Sunday, October 7, 2012

October in DC

        Starting the new week up here in Silver Spring... Monday's are our free day.. so we go each Monday with the Larsen's to see the sights in and around DC. This week we drove a little ways out of the city to the "Great Falls".. This is a spot in the Potomac River Gorge that is filled with waterfalls and beautiful scenery.  It was a beautiful fall day and so nice to walk and see all the beauty of nature.  Next week is my turn to plan and I have selected the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Kennedy Center.. Looking forward to that day..

Sister Wege & Me

The Larsen's

Beautiful falls

      Tuesday was a rainy day &  we started out our day with a visit to Leah. She is a young woman who works for the Washington Post and has just started volunteering for CAS, The Children's Advocacy Services.  She is going through a tough time, she just moved here with her boyfriend and now he has moved out and she said that now she wants to spend time on herself. It was a wonderful visit and I think we touched her heart.. and are hoping to visit her again soon. 


  We took Darlene to the dentist.  Her teeth are in terrible shape and she is having them all pulled so she can get dentures.. She can't take antibiotics so the doctor is just pulling one at a time and waiting for her to heal before he pulls the next one. She is the sister that we took to the temple last Saturday. She is the sweetest person ever and is always so appreciative of our service..

       We were invited to dinner at Helen's home.  Her daughter Stephanie is going through a divorce & just moved back home from Arizona. She is the new mom of twin girls who are 2 months old.. such cuties.  We had a great dinner and wonderful conversation. We told Stephanie that we were excellent babysitters. 

        On Wednesday I spent my first day in the Family History Center and WOW do I love it.  We arrived a little after 9:00 and I was given a tour of the facility and then asked if there was any information on the Prince Georges County right here in Maryland. Since I discovered that I had relatives that lived here from 1600 to the 1700's.  I was shown a file area that had all the information on cards that was in the center. I found out there was a roll of microfilm on St. Barnabus Church in the 1700's, so I took it in and started looking through it.. I was so excited to see my 8th great grandfather's name Thomas O'Dell listed and started reading about him.  He was on the council of the church when it was built and I loved reading all about the decisions that were made in conjunction with the building.  I took pictures of the pages of the journal that were hand written by the Priest.  I then started going back on my mothers side and got all the way back to the year 848 and the Duchess of Normandy, Poppa de Valois.  Wow royalty.. I couldn't believe it when I was told our shift was over.. Can't wait to go back next week and do more. 
 The hand written records of St. Barnabus Church

     We then went to the temple for a session and got to see several of the sisters that I had worked with.. It is so nice that we get to go to the temple each week as patrons..

       In total we had "54" sister's on our list to visit this week.. several were not home and some were to busy to have us in, but we managed to have visits with about 20. We were able to listen to those who were having problems and try to help in any way we could. I will share a few of the most meaningful ones with you.

        On Thursday we had gone to quite a few sisters and were on our way home when we were inspired to make one more visit.  We stopped at Karen's home and when she answered the door, she was very happy to see us.  She said that she had been praying that we would come.. Her husband of 31 years had just walked out on her and she is about ready to have her power cut off and lose her home.  She just sobbed on my shoulder and said that she was at a loss of what to do. We listened and talked and decided together that we will take her to social services next week. and any where else she needs to go to get the help she needs.  She couldn't believe that we would do that and was so very thankful. We were so glad that we had listened to the promptings and had gone to her house. 

         Ruth lives in an assisted living facility and when we arrived she was packing to go to her daughters home to help them out.  Her daughter is in the hospital and she is going to take care of the children and cook for them while their mother is not there.  She is in a wheelchair and said that she will be fine and that she can do it.  We were amazed by her strength and ability.. She has been a widow since she was in her late 20's and is mid 70's now..
 Ruth & me
Zula was a delightful visit. She reminded me so much of my mother.  I loved spending time with her and talking and listening to the stories she was telling us.  She is 88 years old and still going strong.  When she was younger she worked in the Coast Guard Intelligence.  She is a beautiful seamstress and showed us many of her things.
Zula and one of her 2 cats

      Wanda fell about 3 weeks ago and broke her foot and injured her shoulder. She is recuperating at home and getting along OK. Wanda also suffers from Lupus and heart problems. She shared wonderful stories about growing up in Southern Maryland and working on her grandfathers large tobacco plantation. Before she was diagnosed with Lupus she served as a policewoman. She is very up-beat and has a wonderful personality and it was so fun to visit with her. She shared her wonderful conversion story with us and I just loved our visit.

     We had stopped on a street that had the names of two sisters who lived very close together and saw a lady in the yard raking leaves. We asked if she was Le Ellen and she said "yes, I am".. We introduced ourselves and started talking to her. She was so sweet and said that she hadn't been to church in years because her husband was against the church.  She told us he had passed away in January of this year.  We spent a good half hour talking to her about all sorts of things and talked about my living in Arizona. She was so sweet and just kept talking and we told her we needed to leave to get home in time to watch conference. We told her we would come back to see her soon and she said that she had some books on Arizona and other wonderful places that we could borrow and she would go get them for us to take with us. She was so happy to have us there, I think she is really lonely and by us taking the books, she knows we will be back to return them. What an awesome lady she was.

     Here are pictures of a couple more sisters that we visited this week..
 Debbie & me
 Zianab & her daughter Sophia
Sophia's new hat
     It was such a wonderful week with many sweet sisters and great experiences.. On Saturday we watched our General Conference from our apartment and then on Sunday we watched it at the Visitors Center in the theater there on the giant screen. In the morning we took Darlene with us to see it and in the afternoon we took Patsy with us. Neither of them have the BYU channel or Internet to get it on a computer.  What wonderful counsel we were given by our leaders.  I love to listen to the beautiful music as well as the inspiring talks each 6 months..
The area we are serving in is filled with apartments

 Homes of all sizes

Trees starting to change into their fall splendor
The area is filled with homes of all kinds, and city traffic and traffic lights and traffic, and downtown areas, and traffic..

       Sunday evening we were invited to dinner at the Dickey's apartment.  They live in the same building as us and serve in the National Archives in DC.. They also invited 3 members of the ward to dinner also.  Alison is from Rwanda, Rafi is from Burma, and Joyce is local & lives in a rehab center, she suffers from MS.  It was a wonderful meal and great conversation..
                         Alison, Sister Wege, Joyce, Brother Dickey, Me, Rafi & Sister Dickey

        It was an amazing week with so many wonderful visits.. We are on the go all day and it is really satisfying to touch so many lives each day.. I love my mission and I love the gospel. 

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