Sunday, April 29, 2012

We have become real Kentuckians.  We have our rocking chairs on the front porch and we can sit in them and watch traffic go by.  It is quite common for people to sit in their rocking chairs in the late afternoon or evening.  Especially the older people and they often wave as you go by.
We have move to a new cabin that is slightly larger and has a better kitchen and bedroom arrangement.  We are comfortable here and probably will stay in this place the rest of our mission.  Everything is furnished and the mission doesn't have to buy furniture so it is cheaper in the long run even though it is a little higher rent than an apartment.
Mother wanted to send a couple pictures to show what the inside looks like.  It is a little small at times but when we are busy it doesn't matter.
It is only a full-sized bed, so a little small for someone used to sleeping in a king!  
The view off our front porch.  The town is scattered along the winding main street below.  Our little cabin actually sits near the top of the hill and we have dense woods behind us so we have some privacy and quiet.
We have met some interesting people that we would love to take pictures of but we are missionaries not tourists.  There are some interesting Amish people here that still drive horses and carriages on the roads.  We bought strawberries that tasted so wonderful from them.  I'm sure part of the reason is they use no artificial fertilizers?  They had a wonderful greenhouse where mother bought a plant for our porch.  They don't use electricity for their homes but had a generator chugging away to provide cooling for the greenhouse.

Tonight we were asked to go visit a 90 year old member who has alsheimers.  He daughter called from Bowling Green and said her mother was really upset with the caregiver and was pounding on the walls and windows and wanting to run away because her family had left her.  Although she lives in her own home.  She is a long time member and has always tried to help and feed the missionaries.  She calmed down when we arrived and we had a good visit although she must have asked twenty times where we were from.  Vicki played some hymns on the piano and then we had a prayer when we left.  We checked with her daughter a little later and she said our visit had done the trick.  Her mother was back to normal and settling in for the night.  I guess missionaries are good for something?
Elder and Sister Peterson

Sunday, April 22, 2012

 Each Wednesday we have district meeting with the missionaries in our district.  There are six missionaries in our district, two senior couples and two young elders.  The young elders teach us couples our responsibilities and how to do missionary work.  They are very special young men and do a great job but it is like being taught by our grandsons.  We treat them like grandsons and feed they every time we can and provide rides for them to meetings so they can save their miles for their missionary work.  We met this week in the Hartford branch meeting house where Elder and Sister Oakley serve.  They are from Texas and both were nurses in their professional life.

These are our district leaders.  Elder Robison on the left is from Olympia, Washington and the senior companion.  He is an excellent elder and tries very hard.  He gave a wonderful lesson on Christ at our District meeting.  Elder Hamblen is on the right and he is from Meridian, Idaho.  He is also a great missionary and he checks on us often and tries to encourage us to get with the program.

Our district taken with a timed photo.  After district meeting we all had dinner with the Oakley's.  After dinner the Elders left for teaching appointments.  We stayed with the Oakleys for the afternoon and they taught us what they were doing and what worked best.  It was really great to visit with them.  Then we visited with a local member that has asked that we serve in an open house on child abuse that some of the churches in the area are sponsoring.  It will give us the opportunity to provide service as we are asked to do.

Today we spoke in Sacrament Meeting.  It seemed to go well.  We are getting more and more acquainted with the members in the branch as we meet with them and visit them in our homes.  Attendance at Sacrament meeting has been higher than usual, up around 90 for the last three weeks.  Some are attributing that to our being in the branch.  I doubt that but think they are just coming out to see the old potato farmers from Idaho.  I played on that a little and spoke on the parable of the potato.  It seems to work on this mission just like Caprise said it would.  Sister Peterson's bubbly personality and friendliness pulls them in and I do the preachin'. It worked that way today.  She did a wonderful job and I did the preaching.  

We are doing well and the members have been very good to work with.  We are visiting many and actually came across a young lady that said she would take the discussions.  We gave this contact to the traveling elders that come twice a week because they were looking for someone to teach.  We have plenty of visiting to do and we often teach part-member families.  It has been quite an adjustment to become missionaries in the real sense but it is slowly happening.  

