Our last District Meeting. Elder Bringhurst had left and Elder Wright, another Visa waiter had replaced him. Elder Wright (second from left) is from Idaho Falls and he is waiting to go to Brazil. It was a melancholy day as we said our goodbyes to these special missionaries we have grown so close to.
Our Hartford branch had a special FHE/going away part for us. These two special cakes were part of the menu. It was a great evening held pool side at Butch and Diane Canty's.
We have become close to these two as we have often visited with them as they attended FHE at our apartment. Betty Lindsey and Barbara Behrend have become special friends in the process.
We have really enjoyed Tom and Barbara Pulvino. Tom is a wonderful singer and Sister Peterson was practicing with him and was planning to accompany him while he sang the Lord's Prayer. Unfortunately we left before it could happen. Babara is a good Baptist but we really enjoyed her.
Kristen Velasquez and her children. They are the bulk of the primary and one of the few young families in the branch.
Brother and Sister Ralph were not at the party but they were some of the people that we really grew to enjoy. She loved to visit and would call if we didn't come often. They lived way out in the country and couldn't get out much so they dearly loved our visits. He has trouble walking and is pretty much confined to a wheel chair. We never saw him with his shirt on. They are in their eighties and she is his caregiver. She is getting tired and struggling a bit with her own health. They were two that we really hated to leave behind.
Danny and Lorei Deweese in front of their home in Morgantown. They are some special friends in that branch. They often invited us for Sunday dinner when we were serving there. Lorei and sister Peterson were like sisters in that they laughed alike and talked the same and enjoyed the same things. When they got together it sounded just like Sister Peterson does when she is with her sisters. They really enjoyed being together and Danny and I got along well too. They were some of the last we wanted to see when we left town. Danny is not a member but comes regularly to Sacrament Meeting. We called him a dry Mormon and he just laughed.
A great picture of two good friends.
Elder Shiner and Elder McCray were our last visitors as we were loading our car and getting ready to leave. They came up with a car problem that brought them to our town one last time. We truly wondered about how it just seemed to happen as we were leaving. We were just getting ready to have dinner so we fed them one more time. We had to get a picture and they hurried and posed in their hats. Elder McCray has only recently been transferred to the area so we haven't got to know him as well. But Elder Shiner has been serving in the nearest branch for most of our mission. We have gotten very close to him and he to us. It was very hard to say goodbye to him.
You can't go to Florida without going to the beach. It was a nice day for the beach because it was a cloudy and not too hot and we didn't worry about sunburn. But it sure didn't take long for the sand to be in everything. We had forgotten how intrusive the beach sand is. It was soon in everything and not easy to wash off.
Geni and the girls had a great time at the beach. Geni really enjoyed the water and went way out in the waves which were great because there was a little wind.
McCoy and Bentley are little fish when it comes to the water. They go often enough that they really enjoy the beach and the waves.
The baby tenders while the rest were swimming and I was taking pictures.
While you are in Florida you have to go to Miami Beach. One of the fun things we did while there was take the duck boat. It is a truck that can travel and land and water. The duck tour took us around the bay and the islands enjoying the sights and the expensive homes of the rich and famous. Monday morning we left early for Kentucky and drove for 15 hours to get there. The next morning we were back in missionary groove.
On September 6th we went AWOL from our mission. Fortunately we had permission to travel to Florida for McCoy's baptism. We left Thursday after Zone meeting and traveled to Chattanooga where we met with Doug and Jenny Peoples, the people we brought into the Church when we were overseas in Georgia.
After a nice dinner and a couple hours with them we traveled on to about the halfway point in Macon, Georgia and stopped for the night. We arrived at Glade and Amber's about 4 the next afternoon.
The baptism was Saturday and well worth the trip to be with and enjoy everyone. McCoy was excited and full of nonsense and having a good time.
It was great to be with so much family again. We are grateful Sherri and Geni and the girls could come for moral support. It was a long drive for us to get there but worth it to enjoy time together.
Bexton was very good, always a happy little boy. He took right to all of us but especially to Tayler. By the time we left, I think Glade and Amber were wondering how they could hire her as a nanny.
Grandma had a great time with the kids too. Princess Bentley hadn't forgot Grampa. She made a special attempt to be like Grampa when she held the finger on her hand like Grampa's bad finger. Then said, "See I'm like Grampa.
Elder and Sister Peterson - enjoying a little Florida R&R
Our new district missionaries after district meeting last week. From the left: Sister Peterson from Burley, Idaho, Sister Tenney from Tucson, Arizona, Sister Vercillo from Centerville, Utah, Elder Shiner from Fresno, California, Elder Miller from Gooding, Idaho, Elder McCray from Modesto, California, and Elder Bringhurst from someplace in Michigan. Elder Bringhurst is another visa-waiter that is eventually headed to Brazil. Elder Miller is our new District leader and we love him because he is a good Idaho farm boy. Elder McCray is the only African American in the mission but he is great and handles it very well. He is very secure in his race and is a great young elder. Elder Shiner is a very special young man but struggles because he stutters. He does not let it bother him and he is determined to serve faithfully.
This is the sisters car after they hit a deer. They were able to get nearly stopped so not much damage. We were checking it out after district meeting. We have had some close calls with deer too. One evening we saw a doe and a fawn out in a field. They looked like they would run farther out in the field but I slowed way down anyway. Just as we got close, the fawn bolted toward the road and crossed in from of us. I skidded to a stop and missed him but if I hadn't slowed down, we would have had road kill.
This is the soybean field behind our apartment. With all the rain we have received, it is lush and beautiful. It is just starting to set beans. The fuzzy little pods in the lower picture have tiny beans in them that are just starting to form. I have been fascinated with the soybean fields this year. Last year it was so dry that they didn't do much. This year it looks like they will have a bumper crop.
We had a surprise tonight - September 2. Some good friends in the branch invited us to dinner and after dinner we thought we were going with them to the nursing home to hold a Family Home Evening with one of the residents. Our host couple stalled a little after dinner and then said they needed to stop by the Church for a minute. They invited us in to wait inside while they made some copies. When we started down the stairs to the basement, the lights came on and every one yelled surprise. Many of the branch were there and the branch Family Home Evening was a surprise party to honor our 54th wedding anniversary We were completely surprised and enjoyed the evening. Just before posting this blog, I received an e-mail form President Andersen notifying us that we were cleared to travel to Florida for McCoy's baptism. So it really has been a wonderful day of celebration.
Elder & Sister Peterson - 54 years, just a day in "Eternity".