Sunday, October 5, 2014

September 29- October 5, 2014

Autumn- the year's last loveliest smile.

Driving in Waltham.

I never tire of seeing these church steeples peeking above the roof tops.  They are everywhere and they always bring a smile to my face.

A river runs through it- the Charles in Waltham.

The view from my desk.  I will try and take a photo each week to document Fall's progress right here.
Just had to share a few photos right here in my own little town.

Now onto our PDay Monday.  We switched it up a bit this time.  The Moores and we went on a Charles River Cruise together in the morning but then in the afternoon, we split up.  the boys did their thing and Susan and I had our first 'Sisters Day'
together.  See the photo captions for details of the day.


One of the few places in the U.S. where airplanes fly over cars which pass over trains which pass over boats.
That is not illegal graffiti but words of encouragement to cheer on the rowing teams as they compete.

The "most preferred" image of the Boston skyline.

The ever present rowers.  This was a morning cruise but if it were afternoon, the river would be filled with rowers and rowing teams.  The gold dome in the background is the State Capitol. Only states in which a president was born are sanctioned to have gold domes.  The only exception is Colorado and theirs signifies the Gold Rush.

Boston's two tallest buildings- The Hancock on the left and the Prudential on the right.  The Back Bay Neighborhood and Newbury Street lay in between the two.

The Museum of Science, where Dale spent the afternoon.

I am so disappointed it was a cloudy day.  We have driven by these views many times and I couldn't wait to see them from the water and take fantastic photos of them glimmering in the sun. 

Check out the roof top gardens and the joggers.  Rowers and joggers- two constants along the river.

Some fun facts we learned on our cruise:

1/3 of the population here are students.
Moving Day is Labor Day weekend. Leases here start and end on Labor Day. Every Labor Day at least one U-Haul gets stuck under one of the Storrow Drive bridges, even though there are signs everywhere warning of the danger and height allowances. A local radio station holds a contest in which people call in with their guess of  when it will happen.  The one closest to the time wins $$$.  They call it "Big Bucks for Stuck Trucks".
7 United States Presidents attended Harvard.
Only 3% of MIT and 5% of Harvard applicants are accepted.
The 2 top tourist attractions are Fenway Park and the Science Museum.  Very surprising.
Many of the tall buildings light up in special ways to signify certain local events.  I don't remember what but it lights up one color when the Red Sox are playing in town, and another when the Celtics are in town, etc.  Lots of fun home town pride traditions.
Boston Public Library.
We were told not to miss it.  It was spectacular !

A view of the courtyard.

The main staircase.  I felt I was in Europe.

I like to take photos looking out of windows-what can I say?

The Paintings were breath-taking.

After the library, we ate lunch at a recommended restaurant - a local's favorite- where they take favorite dishes from several of Boston's top restaurants and serve them with their spin. Afterwards we walked up and down Newbury Street, one of Boston's special shopping streets.  It is famous not only for the stores but for its beauty.  I felt I was strolling through parts of London there.

The view from the Library steps.


Newbury Street.  Adore this variety of rooftops!

Looking down Newbury Street.

Love the juxtaposition !

I love the colors and textures here.

 At the end of Newbury Street is the Boston Common/Public Gardens which just happened to be one of our wish list places to see!  It was gorgeous but we were sad the Swan Boats had retired for the season.

The Gardens were filled with weeping willows- one of my very favorite trees! Magical!

Thank you family! How very thoughtful of you! I love it!

The gardens are famous for these statues of the "Make Way For Ducklings" ducks.
My personal favorite little duckling!

Two happy girls!

It was time to head home and as luck would have it, the street that led to the bridge we needed to cross to get back to the Moore's apartment was just across the street from where we were!
It was Charles Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood and we loved it even more than Newbury Street!

I am in love with all the beautiful signs here.  Even a humble nail shop gets a darling and impressive sign.

Notice the steeple in the background and the gas lamp in the foreground- love! love! love!

Right before we crossed the bridge, we saw the Liberty Hotel which we had heard about on our cruise so we went inside to take a peek.  It was a major prison for years in which were housed the likes of the Boston Strangler. You can google it and take a peak yourself.  :)

By the way, we walked everywhere, all day , the entire day!

