Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Countdown. . . . .

This week started out with a gloomy Monday.. rainy, gray skies, but that didn't stop us from calling on 18 sisters.. The area we were in was filled with a lot of townhouses.. we found 4 sisters home and so we had some great visits..

 Tuesday was a beautiful day, sunny and 58 degrees out. We had our district meeting in the morning and it was my last one.. The 4 young elders and 2 young sister missionaries who are in our district are so amazing.. I just love to spend time with them. Sisters Holt and Smith had asked to have lunch with them since I am going home, so we took them to Quedoba and had a very fun lunch.  The visits in our area on Tuesday were single homes and so walking around was wonderful in this gorgeous weather.. We called on 11 sisters and had 3 visits..
 Elder Gillispe, getting ready to "die" by firing squad
He went home on Weds.. so he had to die..
 The firing squad!
 Our district
Sister Holt and Smith
In the evening we were asked to help out at the visitors center, so I got to work the front desk, which I love.. You get to see everyone who comes in the door and I love to talk to everyone.. It was a special evening of Music and Inspiration in the theater, so we had lots of people attend.. I saw many old friends and people I knew, and was so excited when through the door walked Sister Madison McCormick of my home ward in Phoenix.. I saw her the minute she walked in and was so happy that I got to see her before I went home. She is serving in the Washington DC South Mission and arrived in that mission 2 weeks ago.  She looks amazing and said she is so happy and doing great.. I had to get her dad on the phone right away and let him know I just hugged this darling missionary from Phoenix.. Such a great night..

Sister McCormick & Me

 Weds was a gloomy rainy day but since this was our usual day at the family history center, it didn't matter because we would be inside all day. The man that I helped last week came in again and I was able to be of some help to him again in getting names corrected on his family tree.. I am learning as I help him, so this is a win, win for both of us. I found the original application for a military grave stone for my Grandpa Terry that was filed by my Uncle Melvin, my dads brother. I love searching and finding things each week.

 It was also transfer day for all the young missionaries and there were lots of transfers and moves and everyone was excited for their new companions and new areas.. With the influx of new arrivals, President Matsumori has added a new zone and added an additional set of missionaries to some areas.. We received 12 new elders and 1 new sister this week to our mission.  Next transfer they said we will receive about twice as many and the one after that about 3 times.. Lots going on out here in DC.
Sister Lawrence and her new trainee Sister Graff
Wednesday afternoon Dorothy called and asked if we could go to the grocery store for her, since her surgery she can't get out and we were more than happy to do so.. We went over to her place after we got out of the temple in afternoon and got her list, then went to the store and shopped for her. She was so thankful and very appreciative of our service.. She is a real sweetheart.. When I told her I would be leaving next week, she said "well you can't leave until you come see me next week".. so she is on our list for Weds. 

Thursday was sunny and cold, but at least it was sunny out.. I can do a lot if it is not raining, so I love the sunshine. We had the morning at home to get things done. I was able to get some organizing and packing done.  In the afternoon we first went to see Barbara and spend some time with her. She is such a joy and so much fun to visit.. We then called on 15 sisters from the White Oak Ward. 
 Kady and her adoreable children


 Friday & Saturday we decided we were going to see just how many sisters we could call on .. so on Friday we called on 17 and got to have visits with 4 and on Saturday we called on new sisters who have just moved into our ward. We called on 19 and visited with 5. We found out one of the sisters we went to see had just taken a nasty fall and was in a rehab center so we went to see her. She was very happy to see us.. So for the week we called on 86 sisters.. + all the other things we accomplished!

One really cool thing happened on Saturday.. We were trying to find a sister who lived at 14560 and drove and drove around this complex of townhouses and couldn't find it.. So we decided to try 14506 and when we knocked on the door, a young man answered and we asked if Ashley lived there and he said "I hope so", she came to the door and said,      " we were just talking about coming to church, but don't have our internet yet, so we didn't know where the chapel was".. we only stayed a minute but what a sweet experience.. they know that they are being thought of and felt welcomed.

