Saturday, May 25, 2013

We looked forward to Russ and Sylvia Pool coming all week. They made it Friday afternoon and came to see us at work in the Mission Office. They had the grand tour and then we went to our favorite seafood restaurant. Russ wanted to eat seafood and we have had it at every meal since they arrived. It was just so fun to have them here and we visited and visited - almost like home. On Saturday we went to Vashon Island on the ferry. Here is a picture of the famous bicycle in the tree that is a legend on the island. There is even a children's story about it. Then you see Sylvia and I riding the stationary bikes at Tramp Harbor - it's kinda an island joke. Then we climbed the lighthouse. They loved the Sound and the boats and beaches. We again ate seafood for lunch and dinner. Sunday after Church we will drive them over the Narrows Bridge and see some of the Peninsula. It will be hard to see them go on Monday, but they loved the area and especially all the beautiful rhodedendrons. They may even come again they said. It was a scary week with the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Connie was the true trooper and kept the kids safe. Our favorite stories were about Connie having the kids sing Primary songs while the tornado was going over, as they lay under a mattress in the bathroom, and choosing to sing "Book of Mormon Stories" and when the line comes "if they live" Megan yelled, "If we live!! Aren't we going to live?" Connie assured her they would live because they "live rightousely." Then later when they were helping with the clean up - giving out food and water and filling boxes, Trevor said, "Mom, you know why I love you and am glad that you're by Mom? It's because you are always serving." It sure is nice when your children notice things and learn because of them. Connie is always teaching correct principles. Lindsay and family had been up at Connie's the day before and we sure were glad they made it back to Dallas before the tornado hit. Thank all of you who called and texted Connie and kept her and her family in your prayers. She felt them immensely. Those were the ups and downs of our week along with still hunting and fixing apartments by Jerry and Carolyn helping missionaries in the office. All was successful and this week is the incoming of 32 missionaries and departure of 17. The work continues and we love seeing and loving these wonderful young elders and sisters.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday, May 18 Tomorrow we start the Mission Musical Firesides again, so I thought I'd post today not knowing what tomorrow holds. We had a week with plans for the Mission division starting. The President gave a good report of the realignment of the Washington Tacoma, Seattle and Everett Missions. Tacoma will lose two stakes to the new Federal Way Mission; Seattle will lose six stakes to Federal Way and get four stakes from Everett. He said, "It is a little hard to change something you love so much but as in Matthew 8 'Many times the Savior answers, 'I will' to all that is asked'" The missionaries are not eager to be moved. We will probably lose about 20 - 30. The President is trying to make it easier and exciting for those who go. He continued, "We are part of witnessing prophecy being fulfilled and as Elder Holland has said, "This is the generation when the work will not fail. This is the dispensation that will receive the Son of God as the Lamb of God, and we will hand to Him the Church of the Lamb." June is the big month when all this happens. Jerry has to have all the apartments that will be transferred to the new mission in top shape. When we have the May 28th incoming missionaries and transfers, then all will know who goes and who stays. It will be a difficult, but hopefully inspiring time. But we have great missionaries who will meet the challenge. Just to show you how fun, great and special they are, we had a fun experience on Friday. Jerry was off delivering mattresses and I was waiting to go to lunch with him when he got back. A couple of sister missionaries were in the office and complaining they didn't have any money left of their monthly allowance as they had bought new outfits for a baptism this weekend. Well, I can relate to needing new outfits, so I told them if Jerry had already eaten when he got back, then I'd take them to lunch. When Jerry finally returned he hadn't eaten and by this time I had another set of sisters in the office who were hungry too. So Jerry took 5 sisters to lunch. We had a great time visiting and listening to their experiences. They started talking about P-days and mentioned some had played ultimate frisbe. The others said that their zone only played basketball and it was the pits because the elders never chose the sisters to be on their team and they usually just sat and watched. Then one said, "Except when the nice elder gets to choose and then he chooses the sisters on his team because he is just nice." I told them I bet I knew which elder that was and guess what? Yes, I did. He is a great elder and so polite and kind. Well when we got back from lunch, who was the first elder in the office? Right, this kind one and so I told him what the sisters had said about him. He smiled so humbly and then his companion said, "Now he'll have a big head and I have to live with him." This is just a typical story showing how great these young people are - right - the chosen generation. We had to take some Chinese Book of Mormons today to the senior missionary couple in Sequim. Since Sister Trotter hadn't been to Sequim they went with us and we had a fun drive. I'm including a picture of an eagle we saw along the side of the road. Look carefully - it's on the branch of the dead tree. I haven't been that close to an eagle before. I'm working with soaring eagles everyday with these missionaries. I'm learning to be grateful.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013 I just had such a loving and exciting week, that I couldn't wait until tomorrow to post about it. Sunday afternoon started with serving the missionaries - at least two sisters who locked their keys in the trunk of the car and had their cell phone stolen. Jerry and Elder Clark had to leave church to rescue them. They are sweet sisters so the men didn't mind. Elder Clark got them new keys and Jerry canceled their cell phone and got them another. McKay was made an elder today - something we missed, but we will be there for his farewell. Took Melissa Schlerf's oatmeal cookies to the office to start the week. The missionaries loved them. They said to thank Melissa. My kids like to add cranberries and coconut to her recipe. You can't ruin something Melissa starts with. That evening we were invited to the Coleman's for FHE. They are the service couple from this area who come into the office three times a week to help. He's also the Stake Patriarch so you can imagine the Spirit he brings with him. He's