Sunday, June 29, 2008



Fun day with Doug's Parents at the Temple

Rockefeller Center
Subway experience on our way to the temple
30 foot X 8 foot Quilt with 3 inch squares for each of the victums of 9-11 put together in a beautiful mural.
The twin towers
This is in the Folk Art shop right next door to the Manhattan Temple

Doug's Mom and Dad here visiting

Elva and ReVon flew in for a few days to visit. What a craxy week end it has been. Lots going on. We picked them up at the airport on Friday after Mission Conference. Drove thru Manhattan to show them the "CITY", ate at a little place that we enjoyed with another mission couple, Crepes on Columbus. The drive around gave us plenty of time to talk and visit.

Saturday morning we were just heading out to the subway when the Formans, the mission couple replacing us from Sparks Nevada drove up to go to Mission Coorilation meeting. We invited them in to take a look around at their new residence for the next 18 months. Lots of questions and things to see. Then off to the subway to go to the Temple. The subway is always a must when visiting New York. The temple is beautiful. Doug's mom couldn't get enough of it. She just absolutely loved it and thought it was so beautiful. Sister Donn in the temple told us we needed to go next door to a Folk Art Shop and see the huge beautiful amazing quilt on display, a memorial to the victums of 911. It was breath taking. I have include a few pictures. Then we took a Taxi to the Rockefeller Center to take them to the Top of the Rock observation Deck to see all of New York from a different perspective. It was a little cloudy so the visibility wasn't great. Then back on the subway home to fix a dish for the ward Pot-luck dinner. It was a real treat to introduce Elva and ReVon and the Formans to people in the ward. I am really going to miss this ward.

Sunday morning Doug went early to help a new convert, Samuel, learn about blessing the sacrament. This is a great milestone in Samuels life as a member of the church. He is a great man and we have all become great friends. Doug and I had been asked to talk in Sacrament meeting. It was a bitter sweet day as we were able to have Elva and Revon here, talk in Sacrament meeting, and say good bye. After church Doug took Samuel home teaching for the first time and then brought him over for dinner. It is very hard to say good bye to these wonderful people we have been blessed to become friends with. Oh, I will miss them all. I wish you could all meet them. This was a great experience for Elva and ReVon which they really enjoyed too.

Vacations never last long enough. Tomorrow we will be taking Doug's parents back to the airport and then we will have to get serious about moving. We'll rent a U-Haul and will have to go to several different places that the mission has furniture stored so we can get our apartment in Monticello furnished.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Suprise Mission Conference Visit

A subway train full of missionaries, awesome sight!
Olmstead Zone waiting for the subway, heading to Manhattan to Mission Conference.

New 5 floor stake center on 87th street where Mission Conference was.

What an awesome experience we enjoyed. A re-scheduled Mission Conference brought our whole mission together in Down town Manhattan. We usually meet in two groups. The Northern part and the Southern part. This was a first since President Searle has been Mission President. The reason for combining the two was a surprise visit from President Uchtdorf. He was here in New York Vacationing with his wife and his twin grandsons who just received their mission call to Taiwan, two separate different missions. We sat in Zones and our Zone was right up front by the door that he entered. We were right on the front row. We all had the opportunity to shake President and Sister Uchtdorf's hand. It was definately the hi-lite of our mission thus far. A once in a life-time opportunity.


This is a SHOUT-OUT to our baby boy BRAX!! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUD, WE LUV YOU TONZ, MISS YOU! Can't wait to see you in August.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

HoG digg-ity doG finD

Today we home taught Beverly Rucker. Interesting way to teach: we picked her up at her Dr. apptmt. and took her to Brunch in the Bronx. While eating we received a phone call from Pres. Searle asking us to go to the Kingsbridge chapel and pick up two Elder's luggage and take it to Stuyvasant Town. It is transfers today. Stuyvasant Town is way down on 14th street in Manhattan. Beverly was up for the adventure so away we went. The Elders had to take the subway down to 14th street and so we just took their luggage & dropped it off at their apartment and then went the chapel on 15th street across Manhattan to drop their keys to the apartment off for them. This is where they get to check their email. The 15th street chapel backs up to the Convent and also houses the Young singel adult lounge in the basement and the employment center for the church their in NYC. Hence, the computers for the elders to check their email. After visiting and checking things out, we headed up Lexington avenue to find a HARLEY DAVIDSON store that our friend Rex told us about. What a find. Huge selection. Of course we need a shirt that said "NEW YORK CITY" on it. Beverly was a trooper and enjoyed the day with us. Traffic was a nightmare getting her home to Brooklyn and us back to the Bronx.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last Delivery Day for us

