Monday, February 28, 2011

One month in WV

The highlight of this week was our two trips to the Columbus Temple, one day to go with the youth to do baptisms and one day for ward temple day.  It was wonderful to be back in the temple.  It is a two hour drive to the temple from our house.  The families take their children with them and trade off tending for each other in the church adjacent to the temple.  It makes it an all day temple day for the family.  Not a bad idea.


We have attended five Sundays in the Wheeling Ward.  As we were sitting in the chapel watching to see if those we committed to come to church were there, we realized that we could put names to almost every person there.  Those we didn’t know, we soon met. We are learning to really love the people of this ward.  The ward building is about 15 minutes out of Wheeling in a little unincorporated area called Sherrard.


We had a freezing rain one day and could not get the car doors open.  We had to wait a couple of hours for it to thaw.  Our fair weather car is used to a garage. The schools have lots of two-hour delay days so things can warm up a bit.


We went to a local auction with the bishop one evening when our appointments all cancelled.  He said he could get a bed for us so we went to check them out.  We did get a bed but I also got me an organ for $10.00,  It’s fun to have to practice the hymns on.  Rod and the bishop had to carry it up our front steps so they weren’t so thrilled about it.


The auction was an experience in local culture.  They are really big out here.  You can see why we really stood out in our missionary attire. Rod had to throw his Green Bay Packers jacket he had in the car over his suit to do the loading.  He wasn’t sure it was safe to wear it out here since most people here are big Steelers fans and they were selling lots of guns and ammunition at the auction. 

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We were also invited to a Lions Club fund raiser.  We thought  it a good chance to meet some of the people from the community and a member of the ward was performing in it.  We went with the ward mission leader and his wife.  It was a musical production and another cultural experience.  The only professionals were a string band band called “The Hill Top Singers” and they were singing “Ya’ Gotta Quit Kicking My Dog Around.”  They were really quite good.    The fiddler also clogged in cowboy boots which looked really difficult to me.                                      


All in all, it was a good week.  We are almost starting to feel like we belong here. The work is progressing and we are trying to be patient.  The mission news letter printed President Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon from October 2009 General Conference, “Safety For the Soul”. It was a powerful reminder of what we are trying to share with the people here.  We would suggest everyone read it again and again.

Keep the letters and phone calls coming.  We love to hear how everyone is doing. We love you all and we love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Missionaries and Mission Work

We are really enjoying the mission. The Wheeling Ward has about 500 members on its roles and less than 100 show up on any Sunday.  We have our work cut out for us.  We have loved getting to know the members, active and less-active.  There are wonderful people out here and everyone has been very kind to us.  Our new bishop is Bishop Skrzyneki (shin-es’-key).  He was called just before we got here. The ward mission leader is Brother Wylie and he is really trying to work the ward mission plan.  Our district has the two elders here in Wheeling, two elders serving in the Wintersville area and us.  We are the only unit in the mission that has two elders and a couple serving together.  Our first district meeting we drove about 45 minutes up to Wintersville to meet with the elders there.  Since then we have had the meeting at our home.  Last week we had the Zone Leaders too. They are all wonderful young men trying hard to find and teach.  We are hoping we can help keep them busy.  We feel good about the work here and feel the Lord has great things planned for this area.  We appreciate all your prayers to help us find those the Lord has prepared here in Wheeling to hear and accept the truth.


Elder Krivanec from Bountiful, Utah,  Elder Selfridge from Fresno,California, Elder Florence from Kaysville (he was at Davis High with Rod), Elder Clark from South Jordan (Zone Leaders) Elder Neerings from Midway, Utah and Elder Jeromchek from Spokane, Washington.  The last two are our Wheeling elders.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wheeling West Virginia

We made it to Wheeling after four days of travel and 1900 miles. It was a good trip and a fun visit with Tearsa, Ben, Cole, and Ellie in West Des Moines. We arrived in Wheeling about 5:00 pm Friday and went directly to the Elders apartment to meet them and get our house key.  Elder Neerings and Elder Jeromchek came over and helped us unload the car, which was packed tight.  The office missionaries had brought furniture and even had our bed made so we felt “at home”. The house is a lovely 100 year old home at the top of a hill, which is pretty typical for this area.  It’s all “hills and hollars”.  The first floor has a large living room with an ante-room off of it, a large sitting room, a kitchen and dining room and bathroom.  The upstairs has three large bedrooms, bathroom and a landing where the washer and dryer are.  Each bedroom has a fireplace. The floors are all hardwood and 10 foot ceilings throughout.  It is very quaint and comfortable and we have plenty of room for ya’ll to come see us.  We traveled to PIttsburgh to meet with President and Sister Summerhays the next day and had dinner with them, Elder and Sister Johnson (they are the office couple and are from Rexburg) and Elder and Sister Brenchley who are friends of ours from Centerville.  It was good to meet with them all and feel the missionary spirit they all had. The work is going well, we love the people here and we are having fun finding our way around our ward which takes in three counties in the states of West Virginia and Ohio.  We would be lost without our GPS and sometimes are lost with it. We are definitely having an adventure.  And we are very glad we brought the 4 wheel drive car because these hills can be fun in an ice storm.

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