Friday, February 27, 2009


After a couple of weeks of intense traveling all around the mission, apartment inspecting, apartment hunting, and finding then moving missionaries. We are now down in the city to spend 2 days with friends from home. Allens, and Davis'. We are so excited to see them and spend time catching up with them and things of home.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Serving Members

Luis, Alicia, Melissa (daughter) and grandson
The MOVING gang.

We are so sad to see Luis and Alicia Silva moving out of our Branch. Bro. Silva serves in the Branch Presidency as first counselor. We helped move him from Liberty, 10 miles north east of Monticell, to Newburgh which is 58 miles east of us. This terrible economy has forced him to down size and live closer to where he works, which is in Middletown, 40 miles away from Liberty where he was living. Now he will live only about 20 minutes away in Newburgh. Lou reminds me of Danny Devito. He has a great collection of models he has put together of things like, batman, starwars creatures, titanic, etc.

After the moving adventure and sharing Pizza with everyone, thanks Lou!, we double tasked and went to the ZL apartment in Newburgh to do our cycle inspection. The Elders were a little late because the Elders in their apartment, two different companionships, both had baptisms today. YaHoo! Then off to Middletown to inspect that apartment. I do have to say that after Elder Easthope arrived in that apartment, we haven't seen it so nice, clean and tidy. It's fun to see the different characteristics and habits each missionary brings with him. Great job guys!

RS Enrichment Activity

This is Lisa Champlain's little Ethan. Doug and I taught Lisa and Doug baptized her last Sept.
Here's Patricia teaching Karima (investigator) how to crochet, with Annie Pyrum in the foreground.
Lisa Champlain with her quilt we tied for her little guy.
I enjoyed an evening with "Sisters". I invited Patricia, a "media referral" (an individual who called the church's hot-line and ordered a DVD 'Joy to the world' that we delivered and have taught and visited several times, to come show the sisters how to make crocheted beanie hats that we can donate to her organization. Several of the sisters have never crocheted. I also helped Lisa put on a quilt that she wanted to make for her little boy. Our new friend, Patricia had a great time meeting new friends and sharing her talent with us so we in turn can learn and share what we learned. We had about 11 sisters there, one of which is an investigator. I think we did more visiting than crocheting, so we will plan another night to finish up.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Snow, Day - Snow play?

The Elders and Doug are up on the Church roof again, clearing off the snow from yesterday. I think all the boys just like to play in the snow. What do you think?

New Friends become family

Silvia and Erik Roberts, live just about a mile down the road from "Mama Burgos". We enjoyed a beautiful meal with them and to our great surprize, Mama, Roxann and her husband Luis shared the yummy meal with us. Silvia and Erik compliment each other so very well in the kitchen. We had yummy cordon blue, made from scatch by Erik and Silvia made this ever so luscious vanilla peach cake.
Mama, Silvia, Luis in the back, Erik holding Jasmine and Roxann

Another winter storm hit this afternoon. As we traveled to Livingston Manor it was a white out. We helped Roxann get the last 8 miles to Mama's house, as driving in the snow really makes her nervous. Doug had promised mama that he would help her switch out light fixtures, and wanted to shovel snow, but Emil, her husband was clearing it with his little plow and silvia drove her 4 wheeler over to help out. We enjoyed teaching Luis how to play Canasta and then played singles with 5 of us. Love you all , thanks for a great evening.


Typical size of a bathroom in New York City, very compact and tiny,
Typical size of a kitchen, actually this is bigger than some we have seen down in the city. They all seem to have just one sink and usually a much smaller stove. The frig is extra small as well. We were excited because it seems so clean and fresh.
Where ever we go, there is always elders and sisters so willing to help at each end of the moving. These elders found a ping pong table down in the mission home basement where they helped take the things in the van to. We so appreciate them giving up their "P-day" to help us out.
The Elders and sisters who helped us move and clean up the old sisters apartment. Thanks to all of you, we love you!!!
Sisters who we found the 1st apartment for in China Town.

With our new assignment over all the mission apartments, it takes us all over visiting apartments to inspect conditions and make recommendations to renew the lease or not. Monday was staff meeting in Scarsdale at the mission office. Then off to the city "Manhattan" to check out a few missionary apartments then off to meet with a realtor in Chinatown to see an apartment we need for a companionship of sisters. Monday after seeing several apartments, it looked bleak that they would rent to the church, they wanted a warm body Guarantor. We were to come back in the morning with the application filled out and talk to her boss. We spent the night at the mission home, the Searles are so gracious and we love them to death. As we met with the office manager the next morning, he seemed to think that it wouldn't be a problem. He knew about the church and our missionaries. We over heard him as he put in a good word to the "big" boss, that this would be a good deal for them. Needless to say, they nabbed up our $300.oo application fee and sent us on our way. They called us about 30 minutes later and said that we had the apartment. YaHoo! Definitely a Tender Mercie from the Lord. With this place at $1800.00/mo for a oversized studio, we save the mission a couple hundred dollars a month.

