Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall in West Virginia

All the green that we have been enjoying all summer is starting to turn colors and the area is gorgeous. We have had perfect fall temperatures and are enjoying it very much. We have had a few pretty good rain storms, but nothing like the summer thunder and lightning shows we have had.


The missionary work is going great and our two elders have baptism dates set for six people with the possibility of three or four others.  It is our privilege to work closely with these people and become fully invested in them.  What a blessing to be on a mission! It’s wonderful to see what the gospel can do for people’s lives. I can’t help but think how wonderful it will be on the other side of the veil when we meet the people we are privileged to do saving ordinances for there.

In anticipation of transfers next week, we took pictures at district meeting this week.  Elder van der Spek has been in Wintersville for seven months now and we anticipate him going somewhere else for sure.  He has to stay pretty close because of his dental work being done. Who knows about the others.

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Elder Bluemel, Elder Ames, Elder and Sister Green, Elder van der Spek and Elder Boughton.  Elder Ames posed just as my timer went off on my camera.  He is our District Leader. 

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Week night relief society was canning.  Dotty Folmar and Linda Skrzyneki did a hands-on demonstration of how to pressure can and water bath.  Dotty sent most these bottles of canned food home with me after the meeting. We sure scored.  Rod stayed home and worked on his agendas for bishopric meeting and Sunday.  He wears so many hats he forgets which one he has on at times.


John and Crystal Allen treated us to a night out at the symphony.  It was a fun evening spent with good friends.  John is the ward clerk and Crystal is a ward missionary.  The elders have a hard time sometimes with all the things couple missionaries are allowed to do.  Something for them to look forward to. 

Elder Ames asked us today if we were enjoying our mission.  I said,”You have to ask?” He just laughed and said, “no”.  We are enjoying it very much and are grateful to the Lord for the chance to do it together.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eight months

Another fun week in West Virginia and Ohio.  We actually made it a week without going to Pittsburgh.  Although, when we start driving out on some of these country roads which keep twisting and turning and trees so thick you can’t see much else, I get completely lost and as far as I know we could be in Pennsylvania. It’s a good thing Rod has a good internal compass. 

One of the fun trips we made this week was into the Ohio countryside to a gospel sing-a-long hosted by the Saunders.  They are the non-member parents of an active member, Patty Phllips,  The missionaries have been teaching them for years, but they don’t want to leave the comfort of their own little church in the country.  We’ll keep working on them.

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The sing-along features local musicians who come together annually for an afternoon of food and entertainment.  There were about 40 people there, including two preachers and nine active members of our church.  It was a good way to meet and mingle with some of the local folk, and the music and food were good too.

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Tom and Dotty Folmar are two of our favorite members.  They invited Saunders to our ward Labor Day breakfast which is how we got to meet them and when we got our invitation to the sing-a-long.  Patty is feeding her granddaughter, Emelyne, another favorite of ours. 

The missionary work is progressing and hopefully we will soon see some wonderful people we are helping to teach enter the waters of baptism.  The Duckworth family have committed to getting baptized in October.  Keep them in your prayers.

We recently read a talk from Elder Holland on the need for more couple missionaries.  We surely can recommend going on a mission together. It’s been a great blessing for us and hopefully we are blessing the people we are serving.  As we often say, “Every day is an adventure”. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More family visits

We love it when we get visitors, especially family.  Brendan, Marli, Gavin, Lissy, Luke and Marlys came out to see us this week.  We had a wonderful time with them.  The first day was a Wheeling day and we tried to show them the area and meet a few of the members.

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Of course, the river is always a favorite with all the bridges crossing the Ohio River.  Paddle boats were fun too.  Oglebay Park is beautiful this time of the year with deer roaming everywhere you go.

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We spent some quality time shopping at Gabriel Brothers and the Ohio Valley Mall looking for Lissy a shirt she could wear when she sings for General Conference.  Marlys, Marli and I made a haul and we even found a shirt for Lissy.  The kids and Marlys all got some Ohio State paraphernalia.

The next day was the Pittsburgh day.  We had Zone Conference at Greentree and left early for that.  The kids came about noon as we were breaking for lunch so they got to help take Zone pictures and meet President and Sister Topham and some of the missionaries.  We loved showing them off.

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They sang happy birthday to the August birthdays and they got a treat from Sister Topham.  Elder Green, Sister Bowcutt and Elder Boughton all have August 15th birthdays. After Zone Conference we met up with the kids and went in to Pittsburgh.  We rode the incline that goes up a hill to an overlook of the city.  The incline replaced a mile of stairs that used to go up the hill. 

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We got to see the Pittsburgh Pirates get clobbered by the Marlins.  But we had a good time anyway---no rain.

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The next day was our Columbus, Ohio day.  Brendan got us tickets to the Ohio State-Toledo game.  We left early from Wheeling, but not early enough because we got caught in game-day traffic and had to park about a mile and a half from the stadium.  There were 106,000 fans there, all in red.  And Ohio State ended up winning.

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Rod and I left a few minutes early so we could drive back to Pittsburgh for our Saturday evening stake conference meeting.  Brendan and gang stayed in Columbus to revisit all the places they knew when they lived there.  It was a good day. We hated having them leave but enjoyed having them here. 

We had nine non-members at church Sunday and have some with baptism dates.  The Lord is really blessing this area.  We love serving here and love the people we serve. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Labor Day

Sometimes the holidays are our best missionary days.  Monday the ward had a first annual Wheeling Ward Labor Day Breakfast.  The elders quorum cooked and served a wonderful breakfast.  There was a good turn out of ward members and we also had 12 investigators there and several less-active members.  It was an enjoyable morning and a great way for members, non-members, and less actives to get acquainted.

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It was raining so we had to eat inside.  There was also a clothing exchange that was a big hit.  People brought out-sized clothing and anyone could take what fit. 

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There was a vintage boat regatta on the Ohio River that day too.  We got these pictures thanks to the young elders.  They are pictures of Wheeling from different vantage points.

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We invite anyone to come on out and we will show you around.  The Ohio River Valley is a beautiful area and you can visit three states in a 14 mile drive. Good things are happening in this area as far as the gospel goes.  We are excited to be a part of it.