Sunday, August 18, 2013

Transfers were this Tuesday so at our last district meeting we took pictures because some changes were expected.  In the picture front row left to right:  Elder Thayne, Elder Shiner, Sister Vercillo, Sister Toone, Elder Burton; back row Elder Miller and Elder and Sister Peterson.  At transfers Elder Thayne and Sister Toone were transferred.  Elder Burton was waiting for a visa to Brazil and it came and he flew out.  So all three of our companionships changed and we got three new missionaries.  Elder Miller is our new district leader.  I will have a n picture of our new district next week.
A lush field of soybeans near a home that we visit.  We have had lots of rain, far more than normal.  So everything is still very green and beautiful even though it is the middle of August.  These soybeans are nearly waist high and very thick and lush.  They are just beginning to flower and set beans.

Jordan Bryant our Hartford Branch missionary at the dinner after his farewell Sunday.  He is headed for the MTC this week and will serve in the Washington Everett Mission near Seattle.  Jordan is a wonderful young man that is as ready to go as anyone I have ever seen.  I am sure he will serve a wonderful mission.  He is so well thought of  and loved by his family, who are mostly non-members that we had 98 people in attendance at the branch for his farewell.  We usually have about half that.
We took our Leitchfield elders to transfers and met us with some departing missionaries we had served with.  Elder Webb is from Providence, Utah.  He was one of our traveling elders we served with last year and he was one of zone leaders for awhile this year.  We really enjoyed Elder Webb and he was a great missionary.  He had 6 baptisms in the last two months of his mission.  He has a girl at home and they are planning to be married in October!
Sister Nordstrum was also going home.  She was prominent in our zone last year and a very good musician.  She headed up the facebook effort in our mission this year.  All of the elders and sisters on facebook were under her charge.  She did a great job and has served a very good mission.
Some exotic lilies at the home of Sister Weber.  We have watched with interest how they have grown.  They were very slow to start but have really jumped in the last month.  They are quite unique and we have seen few like them.
Sister Vickie Weber with her dog Tiny and her mom, Janell.  Sister Weber was born with brittle bone disease and then she had polio and was in an iron lung when she was a young child.  She has to be very careful because any sudden movement or bump can break one of her bones.  Even in the ambulance, they have to cross bumps like railroad tracks very carefully or bone damage can occur.  She spent most of her life in a wheel chair but worked hard and earned a college degree. As she has grown older her health has deteriorated until for more than 2 years she has been bedridden and never leaves her mother's home except for special treatments or exams.  The bed is very special with a bladder in it that circulates sand so as to manipulate her skin so she doesn't get bedsores.  They still come and she has other problems that would be very hard for a normal person to endure.  She is a wonderful lady though and always very positive.  We always go away uplifted by our visits.  We visit here every other week and have done so for both our missions.  We have truly grown to love her and her mom and her sister who helps with her care.  Sister Weber is truly a gallant lady.

Recent signs seen on Church marquees:   "Stop, drop, and roll doesn't work in Hell!"
     "The bread of life doesn't get stale."
Elder and Sister Peterson - enjoyin' missionary work in ol' Kentucky!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sister Vercillo and Sister Toone are part of our district and serve in Russellville.  Recently they have been walking a lot.  Last month they went 300 miles over their monthly allowed miles and that is a no-no.  These are sister Vercillo"s shoes.  Notice the big holes in them from walking so much.  Today we went to the mall as part of our p-day activities and she bought a new pair of shoes.
We got up early this morning and traveled to Mammoth Caves Again for a p-day outing.  There are 4 pairs of missionaries in our district including us.  All went and our Zone leaders wanted to go too so all ten of us went on a different tour than we went before.  Starting on the left: Elder Oliver from Canada, Elder Freeze from Provo, Utah and they are our zone leaders; then Elder Thayne from Bountiful, Utah, Elder Miller from Gooding Idaho, Elder Burton from North Carolina, Elder Shiner from Fresno California, Sister Vercillo from Centerville, Utah and Sister Toone from Colorado.
This picture was taken in an area of the cave where there are lots of different formations and this particular area is called the drapery room.  Your have to go down 50 stairs to get to this small area and Sister Peterson stayed up at the top because you have to go back up those 50 stairs to get out.
Elder Thayne had a very bad experience in a cave when he was a Boy Scout and struggles with claustrophobia.  He got out of the drapery room before we could get his picture with the others.  He went on ahead and I had to hurry to catch him as he wanted out of there as soon as he could.  But he was a good sport and participated and accompanied Sister Peterson as they went on ahead while we were in the drapery room.
The cave tour we went on took 2 hours, covered about a mile and included 500 steps up and down.  At one point we were about 350 feet underground.  Some of the passages were quite small, especially the entrance where we came down 250 steps through some very narrow areas and low hanging areas.  I enjoyed the experience though and my claustrophobia didn't bother me.  I think I have been there enough to get used to the whole idea.
We were doing most of the picture taking with the Elders and Sisters cameras so we didn't get in the group picture.  Then I carried the camera on the tour so I wasn't in any of the pictures in the cave for evidence that I did go?  But I did indeed go and had an enjoyable time.  It is always a good day when you can spend time with these special young people.  The caves are only a few miles from Bowling Green so after we had lunch, we went to the mall.  The Elders bought ties and the Sisters bought shoes!  Sister Peterson satisfied some of her need for shopping and fortunately didn't buy anything, even though she went in Bath and Body and Lane Bryants!  On the way through Bowling Green we saw this on a church marquee:  "You are on God's wanted list, Turn yourself in!

Elder and Sister Peterson - enjoyin' a great p-day with our surrogate missionary grandchildren