Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 11-August 17, 2014

The days and weeks seem to just fly by here.  We both have lists of things to accomplish each day and we are lucky to check 2-3 off.  It's a busy time and we fall into bed worn out each night but as I've said before, it's a good busy and a good tired.  This week had some remarkable missionary moments that make being so far away from our loved ones worthwhile and bearable. As one very nice lady put it, after explaining to her what we do and why we are here: " Oh , I see, it's your time to give back!" It is our time to try in the smallest measure to give back for the innumerable and wonderful blessings we have had throughout our lives. 

I'm thinking of maybe reversing the order I present our week so that  Sunday is first on here and our Fun Day is last.  Maybe I will next time :) Don't want to give the wrong impression that we are just out here to tour. That said, we do love the freedom this mission gives us to explore this gorgeous area and our "motto" is Work Hard. Play Hard!

We did have a picture perfect day on Monday.  We drove "down Cape", as they say here, To the charming town of Falmouth where we rented bikes.  From there we pedaled along the Shining Sea BikeWay which was a most lovely path through shaded groves and along the sea to Wood's Hole. It was about a 4 mile ride one way. Easy and beautiful.  We locked up our bikes there and had lunch at a little beachy dive called Quick's Hole where we had delicious fish tacos- almost but not quite as good as yours, Cierra! We explored Wood's Hole for a bit and then rode our bikes to another stunning lighthouse- Nobska Light.  I adore these lighthouses and hope to see as many of them as we can.
Our intrepid gang!

 A lovely beach along the way

"Wicked" is a favorite descriptive expression here

Was told this was a "must" for fabulous cookies but while it was a cute and charming place, the cookies were ok.

So classically magnificent !  

We then ventured off to try and find a highly recommended local "hidden" landmark called The Knob.  It was quite the adventure getting there and finding our way back to the bike path. Let's just say we were praying mightily for our safety. The Knob was located within a bird sanctuary and while we enjoyed the beach, harbor and boats we saw getting there, the hike through the poison ivy ladened woods and the crazy bike ride really wasn't quite worth it. But we are glad we did it nonetheless- we came, we saw, we conquered!

The "infamous" Knob
I love baby sailboats! They always make me smile!

In love with these little harbors as well!

Of course, the Beatle fan in me could not resist a photo of this sign!

By the time we turned in our bikes it was dinner time so we drove just a few blocks to Falmouth's charming All-American, flag flying main street and had maybe one of the best pizzas any of us has ever had. Amazing and different combinations of flavors. 
 We had to try the local ice cream and this time we were wise enough NOT to try the lobster.  Dale tried it some 25 years ago thinking...I love ice cream, I love lobster-what's not to like? Not really surprisingly, it made him gag!

We shared a large pizza with half Fig and Prosciutto and half Sweet Potato and Bacon...so good!

We were passing by Old Silver Beach just in time to pull over and watch the sunset- my first ocean sunset since leaving California. It was a perfect ending to a near perfect day.

Tuesday , again while Dale made his medical calls, I worked on the blog, some emails, and put together some "Orange You Glad It's Your Birthday" buckets to give out later this week.

 Elder Dr. Braithwaite in his little home office 

On Wednesday, we visited  Joshua Smith.  He was the first bishop in Boston and did so much for the church and its members in this area throughout his life. Sadly, he has had a stroke and a heart attack and is is now in a nursing home where he is fading fast.  We pray he may be free to return to his Heavenly Father quickly and not suffer long. 

I took this photo of the rain to remind me to mention the weather here. We get more rain in one day here than for the entire year in California.  It not only rains hard but it the rain drops are huge, the size of ping pong balls, and they batter you from very which way- one minute it will hit you from the left, then the right, then literally sideways at you- rarely just straight down. And umbrella is hardly protection. Your legs and feet always get soaked. We've been through 3 medium sizes umbrellas so far- the wind just thrashes them to pieces. I invested in a big golf sized one after Wednesdays storm so we'll see how that goes.  When we first got here it rained 3-4 days a week but now its usually down to one day/week.  I'm sure it will pick up again in the fall and winter.  Our Summer has been most pleasant and we are very pleasingly surprised by it's mildness and lack of ferocious humidity. We are hoping a mild summer will turning a mild winter. Hope. Hope. 

