Sunday, October 26, 2014

Carol and Annabelle
We had a good week, as usual.  The Lord is really blessing us as we are on this mission.  We love serving in this capacity and we love these missionaries.  And aside from all of that, we are having other wonderful experiences that just make for a most enjoyable time.  The top two photos are of us with Carol Nielson Prater.  Carol, Rich, Kelli, Casey and Nick were our closest neighbors when we lived at the Youth Ranch.  They built a home close by and we interacted lots for several years.  Then we moved to Heyburn and Carol and Rich got a divorce, Carol remarried and moved to Twin Falls.  Anyway, Rich Nielson passed away from cancer just a couple of months ago.  Carol came to Philadelphia to see her daughter, Kelli.  They went to Kleinfeld's in NYC and Kelli "said YES to the dress".  The wedding is next September.  Carol was headed back to Twin Falls and needed a ride to the airport, so we picked her up (about an hour from here), took her to lunch, had a very long visit, compared family photos and talked, talked, talked.  Carol had a brain annurism 10 years ago and had to shave her head for the surgery.  When it was over, they told her not to use chemicals on her head, so she has this lovely grey hair that is quite soft.  It was really nice to see her.  She is happy in her life and her children are all doing well.
 We have had many missionary opportunities this week.  Corry taught via Skype last Sunday with the Elders and we taught a lesson with the sisters to a brand new investigator on Thursday.  His name is Ed Taylor and he came to church today and stayed for everything.  Then last night we got to Skype John Wojcek and teach his one of the "after baptism lessons".  Today John was confirmed a member of the church.  Both of his parents, although non-members, came to his baptism and his confirmation and are very supportive.  They seem to be very nice people.  Yesterday we took the Wilsons (Evan and Darlene) downtown to see the temple.  They had never been to see it in the 2 months that they have been here.  We went first to the visitor center and met with two of our favorite Sisters--Sister Bennett on the left and Sister Foote on the right.  Sister Foote served with us here in Broomall for about 4 months and we love her.  Sister Bennett is just stellar.  They were happy to see us and after a time said "how about we go to lunch?"  Elder Jones caught right on and said "so you want us to take you to lunch" and they admitted that yes, that was their plan.  So we walked a few blocks to a local restaurant called the "Kite and Key" in honor of Ben Franklin.  It was a noisy sports bar but the food was really good and the men enjoyed watching some ESPN while we ate.  We left the sisters after we ate and had just barely got to our car when they called and reported that they had a flat tire.  So they limped over to where we were and Elders Wilson and Jones TAUGHT THEM how to change a tire--the Sisters actually did the work.  It was actually a great teaching moment and they now know that they can do it!
 This is the latest picture we have of the temple.  It was taken on 10/25/14.  You can see the scaffolding on the left bottom.  They are placing the granite right now and have started at the bottom and are about 10 feet up the building on the left side.  It is very beautiful granite from Nova Scotia.  A grey with white and black flecks and some clear flecks which will shine in the sun.  It is a not polished on the outside, but rather natural.
 They are placing the windows, also.  Many of them were the wrong size and had to be re-ordered.  This oval one will be on the 3rd floor and has gorgeous leaded glass with a slight pattern.  It is tastefully beautiful.  It will blend with the colonial feel of the area.  How excited the people are in this area to have a temple this close.  We plan to return to Philadelphia when it is completed.  Brother Ball is in our ward.  He is over the building of the temple for the construction firm.  He also built the Brigham City temple and the renovated Ogden temple.  We are so lucky to have them in our ward.  He spoke today about the interesting experiences he has had as the construction manager.  He told us that Satan does not ever want a temple to be completed and the process of building the temple is not without its slowdown, problems, etc as a result.  But he knows that Heavenly Father is in charge and that the work of completing the temple cannot be stopped.
 So now to the Annabelle part.  I have featured Annabelle before.  She cooks wonderful Mexican food and we have eaten at her home twice and helped with her lessons to learn the gospel.  Her son, Angel, was baptized several months ago and she was baptized today.  The spirit was strong today.  She had many non-member friends attend, and the ward all stayed after to support her.  Then we had a wonderful Mexican meal.  Annabelle Sanchez we welcome you as our newest member of the Broomall Ward.
We look forward to a very busy week.  Tuesday we have Golden retraining.  That is where the "Goldens" or newest missionaries (they arrived the end of September) come back to the mission office for additional training and help to give them a jump-start to being a good missionary.  They return with their trainers and we feed them lunch.  This time we feed 50.  The next day I am having an auditor from SLC come to work with me most of the day.  Friday we have Leadership Training where all of the zone leaders and sister trainers come for training.  We feed 40 of them lunch that day.  Meanwhile, Elder Jones recently got 7 new cars and put them all into service by last Friday.  So now his job is to get them ready to sell.  I may not have ever mentioned this, but he carries a mission cell phone 24/7.  Saturday he had another really odd incident.  Some Elders had taken an elderly member to help them teach.  He sat in the front seat and when he got out and the other elder returned to the front seat they noticed that the man had had an accident while sitting there...Did I mention he was an OLD man...So Elder Jones explained that they would need to take it to someone who detailed cars to get it cleaned...

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