March’s posts are still not finished but I decided I better start April or I will never catch up. So I will post April and then go back and finish March. If this is confusing for any of you just think what poor Elder Rose has to put up with on a regular basis. April Conference was really good. Saturday we listened to conference while we helped a less active and non member family get their home ready for inspection. We have been working with this couple for quite a while, but he posted on Facebook that morning that he needed help so we changed clothes and told him we would come over if we could watch or listen to conference when we got there. He agreed and had it on the computer when we arrived. He made positive comments as we were sanding and mudding and cleaning so we know he was listening. They said they would try to come to our home the next day for Conference and Waffles, but were not able to make it. They called to say that they were watching it at their house though. The Elders came for Conference and Waffles on Sunday Morning as some less-active families were coming to our apartment.
We had a great time and loved listening to conference and playing conference bingo with them. It was also Easter so we gave the Elders baskets filled with Easter Candy and coloring books. We loved listening to Conference and always feel so blessed and spiritually uplifted when it is over. Nick and Stacie and Earl came and watched conference with us and the Elders.
April started with a fun Zone Activity with all of the Elders and Sisters from two zones meeting together for a morning of fun, sun, and history. We went to Fort Washington where the young Elders and Sisters played games and ate lunch.
They had BBQ Chicken which the Zone Leaders had made earlier and brought to heat up over the charcoal. They forgot to bring a spoon and were surprised when Sister Rose said so lets find a stick that will work. The BBQ was good and everyone had fun. then we walked over to the actual Fort and read about the history and saw the gun placements and the barracks etc.
Elder Rose was able to give everyone some idea of what things were. It was a lot of fun. We are privileged to work with some wonderful young men and women.
Elder Little was leaving this next transfer and he want to see the Cherry Blossoms, and the National Cathedral so we drove to DC and spent the day with a nonmember at the National Cathedral and then drove very slowly around the Mall so that everyone could take pictures and enjoy the Cherry Blossoms. The National Cathedral is still being repaired after the Earthquake knocked several of the towers over and cracked the ceiling. We went up to the observatory and looked for the Temple, which you could barley see, but it is there, and we also went down into the basement crypt. The Elders were fascinated by the services which were being held and also the lack of the spirit which could be felt. The building is beautiful but it is not “holy” is what one of the Elders said. The difference between our Temple, and chapels and this was very striking to them. Donna enjoyed getting to know the Elders better, and really enjoyed the day and watching the video “Ephriam Rescue” as we drove home.
We also gave a surprise party for one of our returning members. Julie has had a stroke and is battling depression and loss of some mental functions. She holds two degrees but feels worthless because she can’t remember things since her stroke. She has been working on her genealogy with one of the Sisters in our ward and is doing really well at it. For her birthday we surprised her with dinner at Salsa’s a Mexican restaurant near her house. The Relief Society President and her husband was there along with the Elders who have been working with her and the Sister from the genealogy center. She was very surprised and enjoyed the evening, and then the Relief Society kidnapped her and took her to the mid week meeting where she met lots of the sisters and had a good time.
Transfers are always hard and exciting at the same time. This transfer 5 of the young Elders that we had been working with went home. Our first District Leader who then became our Zone Leader Elder Lim’s family came to pick him up and spent a week traveling the mission meeting all of the members that he had worked with. Also going home was Elder Little, Elder Wendt, Elder Nolee’ and Elder Ng,. These young men taught us a lot and we will miss them until we get home, when they have told us we are having a party in our back yard. Sounds like fun to me. Lim is in Seattle, Wendt is in California, Nolee, is from Belgium, and Ng is from Hong Kong, not sure how they are all getting to our house, but we will have lots of rooms for them when they come. We welcomed Elder Mannning who is returning to this area for his send off at the end of May.
