Sunday, January 27, 2013

The first of the "LASTS"

Since my time is getting shorter I am starting to experience the "lasts".. the last zone conference, the last time I will attend certain monthly events or activities.. the last time I will see a certain person.. I am having a hard time with this.. I cry easy and it seems the tears are starting to flow more and more..
Wegmans at Lorton Town Center
Our week started out with our regular lunch date with Tigi.. She said today that this is the highlight of her week. She loves going to lunch with us and we love going with her.  We love Wegmans because of the wide variety of ready to eat food you can get there.. for those in Arizona, Wegmans is like a Whole Foods expanded 3 times.. So each week we try something new in the many different take out booths they have in the store.  I tried the nacho's yesterday and I think they need a lesson from Arizona on that item. 

Tuesday was my last zone conference of my mission. It was so good. We had mini classes on keeping healthy, defensive driving and creative ways to keep thoughts or quotes or special scriptures so you know where to find them when you want to use them.  We always have a slide show that Sister Matsumori prepares with pictures of the missionaries and all their activities and it was so fun. (tears) The Assistants to the President put on a class and the video before it was hilarious..

The sisters and the seniors at lunch at zone conference
Some of us at our class with Sister Matsumori
 There is a senior couple in our mission that put on a puppet show on the dangers of drinking and smoking. They present this show at schools and other venues to children and teenagers to help them know the dangers of these things. Elder Oaks is a retired professor from BYU and they have been given the assignment to produce these shows to educate children and teens on the adverse effects of alcohol and tobacco on their bodies. These are not church based but health based shows. Elder Oaks has presented these shows in many countries of the world. He was sharing it with us so that if we knew of any teachers or principals they could contact them and present it in their schools.
 Elder Oaks
Smoke stick, tar and addiction puppets

At the end of the conference we sang our mission song, I was very misty.and could't even get through the song. I really can't believe that my mission is coming to a close.

 I had a wonderful interview with President Matsumori and shared some of my most treasured experiences with him.  He is very pleased with the program and so happy that it is continuing in the DC area.  I love the time I get to spend one on one with him. He is such an inspired man with so much love for the Washington DC North Mission and all the missionaries.  He really is fun to talk to also & has a great sense of humor. Since this was to be my last interview with him, he wanted to know if I was ready to leave and I told him, I was anxious to see my family but so very sad to leave all the people I have met here. 

Weds. I was at the Family History center again. Wow I am really loving working on my family history. I have been working on finding information about my fathers side of the family. His brothers and sister and their families and today I hit the jackpot and found so much information.. I was so excited to have pictures of gravestones and family that I could print. The wedding picture of my grandparents. The high school year book picture of one of my cousins, and so much more.. I just love it.  We then went to the temple for a session.. Always love to go to the temple.. Saw many of the friends that I made when I was working there each Weds.

On Thursday we had to empty all of our cupboards and counter tops and table in the kitchen and bathrooms out completely so that the apartment people could come in and spray for pests. We don't have any, but they do the entire building twice a year and it was this Thursday. A great way to get everything really clean.

We stayed in and hunkered down on Thursday, because it snowed and then was 19 degrees with a wind chill of 10 degrees out so there was a great danger of black ice.. We are having some record breaking cold.. and so I was happy to stay in and read and putz. 

Friday morning the snow was gone from the roads for the most part so we decided to head out for some visits. It was so COLD.. oh my heck... I love cold weather but this is beyond COLD...It was in the very low 20's and windy.. so the wind chill made it into the low teens.  We were able to visit with 3 sisters and that was great. We found another couple who had moved and a couple who were not home.  Just as we finished out last visit it started to snow again.. We have a white blanket of snow on everything and it will stay, since the weather is in the low 20's.. and the teens during the night.  I do love to snuggle under the cozy blankets on my bed at night..
 The view from our apartment of the snow

Saturday we picked up Wanda and took her to the temple. On our way there we decided to stop at the bookstore.  Well I saw that the driveway into the back parking lot was snow covered and slick and I thought for a minute, "that doesn't look like a good idea", but I kept going and when I got back there I got stuck and was really worried as I started slipping sideways.. This Arizona gal really doesn't know how to drive in snow.. Sister Wege went to the store and got their snow shovel and cleared a path for me to drive to a spot to park.. Then when we were leaving I was going soooo slow and started to slide toward two cars.. I started praying " Oh, Heavenly Father, help me not hit those cars".. my car stopped about 2" from them and then I was able to slowly get going and get out of the parking lot.. Whew. I guess I like snow to look at not drive in......

 On Sunday it was my last time attending the White Oak Ward. So everyone was giving me hugs and telling me goodbye and saying such nice things.. I really do hate leaving all these wonderful people.  After church we went to the hospital to visit with Lois who is 86.  She had pancreatic cancer a year ago and had a revolutionary new surgecial procedure that left her cancer free.. but she just found out it is back and she said the pain was horrible. She is such a trooper and always has such a wonderful smile on her face. We visited for about 1 1/2 hours and she shared some wonderful stories with us.. She was so happy with our visit.
The elders at dinner

 Brother Smoltz getting dinner ready
Beef & noodles, Chicken with cous cous and ham

Sunday evening we had our monthly dinner with the Smoltz's. They have us and the 4 young elders who serve in College Park Ward and one other senior missionary couple for dinner each month.  It is always a gourmet feast.. and a very fun evening.  

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