Saturday, January 31, 2009

Remembering Diane

Doug's sister Diane would have been 50 years old yesterday. She passed away in December, a year ago. She is missed, but we know we will see her again. Doug and Diane were the same age for 5 days each year. Love you Diane! XOXOXOX

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Snow, Heavenly Snow

The whole time we were shoveling the snow it was either snowing, hailing or sleeting and then raining. We actually ended up shoveling it twice because after the first time we went in the building to take a break, have some hot chocolate and granola bar, we went back up there to finish up the back side and found about an inch of slush, just like a snow cone, covering the whole roof. That definately would turn into ice so we shoveled it off as well. The back side that still had 7 inches of snow on it, now had a hard crust of sleet on it. A little more difficult to shovel off.
The only evidence there is that I was on the roof doing my share of the shoveling is the fact that the only way I could have gotten this shot is while I was on the roof. I also have the sore muscles and bones. Too bad we didn't have an innertube. That would have been great fun sliding off the roof onto the snow that we had shoveled off. Jumping off the roof into the snow was as much fun as we had.During our break, Doug was anxious to go play with a big boy toy. If he could had gotten it on the roof, he would have. Sure would have gone a lot faster. But then none of us would have had the fine exercise we enjoyed. (Ha Ha!!!)

Because of the water problem at the church, due to the ice and snow on the roof, we spent the day on the roof shoveling off the snow and sleet. Elder Georges and Shakespear gave up their P-day to help us. They ended up getting grounded from driving because of the weather, so we invited them over for dinner and games. We were all so sore and tired from the day shoveling. It is nice to know that the job is done and that we will be able to have church there on Sunday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Zone/District meeting

Zone Group Hug. We are United and Excited!!!! We will Baptize this Cycle!!!
Our District - A quick stop off at the OCC, Orange County Choppers, before headed back to Middletown and Monticello

After every transfer the Zones get together to become acquainted with all who transfered into the Zone. Today was that day. I always enjoy getting to know the Missionaries. We had four transfer in. Even more so I love being taught by the Elders. The spirit was so strong today as we all discussed what we need to do to be able to reach our mission goal of each companionship baptizing this cycle. We decided to start the cycle off with a Zone temple trip. Permission was granted from Pres. Searle, so our whole Zone will be headed to the temple next Wednessday. Everyone is excited to being in the Lords Holy House reconnecting with our covenants we have made and re-committing individually to do all that we can to to be worthy of the miracles that we are working for, praying for, and expecting. So any of you who read this and have the desire to help, please pray for us and join in our fast Wed, Feb 4th. We need your faith together with ours.


Doug received this little teddy in the mail from KC, Kell, Allee, & Taylee. You push the teddy's belly and all four kids say "Happy Birthday Pampa, we love you". He has listened to it over and over and over. Of course, that is the best part about any holiday, hearing from your loved ones. The phone calls wishing dad happy birthday are cherished.
Happy Happy Birthday to my one and only true love!!!!!
The Elders came by late and celebrated with us
Elder Georges gave Doug a bird whistle from France, it sounds really cool. You put water in it and blow.
And this is what Doug thinks about growing older.

When your birthday is on Sunday and you are a missionary, it is just another day for the most part. Our day began early as we had to travel about 1 1/2 to get to church, or so we thought. Our GPS took us thru some back roads to New Paltz where we went to church and it ended up only being about 55 minutes to our destination.

As you have read previously, out chapel is closed for a bit because of water damage. We had to cancel church in our building but suggested to our branch members that they go to New Burgh, 52 miles away to attend church. Roxann Estrada, one of our members asked if I could find out when New Paltz branch started. I called Elder and Sister Farnsworth when their branch started and she invited us to come to their meeting and dinner afterwards. She somehow knew it was Doug's birthday and said she would fix him a favorite dish of his. To our surprise it was their Branch Conference and the Stake Presidency was there along with many of the stake leaders. Roxanne Estrada, her husband Luis, her sister Silvia and her husband Erik, along with their mama - "mama Burgos" were all there. So this little branch swelled with all the visitors. It was a full house. Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious meal with the Farnsworths, yummy lasagne, salad and birthday cake. I had made Doug's favorite, German Chocolate with butter pecan frosting. I am sure our kids are smiling as they know how much he likes this cake.