I had spent several days on the computer researching places to rent as we plan to find 2 apartments way down town in Manhattan. We then headed to the next place scheduled to check out. I found a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment on 6th street. Now that is an unusual thing, 2 BATHROOMS. This place was a great find and for only $2400.00/mo., saving the mission almost $600.00 a month. We will be giving up a one bedroom on 14th street at $2925.00/mo for this great find. We are excited to be successful and again give thanks to the Lord for this Tender Mercy.

Wednesday, we ended up cleaning out the apartment the sisters had been in. Needed to get them out because they were freezing in that apartment, the heat wouldn't work. It absolutely amazes me how much stuff can fit into the mission van. We transported it to the mission home and it gets stored in the basement until we can move in to the new apartment on the 2nd of March. We visited about 5 missionary apartments during this three day adventure, enjoyed evening meals with the Searles and Farnsworths, spent time at the mission office and Doug did really pretty good with his "road rage" as we spent many hours in the car in city traffic.

Celebrating with Friends - congrats Silvia!!!

"Mama" Burgos is always so thoughtful when we visit at her house up in Livingston Manor. A little town up in the mountains. She always puts me in her best slippers to keep my feet warm in her house. Love you Mama!
Mama threw a surprise party for her daughter Silvia. Silvia just graduated from the academy, She is a bonafide Sheriff Deputy. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
Silvia was totally surprised. She knew she had been invited to Mama's for dinner, but had no idea there would be so many family and friends over to celebrate with her. We feel very blessed to be asked to celebrate with them and had a wonderful night.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

h A P p Y v A l E n T i N e S d A y !!!

This is a SHOUT - OUT to all of our loved ones out there. We love you and hope you have an awesome Valentines Day filled with love, fun, smiles, hug n kisses and cherished moments. We send you our heart filled with LOVE.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Visiting with our Dear Friend, Elizabeth Roman

We met Elizabeth when we were in the Bronx. She had called the number she saw on the TV and was requesting a bible, and so excited to think that missionaries would deliver it to her. We found her living in a nursing home, in such awefull circumstances. We started teaching her. We helped her get to church several times. She was working with Bishop Brignoni as she had to take care of some old sins. Just as we were transfered to Monticello, she ended up going into the hospital. We turned her over to our replacements, the Formans. After being in the hospital a couple times she was moved to another nursing home, which was the best thing that could have happened to her. A much better place for her. This move, moved her into the Kingsbridge ward. We received a call from Elder Huckstep, who was just transfered out of our Zone up here in Monticello, to her area. They looked her up and she told her new elders about us. Sooooooo, we have kept in touch with her thru them. Elizabeth is doing great. We had the wonderful opportunity to go and see her yesterday. She was so excited to see us, as were we to see her. We helped her purchase this dress she is holding up to her, so she can wear it to church. She was like a kid at Christmas time. A tender mercy to this story is that she has met a nurse that works night shifts at the nursing home who is a member and goes to her ward. They have late night scripture study sessions and chats. She has saved transport money so she can take the 'Assist-a-ride' van to church for the past two weeks. We love you Elizabeth and will be to your baptism that will be soon. We are so proud of you. A big THANKS to Elder Huckstep & Elder Schiller, may the Lord bless you for sharing your time and testimony, and teaching Elizabeth. They took their Bishop, Bishop Kelly, to visit Elizabeth last Sunday. This was a great thing, as she now will be working with him so she can be baptized. We know what the Elders feel like when they work with someone, teaching them and then get transfered before the person gets baptized. The important thing to remember is that the spirit is the one that converts the investigators, not the missionary. So it doesn't matter who does the teaching as long as they have the spirit with them.

FHE with Rivera's

We have cancelled group FHE and have instead started going to members homes with all the trimmings of FHE. Lesson, Activity, Treat. It has really been a fun experience. We are trying to teach new members the How, What, Why and When of FHE. Thanks for the idea sister Morrison. Had to post this picture of "molly", Lisa and Carlos's new addition. Isn't the dog coat with hoodie so cute.

A baptism in Monticello

Elder Shakespear, Luis Maldanado, Jessica Lozada, Elder Georges.

