Saturday, September 28, 2013

Feelin the Love in Philly!
Today was another P-day so we decided to go on a trip to see downtown Philadelphia.  We took a drive there last Sunday and were a bit intimidated by the many narrow, one way and confusing streets and the lack of parking.  So we drove to Swarthmore College and parked and took the train into downtown Philadelphia. We got off at the 2nd largest mall in the U.S.  It was huge.  Then we walked 5 blocks down to catch a double-decker tour bus open on the top, stopping at a street vendor for a soft pretzel.  (Yes, Philly is famous for them.)  Here are some of the most famous of the sights we saw:
 Betsy Ross' home
 Statue of Benjamin Franklin.  Everywhere you go the tour guide would say "who did this?"   The answer was almost always "Benjamin Franklin".  He had a very big influence on the building of this city.  He was very public minded and forward thinking.
 Penn Station.  In the game of Monopoly, all of the RR Companies are ones in Pennsylvania and the streets are from New York City.
 The Famous Rocky Balboa Steps.  This is actually the museum of Fine Art and it is very large.  Philly claims more art museums than anywhere but Paris.
 This photo is for you, Mason.  It is an entomology art exhibit.
First lighted streets in U.S., thanks to Ben Franklin.
 First hospital in the U.S.  Again, Ben Franklin.
First Post Office--You have it, Ben Franklin.
 Walt Whitman Bridge.  This is close to where Washington Crossed the Deleware.
Independence Hall.  We got to tour this building.  This is where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.  A very cool place to visit.  The only thing we did not get to see up close was the liberty bell.  By the time we finished touring the hall, the exhibit was closed.
This is the actual room where the documents were signed.  George Washington sat in that chair right in the middle.  It is one of only 4 items that are original to the room.  There were 2 walking sticks that belonged to delegates and one other item.  I was in awe of how very important all this was in bringing forth our nation.  How very blessed we are to live in these United States of America.  We want to return to Philadelphia and see a bit more.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Rest of the Story

1.  Who founded Philadelphia in 1682?
2.  Which public office did George Washington hold, while living in Philadelphia?
3.  What was first published in Philadelphia?
4.  What symbol of America was created in Philadelphia?
5.  What was the nations first University?
6.  What condiment was invented in Philadelphia?
7.  What strange collection is housed (Not for public view) in Philadelphia?
8.  What three foods are native to Philadelphia?
9.  Where is the oldest (in use) stone bridge in the USA located?
10. What is Kennett Square known as?
11.  What famous document was signed in Philadelphia?

This is how Senior Missionaries party while on their missions.  

How many hours does it take to drive from Provo MTC to Philadelphia?
How many trucks use Interstate 80 on a normal day?
What is the speed limit for an Amish buggy to travel on US highways?
How many of you have a city named after you?

This is a special game for you to use at your next Family Home Evening.  We will post the answers after October 3.  Get Crackin!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Elder Corry Jones Turns 70!
Today, September 21, 2013 is the 70th birthday of Elder Corry Jones.  Neither of us can believe that he is actually 70--he does not usually feel anywhere that old.  To celebrate the day (because it happened on our actual P-day) we headed to New Jersey.  Our sister-in-law has been there off and on for many months working to get a Head Start program back up to par.  This time her husband, Lindsay, came too.  Last week they came to see us, so we decided to go see them.  We traveled over the Delaware River across the Walt Whitman Bridge then directly east through New Jersey.  We saw lots of blueberries.  The county advertises that it is the blueberry capitol of the US.  Who knew?  When we got to their hotel in Egg Harbor we headed south to Cape May.  It is a very lovely town on the southern-most point of New Jersey.  It is a very old town and is covered with Victorian homes that are now bed and breakfast places, hotels, or cafes.  Very Quaint...We began our day having breakfast at the Mad Batter.  Corry broke out of his mold and had their 
special of the day, a crab and lobster omelet.  I had a crabcake sandwich.  Yummy!
 Then we walked around town, through a quaint street of shops.  We found a fudge store and a nut store and had to support them, and I found a place to get a Christmas ornament for my collection.  Then we walked to the beach and at the end of the beach walk got a Rita's Custard & Ice.

