Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015

Monday:  We began the day getting ready to go to Pittsford to the weekly office meeting.  We picked up a suitcase to take to Strong Memorial Hospital for Susan, a young woman that we home teach.  She had to go to the hospital in Rochester by ambulance on Saturday morning, and didn’t have time to take a bag.  Her mother asked that we take it to her.  After the meeting we finished packing up the used IPads for shipment to Salt Lake and then went to the hospital.  Susan was in good spirits and is being treated, but they aren’t sure what infection she has at this point.  We are hopeful that they are on the right track for her.  We stopped at Sam’s Club afterward to get some cold medicine for Dennis.  He is suffering from a bad cold at this time.  We did find an Olive Garden and had some lunch.  It tasted so good to have a good salad.  We came back to Batavia. (It seems that we drive all the time, nothing is close here)  We had an appointment to meet with one of the less-active members and invite her back to church.  She is a really nice younger woman that has 3 kids of her own and 2 step children.  The step children live with their mothers.  She is one of the luckier gals we have met; she is married.  Most of the women we meet don’t have a husband.  She works night shifts as a RN in a hospital about 35-45 minutes from here.  We then went back to see Judy, our less-active sister that has cancer.  She seems so lonely.  She said she has waited 4 days now for her daughter to come to do her laundry.  She’s not sure what has happened to her, and she doesn't seem to have many visitors.  We took her some oranges, and she was happy with them.   We got home about 5:00 and Dennis laid down.  His cold was severe and he didn't sleep too long because of the need to blow his nose. 
I caught him sleeping
We did some more preparation for the 3 zone conferences we have this week and then read from the Book of Mormon.  I am getting so much from this reading of the Book of Mormon.  We stop after each chapter and discuss what we thought was the best/most meaningful part of that chapter.  I then write a short amount regarding what we learned for ourselves.  It is really helpful! 
Tuesday:  We went to Buffalo to Zone conference and made our 1st of 3 presentations.  It turned out alright.  (at least President Francis said it was exactly what he wanted)  The missionaries are so happy to get together in large groups.  They see past companions and friends and the meeting was full of joy.  I am so proud of our young men and women, they really are good representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Dennis got up Tuesday and his cold was almost gone, 3 days instead of 10.  What a miracle!  It really does help to take lots of vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea-Golden seal complex.    We saw our neighbor, Lorraine, this morning and she said that she had been in the hospital a few days.  She went to the Dr. to have a shot of lidocaine in her shoulder and he punctured her lung and it collapsed.  I sure don’t want to go to the Dr. (for anything) here!  It was a really pretty evening here and we took a long walk around town.  By the time we got home it had cooled off and my hands were pretty cold.  It was nice, we noticed deer prints in the lawn down the street.  There are so many deer here you can’t believe.  The fields are full of them.  There have been so many geese flying over also.  They seem to be flying higher than the ones in Grant.  They are going on vacation as Conner once told us—because they are in a V.  (we loved how he said it, so confident in his story)
Wednesday:  We went to Zone conference at Westfall and spent the day there.  We had many good talks and presentations.  We returned home about 5:30 and were tired.  President Francis told a story about something that had happened in World War I.  The Germans were on the side of an important hill and our military had a plan to remove them.  The General asked for the most obedient calvary man that they had.  The officers all agreed on one of the men and he was called in to visit with the General.  The General asked if he could be strictly obedient.  He answered yes each time he was asked.  The General told him to get 100 of the best calvary men to ride up on the ridge at 9:00 a.m. and then promptly off at 9:05.  The man took his men up the ridge and there they saw many Germans coming out of cover to attack them.  Instead of taking the men off the ridge, they confronted the Germans.  At 9:05 there was a terrible attack of cannons, etc.  that killed all the Germans and the 100 calvary men with their horses.  He had not been strictly obedient.  The missionaries were told how important it is to be obedient in all things.   It was really good!  Our good President Francis talks about our ‘weapons of rebellion’.  We all have them and we hang onto them for who knows what reason.  Maybe they are a comfort, an addiction, or just something to say, ‘I don’t want to conform/reform’.  Some are more visible than others; weird hair styles, weird clothing, tattoos, piercings, drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.   I have been thinking about what my weapons of rebellion are and I think I have several.  They are HARD to give up. 
One day we had spent quite a bit of time in study and preparing and I had worn jeans most of the day.  We needed to go to the store and I debated wearing a skirt (I didn’t want to—maybe one of my weapons of rebellion—and who can stand those pantyhose?)  Well, I changed and we went.  While waiting for Elder Merrill at the end of the checkout a man came up to me and said, “It’s sure nice to see a lady in a dress.”  I guess it was worth it.  It is a little rare to see gals in dresses, even in church.
Thursday:  We went to Zone conference in Palmyra.  The Stake center there is across the street from the Temple and around the corner from the Joseph Smith home and the Sacred Grove.  It is a beautiful location.  We enjoyed being there with the missionaries and then returned home afterward. 
Friday:  We had a little time and decided to take Brother Haggerty up on his offer to help with some of our laundry.  He had boasted about his wringer washer and how great it was.  So we took off our water damaged curtains (from the indoor downpour) and our bedding and went over to see his washer.  It was similar to the one my mother has used, but his was new and more fancy.  It did a great job and we did a double rinse.  Everything came out so nice.  I was amazed at how he was able to set up everything so well.  (as he is blind)  He has always done the family wash for him and his wife.  (they did have 2 children too)   He thinks it is therapeutic.  We weren’t too long getting it done and home to dry it.  We then took Susan to the grocery store and then we went to Albion and visit our home teaching family of husband and wife and to dinner with them.  It was a nice day off. (P-day)

