Monday, August 27, 2012

Abraham Lincoln was born in the little town of Hodgenville, about 70 miles Northeast of us in Northern Kentucky.  He spent about 9 years in Kentucky until his parents moved to Indiana.  Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky claim Lincoln, but his birthplace was in a log cabin in Kentucky.  He had fond memories of his youth in Kentucky and spoke of them in some of this speeches.
We visited Lincoln's birthplace this week with the Oakleys on our p-day.  We had to get permission from our Mission President to do so because Hodgenville is out side our mission.  Hodgenville is near the larger city of Elizabethtown which is part of the Kentucky Louisville mission.  There is a very nice park there and a nice monument.  Inside the building behind us is a replica of the cabin Lincoln was born in.
Sister Peterson is standing next to the log cabin replica.  It was quite interesting but hard to get a good picture of because you couldn't get enough distance away to get the complete building.
The important feature of the farm where Lincoln was born is this spring, called Sinking Springs.  It provided the water for their home and is a type of spring common only to the limestone formations in the area..  Sister Oakley and Sister Peterson are standing in a hole about 12 feet deep, that had stairs that led down into the spring.
This is the little holler where Lincoln's parents farmed.  It has been untouched and undeveloped since that time and looks much like it would have when they lived there.  They raised corn and wheat and many herbs to sell to passersby because the Cumberland Trail passed right by the farm.
A statue of Lincoln graces the little town's main square and there is a small museum there as well.  We spent and interesting day visiting and enjoying this bit of history of one of our greatest Presidents.  Later in the week as we were teaming with our traveling elders, we committed a lady to a baptismal date.  We had visited her several times before and given her a Book of Mormon.  The spirit and boldness of our young elders influenced her and she accepted the challenge.  Now we have to get her taught and ready.  She committed to be baptized on Sept. 13th, the day before we leave, so we have our work to do!
Elder and Sister Peterson  (Enjoyin' history and the spirit)  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dinner fare for one of the local popular eateries, chicken livers and catfish!  Not to much going on this week except a great Zone Conference with Elder Kopischke of the Seventy.  He met with half the mission in the morning and the other half in the afternoon.  It was a great experience that lasted 3 hours but it so interesting that it didn't seem that long.  I had to sit right down front so I could hear and understand.  His accent and quiet voice and quick way of speaking had me struggling to catch it all.
An interesting road sign that McCoy might appreciate.  It lead to a quiet narrow road and a little community called McCoy town.  I should have taken pictures of the road.  It was one of those with trees arching overhead and vines intertwined with the foliage on the side.  It was a little spooky, almost like driving in a tunnel.
A great family we had dinner with Sunday.  It was a celebration dinner because we just made it through speaking in Sacrament Meeting again!  Laura, on Sister Peterson's right, just retired as a school librarian and they have that connection.  She went and helped Laura in her library near the end of school in May.  Laura's husband Jim, served as the bishop when the branch was a ward.  He has since passed away from a heart attack.
This is an interesting estate that we pass occasionally.  Although the picture doesn't show it very well, the home is built of large square logs Kentucky style.  It is a beautiful place and quite a large home but built in the old way.  The following are some more interesting messages we've seen on Church marquees.
            A dusty Bible leads to a dirty life.
            I've never seen a hearse with a luggage rack.
            Exercise daily, walk with God.
            The Bible is the best TV Guide
            Worry is the darkroom in which negatives develop.
            Free Trip to Heaven - details inside.
           The Ten Commandments are not The Ten Suggestions!
We get a kick out of these little messages as we drive around the area.  It gives a little boost and interest to our daily travels.  The signs are everywhere because there are so many Protestant Churches here.  When we see a different or catchy one, we write it down.
Elder and Sister Peterson (Dinin' on catfish and chicken livers)

