Monday, June 25, 2012

This week the Branch Relief Society had a dinner to honor their husbands for Father's day.  After the dinner a Cornhole Tournament was held.  A Cornhole game is a cross between horseshoes and a bean bag toss.  Each player has four bean bags that are tossed at a six inch hole in a board like the two in the bottom of the picture. The boards are set apart about the same distance as horseshoe pegs.  You can lob the bag in or slide it in and you get points for being close.  It was good enjoyable inside fun.  In the picture is one of our traveling elders and the Branch President's wife.  Each team was made up of two players.  I teamed up with the former Branch President and as luck would have it, we were runners up to the winners.
We love our traveling elders that visit our branch twice a week.  Elder Thompson is on my right and he is from Eagle, Idaho.  Elder Sorenson is on Sister Peterson's left and he is from Las Vegas, Nevada.  They are very good and we enjoy working with them.  They really enjoyed being at the RS social because there were three non-members and a couple of inactives in attendance and they love to play Cornhole.
One of the young families that attended the social that we have been teaching.  Last week we team taught them with the traveling elders.  We have really enjoyed getting to know them and love their little ones.  we have high hopes for them.
Our Branch President with his family.  He is a convert of about 15 years.  He does a great job and carries a heavy load in this small branch.  We really respect and enjoy him and his wife.  Their daughter, Regan is adopted.  She is the sweetest thing and always comes up and gives us a big hug when she sees us.

We spent most of this week cleaning our new "digs" and moving in.  I am a day late with the blog because we were still getting settled.  This week it is on with missionary work and it started with a bang.  Today we began teaching a new lady the discussions.  She has already came to Sacrament Meeting several times and has been reading the Book of Mormon.  She has been saying her prayers and already believes the Church is true.  She is a missionary's dream and maybe we might get a baptism yet?
Elder and Sister Peterson (Teachin" and Baptizin" in Kentucky)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We were at a member's home visiting and saw this hibiscus blooming and took the picture,  The sister in this family was the former Relief Society President and she has been very kind to us.  Giving us tasty sourdough bread on several occasions and giving us some fresh strawberry jam.  She is also a great source of information on inactive members and where they live.  Her husband is actually a non-member but a great guy and he had to show me his garden.  He already has potatoes in it the size of baseballs and he gave us some new squash and peppers.  He also has some tomatoes that aren't far from being ready.  It is very interesting to see how much earlier the season is here.  All of the winter wheat is already thrashed.  At home we seldom thrash winter wheat until mid July.
Golf carts are very big here even though the golf course is far away.  They use the them to ride around their big yards in their small communities.  The Kentucky Wildcats are also very popular here although Louisville is actually closer.  You very seldom see the Louisville red but Kentucky blue is everywhere.  This golf cart is painted Kentucky blue with the big logo on the front.  It belongs to the same former Relief Society president and she drives it to Church.  There is a nice community of about a dozen homes located around the Church and they live in that area.
She wanted to take our picture in the golf cart and it was actually sitting in their large garage.  They actually have a unique and beautiful home that is built into a slope with two sides below ground level.  As you might can tell by the size of the garage, it is really a nice home.
Our sign of the week, it was on a road leading to an old church that was being repaired so we didn't take any pictures of the church.  The sign near the front of the church said that it was built in the 1850's but it looked like it had been remodeled several times.
We have been offered this home to live in for the rest of our mission.  It is an older home that belonged to one of the matriarchs of the Church in this area.  She was 94 and struggling with alzhiemers and her family had to put here in an assisted living facility.  None of the family live close by and they can't settle the home situation until November so we would be house-sitting for them and taking care of things.  All of the lady's things are still in the home so we have been a little reluctant to accept the offer, although it would give us a lot more room.  This is the home where we encountered the two big black cats that loved to terrorize Sister Peterson so there is some reluctance on her part and some concern about her allergies.  Anyway we might be moving if it all works out.
Elder and Sister Peterson -  Movin' on down the road?