Hanging out with the gang in squished quarters.
Bowling with water bottles, waiting for Elder Ellett so we can bless the food.
Serving up lunch. The Elders are always so good to make sure the sisters go first.
Those new front stairs are perfect for taking pictures.
Brother Pina comes to the store house for two bags of food every month. He carries them home on the subway. He always seems to show up at Zone meetings and Mission Conference. He loves going out with the missionaries. He's pretty funny. He wanted us to take a picture of us and send it to him.

Today was our last Delivery Day before our transfer. We are sad to leave our Olmstead Missionary family. The whole Zone was invited over for lunch after unloading and stocking the food in the Storehouse. Transfers will take three of our Elders. Elder Stoddard is being transferred home. His family is here to pick him up tomorrow. Elder Jones and Elder Ferrell will be heading out too. After everyone left we found a keep-sake note from all of them on our bed. We will cherish it along with our memories and missionary family.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


wAHooo! Brandon and Malea's little guy is here weighing in at 8lbs 11 oz, 19 inches long with black hair. His name is Dawson Robin Ellett. He arrived healthy and strong with cute chubby cheeks at 10:08 am. CONGRATULATION!!!!!!!! Give him hugs and kisses from Pompa and Gramma.

Temple Excursion

Elder Sprengle, Sodina Brown, Elder Leatham; Baptisms for the Dead at Manhattan Temple
"Two Black Men" performing for applause and donations of money as we were walking thur the Park. They were actually very good and funny.

Elders by the Fountain of Bethsesda
Doug insisted that I get a massage as we were walking thru the Park.

We are off to the Temple this morning with Elder Sprengle and Elder Leatham with their new convert Sodina Brown. We met Bishop & Sister Brignoni and their daughter at the temple. We try to get our recent converts to the temple to participate in Baptisms for the dead with in 8 weeks of them joining the church. It was Elder Leathams first time down in Manhattan. It is always fun to watch them as tourists.

After we finished up at the temple, we walked back to the subway station thru Central Park. Lots going on at the park on a Saturday. Thousands of people in the park for about 10 different things that we ran into. It is so huge and beautiful.


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P-Day adventure with Rex and Justin Davis

Our day started at 6:45 am on the subway to head down town Manhattan to meet Rex and Justin at the Holiday Inn on 57th street where they were staying with the group. We tagged along for a walking-subway tour. Through Central Park, down to Ground Zero, then to Wall street and the Stock Exchange, up to Little Italy for lunch, then to Radio City Music Hall for a back stage tour, then to the Top of the Rock - effella center. Rode the subway up to Yankee stadium to see if we could get tickets for the ball game that night. Bought tickets from some scalper for 3 times the printed price. Rediculous. But know we can say we went to a Yankee's game, last season at the old stadium. The mobs of people were nuts after the game getting on the subway to go home. It was a fun day. Thanks Rex and Justin for letting us tag along. We had a great time. It was great to see ya.

Sight-seeing day with Rex and Justin

This morning started early for us today on the subway, 6:45 am. We headed down town to meet up with Rex and the tour group he was in town for. We tagged along for the walking subway tour. We started out a the place John Lennon was shot at, the DAKOTA Bldg. Would love to have had the opportunity to go in the building. We walked thru Central Park, a different area we hadn't been to. We subwayed down to Ground Zero, back up to China town and little Italy, then up to Radio City Music Hall for a back stage tour. That building is huge and amazing technology for the 1930's. This group that Rex was with is from Price Utah, a dancing group of girls and some of their parents. Then to the top of the "Rock". We had all ready been to the top twice so we headed up to Yankee stadium to see if we could find anyone selling tickets for the game. Couldn't get any over the Internet or the box office as they were all sold out. We ended up buying two from a scalper. We payed three times the price listed on the ticket. We had a great seat but in the center of the row and Doug couldn't sit in the cramped space with his bum knee. Rex's group had two not go to the game so we ended up taking those seats because they were an isle seat. There is really not a bad place to sit in the small ball park. Doug was pleased the Yankee's lost 4-2 to the Cincinnati Reds. What a zoo the subway was getting back home. You have to experience it to believe it. We arrived home at 11:15 pm. It was a long day.


