Monday, October 22, 2012

Crisp Air, Beautiful Trees Oh I love Fall


 The streets are ablaze with color
The pictures really don't do it justice
        If you haven't ever been on the East Coast in the fall, you need to plan to do it! It is so beautiful. The hard wood trees are all shades of green, yellow, orange and red.. It is breathtaking and I really am in awe each day as we drive around.  I am constantly snapping pictures..

      Even though I am living in Maryland my car is still registered in's time to renew and I needed to have my car go through emissions.. Lucky for me I found a place just 6 miles from our first thing Monday morning I headed that way.. Wow, I was in and out of there in 10 minutes.. and I passed..
     Then Sister Wege and I headed off to find St. Barnabus Church and hope we could get inside to take pictures.  When we pulled in I saw the church and knew immediately because of the picture I had pulled off the internet.  It is in a beautiful setting and now they have a school on the same grounds as the church and the cemetery.  We met a man who is in the vestry of the church (council) and he called the office to have someone  come down and let us in.  I was overwhelmed to think that my ancestors helped in building this beautiful church.  It is not large by today's standards but the Father said they regularly get about 100 people there each Sunday.  (I am enclosing pictures on my blog, so make sure to go there to see them.) The baptismal font where my 7th great grandfather was christened was beautiful, it had come from England.  We were told that George Washington attended the church and that Reverend Jonathon Boucher who was the rector at the time the church was built was the tutor for George Washington's stepson.   We searched the graveyard hoping to find the headstone of one of my ancestors, but the stone they used back in 1700 was soft and over time had worn away, and you couldn't read the carving's on the stones..  Father Kato the presiding rector of the church today asked us to come into his office and share some of the things I knew with him.  Many of the records of the church had been destroyed in a fire and he didn't know much of the history of the church. We had a wonderful talk and he was so interesting as he shared stories with us too.  What a wonderful way to start our day. 
 St. Barnabus Church
 The Chapel
 The Baptismal Font where my 7th Great grandfather was christened
The Bell Tower
The Cemetery
      Sister Wege had never been to Wegman's gourmet grocery store.. Well I had to take her there, since it is very close to our apartment now.. Anne Giles told me about this fun place before I left Phoenix.. It is truly a foodie's paradise.. She loved it and so do I.. Thanks Anne for the great tip..

       Tuesday morning we had our district meeting with the young missionaries. We have 4 elders and 2 young sisters in the meeting and it is fun to spend time with them..

 Our District

          After our district meeting we went to Holy Cross Hospital to visit Dorothy. She is the sister I talked about last week that had fallen and laid there for 3 days before someone found her. The doctors are still running tests and trying to figure out what is causing her major pain. She is always smiling and so up-beat and loves to joke. She is such a lady and I just love visiting her. She said the doctors are going to move her to another hospital that is better able to diagnose her pain and condition. Sister Wege and I are two of the only people she wants to visit I feel lucky that she loves us and trusts us enough to be there for her.

Dorothy posed for the picture
       I love working in the Family History Center, and this week was fun.  I researched the US Census records for 1920, 1930 & 1940.  I found my mother's and my father's families on all three and got so much information that I was missing for my family tree on my aunts and uncles.. I am so excited to keep researching and finding more.. I am learning so much and finding different ways to look for information. After our session at the FHC we had a meeting with our new District Leaders, Elder and Sister Knight.
Elder & Sister Knight

       This week has been such a whirlwind.. We want to get in as many visits as we can in October since in November and December we are assigned to be working at the Visitors Center.  In November we will be helping get everything ready for the Festival of Lights, setting up the Natavity exhibit and helping with the trees and where ever else we can help. Then from Thanksgiving to New Years we are working at the Visitors Center every day during the Festival.  We had so many great visit's with wonderful sisters.. I want to share just a few with you..

     Thursday we picked up Sharon and went with her to visit those sisters that she has on her visiting teaching route. First we stopped to see Mary.. She is a sister who has schizophrenia & a disability due to an accident at work. It was a beautiful day, so we sat on her porch and visited. What a delight she was.. we talked about so many things and at one point were talking about favorite movies and she was trying to explain one and then started singing the song from the a beautiful voice she had.. I asked her if I could have a picture with her and she said "hey I look like a guy today, with this hat on".. I don't have my I told her I would take another when she had her afro.. She was so much fun to visit with.


