Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

Our walk in the woods last Monday.

We found a really nice trail close to our apartment.

A walking stick is always good - in case of bears.

Pretty yellow flowers.

I dug up some of these flowers and
they are now in a pot on our back patio.

An old dirty liquor bottle can be used as a vase.  

On our walks in the neighborhood,
we pass several interesting houses.

A small Catholic church.

I want this house and yard.

We went to the temple on Saturday.
I love it when we first see it through the trees.

The tulips were in full bloom.

Our branch president and his lovely wife.  We love them.

Other nice members of our branch.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

We have met so many people who are suffering from the effects of pain, abuse, regret and heart aches.  Some is caused by their own wrong choices and lack of preparing for the future, but some are caused by the wrongs of others.

I was reminded of a poem I have loved for a long time and it has brought comfort to my own heart.  It was one Spencer W. Kimball often mentioned in his writings. 

Pain stayed so long I said to him today,
"I will not have you with me any more." 
I stamped my foot and said, "Be on your way,"
And paused there, startled at the look he wore."
I, who have been your friend," he said to me,"
I, who have been your teacher - all you know
Of understanding love, of sympathy,
And patience, I have taught you.  Shall I go?"
He spoke the truth, this strange unwelcome guest;
I watched him leave, and knew that he was wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast,
He left a far, clear vision in my eyes.
I dried my tears, and lifted up a song-
Even for one who'd tortured me so long.

Hopefully we can all learn and be strengthened by life's difficult lessons.

This is our zone taken after zone training on Tuesday.  Elder Yardly and Elder Zwhalen, our zone leaders,  did a fantastic job.
Why the umbrella and why someone is crawling on top of others I surely don't know, but they are having fun.  Elder Lewis is hiding in the back somewhere.

We had a very nice Easter.  On Saturday there was an Easter egg hunt at church for all the Primary children.  It was very successful and I think about 70 children and adults attended. After the hunt we had a pot-luck lunch in the building.  

Don't take eggs from the children, Elder Lewis!

Cutie pie.

Everyone had plenty to eat.  

During Sunday's sacrament meeting, the youth in my Sunday School class and the four young missionaries sang as the special musical number, "He Sent His Son".  I was very proud of them and sat in the audience with a big motherly smile on my face and tears in my eyes. 

Later in the day, we had all four elders over for Easter dinner.  It is always nice to share a meal with them.  I forgot to take pictures of us at the table, but here they sit on the couch, as we are sharing our special feelings about Easter.  Elders Latu, Yardley, Zwahlen and White.  They are all top notch missionaries and we are so proud and thankful to be fellow servants of the Lord with them.

Every Friday night we now have Family Fun Night from 6:30 to 8:30 at the church.  It has been very well attended and everyone is having a good time.  We are having a few problems with some of the children who do not know how to behave in a church building, but we are working on solving that problem.

Even the elders get into the fun.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Spring has finally sprung!  It's beautiful here with all the trees and bushes in bloom.  I feel so much better and it will probably be a couple of weeks before we start complaining about the heat. :)

Beautiful tree right outside our apartment.

Seen from our living room window.

This is the Brooklyn Park building.  It doesn't look like a church but it's really nice and well kept.  It used to be a medical clinic and it even has a basement.

Elder Lewis talking to Emily and Diane in the lobby.

Our Branch President's son.  He is the best!

Saying goodbye to our friend Wanda.
She lives in the one bedroom apartment upstairs. 

I just had to share this picture, taken by another
senior couple in downtown Baltimore, of two
wonderful Elders and a homeless man.

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least 

of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Matt 25:40

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 7, 2014

Monday started with cleaning, laundry and shopping as usual.  I made cookies for FHE that evening and Elder Lewis got the oil changed in the car.  We hope our good little Toyota Corolla will stay healthy throughout our mission.  The amount of pot holes here is unbelievable, and some times we don't see them in time, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.  

In the afternoon Elder White and Elder Latu called to see if they could come over and burn some CD's on our computer.  We of course said okay.  A little while after, the other two showed up, Elders Yardley and  Zwahlen.  It's always good to see them and they enjoyed sampling the newly baked cookies.  Around 5:00 we asked them if they had dinner appointments and they did not. I really didn't have anything I could fix in a hurry, so we decided on french toast with bacon and sausage, juice and milk.  It was a hit!  I think we cooked up about one and a half loaves of bread.  It's fun to see those boys eat. They are always very polite and grateful.  

Wednesday all the senior couples went to Annapolis to tour the Naval Academy.  We decided not to go since we had been there before with Jackie and Bryan.  Instead we drove to downtown Baltimore to visit a friend in the hospital who had open heart surgery; we had accompanied her to the temple for her first time a week earlier.  She was doing well and we enjoyed the visit with her and her husband.  

At 4:00 pm we met with all the other senior couples in the mission home in Ellicott City for dinner.  President and Sister Richards are always so gracious and welcoming.  They served smoked salmon, rice, broccoli, salad and a wonderful cake.  Yum!  (Yes, like Royce always says, in the Lewis family it's all about the food.  It's probably from the Danish side.)  Anyway,  I can't even express the wonderful feelings of friendship and togetherness we feel when we are all together.  We love these people so much and shiver to think that we never would have known them if we had not accepted this call.  Our testimonies of the gospel burn in our hearts and we have so much in common because of that.  

After the dinner we drove to the Brooklyn Park Branch to participate in "Family Fun Night."   Families from the branch and the neighborhood came and played ping-pong, foosball, and many other games.  It was really well attended and everyone had a good time. Many nonmembers came.  We will continue to do that every Friday night and may even start having Zumba classes and crafts.
What a wonderful general conference this past weekend.  We feel uplifted and renewed, ready to go and do.   We stayed at home on Saturday to watch it, but on Sunday we drove to the Glen Burnie chapel to watch conference there.  We had a large pot-luck lunch between sessions and it was a lot of fun to socialize.