Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We love Mondays

Dart Wars in the cultural hall after district meeting.
Dart guns are made out of pvc pipe, the darts are foam darts
They set up the chairs as forts. The plastic bowling pins are used as bombs.
Big boys will be little boys when given the 15 minute opportunity

Mondays mean District meeting and FHE. It is always fun to mingle with the Elders in our District and we always have fun at FHE. This week was our turn to teach the lesson and activity. We learned all about the First Presidency, sang all 9 verses of the primary song: Follow the Prophet, then played consentration game with all the Apostles and listened to President Monson, so they could recognize his voice. All in preparation for General Conference. Some of these folks have never seen General Conference before.

Marriage Relationship class

We had our first Marriage Relationship class in Middletown on Sunday. We can't do it during regular church time so it is after the 3 hour block. We are teaching it as an extention of LDS family services. This will make for a long church experience. We are teaching it two times a month, so we attend church in Middletown those two weeks. This is a hard class to teach especially when it is for couples with real problems. We are not professionals. Thank heavens the Lords inspires and directs when prayers are sent to heaven. We definitely will be blessed to benefit from this class too.

RS General Conference Broadcast

We are in the New Burgh, New York Stake. The stake center is about an hour away. Our Stake Relief Society Presidency put on an awesome workshop and dinner before the Broadcast. There were 7 of us sisters from the Monticello Branch that car-pooled there. I took Sister McCune and her two little girls, and Lisa Champlain, our most recent convert. The theme of the meeting was: Be Missionary Minded. We went to 6 workshops that helped everyone know how to be member missionaries in any aspect of your life. It was awesome. We had a great salad bar and then an opening devotional before the broadcast. We had all been put in districts like missionaries are and one of the districts had to give impromptu 2 1/2 minute talks about different areas concerning the restoration. Another district had to sing an impromptu musical number. They all did a great job. The spirit was very strong. The broadcast was such a spiritual feast as always. I was personally a little bit sad that Pres. Monson didn't talk.

The night was such a good thing for the two sisters that came with me. They really enjoyed it. A really sad thing is that Sister McCune hadn't been out of Monticello for a long time. Neither one has a car and they don't get around much. They depend on other people with cars or walk everywhere. She was loving the ride and seeing the scenery. Sister McCune is actually living in a motel right now waiting on a place to be inspected so that social security can place her in a place to live. Her last place was condemned because of cockroaches and mold. It was so gross. She abandoned almost all her stuff, because it was infested with cockroaches. We even ended up with a few cockroaches in our car when helping her move out into the motel.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday to Princess Taylee

Sorry this picture is on it's side, I am a retard, I didn't even realize it.
Brandee and Kevin's littlest one Taylee is now 1 year old. I can't believe it has all ready been a year. Oh how we missed being home during this ever changing time. They grow so fast. XOXOXOXOXOXO and hApPY bIrThdAy!!!!! ( I think this is the last Sept. birthday in our family. Whew, there's been a few.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Colors of aUtUm

The pro at work

Yes, I have learned how to actually hit the little white ball and sometimes it goes sailing.
If you look closely you can see the colors starting on the other side of the water.

We went golfing yesterday for P-day and witnessed the colors of fall all around us. It is not quite here yet, but just some appetizing displays.

Happy Birthday to Doug's Dad

Happy Birthday to ReVon Ellett! We Love you and hope you have an awesome day! Miss you! XOXOXOXOXO

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

hAPpY 29tH bIRtHdAY mAlEa

Happy Happy Birthday to our precious daughter-in-law. Forget the in-law, we consider you one of ours. Hope you have an awesome day filled with love, cherished memories, hugs, kisses and smiles, family, fun and lots of Food!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Birthday Sisters

My dad told us many times of the wonderful New Years eve's he had when first married to our mom. All his 4 children were born 9 months later. Our Brother Mike celebrates his birthday August 30, Mitzi - Sept 15th, Beth - Sept 16th, Robin - Sept 21st. Who's counting the years, we are all just another year better. Happy Birthday you all, love you so much!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

The day in Manhattan

Dog's in Manhattan, what a look! (glasses and visor) too cute!
Crazy cranes, wouldn't want this job. Too many injured and killed with faulty cranes this year.

Friday we rode down to the city for Doug's monthly appointment. It was a beautiful drive, but hardly any color, still waiting. We enjoyed lunch at "Crepes on Columbus". One of Doug's favorites, then off to see Dr. Chapman, the pain specialist he sees every month. We have made the decision to go ahead with the test period with the stimulator that is suppose to help with Doug's neuropathy pain in his legs. Dr. Chapman is such a kind man. He has been such a wonderful asset to Doug. He writes his prescriptions every month and has been trying to get the insurance company to help with the cost of the stimulator. The permanent stimulator will be implanted in his back below his belt line with Leads inserted into his spine. The test stimulator will be taped to his back for a two week period to see what kind of relief it will offer him. The Leads are still put in his spine. The stimulator is programed to scramble the nerve signals of pain in Doug's legs to his brain and send a pleasurable sensation instead. We are very hopeful that this is the answer to our prayers. Maybe even one of the reasons we were sent to New York for our mission. Dr. Chapman has had great success with his patients with the stimulator. Technology is a wonderful blessing. We are hopeful and prayerful for great results.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

HAPPY 29th KEVIN!!!!!

