Sunday, September 9, 2012

On to the Bowie Ward

       On Labor Day we decided to stay close to home and just relax.  I pulled up Family Search and was looking at my family tree chart and pulling up the individual information on the ancestors on my mother's side.. When I got back to 1763, I was excited to discover that from 1625 until 1763 my ancestors lived in Maryland.. I found one family that lived in Calvert, the area we just finished serving in and 2 families that lived in Ann Arundel County, where we would be serving starting on Tuesday.. I also found several that lived in Prince Georges County, Maryland.. My 9th Great-grandfather James O'Dell was christened on July 12, 1731 at St. Barnabas Church in Upper Marlboro.. Which is about 20 minutes north of us.  The church is still serving its congregation today.  I am so very excited to be able to research and find out more about the ancestors who lived right here in Maryland.. Sister Brown and I have a field trip to go on for sure. 

St. Barnabas Church

        Since Monday was a holiday and we really didn't feel right calling people for appointments in the middle of their bar-b-cues and such.. we called on Tuesday morning.  Since we don't have the highlighted ward directory from the relief society president yet, we just started calling the leaders and the leaders wives to set up appointments.  We called 28 names and got three appointments for Thursday.. We left messages on all the others and were hoping that we would get some return phone calls.. Since we didn't have any appointments for Tuesday, we decided to call two of our older senior sisters that we have loved visiting and see if they were up for a visit.. Sure enough..both Sue and Ethyl said they would love a visit from us.. We headed south first to visit Sue.  She is the lady that lives in an assisted living apartment and is the artist... We love to listen to her southern drawl as she shares her life stories with us.. She was so excited to show us pictures of her grandchildren that her daughter finally sent her.  Sue has been asking for some pictures for almost a year.. It is so sad that her daughter and grandchildren are missing out on spending time with this amazing woman.  She hasn't ever seen her grandchildren and hasn't seen her daughter in several years.. She is the sweetest person and always wants to give us food to take home.. We assure her that we are doing fine.  I am so glad we called her and were able to visit with her..She invited us to attend a special yearly picnic celebration coming up next month.. We said we would be honored to come as her guests.

 Sweet Sue
       We then drove back to visit Ethyl, who lives close to us and she is such a hoot.  When I called her and asked her how she was doing and she said not good since "they" took us away to another area to serve. We love her dry sense of humor.  She has so many wonderful stories to share with us about everything from her time as a high school chemistry & calculus teacher to the time she served a mission as a senior missionary in Bolivia.  She spent an hour and a half sharing her fun stories.. What a fun day we had with these two wonderful sisters.

 Ethyl & me
      At the temple on Wednesday I got to see the Rivera family again, I told you all about meeting them a few weeks ago when they came to the baptistery.  Elder Rivera enters the MTC on Sept. 12th and then arrives in "Arizona" the first part of October. He is so excited to start his mission and he told me yesterday that he was so excited to meet my family.. His dad was just beaming as I talked to them.. So everyone is Arizona keep an eye out for Elder Rivera and let me know if he shows up in your ward. 

       We were excited to start our visits to the sisters in the Bowie ward this week.   Bowie a little over an hour north of us, so we will be driving a lot each day again. Our first visit was with Pakayvanh. She is the Primary President in the ward and such a special lady. She was born in Laos and her family moved to Virginia when she was 12 years old. She and her husband have 7 children, 2 in college, 2 in high school and 3 in elementary school.  Her husband works for a non profit agency that fosters relations with Asian nations.  What a joy she was to visit.. We were invited to their house for dinner on Sunday after church.. This is a well tuned family... everyone pitches in to get it all done.. The two older girls were such a help in the kitchen and knew how to do all the tasks they were asked to do to get dinner ready.  It was a very fun afternoon with a wonderful family.


       Sharon was our next visit. She was serving in the stake young women until February when her husband was put in as the wards bishop. She is now serving in the nursery and said she loves it..she gets to play with the kids and then their parents take them home.. They have one daughter who is 15.  Sharon loves to play the piano and teaches piano. It is always so nice to get to know those in a new ward and Sharon was a wonderful one to have on our first day.

      Our last visit of the day was with Kathy.  She serves as the secretary in the primary. She has 6 children.. All are out of the house except the last two. Two of their sons are married and she has 4 grandchildren.  Her oldest daughter is getting married in December and she loved sharing with us all the things they have been doing to get ready for the wedding.  It was a fun day filled with great visits.. It is always hard when we start a new area to get the sisters involved in our program.. once they get to know us it is easier to make appointments to visit.


     While we were driving this week I saw an American Eagle flying right over us.  He was amazing and I was so excited to finally say I saw one.  Everyone says that the area not to far from our apartment that has a lot of eagles.. I have seen birds flying but couldn't for sure say they were eagles until this week.. Such magnificent birds..

     Maria is the mom of 4 and what a fun visit. We met with her and her two youngest children. She is a Geologist and works on water and land erosion on land along the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers at flow nearby.   She showed a project that she is working on now.. re-building a bridge over a river that the entire span goes up and down  not just a draw bridge.. Her daughter Addie is 4 and is a whiz kid and read to us from the scriptures and was counting up into the 60's.. Her youngest little one is Asher and he is one year old, he was such a sweetheart. Maria's husband is in the bishopric and works for the department in DC that reviews the expenditures of the government.
 Maria and kids


     Saturday we had our final district outing with the Noels who leave for home on Monday. It has been such a pleasure to work with them for the year they have been out.  They served as our District Leaders. We met the Noels and the other two sisters who are in our district at the temple for a session and then went to lunch together.  We ate at the Macaroni Grill in Silver Springs.. We were joined by Erin, who served her mission in North Carolina when the Noels served there as Mission President. It was such a fun day and one to remember.  Storms were threatening and we thought we might make it home before they hit.. but no luck.. The skies grew black and the winds blew and then the rain hit.. and did it rain..OH IT RAINED SO HARD.. On the weather map when we got home we were in the orange and red area of the storm.. So glad to be safe and warm in our apartment.
 Our district at lunch

 Sister Noel & Erin

     It was so nice to see a few faces that we recognized at church today. We had a meeting with the Relief Society President and also one with the Bishop to discuss the needs of the sisters in the Bowie Ward. So now we have a great list of sisters to visit and get to know.

 I heard this today and loved it:  "Give the Lord a chance".. I do agree

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