Sunday, July 28, 2013

Recently we went on splits with Brother and Sister Pieper.  Bro. Pieper and I visited Brother Wayne Crowe pictured above.  Only the priesthood go there because Brother Crowe, a single man, has 3 big dogs.  He got two out the door but couldn't get this big feller out.  The dog was not mean but just very hyper and hard to control.  He was big enough that he about knocked you down when he jumped up on you.  We had a great visit and then he had to get one of the mean dogs back in the house before we could leave for the car.  Just another exciting visit in rural Kentucky!
This is Sister Merlyn Francis, on of our very special shut-in friends that we try to visit every week.  She is 90 years old and has fibramyalgia.  She also had colon cancer and had most of her colon removed.  She can't be out much but loves to have us come visit.  We visited her last year in Morgantown and grew to dearly love and appreciate her.  After we left last year she had to go to a nursing home.  She was recently moved to a small nursing home nearby where we live in Hartford.  She has no family left but a sister-in-law and no friends yet in Hartford.  So we have been visiting her several times a week and taking members of the branch to meet her so she can form new friendships.  It has been a special privilege to be her surrogate family.
Saturday the branch had a service project of yard work for the lady between us, Sister Wilma Embry.  She is diabetic and has breathing problems from smoking many years in the past.  She tries very hard and does the best she can but needed a little help doing some cleanup on her property.  It was a great activity but we found out just how out of shape we are.  It was quite hot and not being used to working in the heat, we both got a little over-heated.  That night it was hard to sleep due to aching muscles.
Sister Embry wanted some overgrown bushes and small trees removed  and Brother Bryant in the red shirt, pulled them out with his four-wheel drive pickup.  The young man in the blue shirt is his son, Jordan Bryant, our branch missionary that is due to leave in two weeks to serve in the Washington Everett Mission.  He is a very special young man and will make a great missionary.
Brother and Sister Studd are a great young couple in our branch.  They lead the YM & YW in our branch.  Brother Studd is also the ward clerk.  He served his mission in the Idaho Boise Mission.  Sister Studd grew up on a dairy in a nearby area but hates cows.  The young man in the background is Dalton Chinn, currently the only young man in our branch.
Sisters Amber Chinn and Kelly Bryant, two of those who helped with the project.  Sister Chinn is the primary president and Sister Bryant is in the YW.  The Bryants lived in Morgantown last year but moved to Hartford after we left.  So we have enjoyed their friendship for both of our missions.  Kelly filled a mission to Texas and has been very supportive of our mission.  Often going out with us to find and meet new people.
The boss ladies, a dirty job but somebody's got to do it.  It was a fun project and we got a lot done.  I took more pictures of most everybody that participated but felt these were enough to represent what went on.  It was kind of fun to get a little dirty and sweaty for a change.

Elder and Sister Peterson - Laboring in a totally different way for a change

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our last Zone conference with President and Sister McKee before they were released.  All of the girls seated on the front row are their daughters except Sister Escobar on the far left.  It was a great conference but quite melancholy as we said goodbye to the McKee's.
This is the little Samoan sister I have written about before.  She really became attached to Sis. Peterson and would always come for several hugs when we came to zone meetings.  She was afraid she was going to be transferred so we had to get her picture.  She bore testimony at the end of Zone meeting and began by saying she had never spoke before so many white faces ever before in her life.  She is a real sweetheart and doing well even though she is very quiet and shy.
A beautiful large Mimosa tree near a home that we visit.   With all the rain we have had this year, the mimosas have been just beautiful.  Last year was very dry and they did not bloom much and just weren't as pretty.  This year you notice them everywhere and they are gorgeous.
One week later we had another Zone Conference with our new Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Andersen.  They are younger than the McKee's but have no children with them.  They are a really good young couple and I think will do an excellent job leading our Mission.  We will not have another zone conference before we head home so we had to bear our testimonies at this meeting.  All departing missionaries bear their testimonies at the last Zone conference before they leave.  It seemed strange to do so because we just past our hump day three weeks ago.  We have a little over two months before our six months are up. We have been busy and the time has flown.  We are starting to worry that we won't be able to finish all we would like to.

Elder and Sister Peterson - Havin' way too much fun in old Kaintuck!