End of our 4 weeks

It is hard to realize that we have been here for 4 weeks today.   WoW time is going fast.  We have met so many wonderful people and are really excited about the next few months of our mission.  We now have 6 wards that we visit.  We will meet our last two bishops tomorrow morning.  Just to give you an idea of our stake I am including a map.  WP_20140907_07_03_14_ProThe wards we visit create a triangle with Pax/Lexington Park ward at the bottom and the other wards across the top.  Calvert and Bayside Wards are about 38 miles from us, the White Plains 1 & 2nd ward are  about 41 miles and will take 1 hour  to get there.  So we do a lot of driving but are grateful that each of the two wards meet in the same building.  So much different than just walking around the block to the church or up the street to the stake center.

This week was very full.  Tuesday we had our last District Meeting with Elder Lim who was our DL.  He has been transferred to be a Zone Leader and we are excited that he will be our Zone Leader.  We had a wonderful testimony meeting after the training.  It is so fun to watch these young men and young women grow in the gospel.  We will be getting two new missionaries to our area.  One has been here before and the other is a “baby” which means this is her first stop out of the MTC.     After testimony meeting and WP_20140916_11_41_47_Prothe closing prayer everyone went to the cultural hall for a war between good and evilWP_20140916_11_25_44_ProWP_20140916_11_19_53_ProWP_20140916_11_22_10_Pro

or capture the flag done in suits and skirts.  They had Nerf guns and we had a great time with Sister Rose being the “safety zone.”  One of the guns would not work, so Elder Rose took it back to the primary room to take it apart and make it work.  He finished fixing the gun just as the war ended.  Oh well, they will have a super duper Nerf shooter for the next war day. WP_20140916_12_06_22_Pro Then we had pictures taken of our first District.  So glad that most of them get to stay.  We will lose more at the next transfer as the sisters return to the visitors center to gear up for the holidays.  After the meeting we took the Elders and the Sisters to Lunch (they sat at separate tables) at a BBQ place calleWP_20140916_13_41_47_Prod ” Mission BBQ” and as you leave the restaurant over the door it says “return with honor” so we had to take their pictures there.   The food was great and we had a good visit with everyone before splitting up and going our own ways.

WP_20140916_13_42_14_ProOne of our new responsibilities is inspecting the apartments the day before transfers so we put together a kit for this job.  It contains white gloves, a magnifying glass, and a flashlight.  It was so fun to watch their reactions as we pulled these items out of the bag.    The Sisters had seen it the night before because they dropped by after a visit to leave us a referral.

Thursday we drove to DC for our first “Military Relations Committee Meeting” where we met the other MR missionaries.  We also got to stop and see the Kelly’s from West Jordan who work in the employment office.  We served with Mike and Denise at the “Utah Boys Ranch” many years ago.  It was fun to see them and catch up on family news.  Our meeting was really good and we learned a lot, we are excited to be working with such wonderful people.  Will have to get pictures of them next time we are together.

On Wednesday I had a sore throat, by Thursday it was not getting better and a cough was joining the throng so Friday we had two appointments, but the afternoon once rescheduled, so once we got back from the Museum and exchange I slept the rest of the day.  At the museum we signed up to be volunteers once a week and help with special activities that they have.  We will be docents so Elder Rose will have to teach me a lot.  The volunteer coordinator was surprised to learn that the church had missionaries in the United States, she thought they all went overseas and learned new languages.   We had a good visit and are excited to volunteer there once we finish the training.  Then we went to theWP_20140919_13_26_13_Pro exchange and bought a cute little freezer  to put in our storage room.  Driving to the store every other day is getting expensive so we decided to invest in a little freezer to keep bread, ice cream, vegetables, and other foods so we don’t have to go so often.  While I slept Ron moved stuff around in the storage room and moved the freezer in.

