Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The weather has made that turn towards fall and we have had some much more comfortable temperatures.  I understand that is not the case at home in Utah where school kids are experiencing extreme heat in un-air conditioned schools.  We felt little effect from the recent earthquake and hurricane that hit the east coast.  We were in transfer meeting in Pittsburgh when the earthquake hit but we didn’t feel anything.  There were buildings in Wheeling and Columbus that were evacuated, we hear.  The hurricane came into parts of Pennsylvania but not much into our mission.

Transfer meetings were this last week and we lost Elder Boam.  We gained Elder Bluemel who has served in Wheeling before.  He will be a good addition to the team.

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This is Elder Boam, Elder Ames, Elder Bluemel and Elder Green. We are grateful we don’t have to be transferred.

Elder and Sister Bowcutt are our office couple now and come from the Burley, ID area.  They are wonderful!  He is 79 years old and they have served several missions together. They are a real inspiration to any couple who is contemplating serving a mission. 

We also got to drive to Greentree again this week to pick a food order for a ward member.  The truck comes from the Bishops’ Storehouse in Cleveland once a week.  It rained on us this time but we got things packed before there was too much damage.

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We had to postpone district meeting for an hour so we could make the trip and still make it to the meeting.   But since the meeting was at our house and we were feeding them, the elders were good with it.

It was ward temple day this Saturday so we got to drive to Columbus to attend the temple.  After the session there was a stake youth baptism session, so we stayed so Rod could help with that.  Andrew, our newly activated and ordained priest was there for his first experience with the temple.  He is Brother Wylie’s home teaching companion so Brother Wylie brought him to the temple.


This is a picture of the temple taken from a little bridge that crosses a small creek and leads to a park and bowery that are part of the grounds there.  It is beautiful.

We had two non-members at institute this week with 28 people total.  The Lord keeps blessing this ward.  The work is not without it’s trials but we continue to enjoy it and try to be directed by the spirit.  There is no doubt that the Lord is in charge of the work.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

41 great years

We celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary in the mission field.  We are so blessed to have each other as companions.  We celebrated by going out to dinner, after a day of missionary work, at Cheddars with Patty and Chuck Wylie.  Chuck is our ward mission leader and Patty was just called to teach institute with us. 

We have helped move 5 families this summer.  Four are new families moving into the ward for school or work.  The last was a part-member family who needed help so the elders quorum came to the rescue.  Millie is non-member who just lost her husband and her son-in-law, Randy, is a less-active member.  They are all being taught the lessons now. 

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The bishop drives delivery trucks for A.D., one of his counselors.  He was able to use one of the trucks with the move.  They were moving MIllie to Wheeling Island which bisects the Ohio River at Wheeling.

The home we are living in just got put up for sale.  The owner is a member and needs to sell the home.  We’ll put it in the Lord’s hand as to what happens.  We could be moving too some day but the house market is really slow right now.  It has been shown twice so far.


Rod painted the front steps and side porch so it would look good show.  Needless to say, he got painted too.

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The Brenchleys gave us these two tomato plants before they left for home.  They adorn our front steps and so far we have not killed them.  I had to document that they were still alive and well. 

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We have experienced all sorts of things that are new to us here.  One of them is an insect called by the locals as a milliworm.  They are caterpillars that spin a cocoon in the trees to protect them while they grow and eat off the tree.  They kill the part of the tree they are attached to and there are thousands of them covering the trees in the area.  They eventually turn into butterflies.  Something we never see at home.

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We are enjoying the work and love teaching the restored gospel.  We found a great web site about the Book of Mormon.  This is the tool the Lord has brought forth for our day to teach gospel.  The site is  The Gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to go forth into the world, and the Internet is becoming a powerful tool for spreading the word.  We love being part of it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

“Summer of scorching heat”

That’s what the weather channel called this summer east of the Rockies.  Of course, we had to be living east of the Rockies when that happened.  The heat wouldn’t we as bad if the humidity wasn’t high too.  It has been so humid that all of our envelopes in the desk drawer stuck to themselves as if they had been licked.  It has cooled off this past week some and the humidity is down so the days have been more pleasant.  And I need to quit whining because we love it here.

A couple of months ago, Christian, our only active young man in the ward asked the bishop at BYC if they could have a dance.  The bishop gave him the go ahead, not realizing he meant a stake dance sponsored by the Wheeling Ward.  This week was the fulfillment of that request.  The youth got on their phones and started texting everyone they knew in the stake.  The results were that there were over 50 youth at the dance Friday night; many of them traveling up to an hour to get here.This cultural hall has never seen that many youth at one time.  The RS was asked to provide refreshments and there is a stake DJ who played music at no cost.  It proved to us that the youth crave being together with other member-youth and will make it happen if given the support of the ward.


The decorations were a few streamers of crepe paper and a disco ball donated by a ward member. They had a bon fire and made s’mores after the dance.  It was such a success, we heard them planning which ward would sponsor the next dance. 

We attended a wonderful leadership training meeting this last week.  We were able to attend and drive our elders to it at Greentree.  President Topham and the AP’s gave some great training and leadership tools and we were spiritually fed.  The sisters from one of the Oakland wards served us lunch.  These are two we became acquainted after the meal. They are Sister Anderson Christensen, Paisley and Sister Mock.  We learned that Sister Christensen lived in Brendan and Marli’s ward with her parents and love Brendan and Marli.  They were supposed to look for us but didn’t think they would ever see us.  It was fun getting to know them.


We celebrated Rod’s birthday on Monday by going to Pittsburgh after we served at the hospital and met up with Elder and Sister Marshall.  We were able to meet with Brother Webb and get some teaching material for Institute and then we toured a huge Catholic Cathedral close to the church building. 

