Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hot and Humid

We have had a fun week that has passed by us very, very quickly.  I am posting on Saturday this week because tomorrow we are leaving right after church and driving to Harpers Ferry.  We have wanted to explore this cute little town that sits close to where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers come together.  We drive past it often on our way to transfers and other meetings. It has a lot of Civil War history and the Appalachian Trail passes through it.  Our reason for going there, however, is that our good friend and recent convert, Sonja, has asked us to attend her citizenship ceremony there on Monday.  Sonja comes from Germany and has lived in the United States for 25 years, but has just recently completed the process to become a US citizen.  Should be interesting - and we can do a little sight-seeing as well.

For our Monday excursion this past week, we really wore ourselves out.  We drove up to Seneca Rocks
Seneca Rocks
National Park (went there last Fall, too).  In the visitor's center we watched an interesting film about how the rocks there were used as a training area for Army troops in the early 1940's.  It is still a popular rock-climbing area.  Then we hiked the trail up to the observation deck.  It was a pretty trail with lots of switchbacks.  Supposedly only 1.5 miles, but I know it was more than that...  There was a beautiful view from the top.  An amazing thing happened up on the observation deck - we started visiting with some other people that were there who commented on our LDS missionary
Restored cabin and garden  in Seneca Rocks National Park
name tags, they were LDS too.  After a little chatting we discovered that one of the young women was the daughter of the inactive man that Wayne has been visiting occasionally, trying to develop a trust and friendship.  Hillary, her husband, and baby were visiting from Salt Lake City.  She was very grateful that her prayers are being answered, her father is having positive contact with someone from the church.  It was so nice to meet her - what a "coincidence".

Crossing the Potomac River on the way to the hiking trail
Beautiful hiking trail

Awesome view from the top

Our new friends, Hillary, Nathan, and Casey M. from Salt Lake City
Closer view of Seneca Rocks, the observation platform is
just a little below the tree line near the center of the picture
After our hike, on our way back to Petersburg, we stopped in at Smoke Hole Caverns - another place we have been curious about.  A large section of the back woods near Petersburg is referred to as the Smoke Hole area, so named because Indians used to use some of the caves to smoke their meat and explorers saw the plumes of smoke rising from the caves.  Anyway, this particular cave was used by Indians,  later by Civil War soldiers for their wounded,  and also used for making moonshine!  The tour was a third of a mile walk in on a narrow path, sometimes up metal stairs.  We saw such interesting rock formations, an underground river and pond,  and learned a lot.  After the third of a
mile walk back out we were getting a little stiff and sore...  But it was a very fun and interesting day.

Moonshine still inside Smoke Hole Cavern

Underground river

Famous golden trout in an underground pond

Tuesday we had District Meeting, then drove up to John and Audrey's to read the Book of Mormon with them.  Their tiny home in the woods gets so hot, it was difficult to stay awake!  In the evening we helped with Bingo at the nursing home.  Wednesday we met with Becky H. to go over the temple prep class that she missed last Sunday.  She is so excited to have overcome a habit that was keeping her from the temple,  she is ready to go.  We hope to be able to take her soon.  In the evening Wayne went home teaching and I did genealogy and indexing with ward members.  Thursday we did a lot of visiting and I went to Relief Society in the evening.  We had a service auction - I traded genealogy work for peanut butter fudge!  Friday we helped some friends clean the church, then after we cleaned up we picked up Elder Farr and Elder Hall and spent the rest of the day and early evening visiting in the further out areas of our ward.  (it's the end of the month and they are completely out of miles on their mission car)  We had great visits and lessons with Jane H. and Woneda in Baker, Joy W. out in the woods near Wardensville, Connie S. near Mathias,  and Vada D. high up on a mountain top out towards the Virginia state line.  So nice to see these ladies, most are inactive (some due to health reasons) but have testimonies and love to see us.  In the middle of our visiting we had dinner with our Elders Quorum President and his wife and son,  they live in Lost City and had invited the Elders to meet them at a local diner for pizza. Since we were the chauffeurs for the day we went too and had a delicious chicken dinner.

Today (Saturday) we are picnic-ing.  We were invited to a lunch picnic in the park for some of our members' family reunion.  Great food and good to mingle with active and inactive ward members there.  Some of our favorite people, and they consider us family, too.  So nice.  Later today is our ward picnic at Welton Park. Wayne is pretty much in charge of it, so is kind of stressed with all the details, but it will be fun.  It's been pretty hot, but we just had a nice rain so I think it will be pleasant.

I had a nice conversation last Tuesday with my sister Judy on her birthday.  She and her husband are planning to come see us in September.  Yeah!!  Happy birthday on Friday to granddaughter Kendra Jayne. We have spent most of her previous birthdays with her, as the country sets off fireworks in her honor, so sad to be apart this year.   Our love to you all.  And yes, time does fly when you are having fun.  What greater fun could we be having than to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and testify of Him every day?      

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