Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Family Gathers Without Us....

So sad to have our family gathering in Boise without us this past weekend - but a happy thought too, knowing that they were getting together, having fun, strengthening family bonds.  The Acors couldn't make it, neither could Elder Dallin,  but still there were 10 adults and 18 children & teens.   They had a hot dog roast Friday night and Skyped us so we could talk to each one for a minute, went to a water park Saturday, and on Sunday went to church together, had lunch at Devin & Amie's, and had a Family Home Evening.   They sent us an amazing audio recording of five of our children (plus Patrick) at their FHE telling what they think it means to be an Orton.  We were very emotional seeing their pictures and hearing their voices, and telling stories of growing up and lessons learned.  It's been almost a year since we've seen most of them - we miss them so much, but are very proud of them and appreciate their love and support - and their great examples for us.
Boise, Idaho - 20 July 2014
Wayne & Janie Orton family, minus Wayne & Janie, the Acors, and Elder Dallin
So, in order to keep our minds off the fun family stuff back home, we were blessed with a very busy week
Elder Rodrigues with Jim & Julie
here in West Virginia.  We drove two of our Elders (Farr & Hall) quite a ways several times to teach a wonderful couple that live in an area that doesn't currently have missionaries.  This couple, Jim and Julie, have studied about the LDS church and attended the small branch of the church nearest them on their own a couple times already. They love the principles and doctrine that they have learned so far and are anxious for baptism.  It's been a very special experience to get to know them and feel the Spirit during their lessons.  As an added bonus Julie is a great cook and insists on feeding us when we travel there.  Yesterday we took our District Leader, Elder Rodrigues, up there so he could do his very first baptismal interview.

On Monday also took the Elders out to Lost City for a service project for our Elders Quorum president who
Elder Farr, Hunter, Elder Hall
has been suffering with back problems.  They feed us also, and our meal included waffles (one of my favorite things) and, for the very first time, scrapple!  We moved rocks and trash for them, watched their fish, played with their bird and dogs, the Elders did laundry and played with their 11-year-old son Hunter, then did a Home Evening lesson with them.  They are a great little family, the mom Leslie has only been a member for a couple years.  They love the influence that the Elders are on Hunter.

Kelly & Leslie
Koi Pond
Beautiful dog, Valentine
Elder Orton trying to make friends with the cockatiel
We also took our four Elders to a Zone Meeting in Woodstock,  where some of the training was done by a member of our stake presidency - the author, Jason F. Wright.  He is a gifted speaker and teacher, too.  We made several visits, Wayne fixed a member's lawn mower, I helped members with genealogy and took a friend to several appointments.  Wayne went home teaching a couple times and sang at the nursing home on Friday night.  On Sunday I picked up Samantha and Jacob for church again and got to teach Relief Society again too. Wayne taught priesthood. Several of the less actives that we visited last week came to church, that's just awesome.  After church we had two of our favorite couples over for Sunday dinner.  I had baked chicken that someone had given us,  and made "Aunt Irene's Zucchini Casserole" with squash and onions that someone else had given us.  Such generous members here who spoil us!  Then Audrey and I worked on genealogy while Wayne and John visited a gentleman who has lots of health problems - Al really appreciated them coming to see him.   We finished that up and drove back to Capon Bridge for another visit with our investigators.  Long day.

Today is our preparation day - we did laundry, mopped the kitchen floor, caught up with financial stuff and journal writing,  etc.  At 5 pm we picked up two Elders and drove to Moorefield for dinner and home evening with Johnny and Janet.  We even got Johnny to sing a few songs before we headed back.  Nice day, but hot and humid again.  So glad we have air-conditioning in our apartment and car.

See - we kept busy enough that I was only tempted a little bit to get on an airplane and fly to Boise for the weekend.   We felt very productive and useful here, and had some special spiritual experiences.  What a joy it is to serve a mission (and difficult and exhausting, at times).  Our love to all.

Our friend Martha, in a nursing home in Franklin
Beautiful doe with two fawns by the side of the road   

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