Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nov. 28, 2015

Another one bites the dust (weeks).  Hard to believe!  Happy Thanksgiving (after the fact)  We ate at the Haggerty's and it was very nice.  I took rolls, a jello salad, a chocolate and coconut cream pie and a bought pumpkin pie.  The price of the pumpkin pie was $5.00 at Sam's Club and I figured that I couldn't make one for that price.  The 4 Elders were there also, so we had a big crowd for a small kitchen.  We had lots of food and I think that everyone liked it.  It was funny how the Elders ate; one ate his slowly and I thought maybe he didn't like it, (but ate it all) and one wolfed it down without a breathe in between.  The fast eater is a very nervous young man, really cute and funny, but nervous.
Playing Tenzie-Sister Merrill, Elder Peters, Elder Detlor, Sister Haggery, Elder Rushton, and Elder Scott
We should have gotten a picture of Brother Haggerty, in the other room in a turkey coma.
Intense game--they didn't want to lose (New Jenga game in the center of the table)
We talked about being thankful for what we have and this message was shared with us by Sister Spencer when we had FHE on Monday night.
Think about everything you thanked Heavenly Father for in your most recent prayer.  Think hard! Now, imagine getting up tomorrow and having only those things that you thanked Him for.  That makes you think, doesn't it?  Everything is from Him and we are nothing without Him.  Let's be thankful.  'In nothing is God more offended than by him that doesn't give thanks' (paraphrased)
I talked with Brother Selvage yesterday and I asked him about his Thanksgiving dinner with the other site missionaries.  They had all gotten together and had dinner at the Palmyra Inn.  Here is what he had to say, 'when you get that many ladies (older) with that much experience and ask them to do a nice dinner--they come up with their very best recipes and try to out do each other.'  He said it was fantastic!
Tomorrow is our Primary program.  There were 6 kids there last Sunday.  I hope we have enough to be heard when they sing.
We went to work half of the day yesterday, (black Friday) and then we ran a few errands.  We thought that Macy's had some good buys.  It is a  large store here in the mall.  We have some missionaries here from other countries and the President asked that we get some some gifts on hand in case they don't get anything for Christmas. Now I would like to apologize to Greg for his lack of gifts on his mission to Africa.  We crammed what we could think of into a box and it wasn't very much or very good.  He reminds us that everyone else had piles of gifts and he had his little box.  I'm sure that the postage for the box out priced the contents inside.  We are sorry!  I see now that it is a lifeline to home to have things arrive and that it means a lot to the missionaries.   I hope his mission president didn't have to subsidize his happiness.
I've had a big frustration the past 3 weeks.  A fellow that was the financial person a few years ago took it upon himself to install Time Warner Cable in all the site missionaries apartments and have the mission pay for this service.  The contract ended Oct. 23 and we have been trying to get 16 apartments to give up equipment (equipment they charge $300 for if not returned) and have TW turn off the service.  Another senior elder got involved and it has made it very difficult. (however, TW has been part of the problem also)  I think we are just about at the end of this fun.  I sure hope so.  It's funny how this all was perceived.  Some thought I should lessen their mission cost because they weren't getting this service now.  Funny how we all see the use of sacred tithing funds!  I can feel my blood pressure rising as I type. (will stop now)
On a drive the other morning we saw this site:
This deer must have decided to die on the front porch.  However, when I rolled down the window it smelled like it wasn't fresh kill.
Life is good, we are blessed beyond belief, and Heavenly Father loves us all!

Happy birthday to Becky, Jaquel, Cruze!  Happy Anniversary to Butch and Janice (mom and dad)! We love you all! and anyone else that had a birthday or special occasion last week.!
Hey we just looked outside and we are going to have to run--they are here for us!

LOL!  Just a driver waiting for a client and stopping for a few minutes.  Elder Merrill went out and talked with him and he didn't know who Brigham Young was.  Guess he didn't want information on the John Young home.
Mormon 6:19
O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the way of the Lord!  O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nov. 21, 2015

It's hard to believe that it's almost Thanksgiving!  We are still wearing light weight windbreakers or just our dress clothes.  The weather is looking a little more like winter is coming though, the sky is gray and it is a little dreary.  We had a big windstorm the other night and I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  I didn't know when we would have lift off, and then---there was a huge clatter on the front of the house and I woke Dennis up and he said--it's just the chairs on the front porch being blown around.  Well, the next day--the railing on the porch was broken off and the chairs off the porch with it.  It was a BIG blow!

