Sunday, July 26, 2009

24th of July celebration up in Monticello

Farnsworths rode up to Monticello with us. We drove up to the actual site of the woodstock concert that took place in 1969. Notice down the slope below them. The gravel area is where the original stage was. Can you imagine being on the grass with half a million other people in the rain?
Monticello Branch Bar-B-Que at the church outside on the lawn.
Yummy Yummy to my tummy
The food was great, the fun was great, the friends are great
Volley ball on the lawn. We had a lovely time with all our old friends.

"project - all done"

Our new friends, Mervart & Emad. They are both from Egypt. They met in college in Alexandria, were married, had twin boys and moved here about 16 years ago when their boys were about 2 years old. They have their own business, Emad delivers produce to 24 places every week. Won't deliver in Manhattan, "too crazy and you get too many tickets." Each day we were there working on the bathroom, Mervart cooked a delicious meal and insisted we come eat with them, even if it was at 9:00 pm, they would wait until we were done for the day. Very gracious and hospitable couple. We are so blessed to have met so many wonder people who are now our friends.

Doug finished up the project, just had to install the shower handles. It actually looks pretty darn good. Good job honey!!!!

Last Adventure with Evans

We enjoyed a very relaxing evening with the Evans & Farnsworths as we cruised around Manhattan at sunset. We had a great tour guide and he shared many interesting things about the Island. "Manhattan" was so named by a tribe of Indians. It means a place of many Hills. It is a beautiful sight lit up at night. However, they should have started the cruise about an hour later and we would have enjoyed the lights a little more.
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"...a song of the heart is a prayer unto me..."

I love Sundays!!!! We went to the Inwood Young Single Adult ward last Sunday after our family Ward. It was a wonderful experience. We were handed a program and it said: " speakers by invitation". That peaked our curiosity. It ended up being a musical Sacrament Testimony meeting. The audience was invited to come up and suggest a favorite hymn, the one verse they wanted the audience to sing and why it was so special to them. As we started singing you could hear a faint off key voice. Every once in a while it would get louder and cause a smile and curious look on our faces to see where it was coming from. Now remember, this is a YSA ward. Many young aspiring Artist, very musically talented, live in this area because it is cheaper to live here and commute down town, than to actually live down town. About 10 women to every 1 man. It was definitely a mans voice we were hearing. By the end of the meeting the off key voice had become very loud and confident. The final hymn was from the choir. The choir director was very firm in the desire to let anyone sing in the choir that had a desire to do so. They went up to the front to close the meeting. About 15 women and 5 men went up to the front. Along with them was "Ceazar", a 30 year old handi-capped hispanic man. They sang " If I could Hie to Kolob. I love that song. At first I was a little confused why they let Ceazar sing with them. Many would say that he ruined the whole song. But then I realized he was up there praising the Lord with his song, with all his might, and all of a sudden I was very humbled and grateful to know that the Lord is not a respector of persons. He loves all of us equally, and a song of praise is like a prayer unto him. And the performance became a very spiritual moment for me and Doug. You could hear Ceazar's voice over all the other choir members. It was like they were his back up singers. It was awesome to see how the members of that ward had loved Ceazar into that ward family. They looked beyond his handi-cap and choose to love him and help him. It will be a very cherished memory of my mission experience. I will always think of Ceazar when ever I sing or hear that song.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fairwell to Elder & Sister Evans

We are going to miss the two of you. We loved being invited on their adventures. We hope to come visit you in norther Utah after we get home. I am helping out with Sister Evans responsibilities with Referrals and the Mail in the office and Doug is helping out with Elder Evens job over all the supplies and the cars.
Front row: Sister G, Me, Becky Forman, Marilyn Clawson, Sherri & Lanny Norris, Janet & Dennis Evans. Back row: Doug, Alan Forman, Truman Clawson, Roma & Harold Farnsworth, Pres. Richard & Jill Smith.
We enjoyed a fun Bar-B-Que, potluck at the mission home as we said good bye to the Evans. (no one bothered to call us and tell us about the casual dress.)

