Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012

Two weeks have passed since my last post! Hard to believe how time flies here in New Hampshire. Last week we made a bed run to Vermont. It is amazing how these missionaries hardly ever complain about their circumstances. Don't misunderstand--they are not living in squalor or poverty, but when their beds are sagging and ready to fall down, they don't complain. Elder Benjamin sent out a letter to each missionary so that they could tell him what condition their bed is in. So, we went to Lebanon and Hannover, Vermont and also Randolph, New Hampshire. It was a great trip in the "Moose" pulling the trailer, and the weather was wonderful. The Elders in Randolph even sent US home with a bag of home-baked chocolate chip cookies! This week Elder Benjamin will be making a bed run to Machias, Maine. It is the farthest area out--5 hour and 41 minutes each way. He is going by himself and going to listen to General Conference tapes for 11 hours. I want to go, but I'll have to check out my calendar first. I have a lot of things on it to get ready for transfers next Tuesday, May 1st. This will be our second transfers, and we are using all the notes from our first one to be able to have this second one run smoothly. More about that whole process after we go through it next week. Friday evening of this last week we visited an investigator (Colleen) and her 11-year old son, Dylan, with the sister missionaries and the elders in the same area. She is a single mom, and as most 11-year old boys, Dylan has an attitude! He and his mom banter back and forth (maybe banter is a more polite word!) The sister missionaries were trying to get him to commit to writing in a Gratitude notebook every night before he goes to sleep. He wasn't having anything to do with that, so one of the elders tried to get him to understand what gratitude is all about as it relates to Dylan loaning out his football to the neighbor guy who came over during dinner. I think that Dylan sort of got it okay. Everyone was surprised that, when Elder Benjamin and I were getting ready to leave, Dylan came up to me and hugged me. His mom was dumbfounded! I told him that all of my grandkids call me Grammie and he seemed to like that. I don't know yet if he has a Grammie close by, but he softened up a little anyway. Colleen has a roommate with 2 little kids and while Colleen was taking the lessons, Debra would sit in on them. Well, Debra got baptized last December and Colleen has not yet. She's getting close though. She has a wonderful testimony and I feel confident that she will be baptized soon. Elder and Sister Davis live down the hall from us and we are always taking food back and forth. They went on a trip up the coast of Maine yesterday and came back with some dark chocolate orange sticks (one of my favs) for me. Today they are getting bread pudding from us. While were were on our Vermont bed run, we stopped at President Goodrich's Maple Farm in Cabot, Vermont. He is the second counselor in the Mission Presidency. His family has owned and run the Maple Farm since 1840. They have over 43,000 maple trees and a tiny store where we bought grade A pure Vermont maple syrup from them. I bought the little maple syrup cookbook from them as well. And that is where the recipe for the bread pudding came from. They sell Maple Cream (Spreadable Fudge) too, but they were totally out. Sister Goodrich cooks it up herself and puts it in jars. Since they were out, she is going to make some up and send it to the office. I'm so excited about that. Sister Davis got some a couple of weeks ago and loves it on her toast every morning. The bishop called us in after church today to get to know us better. We thought he would ask us to speak in church, but no luck. He's very new so I'm sure he will get around to asking us one of these days. We are getting to know the members a little bit now. Relief Society is great! I love sitting with the other old sisters. They are fun and so full of wisdom. I may have to adopt a couple of them. My monitor went dead today, so Elder Benjamin hooked up Elder and Sister Hymas' Philips 22-inch television flat-screen and it works okay. We are going to make a trip to Costco at the end of the week for all the supplies and food for transfers, so we will pick up a better one for me then. We are missing all of our children and grandchildren terribly, but we know that this is where Heavenly Father wants us now at this time of our lives. We have been very worried about Cèlin's illness and pray for her every day. I chatted with her today and she says she is getting a little bit better every day. But, she has still missed 6 weeks of school so far and won't be going this week either. She hopes to go half time next week. Let's all pray for her that she will get well and be able to return to her normal (?) quirky self!!!! More next time, Love, Mom/Dad/Grammie/Poppy/Sister/Elder/Karen/Mike/Aunt/Uncle

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012 Easter Sunday

It has been a crazy two weeks since last I wrote. General Conferece was awesome last weekend. We streamed it here in our apartment and enjoyed it so much. The Davises went to the ward building and only 5 people were there--all missionaries!!! Gen Conf is not carried on tv here so we were fortunate to stream it over the internet. All the talks were so good and I especially liked Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk--he is my 8th cousin after all!

We attended our first New Missionary Training last Tuesday. Mike and I brought in all the food and were able to attend some of the training. President Wilkey was having a problem setting up his laptop to a big screen so I said that I would go get Elder Benjamin who was out in the parking lot. I dashed off forgetting the step down out the back door of the chapel and down I went--falling, falling, falling and not able to catch myself. Finally I hit the concrete and my head snapped back and smacked the back of my head with a big thud on the concrete sidewalk. Ouch! That hurt. Mike and a couple of missionaries came running. I was trying to cry and then I thought that maybe my skirt was up over my head or something and sucked up the tears and pulled my skirt down over my knees. Well, obviously I didn't die! And I don't have a concussion, but the lump is still very sore. My left hip was out a little for a few days, but all is well now.

Last Thursday Mike had to deliver two twin beds to two elders in Damariscotta, Maine. Also we moved one sister missionary from Manchester to Topsham (pronounced tops-ham). Picked up one in Topsham and took her back to Manchester. Great fun getting to know these missionaries. They are so dedicated to their missions.

Mike is taking care of all the apartments in the mission. Two elders talked with him at church today to tell him that they found something-a bird or bat or rat-dead in a cupboard. They said the smell is terrible and they want to move. Mike told them to contact the manager immediately to get that taken care of. Most of the homes here are very old and are 3 stories high and the upper two floors rented out as apartments. So who knows what a renter could find in one of them.

I have been busy revising the whole procedure for arriving and going-home missionaries. There are a lot of unnecessary steps being done and I want to make it a whole lot easier. We are both enjoying the work. It is a good feeling to help out all of our 140 missionaries. They are becoming very dear to us.

We are in touch with Marv and Sue Leavitt on their mission in Cotonou, Benin, Africa. This is their 3rd time to Africa. We are also in touch with Rex and Pat Beazer in West Virginia Charleston mission. This is their 4th mission. We love them all and know that they will be great missionaries.

Here is a picture of my first haircut in New Hampshire. Jenn did a good job on it for a first haircut and I think she will be good, but I sure do miss my Eleni in Portland, Oregon. Next time I'll tell Jenn to take off more. I asked her to take off only 1 inch--I was thinking that if I was conservative and I didn't like the job, I would still have hair left to get cut somewhere else. Since she did a good job (the shampoo was divine) I'll have her take off more in 6 weeks.

We had a wonderful Easter dinner after church down the hall at the Davis' apartment. Elder Davis makes a really good 4-cheese Mac'n Cheese. We had that with ham, green beans, fruit jello, and chocolate eclaires for dessert. It was great!

Our Manchester Ward got a new Bishop the week before Conference. He's a good guy! But we sure do miss Bishop Driver.

Well, hello to all our friends. And big hugs and kisses to our children and grandchildren who we miss very much.

More next week!