Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow and More Snow!

Well, last Sunday and Monday we were snowed in.  We had the bulletin printed and our lessons prepared. Then church was cancelled.  Monday we had a couple of appointments scheduled that had to be postponed. Tuesday, the roads were clear, we were able to resume our regular schedules.   We did service at the nursing home and visited several people. Wednesday Wayne sang at a birthday party at the nursing home, then we went out an visited our friend Irene.  After our visit to her last month I had sent her a letter with some pictures - of the birds we saw at her bird feeder and of the African violet she gave me a year ago, blooming brilliantly.  Irene mentioned how much she enjoyed the letter and pictures, said she usually just gets bills in the mail!  We stopped in to check on our friends Robin and Traci, then got a call from our Bishop inviting us to have dinner with he and his wife Lucy and our two Elders.  So we drove to his lovely home and had a delicious enchilada dinner. Fun and unexpected.  Went back to the church to have the Family History Center room open for research and indexing.

Fortunately the weather Thursday was okay - cold but clear.  The roads were good and we were able to take our two missionaries and two assigned to the Romney Branch to the Washington DC Temple.  It's about a 3-hour drive, but of course well worth it!  The young Elders and Sister missionaries are permitted to go every six months in our mission (the Maryland Baltimore Mission), so it's a real treat that they look forward to.  It was cold and windy around the temple but warm inside as we performed sacred ordinances and enjoyed the peace, quiet, and special spirit there.  We went in to the nearby Visitor's Center to see the new cut-away temple model that is just amazing.  On the way home we had to stop at Elder Orton's favorite Golden Corral restaurant - always fun to see how much the young men can eat...
Elders Welch, Briggs, Aubrey, and Vandeveur

Cut-away model of the Washington DC Temple 

Enjoying a late lunch at Golden Corral

Friday we had a meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, then drove Elder Briggs and Elder Aubrey to a couple of visits on the far edge of our mission, close to the Virginia border, about 50 miles from Petersburg.
We were privileged to sit in on their second lesson with Roger A., a young man with a big smile who is reading the Book of Mormon, studying the pamphlets, loved his first church service, and is scheduled for baptism in March.  Wayne and I have visited Roger's mother Vada (a less-active member) several times, she is the thoughtful woman who gave me the lovely Christmas Cactus).  Super lesson,  great guy, and he even had pizza for us, he is thoughtful like his mother.  We are excited for him. After meeting with Roger we drove down the road a bit and stopped in at Paul and Crystal's.  Wayne and I needed to do our home and visiting teaching there and the Elders were pleased to see where they live and visit with them.  They asked for blessings, as they have some health issues.  We were able to get the Elders back to Moorefield in time for their evening appointments and Wayne to the nursing home to sing, again.

We had planned to go back to the Temple on Saturday, with ward members.  But a big storm was forecast and sadly we had to cancel.  It was a good thing we did, because we did get the big storm with lots of wind and snow.  The roads would have been terrible.  So we stayed home, studied, prepared the ward bulletin for Sunday and lessons we were assigned to teach. Wayne shoveled a few times, but his efforts didn't do much good while it was still snowing....   The Elder's cars were grounded too.  In the late afternoon we got the news that the Bishop had cancelled church for Sunday again this week.  Few of our members live close to the church, most have to travel, and he didn't                                                                                                               want people out on the
bad roads.  The Elders are still grounded, but Wayne went out with his friend Ron (who has 4-wheel drive) to check on some people, maybe do a little home teaching too.  Finally this afternoon we are getting a little sunshine, but I think it's going to be below zero tonight. Wishing for Spring...    

To my Family:  pay special attention to page 73 of the February issue of the Ensign magazine:
"Six ways to Strengthen Family Love"
1. Learn together
2. Pray together
3. Hold Family Home Evening
4. Make Wise Media choices
5. Serve together
6. Express Love daily

We love you.  Can't wait to see you.  Take care of each other....