Happy Happy Birthday to our favorite son-in-law! KEVIN WILLIAMS we love you. 29 years old and forever young. ( This is the only picture I have of you on my computer. )

Hey Kevin, this one is for you. One of the reasons you need to come see us in New York and bring all your family.

P-day Birthday adventure - CATSKILL Mtns.

For our adventure this P-day we decided to check out some more of the countryside. We had a beautiful ride up through the Catskill Mountains. It is hard to see the Mountains for all the trees but we did get some glimpses every once in a while. We did find some camp areas. They were called "upper, middle and lower 'Fields'". There is also a "Trailer field". The area was by a creek. No campers to be found, but beautiful camping. No facilities, only a few fire pits. On up the road we happened by a beautiful waterfall. we stopped for a Kodak moment. We made our way to a huge resivoir, but headed down south to Middletown for shopping and dinner. Of course Doug spoiled me, he always does. Ended up with a few things, amongst them a new winter coat and a beautiful outfit. Dinner at Red Lobster is always a treat. The waiter told us that the Crab legs we were eating are from the show "Deadliest Catch". Oh so fresh and yummy. Especially the Lobster, best I have ever had. Texture wise and taste.

Once you hit 30, nobody wants to count the years you've been around until you get past 80, then every year is a miracle. What is really the kicker is when you say that you are almost a half a century old. Now mind you I said "ALMOST". It was a great day spending it with my best friend and true love.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Birthday Time

It was a quiet day today. Except for the phone ringing, all the kids called and wished me a great day. It is always a treat to talk to them. Oh, how I wish I could give them all a hug and tell them how I love them. I so appreciate the love that is showered on me from family and friends. The Elders came over with a cheesecake, hats and a musical card. They are so awesome. Lisa Rivera and Crystal McCune came by this morning with a birthday cake. And of course how wonderful it is to go to the mail box and receive special cards and gifts from all my loved ones. Thank you for remembering me. XOXOXOXOXO to you all.

It is transfer time and elder Mook is being transferred out to some other part of the mission. We will miss him. We have grown to love and appreciated him. He is from Hooper where my sister Mitzi lives, he just lives down the street around the corner. He will be great where ever the Lord sends him because he has such a strong testimony and is a very diligent -obedient- friendly missionary.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Awesome Missionary Weekend

We dropped in early for a bapatism in the Olmstead ward in the Bronx and found a party going on. Board game night and going away party for Bishop Brignoni and his family.
Gilbert Jr., sister Brignoni and Bishop Brignoni and thier daughter. They are moving to Arkansas next week end. Gilbert just got home from his mission two weeks ago. We hope for them all the best. You will always be in our hearts and memories of our mission ward in the Bronx.
Frank Diaz and his family at Laguardia Airport. They are from Chile. Sister Diaz and the girls are all headed back home. Frank will join them in about 6 weeks. They have been in our Branch in Monticello. Their Visa ran out and they didn't want to stay here illegally so they are headed back to Chile. Frank was the bishop in Chile for 5 years. He speaks very little english. He needed help getting his family and all their luggage to the airport Saturday. No one from our branch could help so we volunteered. Just so happened that there was a Baptism of two girls we knew in Olmstead ward, so we jumped at the chance. (Side note-we all got their just before their plane took off. They wouldn't load their luggage and they just barely made it on the plane. They took as much as they could as carry ons. Several big pieces of luggage had to stay, Franks wife called him today to let him know that they had no dresses to wear to church today, they were in the luggage that got left behind.)
Bishop Faldmo and his wife Nikki. He replaced bishop Brignoni in the Olmstead ward. He is an awesome young man doing a fine job. It was so fun to see all of our friends from the Bronx.
Meet Lisa Champlain. We have been teaching Lisa for the last 6 weeks. She was so excited to be baptized today. She invited a few of her friends. One friend, Teresa and her family came. Another James who is her social worker came. Most of the Branch stayed for her baptism after church.
She asked Elder Ellett to baptize her. It was so exciting for us. But the true joy and happiness comes from watching the light of Christ come into Lisa's life. Her countenance has really changed. She has been so diligent with making committments and keeping them. From stop smoking and drinking coffee to the law of Chastity. She retains so much when we teach her and answers great questions. She has a fear of water, but when she came up out of the water from being baptized she smiled and said she felt so good.
Elder Iro from Tahiti with Angela and Bianca Eckhoff and Elder Jones. We had the great opportunity of visiting with these girls and their Dad, Brother Doug Eckhoff and Lena their mom, in their home when we were in Olmstead. Because of a chain of events we were able to be at their baptism on Saturday night. It was so amazing. Mom is still a sceptical Catholic. But we all have hope for her. Brother Eckhoff, their dad, was baptized right before we arrived in the Bronx. He was one of the first members we met. Our first subway trip to the Temple was with Bro. Echhoff and his missionaries going to do baptisms for the dead. Brother Eckhoff received the Melchizidek Priesthood last Sunday and baptized his girls. The Elders will confirm them today at church. Elder Iro and Jones did a special musical number for the baptism. A beautiful arrangement of "I know that my Redeemer lives." The spirit was so strong, we were so blessed to be there. The girls were so excited to see us. We were thrilled to see them on their special day and so many of our Bronx friends.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11 - 2001

