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.
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.