Monday, June 11, 2012

This is a great young active family in our branch.  The young lady on the right is the non-member girlfriend of the boy next to her.  He invited us to their family home evening to teach her about the gospel.  The lady on the far left next to Sister Peterson is the non-member mother of the mother of the family standing on her left.  So we got to teach two non-members and it was a great evening.  We had dinner first which included catfish and hush puppies.  Yes we have tasted our first catfish and actually it was quite good!  Hush puppies are flour and cornmeal rolled around a sweet onion and deep fried or baked.  They very a lot according to who makes them but these were good.  After the lesson we played games in their big yard and had a great time.
This is a beautiful Southern Style home in Morgantown that we drive past and finally decided to stop and take a picture.  It is an older home that has been refurbished and added onto.  There is a large three car garage in back although the picture doesn't show it very well.  We are told the inside is also very beautiful with flooring of the period and very nice furnishings.  The columns are a prominent feature of the older homes.  This is a beautiful example of what one might picture as "My Old Kentucky Home".
This is a beautiful large Baptist Church called Belmont.  It is about five miles out of town in a wooded area. There is a school in part of it but it still is very large and seems to have a large congregation.  We have several members nearby that we visit and there always seems to be a lot of cars there on Sunday.  It has even affected the branch a little because occasionally wayward members will defect here.
This is what most of the small churches look like out in the country.  They are everywhere in small communities.  Most are Missionary Baptist churches but there are some Church of Christ chapels and an occasional Methodist one.  This one has some class room area.  Most are smaller and only include a chapel.  However there will always be a covered picnic area with tables for dinners and a small cemetery.  There are small cemeteries throughout the area.  Some are private family burial plots but most are near these small churches.  We were driving down a gravel road one day looking for an inactive family when we saw a side road we thought might take us to their home.  Instead it wound up the ridge through the trees to a very secluded cemetery completely hidden in the trees.  There were fairly recent headstones so it was still in use.
We were attracted to this one because of the name.  We learned later that lick refers to a salt lick that deer and other animals frequent for a taste of salt.  This one was named after Barnett.  It was interesting that the church and the area would take the name given the old salt lick.  Unfortunately we have one inactive member that has decided to return to this particular church.  His grandparents were the first to start this Baptist congregation in the Barnetts Lick area and he has returned to the church of his forefathers.  In a area that is so strongly Baptist/Protestant, we get more of that than we would like.,  Some will join but don't really get converted and after a few months drop away and return to their easier religious lifestyle.

This has been an interesting week with some real dog days that we seemed to get little accomplished.  Then we had a couple of days at the end of the week where we seemed to catch everyone we stopped to visit.  We taught two investigator lessons this week and have another new investigator starting the lessons this next week.  So we are doing some missionary work along with visiting a lot of inactive members.

We are still enjoying our surroundings and have heard our first whipper-wills and really enjoy the lightning bugs or fire flies that are prominent here especially after a rain storm.  The other night we were driving home and the fireflies were everywhere.  They flash for a second or two then are gone and will flash for a second some where else and the light is surprisingly bright.  With all those flashes of light, I was afraid some might be deer eyes reflecting the headlights.  I was very jumpy and a good thing because a big doe walked in front of us and we had to slam on the brakes to miss her.  Later the same evening we had to swerve around a possum in the road that was blinded by the headlights and didn't move.  It is very common here to see road-kill possums.  They are about like the jack rabbits used to be at home.  Oh well, that is probably enough gory details.
Elder and Sister Peterson (Sittin' in our rockin' chars 'n' watchin' the farflies)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday we attended our first baptism.  Unfortunately it wasn't one of our investigators.  Our District Elders taught the lady and they had to come to our font.  There is only a small branch in their area of about 60 members.  Their chapel is a rented Methodist Church that doesn't have a baptismal font.  We helped them with all the preparations for the baptism and provided refreshments after the meeting.  We have two more baptisms scheduled for the next two Saturdays.  One will be for a young lady and her grandmother that we have helped with.  We taught them one lesson, have sat in on couple of more and are trying to fellowship them.  They came to Church today and stayed for all three meetings, which was a big step.  I taught the Gospel Principles class and the grandmother attended and participated so it was great.
One of the major attractions in Bowling Green is the Corvette Museum. We went there Saturday afternoon after the baptism with our friends, the Oakleys.  GM made Corvettes in Bowling Green for a time.  It is one of the largest museums in the world dedicated to a particular car.  It was interesting to those who love fast, expensive cars but wasn't particularly my cup of tea.  The tour was organized by one of our office couples and seven senior couples came.  We really enjoyed meeting with and enjoying their fellowship.  We shared our failures and successes and had a good time together eating a meal and touring the museum.
I was taking pictures of the group when someone volunteered to take pictures for me, so I ended up on the end of the group away from Vicki.  All the rest are standing next to their companions.  At the present time there are 12 senior couples in our mission, which is quite surprising and more than normal.  We have enjoyed all of them and have found it interesting that we feel a bond with each and find it very easy to socialize with them although they come from different areas.  Two couples are from Oregon, two from Utah, one from Colorado, one from Texas along with us Idahoans.
This is Brother and Sister Austin from Logan Utah.  They are serving in Bowling Green and we see them fairly often.  They live right across the street from the Anthonys that we have written about and not far from Brent & Candace in Logan.
We have quite a few Amish and Mennonites in the area, hence this road sign.  We were coming down one of the major roads the other day and came up behind an Amish fellow in his one-horse buggy.  We felt bad we hadn't put the camera in the car that day for we would have dearly loved to had a picture as we followed him for about a mile.  Below is a telephone pole covered with the wild ivy, a sight we see in this green country quite often.
We are very grateful for Kiara's efforts to post pictures of the boys graduations on Facebook.  We have looked forward each day to those pictures.  We have missed being there very much, but the pictures have helped.  We are grateful for the graduation announcements and have them on the refrigerator door.  We also love to post pictures that are sent to us.  We got some of McCoy this week and he is right there with the graduation boys.  We enjoy skyping with those who can and it helps us feel close to our family.  In case anyone wonders, we do really miss family, especially when we get a little discouraged on a hard day.  Then we have a good visit and it all seems worth it again.
Elder and Sister Peterson (Y'all come see us, y'hear!)