Sunday I decided to go down to Calvert to church to see the friends I made when I served there.. I loved walking into the chapel and have so many people come up to me and tell me how much they missed me.. The Bishop asked if I couldn't extend and stay longer.. I assured him that my family really does want me to come home.. as much as I love everyone here on my mission, I am ready to see my family and spend some quality time with all of them.. After church they had a "munch and mingle", a huge buffet with all kinds of soup and salads and sides.. So I not only got to see my friends but I got to have lunch to boot.. What a fun day.

 Chris Sanders
 Tracy Shoopack
 Heather Bugg
 Norma Goode
 Munch & Mingle

After I left the church I drove down to the Chesapeake Bay one last time.. I just love it there and would love to have a house right on the Bay.. The water is such a draw to me and so peaceful sitting there.. So worth the drive down south today, friends and the beauty of nature.

Sunday evening we went to a fireside at the visitors center to hear the new directors of the VC, Elder and Sister Eyring. Sister Eyring has played the violin with the Utah Symphony for fifty one seasons. She is the winner of many awards and competitions. She was Miss Utah and was awarded most talented musician in the Miss America pageant. She and Elder Eyring have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Elder Eyring is the younger brother of President Henry B. Eyring. In Utah he served as the legal support to the State Board of Regent, the governing board for universities and colleges for 38 years.  They are going to be awesome directors.. they have such a love for the gospel and love working with the young sisters.


Starting to pack and get things ready.. We have a busy week planned for the coming week and I am looking forward to it..  I want to thank all of you who let me ramble on and sent me replies.. Since this is the journal of my mission, I know that sometimes it gets lengthy, but I want to remember everything I do while I am here.. On my blog I have had over 6,000 visits.. thanks so much.. you all are the best.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hello from the East Coast. . . . We had another great week..

Monday we picked up Tigi for our regular outing and decided to take her to one of my favorite places for lunch "5 Guys", which became one of her favorites too. We then took her to the SS office to clear up some paper work, it seems there is so much to do to catch her up on all her medical and paperwork.. but we love helping her..   

That afternoon we went to visit Sister Rodriquez who lives in the building next to ours.  What a sweet lady, the only problem was that she only spoke Spanish and we didn't. But she was so excited to have us there and talked a mile a minute and we nodded our heads and smiled a lot.  She is from Guatemala and is gathering items to send down there.. and I told her that I wanted to visit there and she was so excited.. I really don't know how much she understood, but what a precious lady.. We got hugs as we left and a big gracias.  

Tuesday we had our last outing as a district with Sister Brown (my old companion) and Sister Larsen and Elder and Sister Knight.. We all met at the Green Turtle in Bowie and had a wonderful time.. The food was great and the conversation was fun.  The Knights are from Provo, Utah and he used to be professor at BYU.  He has also been a tour guide for many church history tours, so he is really fun to talk to.  After lunch we headed out to try and catch some sisters home and have visits.. We made 3 attempts and had 2 visits, great day.
L-R Sister Brown, Sister Knight, Me, Sister Wege, Elder Knight, Sister Larsen
Weds. was our family history center morning and I got to help a man with his work. He had gone to the cemetery and had names and dates to put in of his family and I really could help him.. He was so happy and so was I. We then went to the temple and had a wonderful session there.  After our temple session we went to Holy Cross Hospital to visit with Shirley, she has been sick for about 2 months and really didn't look very good.. She said she just wanted to go home and sleep.. I sure hope they find out what is causing he illness.

Thursday morning we attended a zone training with the young missionaries.. they had asked us to come so they could say goodbye to me.. They are all so neat and it will be hard to say my final goodbyes to them.  I assured them I would see them at a couple of the events at the visitors center that are coming up..

