Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Please tell me I've seen everything...

We went to the jail today. I thought there could be nothing worse. I was mistaken. There are many trailer parks pads around town, this was in one we had to go to. You would be surprised disgusted really, with some of the "homes" Landlords get away with renting to people....usually illegals, who they know wouldn't dare report them.
I can't even begin to describe what it was like at the trailer "park" we went to today. 
 If we told you some of this stuff, you'd think we were making it up. Heavenly Father must be weeping.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The work is hastening!

We heard some big news that we thought we would share…With the announcement of 58 new missions opening up in July, our mission is being divided, and a new mission is being created in Kansas! It will include the area that we are currently serving in, which is Dodge City. If we are still serving here July 1, we will be part of the new Kansas, Wichita Mission instead of the Colorado, Colorado Springs Mission. Of course we will happily serve wherever we are needed : )

Mail shout outs & a 3 Dog Night (One is the loneliest number) goes to Robert and Reese for being our lonely piece of mail this week! Love to you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow Day 2

We have been snowed in for the past two days. Everything in Dodge was closed down. All the schools, the library... the weather service said not to travel unless it was absolutely necessary...which was a bummer because we had a dinner appt. in Hanston we had to cancel. Here are some of the ways we passed the time:

1. Scripture study of course, and Preach My Gospel (in English and Spanish)
2. Phase 10
3. Banana Nugget cookies (thanks for the recipe Amy)
4. Studying our lesson for our next English class
5. bananagrams
6. (A new guilty pleasure) Season one of Downton Abbey
7. I gave my companion a haircut

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sooo windy here & mail shout outs too

It's so windy here that it blew a fish right out of the water and into a tree!
This week's mail shout outs and double barrel cap gun salutes go to Judey Hartzel, Becki Blackner and my sista Debbie for the fun V-day surprises! Thanks everyone for thinking of us! We love you!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Getting lost looking for the lost

We had our weekly meeting this morning with our new Dodge City District. Since transfers a week ago we lost Elder McArthur and Sis. Kartchner  and gained Elder Romero and brand new Sister Macovichuk.

After our district meeting, the Sister’s and Ron and I headed to the western part of our ward to look up some inactive members from the ward.
……..our WARD takes in over 5,000 square miles. ……That’s FIVE THOUSAND………. ……FIVE ZERO ZERO ZERO MILES!

This particular address we were looking for was 6 Road.
....We didn't find it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is it true?

This is the result of being cooped up in your apartment with your sick companion for a week. Boredom overtakes you.

English on the Sunnyside

This is our conversational English class that Ron and I teach once a week at the elementary school by our apartment. All of these people have children who go to this school. We've had anywhere from 17 to 22 class members come in any given week. They are a lot of fun and they try really hard. We don't teach grammar rules or when you put that silly apostrophe thingy in front or behind the 's' for ownership or such nonsense as that. Just a few sentences every week that they can use every day in the real world. They are very sweet and humble people.... and pretty funny at times too!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Random Photo & Mail Shout-Outs

Us with Wyatt Earp
 This weeks mail morsels came at a much needed time and are very much appreciated!
Our mail shout outs & triple "Z"snaps go to: Holly Wiersma, Holli and Jake, and I'll throw in a "OH YES YOU DID!" to my sista DeeDee for the Valentine aWesOmenEsS of a goodie box she surprised us with!


We interrupt this blog post... congratulate Ebony Brinson on her baptism!!
100% pure awesomeness!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Old Fisherman

We love visiting with people.   Whether they are active in the church,  not members or have part member and part non-member families, we love them all.   We are always struggling to find just the right message to leave during each of these visits.   We pray before we leave, and Kathy is often preparing nice little cards with quotes from the Prophets or scriptures.   What we did this week was unique and fun and tasty!   Kathy offered to make dessert for our visit to a family out of town.  She made this:

It's a flower planted in "dirt".   Maybe you've seen this before.   The flower is plastic (and cleaned off in advance).   The dirt is crumbled chocolate cookies like Oreos.   Beneath the dirt is chocolate pudding.  And for good measure a little worm (gummy worm) is poking his head out of the dirt.   After presenting each person their own little flower, as we started eating it (and their 7-year old son was super excited about it)  I read the following story:

The Old Fisherman

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the clinic.
One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face ... lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning."
He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success. No one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face ... I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..."
For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me. "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."
I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.
When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him for a few minutes. It didn't take long time to see that this old man had an over sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.
He didn't tell it by way of complaint. In fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.
At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast. But just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair."
He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind."
I told him he was welcome to come again.
On his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.
During the years he came to stay overnight with us, there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery ... fish and oysters packed in a box with fresh young spinach or kale ... every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.
When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. "Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"
Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illness' would have been easier to bear. I know our family will always be grateful to have known him. From him, we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.
Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all ... a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket.
I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!" My friend changed my mind.
"I ran short of pots," she explained," and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, until I can put it out in the garden."
She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining such a scene in heaven. "Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body."
All this happened long ago ... and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

It was a wonderful evening and everyone enjoyed the dessert and the story.  Kathy topped it all off by attaching a little scripture quote to each flower pot:    "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart"    1 Samuel  16:7

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Money doesn't grow on trees, but...

Did you ever wonder where those plastic bags come from that you get at the grocery store, or WalMart? I know......   
   They grow them here in Dodge City, Kansas.
...It's almost harvest time!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Transfers are coming...

We're going to miss these Elders and Sisters!
Back row: Elder & Sister W., Sister V., aka Sista VanDriver and Sister K., aka Sista Kartweeel
Front row: Awesome DL Elder Wilde, ZL Elder Carlson, ZL Elder Pugh, and Elder McArthur
These young men and young women are amazing missionaries and just good people. They have been really good examples to us "slightly older" missionaries who may or may not need to be reminded of the rules on occasion. ; )