Saturday was a “Day of Service” and we went with over 1,000 other LDS members to the “Serenity Farm for the Hungry”.  It is a farm that is run to give fresh food to the food pantries.  We sorted corn, others picked beans and the potatoes were harvested the week before.  The missionaries and scouts all painted fences.  It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun.  Once we finished all the corn, we took the stalks and leaves down and fed the pigs. and left it on the pasture for the cows.  It is always so much fun to work when their are lots of people working with you.  We also met another missionary couple from Meridian Idaho, and as we got talking found out that she went to Bear River High School, and is the sister to Rex and Max Smith who we went to school with.  The world gets smaller every day.

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Well, that is it for this week.  Next week starts off with a very long Sunday, two wards to attend, and a fireside at the Temple Visitor Center……

September Mission Updates

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September has been a very busy month so far.   We are attending the District Meetings now with the young Elders and Sisters every Tuesday morning and really enjoy learning from them.

On Friday September 13th we had the privilege of having lunch with President and Sister Cooke along with several of the other new Senior (they call them Seasoned) Missionaries.  It was a wonderful lunch and President Cooke talked about the goals and responsibility changes he would be making especially for us.  Our main work will still be with Military families and service members but we will also be his “eyes, ears, arms, and hugs” for the young missionaries.  We get to go on visits with them, attend their district meetings, and do apartment inspections.  We are excited about working with them as we already love them.  President Cooke said we will be getting more Sisters who are proselyting missionaries and not transfers from the visitors center, they will also be fresh from the MTC and their trainer will not have been out very long, so we get to love them into the work.

After lunch we met with Elder and Sister Lewey who are the other Military Relations Missionary couple here in Washington DC North.  We had a good visit with them and it was determined that Elder Rose and I will now be working with 4 more wards, 2 more buildings.  We will be working with the Calvert and Bayside wards, and the White Plains 1st and 2nd wards.  We are excited to add these wards to our visit list.

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Violin Duet

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Sister Berthalon and Sister Fifita

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The Anderson Family

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top row: Sister Berthalon, Sister Whiteford, Sister Fifita Bottom Row: Elder Lim, Elder Thorpe, Elder Wendt, & Elder Clemons

Saturday Lexington Park Ward had a talent night and it was well attended and a lot of fun, from Karate demonstrations, violin and cello playing, a bread making demonstration, and a family that did a cute song and dance.  The families had a lot of talents to share and the Sisters from our district did a hula and Tahitian dance and then the Elders and Sisters did a Tongan chant together.  It was well done and lots of fun to watch.  I made cookies and brownies to share.  We met some oWP_20140913_19_21_38_Prof the new members and one of them was from East Garland, Utah.  That was fun, finding someone from my home town all the way out here,  Brother McCombs grew up in East Garland and my dad knows his parents really well.

On Sunday we drove across the Patuxent  River to the Calvert and Bayside Wards.  It was fun to meet their leadership at the ward council meetings and discuss what we can do to help them.  The spirit was very strong as they discussed the needs of their ward members.  You can truly feel the love that they have for each one.  They will get a list made of the military members so we can start doing “cookie bombings” and meet each of them.  They have more active duty in their wards and have deployments coming up so we hope to be able to teach the “Family Resiliency” classes.  Next week we will attend the White Plains wards and get to know them, then we will begin visiting the wards once every three weeks or so.  We go to Ward Council Meeting and then attend the rest of the block meetings so we usually get two Sunday school classes, and one Sacrament Meeting, one Relief Society and Priesthood  Meeting.  In all our Sundays starts around 6:00 am as we head out the door and we get home around 6:00 pm.  Then we end our day by Skyping with our Kyle, Kim and Lisa’s families.  Great way to spend our Sabbath.

Nauvoo, Illinois Day 1

On Monday we had hoped to go to the Nauvoo Temple for an early afternoon session but the drive from Omaha to Nauvoo was filled with construction and we were going no where fast or even slow.  WP_20140818_11_53_16_Pro WP_20140818_11_55_19_ProWe stopped at the memorial that President Lorenzo Snow dedicated at Mt. Pisgah.  Elder Rose read about this when he was teaching the high priest lessons last year.

