Monday, March 23, 2015

MARCH 16-22, 2015

Hoping ye all had a lovely St. Paddy's Day!

I did not!  I was quite disappointed thinking I was in a place that celebrated big time.  Boston had its big parade on Sunday and I guess that's when everyone celebrated and then they were done with it. 
I proudly wore me green on Tuesday but saw only a handful of others in green the entire day.  And we were out and about the whole day too.  Very sad.

As it was freezing on Wednesday with a biting wind that chilled to the bone, we opted to spend the day indoors at the New England Aquarium in Boston.  Smart and fun decision!  We both loved it. What amazed us is although we have been to so many aquariums, we still saw creatures we had never seen before.  We marveled anew at God's glorious creations and the wonder of His creative masterpieces. 

 These looked stuffed but they are real. 
Their area was very clean and didn't smell as do most penguin facilities. Very Nice. 
( and for my kids' interest: I now have another animal sound to add to my repertoire - I can do a perfect penguin! T-Rex move over!)
 My very favorite aquarium creature.  Fascinating!

 A little more plain but still...!

 The "normal" ones.

 Gorgeous colors!

 This magnificence was one of the creatures I had never seen before- a leopard ray!
I was in love!  I think the leopard pattern is one of the world's most beautiful.

 We saw several species of jellies we had never seen before  but they didn't photograph well. 
Love them too! Could watch them for hours. So relaxing.


  A cuttlefish.  The most spectacular fish I ever saw while snorkeling was a cuttlefish that changed its electric neon colors constantly as it swam.  I could hardly believe my eyes! 

 Looking for Nemo!

Never saw the likes of him before either.  Dale loved this guy's smile.

 And here is old Myrtle the Turtle.  She was Huge!  75 years old and 2500 lbs. This photo does not do her girth justice.  And to think she only eats lettuce and broccoli and brussels sprouts. Maybe I should rethink my diet? 

Since we are in the land of lobstahs we found the following facts quite interesting.

No wonder they are expensive!

Fairly close to the Aquarium in Boston's North End is this landmark restaurant.  It was on our Boston Bucket List so we headed there for dinner.  

For you history buffs:

 John F. Kennedy's favorite booth was right on the other side of Dale- over the barrier to his right.
Great ambience!  Good food!  We had parmesan grilled oysters, calm chowdah, and salmon. 

 In the subway.  I want to go to Wonderland next time! Don't you?

Thursday found us once again at the temple. 

On Friday we drove 1 and 1/2 hours to Mystic, Connecticut for the last of our (Massachusetts Boston)  mission's zone conferences.  It's a shame I took more photos at other conferences than my own but I think it's because I am too busy catching up with everyone.  It's so fun and such a blessing to see beloved elders and sisters who have left your area and are now serving elsewhere in the mission. 
Sister Terrones here with the striped blouse was one of our treasures who was in our zone nearly as long as we've been here.  We adore her.  And miss her!

 Why I'm getting fat!  We sit in meetings all day and then are tempted by this! :D!

Every mission has its own format for its conferences.  It is up to the Mission President and his wife to decide what they want to do and how they want to do it.  But within each mission each conference is like the other so that each group hear the same messages and all receive the same training.  The next conference that have months from now will be different from this one. What I'm trying to say is that we attended 4 conferences in our mission and each day was the same as the others.  Dale gave his fungi (!) presentation here as well and I gave a brief testimony of the wonder and miracle of the human body. 

HA! HA! Just kidding!

This is what we came out to after the conference...

Happy first day of Spring!

The drive home.

And Yes, I am over winter. It was lovely, I adored the snow and the blizzards even, delighted in being snowed in, I didn't mind the cold nearly as much as I feared I would, AND... we broke the record but now I am ready to move on !

Our mission president, President Packard, along with the temple President, President Bowen, initiated a wonderful temple experience for any newly baptized members.  Once a month a window of time is carved out of the temple schedule just for these new members to come and do some work for their family members in the baptistry.  It is the first time most of them have been inside a temple and is a joyous experience for them.  This past Saturday we were asked to help for about 4 hours.  It was a joyous experience for us as well and we were grateful we were available to help.  The missionaries who baptized them usually get to bring them so it is a joyous experience all around.  

Saturday night and Sunday morning we attended our stake conference.  ( Yes, we've been attending a lot of conferences lately!) In the Saturday night session a man sang a solo that was breathtaking! This area is abounding in talented souls.  We thought the voices we heard at the Joseph Smith Fireside were superb but this far surpassed anything we have ever heard.  Stunning.  I will find out the name of the song and pass it along later. It was a testimony of Joseph Smith in song. 
The talks throughout the conference were uplifting and inspiring.  There is powerful leadership here. 
I will share just one of them...the primary president told of her visit to the outer banks one summer with her family.  Her children were playing in the shallow water around the dock while she visited nearby with an old friend.  Unseen currents almost imperceptibly, gradually pulled her little ones out to sea.  They had life jackets on and were good swimmers but the danger was real.  I won't go into all the details but they were rescued by 2 men in a small boat. What I loved about it was how she "likened" this experience to our everyday lives.  She said that there are currents we cannot see pulling our children into danger , into dangerous situations and conditions.  And while we may think they are strong (swimmers) this is a false security.  We must make certain they put on their "life jackets" of prayer, and scripture study, and strong family values, etc. every single day .  

One of the newer members of our ward, Luis de la Rosa, spoke on his conversion.  We love him and his family.  They remind me of my mom and dad and their conversion, how the gospel completely transformed their lives and how they loved its truths and knowledge they had gained.  They both served with joy and gratitude their entire lives just as the De la Rosas are doing now.  She is in the primary presidency and he is the executive secretary.  They just glow!

And they give us cause to glow.  We rejoice in their rejoicing. 


  1. It looks like you got it figured out! Good Blog! Miss you guys and the mission tons but not all the snow! Happy Spring! Hope it comes there soon!!

  2. I am glad you are finally ready for Spring. You sure do a lot of fun things. It is nice you get to associate with so many people and get to enjoy many conferences.

  3. Love your adventures and the testimony building experiences! Hoping you feel Spring soon, Spring is in full bloom here in California and it's beautiful ! You both look wonderful & happy!

  4. I love those fancy seahorses too! And that leopard manta ray was amazing! You know I can't wait to hear your penguin impression!! Next facetime for sure! (I didn't even know penguins made noises?)

    Sorry you're over the snow and cold now. I sure hope a beautiful spring makes up for it soon! And loved hearing about your stake conference and some of the highlights for you.