Jessica asked brother Maldanado to baptize her. She is a mother of two little ones, Ezekiel and Yenessa, and just recently married. The elders are teaching her husband the lessons as well. He is in prison for another two years, so he will have to wait until then to be baptized. Luis and his wife Evelyn and son Christian have been a great example of sharing the gospel and be-friending a neighbor as well as sister Christal McCune, who has invited Jessica to stay with her temporarily while she is waiting for her appartment to be remodeled. Becoming a member has brought about sacrifices of living conditions. She moved out of her mother-in-laws home who is very opposed to her becoming a member. She is very excited to be a member.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Senior Couples Adventure

Sister Morrison, Sister & Elder Evans, Elder Morrison (mission office people)
Us, we are just so happy to be here.
President & Sister Searle, Elder & Sister Farnsworth(they are training in the office to take the Morrisons place in March.)
We enjoyed the morning at the Museum of Natural History on 81st street in Manhattan and then off to "Dallas Bar B-Que" for a yummy lunch. We love rubbing shoulders with all these amazing friends. We were sad that Elder & Sister Forman(very busy at the Bishop's storehouse), the Gilstraps,(both under the weather), and the Kigins(had a previous training appointment) were unable to enjoy the day with us. Love you all!!!!
We prepared ourselves for this adventure by watching the movie: "The night at the Museum". It was fun to see all the cast that were part of the movie. It is a beautiful museum, definitely a great place for all you tourist that come to New York.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

NewBurgh Zone Temple Excursion

The group that met up at the New Burgh chapel to climb in theVan and head down to the city.
We ended up driving right down in the city and parked in an underground parking near the temple. Oversized load, barely passed the test of height.
The whole gang just outside the temple. Great Day!!!!

We love the Temple. We are so grateful for any opportunity to to go to the Lord's house. Our Zone met at the chapel at New Burgh and loaded into three vehicles to go down to the city. The ZL borrowed the mission van, which Doug drove, I drove our car and the Farnsworths took their vehicle. We had 22 total in attendance. We started with a Zone fast and were able to split up and do some sealings and inititory before the 12:30 session. Many of the Elders had not witnessed or participated in either. We have a goal for every companionship to baptize in Feb. We could use your faith and prayers. It was a great day. These elders are awesome. We drove down the Palisades Parkway, which is down the east side of New Jersey along the Hudson River, so the elders were excited to be able to write home that they had been in New Jersey and crossed the George Washington Bridge. It is the Elder's p-day. They sacrificed doing laundry, cleaning, emailing home etc, to be able to attend the temple. This sacrifice definitely was an enriching blessing.

Service to our Elbows

Yeay!!!! We get to play in the snow....come join us!
Sister Thompson is breaking up the ice and snow so the snow blower can get the job done, then we will follow and pick and scrape the ice.
Elder Georges digging out Sister Thompson's mail box. Only missionaries know how important it is to make it easy for the mailman.
We love those big boy toys that make the job much easier and faster.
Doug - "you know how good it feels to be driving a truck? - HEAVENLY!!!"
Here we are at Burgos's home. Bro Burgos taking care of the snow so we can get to work on the think layer of ice underneath it all. ( I'll bet all the "big boys" were wishing they could play on the man toy.)
Having to pull out the heavy equipment for this job.
Check out the thickness of the ice we had to break up and shovel off.
Job is done dude!!!! Now that was a long drive way.

We love serving others, especially in the snow. We shoveled and picked and scraped ice at both Loretta Thompsons and Mama Burgos's homes. We first started at Loretta's. The interesting thing about the snow build-up on her driveway is that it had a bottom ice layer, about an inch, and then two or three inches of snow, then it had another half inch layer of ice, then about 6 inches of snow followed by another layer of ice. We started near the road and had to shovel and pick away the snow that piles up from the snow plow. That was really difficult to get thru. Doug was missing his truck. said: "If I had my truck here I would go get the snow blower at the church and haul it over here and have this done in 2 seconds." Elder Shakespear piped up and responded with "I'll bet Home Depot has trucks that you can rent like Lowes does." That got us thinking. The only member in our little branch that has a truck is the Murphy's and they live 25 minutes away. Home Depot is just 5 miles away. Elder Shakespear got on the phone, called Home Depot for rental prices and Doug was gone in a flash. This made all of our lives much easier all though we still had to break up the snow and ice so the snow blower could go thru it better. Still the bottom layer had to be broken up and scraped and shovel. After a couple hours at sister Thompson's we took the truck back to Home Depot, grabbed a bite to eat and ate as we drove the 25 minutes to Mama Burgos's home in Livingston Manor, a little town up in the "mountains". (They don't know what mountains are.)

