So, we were a bit discouraged last week, but being sufficiently humbled and having a great dose of inspiring General Conference over the weekend, we went to work trying to improve our scheduling, appointment making, detective work, and time management. Had a great week, not everything worked out the way we planned it, but had many good experiences.
The K's are a family we will be working with. Inactive Dad, Mom hasn't been a member for very long, is going to nursing school. Three children: 10, 5, 3. They have marital and financial troubles, aren't coming to church. We had a brief visit with Mom and the kids a couple weeks ago. I "happened" to run in to her in the grocery story on Friday the 4th, had a good visit and she invited us to come over on Monday and meet her husband. When we got there as we were getting out of the car, Wayne found a soggy five dollar bill on the ground. He took it inside and gave it to the mom. She was pretty excited, said she had lost $47 out of her pocket that morning and it was her gas money for going to college for the week. She and Dad went outside to search where he had found it, and even though it had been raining and windy all day, Dad found every bit of the money - she was so amazed and grateful. She said, "You guys must have been sent by God to me tonight!". We said Yes we were... Anyway, I had prepared a Family Home Evening lesson and the kids were so good and attentive. (the mom was amazed at that also) Gave them pictures to color, had prayer with them, then as their reward gave them chocolate chip cookies. The Dad never came home, but we left him cookies and hope to meet him next time. Good visit. Then we went to another house where we have been trying and trying to find a family at home. Yeah! They were home and we had a good visit. The ward had lost track of them, we went to two wrong addresses before we finally found the correct one and this was our fourth try to find someone home. But it was worth it, we had a very good visit.
Tuesday we drove around the Arthur and Lahmandsville area trying to track down addresses. Found one lady home that was not interested. Found another lady at home who was very happy to see us and we enjoyed getting to know her. She wants us to come back and see her again, and I think when her work schedule allows it she will come back to church. In the evening we had a real adventure visiting Sandra, quite a ways out, and up a steep, bad mountain lane to an older trailer home near the top of the mountain. Nice lady with lots of family problems. Has a son in a detention home right now, Wayne has written to him, she appreciated our interest and support.
Wednesday morning we picked up Elder Hibberd and drove him to Columbia, near Ellicott City, Maryland, about three hours away, for transfers. We will miss him, he was a very smart and dedicated missionary. He was part of a temporary threesome, so will not be replaced. Our Romney Elders were both replaced, so new faces in our District. The Romney Elders wanted us to take them too, but we couldn't take their bikes so they got to drive their mission car there. We are going to get a bike rack installed on our van because every six weeks are transfers and it will be a big help if we can transport missionaries and their bikes. Our Elder Williamson will be going home at the next transfers. Because we didn't have to bring anyone back to Petersburg we were able to have a little free time and went out to lunch at IHOP in Frederick, also to Costco. Got back home in time to work at the Family History Center from 6 - 9 pm, did a lot of indexing.
Thursday we went to the Baptist Church to the Red Cross Blood Drive. We had been donating blood back in LaGrande regularly so decided to see if they would accept our blood here - they did. Checked our blood pressure, it was good. Headed to Moorefield about 4pm to visit our friend Woneda who is new to the area, wheel-chair bound, and lonely. She was so glad to see us and made us promise to come back regularly (we had already intended to, but it was nice to be appreciated!). Then we made a couple more fun visits, way out in the woods, in the rain and the dark. We had made appointments and found interesting people who shared good life stories with us and were very welcoming. The last visit was to a kind of remote place called "Lost City", we want to go back in the daytime to explore the interesting history and scenery of the area (if we can find it....). At that home the amazing couple shared stories of conversion, faith, and trials with us, were very open and trusting. We feel very close to them and admire their strength and dedication.
More visits Friday then tried to have dinner at the Stray Cat Mexican Restaurant in Moorefield, but they were so slow that we had to have it boxed up and ate it after our evening appointment. That visit was the most fun of the week. Wayne "bonded" with an inactive man as they played guitars and sang for an hour, the wife and I had a good visit. They said they really enjoyed us coming and insisted we come back (we will). Gave us a jar of bottled venison too. Finally ate our soggy Mexican dinner at about 10 pm, but it was worth it.
Saturday Wayne went on a ward wood cutting activity, getting wood in for a family with health problems. I had several hours of needed "alone time" to make applesauce, clean, get groceries, watch a Hallmark movie. In the afternoon we helped the Hinkles make apple butter. Very fun. Fireside in the evening. After early meeting this morning, then regular church service, then a long drive to visit a young lady who is not active because of health challenges - Wayne is finally taking a well-earned nap. Our speaker in church today was Jason Wright, very good.
So that is probably way more than you wanted to know, but we did have a great week in spite of the almost constant drizzle. We are making special friends, being inspired by amazing stories of faith and adversity, learning lessons we needed to learn, and working hard. Our prayers are with Angie as she recovers from knee surgery, Patrick as he searches for employment, Elder Dallin as he serves enthusiastically in Mozambique, and all the rest of our family and friends as you face your daily challenges so far from us. Good luck.