     We then went to see Princess, who told us she really wasn't feeling well, but to please come in for a few minutes. Princess is 86 years old and was a little disorientated while we were there.. She has family that lives close and checks on her daily, which made us feel so much better.. She has spent some time in the hospital lately and is still trying to get some things resolved regarding her health.

      Our regular Thursday 3:00 appointment is Barbara and she was feeling so much better this week and was so happy that we had Sharon with us for our visit.  She loves to have us read the scriptures to her and then discuss what we read.  She enjoys our visits so much and said that she really is happy in the assisted living facility she is in.  She always had a big smile on her face and is so appreciative of the diet Pepsi and the spice drops we bring her each week.  She said that they only have coke in the machine at the center and she doesn't like it, so we bring a small bottle of her favorite with us each week. 

       After our visits we stopped to pick up some dinner and then went to Sharon's apartment for dinner and a movie.  We watched "We bought a zoo".. fun movie. Sharon is so giving and willing to do whatever anyone asks of her.. It seems she doesn't have any other friends so we are so glad that we can be her friend and be involved in her life....  Such a talented lady..

       We have a wonderful sister Naomi in one of the wards who is from Africa and only speaks French and so she can't read English. We want her to be able to enjoy all the meetings at church. She is so faithful in coming and I know it has to be hard to sit there and not understand what is going on.. So we contacted a senior couple that serves in the French branch in DC and they are going to go to Naomi's home and teach her English and how to read in English also.  She has 3 beautiful girls and only one is in school, so it would be very hard for her to go somewhere else for her lessons.. We were so happy that she is going to be given this wonderful opportunity. 
     Rosemary started out our Friday with a bang.. what an awesome sister.. So full of life and love to everyone and especially the gospel.  We had a wonderful visit with her and then her friend Maria came over and she speaks Spanish.  Rosemary was a sockial worker and that is how she met Maria. Even though she is retired she is still helping Maria with anything she needs.  What a wonderful example she is to everyone she meets. She called the young elders and asked them if they had a Book of Mormon in Spanish and would they bring it over.. they did right away and she gave it to Maria..
then said OK , elders what is my next assignment..
 Elder Matahela, Maria, Rosemary & Elder Watts

Rosemary & Me

       On Saturday we took our list of sisters and headed out for a full day of visiting.  The very first home we called on was Bridget.  She was so happy to see us and invited us right in. She told us several times how happy she was that we came to see her on Saturday.  She is from Sierra Leone and works as an administrative assistant  for Aspen; and Assisted Living Organization.  She has lived back and forth from Africa and the US. Her husband was the UN Ambassador from Sierra Leone, for many years. He has passed away, but she says she keeps busy with her children and grandchildren. What a pleasure she was to visit with..   

      Saturday evening was our stake temple evening.  We picked up Darlene and took her with us to the temple.  We had a meeting before the sessions in the huge room on the 7th floor of the temple and listened to wonderful talks by President & Sister Pratt of the temple presidency.. It was a wonderful evening.  We had over 250 people attending that evening.

        In total for the month of October so far we have called on 144 sisters.. some not home, some at work, some not feeling well.. but they all know how much we care about them and are thinking of them as we always leave a card on their doors if they are not home saying "So sorry we missed you" with our names and phone number on it.  The sisters we have gotten in to see have been amazing.. Each one is different and as they share their stories I am so touched by the wonderful spirit of the home.. But the one thing they all have in common is the way they treat us and how happy they are that we came to see them..

       Sunday we attended the Laurel Ward.. first time for me in that ward.  After church we went with Sister Lougee the Relief Society President to visit 4 sisters.  Adama was home with her 3 children.. 6, 13 & 18.  It was so fun visiting with the entire family. Her 6 year old daughter Fatama came and sat by me. Joe was watching the football game and I said it was like being with my grandsons.. Tity is the 18 year old and she was telling us about her plans for college and her desire to be a nurse practitioner.  Adama is a  CNA. She and her family have been in the US from Sierra Leone for 11 years.

Me, Fatama & Sister Lougee

Joe, Sister Wege, Tity &  Adama

     After our 4 visits we dropped off Sister Lougee and headed for the Temple Visitors Center for the special fireside.  It was featuring pro golfer Mike Reid and his wife, who live in Maryland.  It was a great evening..


      It was a GREAT WEEK.....

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