Sunday, July 27, 2014

No Baptism, but otherwise a pretty good week

For our missionary Moms, a picture of our boys:

Have I mentioned before how beautiful West Virginia is??  I guess I have.  But we are even more amazed now that it is the end of July and we are seeing lovely roadside wildflowers, flowering bushes and trees in yards, and lush ferns and underbrush in the countryside.  It did seem to be getting a bit dry last week, but last night we had a spectacular lightning storm, then lots of rain.  Of course we went searching for someone today on muddy back roads ...
Flowers along the road
The view from our upstairs window - Mimosa trees, I think
Our front flower & squash bed
Other flower bed, plus cherry tomato plant
Very delicious cherry tomatoes
So the week went pretty well, except for our Romney baptism being postponed.  We were invited over to Janet & Johnny's for dinner (venison) and home evening, with Elder Farr & Elder Hall, on Monday.
Tuesday we had District Meeting in the morning.  After lunch we did apartment inspections,  visited our elderly, almost blind friend, Irene, out in the country, and also drove even farther to see Bonita and George, and Bonita's mother Darlene, on their lovely little farm.  We came back in to town and headed out the opposite direction several miles for our dinner appointment with some special friends, and back to Petersburg to help out at the nursing home for an hour of Bingo with the residents.
Wednesday we visited another elderly friend, Goldie.  We have become good friends with several inactive elderly women, and we are the only contact with the church they have.  We love them and they seem to look forward to our visits.  After seeing Goldie we drove up to Audrey and John's to read and discuss more in the Book of Mormon.  It's such a struggle for them to read that we don't know how much comprehension there is, but we try to simplify and explain. And they are trying so hard.  In the evening I worked at the church on genealogy (and provided a listening ear to ward members coming and going from activities and meetings). Wayne had the husband of our new Primary president come hang out at our apartment while his wife had a meeting, then he went home teaching.
Thursday we drove an hour up to Romney with Elder Farr and Elder Hall to visit with the Branch president up there about missionary work.  Back to Petersburg for another apartment and car inspection and a couple visits.  A few months ago with the help of an internet address locating program we found a lost ward member and have been visiting her occasionally, building a friendship.  This day we actually taught the first pamphlet lesson "The Restoration" to Kathy and it went so well.  She is remembering teachings of her youth and the testimony that has been in her all along.  Awesome experience.  (She also gave us cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers from her garden).  In the evening we volunteered at the nursing home again, then made crab salad to take to a dinner Friday night.
Friday - long day.  We were going to leave early on a little trip - but were surprised by a flat tire on our van!
A very nice apartment maintenance man went and got an air compressor and pumped it up so Wayne could drive it to the tire shop for repair.  It was a minor inconvenience that was quickly resolved and could have been much worse if it had gone flat later in the day...  Our main event for the day was a barbecue at 4 pm at the Mission Home in Ellicott City, on the outskirts of Baltimore (about 3 hours from Petersburg).  We left early enough to make one visit in nearby Wardensville, then visited the Civil War Battlefield, Antietam, on the way.  Wayne is very interested in all the Civil War history around here and had been wanting to see this area.  The visitor's center and car tour were really well done and instructive.  I found the reenactment film too graphic though and had to leave.  We learned a lot and took some beautiful pictures that I will add at the end of the blog. To understand them you should look up information about the 1862 Battle of Antietam, especially the Dunker Church, cornfields, Sunken Road (Bloody Lane), Burnside Bridge, and the Antietam National Cemetery (if you want to).
The barbecue was nice, our Mission President Mark Richards, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for us,  the senior couples brought salads and desserts.  We ate and sat around on their back deck visiting for quite a while.  Pleasant weather. Such great people, we love them all and are in awe of all they do.  Each missionary couple is having different experiences and finding their own ways to be of service.  And our Mission President and his wife are just amazing, so dedicated, talented, loving, and hard working.

Saturday we had a meeting in the morning with our Ward Mission Leader and our four Elders.  Then we
Traci, Robin, Mom & Dad Orton
made a couple visits - encouraging  families to come to church on Sunday.  We went to a little birthday party for our friend Robin, at her neighbor Traci's apartment,  Both of these ladies are very special to us and have needed our love and encouragement.  They are slowly being accepted by the ward and feeling comfortable in church. They have started attending an addiction recovery class, and Traci has another friend taking the missionary lessons (Traci calls us "Mom" and "Dad").  In the evening we worked on indexing, made up the ward bulletin, made phone calls, and worked on talks that we thought we might need on Sunday.  
We traveled back up to Romney to attend church today and sure enough were called on to speak.  (thanks, Dylan, for the "close the gate" idea, they loved it)  There were three stake visitors, Wayne & I, and 13 members of the little branch in attendance.  Pretty fun.  Our investigators did not show up and had previously decided to postpone their baptism, but we are very hopeful that it will eventually take place.  The Mission President has decided to put missionaries back up there and one of ours, Elder Farr, will be transferred there next Wednesday!  Still in our district so we will get to see him weekly - he is one of our very favorites.  He will make a big difference up there and already knows and loves Jim and Julie...   After church we drove around for a while trying to find Woneda, who had left the nursing home to live with her son, she didn't know his address, and their phone had been disconnected.  Eventually we found them, due to a few clues, Wayne's amazing locating instincts, plus prayer and guidance of the Spirit.  She was so glad to see us, we told her we would always track her down.   Then we visited Jane and came on back to Petersburg, tired and hungry. Looking forward to a relaxing Preparation Day tomorrow, then back to Baltimore Wednesday for transfers and to the Temple on Saturday.  Busy, happy, healthy, and so blessed.  Love to all.
Now for the Antietam pictures:
My favorite picture
Visitor's Center

Dunker Church

Interior of Dunker Church

Rail fences and cornfield

Sunken Road (Bloody Lane), picture taken from observation tower

Front and back side of interesting old house.

Burnside Bridge over Antietam Creek, pivotal in Battle
Interesting old stone fence

Antietam National Cemetery

1 comment:

  1. I have been so grateful to see a couple of pictures of my son, Elder Bronson! He looks very happy there. I also love the stories on the blog and the photos do make W. Virginia look very beautiful! Elder Bronson said in his email yesterday that he and Elder Rodrigues will not be transferred this time around. I am glad for that! It sounds like a wonderful place with wonderful people! I love checking in occasionally.