Sunday, October 19, 2014

Valley Forge Leaves
 Yesterday was our P-day.  After taking care of the essentials like groceries and cleaning the house, we picked up the Wilson's and headed out.  We inspect an apartment near Valley Forge National Park and Sisters Guzman and Ballard could not get their furnace to turn on.  So I had the tank filled with oil and we set about to help them.  After about 30 minutes of working with the furnace we gave up.  Mind you, Elder Jones had spent hours looking up on the internet about how to turn on an oil furnace.  And when we got there both men checked out the instruction book.  But alas, we left the sisters with the instruction to use the portable electric heater until we could get everything working for them.  Today when we talked with them we even promised to get them more blankets.  Note to all parents of missionaries going to the east--send them with more than just their 1 light blanket off their bed in southern California...With that behind us we headed to the park.  Evan and Darlene had not ever been there.  They are a bit less adventurous on the Philadelphia freeway system, but actually teach an institute class quite close by.  The park was full of visitors as the weather was lovely.  The wind was blowing and the leaves were flying.  It made for a colorful, crunchy day.  The vibrant dark colors are not quite there yet, but it was nonetheless beautiful.  I absolutely love Valley Forge.  It feels kind of sacred there.  Below is a sampling of the leaves that I picked up.  I am pressing them.  Most of them are oak.  After that we headed for Zwalen's Ice Cream and had a small dessert and then came back home and had dinner after.  I think it may be my very first time ever having dessert first!It was a very nice day.
 Now backtracking, on Monday of this week we had a Senior FHE at the President's home.  We invited all of the housing inspectors as well and grilled burgers, chicken, and hot dogs.  Below, left to right are President Anderson, Elder Symes, Elders Jones and Wilson (backside).  As I looked out to take this photo, the small family of deer were in the back yard.  We enjoyed visiting with each other and then we traveled to the ward building and watched "Meet the Mormons"  It was our second time to enjoy that movie.  We highly recommend it.

We wound up the week with church today and a convert baptism after!  John Wocjek was baptized a member.  We have been helping teach him the lessons with the Sister Missionaries in our ward, so it was a pleasure to witness this day.  He is about 35 years old and had a Mormon girlfriend who inspired him to investigate the church.  Sadly, he and the girlfriend broke up about a month ago but his commitment to join remained strong.  Both of his parents came to witness his baptism today, along with about 60 ward members.  I have noticed that when there is a convert baptism in the mission field, the ward supports it very well.  People even brought finger foods to share after.  So another week is gone.  We had a ward member ask us today when our mission ended.  We feel that the time is simply moving way too fast and we want it to slow down.

Elder Jones has had a busy week this week.  We had a set of sisters in Cape May that discovered bedbugs. He researched the subject thoroughly on the interned and planned the attack.  As it happened, the place is very old and not well insulated nor closed off in the cupboards, etc., so the place is a natural for an infestation of this sort.  For a week Elder Jones had the service elders remove all of their furniture, then had it fumigated, then the carpets cleaned, and on Friday he had to accompany the service elders down to deliver new furniture.  (Because neither of them are van certified...)  Anyway, upon arriving he inspected the furniture that was obtained from our storage sheds and it was not in good condition.  So he went to Big Lots and bought a fouton and some dressers and tables.  Then they had to assemble all of this.  When he got home at about 7:30 Friday night he just ate and collapsed into bed.  With all of this, though, we LOVE this mission!

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