This past week turned out a little different than we had planned. We had forgotten that we had to inspect several missionaries' apartments. Six to be exact, and they are scattered all over the place from Arbutus to Reistertown and Sykesville. It's fun to meet all these special young people, but not so fun to inspect. We have to thoroughly check everything and make sure the apartment is "move-in ready". Ken also has to inspect the cars and add fluids etc. All that took the better part of two days and we were tired when we got home at the end of each day. We have to do this before every transfer, every six weeks. Next time we will make sure we make the appointments a couple of weeks ahead of time so we don't upset the missionaries' schedules.
Sunday afternoons, after church, we usually go to visit an elderly lady at a nursing home. Her name is Gladys and she is 85 years old. She is so sweet and always grateful to see us. I think of my own mother when we're there and it brings a tear to my eye. Some times we bring her a treat or some flowers and she likes us to sing "Nearer my God to Thee". Today, as we were saying good-bye, she asked me to come closer and then whispered to me, "Will you bring me a fruit cake next time you come?" I said, "Yes, of course! Do you want the kind with everything in it or the kind with just nuts and raisins. "Oh, the kind with everything," she said :). She is so cute and we love to make her happy.
On Tuesday we had what we like to think of as a little miracle. We have been visiting a really sweet sister named Diane every week. Her nonmember teenage daughter Patty is living with her. They both have MMR. Every time we visit, Patty goes upstairs to her room to avoid us. We had never actually met her, but we have written notes to her and she has answered back. Last week when we were there, I wrote her a note and told her again that we really wanted to meet her and that I was going to bring her a present next time we came. So, after we took Diane grocery shopping Tuesday afternoon, we were at the house when Patty came home from school. She was surprised, but so nice and sweet, and we spent a little time with her. We gave her the present - a pretty candle with some crystals around it, and told her it was a bribe! She laughed and thanked us. We hope to spend more time with her again soon. She and her mother have had a very difficult life, full of abuse and abandonment, and need the peace and security only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring.
Last Wednesday we drove to Frederick to attend the Senior Missionary Conference. When we arrived, Sister Richards served her homemade cinnamon rolls and orange juice. President and Sister Richards then spoke to us and they are both so grateful for having so many senior couples in the mission. With 250 or more young missionaries, they need the help. We said good-bye to one couple and hello to a new couple - so we are not the newest kids on the block any longer. We then shared experiences, ideas and information and at 12:00 we all drove to Golden Corral where we ate lunch together at a long table. It was really fun. See picture below.
Our days go by fast and we are usually ready for bed by 9:00 if not before. Planning and preparing makes a huge difference and it helps us not to waste too much time. Ken will start a teacher training class soon on Sundays and also Wednesday nights. He has been busy preparing for that.
We received a wonderful card from the Gainesville 1st Ward about a month ago now. Thanks to Brother Engerbretsen and everybody! We really loved it. We also got a nice card from my sister Connie for Halloween. We love getting mail and hearing from family and friends. You can still use our regular email addresses.