This barn had neat old gas pumps around it and other memorabilia
Saturday:  We picked up the Elders at 8:30 and headed to Warsaw.  We had a baptism there for a young Japanese man that the Elders had taught at the local community college.  (GCC)  He was so nice and excited about his baptism.  He would like to join the Marines, but isn’t a citizen of the United States.  After returning to Batavia we prepared a lunch for the 4 Elders.  We served sweet and sour pork and a birthday cake for Elder Longhurst.  It was a nice time.   
Does this look like something Greg sent home from his mission?  Elder Parker and Longhurst
We visited a less-active man in our ward to invite him to come back.  He is very nice, but has schizophrenia.  It’s difficult for most people here, they all seem to have so many trials.   Dennis and I watched the women’s conference on the internet.  It was nice to just enjoy it together.  I had invited Amanda to go the church to watch it with me, but she was ill.  It sounded like most of the ladies were going to watch it at home; so we did the same.
Sunday:  We had a cold morning again.  We had fast Sunday today.   The members here are nearly all converts, and they have really good testimonies.  We had a good meeting with the President following church about how to reactivate less-active members.  We were assigned another less-active husband and wife to home teach.  We have met them in our visits with the missionaries.  She isn’t a member and he was active at one time.  This should be interesting! We had a few hours of down time this afternoon and then we went back to the church for a Book of Mormon study class that was started last week by the missionaries.  Amanda was sick today and her and Skyler weren’t at church, but they came tonight.  Skyler is the only child in the class, but everyone loves to hear what he has to say.  He is more of an adult than most adults.  Near the end of the class he asked if next week would be fast Sunday.  He was told that it had been today, he turned to his mother and said, “we need to skip supper then”.  He answered some of the questions that people asked in the class tonight—and the answers were really good.   The question was asked, “what is the difference between a vision and a dream?”  He felt that a vision was something that a person would see while they were awake.  Sounds right to me; if anyone has something they would like to add to this question, we would like to hear it.   We beat if up pretty badly at the class.

Funnies:  We were in the 1st zone conference and I felt a bump on my chin.  I asked Dennis to look at it and he said, ‘Whoa, when did that happen?’  I guess it was a big blind pimple.  (his reaction scared me!)  Then we couldn't quit giggling.  Why??
We were copying a recipe and I had Dennis reading it to me from a text message.  So he says when you have the caked chicken remove it from the feet and . . .  What?  I think it is cooked chicken, and remove it from the heat.  (is was pretty small print)