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It is So Cold out there...

Happy Valentine's Day

Little Backyard Cemetery - very common around here
It is mid-day, the sun in shining, and it has warmed up to about 12 degrees!  It was 7 degrees when we got up this morning, the wind was blowing, the roads were icy - after the Bishop drove to the church from his home about 8 am he decided to cancel church services for today.  So we are having a quiet day, listening to the wind howl while we are warm and cozy in our little apartment.  We can read and study and eat left-overs from the ward activity last night.  We have been pretty busy lately, so it's good to relax a bit.

Instead of using Monday for chores and getting organized for the week, we decided to drive to Winchester to a MALL and to COSTCO!  What fun!  Wayne needed some new shoes and we had a good time shopping and picking up some staples at Costco.  We even treated ourselves to a nice dinner at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant.  When we got back in to Petersburg I dropped Wayne off at the nursing home to visit his friend Dave and I came home to try and find places to stash our purchases,  it's nice to be stocked up but difficult to find anywhere to put things, there is no storage room in our temporary home...

Tuesday was Zone Conference in Berryville, about 70 miles from here.  It's always a treat to be instructed by our mission president and his wonderful wife, and our stake president.  Good and dedicated people.  And great to be around the other missionaries and hear their suggestions and miracles.  On the way home we visited Deb F. in Wardensville and the Alexanders in Moorefield.

What a nice surprise Wednesday - a lovely Valentine's Day bouquet!  Wayne tried to pretend they were from him until I read the card.  Thanks Devin and Amie - they are lovely.  So nice to have fresh flowers in February!  We had District Meeting Wednesday morning.  Wayne has a cute story to share from that.  He is so creative and the Elders just love him.  In the afternoon I met Wanda at the church to do some more work on her genealogy.  She sells Avon and brought gifts of lotion and after-shave for Wayne and I - that's a first!  We had fun and she plans to start attending on Sundays soon.  Thursday - more genealogy work, this time with Sheila.  More visits, we went to a very shabby trailer court to try (again) to find a lost member, James. Successful this time and he shared his story of just getting out of prison and trying to get a job.  He is trying to provide shelter and food for his wife and sons, knowing that he could get quick, easy money going back to selling drugs.  He is determined to stay away from that though - we prayed with him.  Hope he is successful.  Service at the nursing home in the evening.

Friday we found another missing member.  Cute little lady, mother-in-law of another lady we are working with.  We had a nice visit and she says she wants to come back...  We visited some other members, then drove to Moorefield for dinner with Dwayne, Katya, their four children, and the Elders.  Katya had wanted to fix German schnitzel for us.  It was very good.  After dinner Wayne entertained the kids while the Elders and I had a lesson with Dwayne and Katya. It went pretty well I think.

Saturday was hectic as Wayne helped prepare for the ward activity and I filled in at the nursing home,
helping some of the residents play "Flip".  No, we weren't doing flips.  We were turning cards over when the listed category was called.  Boring, I think, but they are pretty excited when they win a game and receive a nickel!  Later in the day, the weather didn't cooperate with our activity.  The temperature dropped, the wind started blowing, and it started snowing.  Still we had a pretty decent attendance and everyone who did come had a good time and managed to get home safely afterward.  Our special little family (who we had dinner with on Friday) came, so did the cute little lady JoAnn that we found.  Harold, a man the Elders are teaching and who is scheduled for baptism the end of the month came and had a great time.  I think there were seven less-actives and eight non-members of the total attendance of 50 or so.  We had a great dinner of ham, beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread.  Members brought an abundance of desserts.  Live music was provided by Wayne and his friends - they are pretty popular.  It was a good evening. 

Robin, Traci, and Oscar


Mandalyn, Calli, and Cadence

Audrey, John, Elder Orton, Johnny

Busy week coming up as we get to take four Elders to the Washington DC temple and also go with ward members on Saturday.  Wayne is playing music at the nursing home twice.  And of course meetings, visits, and lessons to teach.  Hopefully the weather will be better next week and the roads will be good.

