Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mmm...Is this corn hand shucked??

Our friend Brother Brinkerhoff called and asked if we wanted to come to Montezuma and pick some sweet corn..."heck yeah, we do!"
One of his *Mennonite neighbors planted some *sweet corn among his *field corn, and was generously sharing with others.
Here we are picking in the middle of the cornfield

 We picked nearly 60 ears of corn
(can't believe I got in there with all those spiders, mice, bugs & snakes)

Brother Brinkerhoff, who took us out to the cornfield

The most ingenious way to skin a cob of corn for freezing
(I think I learned this from Erin)
*Mennonite: A religious group. Known around these parts for their
                       skilled craftsmanship and delicious baked goods.
(Often called Amish, but only by dorks like us, because they aren't even close to being Amish, as they use electricity and drive some pretty sweet cars.) (The women, however, wear little black bonnets which I totally could use on those crazy-humid days of summer, here in Dodge!)                                                        
*Sweet corn: Also known as 'table' corn or 'sugar' corn. Eaten off the
                        cob or removed from the cob and bagged and frozen.
*Field corn: Also known as feed corn. Used primarily as feed for live-
                       stock or for market grain for cereals. Also used a lot by
                        Mexicans like in corn meal because it isn't sweet.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dodge City Days & Mail Shout-Outs

This week is the Dodge City Days, the biggest event for the town all year. It involves world class Pro Rodeo, concerts, tons of activities and of course a parade. We went to the parade on Saturday. Here are some highlights:
Waiting for the parade to begin....and it did begin right on time.

 There were horses...
...and more horses!
I mean, c'mon, this is Dodge!

 There were cheerleaders...

 ...a cowboy band...

 More horses...

 ...Some old fashioned farm equipment thrown in for good measure...

 ...more horsies...

 A pretty Rodeo Queen...
...and something we're not quite sure  WHY this was in the parade, but hey,
"Ours in not to question why..."... ours is just to enjoy the parade and laugh our heads off...
What the heck??
Only in Kansas would a Walmart semi be included in the town's parade!
Mail shout-outs and double Dodge Huzzah's to Sister Elma Ray and
to Angela and Logan for the awesome drawing of us teaching our investigator!
Love to you all!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guess what today is...

It's our HUMP day!
We've been on our mission 270 days,
with 270 more to go!

Hot enough for ya?

It has been hot here. Maybe not as hot as Arizona, but pretty darn hot. 
Amazing, that for being in the mid-west, around zero water,
in the middle of a drought, it could be so humid. More humid than Tacoma Washington,
where we are right by the Puget Sound. Yesterday it was a scorching 113*.
 But it did finally cool down a bit....
to 108*
And then we got one of our amazing sunsets!
" ...and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!"

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Giant Dodge District!

We are very fortunate to have ten, WOOHOO-TEN,  missionaries serving in the Dodge City 1st ward!
The work is on the cusp of exploding here, and we are excited as can be to be a part of it!
Back row: Sisters McQuay, Mortensen & Williams
Middle row: Elders DeLeon, Hawkins, Garza & Inzunza
Front row: Elders Page, Williams & Rodriguez

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fellowship with soccer!

Our ward has an activity night with the missionaries each Thursday at the church. It’s so members, investigators and less-active members can get to know each other in a fun setting. Tonight we played soccer (well, Elder Williams represented the two of us) and he did quite well, considering he was the oldest person playing with all the young-uns!

Takin' it down the field!
 I think he surprised some of the kids too!
 He can hold his own against the 20 year old missionaries!
Watch them try to catch him! Hahaha!
My companion has some wicked soccer skills!
I LOVE that guy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Garden Update

The Garcia family has been diligently watering, fertilizing and weeding their garden and it shows!   We get to participate once in a while with weeding help and we are amazed at the growth of this wonderful garden.   The Garcia kids came running up our steps and ringing the door bell yesterday all excited to share with us one of their first fruits of the garden- a big ripe cucumber!   Here are the proud gardeners in front of their pride and joy!