At the Burgos home we found most of the snow shovel to the side but a very think layer of ice. Bro. Burgos has a little tractor unit with a plow blade. So the snow is gone but it won't touch the ice. Because his driveway slants down to the road, the ice in the ditch was about 10 inches thick. Doug had to dig in the trunk of our car for the axe he purchased when we were in the middle of our wood service project. Of course the pictures don't really do the job justice. But the sore backs and arms from picking, scraping and shoveling, were very evident. We have all walked around with a little less spring in our step for a couple of days.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII 2009

We along with the Elders were invited to Sylvia and Erik's home for the evening. Plans had to be postponed as Sylvia called and asked if Doug could come give her mother, "mama burgos" a blessing. They had taken her to the Urgent care about 10 miles down the road from us. The pain in her side was still with her. She had thought that it was just a strained muscles as she had been shoveling ice and snow on Thrusday. Had been sore since then. She was determined to go to the temple. After church today she was taken to Urgent care. We drove down and Doug gave her a blessing after which she was taken by ambulance to Middletown to the hospital for more tests. Just received a call that they had found two blood clots in her lungs. They will keep her for a couple of days. They are all dog people and have beautiful dogs. Mama and Emel had their dog in their car at the urgent care and Doug offered to take her home with us while they went to the hospital in Middletown.

So.....We invited the Elders over to eat, of course it was during the Super Bowl. Elder Georges made a yummy chocolate scratch cake, a recipe his mom makes. It was rich and yummy and enjoyed while checking out the score. Doug of course goes for the underdog - Arizona. The most exciting ending ever. Thought the Cardinals had it. Awesome catch in the end zone for the Steelers to win the game. Doug had to call Dusty to share the moment.


Our traveling buddies: Roxanne in front, then Mama Burgos, Erik and Syliva
The Beautiful Boston Temple
One of the 48 cannons that were on the USS Constitution.
"One if by land, two if by sea". The Old North Church where Paul Revere held up the lanterns to warn the patriots, "The British are coming".
The entrance of the Temple

Faneuil Hall. It is still used for town meetings. The inside reminded me of the tabernacle, probably because of the balcony on the 2nd floor. I loved it.
"Cheers" where the TV show was filmed.
Gotta check out the "Harley" store.

We were blessed with the opportunity to attend the Boston Temple with 4 members of our little branch here in Monticello. Knowing we would probably never have this opportunity to see Boston, we left early Thursday evening. We plugged the hotel address in our GPS and away we went. To our surprise, we toured thru Connecticut all along the coast, skipped thru Rhode Island and then into Massachusettes. The weather was beautiful for the drive. Too bad it gets dark so early, as I would have loved to see the countryside during the day light. This was suppose to be a surprise birthday trip for Doug, but he learned of it when trying to get permission to go out of our area.

Friday we went on line to find a Harley Davidson shop. Found one right in the center of the old part of Boston. Right in the middle of all the History sites in Quincey Market. Best decision was to park the car in parking garage and walk. I really enjoyed Faneuil Hall and the USS Constitution. We took a Trolley City Tour. Saw all the sights, too cold to get off of the trolley for every stop. We had a great tour guide and learned all about much of the History. At dark we decided to drive by the temple and see the lights. We took a stole around the grounds and took a few pictures. Excited for tomorrow when we will go inside.

The Burgos family drove thru a terrible snow storm for a couple of hours Friday night. They stayed until Sylia and Erik got off work, then picked up "mama Burgos" and Roxann who lives in Pine Bush. We are about 250 miles away from Boston. The snow storm delayed them a couple of hours and they arrived at the hotel around 1:30 am.

We let them sleep till about 9:00 am. We learned of a few complications they were experiencing. Mama Burgos had been having sharp pain on her left side in her ribs. Silvia had broken out with a terrible rash all over her body. But they were very determined to go to the temple. Nothing was going to stop them. So at their request, Doug and Erik gave them priesthood blessings to help them through out the day. We enjoyed breakfast at IHOP with them and then off to the temple for a session, sealings and dinner. The temple has many wonderful memories for them as it is where they all received their endowments and where Sylvia and Erik were sealed. We were blessed with witnessing a sister being sealed to her parents and younger brother, all were deceased except for the sister. She was very excited, grateful and emotional. The sealer took some time to tell us a bit about the temple and when he was called as a sealer by president Hunter. A couple and their son who just received his endowment asked to join us. Their last name is Perks, we learned that Brother Perks served a mission with a good friend of ours, Kevin Ence. Their son has his mission call and will be going to Italy. After the session and waiting in the lobby, we ran into the Perks again. It was so fun hearing about his mission experiences with Kevin. How wonderful the bonds of love and friendship that still exist between mission companions after about 30 years.

We had a wonderful time. How we love the temple. Boston is a fun place to visit. Thanks to Mama Burgos, Roxanne Burgos Estrada, Sylvia and Erik Roberts for inviting us to go along and celebrate Dougs belated birthday. XOXOXOX