Thursday again was spent in our beautiful temple.  We love our experiences there and it is a refreshing and restoring part of our week. 
After our shift ends, we always go out to dinner with the Moores. This time we ate outdoors on the patio of Margerita's overlooking the Charles River- right here in Waltham!
The company and the view were great but the food not as much.  We have just about given up on Mexican food here.  Those fish tacos in Wood's Hole were about the only truly yummy Mexican we've had so far. 

Friday, Friday...one of our favorite days of the week!  It's the day we get to spend with the young elders and sisters and meet with the people they are teaching and those who need comfort and cheer.
It was our turn to prepare the lunch for the zone (about 26 people) so we made one of our family favorites, Yucantano Delisioso.  (You've just got to love that name, right?)  Everyone loved it.  I put a little sign out saying they absolutely HAD to try the dressing- it is what makes the meal.  They all did and they all loved it- said it was addicting! Yes, we know :)

Watermelons and olives- always a winning combination!

After lunch we went with the sisters to visit Gene. What an amazing man and what an amazing story. 
I will tell you more about him when we get to Sunday.
We also visited Adolfina and showed her how to use Craig's list to find an apartment, went over some important criteria with her and cheered her on for her CNA test she was studying for. 
On our way home, we stopped at the Mission Home to deliver the birthday buckets to our incredible Mission President, his remarkable wife and her darling father who is serving here.  President Packer and Elder McBride's were Friday, and Sister Packard's on Saturday.

Sunday after church we taught Gene once again with the sisters. What a joy and light he is. You can see even from his photo the kindness in his eyes. He said lately he had been feeling lost .  He said he would be in the shower and just start crying because he wondered what purpose his life had, wondered what he was doing here and if there was any more to life. He said he felt that the answers had to lie with God and that he should find a church to attend.  He saw the sisters in the library 3 times in a row and felt it was meant to be so he approached them and asked about their name tags and about the church. Of course, they were delighted to explain to him and answer any questions he had.   He expressed that he felt he was 'awake' now after hearing our message and Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness for him.  He said he finds himself getting emotional and shedding happy tears now, saying that after he leaves us or the church meetings and is back out 'in the world', he wonders if what he experienced with us is real...are people really that nice? Are there really kind people in this world who sincerely care for others? Did that really happen? Etc. 
He recounted how for the first time he could see himself married with a wife and family and that this church is where he would want his children taught and strengthened.
It was a meeting of pure joy and love.

We also visited with Gladys, an enchanting Haitian woman who delighted us with her accent and tales of her neighbors, country and self. We have come to truly love and admire the Haitian people and their culture.  They are so kind and loving- always kissing each other on the cheeks- and they clearly respect their elders.  They dress well and respectfully for church- the young men are especially impressive in their 'Sunday best". And oh, how they love to party! They will celebrate anything and everything with a party that never ends.! My kind of folk :)

That night, Susan and Mike were up in our area for a baptism so they joined us for dinner.
We love discussing all the events of our weeks with each other. 

After our thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying meetings with all these remarkable people,
we  did, indeed, go our way rejoicing!


  1. Love this and you guys!! Beautiful pics and super jealous of the rain! And love the story of gene :) <3

  2. arghhhhhhh!! i guess the blog hates me too! (like marissa said) i just wrote a long essay of a comment, and it didn't even publish it and then deleted it all. sighhhh. so i'll try this one more time and see if can remember everything...

    just catching up on the blog and LOVING it! thanks for all the fun as well as spiritual details. i loved the gene story too and you are right...you can see the light in his eyes. i also enjoyed that you both share a love for polka dots ;)

    does dad really go by elder dr. braithwaite? are you guys allowed to swim? all those places looked gorgeous and make me want to come visit so bad! oh, and i'm glad to hear no fish taco will ever stand up to mine ;) that pizza sounded delish though! oh, and i had never seen a picture of the boston temple before...it is so different and pretty! i love it. glad you get to go so often.

    ok well i'm gonna hit publish so wish me luck!