Today we are missing our family back home - looking at cute pictures of the Poyfairs and Thuesons having fun together in Utah!


In our district meeting last week I (Elder Orton) noticed how all of the Elder’s shoes were not polished and looking kind of shabby.  At the end of the meeting I went to the chalk board, drew a circle and wrote “shoe polish” in the circle.  I asked them if they were familiar with this term.  They looked at me like they thought I was a bit “touched” and then I asked them if they knew what shoe polish was for.  They each hesitated a bit as they thought, “Is he for real?”.
I didn’t let up.  With seriousness, I asked for their answers one by one.  “So our shoes will look nice?”  No, that is not the reason.  “So we better represent the Savior when we meet people?”  No, that is not the reason.  “To preserve our shoes and they will last longer?”  No, that is not it either.  “So we won’t look grubby?”  Wrong again! 
By now they were starting to look flustered so I told them I was going to let them know the real reason for missionaries to keep their shoes polished.  They were ready to learn at this point.
Notice the shape of a shoe.  See how most shoes are tapered to a point more or less?  Part of the reason is because it is formed around a foot but the real reason has to do with aerodynamics which is primarily concerned with the forces of drag and lift, which are caused by air passing over and around solid bodies. 
Now consider the polish.  It is a waxy substance that when buffed out leaves a shiny, very smooth surface.  We wear shoes on our feet as we walk.  As we walk, we are moving our feet forward.  Air passes over the surface of our shoes.  When our shoes are not polished, the air passing over them finds resistance, thus lowering the drag coefficient.  This means it takes more of our energy to walk.  When our shoes are polished and we walk forward, the drag coefficient is increased which results in less resistance to the air passing over them and there is less energy required to walk.  That my young elders is the real reason we polish our shoes.  Never forget it.
As missionaries we need all the energy we can find to go forth and hasten the work.  As wise stewards and servants, shouldn’t we do all we can to be efficient?
Sister Orton, why are they looking at me this way?  I hope they got it.
Next time I saw the elders, their shoes were . . . . . . . still not polished except one!  I tried.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

First week in February - 2015

Beautiful West Virginia Sunset
What a great day!  I think we had our largest attendance at church since we've been here - 103!  Several investigators, several non-members, six returning less-active members.  We had a great sacrament meeting, strong spirit, and our brand-new ward choir sang (small in number, but sounded good).  Best of all, Craig - who was baptized yesterday - was confirmed.  So it was a great morning, then our Bishop's wife Lucy invited us over for chicken & dumplings and baked ham & cheese sandwiches,  very good.  We enjoyed the meal and enjoyed visiting with them for quite a while after eating.

Our weather has been very up and down this week,  cold and windy, then nice, then cold again.  Today was beautiful with the temperature almost up to 70 degrees.  The recent storms have missed us,  we had a lot of rain one evening and a few snow flurries one day, but not bad.  Tuesday we drove up to Romney for our District Meeting.  We got to see our friend Woneda in the nursing home while we were there.  She is not doing well. Wayne read to her from the Book of Mormon.  When we got home we made a couple of visits. Wednesday we made a long drive (oops, I think out of our mission) to Morgantown to visit our friend Dave who was in the hospital there.  He was in pretty bad shape from the flu and lung problems a couple weeks ago, was put on a ventilator here in the Petersburg hospital, then transported by helicopter or ambulance 100 miles to a better hospital in Morgantown, associated with the university there.  Anyway, he is finally getting better and was anxious to get back home - he didn't realize how ill he was, he was sedated for quite a while. So we got to spend a little time with him.  He got to come back to Petersburg on Fridy and is at the nursing home here for physical therapy as he gets his strength back.  I think of him as an old man, but he is only one year older than I am,  quite a bit younger than Wayne.  He has had a rough life, we are glad he is doing better now.