We then picked up Sharon and went to visit Barbara our favorite Thursday lady. We took birthday treats and cards to celebrate her birthday with her. We then made a couple more visits.. One which was very strange.  Mary is very paranoid and suffers from schizophrenia and is sure that the government is trying to spy on her, so she has all her windows covered in tin foil and curtains over every window and doorway.. It is really dark in her house so she guided us to places to sit.. She asked us all to hold hands and to feel of each others spirit while we were there (can I just say . . .YIKES) Siste Wege was giggling the whole time. At one point she asked me to go over by her bed and get a bag hanging on the wall.. When I gave it to her, she pulled out some musical instruments.. bells and shaker balls and then asked me to go get the gong and mallet also hanging on the other wall.. Well. . . then she said we were all going to play our musical instruments  while we were singing.. we thought Sharon was going to faint.. so we sang I am a child of God and I played the gong and the others had their musical instruments.. Sister Wege couldn't stop giggling.. Mary has a cockatiel named Ashley that danced and bounced it's head as Mary sang.. Ashley poo-pooed .. we were all just in shell shock at this point.. We asked if she would like to say a prayer before we left and she readily agreed and we were out of there.

 Sister Wege spent some time this past weekend with her daughter Jenny and Jenny's boyfriend who were in town for the weekend from Louisiana, so I decided to head down to southern Maryland and visit friends.. What a fun time I had.. Bonnie had invited me to stay with her and Gary and they were such great host's.  On Friday evening we were invited to a birthday dinner for Tom the husband of a friend from Lexington Park, the most southern tip of Maryland.  There were 16 of us at the Olive Garden and what a fun time.. It was fun to see many of the friends I had made when I served down there.. On Saturday, Bonnie had arranged for a group of friends from the Waldorf area to join us for lunch at Cafe Rio.. since I had lived in that area and served in the 2 wards there for 7 1/2 month.  I was so excited to see everyone.. After lunch we drove around some of St. Mary's county, which is Amish territory and I got some pictures of Amish wagons and carts.. I had a fantastic two days and I'm so glad I decided to go down to my old stomping grounds and spend a couple of very special days.
 The birthday dinner on Friday evening,,
 Some of my friends and Me on Saturday..
Amish country
 Bonnie playing on her new piano
Bonnie and Garys home, where I stayed 

We had a wonderful Sunday:

  • Left home at 7:30 for our first meeting
  • Great church meetings
  • Went to a baptism for a cute 8 year old boy
  • Called on 11 sisters.. visited with 3
  • Had a wonderful dinner with Craig (the gourmet chef) and Ann. Since it was my last time at their house along with Elder Gillespe (who leaves this week)..we each got to choose something we wanted for dinner.. so this was the menu.
    • Chicken Picata (my favorite)
    • Pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy (Elder Gillespe's favorite
    • Carrots and broccoli
    • Spaghetti squash
    • Chicken with a citrus sauce
    • Collared greens
    • Rolls
    • Carrot cake for dessert           
  • What a feast.. Such an awesome couple, who have us all over for dinner every month.. 4 young elders and 4 senior missionaries..
We have a busy week planned for the coming week with lots going on.. Have a wonderful week and I'll drop in next Sunday again.. Only 2 more weeks here in DC..

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Great month. . . .

We started out our Monday going to pick up Tigi from a doctors appointment and then taking her to lunch.. She is so much fun and I just love that girl so much.. We ventured to our favorite Wegmans again.. then we took Tigi to her dialysis appointment. 

In the evening we visited with 3 sisters and then had family home evening with the Hickman's. Annecia and her two daughters are so enjoyable to spend time with. The girls are 11 & 6 and just love to have us over.  We had a short lesson on honesty then gave them a page to color of a little girl saying her prayers. Sister Wege had made dessert for the evening..  A great day. 
 The Hickmans

Tuesday we were out the door at 7:00 to drive over to pick Tigi up for some more appointments.  She was having an x-ray, cat scan and MRI. We then went to lunch, since she hadn't eaten since lunch on Monday. Then off to her cardiologist to pick up some paper work and then to her primary care physician to drop it off. Our next stop was the social security office to help get her Medicare straightened out. So it was a full day of appointments and stops, but so worth it to help her get these things all taken care of and it was, get this 71 degrees.. that's right we were warmer than Phoenix..

Tuesday evening we took one of the sisters from College Park ward to the visitors center. She is getting baptized in 2 weeks and wanted to have a teaching tour of the VC. She had never been there and really enjoyed seeing all the wonderful things it has to offer. 

