Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

We had another wonderful week.  The most momentous thing was the baptism of Barb Safereed.  She is a wonderful Sister whom we have been privileged to help teach.  The Elders said she was almost too easy.  She was a member referral and accepted what she was taught from the beginning.  Her non-member mother, daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters were at the baptism along with two other investigators.  She is our first convert baptism since we arrived. 


Elder Neerings (on the left) baptized her and Elder Jeromchek (on the right) confirmed her.  Of course, they tried to talk her into letting ward members do it but she insisted the elders do it.  The family who referred her were involved in the music, prayers and talks.  Rod gave the baptism talk and I played the piano.  What a wonderful day!

We also got  to go to Pittsburgh for transfer meetings.  We arrived a little early so we drove down town and got to see the Steelers and Pirates Stadiums.  That was high on Rod’s list of things to do.  The President said we can even go to a game sometime.


     100_0865          100_0864

Of course we got lost going back to Greentree where the church is and were almost late for the meeting. 

The transfer meeting was fun and we got to meet the new elder to our district.  Elder Selfridge (on the left) was made a District Leader and transferred to another area so we got Elder Rasmussen.  He’s from Mantua, UT and is a great elder. 

     100_0869          100_0868

The Elder on the right is Elder van der Spec.  He hates hugs and gets mad when any of the elders try to hug him.  I told Rod that it was his responsibility to give Elder van der Spec hugs because he won’t get mad at him.  He’s wearing him down. It has become a district joke now. 

Out biggest surprise was when Steve Reitz, a good friend from our ward in Utah, showed up at church Easter Sunday.  It’s one of those moments when your two worlds meet.  Steve is in Pittsburgh on business and decided to surprise us by driving the hour over to Wheeling and finding us.  He said he had to actually see us so he could report to the bishop we were actually on a mission and not vacationing some where.  We had a good visit with him and he caught us up on the happenings of the Parkmeadows Ward.


We have another missionary in the family.  My brother’s son, Jason, has just received his call to serve in the West Indies Mission.  We are so excited for him.  Missions are great and we recommend them to everyone.  We love the people here in the Wheeling Ward and are going to have a hard time leaving them.  You truly learn to love those you serve.  We invite all of you to come see us and meet these wonderful people.  It’s really getting beautiful out here.  We love you all and love the work. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Showers

Spring has finally sprung in this part of the world, but we have had so much rain that nothing has been planted yet.  It’s pretty soggy out here, but there are green trees showing everywhere and lots of green grass.  We are starting to see the beauty that everyone has promised us. 

           100_0859       100_0861

We are enjoying the labors of the previous family who lived here.  They are the Seaborns and have moved to Texas.  We have communicated with them a few times and she told us to enjoy her flowers she had to leave without seeing.  We are also looking forward to the possibility of holding some ward parties here since our back yard seems equipped for such gatherings.  The elders said they would come help us clean things up a bit. We just need it to quit raining for a while.

           100_0853       100_0854


The side porch with the swing is a fun feature and we hope to hold district meetings out there sometime.  There is a fan in the ceiling of the porch to keep the air moving when it gets hot.  I love listening to the wind chimes hanging from the porch and the many birds singing in the surrounding trees.   


Just so it’s documented, I do practice the organ almost every day.  I have had to play the piano in correlation meetings and relief society meetings for the past few weeks so I guess it’s a good thing I have practiced.  I also accompany the elders at weekly district meetings. 


This is our district for one more day.  We get to keep Elder Neerings and Elder Jeromchek (far right) in Wheeling, but Elder Selfridge (far left) is being transferred.  Elder van der Spec will get a new companion in Wintersville tomorrow.  We had fun taking this picture with five cameras on a timer.  Elder Green took a picture of all of us trying to get our cameras ready.  We have fun at district meetings with the Elders.


Wintersville is in Ohio and is about 35 miles north of Wheeling. There are people in the ward from both Ohio and West Virginia like Wheeling.  These are the only two units in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission that are not in Pennsylvania.  We feel special.

We continue to enjoy finding and meeting new people.  We have made some very good friends and we don’t get lost nearly as often as we used to. We have opportunities almost every day to testify of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and of the Book of Mormon.  We will be having our first convert baptism this coming Saturday and are very excited for it. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week Ten

How time flies when you are having fun.  We have had the regular ups and downs of missionary work, but we are having fun.  Mondays are no longer our p-day because we are volunteering at Wheeling Hospital on Monday morning, so Tuesday has become our designated p-day; that is unless something else comes up and we need to go to Pittsburgh or meet with someone for a lesson, or we have a funeral, etc.,etc., etc. As you can tell, we really don’t have a schedule.  We just hang loose and try to adjust to whatever comes up. 