We had a good week and received 4 new missionaries to the field this week.  We got 2 elders and 2 sisters. We sent home 2 sisters and the 2 older sisters from the office.  It is a mixed emotion thing when they leave; they are excited to see their families and friends, but sad to leave the mission and the things they have done here and the friends they have here.  It is a great experience to be a missionary. It's still a great thing to witness the new missionaries being welcomed with open arms to the mission by their new companion and the rest of the missionaries.  Everyone is welcomed and loved!
We fed the new missionaries shepherds pie, fruit salad, bread, and angel food cake with orange sauce.  They are so tired when they get to the mission home; they can hardly think.  (I've seen that look when Annette came--her eyes were twirling in her head before she got into bed; they flew all night and didn't sleep that much and then they got here and we kept them busy all day)
We went to the Temple on Friday night and did sealings.  It is a great opportunity to go back to the Temple and listen to the blessings promised in those ordinances.  It is hard to comprehend all that the Lord has to bless us with, but--(here is our ponderizing scripture)
1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them at that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
On the way home from the Temple we received a call from 2 sisters that had a deer jump out and run into the front of their car.  They were upset, but their car still ran and Elder Merrill had them drive it on to their apartment.  We drove down to Canandaigua Saturday morning to see the damage and what would need to be done.  The car is in pretty bad shape and Elder Merrill told me to meet him at the car repair shop.  I took the Sisters back to their apartment (they couldn't get into park in their normal spot because someone had an accident in front of their apartment) and started off to the shop, and Elder Merrill called me and asked me to come back to where the car was parked.  He couldn't get the car started.  It had a sensor that was messed up and he had to get tape out of our car and wrap it.  It then started and we took it to get an estimate.  (which is going to be high)  It really was a miracle that the sisters made it home with their car.  They were about 2 miles form their apartment and that car was in tough shape.  I know that the Lord protects His servants.

We finished up reading the Doctrine and Covenants this week.  I wrote down the things that would be what we could do to live better from each chapter.  It is very interesting how we can take some of the chapters that talk directly to people of that day and they are given advice that fits us.  We can liken the scriptures to ourselves!
Adison is healing and still continues with the scrubbing of her little leg.  She is doing much better and Jill feels that it will heal well.  There are 2 spots that were deeper than the rest and they will probably scar.  We are so glad that she is doing better.  Jill reports that Sadie is doing some better and is hoping to leave the hospital soon.  That is all we know about her condition.  The Workman's (our housing coordinator/nurse) have a 15 year old granddaughter that had thyroid surgery this week and it was cancerous and they thought it would be contained, but there are lymph nodes involved with the cancer also.  We are praying for her also.  They thing that she will need chemo and radiation.  We don't have to look very far to feel pretty happy with our own situation and then hope that we will be able to be valiant in the trials we will be asked to endure.  It's interesting to see (and not funny at all) how quickly our bodies TURN ON US.  One day they work so perfectly (almost) and then they start having little problems.  We will have to take what comes and love it. (easier said than done)
Happy Birthday to Janet Summers--you are one year older!  Yahoo!  We hope you had a great birthday!
We are enjoying the Spencers.  They took the place of the Sisters in the office.  They are from Mesa, Arizona and are afraid they might freeze to death here this winter.  I hope they can keep warm enougth!
They are very kind and thoughtful.
We are so blessed!  We have such a wonderful bunch of kids and grandkids.  They began building us a new home this week.  The Jagielski family will buy our home and continue to live there and we will come home to a new home.  We learned a long time ago that our kids have much better taste than we do and so they are going to make all the decisions on the home.  We have lots of faith in them and love for them.  Kim and Willie helped with building a road into the building site and then Chris fired up the CAT to help with the spreading of gravel.  The shop will be the first thing to be built.  Chris and Brad are going to be part owners of the shop as they both have things they want to store.  We feel that this will work out great for all of us.

Chris the CAT Skinner
Kim making the road
I am playing the music for the Primary program next week and I am worried about the volume that they will be singing.  There are only about 10 -15 kids and they don't know the words very well.  The Lord  helps the Primary programs--we will hope for the best and leave the rest to Him.
That reminds me of the miracle we saw in Jamaica about 12 years ago.  President Hinckley was going to visit there and Chris wanted to go back and see that happen.  (they had never had a Prophet come to Jamaica)  We arrived early at the amphitheater in Kingston to get good seats and wait.  While we waited there was a small choir practicing on the stage to sing for the Prophet.  They were terrible!  I was worried for them.  It was electrifying with President Hinckley and President Faust arrived.  Everyone was so happy to see them and honored them so much!  The meeting was great!  BUT--the choir sounded like angels singing.  There was such a transformation; could it be the same people that had practiced just a few minutes earlier?  It was so beautiful.  The next day was Sunday and we went to church where the same choir provided a number for the meeting.  I was excited to hear them sing again, but it was back to the choir that had practiced the night before,  Not that great!   Miracles happen on a daily basis--look and you will see!
We got a picture of the leaf vacuum.  Here it is:

A funny:
We went out to dinner with the Spencers on Saturday night to the Macaroni Grill.  We each ordered 1 dinner to share with out spouse.  We got our meals and they kept saying how good their meal was.  We got talking about what we had ordered and realized that we had gotten the meal ordered by the other couple.  We laughed and decided that the meals were just great the way we got them.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nov. 14, 2015

We have had another great week.  We got the new couple for the office on Monday, Nov. 11th.  They are very nice, and I will get a picture of them next week.  We had a nice luncheon for Sister Paskett and Sister Kennedy after our office meeting on Monday.  I think that they enjoyed it, but Sister Kennedy kept accusing me of trying to kill her by putting candied almonds on the Mandarin Salad.  (everyone else loved the salad)
Sister Paskett, Elder Merrill, and Sister Merrill

Elder Merrill, Sister Paskett, Sister Kennedy, Sister Merrill, Sister Workman and Elder Workman
The weather was nice most of the week.  We did have some rain, but on Saturday it started to get cold.  It looks like we may be starting winter.  I may have to get my coat out--dang!
We stopped and took a picture of how leaves are raked to the sidewalks here in Rochester.  They have a huge truck that goes around neighborhoods and sucks them up with a giant hose.  Seriously--a giant HOOVER picks up the leaves.

We have also seen this week a truck that brings new meaning to, "Bring out your dead"  (the funny, crazy line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail)  We passed a pickup full to the top of the bed with dead deer.  They don't let them stay on the side of the road as road kill, someone actually has the horrible task of gathering them all up and getting rid of them.  So, I won't be complaining about my joy ever again!
As we drove by an Amish area we noticed the corn tied together for their harvest.  Their lives may be less complicated, but not EASY.  This harvest method looks very time consuming.

Elder Merrill had 3 more Zone meetings to attend this week and he took this picture of the Zone in Batavia (the one we belong to).  They are sitting there reading, waiting for the meeting to begin. What great guys!

We drove over to Sam's Club this afternoon to get supplies for our transfer meeting on Monday.  We do a dinner for the new missionaries.  We will get 4 new missionaries and will lose 2 young sisters and 2 older sisters (our friends across the street).  On our drive we saw a large grassy area covered in geese.  We also saw these geese trying to get a drink in the Sam's parking lot.  We walked up to about 4 feet away from them and they didn't try to run off or fly away.   I had to think of my dad and the love he has of hunting ducks and geese.  I think I may be getting a little homesick!

We went to the Temple on Thursday night with the Lehman's.  They are such nice people and we love visiting with them.  I love hearing stories of their life and adventures.  He is always thinking and told us that he took gifts to all the veterans he knew on Veteran's Day.  (he was in Vietnam and understands the sacrifice)  I thought that was so nice and such well deserved recognition.   I'm thankful for all those that have spent their time in the service of our country.  Thanks Rob Jagielski!
Jill called yesterday and we talked about her friend Sadie Shippen Shanz.  She has a little boy that had cancer when he was about 7 months and had such a long, hard battle.  She was pregnant with a little girl last summer and lost that baby and she had to have brain surgery on Thursday for a tumor on the day that her baby would have been due.  We don't know too many details, but she will need lots of brain rest at this point to recover.  Our heart and prayers go out to her.  Jill asked me why Sadie has had so many trials and difficulties.  I don't know the grand plan, but in reading D&C 122 this morning it seems that it may have been written for that question.  Even if we are asked to go through  many trials, it is for our good and understanding and that the Lord, himself, suffered everything.  Everything will be compensated!
Adie is such an incredible little girl.  She has had to have her leg scrubbed 2 times each day to keep from getting too bad of scars from her 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  I asked Jill if Adie cried when she did it for her.  She said, "Yes, she did, but I don't do it for her.  She does it herself." She carefully takes all of the skin off 2 times each day and doesn't fuss about it at all.  I'm so proud of what a little 'tough' girl she is. I told Jill it made me cry to think of how it hurt her and she said to tell grandma not to cry " I'm tough".
Life is good, life is a TEST.  We need to endure to the end.  The best is yet to come!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Nov. 8, 2015

