Monday, January 19, 2015

JANUARY 12-18, 2014

I love Boston's sense of humor! I love how they embrace their unique local slang and showcase it whenever they can.
Another Highway sign we saw said "Make yah Ma proud, wear yah seatbelt." ( spelled just like that on the sign!)

It has been sleeting, and raining, and a little bit of flurrying and dusting ... and cold. But no real snow fall.
Where is my snow?  I hope February comes through for me.  :)

We saved up  viewing all the  local museums and such for the winter months when we knew we'd prefer being indoors and warm.  Our first foray was this week and we visited Harvard's Museum of Natural History. What a nice surprise it was!  Just the right size- not huge and overwhelming where you need days to see it all.  We saw it all and it was just right!  And it had great things to see.  We thoroughly enjoyed our day there.

I loved the architecture of this building as well. 

One of the things the museum is most noted for is this Glass Flower collection. They were made by a father and son team in Germany for the purpose of botanical study here at Harvard.  The collection represents 847 plant species that were painstakingly and amazingly accurately crafted in glass. They were created in a time when only wax or papier-mâché models were available which proved to be very ineffective for study.  These glass models opened up new avenues in this arena.  It has been called "mind-boggling and extraordinary."  You see them in person and you wonder, as everyone who has seen them, how it was possible to make them.  Notice the very fine roots and pricks on the cacti. Incredible!

Remember, all this is made of glass!
This display alone was worth the visit!

The next exhibits took me back to my childhood.  I was more fascinated by the prehistoric mammals than the dinosaurs.  The giant sloth was always a favorite of mine. 

Kinda love this funky guy too!

And who doesn't love this creature?  Any one who has seen the trailers for the new Jurassic Park movie will recognize him! Neither of this photos does justice to his size- he could easily fit an entire huge Great White in his mouth -no problem!

These next photos are for my  granddaughters - a few of them are considering going into fashion design.  I think Project Runway should bring their designers to this museum for inspiration- they could use these birds and insects as the challenge!

The color and designs are stunning!

I call these my sea glass butterflies!

 Whales and giraffes and mountain goats, oh my!


We both came away feeling an overwhelming appreciation for the wonders , marvels and beauties of nature and the incredible creative artistry of our Heavenly Father. 
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world."

The next two days I spent working in the mission home helping with the very busy Transfers Week. 
It was a great experience.  I loved being able to serve in this way.  I loved being with the brand-spankin' new missionaries that just got off the plane.  I loved being with the missionaries who served so well and so faithfully right before they go home.  I loved being with our fantastic Assistants to the President and his wife. I loved being in the mission home and seeing how a mission functions at its busiest times. 

For those not familiar with missions, I guess I should explain a little about Transfers Week.  Every six weeks there is a big transition within the mission.  A group of new missionaries arrives and a group of missionaries who have completed their 18 months to 2 years of service go home.
The new ones need to be picked up at the airport and brought to the mission home. Here they are fed, housed, and taught for a day before they meet their first companions and go to their apartment and area.  There are 6 bunk beds in the basement of the mission home.  If there are more males then they stay in the mission home and sleep in the bunks and the women go to either members homes or the training sisters apartment, depending on the group size. If more sisters, then it is reversed.
They usually arrive in the late afternoon or early evening. They have dinner , are welcomed and go to bed as they are usually very tired. The next day they are divided into 2 groups and taught.  Breakfast and lunch and dinner are provided. 
That evening a huge meeting is held in which the departing missionaries bear their final testimony and the new ones go home to their apartments with their new companions and the departing ones go to the mission home for their farewell dinner and to spend the night. They need to be taken to the airport the next day. We are talking about large groups of people.  This month we had 18 new ones and 12 leaving.  In the past there have been up to 24 in each group! 
So... there is a LOT of food to prepare and serve in those couple of days. 
And all the beds need to be stripped, washed, dried, and remade in one day. 
A lot of work.  And the Mission President's wife is busy meeting , greeting, training, AND she has 3 of her own children at home to look after and run here and there. Her parents , as mentioned in previous posts, were here helping with these kinds of things for the past year but they just returned home at Christmastime.  So I volunteered to step in in their absence and try and help however needed.
 Annie is a wonderful member of the church who comes and helps with these types of functions. She is paid a little but it is mostly a labor of love. The Assistants help with the driving, cooking, serving and clean- up as well.  Four of them- 2 elders, 2 sisters.  
So there you have it. Confusing, I know.  Sorry!


We served Mexican chicken - served with tortillas, chips, lettuce, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream,  oranges, cookies and cakes.  Yummy!
I was there from 10-5 so I didn't help with breakfast. 

 President Packard

 Going Home.

This young man has a very special story.  Elder Tait.  His parents came to pick him up and take him to Scotland where he is going to baptize a man he taught digitally via computer from here in Boston! 
HIs parents arrived around 4 pm, came to the dinner, turned right around and went back to the airport where they caught a red eye to Scotland!  What makes the story even more special is that the first members of the church in his family were converted in Scotland generations ago.

 Going home.

 Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, salad, rolls, Annie's famous carrot cake, brownies and ice cream.

 The "Crew"! Making the beds. (making bunk beds -not fun! Except when you work along side these cheerful ladies!)

 The "fancy" napkins! It is a right of passage that is passed down from one assistant to the next. 


The delightful happy helpers!
Sister Francis, Elder Calvert, Sister Nielson, and Elder Stones.
Adore them!

They told me to leave after dinner and wouldn't let me do the dishes. :)

Friday brought District Meeting and zone lunch with several new missionaries.  AGAIN...forgot to take pictures of the new ones.  We served a Baked Potato Bar with chili, cheese, onions and sour cream. As always, they were so appreciative.
It is cold and flu season here just as it is everywhere in the country so I've been bringing along a couple of these little "Get Well" mugs each week to hand out to those who are feeling poorly. 
It consists of a mug, a lemon, a jar of honey,  kleenex, and sore throat drops. There is a recipe on the back of the Get Well cross for a honey lemon throat soother.

Saturday was spent  completing tasks, shopping for supplies and making a dinner to take to our bishop and his family on Sunday. 
Sunday was great.  Picked up our usual 6 Portuguese people, met a new investigator, enjoyed uplifting talks and lessons, took our cute Portuguese family home, and then dropped by the bishop's home to deliver dinner and a gift for their new baby boy, Samuel Augustus (Gus !)  
They live in a "Lady and the Tramp" style home in an old neighborhood in Jamaica Plains. The kitchen was amazing with a 3 story (3 story!!!) ceilinged kitchen. 

I love these New England houses !
I love serving others!
I love my companion! 
I love our mission!

We go through each week rejoicing.


  1. Wow, that is a busy time. It is nice you could help out . Looks like a busy week.

  2. i just can't understand those glass flowers. boggles my mind.

    never seen a giant sloth before!! pretty funny. it was interesting reading about transfer week. i never really knew what that meant before, but now i do! sounds like a lot of work, but a lot of excitement as well! love that you all work together to make it a special experience!