Realizations:  I haven’t seen very many Spanish people here in New York.  We have seen black people, but not many Spanish.  There are lots of farms and dairies, but maybe they don’t hire extra help.  We met our first Muslim man Monday at the hospital.  We were in the elevator and he looked at our name tags and then asked if we were Mormon.  We said yes, and we asked him what religion he was.  He said he was Muslim.  He said that he had spent some time in Salt Lake City and knew a few Mormons.  He was a nice fellow.  He said that he had liked Salt Lake very much.  I wondered if he had been at the hospital there and was a doctor, but he didn't have any identification on his shirt, and I didn't ask.
This is rust on the bottom of our neighbors pick up, and it isn't too old!
  1. Being sound of mind--we are so fortunate to be able to think clearly and without trouble.  We have met people that have difficulty thinking because of the use of drugs, disease, or other ailments.  We have been very blessed!
  2. Chris recovering so well and quickly!  He is feeling so much better and is so happy with his surgery. He has been blessed to get the right help!  We are so thankful for this HUGE blessing to him and his family! (and all of us that know and love him so much!)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22, 2015

March 22, 2015
Monday:  We went to Pittsford for the office meeting.  It was good and we loaded up the car with about 40 IPads and protective cases to start our distribution of them on Tuesday morning.  The car had about $16,000 worth of devices.  We felt that we had been entrusted with a great assignment.  We went to Sam’s Club in Rochester to get some items for District meeting the next day and then went back to Batavia.  We went out with the missionaries and  came back and then Dennis colored my hair.  We made pigs in a blanket for the missionaries from our district the next day, along with chips, pop, and cookies.  We didn't get to the meeting because of our travels, but heard that they enjoyed the meal.
Tuesday:  We began the IPad trek by starting in our own district in Batavia.  It took about 1.5 hours at each stop to take the old IPads from the missionaries and issue them a new one.   They were given instruction on how to set them up and place the screen protector on and then put them into the cases provided.  It was all very clearly written down on the directions, but some didn't read the directions very well.  We made 4 stops on Tuesday, Batavia, Brockport, Westfall, and Pittsford.  We loaded up the car again and made our way home.  The Elders called us and told us that they needed a ride (their car had been hit in the door and was being repaired).  Dennis went to help them and came back with them and Amanda and Skyler.  The people assigned to give Amanda and Skyler the new member lessons had bailed on them and so the Elders brought them over for a lesson.  We watched the Book of Mormon movie and they really enjoyed it.  (we will do a lesson next time)
Wednesday:  We began very early because we had received word from the missionaries that Hornell didn't have internet this week and we would need to have their district go over to Wellsville.  It must be the most further out part of the mission.  It is on the border of Pennsylvania.  We thought that it was very pretty there.  There are actually large mountains there and a pretty little town.  We went from Wellsville to Penn Yan, Canandaigua, Fayette, Lyons,and Palmyra.  The missionaries were great and so receptive to everything they were asked to do.  They acted like Christmas had arrived.  The devices are their personal property now and they have to purchase them; they can take them home and use them at college.  We went back to Pittsford and picked up our last load.  We ate at a place called Moe’s on the way home.  It reminded us a little of Bajio or CafĂ© Rio—but not quite as good.    As we were leaving we saw there is a P.F. Changs near Moe’s.  We returned home late and were so tired!
This is where the church was organized

Thursday:  We began early again and made our way to the west—over towards Buffalo.  We went to Orchard Park, Buffalo, Amherst, Lockport, and Niagara Falls.  This was our best day of the three for the disbursement.  We really drilled it into the missionaries to follow the directions thoroughly and they would have more success in getting them set up correctly.  Surprise—they had great success and did it so quickly and carefully.  We were so happy—our job was complete!  We arranged to end up at the church nearest the falls so we could spend some time there.  However, Bill Haggerty called and his wife was ill and he wanted her to have a blessing.  He also needed dog food for his seeing eye dog and would we pick some up on our way.  We told him we were quite a ways from Batavia and that maybe he would like to get someone else, but he was determined that we should come.  We stopped at the falls for a quick look/see and returned home.  Dennis began getting a scratchy throat and Bill’s wife offered him a throat lozenge called, ‘Fisherman’s Friend’.  They are quite strong and seemed to do the trick.
River flowing toward the falls

