Our friend Rosalia Rey came to attend church with us today and had dinner with us afterwards. It was so nice to spend some time with her and to hear the latest from the Gainesville 1st Ward. We miss friends and family there but are very happy here. We are already worried about having to leave when our mission is over because we feel so close to the people and have made some really close friendships.
The leaves are falling and the beautiful scenery is changing fast from gorgeous colors to naked trees. We still enjoy our walks in the neighborhood but have to dress a little warmer now.
Did I mention that our bedroom window is only about 75 yards from a free-way on-ramp, and another few yards beyond that, another ramp, and again, beyond that, guess what - the free-way! It's louder now with the trees almost bare, but we have become used to it. The constant humming puts us to sleep at night.
Last Monday evening we attended a dinner and fireside with all the other senior missionaries and President and Sister Richards. Elder Carlson of the Seventy, and his wife Vicki, were there and they spoke to us in a question and answer setting. He presides over the Middle East and North Africa area, so he had many interesting things to tell us. On Tuesday we were at an all day conference with them and all the young missionaries. It was quite an experience - very spiritual and inspiring. We each had to come prepared to give a 5 minute talk on "What It Means to Be a Consecrated Missionary and the Culture of Nephi." (1 Nephi 3:7 and 1 Nephi 3:15). Elder Lewis and I were not called on - thank goodness - but we were ready just in case.
We spend anywhere from four to eight hours a day visiting members of our branch, active and less active. We are currently helping two families and three sisters to get ready to go to the temple and will be going with them in the next few months. It's very rewarding to share gospel principles and see them embrace them.
Time flies. On Mondays we spend the day doing chores and shopping. Then we get ready for Family Home Evening and have had a good turn out. On Tuesdays we attend our district meeting from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. We usually then go out to lunch together with the young elders and sisters. It's always fun. This Tuesday, we are taking a sister grocery shopping and visiting another family later. On Wednesday we will attend a senior missionaries' conference in Frederick from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, with appointments later in the evening. Thursday we have a couple of appointments during the day. In the evening I am attending Relief Society and Ken is "hopefully" taking a couple of people to the Addiction Recovery Meeting in the Glen Burnie Ward building. Friday we only have one appointment so far but will find more and Saturday we will attend the temple with the branch members. Sunday we attend a meeting before the three hour block and then afterwards we go to a nursing home to visit an elderly lady and also take her the sacrament. We also usually have someone over to dinner on Sunday afternoon.
That is pretty much how our weeks go, so as you can see, we stay busy. It's nice though to be able to do what we can and if we don't feel up to it, we don't.
I'm reading the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. Thanks Marsha! Wow, what experiences he had and what faith and stamina. I hope we can do just a little of what he did.
Until next time, God bless.