We are teaching a young father who has been through several elders without  much commitment.  His real religion is hunting and fishing.  It is turkey hunting season here now so he had to show us his kill and his guns.  Fortunately I have a few hunting stories of my own and we seem to relate well.  I used a hunting story to teach the principle of obedience to law.  He did come to Church last week but came in his camo outfit straight from turkey hunting!  At least he did come to Church - maybe there is still hope.
Elder and Sister Peterson (Missing our friends and being called Brent & Vicki)

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Green River winds through this area and their are old locks and dams in the river that backed the water up so barges and steamboats could travel up and down the river.  Barge traffic was important to the development of the area and because of the river traffic, no railroads were built into the area.  Most of the dams and locks were destroyed and removed 20-30 years ago so industry has not come to the area without the railroad.  Fortunately there is a parkway going by now for truck traffic but this area still lacks for any real industry and good jobs.  According to the newspaper, unemployment in this area is still over 16% and that has some serious effect on the ward.  All of the good young members serve missions and go to college and don't return.  This sign is at the side of the road that formerly went down to a boat landing near Morgantown.  The resort is long gone but the sign for some reason was well preserved and we thought it interesting.

This is the view from the front porch of our little cabin.  The road at the bottom of hill is a city street with a farm headquarters nestled in the trees in the background.  The houses are usually quite scattered with trees and foliage in between so it is almost like a rural setting.  The city is scattered over about 2 miles and only the center main street of about one block is lined with businesses and then only on one side.

This is a view of the Main street and its single stop light.  There are actually quite a few businesses in the town like McDonalds, Hardees, Sonic, etc., but they are scattered along the main highway going through town.  We took these pictures last week but have been busy this week and haven't taken any new ones.  We are assigned 36 families to visit and fellowhip.  We visted 14 this week along with four active families.  That may not seem like many but when you realize they are scattered all through the county and might live
10-12 miles from town, it is an accomplishment in our eyes.

I helped with a service project at the Church yesterday doing some pruning and shoveling dirt for some holes where old trees had been removed.  One of the fellows working beside loves to cook and invited me for a mess of catfish or even better some fried ground hog!  He claimed it was real good but I didn't jump at the chance.

Grandma has had some real excitement with her favorite phobia, cats.  It seems just about everyone has one or two.  We were visiting a wonderful older lady when one sneaked in the room and jumped on the back of sofa where she was sitting.  We both just jumped up at the same time and switched places and I held the cat until we left.  I don't think the lady actually knew what had happened because Vicki told her she wanted to get closer so she could hear her better.  At another place the lady just visited with us on the porch because she said her Siamese cat inside was on the prowl and might attack.  As you might guess, Sister Peterson couldn't wait to get back to the car.  I am afraid there might be real revolt when trying to get her to return there, which we should do this week!  By the way, this really is an adventure.

We went to a wonderful musical performance in Bowling Green last night put on by a missionary choir from our mission.  It was centered on the Savior and was just wonderful.  There were several solos by elders and sisters that were amazing.  One young elder from Preston sang a version of "His Hands" that was just superb.  The next to the last song was "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" sung by an elder with a beautiful tenor voice, accompanied by a cello and a violin.  It was probably the most beautiful arrangement I have ever heard.  Mother and I both cried all the way through it. There are some wonderfully talented young people in our mission.  Our mission president's wife is a wonderful musician and she arranged all of the music for the production.

It was great evening and we visited with a senior couple that were originally from the Blackfoot area where I grew up. We sat by the Austins who are from Logan and good friends of my sister.  I also got an e-mail today from another senior couple in the mission that grew up in Burley but have spent their lives in Oregon.  She is the daughter of Rulon Budge, the long-time coach at Burley High School. They wanted to know if we knew Judy Zollinger.  It seems to be a small world even though we are far from home.

By the way, we do enjoy comments from home on the blog.  Grandma is sure you have all forgotten her.  Tayler is our "favorite" grandchild this week because she was the first to respond.
Grampa and Grandma, (known now as - Elder and Sister Peterson)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

As we drive the roads through the hills and hollers, I reminded of the song "Country Road".  Actually we are not too far from West Virginny.  The roads wander around the valleys and ridgelines and homes are scattered throughout the trees and foliage.  This picture is of a road just outside of Morgantown.  The roads wind enough and go up and down enough that Sister Peterson tends to get carsick.  We visited members for 5-6 hours Friday and by the time we got home, her stomach was rolling.  Lunch came up and she moaned on the couch for a while.  I guess we will have to do these country road visits in smaller blocks?

