Sunday, March 23, 2014

Another week flies by...

What a fun, tiring week that just seemed to fly by.  We are so blessed with good health and energy, and the resources to be having the wonderful experience of this mission.  We appreciate the prayers and encouragement of our family and friends.  Know that we are working hard, learning so much, and feeling the Spirit of this great work!

We enjoyed watching the new movie "The Saratov Approach" on Monday.  The four Petersburg Elders got permission from the Mission President to watch it tomorrow also, so "Party at the Ortons' Apartment", probably pizza and snacks as well, if Elder Orton has anything to say about it. It's an interesting movie.
Monday evening we had a fun dinner with Elder Bell and Elder Mordecai at the home of  our new friend Tracy Johnson.  Wayne and I are teaching her.  She moved in to an apartment next to Robin Martin and they became friends.  Robin and Tracy worked together to make us a nice spaghetti dinner and were so excited and pleased to do it.  They are both trying hard to get their lives in order (and quit smoking) and come to church regularly. It was nice to get to know them better and they were so happy to do something for us.

Our District - Elders Mordecai, Plumb, Goodell, & Bell
Elder & Sister Orton, Sisters Hendrix & Gates
Tuesday we had our Zone Training in Woodstock, about 70 miles from here.  We took two Elders with us, the other two had to drive their mission car, then go from there on to Berryville to switch companions. Our Elder Goodell from Wyoming was transferred unexpectedly and we received a new missionary, Elder Farr from Ogden, Utah.  We will miss Elder G., but Elder Farr is great, so missionary life goes on.  I try not to get attached, but these young men are just awesome and we love them.  We also spend a lot of time with them and get to know them quite well, their fun side and their spiritual side.    
Elder Plumb & Elder Goodell,  Elder G's last day here.
Off to new adventures!
On Wednesday we drove Elder Plumb and Elder Farr to some visits that are a ways out,  saving their mission car miles and fun for us to go visiting and teaching with them.  One visit was to Dan Cassell in
Elder Plumb, geared up.
Wardensville (45 miles),  Dan is former CIA and is very concerned about our country and the way it is headed. I think he would be considered a Libertarian, prepared for civil war and financial chaos coming soon, he thinks.  Our Arizona Elder Plumb is fascinated with his predictions and preparations - was thrilled to get to try on some of his tactical gear.  We wish we could get Dan to be as concerned about his spiritual preparations....  Visited Kelly Kipp in Lost City,  then to Mathias for a wonderful lesson with Connie Stever. It was a great day.  Also treated the Elders to dinner at a little restaurant in Wardensville that was surprisingly good and very inexpensive  (a nice combination).

Thursday it was time for missionary car and apartment inspections again.  Also made a few good visits to less active ward members.  More visits Friday, also cleaned the church with the Elders, printed the ward bulletin for Sunday, and Wayne sang at the Nursing Home.  When we visited the home of Dave and Elaine Vanmeter they had a surprise for us.  Dave and Elaine are not active, we visit them often and really like them. We recently had talked about missing having a garden and admired their little starts of tomatoes and peppers.  Well, they bought a big pot, planted one of their tomato starts in it and gave it to us!  It's so cute and they said it was doing better than any of their other starts.  So nice of them.  (Even better - Elaine came to church today, the first time since we have been here...)

Elder Farr, Audrey & John Parks, Elder Plumb
Yesterday (Saturday) was another awesome day.  Fortunately good weather as we made another trip to the Washington, DC, Temple.  It's about a 2 1/2 - 3 hour drive.  This time we took Elders Plumb and Farr, and John and Audrey Parks.  John is a returning less active member and his wife Audrey is going to be baptized next Saturday, the 29th.  Audrey has been working on genealogy with me and we wanted them to set their sights on preparing to go to the temple in a year, to be sealed and to do family temple work.  Wayne was helping with ward youth temple baptisms while the Elders and I took the Parks to the visitor's center and walked around the temple grounds.  They loved seeing the temple and learning about what goes on in temples and how to prepare.  We are excited to
John and Audrey outside the Temple Visitor's Center
think that we could possibly go to the temple with them before the end of our mission.

Something fun happened at the Temple.  When we got there we all went in to the lobby of the temple to wait as the ward youth and leaders assembled. As we were quietly visiting, someone came up and tapped Wayne on the shoulder and said, "Hi, Brother Orton!"   We were so surprised to see a good high school friend of our son Darin,  Kirk Huntsman, and his lovely wife Tina.  Tina evidently knew Darin's wife Laura at BYU, too. Kirk is with the military and they live in Virginia.  They looked so good and we had a nice little visit with them. His parents, David and Betty Huntsman, are also on a mission - in Siberia, I believe.  What a chance meeting - so unexpected and nice.  
Kirk and Tina Huntsman

So today was our ward conference.  I showed up for the wrong meeting at 8 am,  went to pick up a couple that had indicated they wanted to come to church this morning - but didn't answer the door when I got there, I missed a meeting I was supposed to go to after church,  and had to sing with the missionaries in sacrament meeting - not a comfortable thing for me.  Whew!  Sounds like a bad day, doesn't it?  But actually it was a great day in spite of a few bumps in the road.  We had a wonderful ward conference with lots of stake visitors and a very good attendance of ward members, including several returning less actives and five non-members.  Sonja, who will be our next baptism, brought her daughter Kristie again and Kristie (who is in her 20's) took a Book of Mormon and committed to start reading it.  We had a fantastic ward potluck after church, to feed the stake visitors who have to come so far to our little ward.  Good food and fellowship. Then Audrey and I worked on her genealogy again and Wayne had priesthood training with John. Now Wayne is taking a well-deserved nap - I can hear him!

Just one more thing - March Madness is upon us and our favorite teams, BYU and Duke were quickly eliminated.  Still have hopes for Gonzaga?  But in our stake March Madness means something else.  The Young Men and their leaders have been challenged to read the entire Book of Mormon during the month.  They have cute March Madness calendar/reading schedules and are working hard.  Also other ward members that want to - Wayne has taken the challenge, too.  What a great idea!

Our love to you all.  We are here in West Virginia - helping to Hasten the Work of Salvation.
(Loved the quote that  appeared on someone's facebook page last week:
  "Drama doesn't just walk into your life out of nowhere,  you either create it, invite it,
   or associate with people that bring it..." )

1 comment:

  1. Great post Mom, love to hear from you guys. You guys are amazing.