Thursday we did service at the nursing home, then Wayne and friends practiced music while a friend and I worked on genealogy.  Friday was special,  Wanda came to the church, I got her registered with Family Search, and we started work on her genealogy (for several hours).  Wanda used to come to church but quit coming several years ago.  We had gotten to know her, several of her sisters, and her mother Helen in our visiting.  Helen passed away recently and we have encouraged Wanda to come back - this is a first step. I really like her, we worked well together, and had fun.  I have found more information since that she will be excited about,  I know I had divine assistance in figuring out a few problems we were having.  We are getting together again this week.  Our ward Family History Director, Ashley, and I are also meeting with Sheila again this week, she is a returning member who has been at church three or four Sundays in a row and is also very excited to work on her genealogy.  We are doing missionary work for the living and for the dead...
While I was working with Wanda on Friday, Wayne drove to Moorefield.  He picked up his dry cleaning, visited quite a while with George and Bonita at their store, drove our dirty van through the car wash, and picked up a few groceries at Wal-Mart.  He just barely got home in time to grab his karaoke machine and get up to the nursing home to sing for the residents for an hour.  They love him and he seems to enjoy singing for them as well.

So yesterday was the baptism of Craig.  His wife was inactive when the missionaries found them.  They and their two children have been coming regularly for a couple months.  He is so happy and excited.  Our Ward Mission Leader, Oscar  (from Puerto Rico, who was baptized just before we got here), baptized him yesterday, and confirmed him today.  There was good ward support at the baptism and Bishop gave him the responsibility to close the chapel doors during the sacrament time each Sunday,  he took it very seriously today.
Elder Aubrey, Oscar, Craig, Sallie, Elder Briggs

Craig & Sallie with Elder & Sister Orton (or Pap & Maw, as he calls us)
Craig & Sallie's daughter, Cassie

Craig with Oscar
After the wonderful baptismal service we drove to Moorefield to visit with Dwayne and Katja and their four cute kids again.  Dwayne is an inactive member, Katja and the kids don't know anything about the church. They came for the first time several weeks ago, then haven't been back.  We had a nice visit - and they all came to church today!  Katja is German, she invited us to come to dinner Friday night for schnitzel!   Our friend Vada (who gave me the beautiful Christmas cactus) was at church today, for the first time since we have been here and she brought her non-member son!  Exciting day.  Busy week next week as we travel to Berryville for a Zone Conference and prepare for the ward's 2nd Annual Hoedown on Saturday.  Last year's was a great success,  Wayne's blue grass band is a big hit, and an awesome ward member is fixing ham, beans, fried potatoes, and corn bread again.  It's going to be another great week.  Hope yours is good too.   I loved the Ezra Taft Benson lesson today on Freedom of Choice,  especially the part about lessons learned on the farm.  "He learned that the law of the harvest -- "whatsover a man soweth, that shall he also reap"  (Galatians 6:7) -- applies to spiritual pursuits as well as physical labor."  We talked a lot about how decisions determine our destiny...

To Wayne's siblings, thanks for the invitation but regrettably we won't be able to make it to the Orton Sibling Reunion in Ogden again this May.  Maybe next year...   And you may be interested to hear that our son Darin in Warden just let us know that Lola Roylance Cole recently passed away.  He said she was the matriarch of the ward and related to just about everyone there, she was in her 90's I think.  Wayne remembers the Roylance name.

Another little white country church 

Creepy old deserted house right by the road

Another view of the creepy old deserted house

Tiny country church

Wayne's favorite little valley, winter view

WV University football stadium in Morgantown,
right across the street from the huge hospital complex we visited
(and got lost in a couple times)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Glad to leave January behind...