There was much going on today in memory of that dreadful day. Do you remember what you were doing that day. I can remember getting the kids up for school, Dusty and Brax, and having the radio on the speaker system in our home. It was our wake up alarm that would go off through out the whole house. They were talking about a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center Towers and wonder if it was an accident. I turned the TV on to see if there was anything on the news channel. And there it was as I witnessed the plane going into the second tower. How bazaar, this couldn't be real. Doug was up on the mountain so I had no one really to watch it with as the boys headed to school. I remember being glued to the TV for days.

We have had the opportunity to go to Ground Zero several times while here in New York. It is so hard to comprehend that there was really two of the worlds tallest buildings at the spot in earlier days. It is a very touching scene. We toured the museum that is right across the street from the place. It brings to life the tragic day and dark period that followed. A must to see and experience when touring the city. So many lost their lives in the terrific terrorist's act.

We never know when our time is up. May we live each day to the fullest and do our very best to always express love to loved ones and be an example of what the Lord would have us be. We love you all.

P-day Golfing

P-day this week I went with the guys golfing. Doug and I played against Elder Gale and Elder Mook. We played "best ball". I actually did pretty good. We counted several of my putts and drives. Imagine that!!!! I know it is hard to imagine that, but it's true. We ended up shooting 7 over par after playing 18 holes. It was a beautiful day for golf, around 74 degrees. Wish you could all have been here.

Baptism Scheduled

We are so excited about our first baptism here in New York. We have been teaching a young mother of 2 boys, Lisa. She is excited to be baptized. It is scheduled for this Sunday, Sept 14th. Picture and more details to follow after baptism. She had never owned a skirt or dress her adult life and isn't against wearing one to church, particularly for her baptism, so we went shopping today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

FHE "the paper plane plan"

We had a good turn out at FHE. We had 4 families come and join the fun.

Doug gave a great lesson in FHE on the importance of following Heavenly Father's plan for his children. For the activity we made paper air planes. Before the lesson everyone made their own version of a paper air plane. We all lined up in the cultural hall and flew them to see which one went the furthest. Not much success. After the lesson we all followed one plan, Doug's plan for making a paper air plane. Almost everyones flew across the room and hit the wall. It was awesome and a great object lesson. (Thanks to Elder Blanchard in Olmstead who gave a similar lesson).

Water fun at Mission Conf.

First, you pour the water in the plastic 2 liter bottle that the end has been cut off, placing the spout end on your forehead.
Then, you get up while keeping the bottle up right and against your forehead so that you won't lose any water and walk it over to the bucket that is collecting the water. The team with the fullest bucket wins. (You can't see the amount of water running down his face)
First, you have to try and fill in all the holes in the huge pvc pipe with fingers and hands,
Then, someone fills a bucket and fills the pipe up with water as the rest of the team tries to plug the holes. The team with the most water in the pipe wins.
Then after all the water balloons have been thrown in a game of water dodge ball, it becomes a free for all water fight.

After a Pizza lunch at mission conf. there were fun water games outside. These kids have a blast together no matter what they are doing.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mission Conference # 6

Our Mission Conference today was themed on the Temple. How to teach investigators and new converts about the temple. The importance of being very simple and basic and very sacred. How the Endowment is a gift of power and knowledge from on High. How families can be eternal thru the priesthood power and sealing ordinance, and how we can ensure that our deceased loved ones can have this same blessing. In our mission we try to ensure that the new members 12 years of age and older, go to the temple with in 8 weeks of baptism to do baptisms for the dead.