Niagara Falls

Ice below the falls
Heading east out of Buffalo over a large bridge
Friday:  We were toast!  We didn't want to get up or even move; but we did!  We were glad that our schedule wasn't so tight for the rest of the day.  We got a text from the Elders and they reminded us that we had signed up for feeding the missionaries that night.  So, we went to the store and got items for the meal.  Then they said that only 2 could come.  So—I had plenty of food purchased so we invited Amanda and Skyler.  We went with them (we drive) to 2 appointments and then to  GCC (the community college in our town) with the town Elders and visited with 2 Japanese students (girls)  We were in part of the cafeteria and the acoustics were terrible and the noise level high.  I could hardly hear the girls plus they had very broken English.  The Elders weren't making too much progress and were talking about the commandments with them.  They finally asked, “What are commandments?”  They talked about the 10 commandments, but they were not familiar with them.  So, we turned to them in the Bible and the girls did not understand that either.  I got a piece of paper and began to write them down.  I explained them one by one (and that was difficult).  I didn't know if their families worshiped idols or not.  I told them everything as bluntly as I could.  It was difficult to explain ‘what does covet mean?’ to them.  I think they understood, but there are many language barriers that made it hard.  We hurried home, baked the meal and then all 4 missionaries and Amanda and Skyler showed up.  It was a great night!  We bought the SkipBo game and played it with Amanda and Skyler, it was fun and reminded me of doing this with my grandkids.  I miss doing this with them.  Most of them love to play games and we laugh and have fun together.  Please give all my 'littles' hugs for me!

Saturday:  We went over to the church for a memorial service for our Branch President’s brother in law.  He wasn't a member, but the President had all 4 missionaries talk about the Plan of Salvation.  They did it in a very simple, understandable way.  There were a couple songs, and some of the family talked and it was concluded.  They played the Randy Travis song "Will the Circle be Unbroken" in the chapel, and it really sounded out of place and twangy.  There were about 15 people of the family and 6 missionaries and 2 other branch members.  We prepared for Zone conferences next week.  We get to travel again to 3 different zones to present at each one.  (over the mission again)  We made a PowerPoint program and I hope that it is something that will keep their attention and drive home a few points.  We visited a sick sister and went to meet another sister that isn't active.  She invited us back on Monday afternoon as she was busy when we arrived.  We went to LeRoy to meet 3 other senior couples for dinner.  We met at a place called the Depot.  It was very nice.  We wanted to say our good byes to the Ray’s, as they will be going home next week.  They have been such a great help! 
Sunday:  We woke up to snow—again!  Two men fell down in the parking lot at the church and bruised their egos.  It was slick under the snow.  We had a good meeting about sustaining our leaders, especially to get ready for conference.  There was good information given.  The meetings were all good.  Our attendance was a little less than last week, but snow always keeps people home, I think.  We have a study at the church with the missionaries from the Book of Mormon tonight.  I am looking forward to that.  I guess Dennis got a little run down as he has a nasty cold now. 

Funnies:  I asked Dennis how his 'Fisherman's Friend' was working.  He said, "what?"  I asked again, and he looked at me like I was speaking another language. I again asked him and he still couldn't figure out what I was talking about.  I then said, "you know, the throat lozenges we got for you, how are they working?"  We laughed pretty hard!
We went to see a lady that couldn't invite us in because she was sick.  Well, I sometimes get tongue tied or something crazy and asked if she needed DRUGS.  (like we had them stuffed in our pockets)  So, I had to back up and say have you got antibiotics for your ailment?  Yes, she did and we weren't picked up by the police as drug peddlers.  The missionaries didn't say anything, but I bet they cracked up when they got in their car, because we sure did!
I don't know what happened this week with my hair!  It was like I had rubbed a balloon on my head for hours.  I had so much static that it was crazy!  I don't know if it was riding in the car and having a head rest or what, but I hope it doesn't continue this week.

Correction:  I mentioned that Chris would be able to go home for his antibiotic treatment, but that changed and he has to stay at the nursing home across the street from EIRMC for the treatment.  He is really loving that arrangement (NOT), but he is feeling so much better and we are so thankful for this blessing!

