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Saturday, January 23, 2016

I Use to Think Scarves Were Just a Fashion Statement

......but no more.

This is Saturday morning out our window...

This evening, the cars in the pictures are covered up to their windows with snow!
It has not stopped snowing all day and the wind is blowing 50 miles an hour according to the weather report.  We were planning on going out this afternoon to look at an apartment to rent, but had to change our plans.  On the news, we were told that it was a "no drive" day and the subway, trains, and busses are closed.  The city has been shut down.

Our sister missionaries came over this afternoon to use our wifi.  They brought a homemade chocolate cake and we provided hot cocoa, so we had our own little snow day party.  Church is cancelled for tomorrow; another day inside our little home.

Our Institute study this week is on Humility.  To be humble is to recognize gratefully your dependence on the Lord-to understand that you have constant need for His support.  Humility is an acknowledgment that your talents, and abilities are gifts from God.

Let's all think about the blessings that we are given each day and be grateful.  We love you all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Temple Trip

Every six months the missionaries are able to make a chaperoned trip to the Manhattan temple.  There are two senior missionaries couples who serve as chaperons and we are blessed to be one of the two.  We had been looking forward to this experience for some time.

We all met at 10:00 at the mission office, some missionaries traveling since 6:30 am.  That meant getting up at 4:30 to start their journey by car, train, or bus.

At 10:00, we all met in a conference room to have a short devotional and then enjoy fresh New York bagels.  What a treat.  There is something about a New York bagels...never again Einstein or Costco bagels!

We all bundled up and walked to the subway, which was about 4 blocks away.  It was very cold and windy and felt good once we were inside the subway station. What  marvel traveling by subway.  After riding on the subway for about one hours, we disembarked and waked to a train station.  We rode the train for about 20 minutes.

It was amazing when we climbed the stairs and looked in front of us and there was the temple.  So beautiful.

The amazing part of the journey was the transformation inside the subway car. Looking around the car when we first got on, we saw people with their heads down; not a smile to be found.  And then, the missionaries began talking to people.  The spirit of the car changed!  We saw smiles and heard conversations. We saw who the people were...children of our Heavenly Father.  The missionaries spoke in all different language, English, Spanish, Chinese, and sign language.  The missionaries are righteous young men and women who are doing the Lord's work.  They are an example of what we should all strive to be.  They leave their carefree life behind and serve their Heavenly Father.  We are so blessed to be able to serve them!

The temple is simply beautiful.  It was wonderful to feel the excitment of the young missionaries as they entered the house of the Lord.  Each time we attend the temple, we know that the Lord's church is here upon the earth today.  We are so blessed to have the gospel and the love of our Heavenly Father.  Look can anyone doubt that the earth was created for us?   We are here to be tested to see if we will follow His commandments and if we are worthy, we can live with Heavenly Father again?  The gospel is true!

Here are a few pictures:

I have to include this picture of Elder Duke, who was our fearless leader. We always knew where he was....can you guess why?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Family Home Evening

We serve with the greatest senior couples.  Every Monday night we have Family Home Evening together.  We meet at 6:00 at Sister Petersen home.  Sister Petersen is the mission nurse and is serving alone as her husband died a year ago. We take turns bring the meal and providing the lesson.  It's always something fun to look forward to.  Here's a picture of our happy, little group.

Here's a picture of when we went to the Hamptons to find an apartment for a new senior couple missionary, the Martino's, who will be coming in a couple of weeks.  We stopped at the Atlantic Ocean for a quick peek.  It was extremely cold and windy!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Christmas Time

This year we celebrated Christmas beginning with a Branch Christmas Dinner. Each family in the Branch brought a dish to share from their native country.  We had never seen or heard of some of the food, but it was all delicious.  It seemed funny that we arrived at the church 20 minutes before the start of the dinner and the tables had not been set up or decorated.  The members just don't worry about those little things.  They just want to have fun and enjoy themselves. It was a fun evening.

Christmas morning we had breakfast with the missionaries in our district.  All 10 of us met at the church.  Everyone brought their "speciality" to contribute to the breakfast.  It was sweet to see an Elder in the kitchen making french toast, another making his mother's special breakfast drink.  It was a way to bring a little "family" into Christmas away from home.  We shared Christmas traditions.
It was a nice morning.

Institue and Pathway Class

On Thursday nights, from 7 to 9, we teach institute and Pathway.  Pathway is an educational opportunity provided by BYU Idaho for students who are not able to enter a traditional college program due to the cost, language, culture, or location drawbacks.   The students in our class have a strong desire for an education and want to improve their lives and the lives of their families.  They travel by bus, subway, or train.  Some of the students travel more than 1 1/2 hours, at a expense that must put a strain on their bugets.  They are all from differnt countries, with English being their second language.  They inspire us!  They appreciate living in the United States and all the oportunities available.

This semester our Institute class is the second half of the Book of Mormon and the Pathway curriculum is math.  The students struggle with the math, but don't give up.  Here's a picture of our class.  The older couple, the Palmers, are who we replaced.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

82-65 116th Street, Apt 204, Richmond Hill, NY 11418

It's great living in Queens, New York.  We feel like we might run into Jerry, George, Elaine, and Krammer at the corner dinner.  We live on the second floor of an old, orange apartment building, right above the garage, so we hear the garage door opening and closing all day and night.

Around the corner is a fresh fruit and vegetable market, real Italian pizza (best ever!), Chinese take out, and Mexican takeout.  That's all we've tried so far.  Our kitchen is so small that it's difficult to prepare meals, so sad.

We love our little apartment.  It a cozy 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, and a very, very small kitchen.

Sorry the pictures are a bit mixed up....just learning how to do this.

"Flat Earth Theory"

The “flat earth theory” is incorrect!  The world is round and we have not dropped off the edge of planet earth.  Just super busy, and loving every minute.
December 7th was our first day at the MTC.  Everything you have ever heard is correct.  If you have been on a cruise and remember the vast amount of food, the MTC could put them to shame.  Needless to say, we did not want for food.  
It was so wonderful to see the young missionaries….their energy, their smiling faces, and their excitement to start their missions.  We have never seen a more wholesome and amazing group of young people.
We made some marvelous friends at the MTC and each of their stories were inspirational.  From the neurologist and his wife, he had just retired from practice due to MS, to the seed farmer and his wife from Idaho who are going to Russia.  They kept wondering if it was a mistake or perhaps someone would be willing to change assignments.

We were suppose to stay two weeks, but the New York South Mission wanted us there ASAP.  We took some night classes and left after class on Friday at 3:30.  Driving to New York was an experience….it snowed or rained the whole trip.  But we made it there by Tuesday morning.