The "project"

Because I wasn't there to see the start of the project I don't have pictures of the before. This is what the walls looked like after the wall paper had been striped off.
We had some help from the AP's sanding the walls so that they could spackle over the bad places.
The exterior door had to be replaced. Thank heavens for Elder Bishoff's help during most of the project. He was a blessing.
Once the spackling had been applied I spent a hole day sanding to get ready to paint.
Elder Bishoff has been a great apprentice as he was a quick learner and could cut the tile for Doug.
The last few pieces of tile are cemented in place. Good job honey. The shower looks great. Next, tomorrow he will grout the joints and Elder Bishoff will paint the walls. I have to spend the day in the office.

Thought I would share a little light on the bathroom project we have been busy with. A little tile replacement became a bathroom over-haul. Doug thought he was just replacing a few tiles in a shower where they had caved in. Upon inspection with the owner, who lives upstairs, they found a bad decaying moldy situation. No sheetrock to attach the tile to. The whole shower was extracted except for the drain pan. Further inspection when trying to repair the wall paper tear, revealed a terrible mold situation behind the paper. Paper had to be pulled off, which is no small chore.

There is always light at the end of a dark tunnel. The light in this project has been the friendship we have made with the landlord Emad and his wife. They are a darling couple our age from Egypt. They have twins sons who are heading off to college this fall.

Lessons learned: Don't sign a contract when it says that you will repair ANY problem with the apartment. No! it wasn't us that signed the lease, but we definitely will read twice the contracts we sign in the future.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wearing them selves out

Just had to get a picture of the evidence. Our missionaries are not just wearing their shoes out in the service but also their pants. I have been able to help alot with stitching up little or big messes the elders get into. I don't think anyone will ever be able to top Elder Speirs with his pants and suit jacket that he wore so thin that you could see thru the fabric. Couldn't help him with that problem. He just had to throw them away.


Just thought I would give an up-date of what we have been up to. Not any fun pictures. Which is too bad because Doug has been in quite a mess. I have received a couple new assignment in the mission office. Therefore, I haven't been with Doug while he has been the "fix it" guy. I have been learning all about media and member referrals that get routed to us from Provo MYC. When ever anyone sees an add for the church they call the number on the screen and it goes right to the MTC in Provo, where the missionaries there all have turns answering the phones and then relay the message of item requested to each mission. We get the message in the office and then inturn have to text it to our missionaries in our mission. It sounds a little confussing, but very easy to do. Also, there are a few things that Pres. Smith and his wife are implementing for the mission. I have been shopping for supplies for that. We also have to find 3 new apartments before we head home, to replace yucky ones that the lease is expiring this month. We are also still over all the apartments. It just so happens that there was a shower that was caving in because of water damage and the lease that the mission signed on this particular aparment many years ago, says that we will fix any problems. So, Doug and Elder Bishoff, one of the AP's, have been busy tearing out, building up and tiling etc. It has been very long days, but I think he is enjoying it. It gets him out of the city and upstate about 45 minutes away each day and he gets to wear jeans.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A bit of "tHiS 'n' ThAt

Saturday we rode the subway down to "Coney Island". Now we can say we went there and ate at the famous Nathan's Hotdog stand. Everyone had somekind of hotdog except us. Just didn't have the stomach for it today. It was a two hour ride down and 2 hour back on the subway.
We walked out on the Pier and had this great shot of the beach.
For $5 Doug got to hold this snake and get his picture taken. He did kiss the snake but the picture was missed. FYI: This is a pregnant bowa constrictor. Supposedly has about 40 little baby snakes inside.
This is the gang, minus me and S/Evans, sorry Janet, got half of ya.
We subwayed down to the temple with the YM in our Inwood ward and did baptisms for the dead. We love the temple. We found out that President and Sister Rogers went home. He was the 1st councilor in the temple presidency.
Transfers! We had 5 new sisters fly in to start their mission. It is quite unusual to have that many sisters at one time. But that also meant that we had 3 head home. Sister Walker in the middle starts her mission just up the street from us. She is in a threesome companionship here in Inwood.
Before Elder Speirs, the tall Elder went home we promised to take him to Doug's favorite place to eat. "Crepes on Columbus". He had been transfered here in the city just about 1/2 mile from the place. Any reason to go there to eat and Doug's all over that. Good luck Elder Speirs, the mission will miss you and so will we.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Luis Maldanado's big day.

