Sunday, August 3, 2014

Busy Week, Fantastic Weekend

Sunflower field on the road between Petersburg and Moorefield - Beautiful picture!!
The last few days of July and the first few days of August flew by in a blur.  We had District Meeting Tuesday followed by visits to some special people.  Wednesday we drove to Columbia, on the outskirts of Baltimore (3 hour drive) for our mission Transfer Day.  It's a hectic, chaotic, wonderful, spiritual couple of hours.  Eighteen new missionaries introduced themselves and met their trainers,  twelve missionaries had come to the end of their two year or eighteen month missions and bore tearful farewell testimonies.  Many other missionaries were transferred to different assignments so they met their new companions and loaded up all their "stuff" and bikes to go to a new area.  We tried to take a few pictures that show some of the fun and excitement.  We left with Elder Farr and Elder Hall,  came back with Elder Hall and his two new companions, Elder Moore and Elder Lyon (both from Arizona).

Elder Farr (leaving us) with Elder Hall

Elder Orton with author, counselor in our Stake presidency, and  friend Jason F. Wright

No one can pack the van like Elder Orton

Elder Farr with new companion Elder Mordecai
 This week was also the county fair in Petersburg.  Not much to it, quite a disappointment.  But our Elders did put together a nice booth in the exhibit hall and spent the afternoons and evenings (until their curfew) talking to people and handing out pamphlets, cards, and Books of Mormon.  They enjoyed it.  Friday night after Wayne sang at the nursing home, we took a shift to give them a break.  Actually I stayed at the booth and surprisingly had fun talking to people as they came by,  Wayne was very distracted by the Tractor Pull going on right outside our building and spent most of his time there!!  Me:  In my defense . . . I have no defense.  It is just that Sister Orton was doing such a good job with passers by that I got pulled away by the old Farmalls and John Deeres.  Mostly M's and A's.  Always wondered which pulled the best.  It looked like the M Farmall did the best but I was standing by and experienced tractor puller who told me it was just the way they were driven because the A John Deere was by direct drive to the wheels and didn't lose power in the transfer like the M Farmall with the same horsepower.  (My brothers would understand this}

Yesterday and today have been pretty amazing.  Yesterday we got up early, met some folks in Moorefield and drove three hours to the Washington, DC, Temple.  Adults from our ward did baptisms, Wayne was the escort for a man who had been in our temple preparation class going through for the first time, about a dozen ward members went together with him through his first endowment session. All in all we had seventeen ward members in the temple yesterday and another couple that was sealed in the Manti Temple last week.  A wonderful day.  Today our Testimony Meeting was almost entirely people talking about what a special experience it was to be together in the temple and about how important temples are.  (and a few people saying how they missed out and are working towards going soon)  They were so excited that in priesthood meeting they set another ward temple day for next month!  I think our neighbor Becky will be ready to go for the first time then and also our good friends Johnny and Janet, who have not been in a long time... Exciting things happening in the Petersburg Ward!

Today we were tired and had planned to take a nap after church...  But Elder Rodrigues asked us if we would take he and Elder Bronson on some visits, quite a few miles away, ending with a dinner appointment with a fun family who live about 20 miles out (a mom and dad with two married children who live near them and four grandkids).  I had fun holding a baby and we celebrated their granddaughter's fifth birthday while there.  We saw deer grazing on the hillside behind the house while we ate and Wayne had to take some pictures of rusty trucks and equipment on the way home...  It's been a good week.  Hope yours has been good too.

This morning in Fast and Testimony Meeting, as our Ward Mission Leader was bearing his testimony he said something that really made me think.  He said "I know that our Heavenly Father is anxiously waiting for us to return to Him."  Now we all know that the plan is that someday we will and want to return to live with Him.  The word "anxious" can have a lot of meanings.  I asked the men in quorum meeting what it meant to them.
One said, "It is like Christmas morning when I was a kid.  I was so anxious (excited) about Christmas morning I just could hardly stand it."  Another said something like, "When my son took the car for the first time I was anxious (frightened, worried) until he returned."  There were other comments also.  Here are some of the synonyms of anxious:  worried, concerned, uneasy, apprehensive, fearful, perturbed, troubled, bothered,disturbed, distressed, fretful, agitated, nervous, tense, jumpy.
Here are some of the more positive words:  eager, keen, desirous, excited.
I prefer the last ones.  They are similar to the feelings of awaiting Christmas morning or like waiting for a family reunion.
As I think about this, I hope that as my Heavenly Father is anxiously awaiting my return it is like these last feelings and not like any of the first group of synonyms.  We can hope all we want and that will not help.  We need to do. The choice of how He "anxiously" awaits us is up to each one of us.  I pray that for each one us He will be eager and excited to see us again because we chose to live celestial lives.  If we so choose, that will be the case, I promise.

Collage made by Pres. Wright of a recent Zone Meeting, for mission PR

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