Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Week

I don't know what I was thinking when I said we were going to take a couple days off to relax and regroup.  That sure didn't happen.  Monday (supposedly our Preparation Day),  we worked at the Food Pantry, made some visits, went to Wal-Mart, etc.  Busy.  Tuesday - Christmas Eve - we still had our District Meeting, this time in the town of Romney, about 40 miles northeast of Petersburg. We had a good meeting, then Wayne and I did apartment and car inspections for the Romney Elders.  We got back to Moorefield, where one set of Petersburg Elders had left their car, about 2 pm.  We took the other set of Elders (Ashby & Goodell) with us and headed east to Baker to make a couple visits, then south past Mathias to the List home for a nice Christmas Eve dinner.  (note to my kids:  we felt so at home as they had Hickory Farms meat and cheese, sweet & sour meatballs, deviled eggs, vegetables & chips with dip, cookies & candy - just what we would have had at home!)   After dinner and visiting we drove way out in the woods east of Mathias, to visit a "media referral" lady.  What a nice woman,  she thinks she joined the church 20 years ago,  went for about a year, then had personal and marriage problems and fell away.  We had such a nice visit and made plans to go back next week.  Took about an hour to get home,  we put about 170 miles on the van and were gone from our apartment over 12 hours. 

Christmas Day was quiet.  We went for a long walk,  then spent time Skyping some of our kids.  So fun to see and hear them.  What a beautiful, sweet family we are blessed with.  They are all so busy doing good things.  We spend so much of our time here among those who have fallen away from the church,  are un-educated, and have such marriage, financial, health, and personal problems.  It's overwhelming at times.  Anyway,  we enjoyed seeing and talking with our kids, their spouses, and our grandchildren.  It took a few days but we eventually got to visit with everyone except our missionary grandson Dallin.  Christmas dinner was spent with our Ward Mission Leader Ron Holmes and his daughter Dee.  Dee had fixed a wonderful ham dinner for us and also sent us home with lots of leftovers.  We have been spoiled here by the kindness of our ward members - so many gifts of food, scarves & gloves, candy & fudge, West Virginia tee-shirts, and so on.  Even today my good friend Julie Teter gave us a little box for New Year's eve with crackers & cheese ball, sparkling grape juice, grapes, and candy - so cute.  The cards and notes have been sweet as well. 

Thursday and Friday - more meetings, more visits, helped with Bingo at the Nursing Home and worked at the Food Pantry again.  Friday evening we went out in the woods past Moorefied and found John and Audrey Parks.  They just moved in a couple months ago, he is an less active member, she is not a member.  It was nice getting to know them,  they fed us dinner (even though we had already eaten at home...),  then pulled out the mandolin, guitar, and tambourine for a little hilly-billy jamfest with Wayne.  It was great.  He agreed to help Wayne with a ward social in February and they came to church this morning.  I think she is ready to take the missionary lessons.  Nice people.

Briana, Ashley, Rebecca, Elder Hartwig, Elder Salazar

Jeremiah, Sonya, Joseph, Elder Goodell, Elder Ashby
Elder Goodell, Jeremiah, Joseph, Sonya, Elder Ashby

Saturday was another loooong day, but pretty special.  In September, 16-year-old Rebecca was baptized. Saturday the family that fellowshipped her took her, their two teen-age daughters, and two Elders to the temple where the girls got to do baptisms (some for names I submitted for neighbor and friend Becky).  The other two Elders and a nonmember woman Sonya, her 12-year-old son Joseph, and the son's friend Jeremiah went with Wayne and I.  We did an endowment session while the others had a tour of the visitor's center.  We all (14 of us) went out to eat, then back to the temple to see the lights and the nativities.   They watched church videos in our van on the way home and just all had a great day.  The weather was nice too.  And our chauffeur, Elder Orton,  didn't complain at all about the 2 1/2 drive or the congested roads in places or the sometimes silly GPS routes.  We feel extra blessed to have gone to the Washington, DC, Temple twice this month so we'll show another picture this week of us in the same spot.

Today we had lots of rain.  Wayne spoke in church and did a great job, of course.  And it's our anniversary - number 43.  Happy Anniversary today also to our youngest son, Devin and his beautiful wife Amie.  We love you guys.  Thanks for house sitting for us. 

I told my sister Judy I would send a couple pictures of West Virginia chicken houses.  One of the big industries in the area is the Pilgrim chicken processing plant in Moorefield.  They employ many people at the plant and there are big chicken houses all over that supply the chickens.  I think they process about 400,000 chickens per day.  The variety of chickens they grow and the type of super food they use takes only six weeks from chick to butcher time. 

Another bit of West Virginia trivia - it's bear hunting season here.  I promised my grandsons a picture of the pick-up we saw in the Wal-Mart parking lot last Monday.  The rest of you may not want to look.

Anniversary flowers and New Year's eve party box!
Some sweet ward members gave us West Virginia tee-shirts for Christmas
 Happy New Year!!

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