Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jeans day again! Yahoo!

"Hey guys, you help mom and dad out with a new floor in their covered porch and we'll feed ya a back yard Bar-B-Que."
"All righty then - Hey will hand me the hammer. I am going to take out the base boards and then after the elders are done vacuuming we are going to pull up the carpet. It didn't take long to take the portable gas fireplace, the couch, the little frig and the built in bar along with all of Mama's nic-nacs out of here. We'll have the floor in this little enclosed porch raised in no time. Just give me a couple of minutes and it will be done."
'Elder George is going to help me measure and cut the wood to the right length, then
"Erik and Elder Shakespear - you nail 'em in place."
"Then comes the 'yucky' job of laying in the insulation. After that we will lay the sheeting down and hammer it in place. Now we can replace the carpet, the base boards and fellas, bring all the stuff back in."
"Job's done boys, Good job!! Now we can enjoy the yummy bar-b-que from Mama, Emil and Sylvia." Another job well done!

Deloris McCune B-day/Baptism

Today, Saturday is Deloris McCune's 8th birthday. She also was baptized today. With Doug being in the Branch Presidency, he interviewed Deloris for her baptism. She was well prepared from her mom teaching her well. When Doug asked her who she would like to baptized her, her response was, the "Candy Man." Doug has been known as the "Candy Man" since we have been here in Monticello. He always carries candy in his pockets and the kids know where to go if they want some.
Christal McCune, the Mom, was so excited to have all her family here for Deloris's b-day/baptism. Her daughter Rena and her husband and two children, just arrived from Alabama during the week, and John her son was able to have a day visit from the detention home he is in somewhere in Newburgh, as well as her step son Mike was here from Liberty. Her little grandbabies sure make us homesick for ours. (Christal is the one we are teaching the temple prep class to.) Congratulations DELORIS!!!!

Monticello R.S. Birthday Celebration

Learning from the "PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS" - Friday for our RS B-day Party.
We enjoyed good food,a bake potato bar and strawberry shortcake, good friends, RS Sisters, and a good time feasting upon the message of being prepared spiritually for the Lord's second coming. Can we be counted among the wise or the foolish virgins in this parable? Drop by drop we are adding to the precious oil to keep our light burning brightly. Is your spiritual reserve full? We all can take inventory of our progress and improve. I know I can. I think it was a good time for all!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Success-found two new apartments

We spent a day in north Manhattan, (Inwood) and a day in Norwalk Connecticut looking for missionary apartments. Yahoo! We scored, and will be saving the mission about $600.00 a month and the apartments are much nicer. We have been assessing the existing apartments and have the responsibility to decide whether to keep them or replace them. We spent today down in downtown Manhattan on 14th street cleaning an apartment we just vacated so we can collect the security deposit. We had two elders show up and we put them to work washing walls. The place looked pretty darn good, good enough to move right back in. This was the most expensive apartment in the mission and very hard to work with. We found an apartment to replace it that saves the mission $500.00 a month. The next step comes next week when we will be moving missionaries around. We zipped back home as Doug had to meet several brothers in the Elder's quorum to do a "home teaching blitz".

I just thought I better mention the the fun time we had yesterday for our P-day after we visited Dalvin, a young man who is in jail struggling terribly with depression. We called the Elders and got permission from the officers at the jail to have them help Doug give Dalvin a blessing. Afterwards, Doug called around to find a golf course that would be open. It was about 58 degrees yesterday and we played 9 holes at a beautiful course down by Middletown. The man who runs it, lives there too. He built it all by himself. Had some extra land and just decided to turn it into a golf course. We'll have to golf there again on a warmer day. I much prefer the 70's and up.

Fun Busy Weekend

"Mama" Silvia Burgos
Silvia Burgos Roberts
Doug showing the girls the chicken coop that he helped Erik & Luis build while the girls shopped at the Flea Market. (Silvia's and Roxann's husbands)
We had a baptism last Sunday. Elder Shakespear and Georges taught and baptized Mike Riley. He comes to church regularly, that is really exciting. He loves everything that he is learning, and is a very nice guy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just wanted to post this picture of Malaika Vereen on her baptism day. I wrote about her back in December. Darcy Hansen called and told us about her friend Vicky who had a friend in New York who was golden, and the ball started rolling. We met and introduced her to the sister missionaries serving in Manhattan where Malaika lives. They taught her the gospel. Malaika chose to fly to Utah to be baptized by an older Gentleman she knew from her childhood, when she used to vacation there in St. George at the "FAT Farm" National institute of Fitness in Ivins.
This picture was sent to President Searle and he gave one to us as he knew we had been involved with Malaika. Malaika is the one in the front holding her son, Ajan in the center of the picture. Even though we really didn't have much to do with teaching her, the whole event is exciting to us and we are grateful to have been the ones Darci called to help out. We have made several friends in the process and are so grateful. We are so excited for Malaika and Ajan to have the gospel in their lives, and all because she recognized the joy and happiness her friend Vicky exemplified.

mOrE bUsy-nEsS

While in Sam's Club picking up supplies, we almost ran over these potential shoppers just waddling in the parking lot. By the way......HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!!

