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Friday, April 28, 2017

Date Night in our Hood

We are so fortunate to live close to some historic night spots (or in our case Saturday afternoon spots), all within walking distance.

We enjoy starting our date with a great brick oven pie and a fresh salad at Dee's.  New Yorkers come quite a way to enjoy a meal here.  It doesn't look too impressive on the outside, but the inside is very attractive and there is nothing like the food.  We are going to miss their pizza more than you can imagine.  We'll probably get a pie to go as we begin our drive home.

After a wonderful meal and just a short block away is the movie theater. Again, it doesn't look great from the outside.  But, the theater has reclining seats and is very spacious.  They show all the newly released movies.

What could be better than ice cream after a good movie?  Just another few steps and you are at Eddie's Sweet Shop.  Eddie's opened in 1909 and has never closed it's doors.  It has been owned by only four different families.  It is not opened during the weekdays, but on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there is a long line.

I just love living in a neighborhood where I can walk to any service I need.  How convenient it is when you need just one item at the store and in two minutes you can be across the street at the market.  Need to mail a letter. . . just a short few blocks from home, and right next door to the salon where I get my hair done.  Banking?  Again a half a block away. By the way, when I say "block" in New York it is totally different than an Arizona "block."  A New York block is a fraction of an Arizona block.

It is going to be a big adjustment for me when we get home....I'm going to have to drive to the store!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Woman to Admire

Sister Hinckley is one of the woman whom I most admire and respect. She exemplified what it is to be a disciple of Christ.   She showed true love and compassion in every aspect of her life.

She was blessed to be the wife of  the late Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley.  He expressed on numerous occasions his devotion and love for her.

I love the story when they had been dating for some time.  He wanted to propose marriage, but he only had $100.00 to his name.  Marjorie came from a well to do family.  But, he summoned all his courage and proposed.  I loved her response, "You mean I will be your wife plus I get $100.00!  Of course I'll marry you."

Last Megazone Conference Boo Hoo

We have mixed emotions as we attended the last megazone Conference before we go home.  They are quite a bit of work for President and Sister Reynolds and the senior missionaries who volunteer to help.  Most missions have megazone conferences every quarter, but the Mission Department is trying a new approach in the New York South Mission, conferences every six weeks.  The conferences start at 9:00 am and are over by 3:00 pm and have approximately 60 missionaries per conference. Our mission is divided into four megazones, so they take up the better part of a week.

We volunteered to provide the meal for the conference which involved purchasing and transporting the food, preparing the meal, and clean up. It's fun working and laughing with the other senior couples.  Each senior brings so many experiences to share.  Today we served BBQ chicken sandwiches, coleslaw, pickles, chips, grapes, and cookies.  We also have a fifteen to twenty minute time slot where we present on what else but, cleaning.  We attend all megazone conferences.

Here are some pictures of lunch with the missionaries.

You can see they are all dressed like dedicated missionaries enjoying their lunch. They are so appreciative, but it is nearly impossible to fill them up.

Did someone say there was more food????

After singing "Called to Serve" to the senior missionaries as a thank you, they are more than happy to help clean their tables.

Emoji Burger

Saturday.....Oh, Saturday.... P Day???

This last Saturday, we left the apartment around 7:30 am to meet the nephew of the new senior couple who will be coming at the end of the month (April).  Elder Ho and Sister Lee (Holy-pretty funny) shipped three large boxes to their nephew, David Ho, who lives in Jersey City and asked if we could meet him at their new apartment prior to their arrival. Elder Ho and Sister Lee are from Taiwan and will be serving in Dyker Heights which is primarily an Asian community.  Everything went smoothly and the boxes were delivered.

Richard began putting together the wooden shelving unit, only to discover the box contained two right sides to the unit.  So he had to take apart what he had already put together.  I was busy putting the finishing touches on the kitchen and bathroom.  We will need one more trip to try again with the shelving unit.  We are picking up Elder Ho and Sister Lee at JFK airport next Saturday afternoon, take them to their new home, and then do some grocery shopping.

Last week all the furniture we had ordered from Ikea was delivered.  The apartment is looking so cute.

This photo doesn't look as cute as the apartment does when you are in it.
 Maybe it's the spirit that the picture does not capture.  

We had made an appointment to see an apartment in Astoria at 11:00, so we left the apartment and crossed our fingers that the traffic would cooperate.  Not to be.  We called the realtor and asked how long he could wait for us, it would be close.  When we arrived, we double parked, and I stayed in the car while Richard went to see the apartment.  The apartment was nice but a little pricey so not sure what we will do about it.