  1. Being able to grow up in the church and being taught the gospel from my youth!  That is a great blessing.  Even today in Gospel Essentials I remembered a class my Primary teacher had taught us on repentance and the steps in repenting.  Those things do stick to our minds!  It is a blessing to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ!
  2. Being able to see the humorous side to most things.  It's funny that a little humor can help us over so many hurdles.  We are meant to have JOY!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 9-15

Is it just me or does day light savings time make you tired too?
Monday:  We helped Susan get to a doctor’s appointment and some groceries.   We had a dinner appointment with Jacque Klein and she invited a non-member.  We talked about the gospel and invited her friend, Mary, to accept a Book of Mormon.  She declined.  We met with the Elders at Amanda’s home and they said their good-byes; as Elder Nottinham would leave for Brazil  because he received his visa and Elder Tomlinson would be transferred to another area.

Elder Cashmore, Elder Nottingham, Elder Littlefield, & Elder Tomlinson
Tuesday:  We went to the transfer meeting at Pittsford because 3 of our 4 Elders were transferred, and they didn’t have room to haul all the luggage in one car.  We received 10 new Elders to the mission.  (However we said goodbye to about that many great ones)  It is sad to see them leave.  The new ones seem so young and scared, but soon they are strong and courageous.  It is quite a transformation.  We had Relief Society enrichment that evening at the church and had a birthday party for Relief Society.  It was nice and Dennis and Skyler played Phase 10 during the meeting in another room.  Skyler amazed the new Elders with his knowledge of the plan of salvation.  (He can give the message as well as some missionaries)  Much of our thoughts have been centered upon Chris and his surgery.  We are so grateful that the doctor has found his problem and we are praying for him to have a quick and FULL recovery.  We are sad that he can’t just go home for his treatment, but hope that he is watched over and cared for by medical people, friends, family, and his loving wife and children. Update:  We just found out that he doesn't need 2 types of antibiotics and that he can have them as an out patient.  He can stay home.  Yahoo!

Wednesday:  We traveled to Geneseo for District meeting.  We had a good meeting and Sister Walker served a lunch of breakfast items.  The Elders like the food and we returned back around 1:45.  We went to a teaching appointment with the county Elders at 2:00 and met Sister Brenda.  We had a good discussion with her and invited her to be baptized.  She said she would like to be baptized and they gave her a date.  However, investigators must commit to attend church and she didn't make it today.  So, we hope for another visit and having her come to church.  As we were leaving her home I mentioned a drawing of a child on the wall.  It was a portrait of her 4 year old daughter that had been killed by being mauled by their dog and got caught in the chain of the dog and she thinks was strangled.  It was a horrible thing to hear about.  A friend had taken one of her pictures of the child and had drawn the larger portrait that hung on the wall.  I could see the resemblance of the mother and child, even though the mother is now an older woman.  I feel that we don't really know sorrow, and I really don't care to get that acquainted.  
Thursday:  We studied most of the day.  We went out to visit a less-active sister that is ill, but she didn't want company and wouldn't buzz us into her building.  We were able to identity many of the homes or apartments that the members of the ward live in here in Batavia.  The weather is getting nicer and we went for a walk outside without freezing.  We had the county Elders over for dinner and we had such a great discussion with them about the church.  They are great guys!

Friday:  We decided to take Susan some flowers as she has returned home from a hospital stay on Thursday.  She seemed happy to have them and said she was feeling some better.  We bought pizza and took it to the home of the Haggerty’s and had lunch and a home teaching visit with them.  We always have a laugh or two with them, and the spirit of the gospel.  We then went to Albion for a home teaching visit with the Longs.  We saw the damage the ice and snow had done to their home and were sorry for their trouble.  They took us to dinner in Greece and then for a beautiful drive up to Lake Ontario.  It was really a great time, but I felt that the message was a most needed and special one for them (from the Ensign).  The message of the Atonement is a special one for all of us!

Saturday:  We went to a teaching appointment with the city Elders and were met at the door by a young lady that said she had strep throat and couldn't see us.  We then picked up 2 members of the branch and went to the Hill Cumorah and viewed ‘Meet the Mormons’ with them and then went to the Temple and did an endowment session.  It was our branch temple day.  We returned home to go with the city Elders and meet a new investigator named Jodi.  We met her but she didn't have time to have a lesson.  Maybe next time.

