Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mount Airy Autumn Leaves Festival


Friday evening, October 10th we drove to Winston Salem with
Elder and Sister Hunt and Elder and Sister Slade
to spend 2 nights away from the office.
Saturday morning we drove to Mount Airy (Mayberry's inspiration)
for their annual Autumn Leaves Festival street fair.
Elder and Sister Reidhead met us there.

These scarecrow were standing guard over the fancy guitars that were up for auction.

We waited in line for nearly an hour to eat a pork chop sandwich
at the famous Snappy's. The experience was fun but 
I'll probably never have another pork chop sandwich!

Sister Hunt and I sitting on a bench in front of
Mayberry Country Store.

Andy Griffith, Barney Fife and see if you can remember
the other characters of the show

 Lots of Bluegrass Music, thousands of people, funnel cake, soft pretzels, barbeque, 
fried onion blooms, fried anything you can think of including fried pies, homemade ice cream,
and the very best was Wild Bill's homemade root beer!
We bought a souvenir mug and it came with as many refills as we wanted. 

Tom after too many root beers!

Bluegrass and Mountain Music
I love the casual down home feel of music in the South.

It reminds me of the song by Alabama,
"Play Me Some Mountain Music"

Oh, play me some mountain music
Like grandma and grandpa used to play
Then I'll float on down the river
To a Cajun hideaway

Drift away like Tom Sawyer
Ride a raft with ol' Huck Finn
Take a nap like Rip Van Winkle
Daze dreamin' again

Oh, play me some mountain music
Like grandma and grandpa used to play
Then I'll float on down the river
To a Cajun hideaway

If this makes you want to hear them sing it, go to Youtube like I did!
I remember going to their concert many years ago and loving it!

Even the wood carvings are singing and playing the fiddles!

We had a great time in Mount Airy.
We drove a few miles into Virginia then headed south on the
Blue Ridge Parkway to see the gorgeous fall leaves.

We stopped at The Blue Ridge Music Center where a concert was
about to begin. It was fascinating to learn about
 the evolution of Blue Grass Music.

 I googled these pictures because it was difficult to get photos
from the back seat of a moving car.
Isn't it beautiful?!

We spent another night in Winston Salem and then attended church
in the Winston-Salem 2nd ward. It was so good 
to surprise the wonderful missionaries there!


Sunday night,our apartment is often a gathering place 
for our missionaries in the Harrisburg Ward.
I think they love us and especially our WiFi so they can sync their area books.
(Perhaps the ice cream and desserts are a bonus.)

We love the missionaries and their diligence and obedience and  contagious optimism.
They have such a great love for the Savior and for the Restoration of the Gospel.
They are beautiful examples of service and Christlike love!

          Sisters Zampieron and Phillips, Elders Jorgensen and Shumway, Elders Haas and Laudie

On Monday, October 2oth, we celebrated Sister Zampieron's 21st birthday by 
taking her and Sister Phillips to lunch in Uptown Charlotte
at Rooster's Grill in the beautiful Bank of America Building.

It was quite an interesting experience.
We talked about missionary work and family traditions, life in Brazil, 
quoting favorite scriptures and how those scriptures impact our lives. 
It was a delightful time and my heart was touched.
There was a couple sitting on the other side of the wall behind me
 and I wondered if they could hear our conversation. 
While we were eating dessert, I heard a waiter ask them where
they were from and they responded, Idaho. 
I thought about getting up and going to talk to them, but I didn't. 
As they left the restaurant and I glanced at them but continued in our conversation.
When we were finished the waitress came over with a big smile on her face 
and told us that our meals had been taken care of. We were stunned! 
That sweet couple from Idaho had paid for our lunch.
Even as I write about this experience, my eyes get teary and my heart overflows
with the goodness of others. It was truly a beautiful unexpected gift for all of us!

One last thing I want to share. 
After an inspiring Stake Conference today,
 we took a walk on our favorite street. It was a gorgeous mild sunny day 
with a slight breeze.  It felt so glorious to be outside, 
to hold hands with my Sweetheart 
and to feel and the beauties of the world around us.
 The leaves here are just beginning to turn colors.

My favorite thing about our walk however, was seeing this brand new calf, 
born less than 24 hours ago. We had a great conversation
with Renda, the owner of this beautiful property. It's the first time we
have seen anyone outside during our walks. She told us about the new calf and about
the property that has been in the family for generations. What a great day!

 There's so much more I would like to write but it's past time to go to bed.