Monday, August 13, 2012

We went to Nashville Tuesday for transfer day.  Four of the elders we have been working with, completed their missions and were going home.  This was our district missionaries for most of the time we have been here.  Elder Robinson standing next to Sister Peterson was our district elder until that day.  He is great young man and dedicated to the very end.  He was still telling our new district leader what to do after we came out of the Temple.  The Elders leaving the mission always go to the Temple with the senior couples before they leave.  Elder Hamblin was also a very good missionary and a fine young man.  His parents came to pick him up and attended the Temple with us.  She thanked Sister Peterson for being good to her son.
Elder Thompson was one of our Traveling elders that came by twice a week.  He was a great elder and we enjoyed him.  He has a great tenor voice and sang the most beautiful rendition of "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" that I have every heard.
Elder Sorenson has been one of our traveling elders most of the time we have been here.  We have really enjoyed him.  He was just so happy to have completed a successful and honorable mission.  He is the one who told Sister Peterson that he wrote his mother and told her he had found an extra set of grandparents on his mission.
This is Elder Hill from Malad.  He was not going home but was being transferred to a special area and we wanted a picture because we might not get to see him again.  He was one of our traveling elders and had recently been serving as one of the AP's.  We also had a special connection with this fine young man.
While coming from home from Zone conference, we took a different route and came upon a historical site marking the birthplace of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy during the Civil War.  We had no idea it was there but found it very interesting.
The obelisk at the site was over 350 feet high.  It had an elevator inside that went up to the observation area where you looked out the holes near the top.  We did take the elevator ride but wondered about the wisdom in that when the guide told us there was no rebar in the walls of the obelisk.  We did have a beautiful view of the countryside but were plenty glad to get back down to solid ground.  Ironically both Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln, the leaders of the North and South in the Civil War, were born in this part of Kentucky less than 100 miles from each other.  Next week we plan to go to Lincoln's birthplace on our p-day.
Saturday we had a Senior Couples Conference at this old Northcutt Cove Church.  It is the oldest LDS building in Tennessee.  We learned of its history with some great presentations and a talk by the local stake president.  Elder Charles A. Callis came here several times when he was the Southern States Mission President.  Elder Pinegar can trace his roots to this area.  Apostle Ballard and other Church leaders have spoke here.  It is located in the Altamont area that has special significance in the history of the Church in the area.  Close by is one of the first full-size chapels built in Tennessee.  We met in that chapel for lunch and some training by President McKee.  It was a great day as we met with all but two of the couples in our mission, some we had never met before.  There are now 14 couples serving in our mission, which is very out of the ordinary.  A year ago there were only six couples serving.  We traveled four hours to get to the conference so it was a very long day that began about 5 in the morning and ended late.
Elder and Sister Peterson (weary but happy travelers)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

This week has been busy but frustrating.  We had some good teaching appointment fall through but still managed to contact two new investigators this week.  I could have gone camping  with the Boy Scouts but thought it too embarrassing to think of getting up off the hard ground the next morning!
The road sign above designates the beginning of this shady lane that leads to a sister's home.  She is the only member of her family and we have grown to enjoy her.  She has 2 sons and 2 aunts that live with her that are not members so it always provides for a lively discussion.  We visit this home 2 or 3 times a month to keep connected with them.
This is the temporary home of a couple our branch has been trying to help.   They came from Arkansas and were found by a member camping in their pickup in the grocery store parking lot.  Members helped them with the temporary housing on a lot they were able to buy.  The wife ended up in the hospital with a hernia operation and just about died of a blood clot in her lungs.  Although they are not members, a branch member and I visited and gave her a blessing while she was in the ICU.  Sister Peterson and I have visited her and her husband several times since.  She ended up in the hospital again this week with an infection.  We drove to Bowling Green and visited her today.  She invited us to pray for her as we got ready to leave.  She also asked for our address and phone number so she could continue to contact us at home.  Sometimes missionaries get to do very special things.
Elder and Sister Peterson  (Feelin' the spirit in Kentucky)