We left from Farnsworths and taught lessons at two different part member families and shared pieces of his cake at each place. After arriving home that night, the elders showed up with Birthday wishes and we shared cake with them.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Split wood, then there's HEAT

Pretty long ice cycles, evident of the freezing cold weather we are having
Hopefully this will last a couple of weeks
Yes, I do know how to split wood.
Helping their 13 year old son learn to split the wood.

We were off to Sparrow Bush where president Murphy lives. He is still gone to Utah working. Thought we would split a bit of wood for them. The wood is their only heat and must keep it going so their pipes won't freeze. Doug has had to go down there when sister Murphy and the two kids had gotten stranded in New Burgh when her truck wouldn't start. We are happy to help and love being able to wear jeans.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Helping Hands

Grab a shovel and let's get to work. Elder Wilkinson, Easthope, Shakespear, George, Ellett, along with the FM guys, Lewis and Alex all spent several hours today on the roof of our chapel shoveling and chipping ice off the roof.
Elder Wilkinson found out that jumping on a pile of ice is a little different than a pile of snow.
Let's brake for a quick bite to eat and drink
Just cleaning up, washing up all the pans that were collecting the water in all the rooms.
Now let me show you all how it is done.
There is going to be some sore muscles tomorrow after all the shoveling.
It was hard to predict where the next drip would come from. The RS room was hit the worst. 10 rooms were damaged from the water dripping thru the rafters. It came out in the light fixtures, vents and then just randomly everywhere.
Elder Easthope raking the roof

We love the snow except when it causes major problems in the chapel. As I understand it, when the bottom layer of the snow melts because the heat in the building is on, it tends to melt enough to allow it to pool in areas and in there lies the problem. Several places in the building started leaking water, and soon almost every room in the church building was dripping water from the ceiling. Thus the pans everywhere trying to catch the water. We put the elders busy shoveling and chipping the snow and ice off the roof. What we would do without those helping hands.

At the end of the day we learned that the big wigs are closing the building until further notice. We will have to find somewhere that we can rent to hold church in. A Conference room at a motel is the idea we will check into. But for right now, we will travel to New Burgh, which is an hour away to attend church. Middletown's building, that is only 30 minutes away, is under construction. And they are all traveling to the New Burgh chapel for church also.

hA p P y B i R t H d A y BRECKON

This is a SHOUT out to our little Brecky! HAPPY HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY!!!!! Brecky is our 7th Grandchild. He is our oldest son - Brandon's 3rd child, 2nd son. Brecky was 9 1/2 months old when we left on our mission. We are so excited to get better acquainted with this little fire ball. Love you so much!XOXOXOXOXO

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snow Beautiful Snow

Becky, Kylie, Danny Murphy, President Murphy's family. Braved the snow and made it to church.
Evelyn, Luis, Christian Maldanado. Luis the dad is a member, Evelyn and Christian has the missionaries over a couple times a week. She is at church every Sunday, has no W of W problems, she is a mormon an doesn't know it. We hope and pray soon she will want to be baptized.
Selena, Anni, Mary, Kylie.
Clearing the sidewalks at church
Clearing the snow off so we can go to church.

You can tell when it has snowed during the night when you wake up in the morning to it very quiet and Serene stillness. It was so beautiful this morning. In fact the whole day was that way. It is now 4:30 pm and the snow just stopped. It has been snowing all day. I take that back, it just started snowing again. It is so beautiful with white everywhere. Too bad it doesn't stay that way. Soon the snow plows will have dropped so much sand and salt that much of it turns brown. It is pretty slick out there.