We miss you!

Sending our LOVE to y'all!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

meet the MORMONS

I guess in this busy wonderful week of many travels for the Mission Office 
and taking the weekend to explore Mount Airy and the Blue Ridge Parkway, 
the winner has to be:

As missionaries, we were able to preview this amazing movie 
in the chapel on Tuesday with 3 zones.
Our mission had 2 other showings so that the whole mission could see it.

Please make every effort to watch this inspiring, uplifting, funny, 
informative, beautiful movie about the lives of 6 different families from
all parts of the world. Take your children. Take your friends. I promise
it will touch your heart and open your minds to endless possibilities. 
You will feel the love of God.....not only feel it but embrace it!

I've got lots of pictures and things I want to share about this week
but no time to do it now. Hopefully soon....

Sending lots of love to y'all!

P.S. Click on the link above if you haven't already.

P.P.S. Please

A Rewarding Invitation, Gary, and A Very Special Baptism

This post began the week of September 22nd.
I'm once again behind in publishing my posts.

A Rewarding Invitation

In my last post, this picture was shared of the broken box springs 
we were replacing with a slightly better model. 
While there, I had to put on my "housing hat" 
and do the dreaded inspections.
These particular Elders, wholeheartedly 
accepted my challenge to spend their P day cleaning
and organizing their messy apartment. 
Then I asked them to return and report. 
Tuesday morning I received a wonderful email with photos 
and a video that shared their experience with me. 
They were all busy completing different tasks, working together 
as united team. The results are spectacular and I am so proud of them! 
I only wish I could upload the video they sent to my blog. 
It was so fun!!!!

All four beds are neatly made.

Clean and well organized closet!

Brave  Diligent Missionaries

wearing the armor of God in fighting for cleanliness!

I can see my reflection in this sparkling clean bathroom.

What a difference!

A neat, well organized study area,

and another study area... much improved! 

 A clean kitchen

These valiant warriors even tackled the refrigerator!

Four great Elders who made this Sister very happy!
Elder Rasmussen, Elder Smart, Elder Phelps and Elder Lino
I'm so proud of you!

Not only are they the Cleaning Machine Team
they are Valiant Representatives of Jesus Christ!

Gary came to Charlotte on September  25!

 It was wonderful to spend some time with him. 

We didn't do anything new and exciting....We spent a little time in uptown Charlotte, 
which is really quite beautiful for a city.
Gary loved Panther stadium and wanted to take a tour, 
but there were no tours available while he was here.
So maybe he'll come back....

We drove to Union Grove to the Cook Shack to introduce him to some Bluegrass music.

We took the back roads to enjoy the countryside and stopped at the 
Amish Shiloh General Store to have a sandwich.

enjoy the pretty flowers

and wave to the little boy peeking out the back of this buggy.

Saturday afternoon we took Gary on our favorite walk to see the cows.
This was the reaction I got when I asked them
 to pose for a picture with the cows!

With a little coaxing, I got some smiles!

It was our lucky day! The horses saw us and came to visit.

Even they smiled for me.
I think Gary enjoyed the walk.

Kathleen and Kaitlyn Zaleske's Baptism

Sister Zampieron from Brazil had a little bike accident 
just before the long awaited Baptism.
I helped clean her up and she was good to go!

 I think that the highlight of Gary's visit 
was attending this very important event. 

Brother Flatt, Kathleen's next door neighbor, 
introduced the gospel to the Zaleskes.
It was not so long ago that he became active in the church again. 
He admits that he is a different person because of the gospel in his life.
 He was honored to be able to baptize his neighbors.

Kaitlyn and Kathleen with their current Sister Missionaries, 
Sister Phillips and Sister Zampieron. 
Sister Pace, Sister Lambert, and Sister Robertson 
as well as Elder Youngstrom, Elder Durfey and Elder Valgardson
all had a part in this conversion story.

We met Kathleen in January at our first Book of Mormon class. 
She and Kaitlyn faithfully have come to the class. At first Kathleen just wanted 
to listen and would pass when it was her turn to read.
Slowly she became more comfortable with the words and reads confidently now.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God and testifies of Jesus Christ.
We are privileged to be able read it and share it with others.

We love these two beautiful daughters of God!

After the baptism we took Gary out to Don Pedro's for an early Birthday dinner.

It was hard to say good bye to my brother 
but we were so grateful he came to see us in North Carolina!

We send our love to y'all!