This month we had one of the sweetest experiences as we had the privilege of being with Brother Ucles as he ordained his son Charlie to the office of a teacher. The spirit was so strong. Brother Ucles did not want to even stand in the circle as he didn’t feel that he knew the Priesthood well enough, but when Charlie said he wanted his dad to ordain him, and the Bishop said he would show and tell him what to do. The Bishop took Brother Ucles back to his office and went over everything and wrote down the parts of the ordination that needed to take place leaving a space for him to give his son a blessing. When they came back, the spirit was so strong as he laid his hands on his sons head and ordained him to the office of a teacher and then gave him a sweet, humble fathers blessing that was so sincere and just pure. Afterwards he said he thought he was ready to move forward towards becoming an Elder if the Bishop and Elder Rose would help him.
Our mission is not all work, once in a while the Senior Missionaries get together to see the sights and enjoy a day together. This is the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Lincoln, and we just happen to be living in the notorious area of Booth’s escape route. We went with several other Sisters to see the “Dr. Mudd” home. He is the doctor who set Mr. Booth’s leg and let him rest in his home for several hours and then sent the posse the wrong direction when they tracked him to his house. It was interesting to hear the history from Dr. Mudd’s family. In one room of the house , he knew Booth and was part of the conspiracy to kidnap the President, in the next room he knew nothing about Booth, had never met him and simply set a strangers leg and let him rest for the night. For that he was almost hung, contracted Yellow Fever and his family left destitute. Oh the love of history and how it is told. After we left the Booth home we went to the Surrate house, Mrs. Surrate was hung for her participation in the assassination. Booth had guns hidden in her home and they had met there off and on to form the plans of the kidnapping. Once again, it depended on who you talked to how guilty she was but our tour guide said not to underestimate her ability to run things and that she was no “poor little lady who got caught up in the game.” It was interesting and a wonderful day with 4 wonderful sisters who are here serving their missions.
The third Sunday of every month is “Why I Believe” and if we don’t have classes to teach we drive the Elders up so they don’t have to drive back alone so late at night.
It is fun to see many of the Sisters and Elders that we have worked with and say Hi. The talks are always very inspirational and this time was no different. The Fawkes are the new directors of the Visitors Center and they did a wonderful talk about having faith, and why they Believe in Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
We ended the month with a weekend of service which was so fun. All of the Elders came with us to Donna’s house and moved furniture outside, and from one room to another. It was a great time to serve, then two of the Elders went over to Julie’s and gave her a lesson on the Book of Mormon and helped her download to her tablet the children’s version to help her remember it better, while they were doing that Elder Rose built her some tiny steps going into her home and closing the 2″ gap so that when she wheels her chair out of the house it doesn’t thump and drop the battery. Elder Rose had a lot of fun figuring out how to fix the problem and got to buy some new toys because we left all of his toys at home. Then Elder Rose and I went to help a less active family move into a new place, where they will live until he retires from the Navy in November. They are moving from a large home into a very small home that needs lots of fixing up so it will be interesting to see them adapt. Elder Rose helped clean the yard and I washed walls and got them ready to be painted. It was fun but we were very tired and ready to go home when the day was done.
On Saturday we did what is called “Christmas in April” it is a multi-church service project and we helped fix up the home of a 91 year old lady. Windows were painted, the shed was cleaned, the yard cleared of debri, and Elder and Sister Rose cleaned out the flower beds and planted flowers for her. Sister Rose was in heaven, playing in the dirt and smelling flowers.
That day they said 227 volunteers helped at 67 homes. It was a good weekend of service and we very tired but it was a good tired.
Our Mission President has decided to try a new way of training everyone so we now have Zone/District Meetings which last 3 hours every Thursday. Our entire zone meets about halfway between everyone at the White Plains Chapel where we have a guest speaker, training from the zone leaders and then break into our districts for role play and local training and goal setting. These are very informative but it make for a long day as we travel 45 minutes to and from the meeting. Our first week we had the privileged of going to the temple where we did initiatory and a session and then met on the 7th floor for a special Priesthood Session. It was a very wonderful day.
While I was here doing service my brothers and sisters and kids and cousins and nieces and nephews were at my dad’s planting an apple orchard with a few peach trees for him. He wanted an apple orchard for Christmas so everyone pitched in with money for the trees and muscle to help plant them. I couldn’t be there except for a phone call, but they sent me pictures so I could see all the fun that I missed.