Much was discussed and about the importance of marrying in the temple after returning from a mission. And staying temple worthy all your life and attending the temple on a frequent basis. Our lives are so blessed and more balanced when the temple is a very high priority in our lives. I love the temple. I love the peace and serenity and sacredness of the temple. I love that everyone is equal in the temple and in the purity of white. I love the feeling and spirit that is present always in the temple. I love doing for those who can't do for them selves. I love serving in the Lord's house. I love the people who serve there. I love the learning in the temple. I love the reverence and respect in the temple. I love the blessings of eternity only found in the Temple. I love that my sweetheart and best friend loves the temple too. I am so grateful for my testimony of the Temple and all that transpires therein.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I am so excited to watch all the colors start changing here in New York. We drove all over the Zone, which is all of the north eastern most part of our mission and consider up state New York, yesterday delivering Preach My Gospel Assesment questionaires to all the apartments in our Zone. The Elders are to fill them out and bring them to Mission Conference tomorrow in York Town. As we were traveling along the hi-ways and by-ways the leaves are starting to change their colors. Not a ton but enough to see how beautiful it will be soon. It is so random how a tree in the middle of a grove will be orangish-red on maybe only half of it. Oh, but so vibrant and beautiful.

Church was great today. It was fast and testimony meeting. Carlos was confirmed and his mother Lisa will hopefully be confirmed in a couple of weeks. She is really struggling with with her smoking. We have learned from teaching the Addiction Recovery classes how difficult some people have with giving up their addictions as they turn their life over to the Savior. Giving their will up to the Lord's will. The spirit is strong in these meetings. I love Sundays, I love going to church.

I was blessed to spend the day in our little nursery. We have just one primary leader, sister Fuller. She is the Primary President, and is a one person show. We have about 6 children who come on a regular basis. There were two little ones in the nursery. Johnny and Lizzy. We had a good time. After our 3 hour block we had "Break the Fast" potluck dinner. It is always fun to visit with everyone. Elder Gales birthday is the 9th, so the young women and leaders sang happy birthday to him.

We topped the day off with going for a walk and stopping to visit sister Pyrum. She has been a member for about 18 years. In her former church she was a Pentacostal Evangelist Preacher. She has a lot of great stories to tell, and does all the talking when we visit with her. Her late husband who she is sealed to used to take care of the maintenance and lawn care for about 8 chapels. When he passed away she was left with the contract and we learned all about how she managed it. She is an amazing women with much interesting history. She is raising 3 granddaughters who all seem to have some type of mental handicap. I am sure it is due to their momma doing drugs when pregnant.

Lisa and Carlos came buy so Doug can help Carlos make brownies. Long story, but Doug has the reputation of the yummiest brownies. All my girls would love his brownies. They are all brownie fans. But you'll have to wait for another year or soooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

P-day Golfing

President Searle looks on as elder Hales T's off.
The Golfing Gang: Elder Hales, Pres. Searle, Elder Miller, Elder Ellett - ooops where his name tag?

You have to get up really early if you want to golf with President Searle. Dougs day began at about 4:30 am. Travel time to the 6:30 T-Times was about an hour and 15 minutes. But he said he had a great time. He paired up with Elder Miller and Pres. was with Elder Hales. Doug and Elder Miller beat by two strokes. They golfed somewhere near Ossining New York, in between Monticello and the Mission home. The day was beautiful, got just a little warn at the end. This was a real treat I am sure for all who went.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Baptism in Monticello

Elder Mook, Carlos, Lisa, Elder Gale

We witnessed our first baptism while in Monticello on Sunday. Lisa Rivera and her son Carlos Ortiz. The Elders found Lisa about a month and a half ago. They taught her the plan of Salvation on Tuesday and on Wednesday her father died. She came to church that Sunday searching out the Elders because she wanted to know if she would ever see her father again. This is when I met her. She started sobbing in Sacrament meeting and the Elders took her out. After finding out what the problem was they came in and got me and asked if I could help them. We all shared with her our testimonies about where her dad was and that it was possible to see him again. I was able to console her in ways the Elders couldn't. They were able to continue teaching her and invited her and her son to come to FHE and basket ball on Saturdays. Our friendship has flourished and she has been to our home a couple of times.

Lisa is amazing. She studies the Bible all the time. She is very well versed in that part of scripture. She enjoys learning out of the Book of Mormon. It has been a hard battle with Satan as he was in fear of loosing her. But loose her he did. She is excited about becoming apart of our Branch Family. She already bore an amazing testimony to another investigator in Sunday School class. She has made friends with Sister McCune who is over the young women in our ward. Sister McCune has allready asked her to come help teach a lesson in YW's. Carlos is a little nervous about becoming a scout and receiving the priesthood. He will be 12 on Sept. 20. They will be confirmed next Sunday and another baptism is scheduled for that day. Lisa is very friendly and out-going and wants to go with us as we teach another investigator; Lisa Ardnt. "We" are actually teaching this Lisa and she has a baptism date for Sept 14th. The Lord's spirit is amazing and such a blessing as it teaches and testifies. We are grateful to be apart of this mighty work.