We had 21 people show up to church. Some were quite late, but never the less, they were at church. Sacrament meeting started with 12 of us. By the time Sacrament meeting was over, we had 9 more show up. The spirit was so strong. Brother Calhoon from Poughkeepsie, the High Councilor was our speaker. The snow kept the other speaker from coming to church. (It is probably the most snow we have seen in one 15 month period since we have been in Monticello. there is probably about 10 inches of snow. ) Brother Calhoon gave a wonder message on trusting in the Lord and having the faith to be motivated to action. It was awesome, especially because we have been teaching a part member family. We spent a couple hours yesterday at their home teaching about this very topic. Evelyn has had the missionaries for the past year. Her husband Luis was baptized about 10 months ago. She just isn't sure if there is a Christ and if God really wants her to be baptized. We stressed with her the importance of walking by faith, the more faith shown by her actions will be manifested in testimony of knowledge. I am so grateful for the love and interest Heavenly Father shows to us. What a blessing to have Brother Calhoon share such a powerful sweet testimony with his message. Just what Evelyn needed to hear from someone else.

Just as we were finishing Sacrament meeting and moving into the RS room for Sunday school, we discovered water dripping from the ceiling. After checking all the rooms we discovered three of them where water was dripping from light fixtures or vents. So we just grabbed some pans and bowls out of the kitchen so the water would drip in them and Doug called the Facility Management guys and they said they would send someone over to check it out.

We had planned to have a R.S. Leadership meeting with our teachers, music & visiting teaching coordinator, after church today. Sister Pyrum, the music person, was the only one at church. So we shared the cookies and punch with all who attended church today. Not something you could do if we had 100 people at church.

Doug has been at the church for the past 2 1/2 hours with Lewis the FM guy, trying to fix the water dripping problem. I'll have to wait till he gets home to inform you further on the out come. By now I'm sure the Elders are there helping too, as they are suppose to be here for dinner, and with out Doug they won't come in. Mission rules.

Let me just end with expressing my gratitude for these experiences that become memories that I can take with me forever. I will always remember a little town in New York during the winter of 2009, on a Sabbath day that it snowed immensely, but the warmth that the spirit brings is real and cherished, as my faith and testimony increased and was blessed to be surrounded by loving faithful latter-day saints and 4 investigators, as we shared the Lord's spirit in church. We could have let the water problem keep us from this sacred experience, but it wasn't to be. We were blessed.

Friday, January 16, 2009


This is a SHOUT out to our sweet daughter, BRANDEE and her husband, Kevin. We hope you have an awesome day. Hope you enjoy a romantic evening together. We'd tend for you if we were home. After 1o years, what a beautiful family. We LOVE you, we MISS you and we are so proud of you and your sweet family. XOXOXOXXO

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A little of This n That

First of all, I want to say that I can't believe it is the 13 of January 2009. We have had a very busy first couple of weeks starting this new year off. It has been very cold here in our little corner of the vineyard. Some days we have been lucky to get up into the 20's. But, icy rain, wind or snow will not deter Doug from driving on the roads. He comments daily how he loves his car, it's abilities and how he is so impressed with his new snow tires. It is just like a big white snow mobile.

We have been blessed with the opportunity to be in many members homes and share with them a message catered to them and their concerns. A dinner appointment with the Roberts family was a bit of home. Erik Roberts is a hunter. Of course Doug and he get along very well. He fixed a Venison Roast for dinner that was to die for. Different from how I fix it, as I like to slow cook it for several hours. But the way he fixed it, it was very tasty. They live up in the hills in a little town called Livingston Manor. They get about 2-3 more inches of snow than us. Doug really had fun driving in the snow storm as we left their home on Saturday night.

We have been down to the city, seen Doug's Dr, (monthly visit which allows us the opportunity to be in the city.) This go around we had to search out a pharmacy that had the specific brand of medication that Doug takes. It was a rough last month trying a different brand, that noticeably did not work the same. All of you back home need to know how blessed you are to be able to drive up to the neighborhood pharmacy and have no problems filling your prescriptions. Many of the places we called or tried to find in our car, didn't even carry that medication and could not order it. Finally, we found a place in Middletown, just 30 miles away from where we live that carried the brand and would be happy to keep stocked in it for us monthly. We are grateful for the tender mercy shown to us by the Lord in this area.

