Sunday, February 2, 2014

A New Month
 Yesterday began a new month.  And as of today, we have been on our mission for exactly 5 months!  Time is passing very rapidly.  We are a blazing 57 degrees today and it is helping to melt the snow we received 2 weeks ago.  But tomorrow we are expecting another 6-8 inches.  So I chose the photo of Philadelphia in the winter to start my blog today.  Philadelphia really has a striking skyline and can be very beautiful and it surely is in the photo above taken from a bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Today I want to tell you about Tom.  We pick up Tom each week for church.  He lives at a long term care facility run by the state of Pennsylvania.  He is an autistic adult about 70.  He is always ready when we go to pick him up, although I have to enter and sign papers to check him out.  He has a doctorate in Chemistry which he received only 10 years ago.  It took him a long time to go through college, but he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  He likes to tell us about things related to chemistry and things he has looked up on the computer the previous week.  He really likes where he lives and feels safe there.  Today we had a lesson on exaltation in our Gospel Principles class and we were talking about the requirement of temple marriage for the highest degree in the Celestial Kingdom.  Tom raised his hand and asked if it would be possible to get married in the millenium--he has never married.  We enjoy taking Tom to church with us.  We know Heavenly Father loves him and is happy that he embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is doing all he can to be valiant and endure to the end.
This photo is for another Tom--Tom Jones.  We pass this old post office each Sunday as we drive to pick up Tom for church.  Since you collect photos of old post offices this is for you.

We have enjoyed missionary moments this week.  We got to go teaching with the Sisters to the Dixon family.  Elder Jones contributed to one of the kids' dance-a-thon for Juvenile Cancer and they have invited us to come for lunch tomorrow.  We are pleased to accept and hope that eventually the 3 Dixon children will come to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and want to be baptized.  We also got to serve the missionaries as they had training this week.  I did the lunch and Elder Jones inspected their cars.  He surprised them all by taking them to a local car wash, so they were sparkling clean.  Then we enjoyed visiting our friend "Sunny" at her restaurant in Chester, PA.  The bishop has asked us to watch over her family and she works so we go see her at work.  We ended the week by Elder Jones giving a blessing of comfort to one of our local missionaries.  Even missionaries sometimes become overwhelmed...

Other highlights this week:  Seeing our grandson, Cole Bishop take first place at district in high jump with a jump of 6'1" just outside of Baltimore.  He did not know we were coming.  Getting together with 8 other senior missionaries to see "Saratov Approach" about the 2 missionaries kidnapped in Russia in 1998.  We asked our mission president to accompany us, but when he heard the theme of the movie he just did not want to come.

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