potato bin was empty we started another project filling boxes with green beans, cabbages, squash and carrots each weighing 35 pounds.. The produce is donated by local farmers in the area and came to the warehouse in large semi trucks.  It was really a fun day, we made new friends and had such a wonderful feeling of gratitude in helping such a superb charity meet their goals.  They had a goal of filling 250 boxes of produce and we filled 160!  We are anxious to help them again soon.. We were really tired, but it felt so good. . . . . 

 Huge bins of potatoes

Huge bins of green beans
 Volunteers busy at work
 Boxes to load with fresh produce
 A filled box with green beans, squash, cabbage & carrots
One of the farms that contributes for hunger

       It was a rainy Saturday, so our thoughts to go on a field trip to somewhere that was on our list to visit was out.. We decided to go to the movies instead and see the one everyone was talking about... the AMC by our apartment was just re-modeled from the lobby to the theaters, and it is fantastic.. a wall of serve yourself soda machines that are out of the future.. In the theater, the rows of standard seats have been replaced with rows of individual cushy red leather recliners.. the feet rest even goes up.. We were really impressed with the new look of the theater, it was really run down and in great need of up-dating.. The movie "The odd life of Timothy Green", was so good and we loved it... really sad at the end, but such good thoughts throughout the movie.  So it was popcorn for dinner...

        Today was our introduction to the Bowie Ward.  This new area we will be serving in for September and October.. We drove the one hour trip up to the building for church and met Norma and Beth of the Stake Relief Society Presidency.. The presidency always goes with us on our first visit to a new ward, to meet the wards relief society presidency and the bishop. They excited to have us start to serve in their ward and get to know us better.. I was even asked to say the closing prayer in sacrament meeting today.  We were introduced in relief society and then had a short meeting with the only member of the presidency who was there today.  When we walked out of church it was raining.. I mean RAINING.. like an Arizona monsoon rain.. so hard we couldn't see, even with the wipers going fast, so we pulled off the road for awhile until it let up a bit.. We had hard rain all the way home.. so we were glad to be back in our cozy apartment for the rest of the day. We still have one week of serving in the Calvert ward and are looking so forward to it. I will really miss seeing the Chesapeake Bay several times a week.. but there are always new adventures awaiting us in each new area..


       The weatherman here is saying that Maryland is in a drought situation.. that we are 8" below our rain needed for the year.. I really don't know about that. . . it rains at least one if not more days a week here.. We got over 2" this weekend.. So I guess being a desert gal, I don't know what rainy weather really is.  But it is really rainy enough for me..

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