Then on to our lunch appointment in Jackson Heights with a companionship of sister missionaries, Sister Steninger and Sister McDowell.  They are sister trainers which means they are assigned to work with all the sisters in their area to assist them in setting goals, how to teach, etc.  And they are both from Arizona.

Richard, Sister Steninger, Sister McDowell, and me (the old looking sister)
You can see from the sign we are eating at Emoji Burger...the best hamburgers in New York.  It was a delightful hour visiting with the sisters about their families and their goals for their future.   Have you ever watched the TV series on Netflix called Heartland?  Well, Sister McDowell looks just like the star of the show.  That was the first thing I said to her when I met her a year ago.  She said she hears that all the time.

Next, the four of us went to the office, the sisters to start a face time chat with an investigator, and we went down,down to the dungeon to pick up supplies for the Megazone Conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

We are trying to keep our spirits up since we would like to replace three apartments before we leave the mission at the end of May. We know our Father in Heaven will assist us and guide us to the appropriate apartments.

It is so important not to become discouraged.  We mortals have a tendency to want to control everything.  We want things to happen on our time schedule.  We sometimes want to force things to happen.

But, we must have faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We are never alone when we are doing the Lord's work.  We do our best and pray for guidance.  We have a testimony that our Heavenly Father knows us and is aware of all we do.  All we have to do is ask and have faith that He is there listening and will bless us. This has never failed us.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Home Teaching

Sister Singh with her daughters Rochelle and Lilly.

This is a beautiful family we home teach.

When Sister Singh graduated from high school she left her home in Jamaica to start a new life in New York.  She came alone to a new country.  Soon she found a job and began her life in America.  Because of her faith, she felt a need to attend a church.  She met the Mormon missionaries, accepted their message, and was baptized. She has been a faithful member for eighteen years.  her husband, who is not a member of the church, supports her in her beliefs.

Sister Singh's present calling is teaching in Relief Society.  I always enjoy her lessons.  All of the Relief Society and Sunday School lessons are so interesting because the teacher and participants bring a different aspect with their varied experiences and cultures.

Rochelle just turned twelve and is enjoying Young Womens. Baby Lilly is just darling and of course loved by all.

We feel blessed to have them in our lives and will miss them when we return home.

Monday, April 10, 2017

America's Beginning

As we near the end of our mission in New York, there were still a few places we wanted to visit before going home.

On one trip to New York several years ago we did all the touristy things, one being the Statue of Liberty.  But, on that visit we ran out of time and did not continue the tour to Ellis Island.  We felt like we had seen the most iconic of the two.  We were wrong.

The history surrounding Ellis Island touches most of our lives as 40% to 50% of Americans can trace their immigration heritage to Ellis Island. Amazing!

We purchased our tickets before going.....
You can see it is "official"

We left our apartment early Saturday morning to catch the bus and then the subway.  We planned on spending the day on this adventure.  Once we arrived at the port, we handed our official ticket and boarded the ferry. It was about a half an hour ride to the Statue of Liberty where the majority of the riders disembarked.
Just imagine how immigrants felt when they saw this symbol of freedom welcoming them to American . . . "Lady Liberty"?

Then on to Ellis Island.
This is a picture of Richard standing beside the ferry after we had disembarked.
It's surprising how close New Jersey is to Ellis Island.  In fact, there was a disagreement between New York and New Jersey as to who should own Ellis Island.
We purchased the "hard hat" tour of the island which included a tour of the original hospital and surrounding area.  It was so interesting to wander through the halls and rooms of the hospital.  The hospital had not been renovated due to lack of funding which is too bad.  It was fairly dark inside, so was unable to take pictures.  We had to use our imagination and try to visualize what it was like.  It was interesting to see the surgery theater and how primitive it was, the small rooms to accommodate the vast amount of people, and the lack of appropriate showers and bathrooms.

After the "hard hat' tour, we decided to have some lunch.  Below is a picture of the main museum and off to the side is a cafe.  Lunch was good, we shared a hamburger.

After lunch we went inside the museum

and then who do we see.......

yes, two sister missionaries.  Missionaries are able to work in the genealogy section of the museum on Saturdays.

The museum was beautifully done.  We wandered around for a few hours enjoying each display.  We were fortunate that there was not a big crowd. It was quite cold and windy which I am sure discouraged many people from choosing this day for a tour.

After we left the museum, we decided to explore the surrounding area and came upon some street performers.  They were so entertaining to watch....both the tricks they did and their funny personalities.  They asked for volunteers to help with the next stunt and no one came forward, so they started selecting people from the crowd.  They looked at me and said, "Come on sugar mama.  We need you."  (I think I was "sugar mama" due to may age.)  It was fun and Richard gave them a big tip.

It was starting to get dark so we decided these old "sugar daddy and sugar mama" needed to get home and rest.  Fun day!