 

 

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A 4 hour drive ended up taking 8 hours so we got there late but driving up and seeing the Temple was worth the long drive. WP_20140818_20_23_10_Pro__highres WP_20140818_20_23_35_Pro

 

 

 

 

 

We able to walk around the grounds a little,WP_20140818_19_48_30_Pro then went to dinner and saw the night show.  Elder Rose can still say he hasn’t seen Nauvoo, so we will have to stop on our way home in 2 years.  We did get some pictures of the Temple that night WP_20140818_20_29_48_Pro__highres WP_20140818_20_38_28_Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Elder Rose found a statue of his Great, Great, etc. Grandfather Israel Barlow.

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Washington DC Temple

On Tuesday we decided to go do a session at the Washington DC temple.  The trip was beautiful but took 2 hours to get there.  We got very spoiled having 6 temples so close.  We enjoyed the session and the spirit that was there.  WP_20140829_17_56_56_ProThe temple closed for the month of September so we were glad we were able to get there before it closed for a month.WP_20140829_17_56_07_Pro

1st Week Continues!

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Lift where you stand! The arm trucks work really well.

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so many boxes so little space!

After we left the church we headed straight to our first service project for Lexington Park/Patuxent Ward. They were helping a sister who had just remarried to move with her new husband to California.  The couple  were renting a moving van and pay by the cubic inch so the goal was to get as much stuff in as little space as possible. WP_20140830_09_44_44_Pro WP_20140830_10_26_33_Pro WP_20140830_10_50_37_Pro WP_20140830_11_59_49_Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Load Master” Elder Rose, has able to make this work and with the help of men from both wards the van was packed in 3 hours and within the budgeted space.  Elder Rose was soaked all the way through only the tips of his collar were dry by the time we finished.

 

Then it was home for a nap, and then off to YSA Volley Ball.  The YSA meets every Saturday night for volleyball, since we had invited Carson Holden to meet us there, we had to wake up and go.  It was a lot of fun to meet Carson who is my cousin Talan Summers best friend.  We also got to meet a lot of the Young Single Adults one of whom is a less active- member and in the military but comes out on Saturday’s to play volleyball and then comes to church on Sunday sometimes.  We took the left over donuts and had a good time.  Elder Rose even played until they got enough there to make two full teams.

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Our 1st Week in the Mission Field !

Moving into an apartment is an adventure as you think of all the things you need and were left behind, or put into storage.  We had fun “shopping” to stock the apartment and of course this meant projects for Elder Rose, which means he was a happy camper.  We bought shelves to put in the storage room, so we could buy larger amounts of flour, sugar, and tp. WP_20140828_19_27_27_Pro WP_20140828_19_29_48_ProHe put them together and of course they are working really well, so now Sister Rose can make Cookies and Cinnamon Rolls to take to the less active families we have been asked to visit.

On Monday, while Sister Rose did the laundry Elder Rose was given the task of vacuuming the floor after we got everything moved in, so of course that meant:WP_20140901_10_19_44_Pro Step 1  Take the vacuum apart,   Step 2 look up on Google what all the parts are,  Step 3  Put the vacuum back together adding and subtracting parts as needed?  Step 4, vacuum the floor!!!!  He says, Hey it works and now you can step on the “thingy” and the vacuum head goes down.  So glad I married a man who likes to fix things.

The rest of the week was spent organizing our apartment, driving around the area, checking into the base and just getting to know our way around.  Then on Wednesday we received an email from the mission office detailing the emergency procedures for different types of problems that may arise.  We sat down and read them and then use the email to make sure that our printer would work.  It was 13 pages long.  Friday we received an email from the mission office saying that Saturday morning the young elders and sisters would receive a “text, email, or phone call” letting them know that they were to report to the closest church house with their 72 hour packs and follow the directions that they had received on Thursday.  We were to plan on being at the church before 7:00 with our emergency packs etc. so we could welcome them and that donuts would probably be appreciated as they should arrive without eating and possible without getting dressed.

