Monday July 5th we drove to Sharon Vermont, the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. The drive was breath taking and the monument tour was really good - the senior missionary that took us gave us special treatment since we were also seniors and no one else was there at the time. He even drove us back to some house foundation ruins of the Smith family in his golf cart! And, our luck held out because as soon as we walked back down the hill to the car it began pouring rain. Mom decided that her guardian angel must work in the weather department... :) We crossed over into Maine on the way home so dad only has one state left and he will have been to all fifty nifty United States. (Can you tell that both Mom and I are writing this blog?! Confusing, huh?) Pictures:
|Monument to Joseph Smith's Birth|
|In case you can't see it, it says "The Way Life Should Be"|
|One of the many beautiful waterways we passed on the trip|
Tuesday and Wednesday we enjoyed a mission-wide fast for those with baptismal dates, in order for them to have a conversion experience that would help them follow through with that sacred commitment. We also worked at the Cape Verde Adult Center and had a mission web-ex on becoming part of the fabric of the ward - setting goals and working with ward leaders, members, and serving others, etc. As usual, it was awesome.
Wednesday the 9th, Dad decided we should have a cook out at this apartment complex and invite people to eat and see if we could find new investigators. I, of course, was reluctant because I didn't know what to expect. It was awesome and Dad helped the Haitian missionaries find a referral they had been looking for and the sisters got two new contacts to teach. I (Dad) walked over to a black man that was watching us bring people to eat, etc. and struck up a conversation and eventually asked him where he was from. He said he was from Haiti, so I said, "That's great, and I'm glad to find you because these two young guys over there in the white shirts think they speak Haitian pretty well so I'd like you to come over and see if they do!" So I took him over to the Haitianaries (what everyone calls them) and it they started speaking to him in Haitian and it turns out they had been looking for him but couldn't find him! It was awesome, expect the unexpected! :)
We were in charge of food for the zone and dad had a plan to do subway sandwiches they turned out to be quite good and we had plenty so we took some to Eugenia and Stephanie - an investigator and her daughter.
We had a two hour training on Family Search and hopefully we will be able to help the new members get ready for the baptismal date for temple names at the end of July. If you haven't started on your family history by the time we get back, we can help! (Ask the ex-missionaries!)
Saturday we went to an appointment with the elders to teach tithing to this beautiful amazing family from the Dominican Republic. The DeLarosa Family really are the definition of golden. They have very little but when asked if he had any questions or issues with tithing, he said God has given me everything I am happy to give one tenth back. Plus we had such a spiritual and fun time it was really great, and the Elders do a really good job teaching.
Sunday July 13th we went to a baptism of a lovely sister from Brazil. After she had committed to baptism awhile ago she found out she had cancer. She has been so sick they baptized her and confirmed her that same night, at her request and with the mission president's permission. She is back in the hospital now but the beautiful thing was the service given for her, and the branch help was awesome. The baptism was a spiritual blessing and I (Dad again) especially liked it because it was "Brazilian" Portuguese and very enjoyable to hear. I got speak to a few people afterward in Portuguese and it was fun. Also, our Portuguese Elders and Sisters in the mission are awesome - a bunch from Sao Paulo, Brazil!
John flew in for his business conference on Saturday the 12th, so we picked him and two of his coworkers up and drove to Plymouth Rock and watched a firework display over the bay (delayed from the 4th). It was great, we got to see a replica of the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock and we even helped a lady get her car started - not to mention the fact that we parked in an open handicapped spot and didn't get towed... oops, don't mention it! Here are some pictures:
|Some of the fireworks, it was a great show|
|The three of us in front of the Mayflower replica|
|Just to show how gorgeous the location was|
|Yep, this is Plymouth Rock|
|Replica of the Mayflower in the harbor|
We had a wonderful time with John our investigators and members loved him. One of them even made him a full cherry pie. We went on a Harbor Cruise, City Tour, found Mikes Pastry shop, ate at Stephanies on Newbury street and really enjoyed every minute we had together. Tuesday was a pretty great day, it was supposed to rain all day but as I (Dad again) explained earlier "Mom makes the weather..." (said in a freezing voice!), so it didn't rain at all when we were out and about. We also found three parking places in a row at a meter, which is pretty much a miracle in Boston. Aunt Leslie called and said that Grandma May found the courage to have a knee replacement done. And it was Courtney's birthday and I didn't forget, so the three of us sang to her from the pier in Boston Harbor. Pictures:
|Some of the pastries from Mikes|
|A Picture of the building where the Boston Massacre happened|
|Some of the nice views from our Harbor Cruise|
|And old church we walked by in Boston|
|Stephanie's, where we ate dinner - John's work friends paid for out meals!|
Today (Wed, Jul 16th) we had wonderful training meeting about becoming a Zion people and ... get ready... on the way home, we had a good idea. So here it is. How about beginning with our family to work towards Zion. Zion can only happen collectively. We need each others' talents and skills to knit together to really learn how to be a Zion People, with all things in common and no contention. So each month we will build on one Zion principle. We will choose the first principle for August, then Becky and Brett in September, David and Jessica in October and so on. If you have a hard time coming up with a principle then check out Doctrine and Covenants section 4 for characteristics or other scripture references to Zion. We decided on "Speak no Evil" for the month of August (and beyond!) - which we will define as speak and listen with love and understanding - no contention. And as our mission president says, if someone falls out of the boat don't beat them with the oars but throw them a life preserver. In other words, use only "kind words". If you think this is a fun idea let me (back to Mom) know. It is my attempt at still being a parent. Life is beautiful and we are learning a lot and loving this experience.
Love to all. The church is true.
Dad and Mom