Monday is staff meeting. So we try to arrange our schedule down in the city around being there for that meeting. We stay at the Mission Home on Mondays. We always enjoy rubbing shoulders with the amazing couples we have the opportunity to know and serve with. The AP's are awesome, we are so impressed with all of them we have served under. We met with them, Elder Bown & Elder Darger along with Pres. Searle after staff meeting to discuss apartments. Which ones we need to keep, get rid of, take care of, find etc. We spent our time this week in the Bronx and Harlem in north Manhattan. While in "Da Bronx", we witnessed a "cat fight". Two girls only about 12 years old, right in the middle of an intersection. Didn't take the cops too long to respond. It was pretty intense there for a few minutes.

Tender mercy: We were just going to buzz the Elders who live on 126th St in Harlem, when a car pulled over and a young man jumped out and came over to us and said he just wanted to say hi and shake our hand. He is a member, I reached over to shake his hand and was telling him thanks for taking the time to say hello, saw our name tags, when he told us his name and the name of the gentleman he was in the car with, Doug Peterson, it rang a bell. We had worked with him about a year ago when we were finding apartments down in Manhattan. We were in need of a realtor for Harlem/Inwood area and the Bronx. That afternoon we looked at a 4 bedroom place in the Bronx. It is in the basement of a huge building, not sure if it will work. It can house 8 elders, but it only had one bathroom. Still looking......

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fun P-day with wonderful friends.

Sister & Elder Morrison from Northern Utah, headed home Tuesday, we love you and will miss you.
We enjoyed the Yummy luncheon with the Evans, Morrison, Clawsons
Searles, Norris's, Gilstraps, Farnsworths, and Kigins.
Erik, Silvia, Mama and us at "Rockland House" for dinner.

We were up early and headed down to Scarsdale for the Senior Couples luncheon at the Mission Home. We are saying goodbye to dear friends the Morrisons. They will be tremendously missed, but we wish the very best for them as they head home to Northern Utah on Tuesday. We love you and will make the trip to Lewiston for a visit when we get home.

After the luncheon, we hurried back the 90 miles to Monticello to change and up then to Livingston Manor to spend the afternoon with Branch members and dear friends, Erik & Silvia Roberts & Mama Burgos. Off just across the Delaware River to PA to Honesdale to a Harley Davidson Store, then to dinner. Erik & Silvia both are motorcycle lovers, HD lovers. Doug was in heaven. It was an awesome store. Doug found him a heated vest and gloves, a must after chatting with Rex from home and comparing prices. A real steal. (I really don't think anything with "Harley Davidson" on it is a real steal.) We had a wonderful afternoon and then to Rockland, near Livingston Manor for dinner at the very place Erik and Silvia were married. "Rockland House". We are so blessed to be surrounded with wonderful friends who are like family.

Sacrament meeting was wonderful. we had a record 47 people there. Erik talked about the importance of surrounding yourself with good friends, for he said: "friends are family you get to choose." And I believe that. How blessed we are to have family here in New York as we are far away from our family in Utah.

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Busy-ness

Can you dicifer what this sign is trying to communicate. Think about it for a minute.
A typical fish shop in China Town. No Snow crab here!
Typical street size in china town. What a fun place to drive a moving van in.

We enjoyed a somewhat quiet weekend back in Monticello. We played b-ball with the Elders, a member and non-member. Went to visit Mama Burgos and her family in Livingston Manor. Enjoyed a little Canasta and a lovely meal. Thanks, Mama, we love you all.

Monday morning back down to the city. Didn't make it to staff meeting so we did conference call as we were driving the hour and a half to Scarsdale. Our schedule was all planned out and filled full. We spent the rest of the day in CT visiting the rest of the missionary apartments there and then a couple of them in the Scarsdale area. One apartment needed a plumber to fix a leaky toilet and shower valve. A few phone calls and the job is done. The AP's apartment, water leak from pipes in the wall or in the floor. When we got there we found the floor all pulled up and many of the walls stripped bare of sheet rock. Will have to find another apartment to replace that one. Luckily they are close to the mission home and will stay there until we find them another place. That evening, spent with President Searle going over the issues we found and making decisions on what to do.

Tuesday we were down in the Bronx, typical Bronx apartments, except for the Sherman Ave Pad. Doug had a "firm" phone call with the landlord, and a plumber showed to fix the drain problems in Kitchen and Bathroom. In another apartment we found a light fixture in the shower with the light globe gone, just the light bulb there. Wasn't even a water tight light fixture. Owner says, "60 years ago when it was installed, the electrician never said there was a code problem." 60 years ago, hum.
We'll be back next week to fix the hole in the wall from a rowdy rumble.