Corry's birthday is 9/21 and Lindsay's birthday is 9/29.  It was a fun day to celebrate together and the weather could not have been better.  About 75 with a sea breeze.
 This is a Photo of the Cape May Lighthouse.  Below is a picture of the WWI bunker on the beach facing the Atlantic Ocean.  Below that is a WWII lookout at the bottom of Cape May.

These are typical of the homes all over the Cape.  Many were build about 1840-1900.  The newer homes have copied this architecture on much of the Cape.

Statue to the lost fisherman.

I dipped my foot in the Atlantic Ocean!

This photo is of a blue crab.  A man and his boys were letting nets into the inlet waters and this was part of their find.  
I think that Corry had a pretty good birthday.  We ended up playing Five Crowns at Chris and Lindsay's hotel and he won.  Yep!  He is a definite winner in my book.  May he enjoy many more birthdays!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The First Transfer
We have had a busy week.  On Monday we sent home 7 missionaries.  Dinner at the mission home, testimonies, etc.  The next day we received 26 new missionaries.  This is a photo of their luggage in the mission home garage.
Then we took a photo of all of them (well all but one--he missed his plane coming to PA from the MTC in Mexico.  It layed over only a short time in Texas and he was delayed in customs.)  We ended up going to the airport a second time to pick him up later that night.  He was so very glad to see us!
Then they came inside of the mission home to eat, so being considerate missionaries, they took off their shoes!
 We enjoyed some hamburgers and the new missionaries had to fill out some papers, then be interviewed to see if they could drive a car, then interviewed by the mission president.  Then there was some instructions given and questions answered by the assistants to the president.  I saw lots of head bobbing going on by then.  They had all been up since about 1:30 am...  The next day we picked them up at the mission home and brought them to the mission office (attached to a stake center).  At this point they lined up to see who they would be paired up with.  Lots of hugging, clapping, etc...  Corry then made a short presentation on handling stress.  It is from a newly arrived booklet on the subject.  The Church has had to address this problem.  I got to watch only a bit of it, but it looked like he was doing really well.  (Corry enjoys doing this type of presentation).  Meanwhile, I made a quick trip to the airport to take one last elder to the airport for his trip home to Samoa.  He would be traveling for 2 full days.  He was an awesome and big strapping elder.  Then there was the chaos of getting all of them to downtown Philly where they street contacted for a time and then more chaos of getting all of their luggage to where they would be staying.  Those in the city could not take it as they use public transportation.
That all took place yesterday.  Then today The president made a special run to a new elder whose diabetic medication arrived just after he left yesterday and we made a special run into downtown Philadelphia (our first!) to deliver medication and a cord to a new elder who has Cystic Fibrosis.  He had left his cord at the MTC...  We did survive all of it and learned tons in the process.  We learned that the mission mother has a huge responsibility.  She prepared lots of meals for the visiting authority all of last week and then meals for the homeward bound and newly arrived missionaries.  She fields calls from their parents and looks after the ones with special problems.  And that is just a tiny bit of what she does.  So now I am praying for her...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