We were blessed with the opportunity to attend the Endowment session of Luis Maldanado. Lui lives up in Kiamesha, a little town outside of Monticello where we served for the past year before getting transfered in June. Lui year date of being a member was in May. He was just made Young Mens Pres. in the branch. He asked Doug to be his escort today as he received his endowment in the Manhattan temple. I forgot to get a picture at the temple. He is a great example of embracing the gospel message and sharing it. We are hopeful his wife Evelyn and son Christian will be baptized soon, before we go home. Congratulations Luis! Love you Maldanados!!!

Sidenote: today Doug went to Dr. Chapman to get his prescription written, a monthly ritual and the doctor took a look at his knee that has really been bothering him lately, oops! yeah, it was swollen, the doc drained some fluid off it and gave him a cortizone shot. Man is he sore tonight. Especially after having to walk up 5 flights of stairs at one apartment for inspections and 4 flights of stairs in another apartment as well as trucking across central park to catch the subway we needed after the doctor appointment. The doctor recommended for him to get some exercise on that knee right after the cortizone shot, so off we went.

Celebration FUN in no particular order

We were amongst the sea of people headed towards time square after the fireworks
New York's finest were near the river for the fireworks.
We enjoyed a great dinner at Hard Rock cafe, but the music was so loud it was hard to enjoy visiting.
Time Square on the 4th of July.
Look really close and you will see the "Macy's name on one of the 6 barges carrying around 8,000 fireworks for the 4th of july show to be shot off the barge in the Hudson River.
Next to us on pier 83 is the "Intrepid" carrier ship museum. See all the people on the dock.
The weather was perfect for a night at the Pier to watch the fireworks.
Here is one of the 4 barges we saw spraying red, white and blue water as it went up the river prior to the fireworks.

We enjoyed a fun evening with the Evans, Norris' & Farnsworths. We subwayed down to Time Square, ate at Hard Rock Cafe and then followed the crowd down 42nd street to the Hudson river and were able to walk thru the baracades because we had tickets to watch the fireworks on the pier. There were hundreds of thousands in the area for the fireworks show. It lasted just over a half hour, there were 5 Macy's barges in the water lighting off 40,000 fireworks. It was an awesome show. The crowds were unreal after the show as the river of people headed back towards Time Square. Streets were just covered with a sea of people.
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun night on Broadway

Cute picture, I don't normally wear my donkey ears out in public.
On the subway downtown these guys got on and did some break-dancing there in front of us, of course they passed around their hat for tips. It actually was amazing there in the small bit of room that they had there on the subway.

We had a fun night with the Evans and Norris'. Senior missionaries. We met at the Inwood Chapel and took the subway down to the theater district and enjoyed a fine dinner at a little diner and then we went to SHREK. Yes, we saw it when Brax and Abbie were here, but we liked is so much we said yes when they asked if we would like to join them.

The mission goes on

Change is inevitable. It will always happen, it is expected. It's all how we handle the change that will affect us. Do we embrace it and go forward with faith and good works, or do we want to ignore or complain about it. I have learned that change can be exciting and inspiring. I move forward and try to do all I can to make it a smooth transition.

We are excited to get to know President & Sister Smith. They arrived Tuesday evening and we met them Wednesday at staff meeting. They are from Rexburg Idaho. We welcome you with open arms and are here to help.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Water fun on a hot day

These kids were having way too much fun trying to get all the cars and people on the other side of the road wet.

We were just getting home and found a parking place just around the corner from our building. We got a car was when we passed this scene above. the water ran for more than two hours that we knew of. And then the clouds rolled in and an awesome down pour continued for a couple of hours. We were in target buying apartment supplies when the rain started. 4 of the elders in our area called and invited us to dinner at "Jimbo's hamburger joint" on 207th st. They all got caught with out umbrellas in the rain and were quite a site. But at least they got cooled down.