Sunday:  We had a great church today!  The talks were about getting prepared for general conference.  Elder Merrill was able to confirm the Holy Ghost on Amanda and Skyler.  It was a wonderful meeting.   There were quite a few more people out today and I wonder if it is because the weather is much more moderate.  Whatever it is, I hope it continues.  We had the block of meetings and then they had ‘munch and mingle’ after church.  There were salads, sandwiches, and treats.  
A small chipmunk on our balcony
We  attended a program in Rochester tonight entitled, ‘The Accidental Hero’.  It is a one-man play depicting the journal of a man serving in World War II.  Our stake president has seen it and loved it.  He made arrangements for the stake members to see it tonight.  It was very inspirational about the man's grandfather's journals and his journey into the homeland of his ancestors, Czechoslovakia, during the war and how much he was able to help them and love them.  
Last Sunday we had Stake Conference and I didn't mention the theme of the meeting in my last post. The theme was 'love one another' --but they dissected the word another and made it 'the other'.  I have given a lot of thought this week into the meaning they had for the other.  There are so many people suffering, having troubles, and are different than each other.  There are lots of opportunities to see and help the other that we some times don't realize.  I think everyone here has some sort of trial or test they are going through.  Truth be known, everyone does either large or small.  We need to be more open to seeing them.  
  •  The opportunity to share the gospel to the people in New York and see the sacred sites here. 
  • The surgery Chris has had that will help him recovery from his broken bones and be whole again.
Interesting Fact:
The missionaries try to find 'celestial' parking places.  If they park some place that they have to back out of the passenger has to stand behind and guide them safely out of the place.  So, they love to park where they can pull out forward and not back up.  Thus--'celestial' parking.

Fortune Cookie saying:  (pretty good one we got at the dinner out with friends)
Judge each day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant!  (great for missionaries)

When we were here about a week we had to be up early the next morning and I had set the alarm for the time we needed.  I've been known to have some sleep talk problem, so I sat bolt upright that night and started talking quite loudly, "It's 2:48, it's 2:48, it's 2:48"  Dennis didn't move and I soon realized that it was just a crazy thing to do.  I don't know why, but we thought this was pretty funny the next day.
Tuesday night I awoke after hearing a loud thud and Dennis was sitting on the floor by the bed.  He was laughing and said, "I fell out of bed".  I know that I didn't crowd  him out or anything--he just got too close to the edge.  So, if you think that falling out is only for kids--it's not, grandpas can do it too!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 8, 2015

Another quick week! 
Monday we went to Pittsford and had a great office meeting.  We finished up around noon and went out to eat with the Ray’s.  They are going home the first of April, and we will really miss them.  We went over to Sam’s Club after and got a few things and then went back to Batavia (home).  That evening we were invited to eat at Amanda and Skyler’s home.  They were supposed to have home evening at the home of one of the members, but the members had complications and couldn’t, so we stayed and had a nice home evening with them.
Tuesday we studied all day.  (I know, crazy huh?)  I didn’t think Dennis and I would ever read this much together.  We couldn’t believe that the day flew by so quickly.
Wednesday we had our District meeting in Batavia and made the meal for it.  We made chicken enchiladas and Spanish rice.  There are 8 Elders and 4 Senior Missionaries that attend these meetings.  The young missionaries conduct the meetings and they do such a good job.  They are full of enthusiasm and love of the gospel.  It is a blessing to see how the mission works.
Thursday we made some very rough business cards for ourselves and went to one of the neighboring towns to see if we could meet some of the members and less-actives.  We left cards at 10 stops and didn’t find anyone home.  It’s difficult because everyone is busy or works.  (even at home in Idaho)  I was very discouraged and then later in the evening we got a text from one of the members that said she was sorry she had missed us and that she appreciated us driving way out there to meet her.  That was encouraging!  However, we haven’t heard anything from the other 9.  We will continue to go around the branch meeting them.  After not having any luck we dropped into the Jello Museum (in LeRoy) and saw what they had to offer.  It was very nostalgic!  They told of the inventor of Jello thinking he had made a fortune when he sold the recipe and rights for $450.00 (the cost of a home for himself) in 1897.  The new owner had lots of product, but couldn’t sell it to anyone.  He got discouraged and offered the entire company to one of his workers for $35.00.  The man said, “why would he want something he couldn’t sell”.  So, the owner had a great idea and had salesmen go door to door and give it away.  He then told markets to get it stocked because it would be in demand soon.  Well, the first year he made $6 million dollars.  It was pretty interesting.

