Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snowed In !

Yes, today we are officially snowed in.  Our church services were cancelled and all missionaries in the entire
mission are "grounded", confined to apartments.  There was only a skiff of snow on the ground when we got up at 6:30 am,  but then it really came down and we have 8 to 10 inches now - and the freezing rain has begun.  We are snug in our apartment, with plenty of food and water.  But no alternate heat if the power goes out, so we are hoping that doesn't happen,  it's 28 degrees in Petersburg right now. Hard to believe that it was 73 degrees here on Wednesday!  Our children have had frigid weather all week in their various places, especially the Acors in Havre, Montana - we even heard Havre mentioned on the national news yesterday.  So good luck to all of you.   One of the
less active women that we have been working with was planning to come to church today - maybe next week...  Wayne was scheduled to speak in church today and worked hard on his awesome talk all week.  Oh, well.  We both prepared lessons to teach today too.  So we have spent the day reading, watching church videoes, studying,  playing games (Racko and Pairs in Pears - thanks, Jensens).  Hopefully we can get the Christmas Devotional online tonight,  it's always such a great way to begin the Christmas season.

We drove with two of the Elders to zone training in Winchester (Berryville) on Tuesday.  Really good meetings, mostly done by the AP's.  Also by Mission President Richards & his wife.  We were a little late getting there,  traffic was stopped at two places for accidents along the way.  I helped Sister Richards and another senior sister with lunch for the group, it went well.  We got home just in time to head out about 20 miles west of Petersburg, near Seneca Rocks, for dinner with the Teter family.  What a treat.  They are great and treat us well.  We also filled up our water jugs there,  they have good water and we are on city water here that is not very good.  Wednesday we helped with games at the Nursing Home, then had District Meeting.  In the evening I picked up Becky Hovatter and we worked on genealogy at the church.  We found so much information on her family - it is going very well.  We are both excited about it and getting lots of names ready for temple work.  She is close to being ready to get her first temple recommend too. We have a new convert (September) named Rebecca who is working on genealogy also and will be going soon to do baptisms in the Washington, DC, Temple.  We will send our names with her, then they will be ready for more work when Becky is ready to go.  Such a neat experience. 

Here is a little miracle that happened last week:  When I went to pick Becky up for our genealogy session
she was on the phone with her grandson and I could tell she was needing help moving furniture around.  When she got off the phone I told her that if she needed help she could just ask the missionaries, they live right across the road from her.  Well, Becky said that a neighbor was moving and was giving her some furniture and she had to get rid of her old couches and recliner, she was asking her grandson to come get them and burn them.  I looked at them, they looked fine to me, so I asked if the missionaries could have them - one set of our missionaries had no living room furniture.  Becky was glad to give them the furniture,  they were thrilled to get it.  When they went to move it they also helped move the new furniture into Becky's apartment and the neighbor moving out gave them a kitchen table and chairs and another recliner.  I am so relieved that the elders have furniture now and just because I was in the right spot at the right time!  A miracle. 

Elder Ashby and our new missionary Elder Goodell
Several years ago we were visiting the Poyfairs and went to church with them.  In our Sunday School class Brother Haws used a phrase that has become a favorite of ours since then and comes up pretty often, "The thing we think is the thing isn't really the thing."   This past week we mentioned that phrase several times.  Once we went to visit a lady whose name is on the rolls but hasn't come in years, goes to another church, and wanted her name taken off so peope from our church would quit bothering her.  We made an appointment to visit her and get her signature for name removal - but, when we were there she had a care giver who was quite friendly and enjoyed our visit and some of the things we said.  Wayne asked if she would like us to visit her some time and tell her about our church,  she said yes and gave us her name and phone number! 

Another time we used that phrase was when we stopped by to visit our bishop on Wednesday afternoon.  He lives in a nice housing development between Petersburg and Moorefield,  we headed out there to check on him since he had back surgery a week ago.  Had a nice visit,  but his wife Lucy eventually mentioned that she just found out she had skin cancer and had to have treatment.  Bishop had been trying to reassure her, but she was pretty worried.  Just happened that I had had the same thing several years ago and could explain the process and calm her down.  Wayne was able to assist Bishop in giving her a blessing also.  We thought we were going there to check on the the bishop, but were sent there for a different reason. 

Those little coincidences - tender mercies - are quite special and such a blessing to us.  We are trying to be where we are supposed to be and where the Lord can use us to touch others.  So grateful, too,  that a little deer got out of the road just before we would have hit it Thursday night on our way out to Sandy and Baxter Borrer's for dinner!!  Whew!  We had a nice dinner,  they are such good people and so generous.  We had two Elders with us, and after dinner Sandy packed up a hefty food box for the other two missionaries, they really appreciated that.  Sandy also pulled out a stack of pictures she had saved from years ago of missionaries in the area when she was  teenager.  So fun to find that she had a picture of Wayne,  also of his friend Leon Johnson.  He recognized some of the others too.  (I think that picture of Wayne at age 19 will eventually show up at some future ward activity, what do you think?)

After lots of rain on Friday we had a pretty nice day Saturday and Wayne was able to help out with a wood splitting project before he sang at the nursing home.  I enjoyed a long walk downtown to a Christmas bazaar and to several antique/craft stores.  Nice to be out and about before being home bound today (and maybe tomorrow).

We have had requests for our address - yes, we would love Christmas cards.
Elder and Sister Orton,  2202 Michael Avenue,  Petersburg,  WV  26847

Our love to all of you.  Stay safe and warm.   

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