One of the unusual scenes of this beautiful countryside is abandoned homes or barns or mobile homes or even some old cars that are just allowed to grow over and deteriorate.  It appears that people leave their property for some reason without cleaning it up and no one else bothers to either.  It is prevalent enough that we noticed it right away.  Since we have not found an apartment yet, we thought this might do?  But it looked like it might take a little too much time to clean up.

Then you will be driving along and the woods will open and you will see an estate like this one out in the middle of nowhere.  We talked to the owner of this home and he was very friendly.  He works in Bowling Green which is about 20 miles South.  He owns about hundred acres here and loves the privacy.  The home is not as expensive as you might think.  Homes are roughly half the price of comparable homes in Idaho.  The interesting thing about this area is all homes in the county are connected to a central water system.  There are very few private wells.  They run water lines to every home just like a power line!  It is amazing when you consider the county is roughly 25 miles square and homes are scattered out through the hills everywhere.

We were driving one of the roads and came around a bend and there was this Baptist Church.  It was just sitting by itself among the trees on top of a little knoll.  It is quite large and probably nearly the size of one of our newer LDS buildings.  The only thing close by was a little cemetery just across the road.  There were houses in the woods nearby but certainly not enough to warrant this kind of building.  We talked to a fellow walking by and he said their congregation numbers about 400, so they must come from some distance to worship here.  We were just intrigued by it and its beautiful rural setting.

It is Saturday evening before Easter Sunday and many people are out and about.  It has also been spring break week for the schools.  Contacting people wasn't going so well so we took some time to go down some new roads and take a few pictures.  We hit Wal-mart this afternoon and bought a few things for our Easter dinner tomorrow.  Which, by the way, we will have to eat alone in our little trailer.  (Sniff, Sniff)  Grandma, Sister Peterson, bought a pan to make brownies in and we ate a late dinner at KFC.  We are having root beer floats this evening, so I guess we are settling in?

Tomorrow we are singing with the choir in a musical program for Sacrament Meeting.  The choir numbers about 12-14 so it will be interesting.  Our little branch has 33 prospective elders and about that many single sisters or part-member families headed by single sisters.  Our Mission President assigned us to home teach and visit and reactivate as many as we can.  We obviously have our work cut out for us.  We need your faith and prayers.  Love, Elder and Sister Peterson  (More commonly know as - Grampa and Grandma)


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We have arrived in Morgantown, Kentucky and took some pictures at the entrance to the town.  Morgantown claims to be the catfish capital of the world.  The Green River is a good-sized river with lots of catfish and there is a big fishing tournament this summer.  It is beautiful country and the trees behind the sign are indicative of the country side.


There is a nice church in Morgantown.  The chapel is actually larger than our Springdale Chapel.  At one time Morgantown was a ward.  Sometime ago it was split into three branches.  The branch here has 150 members with about 60 active.  Fortunately it has a sattelite dish so we could watch conference and we watched all sessions.  It was great and we really enjoyed conference.

There have not been elders in this town for awhile.  Traveling elders work the area once a week but we are the first assigned here in this branch for quite awhile.  This is our little home away from home.  It was all the branch members could find but all are trying to help us find something better.  It is quite new and decent but very small with very little storage.  It has bunk beds in one end where we have put everything.  Our bed is full size and stuffed back against the wall in a small room.  Grandma can't put her leg out to cool off so there have been a few rumblings, but so far we are enduring well and may live here for awhile.

We gave our first discussion Saturday between conference sessions.  The traveling elders have been teaching a 13 year old girl and they had a conflict so we filled in for them.  We met the Oakleys, a senior couple 25 miles north of us and we met the Austins who live in Bowling Green.  The Austins are good friends of Brent and Candace in Logan.  They were really fun and Vicki really hit it off well with Sister Austin.  We should have fun with them on p-days.  We are doing fine and having an adventure.

Love, Dad and Mom