Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Greetings from Windy Wheeling

The weather in this part of the country seems to be very unsettled lately. Most of the devastation is south of us. The Ohio River is running very high but no flooding yet. The rain seems to never stop and the forecast is for more rain every day this week. Everything is green as a result and it is very beautiful right now; a welcome relief after the grey of the winter.


This is a tug boat pushing barges full of coal down the Ohio. You can see how high the water is and how green the hills are. We are not getting tornadoes where we are but we do get micro bursts: high winds without the funnel. They hit hard and are gone in minutes. Last Saturday, a family from our ward, the Murphys, couldn’t get home because a huge tree had fallen across their road. They had to stay with some friends for the night until the city could get a chain saw big enough to cut it up and move it. Needless to say, they were late for church the next morning. There were hundreds of trees down but no severe damage to people or property.

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Two nights ago we had another micro burst hit. The next morning we discovered this tree down in our back yard. It was obviously already dead because it broke into pieces when it hit. Fortunately it missed the house but hit the shed and finished knocking down the retaining wall behind the shed. Schools were cancelled because they were without electricity when trees fell and took down power lines. Fortunately, we still had power.

We had a convert baptism Saturday. Adam Angel is the father of Allison Carman, our Relief Society president. They moved here two years ago from Columbus to take care of him so they bring him with them to all of their meetings and activities. A few months ago he asked them when he could get baptized. He was converted by just being there.

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Adam is wheelchair-bound so it took four men to get him into the font. His two non-member sons dressed in white and helped lift him into the water where his son-in-law and former bishop held him up while the ordinance was performed. Adam can’t bend back so they bent him forward to get him immersed. Despite the unusual circumstances, it was a very spiritual occasion. Allison was loading everyone and everything in the van and was wearing her son’s helmet. I couldn’t resist this picture because it depicts her to a tee.

We were asked if we could pick up the food order for the ward last Wednesday. A member who is receiving welfare usually makes the trip but his car was broken down. The closest Bishop’s Store House is in Cleveland and a truck comes every two weeks to Pittsburgh with food orders. We pushed district meeting back an hour and took a two hour detour to Wintersville via Greentree where the stake house is. We almost didn’t fit it in the car. We had all the seats down but the two front ones. We should have brought a truck.


We had district meeting at our house yesterday. Elder Jeromchek has been told that he will be transferred next week so this was probably his last time with us. We will really miss him. We’ve got to quit getting so attached to these elders so we can let them go.

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Elder Van der Spec was at the dentist’s office so he missed the meeting. Because of a recent car accident with the Wintersville car, the elders had to get a ride down for the appointment and meeting. Brother Zoog is one of the ward missionaries in Wintersville and consented to bring them down.


He has served as branch president and bishop in Cadiz and Wintersville. He and his wife were the fleet coordinators for the mission for two years and served in the Washington D.C. temple for 13 years. They are now serving in the Columbus Temple. As a side note, he told us that Carol Mikita from KSL television grew up in Steubenville, OH, which is in their ward.

Faye Dulaney passed away and we had her funeral this week. We had met with her often and had taught her the temple prep lessons. We will miss her. Rod was asked to be a pall bearer so we drove down to New Martinsville to the cemetery after the service which was about an hour away. This is Faye’s niece, Nancy, Mike and Rod at the cemetery. Mike was Faye’s home teacher and a very good one. Nancy was Faye’s cousin.


Everyday continues to be a new adventure out here and we are loving it. We love the people we meet and wish everyone would accept the restored gospel, but we will keep trying to share the message by loving and serving them.

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