Another week has flown by, and here we are at the first of February!  Last week our youngest grandbaby turned one without us, fortunately Julie sent a short video of her eating her birthday cake!  We got a little snow last week and had some very cold temperatures, but were spared the huge storm that hit to the north and east of us.  Today again we are on storm watch, but again it looks like we will just be on the edge - we'll see.  Last week's storm really iced up the trees and it was so beautiful,  Wayne took some lovely pictures.

Monday Wayne spent most of the day in Moorefield getting brake work done on the van.  While it was being worked on he was able to borrow a car and go out to Johnny's to practice music for an upcoming ward activity.  Tuesday we had District Meeting in the morning, then in the afternoon we made several visits and worked at the nursing home.  We picked up some groceries for a family that is in crisis, they were very appreciative.   One of the visits was to an older widow, Irene, a special friend of ours.  Outside her living room window she has a bird feeder and we had fun watching the birds while we visited.  Especially loved seeing the bright cardinals (quite striking against the snow).

Wednesday Wayne took off with Baxter and drove far out to our High Priest Group Leader Paul's home.
Wayne said he saw a pretty little church on his drive way out in the country,
but only managed to take a picture of this beautiful (?) snow-covered truck!
They had a presidency meeting, then tried to make a couple visits in the area, but both homes were up lanes that were too snowy and icy to drive up.  But on the way home Wayne and Baxter were able to make a good visit with a man who has drifted away from the church and needed some fellowship and encouragement.  I worked on genealogy,  even helped someone (not a member) who came to the church to wait for a ward member for some kind of a meeting.  I found the visitor some information on that she was thrilled with about her grandmother and gave her my phone number so we could get together again...   Thursday I spent the morning helping Sheila with her genealogy,  Sheila has just returned to activity and is very excited with family history.  She is the one who just reunited with her sister over genealogy.  In the afternoon Wayne and I did a lot of driving around, trying to make contact with elusive members who sadly were not home.

Friday after our meeting with our ward mission leader we drove to Moorefield and had a good visit with George and Bonita at their new second-hand/auction store.  Interesting place and they are very excited about their new business.  Then we drove quite a ways to visit our friend Jane, who has battled MRSA for months and has been pretty isolated.  She looks forward to our visits.  Then way out in the woods to see Joy and Forest - he is pretty sickly and their car is not reliable so they haven't ventured out for two weeks. We enjoyed seeing them, they were happy for the company.  (And gave us some delicious pumpkin roll!) On the way back through Moorefield we stopped at our favorite Mexican restaurant and had a good meal. Saturday - lots of visits and we drove up to Smoke Hole to check out a cute log cabin resort where our daughter Angie and her family might stay when they come to visit us in April.  It looked like a fun place, the trout pond is amazing!  And yes, there are golden trout in it.  We are really looking forward to the Acor visit!

Today we had wonderful meetings and lessons. Ashley and I started a new family history class, including Sonja our recent convert from Germany.  Should be fun.  The Elders had a new investigator at church, Harold, who we first met when we were trying to find someone else.  We visited with him instead, talked to him a little about the church, then sent the Elders to find and teach him.  He is really progressing.  And I am so excited - one of the daughters of the woman who recently passed away is meeting me this week to work on genealogy.  She hasn't been to church for years,  hopefully coming to the family history room will be a first step toward returning to activity.

Next week should be awesome - we get to go up to Romney for District Meeting and will see our friend Woneda who is in the nursing home there.  I have several appointments to help people with genealogy and we have a baptism scheduled for Saturday!  Plus numerous other fun things...

Happy 8th Birthday tomorrow to our cute, sunshiney, best-hug-giver granddaughter Krista!  And on Friday Happy 11th Birthday to the lovely, talented, way-smarter-than-me Miss Ellie Rose.  We sure miss you.

“No, God does not need us to love Him.
But oh, how we need to love God.
For what we love determines what we seek.
What we seek determines what we think and do.
What we think and do determines who we are –
and who we will become.”
– Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Irene gave me this African violet over a year ago,
I am so glad it is thriving.  It's beautiful.