Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving at the Mission Home

We were invited to the Mission Home for Thanksgiving Dinner.  The occasion was salubrious, filling, and fun.  

Like the dinners for arriving and departing missionaries, I get to be the cut up. 

I was focused on eating the food for the main courses, but did pause before dessert to get a picture of these beauties. 

Here is the crew:  Sister Evans, the kids Tyler and Elsie, the Spencers' son and his girlfriend who were visiting, Elder and Sister Spencer, and Sister Jones. 

Again Sister Evans, the newly arrived Elder and Sister Jefferies, and the kids again.  Although newly assigned to our Mission, the Jefferies are very experienced missionaries having served in Zimbabwe and Siberia.  We enjoyed getting acquainted with them.

After the meal, we introduced the group to our old family favorite game, "Slap Happy,"  then an uproarious round of Pterodactyl, followed by a word association game, and finished upstairs with Pictionary.   We then adjourned downstairs for a lively session of "Round the World" ping pong.

After dinner, Sister Jones and I dropped off a plate of turkey dinner and visited with Adrian Johnson who is interested in the church.  We have gotten to know her quite well and enjoy visiting her.  Her house is like a small museum filled with furniture, knick knacks, dolls, and ornaments that would make Antique Roadshow viewers drool.   I love this lamp, but would not want it anywhere near the grandkids.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Senior Couple Family Home Evenings

The missionaries at the History Sites and Hill Cumorah Visitor Center have a winter schedule with fewer hours which affords time for a group Family Home Evening.  We attended our first one in the HCVC.  It was a getting to know you theme after a video about Gratitude.  They are a wonderful group of people with whom we are privileged to serve.  We hope to attend every week.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Zone Conferences

Zone Conferences always are an overload for the office staff.  One of the duties I help with is inspecting and rating the cars.  We have 52 cars for the proselyting missionaries or over a million dollars worth of rolling stock.  Proper preventative maintenance, cleaning, and safety education go a long way towards improving resale value.  So, every zone conference Elder Spencer and I look them over, point out deficiencies, and give attaboys and girls,   The main attaboy award is the Golden Plates.  Then Elder Spencer has to enter a lot of information in the computer for Church Headquarters to review.

Elder Whicker arrived in November trained for an American Sign Language mission.  His older brother served in Marquette several years ago.

The Sisters posing above wanted to use the picture to say hello to Sister Jones who was minding the store.

At the conference in Palmyra, I first witnessed the game, "Pterodatctyl."  We look forward to sharing it when we get home.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sister Spencer, "You've had a birthday...."

We have grown really close to our co-missionaries in the office- Elder and Sister Spencer.  We all celebrated birthdays this month in a festive way with young missionaries joining in.

The birthday girl enjoying the party. 

Elder Spencer prepares a delicious variety of subs.  Above missionaries from the district around the office join the celebration.

The miracle balloon's last hurrah.  Spencer's brought in a birthday balloon for Sister Jones' birthday on September 12th.  It floated over Elder Spencer's birthday on October 4th and mine on October 16th and even lasted until November 11th, a real veteran of birthday parties!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Patriarch and Linda visit

Brother Harry and Linda came for a weekend visit arriving Friday afternoon and departing early Monday morning, but we packed a lot into that brief time.

Harry was interested in the Erie Canal.   There is a small state park around Lock 32 in Pittsford.  The weather was ideal for late fall and we enjoyed the views.

Looking upstream. 

Sister Jones adding to the beautiful scenery.

A rowing team on the water. 

Harry studies the history.  The canal is part of our family history as the Putnams began their journey from  Central Western New York (east of where we are) to Michigan on it in the 1830s.

Harry treated us to supper at The Legends in downtown Rochester and I picked up the parking ticket.

Saturday morning, Harry and I walked back to the Waters of Brigham on the property we live on to where Brigham Young was baptized. 

A twosie at the Waters of Brigham. 

We drove to the Tomlinson Inn where Samuel Smith (Joseph's brother) gave a Book of Mormon to Phineas Young, Brigham Young's brother in 1830.  This book was passed among the Young and Kimball families and brought them into the church.   Also in this building, Brigham Young gave his first sermons. The Mendon Saints met here until moving on to Kirkland.

The Waters of Brigham are at the treeline across the fields behind Harry. 

We then joined the ladies for a leisurely breakfast of blueberry pancakes with buttermilk syrup, smokey links, and cheesy eggs with cider and milk. 

Amply nourished we drove to visit church history sites in Palmyra.  The Grandin Print Shop was the first stop.  Following that Harry and I visited the Canal.  There was a one-day nine-stake Youth Conference going on and we listened to a presentation being given to one of the groups while  Sister Jones and Linda went to the LDS Bookstore,  Then we all went to the Temple and walked the beautiful grounds.  David Cook was presenting there about the regulatory hoops that were overcome to get the Temple constructed in a very short time.   We then went to the Hill Cumorah and enjoyed some of the new clips in the "Meet the Mormons" video and the excellent displays.  Sister Andersen was a very good guide. 

Saturday evening we introduced Harry and Linda to Blokus and played some fun-filled games of Boggle.

Sunday, we drove to Fayette to attend church on the grounds of the Peter Whitmer farm where the church was organized in 1830.  The Visitor Center is attached to the meeting house which has a unique design inside.  Elder and Sister Erickson were our friendly and informative guides.  There are inspiring videos shown only at this location.

Bright and early, Harry O and Linda departed after adding a page to the history of the John Young farmhouse.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Monthly Mission Leadership Conference

Every month, the Mission President and his assistants have a meeting with zone leaders and visitor center trainers and Elder and Sister Bradford gather for a day long meeting of instruction.  Sister Spencer and Sister Jones make a special meal for the occasion.

This month's fare was a baked potato bar with white chili and red chili, salad, cornbread, and apple crisp for dessert.

The missionaries were appreciative.

This meal provided a couple of days of leftovers.