Late in the afternoon we headed down to Manhattan for a short Doctor appointment to pick up prescription then thought we would go to the Temple. Doug dropped me off so I could go to the 2nd floor distribution center to purchase garments for a Branch member while he found a parking spot. We enjoyed a quick bite in the European cafe next door to the temple and then enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Temple. After time in the Temple, we walked the 3 blocks to where Doug parked the car by Central Park to find a ticket folded and tucked in the driver's side rear view mirror. Number 15 had Doug over the top. Yes it was by a fire hydrant, the same distance away that everyone else always parks. Doug stepped it off and he thought he was far enough away. Not so, $115.oo, sent Doug over the edge and he tore it up firmly commenting how he was not going to pay another darn (*&+$@#*) ticket.

Because now it is after 8:00 pm and we are in the city and need to be back in the city in the morning, we spent the night at the Stuyvesant Town apartment on 14th street. This is the apartment we moved the elders out of last week. The mission has the apartment until the end of the month. We took our blow up mattress and spent the night there.

Wednesday, we installed a blind and light fixture in the apartment on 6th street, delivered a study table and measured windows for the Sisters China Town apartment we just found, and had to hook up with Sister Dante to deliver her Debit card to her. They subwayed all the way down to China town to do their grocery shopping. Imagine toting all your groceries thru China town and then on the subway to head back up town to your apartment. We strolled thru China Town trying to find a place to buy light bulbs and decided to have a quick bite to eat in Little Italy. Then up to the Bronx to visit Elizabeth Roman. Her health has turned for the worse, we had to wear a mask when visiting with her. Then back to the Mission office to take care of some paper work there and then back to Monticello.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Exercise a mUsT!!!

Had to throw in this picture of a doe we saw out our living room window.
I don't know, does this look the before or after picture?

We enjoyed a little exercise with the Elders, a member, Luis Maldanado, and a young man, Anthony, who played b-ball with us last fall when we went around picking up those who wanted to play. Anthony was a foster son of a very in-active member who lives in Liberty. A little town 10 miles west of us. He has since moved to Monticello in another foster home. He just showed up. It was awesome to know that he remembered us and thought he would come see if we were playing and want to play. Anthony is about 16 years old, a non-member, and a dang good b-ball player. We invited him to come back and play next saturday and that he was alway welcome at church. He came a couple of times with his other foster mom.

After ball we went down to Middletown to help our ZL replace a head lamp in their car. The did a blitz with the Middletown Elders while we changed the light. Had to go to an auto parts place to have them show Doug how to get the bulb out. He was afraid of braking the clasp holding it in. Got it done dude.

Beautiful day, 64 degrees. What a nice change of events. Probably won't last very long.

Tender Mercy

With the new assignment, I guess you could call it housing specialists, we have been given here in our mission, we have received many tender mercies. Just being able to find a parking spot near our destination that doesn't cost a fortune is a tender mercy. Being able to get to where we have never been to before, and do it on time after fighting the traffic is a tender mercy. Another has been to get released from lease agreements so that we can find better apartments for our missionaries. That one is a big tender mercy. We are so blessed to have this opportunity to see the Lords hand in our lives. We are so blessed with the many tender mercies our children are benefiting from. We know that the Lord is mindful of our prayers and concerns. He wants us to grow and exercise our faith and then the tender mercies, the miracles happen. We are sooooooooooooooooo grateful, and so appreciate the many prayers, love and acts of kindness shown to us and our family.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Busy busy moving days!

I wasn't fast enough to get a pic of the snow on the huge drive-way that Doug and Pres. shoveled.
Staff Meeting. Front: S/Farnsworth, S/Searle, Pres. Searle, S/Evans, S/Morrison, Back Row: Doug, Me, E/Farnsworth, E/ Morrison, E/Evans, E/Bown, E/Improta
Our Temple Apartment moving crew, Out we go to.......
China Town moving crew
Moving Crew into the apartment way down town on 6th street
Moving crw out of Stuyvesant Town aparmtments

We had a very busy crazy couple of days after the fun week-end with friends. Monday morning we woke to about 8 inches of snow at the mission home. Had to shovel before we could head out to the Budget truck rental place to pick up a moving truck to move some missionaries into a new apartment. Because of the snow, the only truck they would give us was a 24' truck, way to long for the city traffic. But we will endure. We enjoyed staff meeting at the mission office then back to the mission home to haul a bit of needed furniture down the hill beside the home to the parking lot of the church that is next to the mission home. Pretty slick going down the snowy hillside. Then off to the City, to the apartment next to the Temple.