These are our volunteer uniforms and as you can see, we double badge it.  We have totally confused everyone with the Elder and Sister thing.  Especially the Sister because I’m not a nun and it’s a Catholic hospital.  We went to the yearly volunteer banquet last night where they give out the service awards.  It was a lovely event and we were able to visit with some of the other volunteers who serve there and hob nob with the administration some.  President Summerhays asked us to volunteer somewhere where we can meet the public to let them know we are just regular folks.  We think this is a good place to do that.  And it’s fun for me to be in the hospital setting for a bit. Rod has less enthusiasm for it.  He’s never liked being in a hospital.


Rod said I had to put this picture in so I had proof that I really do practice on my organ.  I played the piano in correlation meeting and Relief Society Sunday and started all the songs an octave higher because the organ key board is all to the right and I just go there on the piano.  It was a trick to change octaves in the middle of the song.


We visited the young elders apartment this week and this is how they decorated the wall in their dining room.  They are so enjoying their new apartment and they are really trying hard to keep it clean.  We are so proud of them. They are wonderful young men and I am really going to have a hard time letting them go if they get transferred next week.  Elder Jeromchek asked the president for one more transfer, but he thinks he’s gone.  He will miss the convert baptism we have scheduled on the 23rd.  Elder Neerings is District Leader and will probably stay a little while longer. 


We bought a new toy last week.  Rod has joined the fitness center and goes there when he can, but I told him I wanted to stay home and ride the bike, so this is what we got.  It was cheaper than a membership for me at the fitness center.  The elders are really enjoying it too.  They come to our house on Monday mornings while we are at the hospital and do their wash, write their e-mails home and now they can exercise too. 

The work continues.  Everyday we are finding more less-active families and individuals, trying to remind them that this is the restored gospel and address their concerns.  Everyone has a different reason for not coming.  As Rod loves to say, “they are reasons, not excuses”.  We love teaching the gospel and bearing testimony of it’s truth.  We keep learning while we are teaching.  It is truly a blessing for us to serve. Secret telling smileAnd to serve together.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Spiritual Feast

We so thoroughly enjoyed the spiritual feast we have had for the past two days of General Conference.  As Elder Holland so aptly testified, there were messages given that were just for us as the Holy Ghost imprinted them upon our souls.(My words, not his.)  We heard in every message things that we needed for missionary work.  We went to the church with several other individuals and families to hear the messages.  There was a dinner between the sessions each day so no one had to leave the building.  So I guess it was two days of spiritual and physical feasts.

         100_0840      100_0842

The largest group was Sunday morning with just about 50 people there.  The other sessions were smaller. Sunday morning we had three non-members there.  I hope they felt the spirit as strongly as we did.  Some of the members had direct TV and were able to watch conference at home on the BYU channel.  One sister said she listened to one session of conference on the Mormon Channel on her phone.  As you can see Rod made good use of his ipad taking notes of every session. 

We spent two days this week helping the Elders move into their new apartment.  They have been wanting to move for a long time but after Rod and I went to their apartment and saw what they were dealing with, we went right home and called the mission office couple and told them we had to get them out of there. That got things rolling. The elders found the new place and it was approved shortly afterwards.  We helped them move their things in our car and then spent one day cleaning their old apartment.  Every time we would scrub the walls or cupboards very hard, they would crumble under the rag.  It was literally falling apart and smelled of mold and mildew.  Their new place is much nicer.  It is relatively new and newly painted and carpeted.  Now they think they are really spoiled.  The sad thing is that the two places cost about the same. 


Each day we usually find some one who is on the ward records but haven’t been to church for years.  Some days we find several and some days we drive for miles and don’t find anyone.  We feel we have been directed many times in where we go and who we find.  We have put a few thousand miles on the car since we left Utah.  The Elders are limited on how many miles they can go each month but we aren’t since we pay for our own fuel.  We took all four elders in our car with us this past week for interviews with the Mission President in Pittsburgh so they could save the miles on their cars.  It was a fun trip with these good young men.  We even made a Costco run on the way home.


Too bad we have to use premium gas in our car.  This is the most expensive we have seen it since we got here. 

The work is going great and we have been spiritually recharged.  We are ready for a new week of finding and teaching.  We are enjoying the work and each other.