Sunday, February 21, 2016

Feb. 21, 2016

We started out our week with our Monday morning office staff meeting.  We had a lengthy conversation on the need to be accountable for our actions and the need for making that accounting to someone.  It’s nice to allow others the autonomy to make choices and follow through with assignments, but there also needs to be an accounting of that.  We all brought thoughts to the conversation and it was a very good discussion.  My thought is that even Jesus Christ was asked to ‘return and report’—why should we not be asked to do the same?
A little girls was having a baptism party in the gym during our meeting.  (the kids were out for a week of school here)  They asked us to come to the party.  The theme was Alice in Wonderland and we are dressed for the party.
This takes 'extreme' balance

On Tuesday we woke to lots of new snow.  Really this was the first snow of the winter.  Dennis was like a man with a mission (different than a man on a mission).  He went right out and fired up the snow blower and had such a good time using that machine.  It really did a good job and he cleaned up our walks and the Spencer’s also.

Our car in the office parking lot

This is the day after the storm--this little machine does the sidewalks around town
Sister Spencer and Sister Merrill on our way to work
Elder Spencer had a cornea transplant a few weeks ago and he can’t lift, bend or do anything strenuous for a few more weeks.  He finished the walks and we were ready to go to the office.  There were all kinds of people that had slid off the road and we stuck in the gutters.  The news reported accidents on almost every major street and in the afternoon they shut down some of the big roads that move traffic around Rochester.  The church has someone hired to keep the parking lot cleaned out and they had been there before we arrived, but it had snowed quite a bit more and we got stuck in the parking lot.  Elder Merrill was able to get unstuck and park.  It kept snowing and at noon we talked with President Frances and asked if he thought we should go home.  He said that would be alright (if we had our work done—just like what we tell our kids, right?)  We decided that Elder Spencer would lead because his Pathfinder is a little heavier and he might be able to create a path for us to follow.  He is from Arizona and was doing well until his wife told him to stop at the opening to the street because the city had plowed a large drift into the entrance.  He stopped and then he was stuck.  Elder Merrill was able to help them get out and we followed directly in their tracks.  (it was a little tricky)  It snowed about 18 inches in less than 12 hours.  It was really beautiful and we enjoyed watching it from our warm, little home.  I kept thinking about the winds of Idaho and how much of a mess that would have made here.  However, we were lucky and it didn’t cause too many problems and the next morning was beautiful and all the roads were clear. 
We went over to Palmyra to the Temple on Thursday night and enjoyed our time there.  It has been nice to attend the Temple weekly.  We haven’t attended weekly together during our marriage.  Elder Merrill tried to go to the 5:00 a.m. session every Friday when he was the Bishop, but I didn’t accompany him.  I’m anxious to see the changes to the Idaho Falls Temple and hope it will be ready to open again soon after we return home. 
We were able to go over to Palmyra on Saturday and went to see Sister Nalder, one of our senior missionaries that had back surgery 2 weeks ago.  They weren’t home, but we left a little gift for her inside their door.  We then went out to the Palmyra Inn and looked at the artifacts there from the ancient people that inhabited this land.  (Nephites and Lamanites) They had a very nice display.  We then went over to the Hill Cumorah Visitor’s Center and viewed the art display of Liz Lemon Swindle.  We loved them!  Each picture depicts something from the life of Christ.  I will add a couple of the pictures each week on the blog.  (We were able to take pictures of each painting—yes, we asked for permission) 

Mary and Elizabeth greeting
When did He know?
After we returned home we took a big pot of beef stroganoff and went over to Batavia to their monthly pot luck.  We haven’t been attending the pot luck because they usually have much and mingle the Sunday following.  This month we are having fast Sunday on the 3rd Sunday because next Sunday will be our branch conference and the following Sunday will be Stake Conference. 
What a Sunday we have had.  We left home at 7:45 and attended our branch.  It was a nice Sunday and I was able to bare my testimony.  After church we went over to the Haggerty’s and did home teaching, then we drove out to Albion and did home teaching with the Long’s.  After we home taught them we drove back to Batavia and went out to Warsaw.  We had to pick up a vehicle from the Elders there and bring it back to the office.  We went to the Dieu’s (senior couple) and they wanted us to stay and visit and have dinner with them.  It was great to visit with them, but I kept looking out the window and worrying about driving home in the dark.  (I’m not too anxious to drive in the dark anymore)  Well, we drove home in the dark.  It wasn’t too bad and I just followed Elder Merrill.  We got home at 7:30 p.m.  PHEW!  What a day—I’m ready to kick off my shoes!
I wanted to add a sweet story that the Sister Bradford sent to us for our monthly newsletter:  
Frozen tidings from Cumorah

Sunday night we were serving at the Visitors' Center, it was a quiet night with few guests.  It was cold and dark outside, but warm and bright inside.  A little family came through the doors, Dad, Mom, little boy, new baby.  As we always do, we try to get to know them a little at the beginning.  I met the parents, LDS who had driven from Connecticut that day and then turned my attention to the little boy; 6 years old, Jonathan.  It was obvious that Jonathan had some disabilities, he kind of looked sideways through his glasses and drug his left foot.  I asked him if he would like to see a movie or go learn about the Helaman's warriors or we could go into the room where we have a statue of Jesus.  He looked up at me and said, "I want to go see my friend Jesus."  We went in and listened to the recording of Christ's words, then I turned on the music, "A Child's Prayer," then "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing."  Through the recording and the music, I watched as these two good parents surrounded this little boy in love and I watched as Jonathan looked up at Jesus in awe and love.  He had come to see his friend.  We were in a holy place, the spirit filled the room and all of us were crying.  

I wasn't sure what their story was, but I knew that Jonathan and Jesus were intimate friends.  We walked into the gallery and Jonathan went to the kiosk about Helaman's warriors and listened to every one of the stories.  As he was doing that, his mother told me of his premature 25-week delivery, of the brain trauma he had, of the multiple surgeries, of the 5 months in the NICU, of the priesthood blessings that he had been given many times that pulled him through, of the struggle to walk at 3 years old, and the time he went into have another eye surgery and was given a blessing and as a result of that surgery and blessing how he went from being non-verbal to speaking sentences in 2 weeks.  This dear little child had been through so much, it was obvious that the separation between earth and heaven is very thin for this child.

They stayed for about an hour and in that time, another couple and one of our Senior couples came in.  She came with her flute and he came with his piano skills.  She serenaded us in the Christus room on her flute.  The echo from the rotunda magnified her sound and skills.  It was magical.  Eventually, Jonathan and family came back to the Christus room to hear the music.  We all went into the auditorium where she played primary songs on her flute and he played piano accompaniment, and Jonathan led the singing for all the adults in the room.  I thought what a magical place to be where a disabled child can be loved and cherished and a very accomplished flutist can play purely for the enjoyment of others and the two of them can be joined in an overwashing of the spirit.

 The work here is so sweet.

Happy Birthday Brytlee Ann Harris—9 years old!  So proud of her and what a sweet young lady she is!

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