Sunday, January 12, 2014

Longwood Gardens
 We have been trying to go see the Christmas lights at Longwood Gardens for a month and we finally just said "we are going!" It turned out to be a rainy, foggy night, but it made the lights rather eerie, yet magical. Longwood Gardens is a very large property preserved by a wealthy person who worried that the natural beauty of the area would not be preserved.  It is over 1000 acres and has a 4 acre conservatory.  It is very beautiful.  I know what you are thinking--how did you get Elder Jones there?  It was the promise of Mexican food after.
 This display is in one of the conservatories.  It is all made of apples floating in water.  The top is a living chandelier.  The whole effect was quite spectacular and was my favorite thing there.
We get a chance to associate with some rather wonderful people.  These are some of the regulars, the Smuins, the Holloways, and we included in the middle, the Carrs.  They are here on assignment and Elder Carr oversees the building of the Philadelphia Temple.  His wife is called as a missionary and keeps up the information center that now serves as the visitor center.  They are wonderful people and very full of interesting information.  We ended the night by having dinner at "La Pena Mexicana" which the Spanish Elders told me was tasty and authentic.  The meal was just that.  No frills or atmosphere, but authentic and quite good.

We have had about 3 days of rain and fog.  Everyone tells us that this winter is unusual, but we have nothing to compare it with, so we are amazed at the moisture!  We finished off the week by having our Ward Conference today.  It was very good.  It was all about the Spirit of Elijah in doing work for the living and the dead.  We ended with dividing up into small groups of 5 and a stake representative helped us log on to "Family Search" and locate our ancestors.  Then we had our Pot Luck meal and put together Missionary Preparedness kits.  In a zip loc bag you have materials that will help you share the gospel.  You keep it in your car so as to be always ready.  Inside the bag--Book of Mormon, pass along cards, pamphlets, etc.  It was a great push by the Ward Mission Council.  After that we attended the baptism of Regina.  Afterwards we were visiting with members of the Widener ward who had come to support her and met the bishop's wife.  She is an Ovard from Bloomington!  Her mom is Liz Ovard, a guidance counselor from Pine View.  I think John and Jen will remember her.  She lived just up the hill on the way to the church.  It is truly a small world when we are connected by the gospel.

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