another Brother Widdison - so good. We ate on their deck in their beautiful backyard - and yes, they have rhododendrons too. Everyone's yards are gorgeous. The rest of the week seemed to be devoted to fixing up apartments - three senior couples coming in May and June and everyday a new missionary is added to the list. May 28th sees 31 coming - Adelle and Jay Dee Karren's grand niece is one of them. Now for Mother's Day, birthday and anniversary. It's been a week of remembrances. The office people think I have wonderful children and friends, which I do. Flowers, cake pops, pictures, books, signs that let me know I need to focus on good things every month, carmels, and things to make me smell good. It was so fun to see the mailman everyday. Even the Spanish speaking elders gave us a card with thank yous and pictures. Then Friday quitting time arrived and Jerry took me to Thornewood Castle. It was built in 1907 by the founder of the Port of Tacoma and Rainier Bank. He was a really good man that saved a lot of people during the Depression financially. He built the Castle for his bride and had it shipped from England brick by brick on three ships around the Cape to Tacoma. It has 500 year old banisters, stained glass windows, statues, sunken English garden, beautiful landscaping on a fresh water lake. It's now a Bed and Breakfast and owned by an LDS couple. We were the only ones staying there last night and the owners visited with us and told us the history of the house and how they bought it and all about their family - 10 children and 40 plus grandchildren and great grandchildren and they all live in the area. They put us in the Presidential Suite where Teddy Roosevelt and Pres. Taft slept. We felt very royal. It was like sleeping in a museum. Not that any of you read Stephen King, but two of his books made into movies were filmed in the Castle - Rose Red and The Diary of Ellen Rembauer. We watched the beginnings of each just to see the house in the films, but they were too scary for me. I took tons of pictures and will post a few. The breakfast they served us this morning was fabulous - apple tart, OJ, bacon, egg soufflé, fruit, yougart and toast. It was so artistically displayed you almost hated to eat it. After we walked the grounds again we headed for an antique show on Kitsap Pennisula in Silverdale. Wanted to see this area and you all know how I love antiques. It was real fun to just walk and look and yes, I found spoons and books. Hope you all have a Happy Mother's Day tomorrow. Mine will be happy once we have finished giving our talks in Church. We are also invited to a member's home for dinner after church. The kids reminded us it's our Hump Day. Now we'll be counting down instead of up and things have been getting more enjoyable. The computer is now my friend. Love and miss you all.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013 We had a great start to a wonderful Temple week with the Mission President reporting on his meetings with Elder Holland. Here are some quotes from Elder Holland: "We each have our own road to Salvation, but we each have to pass through our own Gethsemane. We are not here to baptize, we are here for the Salvation of the Missionaries. Don't ask people to come to Church - ask them to come to the Savior." I thought each of those statements were very thought provoking - they mean much more after pondering. Three days at the Temple were wonderful and exhausting too. It's just that drive to Bellevue from here - about 1 hour but traffic is horrendous. They all drive Mercedes and Lexus, but they sure are set on wrecking them. Tuesday we got to be in the Temple. The Temple President began with a meeting with the missionaries. He gave a great message about listening and covenanting - it's their place for revelation. Then we were the only ones in the session - about 90 of us. The elders and sisters were so inspiring and perfect to watch. Then on each day we went back to the Stake Center next to the Temple for lunch. We had bought all the food and brought it up. So each day it was a repeat. On Wednesday we brought the food and Thursday we set up the luncheon and waited for the session to end. There were about 90 missionaries everyday as we had to divide into zones to go to the Temple. Thursday was Lindsay and Grandma Maria's birthdays. Matt took Lindsay to Lawry's for lunch and to see "Wicked" that evening. She had a great day. Grandma Maria had birthday cake at 93 and all were thrilled that she ate it and seemed to enjoy it. Jerry got to talk to her, but she doesn't say much back. That was a little hard. Friday was catch up day at the office after three days of absence. The highlight was taking Elders Lemieux and Esquivel to lunch. They had been helping Jerry carry furniture in and out of the new senior couples' apartment that are coming next week. It's so fun to talk to them one on one. Each have such individual and inspiring stories of why and how they are on a mission. On Saturday we started the apartment fixing up again for the next senior couple that will be coming in June. Jerry went furniture shopping - he now has a personal shopper at the furniture store that helps him and knows exactly what he wants. I went to the Mall and of course I can always find something. It was shoes this time. Standing and working in dress shoes everyday has been taking its toll on my feet. I need comfortable, but nice looking - I want sandals, but they aren't allowed. After our busy week of driving we really didn't feel like getting in the car again, so we just stayed and discovered some areas in Tacoma. We went to an area called Rushton to their Farmer's Market and then to their unique Metropolitan Market that sells everything. We have a unique dinner for this evening from things we bought. Also checked out a famous garden to take Pool's to when they come over Memorial Day weekend. Yeah, we get visitors. Jerry is determined to learn about rhododendrons and see if he can grow any in Nampa. They are all over here and bloom from January to Fall. There are so many different varieties and colors. We now even have a book about growing them. Kyle and McKay had their own missionary experience. His friend's daughter turned 8 and wanted to be baptized and wanted McKay to baptize her. She is his biggest basketball fan. So McKay baptized her and Kyle confirmed her. I wish I could have been there to see it. Greg said that all was great and then they went to the park for a dinner with the family. McKay is getting ready for his own mission and graduation this month too. We plan to come home quick for his farewell in July. Again, we should only miss a day in the office. Sister Trotter already said she'd cover for me. Another blessing being close to home, we can drive there!!! Hope all is well with each of you. We have been sent pictures of the house from both Kyle and Charla Francis, so we know things are well. Thanks for all of your help and support.