Monday, September 26, 2016

On the Erie Canal

We had a relaxing P (preparation) Day.  After participating in another discussion on Friday night, we did some housework Saturday morning, then joined our co-workers/neighbors/friends, the Spencers, for a cruise on the Erie Canal.  It took an hour and a half and went through one lock.

Boarding the "Sam Patch"

 On board with Elder Spencer

The muddy Erie

Sailing, Sailing

Lock #32

The boat goes up:

The boat goes down:

The boat goes merrily on her way!

This delicious spot was within walking distance.  It is the local Jilberts and Donckers rolled into one with great ice cream, bakery items, and novelty items.

Sister Jones and Sister Spencer attended the General Womens' Broadcast in the evening while Elder Spencer and I went back to the office to catch up on the week's work.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

We Love a Parade!

The highlight of the festival was the parade.  We were impressed with the number of community bands.  They were usually small brass bands with 8 -15 players, but there were 6-8 of them plus a fife and drum band, bag pipers, and contemporary drummers.   Plus, there were two high school bands.

There was a car show downtown before the parade and some of the classics were in the parade.

Sister Missionaries outside the Grandin Building

One of the brass bands

The fife and drum corps

Scouts were represented.  Wish Ben were here and we could have joined in. 

Sons of the Union Veterans were represented.  I almost joined them, too.

One thing I noticed about the parade that was unusual.  Both the Republican and Democrat County Committees had trucks/floats in the parade and neither one had banners or signs identifying their presidential candidate.  There were 4 or 5 candidates in the parade and none identified their party affiliation.  Very few yard signs around the area for local or national candidates.  

Sunday we went to Batavia for church.  The past stake president spoke.  One of his themes was humility.  He quoted Ben Franklin who ended a discourse about humility by saying to effect, "If I ever become humble, I will be quite proud of it."   The quote is worth googling. 

Sunday evening we attended a stake fireside at which President and Sister Evans spoke.  

Historic Palmyra

The week concluded with the community festival, Canal Days, at Palmyra.  In addition to the Grandin Printing House where the Book of Mormon was first printed, there are 5 museums.  We visited them all.

Sister missionaries at the Grandin Print Shop.  Sister Bradford, wife of the coordinator for the historical sites, sewed all these dresses! 

This is in the Alling Coverlet Museum with its large collection of hand woven coverlets such as the one hanging behind SJ.

Furniture from the period

Quilts were also on display

This was the next most interesting museum to me.  It was a general store which closed in the late 1930s.  Upon closing, the owner just left everything as it was.  It reminded me of some of the old country stores in Fulton County in my youth, like the Perrysburg Store.  The daughter of the owner continued to live in the upper stories until her death in the 1970's.  Those floors had some elegant features like the china, an organ, and a player piano in a sitting room and she had a reputation of being a classy dresser when she went out.  But amazingly, the living quarters did not have electricity or running water until after her death. 

Other museums were a print shop, a depot that was alongside the Erie Canal with the lore of the canal days, and a general museum with different rooms featuring different themes in the community's history.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Transfers- Departures and Arrivals

Every six weeks, change comes to the mission as Elders are released to go home after 2 years and Sisters after 18 months of rewarding and joyful service.  They fly out on Tuesday morning and that afternoon, new missionaries arrive from the Mission Training Center full of enthusiasm.  On September 13th, 7 went home and 13 arrived.
This is a very busy time in the mission office coordinating travel, collecting and/or issuing iPads and cell phones,  orienting arriving missionaries,  and helping with meals at the mission home.

Here are the departing Elders and the Evans' son, Tyler

Sister Jones' contribution was angel food cake topped with strawberries. 

Sister Jones had grown close to Sisters Barlow and Oliva in the short time we have been here.  Sister Oliva returned home to the Philippines.

 The exodus and influx requires the reassignment of most of the companionships and of leadership positions.  So the mission office is the focal point for matching up new companions and beginning a chapter in the missionary's journey. 

Sister Jones does her angel food thing again for the arriving missionaries the next night. 

The missionaries get up at 3 am in Provo to catch the flight to New York.  When they arrive, President Evans gives them a chance to place a Book of Mormon on the way from the airport to the Mission Home.  Most all were successful in the 20 minutes allotted!   So they were ready for the ham dinner.   

President Evans with the Elders

The new companionships get right to work.  Elder Case, a new missionary, and Elder Peterson, his companion and Zone Leader, had a teaching appointment Friday evening.  Sister Jones and I were invited to go along to teach an 81 year old lady who has been investigating for several years.  We enjoyed dinner with the Elders after the discussion.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sister Jones's Birthday Week kicks off

Several years ago, daughter Angela decided she somehow was entitled to extending her birthday celebration to a week.  Sister Jones sort of had a birthday week with all the activity in the office and everyone remarking on her birthday due to the helium balloon and flowers prominently displayed.

Our office-coworkers, neighbors, & fellow travelers, the Spencers knew Susan's birth date and started the day out with a balloon and a rendition of the Primary version of "Happy Birthday."  Sister Jones started the tradition of the staff calling the missionaries on their birthdays and singing this song.  Since the tradition has just started, the honorees are usually startled and bemused. 

At lunch time, Sister Jones was whipping up the angel food cake she was making for the departing misssionary dinner that evening.
  I had coordinated with the district leaders for several of the district to gather on their p (preparation) day to surprise SJ.  While she was in the kitchen, they entered carrying the balloon and flowers and singing "You've had a Birthday..." to her surprise and amazement.  

The remains of the special cakes I bought.  I wasn't quick enough to get the before picture.  The top was a mango/raspberry/coconut mousse and the bottom one a blueberry/raspberry/strawberry mousse.  Wish you had been there, Caleb!

Our friends, the Spencers.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Overlooking Attica Prison

The Priesthood Quorums in Batavia had a social activity on a member's property south of Attica, NY.  There was a view of Attica State Prison which was the location of  a major prison riot in the 1970s.  A couple of the brethren's dads were officers at the prison at the time and recounted some harrowing tales.  The brethren were in elementary school at the time.

But we had a congenial time munching down hamburgers and chips and getting better acquainted with one another.

Left- Our host George.

Right-  Missionaries playing spike ball.

Below- Our branch president.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Laborless Day Picnic with the Palmyra North Zone

Sister Jones and I were invited to join the Palmyra North Zone for their picnic at the Palmyra Stake Center on Labor Day.

Elder Russell was the chef on a grill borrowed from his landlord.  Sister Jones commented about how long it had been that I was the head griller. 

This was a unique attraction on the field at the stake center, a plastic culvert on the hillside for rolling down the hill.  The Elders seemed a bit more dizzy at the end.

There was a spirited game of kickball:

Elder Wilson the Younger provided some entertainment. 

 Sister Smith had an original way of cutting watermelon.

Old Elder and Sister enjoying the fellowship. 

We got out of the sun to play "One Thing I have never done is..."  It was Susan's kind of game.  The person who was "it" would say "one thing I have never done is ....(example-) dye my hair,  Then anyone who had dyed their hair would get up an find a different seat, with there being one seat short. 

 For the finale, we drove into Palmyra to Chill and Grill, the local favorite for ice cream.  Sister Jones with Elders Peterson and Moon.  Elders Russell and Wilson with the small portions served. 

This is as good as it gets on Labor Day except for being at Johnson Beach with the grandkids.