Sunday, March 23, 2014

 Monday morning early we were awakened by the phone.  Elders had arisen early and headed to the local church to play basketball and on the way they had a car accident.   Elder Jones instructed them to take pictures and fill out the accident report, and then we headed out in the snow to inspect several apartments south and west of our apartment.  We Googled the locations and the instructions took us what seemed "over the river and through the woods" and we came upon this old mill on the edge of a creek.  It was so picturesque that I had to take a photo. We enjoyed meeting the 2 sets of missionaries and seeing where they lived.  They had kept their apartments clean and that pleased us.  Then we headed to Downingtown area to visit with a couple of Sister missionaries.  We visited with them for a time and then took them to lunch.  We did enjoy a total of 2 spring days that were lovely and worth being outside.  The snow is
 almost melted except for parking lots.  Now to explain the rest of the photos.  On Saturday two of the other Senior Sisters and I headed to Longwood gardens.  I spoke of these before.  It is a large preserve that is owned by the founder of DuPont.  This is a very large property and they ad an Orchid display going on until the end of March.  We (the 3 sisters) thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the various displays, taking our time, and viewing these beautiful creations of our Heavenly Father.  We decided that if you were put on the flower committee during    
  the creation, you were very lucky.  I was definitely not on that committee, but I do appreciate what they created.  Some of the displays reminded me of my grandmother, Ethel Evans.  I saw a large display of nasturtiums and grandma always had those.  We especially learned about the vanilla bean.  It comes from a vanilla orchid and after pollination these long lovely orchids put forth a cluster of beans.  These beans are harvested, then dried.  The reason that the real vanilla is so expensive is that the real beans grow in Madagascar and the                                                          
pollination yields only a small amount.  So they are grown commercially by pollinating by hand.  It is labor-intensive.  Bottom right is a photo of a vanilla bean stalk.  While we did our flower watching, our spouses went out to see Brother Herr.  He makes the mission rings and he also raises racing and homing pigeons.  Elder Smuin is planning to take home 4 of his baby pigeons with him when they leave in May.  The problem:  where to put them.

We also had Stake Conference.  The visiting authority was Lynn G. Robins of the 70.  He was a most dynamic speaker and so very easy to listen to.  Saturday night he spoke all about hastening the work of salvation and all members doing their part.  Elder Robins was John's mission president in Uruguay in 1995.  After today's conference, we had the baptism of DJ and Dominic Taylor, ages 10 and 14.  It was a marvelous day and we did so enjoy this baptism.  Afterwards their friend Maggie Mortimer and her friends put on a large lunch.  Maggie is from Haiti, so there was lots of Caribbean food.  

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