Carry On……

During last weeks activities Elder Howes caught a cold from one of the “sons” we took to the Temple and actually lost his voice for about four days which I failed to mention is the reason that we said yes to everything we were asked to do.  Since Sister Howes was doing the responding for us both, she would just look at Elder Howes and say yes.  Elder Howes thought he would get even with her when the time came to teach on Saturday and she would have to do the talking……  Elder Howes got better and Sister Howes caught the cold.  So much for unrighteous desires.  It did limit both of us from much interaction during the past weeks Zone meetings which we attended on Monday in Newburgh (one of three trips we would make to Newburgh during the week).  This Zone meeting had some mixed emotion for Elder & Sister Howes as many of the Missionaries in the Zone will be gone this coming transfer along with our awesome Zone leaders and one of our own New Paltz missionaries.  Below are pictures from this Zone meeting mostly missing Elder & Sister Howes trying not to “pass-along” our contagious gift:

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This is the biggest Zone in the Mission with the Kingston District being the biggest District in the Mission covering the biggest area of the Mission (but not the most people).  We know that we are losing many of the Missionaries that we have interacted with for the past two months but don’t know if there will be a re-organization or split of the Zone resulting in District re-alignment.  We have enjoyed these great missionaries and will miss our association with them but look forward to meeting and interacting with many others.

Allot of driving along with Apartment Inspections

The week started with Sister Howes visiting a new Doctor here in New Paltz to check on her Vertigo and blood pressure.  All is well.  She was excited, after talking to the office and struggling to understand a single sentence from the mostly foreign staff that she was getting a female doctor, Doctor Call.  Not so fast, when the Doctor came in (one hour late) to the examination room, Sister Howes said she was about 14 years of age and her name was Cahll (Indian) and she couldn’t understand a word she spoke.  The important note is that Sister Howes is doing fine.  Thanks for your faith and prayers. We spent some time almost everyday during the week driving somewhere in the Zone to inspect Missionary apartments.  These young men, not far removed from having their mothers clean, feed and wash their clothes, are doing an amazing job of growing into responsible men.  For the most part each apartment was clean and well cared for.  It probably helped that Elder Howes threatened them before we showed up that he expected their apartments to look as clean as ours.  We drove over 800 miles during the week covering our duties, traversing the Zone many times.  During one of the visits Elder Howes made a wrong turn in his haste, imagine that, and we came across the Orange County Chopper facility.  Pictures below for those that watch this show:

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Kind of hard to see the bikes inside but there were hundreds inside as near as we could tell.  To early to get in.

Temple Assignment

On thursday we traveled into the City to serve our first of a weekly evening shift.  It is certainly different than our shift in the Draper Temple Baptistry.  First of all, parking is a free for all.  The Temple President gave us information on parking garages that we could use but failed to mention that you must print out a coupon or it’s expensive.  Forty dollars for parking between 5pm-10pm.  We learned that if you circle the Temple 6 times you can find parking on the street for $7.  We’ll try that this week.  They give you an assigned area for a period of time just like other Temples but it doesn’t mean much.  You go to wherever the patrons go.  It wasn’t just us but the President as well.  He worked the Veil, Baptistry and everywhere we were.  We found out that his 1st counselor is the Temple recorder and his 2nd Counselor the Temple physical facilities director.  Talk about multiple duties.  We were quickly made to be uncomfortable as they pressed us directly into service.  We didn’t arrive home until after midnight.  Did I mention that traffic after 10pm is as bad as any other time of the day in New York City?  The good news is that you drive through New Jersey on the way home.  Gas is 45 cents a gallon cheaper.

Strengthening Marriage

On Saturday we drove to West Point Academy for our presentation on Strengthening Marriage.  Wow, what a historic and beautiful campus.  We met in Thayer Hall, pictured below.

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We met in the room where Church service are held on the campus (pictured above).  All of us arrived late as parking was a challenge.  We started with about 14 participants and had as many as 26 throughout the 3 1/2 hour presentation.  We had fun and believe that it was a good “kick-off” for a weekly class to be held in different places around the Stake.  We will no doubt learn more than anyone else.

The West Point Academy is truly an amazing campus and the oldest Military campus in the United States.  We took the pictures below as we left the Academy grounds:

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We survived our illnesses and our travels and completed all that we were assigned to do.  We also felt protection and guidance from our Father in Heaven through our faith and the faith and prayers of our family and friends during the past week.  We continue to need all those blessings and prayers.

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