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We ate dinner and then went to the Pirates game.  It had been raining all day but cleared up for the game and it was a beautiful night.  The Pirates beat St. Louis 6-2 and it was a fun game to watch.  We love spending time with the Marshall’s.

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We had our 20th grandchild born this last week.  She is Holland Estelle Green, daughter of Casey and Lindsey.  We got to see her on Skype shortly after she was born.  She’s beautiful.  We are so grateful she is here safe and sound.

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There were 120 people at church on Sunday.  That’s quite a step from the 67 people attending the first week we were here. Rod even had to put up more chairs. There were four Aaronic Priesthood holders there also.  The Lord is blessing this ward.  The new families are wonderful and will be a great strength to the ward.

We have no doubt that this is the Lord’s work and His hand is in all we do.  He is guiding living Prophets to guide us through these last days and we can find peace and joy by following them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Going to the temple

The highlight of the week for me was getting to go to the Washington DC Temple with the Pittsburgh Stake Relief Society.  There were 150 women in three buses with 7 priesthood holders.  We loaded the buses in three different locations around the stake so people didn’t have so far to drive.  There were 16 sisters from the Wheeling Ward who left Wheeling about 0600 and drove to Washington PA chapel to meet our bus.  The buses got on their way about 0700 and we arrived at the temple at 1230.  It’s a beautiful temple, but then, I’ve never seen one that wasn’t.

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Most of us attended a session but some who weren’t able to attend yet were able to visit the visitors center and the near-by church book store.  Barb Safreed, Renee Barker and Sara Walton were among those not attending a session in the temple from Wheeling but had a desire to share the temple experience with us.

We got to hear from President and Sister Tingey in a short devotional before the session and we were spiritually fed in both.  We had to load the buses immediately after the session for the long ride home.  We had a wonderful time in the temple as well as on the bus coming and going.

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Naomi Campbell wasn’t sure she could make it because she has some physical limitations but she made it and enjoyed the trip. We made it back home to Wheeling about 10:00 pm.  A long but enjoyable day.  I wonder if we enjoy the temple more if we have to sacrifice more to attend.

Rod had a good day in Pittsburgh with Elder Marshall while Sister Marshall and I went to the temple.  They said they were doing splits.

Moundsville is a town down river where several members live and where we spend a lot of our time.  It is named for the mounds that are found around the area.  They are ancient burial mounds which have been dated pre-Christ times.  It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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We have had four out of five new families move into the Ward in the last month.  They are all active and experienced in church service.  They will be such a blessing to the ward. We tell them we prayed them here.  They are Jared and Suzi Halterman, Jory and Betsy Bulkley, John and Amy Stansell and Doctor and Elise Pringle. (I can’t remember his name)  They are all doctors of something.

My sweet mother celebrated her 90th birthday with friends and family this week in Rexburg, Idaho. She and my father served a mission in San Jose, California and have always been such a good example to us of faithful, gospel living.

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                           Thanks, Mom, for everything and happy birthday.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August Already

We can hardly believe the summer is almost over and we have been here this long.  Our missionary experiences have become widely varied and interesting.  We have come to know and love so many people that we visit and teach that we are having a hard time getting around to finding new members to visit.  One of the member families we have spent a lot of time with is Rebecca Beaver and her two sons, Austin (10) and Alex (5) and her parents, Louie and Vicki Michelli. Rod has been teaching Rebecca how to drive so she can get her drivers license. 

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Vicki and I took the boys to get everyone a drink while Rod and Rebecca practiced the maneuverability test.  They work at it for about 2 hours at a time.  The boys have watched the DVD on the Restoration in the car a couple of times while we wait.  Vicki has to drive Rebecca and the boys whenever they go any place so she will have a great weight taken from her when Rebecca gets her license.  We are also teaching Austin the lessons so he can get baptized soon.

We had a wonderful three days with Kent and Kae Servoss when they stopped to visit on their way to serve in the New York, Rochester Mission for eighteen months.  Everyone in the ward wanted to keep them.

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We showed them around the area and then took them shopping at our favorite discount store, Gabriel Brothers. Kent let Rod help him choose a few things.  He came away with three pairs of shoes, a few ties, a few sox and a white shirt.  Rod is a good teacher.  Kae also found a good deal on a new outfit but Kae taught me about KD’s a long time ago.

We drove to Wintersville for District meeting because the Wintersville Elders had a car accident and are without a car again.  No one was hurt in the accident, but Elder Boughton got his hands messy checking the car after the accident and wiped them off on the foliage at the side of the road.  As it turned out, it must have been poison ivy because his arms and face are now covered with a bright red rash and his hands are covered with watery blisters.  And he is miserable.  After the meeting, I called Dr. Mikesell, our mission physician, and he call in some prescriptions for prednisone and a strong topical ointment to help lessen the symptoms and misery.  We took them to a pharmacy after we ate and the prescriptions were ready to pick up.  Rod wrapped him up after he applied the ointment so the blisters wouldn’t break and weep all over.

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Elder Boughton is a faithful missionary and just keeps smiling through it all and keeps on doing the work.  Rod has great empathy for him.

We had 15 people show up for our first Institute class.  We are looking forward for the next class and are hoping for even more people to attend.  It was a combination of YSA and not so single or young adults.  We invited anyone who wants to come study the Book of Mormon with us to come.  I know we are learning a lot, but this is what we came on a mission to do: teach the message of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon is the tool the Lord prepared centuries ago to teach that message.  We are having a great time!