 Wednesday was Family History Center and I even helped one of the patrons find some information.. I told her I love and just keep putting in names and pushing the buttons and I find all kinds of information.  Found more today. . . my grandfathers military registration card.. signed by him.. what a fun day. 

We then headed out for visits and had a wonderful one with a sister from Globe, Arizona who is visiting her daughter for the winter. And then the weather hit hard and started to rain so we headed home..  No fun walking around in the pouring rain..

Thursday, it was sunny and so we headed out.. Man was it cold.. and windy.. which made it even colder.. It was 20 degrees with a wind chill I'm sure it was "0".. probably not quite, but I was sure it must be. We went to visit several sisters and some we had to walk quite a ways to get to their house or apartment, because of restricted parking.. and the wind was blowing and jeepers it was cold.. So when we found someone home we loved it and had wonderful visits.. We visited a new mom, who has been going through some major struggles, but seemed to be doing fine.  We also visited a sister who lives in a very nice group home. She has some mental disabilities that prevent her from coming out to church, we had a very nice visit with her & she was so happy we came by to see her. Our last visit was with a sister who is recovering from a very serious surgery. We had been to see her before we started working full time at the visitors center and we were anxious to see her. She was so pleased that we came by to see her. What a wonderful lady she is and so happy she is no longer in pain.

 Two of the sisters we visited on Thursday

Friday morning when we woke up everything was covered in a blanket of white. Sister Wege had PT for her shoulder and when she got home we picked up Darlene and took her to the temple.. She is really loving it and so are we.

Saturday was going to be another record breaking cold day, so we decided to take a personal day and stay in and get some things done here at our apartment. We were having 7 over for dinner on Sunday after church, so we were able to get a lot of the prep finished. It is a birthday dinner for two of the senior missionaries we serve with, Sister Dickey and Elder Sieg.. R: Alison, Sister Dickey, Me, Elder Dickey, Elder and Sister Sieg

January was a great month for visits, we knocked on 111 doors and visited with so many wonderful sisters.. each one a joy to spend time with.  That was even with me being down for a week with the
Below are some of the places that we visit

It has been such a thrill to serve in this mission and I truly will miss it when I leave in three weeks. It has been such a amazing opportunity on so many levels.

·       To meet so many wonderful people and make so many friends

·       To be of help to the sisters we serve in so many different ways

·       To be in the nations capital and see so many historic sites & events

·       To serve with all the fantastic young sisters and elders

·       To serve in "10" different wards (congregations)

·       To meet and be counseled by these general authorities of our church:

·                   Elder David A. Bednar

·                   Elder Kearon & Sister Kearon

·                   Elder Allen E. Packer & Sister Packer

·                   Elder Quentin L. Cook & Sister Cook

·                   Elder Russell M. Nelson

·                   Elder Steven E. Snow

·       To meet the Ambassador of the Ukraine

·       To work as an ordinance worker in the Washington DC Temple       

·       To work in the Visitors Center during the Festival of Lights

·       To serve under our extraordinary Mission President Matsumori and Sister Matsumori

·       To be companions with two wonderful women

·       To work in the Family History Center and learn to love genealogy

·       To see the wonders of the seasons here in Maryland

I have also learned a few things about being a Marylander...

·       You must honk your horn at the car in front of you the second the light turns green, even if you are 6 cars back.

·       You have to have x-ray night vision, because they do not believe in street lights on any of the streets off the main roads.

·       Speed limit signs are just for looks, for if you go the speed limit you are left in the dust.

·       Maps are deceiving, they have street names on the maps and GPS and on the road signs they have numbers.. It seems every road is both named and numbered.

·       If you pull up behind an Amish cart or buggy you have to follow them, because they have the right of way on the roads in Maryland.

·       You have to bring your own bags to the grocery store, because they charge for bags.
So now, I carry a cute little bag in my purse at all times, just in case, make sure I know the route # I need before I leave home, & know exactly where I need to go at night & never honk at the driver in front of me & only drive a "little" over the speed limit..