It was yet another near perfect PDay! (the grey skies on our boat ride brought it down to a 9 :D )

Temple day.
What a touching and spirit- filled occasion today.  Remember that family I mentioned a few blogs back that we discovered on Family Search, where we knew of the father and one son, but with no wife?  We found the wife and 5 more children.  Mike, Susan and I were able to perform the ordinances to enable them to be together as a family forever.  Very sweet experience.  We all felt their joy and acceptance. We love James and Betsi Barrett and Robert, Willie, Nellie, Jennie, Maggie and Annie.  It makes me want to just do family research all day!

Zone Conference

President and Sister Packard

Friday brought us to the 2nd zone conference of our own Boston mission.  It began at 8:30 in the morning and ended around 7:30 at night.  You'd think it would be exhausting but it was stimulating and invigorating.  We were challenged, inspired and motivated.  President Packard and his wife are
truly amazing and incredible individuals and leaders.  ( as well as energizer bunnies!  They never cease to run out of power and energy.) Their vision extends beyond this mission for all of us and if we live up to the challenges they presented us our entire lives will be better and blessed.  They are building individuals of great strength, faith and commitment and these characteristics will help them in their careers, in their future marriages and families.

President with our own Sister Nielson and Sister Batschi.  We love these two!

Sister Packard always has a fun "Getting to Know Your Mission" game that everyone loves!

During the day we also enjoyed a wonderful lunch and a preview of the movie coming out next week, Meet The Mormons. 
It is a very professional, well-done movie to be proud of .  Very enjoyable. We encourage you all to go see it and take a friend or two!  It tries to answer the questions people have about Mormons- who we are and what we do. It's got humor and heart-warming stories. You will feel good after seeing it.
Go see it!  :)

Saturday and Sunday:
General Conference!!
How we looked forward to this weekend!  We were spiritually fed and filled.
 May I encourage anyone who didn't see it to go to
 to see what you missed.
  If you go to the Sunday afternoon session, the very last speaker was Elder David Bednar.  He spoke on why Dale and I and 88,000 others are serving as missionaries today.  His talk was directly to those of you who do not belong to our church and hopefully will answer your questions as to why we do what we do.
There seemed to be several repeated themes which always makes one want to pay closer attention and discover the meaning and message there for you.
It was an historic conference in that it was the first time people of other languages were able to give their message in their native tongue and it was translated into English instead of vice-versa.

We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days!

This great blessing sends us on our way rejoicing!


  1. Oh man! I just left a long comment on here and when it made me sign in to publish it, it erased it. I will try again...
    Wow Mom! The pictures are beautiful! That is one thing I never grow tired of, seeing the colors of fall with the orange and red mixed in the with green. Especially since we do not see that here very often. You are welcome for the bench, that was just from Kim and one else...:)
    I wish our library was like that here! That is crazy. There is so much history back east. It is so fun to see the rich history and architecture.
    Love you and miss you both!

  2. Wow wow wow!!!! I wish I could travel with you guys. This looks so amazing. Those ducks are so cute and weeping willows are my favorite too. Man I wish I was there.

  3. Seth, no the bench is from us. Don't be lying. :-) Anyway, Nancy I do agree that the pictures are wonderful. I love seeing all the fall colors and all the cool buildings. Missionary life seems to be agreeing with you all.

  4. I Love, Love your Blog! I love seeing how happy you and Dale are and to be living a dream of serving a couples mission together. The pictures are incredible, seeing our missionaries is heartwarming! Keep this lovely blog going! It's going to be a amazing book in the near future. Love to you both! Lynda

  5. what a fun sister's day!! there aren't too many people who can say they got to serve a mission with their sister. LOVE all the beautiful pictures, as always. so so jealous of your gorgeous fall "foliage"...palm trees aren't bad, but it would be nice to have some seasons around here ;) just finished reading the bottom part (i got distracted this morning when i read it before) about the "meet the mormons" movie. it was definitely a "feel good" movie. loved it. especially the candy bomber. cutest grandpa ever.