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We have arrived, and we have our packs! Sister Whiteford, Sister Fifita, Elder Wendt and Lim.

Our Missionaries were there by 6:45 in their P-day clothes? with their kits but none of them had read the plan, several had downloaded it onto their i-pads however. We had taken our printout so we went over it with them and then waited for the “all Clear so we could leave.”  Since the all clear wasn’t coming, we played volleyball.  (yes, our missionaries brought their volleyball along with their 72 hour packs!)  It was fun, and they loved the milk, orange juice and donuts.  We were finally released about 8:10.

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This is a copy of the “Plan” drawn by our DL Elder Lim.

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Sister Whiteford, Sister Bertholon, Elder Clemons

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Donuts for everyone!

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Elder Rose had our 72 hour pack and we knew it was all there because it was still in the box!

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Lexington District, Sister Fifita, Sister Rose, D L Elder Lim, Back row: Elder Wendt, Elder Clemons, Elder Thorpe, Sister Bertholon, and Sister Whiteford

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The mighty District Missionaries of Lexington Park!

Lexington Park, Maryland, Elder and Sister Rose have arrived!

Our drive from New York through Pensylrania WP_20140821_16_12_15_Prowas just that very very Rainy, but it was a beautiful drive and we were excited because our last stop would be at our own apartment.  We were met by the Sister Missionaries who had our key.WP_20140829_08_34_00_Pro They had helped to put our apartment together and it looked really cute, they also vacuumed the floor and then helped us move all of our stuff in from the car.  One of the Sisters is from Tonga (Sister Fifita), one is from Tahiti (Sister Bertholon) and one is from Deweyville, Utah (Sister Whiteford).  Sister Whiteford saw the bucket of honey from honeyville and got excited and asked how we came to have it.  She was excited to find out that we grew up in Tremonton and went to Bear River High School.  They are all wonderful Sisters and very strong.  We  really appreciated their help.  Once we had everything inside they left to go to an appointment and we began the inventory.  Then we went shopping (had to go then, we had no TP).  We bought a few things that we needed and some food to make it until Monday, knowing we would have more time to make a better list of necessities on Sunday.  As the Sisters were leaving they said “see you at ward council at 7:15 in the morning.”

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An electric stove, Elder Rose hopes I will relearn how to cook eggs without burning them during the 22 months left.

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The counters and cupboards are really high.

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The net nook is nice for the computer and is a mini office

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Office or small bedroom, will get airbed for extra company

 

 

Our Apartment has two bedroom, two bathrooms, with an internet nook, dinning area, livingroom, small office, kitchen, laundry, and storage room.  It is quite nice and we have had fun fixing it up.  It reminds me a lot of being newly weds only we don’t have wedding gifts to set the apartment up but we aren’t dead broke either so it works out.  I have to relearn how to use an electric stove top, which has been quite comical, poor Elder Rose is wondering if his new “Bride” is ever going to be able to cook eggs again.  He says I’m getting better and he eats them even if they are much crispier than he likes.

The cupboards are really high so we had to buy a step stool and even with that I can only reach the third shelf.  The Laundry room only fits one person but it makes doing laundry really easy to get the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  The dishwasher would not turn on nor would the microwave and then we were playing with switches and discovered that both appliances have a switch to turn them on and off.  We are leaving them on for now.

My kids have always said that I have an eclectic personality when it comes to decorating, so I am right at home with the fun assortment of furniture that we have. WP_20140828_13_53_57_Pro WP_20140828_13_54_31_Pro We also have some beautiful pictures of the Washington DC temple and one of Joseph Smith reading the bible.  Our few decorating items that we brought from home fit right in.