Brandon and Malea are at the hospital this morning waiting on the arrival of their new little one. We are so excited. We love you and are waiting by the phone to hear the great news, wishing we were there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fun afternoon with friends

Rex and Justin Davis at lunch time on Restaurant Row
We ate at an Italian place, Justin's choice
Justin is standing by the little door that opens up for the little box that slides up and down the pole to his right, an elevator, in the convent.
This is the view from the top of the stairs looking down to the elevator box that slides up the pole
Elder and Sister Carpenter who live in the convent. Their little suite is actually not bad especially compared to the rest of the convent
On top of the convent roof, up about 6 stories

Rex and Justin Davis were in town with one of Rex's tour groups. We spent the afternoon with them. Rex showed us where "Restaurant Row" is and we ate at an Italian place that Justin picked out. Not many tourists know about this place, but we thought it was awesome. It is right down town on 46th street off 6th avenue. All up and down the street are cute quaint little places that you walk down into. The food was great.

Next we took the subway down to 14th street where the Convent is that the church owns. We needed to check out some of the furniture left there to see if it is anything we can use when we move up to Monticello. The place was amazing. It has tons of staircases and little rooms for sleeping, and big ones for gathering and teaching. I would have loved to see it in it's prime. The Carpenters, (a senior couple) are still living in it. Their little nook is quite nice. There is about 6 different levels. Justin was anxious to try a stair case that went to the roof. It was a great opportunity and we enjoyed it. Not much furniture we would want to use. The place is really should be condemned and is in certain areas.


This is a shout out to EASTON!!!!!! Happy BIRTHDAY TO YOU. We love you so much.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Yummy Peach Cobbler
Sister Ollerton and Sister Pena
The chef out back of the church
The team minus the star player, Elder Ellett
Chowing down and playing card and board games

Today we enjoyed a BAR-B-Que at the church. We purchased a little grill and had hamburger and hot dogs, cold melons and Doug's famous peach cobbler. We played Canasta (thanks to Brandee & Kevin and family - a gift to Doug for father's day) and Escape to Zarahemla, Mormon Mouthful. Basket Ball after the clean up was the bomb. The Elders just can't stop Elder Ellett and his shots. His team won all three games.

This morning started really early for us as we had to take Elder Nielson to the airport, Migraine problems he has to get taken care of then come back.

Mini Zone Conference & New Member Endowment

Elder Castellanos and Elder Grillo:
Zion Companionship; these Elders go all over the Mission helping train and teach and each Zone, particularly those with problems.

We had a mini Zone Conference today. It was to replace Mission Conference that has been postponed until next friday. The whole mission will get together that day down in Manhattan on 87th street. The Zion Companionship and the AP's were there along with President and Sister Searle. It was pretty much an open discussion on what can we do to meet our goals.

That night we drove down to the temple to go to the Endowment session for a sister that is in our Institute class, Myrna Castellar. We have really grown to love and admire Myrna. She has had a very dark crazy life. She is on fire with the gospel and so excited about being able to receive her endowment. She goes to the temple every thursday to do Baptisms for the dead. And now she can go do Inititory, sealings and endowment sessions. It was a beautiful night. We love you Myrna.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crepes on Columbus

The Gilstraps, the senior missionaries over the CES program here in our Mission, invited us down town in Manhattan to dinner with them. They are from California and are a lot of fun. They are doing a great job teaching Institute all around the mission. We help them out by teaching Institute for our area, which we have really enjoyed. It is always a treat to spend time with any of the senior couples. We ate a place called Crepes on Columbus. Doug really enjoyed his. I will have to try a different kind of crepe next time, one with out goat cheese.