Selfie at the Jello Museum

A cute house we saw in Leroy

Friday we had to be at the mission office early for a meeting with the Missionary Leadership Council.  It was a great meeting and we are getting excited to pass out the new Ipads to the missionaries.  They are the mini Ipads, but they do the job.  I can’t believe how much the missionaries use them.  It is a tool made for missionary work.  We went over to Palmyra following the meeting to get a gift for Amanda and Skyler at the only LDS bookstore in the State of New York.  We got a beautiful book with paintings of Christ and telling of how he loves us all.  I loved it and I think they did too!  That evening we met at our chapel for the baptism of Amanda and Skyler.  She had us come early to tell us how much she appreciated everything we had done for her and how her life had changed so drastically!  It was such a great thing.  The baptism was nice and the branch supported it quite well.  The change in Skyler is dramatic—he is so happy and excited.  He greets people now and talks with them, before he wouldn’t make eye contact.  He even answered all the questions the speaker asked about baptism. He is really a special kid!
Baptism Night
Angel Moroni Cake
Saturday morning, early, we got up and took Amanda, Skyler, Deborah Earsing and ourselves over to Canandaigua (near Palmyra) to the Bishop Storehouse.  Our branch had an assignment and we had volunteered.  It was fun and didn’t take too long.  We arrived home about 12:30 and looked at each other and said, ‘Now What?”  We decided to drive out to Letchworth State Park.  It is about 30 miles from where we live.  It is a ‘mini Grand Canyon’ and it was so beautiful!  

After returning home we got ready for Stake Conference and picked up 2 Elders, Bill Haggerty, Karol Stevenson, and Amanda.  (our car is really getting used)  We went to Westfall Road near Rochester and had a great adult session of conference.  We love our car!  The meeting was really good and we didn’t get home until 11:00.  (we had a large detour to pick up Skyler from Amanda’s friend)  Then we had to set our clocks ahead for  daylight savings time—so it was difficult to get up on time—
Sunday we went back to Westfall Road for the general session of stake conference.  We had a car full again, and enjoyed the meeting.   Our mission president spoke, and he is always so interesting.  He loves the missionaries!
There were some wonderful talks given in conference.  A couple, the Ostlers, have been called to be the site directors here.  (The Smith farm, Sacred Grove, Hill Cumorah, Grandin Printer, Whitmer Farm, etc.)  They were in Sierra Leone (Africa) as the Mission President and his wife and served there for over a year when they were evacuated because of Ebola.  They told a couple of stories from their mission.  He read from one of the missionaries reports that the Elders had taught a family about keeping the Sabbath day holy and the family was really quiet and they knew that they only earned .75 to $1.00 a day and that if he didn't work on Sunday, they wouldn't eat.  The father finally said that they would keep the Sabbath day holy and that they had faith that the Lord would provide, but if they didn't they would drink lots of water and go to bed hungry.  Wow!  I feel so pampered and spoiled!  We have no idea of the poverty and faith that people have.
Another story he shared was that the Elders had asked a family to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  One of the sisters listening to the missionaries couldn't read.  She listened and then quietly went to one of the neighbors that evening and borrowed their Book of Mormon.  She took it home and put it under her pillow and prayed that she would know the truth about the book.  She dreamed in the night that she was following a path and that she was trying to follow someone-- and it was Christ.  That is exactly what the Book of Mormon is for--to bring us to Christ.  

 More barns:

  • Having a nice car to be safe and warm in while we travel around.
  • Having the health and strength to serve the Lord and see the beauties of our earth!
  • Having a wonderful spouse to share this with and have the same goals

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1, 2015

I continually think of new ways to do my posts.  I will add my email and then add in more information in italic style posts.  I hope this helps.

On Monday we went to Pittsford and had our office meeting.  It is so nice to meet with the office staff each week and get instructions.  The President had his daughter and 2 granddaughters visiting him this week and they came into the office to meet us.  It made me homesick for all my little grandchildren. (of any size or age)
We have a Sister Ballard in the office and she bore her testimony to us at the meeting.  She is such a nice lady and told us of the challenges she has had in her life.  She testified that without the Atonement of Jesus Christ she wouldn't have been able to go through the trials she has had.  It made me stop and think of how we are blessed to have this in our lives to help us through the rough patches.  I know we have been blessed this way also.  