We were blessed to be able to attend the temple this last week end. We love the temple and so miss serving there weekly. Every time we walk thru the doors, it totally amazes me how reverent, quiet and heavenly it is. The busy, noisy outside world is totally left out side. It is wonderful to see and visit with many we have come to know and love. The Temple Presidency is some of my favorite people. President and Sister Frost, the Rogers, and Grubers. It being Saturday when we went, there were many there that I didn't know. It amazes me how many young couples serve in the Manhattan Temple. Many who are in their 20's. what a blessing it will be in their lives.

We did apartment inspections this past week. When landlords don't return phone calls or fix problems, Doug becomes a jack of all trades. For some reason this cycle many have had problems with their toilets. One place needed their gas stove fixed. We are happy to help and love visiting and being in the Elders apartments. This go around many needed pants mended and hemmed. Elder Spiers takes the prize for the most worn out suit I have ever seen. His has been worn so thin. Very difficult to mend. I have seen many very worn out shoes, but never a suit like Elder Spiers. They are truly wearing them selves out in service. Such a blessing to those they serve and example to me.

The snow storm on Saturday kept many from coming to church. We had 14 people there this Sunday. The speaker didn't show, so at the last minute, Doug asked me to take 15 minutes. Thank heavens for my file box of ideas and messages I had shipped out here. President Murphy is out in Utah for the next couple of months. He is in construction and there just isn't work here, so he is out there working with family for a bit. His wife called right before church and was very emotional, her van is in the shop and her husbands truck he left for her wouldn't start. They live 30 minutes away from the chapel. After church we rode down to their house to help get the truck working. While Doug worked on the truck, we had RS presidency meeting, organizing the Visit Teaching.

Yesterday we car pooled with the Elders and went to York Town for Mission conference. It is always a treat to gather with these saints and enjoy training from them, the AP's and from president Searle. We were also instructed by Elder (Dr.) McIff. The mission doctor and his wife. This is their mission. They cover about 5 different missions here in the north east. They actually go clear up to Nova Scotia. They are based out of Hartford Connecticut and are just starting their 18 month mission. It was nice to get to know them. We so enjoy rubbing shoulders with the other Senior couples. Each has special gifts and talents and all so willing serve and bless the lives of the missionaries they live near and those others they work with. It was interesting to know that probably 70 percent of missionary medical needs are due to stress, depression, anxiety.

It is hard to get excited about going outside when the weather is freezing, the sky is cloudy, the ground is wet, snowy and icy. But we do go forward with faith and pray that we are helping build the kingdom, helping to make a difference here in New York.

Monday, January 5, 2009

District Meeting

We went to the Chinese Buffet after district meeting for lunch. I was impressed to see Elder George prefer to eat his meal with chop sticks. It was the first time I have ever witnessed anyone eating ice cream with chop stick. It was a Kodak moment.
Elder Shakespear, Georges, Me and Doug, Elders Dalton, Wilkinson, Jesson & Stone.

We enjoy supporting and learning with the Elders at District meeting. Elder Dalton is our District Leader at this time, and he is doing a great job. We learned of the importance of District Meetings today. How it is very important that we prepare our selves when ever we go to a meeting to be taught. that has to do with going to church, watching conference on TV, attending firesides, etc. We must spiritually prepare ourselves to receive what the Lord would have us receive and then have the courage , faith and desire to act on the things we learned from the Spirit.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

h A p P Y N e W y E a R !!!!!

Hello to 2009. Wishing all of our loved ones an inspiring year filled with joy, peace, security, love, cherished moments, laughs, hugs, sweet surprises, family, abundance, spiritual testifying, everything virtuous, lovely, and of good report and praiseworthy, with a DESIRE to seek after all these things. XOXXOXOXOX B/D