Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

At transfers on Wednesday
we said goodbye to a great
missionary.  We will miss him.
Enjoying lunch at Mission Barbecue
after Zone Training on Tuesday.

Missionaries always love to help
wherever they are needed.

Even the older version.

They even knew you can take
a recliner apart.  Wow.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 21, 2014

The past week was crammed full of fun things like inspecting six young missionaries' apartments and cars.  We drove to Pasadena and Glen Burnie and then to the two apartments here in our own area.  It's always an interesting experience.  The sisters always have it very nice and clean but that's not always the case with the elders.  For example, some don't realize that a dish cloth needs to be either laundered or in some cases tossed :). We always leave them with a treat, spiritual thought, and a prayer.  We love them all so much and have the best time associating with them.  

On Wednesday I had a dentist appointment and after that we visited a local theater and watched the new movie, "Meet the Mormons."  We, of course, loved it.  On Friday we got to watch it again with our whole zone of about 24 missionaries.  It was so fun to see how much they enjoyed it along with their laughing and crying. 

We attended the temple on Saturday with some of the members of our branch.  It was a lovely day.

Sunday evening we had our "last supper" with our four branch elders while we waited for "the call" from our zone leader to let us know who would be transferred.  The call finally came and Elder Larson will be leaving but the other three will stay for another transfer - six more weeks.  There were some high fives and also some sad faces.  We always feel like we are losing a child.

Our transfer "last supper."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 13, 2014

We have had a "sweet" week with several, what the younger missionaries would call "miracles."   People have come up to us at the post office and on the street and asked us about the Church.  We hope to be able to teach some of them.  

There are times when I feel scared or worried about visiting people whom we are not sure would want us to come.  If it were not for Elder Lewis, we probably would not get as much done.  He talks to everybody and is not afraid to knock on less active members' doors.  After I get over the initial hesitation I'm okay and I am usually the first one to knock and say hello.  We have had so many good and heart warming experiences that we would not have had if I had allowed my fear to discourage me.  

One day this week we went to visit a Hispanic family referred to us.  We knocked and a nice elderly lady came to the door.  Elder Lewis spoke to her in Spanish and she smiled and invited us in.  We asked her about the sister we came to visit, who turned out to be her daughter-in-law.  She was not at home, but the lady invited us to come into the living room to sit down.  Sitting on the couch was a very frail looking younger woman, maybe thirty.  She had no hair and had a blanket over her.  During the conversation she told us that she had cancer and that it was all through her body.  I had to fight back the tears.  She was so beautiful and sweet and we enjoyed the opportunity to get to know her a little.  Although they were not members of our Church they welcomed us to say a prayer with them. We left feeling sad, but thankful for knowing that this life is not the end and that God is aware of each of us and our individual needs and trials.

Another day this week, we went to visit some people who are also not members but whom we have become friends with.  They were sitting on the front porch but when they saw us coming, they all got up and went into the house.   Oh well, you can't win 'em all.  

We still have "Family Fun Night" at church two Fridays a month.  Last week, after playing games outside organized by the elders, and then watching a "Mormon Message" video, we played bingo.  Everyone had a wonderful time and it's good to have children from less fortunate situations and neighborhoods come and enjoy the healthy fun.  

The missionaries of the Brooklyn Park Branch.

This picture is for this elder's mother and grandmother.
He always directs the singing at our district meetings and he bore a very sweet and sincere testimony at church yesterday.    

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Last Monday we went to Gettysburg, PA, with all the other senior couples in the mission.  It was a very memorable experience.

These two pictures were taken inside a huge cyclorama.

We ate lunch in this historic inn.  It is a restaurant but also a museum.  They used to hide slaves in the attic. 

A beautiful and quaint city.

We took a two hour bus tour around the national battlefield.  We felt very somber but also grateful to the fallen soldiers as we learned more about the history of Gettysburg and that part of the Civil War.  

Lunch at Mission Barbecue after district meeting on Tuesday.
Six sister missionaries at the table next to us.  
The elders preferred to stay inside.
We had our four elders over on Saturday to watch General Conference.  They each brought a couple bags of candy.
Oh my, stomach ache!

Sunday, we all went to the Glen Burnie chapel to watch conference.  As always, it was so wonderful and uplifting.
A sweet sister in the Fort Smallwood branch always serves lunch to all the missionaries, and anyone else who is there, during the break.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

September 29, 2014

We learn something new every day.  I think one of the most important things to learn is not to judge people by their appearance.  God is no respecter of persons and he loves us all, but because of the area we usually work in, it has at times been a struggle for me not to pre-judge others.

We have been watching an elderly man with a cane who walks by the church every day.  He sometimes stops and talks to the prostitutes who usually hang out on the corner.  Elder Lewis wanted to go and talk to him, but I didn't want to, thinking he was weird and scary.  I finally gave in and we walked over to meet him as he came walking down the sidewalk.  It turned out that he was a really nice older gentleman.  He told us that he walks every day because his doctor had told him to get exercise, and that he talks to one of the street girls because she is the daughter of a friend and that she is on drugs and needs help.    I felt small and embarrassed for having judged him but we had a really nice conversation and enjoyed getting to know him.  We invited him to come to church and gave him the Restoration pamphlet to read.  A couple of days later when he saw two of the young elders, he asked them for more material to read, and they gave him the Plan of Salvation pamphlet.  Recently we presented him with his own copy of the Book of Mormon.

One day this week, we sat on a cot, in a little trailer with no electricity or running water, talking to a good friend.  He was very distraught and cried almost the whole time we were there.  Life has not always been kind to him and he was suffering.  We encouraged him the best we could and we prayed with him.  Two days later we went to the bishops' storehouse to pick up some food for him.  When we tried to deliver it, he told us to come to a motel near by instead.  His mother and sister, both members of the Church, were there and had driven up from Georgia to visit him.  His sister told us that the day before she felt a very strong impression to go and visit her brother and so she and her mother got in the car and came.  It was wonderful to meet them and to see the joy on the face of our friend.  The next day at church, more family came to visit him and they took up about two whole rows of chairs.  The love of family is one of the best answers to prayers.  

On Wednesday we all had our quarterly interviews with President Richards.  Waiting in the lobby for our turn, with all the young missionaries, is a lot of fun and Sister Richards had donuts for everyone.