IT'S OFFICIALLY FALL!
|The entrance to our apartment complex.|
|Love the Pumpkin Patches everywhere!|
I am treasure it with a touch of the bittersweet for I know once the leaves all change, in a few short weeks they all fall off and then they are bleak and bare for the long winter months here. But we will find beauty there as well (I hope! :)
We spent our P Day this week biking along the Cape Cod Canal - a wide waterway between the mainland and the Cape. There is a long flat stretch all along it just begging for a bike ride.
|The Railroad Bridge. The bridge lowers for trains to pass over then rises again for ships to pass under. Ingenious!|
|At the end of the trail is Scusset Beach where we enjoyed a rest and a picnic lunch.|
|Don't know what happened to the photos this time- colors are weird!|
|Some of the boat traffic we saw along the way.|
|The Intrepid Four!|
|We didn't have any traditional lobster crackers so Dale improvised with scissors !|
He did a great job and his work was appreciated by the rest of us.
In the afternoon we got together at the Mission Home with the Packards and the McBrides to meet our new mission nurse and her husband, the Dennys from Sandy, Utah. They are assigned to Lowell, Ma. so unfortunately, we won't be seeing much of them. But she and Dale will communicate constantly via calls, texts and emails, I'm sure. They are upbeat, energetic people who will serve this mission wonderfully. Sister McBride, who is not a nurse but Sister Packard's mother, has been serving in this capacity for about a year. She did a splendid job but is very relieved to turn it over to a 'professional'. Sorry no photos !
Wednesday found us attending the temple and then a wonderful luncheon with all the senior missionaries. The lunch was at the Mission Home. The Assistants to the President serve us. Ham, baked potatoes and rolls are provided and the rest is the potluck we all bring. It is a day we look forward to and is always enjoyable.
|Our happy waiters: Elder Carvalho and Elder Sowards|
|President Packard inspiring us! His wife is next to him in the blue .|
|Our humble president serving us.|
Thursday we were back in the temple for our regular weekly shift. I do love being in the Lord's house and when I'm in the Celestial Room, I feel I'm in His living room. I feel love and peace and His presence there.
A convert shared this testimony with me at the temple this week. Paraphrasing:
I had read the Book of Mormon and was taught all the lessons about the church. I thought the church was very nice but it wasn't until I was reading along in Doctrine and Covenants that I received a witness and knew absolutely that it was true. And I was mad! I didn't want to know! Because now I knew that I had to live it. I knew God knew that I knew.
Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24:
"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him: that He lives!
For we saw Him, even on the right hand of God, and we heard the voice bearing record that He is the Only Begotten of the Father-that by Him, and through Him, and of Him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God."
Friday was District Meeting. Again, can never say enough how much we love working side by side with these exemplary young people . They are so impressive and the life skills they are learning are so invaluable. Part of the agenda is a "Getting To Know You" question. Someone comes up with a different one each week. This week's was 'If you could relive a part of your life over again, a day, a moment, a time, what would you choose and why?' I loved that Dale and I chose the same thing. We cheated and picked 2- our wedding and honeymoon and the time span when all our kids were younger and together- the magic years we call them. It is so fleeting . We have such wonderful, fun , funny, beautiful, smart, talented, adorable kids and it was just so much fun- everyday life- with them. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it again.
I served the famous Tortilla Soup and they all were crazy over it. Nary a drop or crumb was left.
Afterwards we took our two senior sister missionaries home. They are our heroes. They are in their mid 70's and they usually always take the "T' (the train) , the subway or public buses everywhere they go. They are serving a Family History mission . They are just a few blocks away from the Archives where they work but church and everything else is far away. They have to take several trains and buses to get there- not just jump on one train or one bus- which I think would be amazing enough. They are just little pros and nothing scares or phases them. We love them. Sister Valentine and Sister Elmer.
Once again- no photo. I'll try and remember to take one with them next time.
Saturday was a glorious sunny hot (82 degrees) day. The words of advice that we heard at our first senior luncheon here came ringing back to me: get outside as much as you can now for in a few months you will be stuck inside for a looooong time!
So, we obeyed! We grabbed our lawn chairs and a blanket, our water bottles and our books and after an outdoor lunch we looked at our map and picked a nearby park to 'camp in' for a few hours.
Did we ever pick a winner! It was not only peaceful and beautiful with the leaves changing and falling at our feet but imagine our surprise when we stumbled upon THIS VIEW:
|The Boston Skyline from Prospect Hill Park in Waltham|
We followed a sign that said scenic overlook and were expecting a view of the hills and woods and maybe Waltham. Scenic indeed! What an amazing surprise! It makes me so happy to discover such wonders in our own backyard.
|The view I was expecting to see: our very own Waltham.|
Saturday evening I watched the Women's Conference Broadcast here at home on my computer.
I especially was touched by the combined girls/women choir's medley of "I Know My Savior Lives" and "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and President Uchtdorf's message on how very much we are loved by our Heavenly Father- right now, right this minute, without even trying.
Sunday we attended the Moores ward because our President and his family were speaking. They are all incredible speakers. Their 14 year old son was like a junior John Bytheway- amazing! Their talks were all inspiring but what I enjoyed most was getting to know their family better this way. President delivered one of the easiest to understand talks on personal revelation and how to pray. Sister P talked about priorities.
We had a pasta dinner at the Moores with their sister missionaries and then back to the church for a fireside with President Clayton Christensen, another truly remarkable man.
Voted #1 management thinker in the world in 2011
Has 'changed business forever' with his innovations
Professor at Harvard Business School
Worked at the White House during President Reagan's administration
Author of 4 books one of which we have read and loved; "The Power Of Everyday Missionaries."
AND... he is a counselor in our mission presidency!
So we have the great blessing and privilege to sit at this feet and soak up his knowledge, and wisdom and kindness often.
He has a great website I encourage you to check out:
|If I enlarge it anymore it gets blurry.|
|Here he is on his mission to Korea. He is 6'8"!|
He spoke on prayer and receiving answers through the Book of Mormon.
He said one of the things he loves most about the church is that it is based around questions and not just answers. The Dark Ages happened because people stopped asking God questions. The Restoration happened because Joseph had a question. He encouraged everyone to read the Book of Mormon asking questions.
He helped start a website which attempts to answer many of life's tough questions from everyday people like you and me. The questions are from everyday folk and the answers are from everyday folk.
It is: reallifeanswers.org
Another remarkable aspect to the man is the way he has not only survived but risen above a myriad of health problems of which one would overwhelm most of us.
He has had :
a heart attack
retinal detachment in both eyes
and Temporal Arteritis which causes such excruciating and unrelenting pain that something like 90 percent of those who have it kill themselves.
So you can see why we all respect, admire and love him so much.
Plus, he is THE nicest, most gentle, kindest man.
Well, that about wraps up another week.
Surrounded by such beauty and such wonderful people
it is no wonder we can go our way rejoicing!