Big Problem, the truck doesn't have GPS and there are several parkways that are for passanger cars only. We have truly depended much to much on our Gps. It is a life saver and "I" love it. It took us about a half hour extra to find our way down to the Bronx, once we found a freeway that would allow trucks on it.

We had to make elevator reservations to move the sisters out of the 33rd floor apartment. Crazy! It is a huge blessing to be able to call on the Elders to help move at what ever location we happen to be at. We had 6 helping at the temple apartment, then down in China town we had another six to help unload the truck to the studio apartment we found for the sister to move into. The traffic was crazy as always, and very stressful with the 24' truck on those narrow streets especially down in China town. Now, rubbing bumpers is leagal in the city. We didn't rub bumpers, but we did have another big truck rub his side mirrors down the side of our truck. Too many one way streets drives a crazy man even crazier.

After another night at the mission home, thanks for your love and hospitality, Pres. and Sister Searle, we woke up to do the same thing all over again. This time, we moved 4 elders into another apartment. But first we drove to the Budget truck rental place and traded trucks for a smaller one. They had cleared the snow and were able to get to their other trucks, so we ended up with a 16 foot truck this go around. Off to the city once again. It took us an hour and 10 minutes to drive from 125th street to 6th street. I imagine because of the snow the day before, many of the delivery trucks on the street chose to deliver today. Literally bumper to bumper traffic.

Once we arrived at our destination, 6th street apartment, we met with the Landlord, signed the lease and got the keys along with a huge surprise. The previous tennant was not home and he had not moved yet. He was suppose to be out 3 days previously. The Landlord called him to see what the deal was. He had gone to "Rome" on an emergency trip, would be there at 4:00 to empty his stuff out of the apartment. Well, at 4:00 pm we returned with a Budget Truck full of missionary furniture to move in and no tennant there. Because we had paid for the place for the WHOLE month, we moved his stuff into one bedroom and moved in the Elders stuff into the other bedroom. What a joke!!!! Eventually , we moved his bed out into the hall and the Elders started putting his stuff in garbage bags and out in the hallway too. Finally, he showed up after 7:00 pm and took his stuff. That which was left, got thrown out. Needless to say, the Elders did deep cleaning in order just to go to bed. Oh my goodness, Only in NEW YORK.

We never made it to the Budget truck place in time to turn the truck back in so we spent another night at the Mission Home in order toreturn it in the morning. Today the 6 new missionaries arrived and spent the night at the Mission Home as well. So as not to bother their instruction meeting, we played a fun game of Canasta in the basement with the Farnsworths, who are also staying at the mission home to be closer to the office which is just a mile away. They are taking the Morrisons place in the office and are being trained. They live about 1 hour away, so the Searles have invited them to stay over when they are in the office training.

It was really fun to be apart of and see the behind the scenes of Mission Transfers. Sister Searle is so organized and amazing, the whole process runs like a fine oiled machine. Thanks for putting up with us. Love ya

Fun time with Friends in the Big Apple

Rockafeller center
Bubba Gump Shrimp'n company. Yummy yummy!
Here we are out side the temple, enjoyed Sacrament meeting on the 3rd floor chapel.
Just hanging out and resting our feet, it's been a hard day shopping.
Subway is the "only" way to go, the less stressful way.
Gotta keep our ears warm!
Our countries symbol of Liberty and freedom.
Ellis Island
Visiting the Statue of Liberty

Suzanne showing us her ever so huge slice of lunch.
Cross Bronx Pizza stop, yummy!!!

Our good friends from home visited the "Big Apple" for a couple of days. We spent a couple of days rekindling our friendships. They are like family, it was like there had been no time or distance between us. We tagged along with the Tour Group, the drill team from Bingham High and many of their parents, that Rex had booked a trip for. It was so fun to be with Paul and Suzanne and Rex and Danine. Friday, we subwayed up to the Bronx, to our old stomping grounds at the Bishop's store house and then to lunch at "Cross Bronx Pizza". A must when visiting "Da Bronx". That night we all went to the broad way play "Wicked", and dinner at a quaint Italian place on Restaurant Row. It was awesome. Saturday we subwayed down with the group to the "Statue of Liberty" and Ellis Island. A very cold cold day. Froze our totsies off. Enjoyed a fun lunch at "Max Brenner's Chocolate factory", then the guys went to check out the "Intrepid" Ship Museum on the Hudson, and the girls went "SHOPing". Dinner at "Bubba Gump Shrimp" was excellent. Sunday we enjoyed church at the 65th street chapel, there in the Temple building. Fast & Testimony meeting. We sat and watched the Ice Skaters at the Rockafeller Center while the rest of the group toured the back stage at the Center and went to the "Top of the Rock" observation deck. Time goes by so fast at times like these. We said our goodbyes and spent the night up at the Mission Home.