Tuesday we went to the Westfall building (in Rochester) and had a wonderful meeting with the entire mission.  We heard from Elders Allen and Evans of the Seventies and Missionary Board.  I felt like I had really been taught by the spirit and had the ‘vision’ of the church about the use of electronics on a mission.  I feel like the church is trying to teach our youth correct principles in using electronics and save them from the unrighteous ways of the world.  I was certain that this was the goal of the meeting until we got back on our ride home with our 4 young missionaries and heard what they had gained from the meeting.  I was surprised at how many ways things could be interpreted, everyone hears things differently.
*The 'vision' I received in the meeting is that the Lord knows us each and how susceptible we are to the temptations that are before us.  Pornography is a terrible, ugly monster!  It takes away the beauty of human love and dignity of man and woman.  It is rampant!  The church is well aware of what is happening and if these young men and women can be helped in correctly using the internet--it is worth the cost.  We need to be vigilant in staying away from such things--they do not bring us joy!  Please safeguard yourselves, no one is immune! 

After the meeting the Elder wanted to go to a place to eat in Rochester called Nick Tahaus.  They were so excited to go there.  It was a 'dive' where we experienced our first 'garbage plate'.  They loved it!  Lots of places have garbage plates or trash plates here.  They start out with fries on the bottom, macaroni salad or coleslaw, hamburgers, hotdogs, onions, and other toppings and then covered with a 'meat sauce'.  (all on one plate)  Then they topped it all off with LOTS of ketchup.  We shared one and didn't love it or hate it.  Crazy!
Eating at Nick Tahous

We had district meeting on Wednesday in Geneseo.  It was very spiritual also.  We met with several less actives, investigators, and members this week.  Our week was topped off with a trip to Palmyra with 2 of our Elders and an investigator and her son.  We had a wonderful experience with them for the entire day.  They loved each site and are eager to go and spend more time at each stop.  The spirit was very strong, and it was a miracle that it was a beautiful day.  I love seeing the gospel through an investigators eyes—it makes it so new and exciting.  This is a great experience!
On top of Hill Cumorah

Inside the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center

Leaving the Sacred Grove

Looking back into the Sacred Grove

We are still having winter, but the temperatures have risen some.  It really is pretty!
We had dinner with the Haggerty's last night and are getting to be good friends with them.  They had their friend, Wally, here this week and he is a really great guy.  He is also blind and plays many musical instruments.  Wally and Bill met at the Blind School here in Batavia.
Dennis, Bill (our blind organist), Rhonda, and Wally after Sacrament Meeting
Blind School, dormitories

Blind School, classrooms
 There is another large building that we didn't get a picture of.  They have a building for boys and one for girls.
Plaque for the school
There is a group of our friends that are planning to come here this summer.  They have decided to take a bus tour.  They will fly from Salt Lake City into New Hampshire.  The tour is $1825 per person and includes air, bus, food, and lodging.  They will see many of the church sites and historic areas.  We will try to meet up with them (for a time) in Palmyra.  They will be there 3 nights, I believe.  It leaves Salt Lake on May 30 and leaves from Cleveland on June 6.  If you are interested in coming with them go to  I believe it will be very informative.  Those coming are Summers, Beesleys, Hegsteds, Stuckis, Hansens, and Kaye and Phyllis.  
We met a family from Caldwell, Idaho as we were leaving the center at the Smith farm.  They came in with 7 small children.  They had taken the train from Salt Lake City to Rochester.  They had a 39 hour ride.  They are here to see the church sites.  The kids were so excited!  I felt guilty that we hadn't made that plan when our children were younger and I apologize for missing that opportunity.  We loved Disney way too much, and we should have come here at least once.

  • Being able to travel in comfort to see the things that are here to increase our testimonies and fulfill our calling.
  • Knowing that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith is a Prophet!
  • Having a family that loves and supports us!  We are so proud of Brytlee for being baptized on Feb. 28, 2015.  We are sorry that we missed that event, but she will be blessed for choosing the right.  We were so happy to Facetime with some of the ones that attended after the baptism.  It was difficult to hear Joclyn say, 'Please, come home Grandma and Grandpa',but the time is going by pretty quickly.