Sunday, September 30, 2012

Transfers. . . . .

       What a fun week I have had, busy, busy, busy but so much fun.  As I said in last weeks letter I was being transferred up to Silver Spring.. my new companion is Sister Wege, she is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This is her second mission, she served a mission in the England London South Mission in the mission office.  She is the mom of 2 girls and 1 son and the grandmother of 5. She is a fantastic sister and I know I am going to have a great time serving with her these last 5 months. 

         This week on Monday we drove down to Calvert ward and visited with Tracey, she is the relief society president in that ward and I wanted to let her know I was being transferred and thank her for all her help while we were serving in the Calvert Ward.  It was my last chance to see the Chesapeake Bay, before moving to my new area.  Tracey is such an awesome RS president. She is so caring and concerned about each sister in her ward and keeps up to date on each one. I love visiting with her and seeing the excitement and love in her eyes and voice as she talks about the sisters.

          We then drove to Leonard Town in the Patuxent Ward and visited with Colleen, who is the RS President of that ward. Like Tracey, she has her eyes and ears out regarding all the sisters in her care. She is such a joy to be around and I just love to spend time with her and share our love and concern with those sisters we served while we were there. We asked about several of the sisters to see how they were doing.. happy to know most are doing great.  The travel for the day was over 100 miles but such a fun day.  I will really miss both of these wonderful sisters.. They are both wonderful examples of how to serve with compassion and love.

       I was packing and trying to get everything done Tuesday, since Weds. we are at the temple all day and I wouldn't really have any time when I get home in the evening and the missionaries were coming over Thursday morning at 8:30 to load me up for my move. 

        We had been invited to a goodbye lunch at Cafe Rio and it was fun to see some friend for the last time.. Lunch and conversation and laughter and friends... what could be better.
 Bonnie Ramon, Sister Brown, Norma Goode & me

 Everyone the same except Kristi Hoefferle

     That evening we were invited over to Bishop Vance's home for dessert and one last goodbye.  What a wonderful family they are. They really have adopted  us and mad us each feel so special and loved.  Each of the kids gave me many hugs and even Sarah, their 2 year old finally made up to me and we had a fun time together. 

     Our day at the temple was wonderful as usual.. I met two sisters from Arizona, who were there for the day at the temple. One of the young women is an aide for Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona and flies to DC once a month for meeting and her sister came with her this time and has spent the days seeing the sights in DC.. Always fun to talk to someone from home.
My moving crew. . .

    Thursday I had all my belongings ready to go and the elders showed up at exactly 8:30 and had the cars loaded in 30 minutes.. Wow I am so glad we had their help, otherwise it would have taken us hours, up and down those 3 flights of stairs.. We headed north, both Sister Brown and I had my things packed in our cars and she was picking up Sister Larsen when we dropped my things off at the new apartment.. Just switching out my things for hers.  Sister Wege and Sister Larsen had a grocery cart that they borrowed and a flat bed cart and another small cart and it really didn't take too long to get all my things up to the 10th floor.  Then Sisters Brown and Larsen were off , back to Southern Maryland.  I am pretty well settled in and realize just how much stuff I have.. I do tend to always over pack and I really did, now that I had to pack it all up to make the transfer.  I am going to have to have a car top carrier to get it all home..
 Our Apartment Complex
 Our View

We are on the 10th floor on the right.
       Thursday afternoon we (Sister Wege) and I visited with Barbara. She is in an assisted living facility and cannot walk. She loves to have us over, we visit her every Thursday. She loves diet pepsi and gumdrops, so that was a little treat that Sister Wege had for her. She has severe health issues and in confined to a wheelchair. We met her in the main lobby area on the center for our visit. She loves to have us read some scriptures to her and always has questions.. Such a sweet lady.


     Eva was our next visit and she had invited us to dinner. She works at the temple on Weds. and Saturday.. When we arrived she said, "hey I have seen you before.. so maybe at the temple".  Her shift was the one just before mine.. It was fun talking to her as she finished dinner and then we asked if there was anything we could do to help her and she said "yes, you could help me get all those things laying all over the back yard into the shed.  The elders had come over in the morning and helped her clear it out so she could clean it and organize it.. So we helped put everything back into the shed.  A great visit.
                       Friday we visited with 4 sisters and tried to visit 3 others, who were not home. 
      Our first visit was with Cheryl, what a sweetheart. She is so enthusiastic  about the scriptures and we had a wonderful visit with her. She is single, and dating a nice gentleman who she hopes to marry.  He is somewhat interested in the church and she is working hard to get him to come to church more often. She went back to school as an adult and got her degree and now she is starting a new job as a college counselor at the local high school. What a fun visit.


        Next we visited Iris.  She is handicapped and lives in an assisted living complex. She was really fun to talk to and loved to tell us stories. She is from Jamaica and has a very strong accent, so I had a little trouble sometimes understanding what she was saying.  She was on her way to the laundry room and so we helped her get her laundry started and then helped make her bed when the linens were dry. She loves Broadway Musicals and showed me her mug from the Phantom of the Opera.  She said she likes where she is living and they take very good care of her. She gave us big hugs and told us how much she loved us.

     Elsie is the manager of a large apartment complex and has been since the 70's. She started with her husband and since his passing she manages the complex alone.  There are 76 apartments and she has to be there 24/7. So she doesn't get a chance to come to church. She has warmed up to visits Sister Wege said and today she was very pleasant and welcoming.

       Our last visit was with Nola.. What a joy she was. She is going back to school to get her GED, so she can start training to get her CNA.. She is such a happy go lucky person and was so much fun to visit with.  She is active and loves attending church..

 Nola with me
& Sister Wege

     Saturday we attended the temple. We picked up Darlene to go with us. She loves to go and we had a wonderful time with her. She has 2 masters degrees one in Sociology and one in Adult Education and her PHD in Sociology, and has worked in many areas of the government. She also taught school for many years.  When we were leaving the temple I wanted to get a picture of the 3 of us and asked a cute girl if she would.  Her mom came over and saw my name tag and said that her maiden name was Harper  and asked where I was originally from.. after a minute of discussion we discovered that her dad and my father in law were brothers.  It was Kent's uncle Vern's daughter, by his second marriage.  We had never met her and I just cried.. what an awesome thing to have happen today at the temple.  We exchanged names and e-mails and promised to keep in touch..

 Ssiter Wege, Darlene & me
 Gayle Harper & me

     I had a meeting with President Swinton, the temple president.. I told him that since my transfer I would be working in the Family History Center instead of the temple on Weds. but in November I could work again on the Wednesday mid day shift, while I am assigned to work in the Visitors Center.. He said he didn't want to release me and to please come work whenever I could.. Loved that answer...

     Saturday evening was the "Women's Broadcast" from SLC.  We attended at the stake center, where they had an ice cream social before the broadcast.. What a wonderful evening, meeting so many new people and then being able to listen to such wonderful talks by the General Relief Society Board and the final message by President Eyring..  A long but very great day....

       Sunday we attended church in the College Park Ward.  This ward is filled with students who are here getting their education and their advanced degrees.. Met many more people today.. I know I am going to love the ward.  We also serve in the White Oaks Ward and the Laurel Ward.. So we are very busy..

        Sunday evening we attended the production of "The Atonement: An Oratorio".. It is an award winning oratorio  (a mix of opera and a musical) by a local composer, Michael Turnblom, it tells the story of the Savoir and His appearance to His disciples following his resurrection. This was their premier performance.

      Looking forward to next week and more adventures. . . . .

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