November 8, 2015
We have had a great week, once again.  The weather this week has been in the 70s, but we are supposed to get colder weather and rain next week. 
Last Sunday we were saddened by the announcement that one of the Hannah boys (the family that had caused the problem the Sunday before) had a ruptured appendix and was hospitalized in the Buffalo hospital.  Everyone had a few different thought for the family last week.  They kept him in the hospital until Wednesday and then sent him home.  They didn’t do surgery, but have him on lots of antibiotics.  They weren’t to church today, so I don’t know more about his situation.  Several people have seen him and said that he looks fine.  I don’t know what strategy they are using for his recovery—some said just antibiotics is the only thing, some think they will do surgery after the antibiotics have done their job.  I hope that he will be alright.  I just remember how sick Cindy was and Zach Gneiting this summer.  They were so careful with Zach. 
It is deer season again.  Not only are they being hunted, but the highways are taking many of them.  We counted 10 on the way to church and back that were dead on the side of the road.  That seems like a lot of deer when you consider how many more miles this state has that we weren’t able to count. 
Elder Merrill went to Zone meetings last week to prepare the missionaries for winter driving.  He was going Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to meetings out of the office.  He will go again this week to 3 more.  He really enjoyed being with the missionaries and trying to help them understand snow and ice safety.  He did double duty on Thursday and went early in the morning to the Bishop Storehouse to unload a semi.  The Batavia branch had an assignment for 4 brothers to help with this project and he and 1 other man made it to help.  They got the job done despite the shortage of help.  (Super men!)
Here is a picture of a semi load of cabbage at a sauerkraut plant.  Dennis was standing there just staring and a man walked up to him and ask, “Can I help you?”  He answered that he was from Idaho and hadn’t seen anything like this before.  They both laughed and the man gave him some statistics.  They have been taking cabbage in since August and have about another month to go.  They process 800 tons of cabbage a day into sauerkraut.  Dennis told him of potato harvest and other Idaho things.

We had MLC (Mission Leadership Council)  on Friday and I was asked to do the mail portion of the meal.  We had 32 people and we made chili and corn bread.  Sister Kennedy made a salad and Sister Paskett had ice cream and a cookie.  Chris had told me about serving the kids from BYU-I with 115 lb. of chili and that they hadn’t left any.  He said everyone had loved it and I thought about trying my hand at chili too.  It has been quite a while since I have made chili and I think it was medium good chili.  (I made about 30 lb. of chili and it was almost all gone)  I don’t think I want to go up against Chris in a throw down.  It seemed harder than it should have been to get it to taste just right.  So, there are fallacies in getting older:
  • Things are not easier to do, and things do not just fall into place
  • Food still tastes good, and dieting isn’t easier
  •  Pimples still occur
  • Pantyhose are still ridiculous, but better than a stiff old girdle

Anyone that would like to add their feeling on getting older are welcome. 
We went to church today (reluctantly)  NOT really!  We both had to talk in sacrament meeting.  Our subject was the Spirit.  As I was reading information and putting together my talk I wondered about some of the things the Holy Ghost does for us and why I wasn’t have much inspiration on my talk.  On Saturday morning I woke up with a song playing in my head and this is the song,
“When Christ was on the earth, He promised He would send,
The Holy Ghost to comfort us, our true eternal friend.
The Holy Spirit whispers, with a still small voice
He testifies of God and Christ and makes our hearts rejoice.
And when we are confirmed, by sacred priesthood power,
The Holy Ghost is given to us to guide us every hour.
Oh, may I always listen to that still small voice
And with his light I’ll do what’s right each time I make a choice”
What a wonderful, powerful Primary song the Spirit reminded me of.  It taught such truths so simple and clearly.  We were able to give our talks and I felt good about them both. 
On Saturday we were asked to go to the Westfall building at 9:00 for a meeting for church histories.  (I have a new assignment—mission history)  We went and were honored to have as our teachers the Bushman’s .  He is the author of “Rough Stone Rolling” the history of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Brother Bushman teaches at Columbia University and they were both very interesting.  They are true historians. 

After the meeting we picked up one of the missionaries cars and took it to trade it with sisters in Cattaraugus and then we took their pick up to Elders in Wellsville.  It took quite a while and we didn’t get home until well after dark.  It was only 7:30, but it was SO DARK!  The weather was beautiful for a nice drive.  The trees have mostly all dropped their leaves and you can see things that are hidden more clearly.  There are more houses than were here a couple of weeks ago.
We had lunch in Holland
We ate at the Zider Zee and it was VERY good
We are getting a new couple in the office this coming week and we are ready.  They will be living across the street and we hope to get along well with them.  (to be seen)  Their picture looks like they are younger than us and they look very friendly. 
Friday night little Adie (Jill’s 4 year old) sat down outside on a hot coal.  Jill had been burning trash around her yard, and Adie didn’t see the stick she sat down on.  She burned her leg quite badly and they have been working to keep her happy and clean from infections.  Please remember her in your prayers.  We talked to her on the phone and she said, “I’m fine, I’m tough!”  I couldn’t help but cry for her.
Happy birthday last week to Ava—she is 7.  We are so proud of ‘our little lovelies’  Also, Janet Summers and Phyllis Millar are having birthdays too, but not getting any older!  Happy Birthday my good, wonderful friends!
Ponderizing scripture for last week:

But as it is written, Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
The Sanders and Elder Detlor--this is their last day in the mission!