Sunday, June 15, 2008



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

GOLF - GoLf - gOlF - goLF - GOlf

This morning early, about 5:30 am, Doug left to meet President Searle for a 7:00 am Tee time so they could beat the heat. The heat wave is over for now. We had a terrific light and thunder show late last night. We lost many limbs from the trees in our back yard, but never lost power, hurray for that. We'll take the temp in the 80's any day over that in the 90's. Especially with this humidity.

Outing "Up-State"

Middletown chapel
Apartment in Monticello
Bear Mountain Pass, I believe this is the Hudson river

Monday after district meeting we took a drive up to our new area. The GPS took us over the George Washington Bridge and over to New Jersey. That was a new experience for us. The countryside was beautiful all the way up about 90 miles north of the Store house in the Bronx. Our first stop was Middletown. We were so excited to see AppleBee's, Red Lobster, Wal-mart, Sam'c Club, Olive Garden and Gander Mountain. Of course we had to stop in and see the Sportmans store Gander Mountain, comparable to Sportsman warehouse. Monticello is about 30 miles north west from there. It is a beautiful green lush roaming hills countryside. We punched in the address to the Elder's apartment and to our great surprise met a lady who in turn called the manager who showed us an apartment she had available to rent. She loves renting to the missionaries. They never give her any problems and they are always so helpful and kind. That is evidence of what good missionaries we have here. Thanks to all of them she is thrilled to be able to rent to us. Initially we were suppose to live in Middletown, but we are really leaning towards Monticello. We took a different route half of the way back to the Bronx. We wanted to see how to get to York town chapel where our Mission Conferences are. What a treat. We drove over "Bear Mountain" and snapped a few pictures. Doug says it reminds him of Steamboat springs Colorado.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Another convert baptism after church

The influencial friend, Anita and her two boys, Dillion and Kyle, Elder Grahl & Longi. We call Kyle the "Mayor", because he is the mayor of his school class.
The whole family and Elders. The boys father and ex-husband of Anita is next to her, they are still really good friends.
The friend, Anita and Dillion, Elder Sprengle who baptized the friend and his new comp. Elder Leatham

Anita Cordero and her 8 year old son Kyle Santacruz was baptized today after church. She has a great story. She has a friend who she has watched and saw that there were things in her life that she was changing. One of the obvious things was that she stopped drinking coffee. Anita noticed these changes and saw the happiness come into her friend and said she wanted what her friend had. The missionaries that baptized her friend started teaching her and found out that she lived in the Olmstead ward boundries. They turned her over to our Zone Leaders, Elder Longi and Elder Grahl. We had the opportunity to go with the elders to two of the lessons that were given. One of the other missionaries who Baptized her friend was transfered to our Zone last transfer. So he got to watch and witness Anita and Kyle be baptized. She has another 11 year old son, Dillion, who was going to be baptized. He decided to wait a little while, advise he got from some of his cousins.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sad News

Tom is sitting in between Doug and President and sister Searle on Easter Sunday.

We received a phone call early this morning from Tom Nickish's sister telling us that our friend Tom passed away during the night. This is a real blessing. Tom was in such pain and so alone and his body was just deteriorating with his disease. He can now be with his wife Rose and son Pablo. We were blessed to be friends with Tom here in the Bronx. We are so grateful we had followed the spirit and went to go visit him last night. We will see you again Tom.

RS Munch 'n' Mingle Telethon

Today our RS sisters gathered at the church for a munch 'n' mingle. We each received a portion of the list of RS members (which was about 300 long) and we called the numbers on our list to try and find sisters who hadn't been to church in a long time. Part of the reactivation activity going on here. Many were wrong numbers or numbers no longer in service or they don't live here any more or I am not a member any more. We did have some who were very receptive and would like to have visiting teachers and said they would try to come to church.

The missionaries are also focusing on finding members and reactivating them. Together hopefully we will find those who just need an invite and know that some one is concerned about them.

New front stairs

This is what it looked like before they ripped the stairs out.

Before is below - after above

We are getting new front stairs into the storehouse. They ripped everything out and widened them. It is now twice the width. They ripped out planter boxes on one side and the bushes on both sides. They filled the top landing with all the bricks from what they had torn out. They are not completed with the task, they will cover everything with concrete and add the metal railings. Hopefully it will be done on Monday.