The girls, Dayanara and Yarelli had fun with two little squashes we brought them.  We couldn't resist playing a little trick on them.   Another family in the ward grew these squash and shared some with us.  We placed them carefully next to some cantaloupe plants when the girls weren't looking and we called them to come see.  We asked them what they were.  They were a bit confused.  Yarelli reached down and picked one up and said...."Hey, it came right up!   Did you put that there??" 
Here's a little before and after comparison:
and after:
Those almost-4-feet-tall corn stalks were planted from seed!  We love the Garcia family, they are the best!
And.........we are the grateful beneficiaries of some of the fruit and veggies!   Like these:
Very sweet delicious cantelope and the cucumbers are great too.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Business of Missionaries & Mail Shout-Outs

I haven’t had a chance to post all week because it’s been so crazy busy! We started out the week being assigned to find two new missionaries an apartment. Finding a habitable place to live in Dodge is like finding a 1969-S Lincoln cent with a doubled die obverse. (what??) Anyway, it’s rare! Seriously, we looked at over fifteen places in two days and they were gross! One of the Landlords wanted to be paid in cash only, and didn’t have a S.S.# (meaning he wasn’t a legal citizen) and another one we had to pick up the key at LUCKY LIQUOR (YIKES!) And the houses/apartments themselves- I wouldn’t house a dog in, let alone two Elders! We really made it a matter of prayer from the moment we got the call to find a place because we are aware that decent places to live are nearly impossible to find. When we thought we might have to give up the search, and pitch a tent in a park,  we decided to make one last attempt on a nice apartment that hadn’t returned our call. Holy Cow we got lucky and got in! Many times this week our prayers have been answered. I think Heavenly Father just wanted us to do our homework before he would answer our prayers : )
Waiting for the van to arrive
We had transfers, which is crazy in and of itself…but toss in the fact that we are a brand new mission, and everybody in the mission office is new and trying to find their way…setting up cars, apartments, phones, leaders, new missionaries, meetings, etc… You know that the Lord is in control here and moving things along. I love it!
Some of the Sister's who are being transferred around Kansas
(except me)
Dodge was made a new Zone. Up until now we have been a part of the Garden Zone. 
 We had our first Zone Conference on Saturday.

Our new Dodge Zone
We met our new Mission President and his wife. What a delightful couple they are!
Ron & I with President & Sister Bell

In between everything, we are teaching a wonderful couple who live just down the street from us. 
I want to say more, but I’m afraid I’ll jinx it! ; )
Mail shout-outs & Kansas cornfield thank you’s go to Erin, Tyler, Nathan & Bryce for the awesome handwritten letters. And to Janae’s (aka MRS. May, Sister May) primary class for all the letters we received this week. We got a big kick out of all of them! We love you for thinking about us!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Sunday

A super Sabbath to everyone and miraculous mail shout-outs go to: Grandma & Grandpa Talbot and to Jon, Angela and the 3 little L’s for extending Ron’s birthday festivities into this week! Also, to my sweetest of friends Becki for sending a very welcomed HANDWRITTEN letter (like manna from heaven) and to my dear sweet sister for sending a boxful of summertime love! We LOVE you all and appreciate you thinking of us!!
Big things are coming for the missionary work in Kansas.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Our first "crossover"

New Dodge District
Elders Williams, Inzunza, Turner & Garza
Elder Hawkins, ZL's Wilde & Buys, Elder Page
Sisters McWilliams, McQuay & McKay... Okay, so my name isn't McWilliams,
but with Sisters McKay and McQuay, I didn't want to be left out! We have an
amazing district! A great big welcome to Sister McKay, our first crossover
missionary, formerly from the Missouri, Independence Mission.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hey baby, what's your sign?

We love the signs we find around Dodge and the outlying towns we visit. Here are just a few:
Totally had to stop for this one!
Well of course He is!
Obviously graffitied
Thank you Our Lady of Guadalupe for recognizing us!
(C'mon, that was funny)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Harvest Time!

We have learned so much about agriculture here in Kansas.   You may know that Kansas is the number one wheat producing state in the nation; number two in beef production.    We have watched with great interest the stages of the crops, from planting to harvest.  Well, now it's harvest time and we could not resist pulling over and taking a few pictures of the operation!

The wheat looks about ready, you know...."amber waves of grain"....

A close up inspection shows that the stalks are full of the grain...

Here I am gleefully watching the combines going through the wheat fields.
Here's two of the four combines which were working this field
When the combines come back by where the trucks and other tractors are it's time to unload the grain.

It's a non-stop process and as soon as the combines unload their grain they keep going for another pass around the field.   These huge bins pulled by tractors drive over to waiting  semi trucks and transfer their loads.  The tractors are driven by young people, even high school age, girls and boys.   The trucks then drive off to grain elevators, like the one in Dodge City below, where the wheat is stored.
  The grain is then loaded on train cars and shipped all over the world.
Now, when you eat your next slice of bread, you will know where it came from!

New Mission!

Welcome to the new Kansas, Wichita Mission! Starting today we have a new Mission President and a new mission. Welcome President and Sister Bell!
Ron is out standing in
the mission field...
Behold the field is white
already to harvest...
D&C 4:4