This was taken on our LAST day of traveling to Philly, but this is pretty much our view for the last 4 states...We arrived at the Mission office at noon and were greeted quite warmly by the elders and mission couple working there.  Soon President and Sister Anderson came to greet us.  They welcomed us with hugs and a big bag of goodies--fresh fruit, red vines, and some shower scrub.  We instantly loved them.  We met with them for about 30 minutes and found that we will be staying close to the mission office.  It seems that the office is very busy and the couple assigned cannot handle everything, so they assigned a companionship of elders to be stationed there.  They are now going back out in the field before they return home and the couple coming will not be here til the end of Oct., so we were asked to help out in the mission office until then.  Corry is working on cars and referrals and I am working on membership records and commissary.
We like it.  Corry has also been asked to develop the program to go with the just received mental health handbook for missionaries.  It arrived one day before us and Corry is preparing its implementation.  The mission office is very busy.  We did not realize all that has to go on there in order to assure that the missionaries can accomplish their important work, have apartments, cars, supplies, and keep records of it all.
Our apartment and one of the Sister missionaries who cleaned it.  It was very hot and humid that day and we were so very grateful that they cleaned the apartment for us.  Apparently the Elders had not left it very clean.. We are located on the top floor and by the end of the day unloading our car and getting groceries we had each done at least 10 trips and were very sore and hot and tired.
This is what we saw upon walking in to the apartment.  Very clean and not much in the way of furniture.  I  had to purchase a few things in order to have things to eat on and with and prepare food.
These are our papa and mama chairs.  We did have to rearrange everything because the actual apartment is old and on the wall with the table there were no plugs for the computer.  We worked Thursday and Friday at the mission office.  Elder Bowen of the 70 arrived the same day as us and that meant that there were meetings all afternoon from Thursday until Saturday.  We got to meet lots of missionaries and even a few that sounded familiar.  Dave and Tom--remember Gwen Fennell--I think she taught math at East Minico Jr. High.  Anyway, her grandson is here serving a mission.  He is 6'10"!  So we made it through the week.  We do have AC in our apartment and on Saturday we finally figured out how to turn it down.  Meanwhile we have slept with quilts and socks!
Corry's brother, Lindsay and his wife, Chris, came to see us on Saturday, 9/14/13.  Chris is doing work in Egg Harbor, NJ--part of our mission.  So they came over and we visited President Anderson's recommended Philly Cheese steak place.  President Anderson used to live in NJ and commute to Philly in his early career.  He mentioned this place to us and he liked it so well that even when he left the area he would have them Fed-Ex a cheese steak to him.  He was right--it was sooooooo good!  We will surely return.
So what Corry (Elder Jones) is holding is 1/2 of the sandwich.  It measures 4"thick and 10 " long, so we split one.  Later in the day we enjoyed another local favorite, "Rita's Custard".  It is Italian Ice layered with custard.  Really good!  We will try that again too.  It was a good, short, week #1. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our Trip to Philadelphia
We began our trip traveling across Wyoming.  We saw lots of gray color and lots of antelope.  In Nebraska we found this restaurant.  (Corry's mother is a Perkins)  Then we headed across ALL of Nebraska and saw TONS of corn growing in fields.  

We crossed the Mississippi River and saw even more corn in Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio.

We got near only a few large cities traveling east on I-80, but we did get to see Cleveland, Ohio.

At long last!  Pennsylvania!  

This is a small city in northwest Pennsylvania and it is spelled the same as Corry spells his name.  The interesting thing is that the town was founded by a Hiram Corry.  Corry's great grandfather is named Hyrum Corry.  We bought shirts, a brick and met with the secretary of the chamber of commerce and they gave us a history of the city.  It was fun to stop here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

MTC Experience is Complete!

Today we completed our stay at the MTC.  What an amazing experience.  I think that the thing that most amazed us was the competence of our trainers.  They were both excellent.  Then there are all of the wonderful people that we got to rub shoulders with for this whole week.  The whole experience really stretched us and that was needed.  We taught three 45 minute lessons in 3 days and it was quite scary for me.  Corry just went with the flow and let the Holy Ghost guide him.  He was awesome.  We have had such a wonderful start to our mission and especially feel to thank Max and Nancy for their loving care and deluxe accommodations.

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Day at the MTC

Today is Labor Day, and coincidentally our first day to labor on our mission.  This was taken at the end of the day, so frankly we do look a bit tired.  We have been treated like royalty by our hosts, Max and Nancy Jones.  We are staying at their home in Alpine as the MTC has 127 new senior missionaries this week (128 is the all-time high).  Of course this morning we were there quite early, although it was just fine with them and Corry is happy to report that his earliness meant that we never had to wait but just kept going from one station to the next and quite quickly.  Some things I learned today:
  • It is pretty cool to be a senior missionary.  You get to cut in front of the young elders and sisters in the lunch line.
  • Everyone checking in today had a similar story--packing, renting their home, selling autos, missing grandkids, just retiring, etc.
  • Some people have served many missions.  The high today was 6.  
  • Some people continue to serve way into their late life.  One couple today was headed to the Belgian Congo and honestly, they looked to be at least 90!
  • The MTC is a wonder!  So many things going on, so many volunteers, so many inspiring people!
  • Seniors can even go swimming.
  • Senior companions do not have to always be together.  Today they said that if the wife needs to go clothes shopping the elder does not have to go.
  • The book "Preach My Gospel" is very much used in the MTC.  We will be studying it all week from 8-5.
  • We are excited to go on this mission!