Missing (and enjoying) Simple Things

We have been out long enough now that we can remember many of the things (and of course people) that we miss and also things that we enjoy missing. Elder Howes has now had three haircuts and Sister Howes has had her hair done once in the Mission field, all of them bad. You know that your not going to get what your used to when the Barber asks you what number you are and you don’t know what their talking about. Elder Howes found out that telling that he was a 10 was neither funny or correct (maybe it works for the Elders, their younger and better looking). Sister Howes found out that when the stylist tells you that she doesn’t like doing women hair, you might want to move on to the next stylist.
The places that we have lived do not have a place to wash your own vehicle. The first had an awesome car wash next door but here in New Paltz, not so much. Some may no that Elder Howes loves to keep cars clean and enjoys doing the washing, scrubbing, vacuuming and polishing. Elder Howes had a special interview with the Branch President to try and get permission to use the branch building to wash his car (not on the top ten list of his favorite interviews by the curious looks).
Everything in New York has begun to turn green literally over night and we miss our yard. We watched the yard care “professionals” that care for the landscaping around our apartment and wanted to join them. Both to get them moving and to get them to do it right.
Elder and Sister Howes go for a walk every morning but Sister Howes really misses walking in the Mall with her Mom. Elder Howes isn’t the conversationist that Mom is (or maybe it’s content).
We have found that getting mail, of any kind, is a joy. We anxiously await the mailman arriving everyday at noon. Sister Howes’ mom (Marge) has developed a habit of writing us nearly everyday and tells us everyday things that we cherish hearing. Moms and Dads, please write your Missionaries regularly, its such a joy to watch the Missionaries get, open and read their mail, even when the messages are short. It truly lifts them and conversely, when they don’t get mail we can see their sadness.  Mostly we miss all of our friends, neighbors and family.  We were reminded of one of those friends that we miss as we walked into a local antique shop on our way home from a Zone meeting, the picture below shows about 1/3 of the clocks in one corner of this interesting little shop.  Reminded us of Pat Barber.


The picture to the right was taken across the street from our apartment at the State College of New York (SUNY) and shows trees in bloom or budding and the grass turning green.  It was taken this week on a walk through the campus.

District Meeting

On Monday we had our first meeting with our new District, really just split.  The picture below shows our smaller District, six young men and Elder & Sister Howes.  We found out that we actually have another District in our Zone with the addition of a Couple of Sister Missionaries (spanish speaking) in Poughkeepsie.  We heard from Sister Mauri that this was the same as when she and her husband served here.


Young men picture above from left to right; District Leader Berryman from Mesa, Arizona, Elder Ordaz from Chiwawa, Mexico, Elder Sullivan from St.George, Elder Cloward from Layton, Elder Vasquez from New Jersey (via Mexico City) and Elder Bailey from Preston, Idaho.

Bishop’s Storehouse

Perhaps we’ve mentioned before that the Bishop’s storehouse is 130 miles away in New Jersey.  A pretty expensive and long drive.  So that folks can have access to there needs through this important resource, the church has a mobile Bishop’s Storehouse.  Once a month all the Leaders in the Stake fax in the orders that are then picked and trucked to New Paltz (a central point in the Newburgh Stake).  We show up, set up tables with placards of contents for the tables, then when the goods arrive they are distributed to the tables and then the picking begins.  When we began this program the process took about four hours.  It now takes about 1 1/2 hours.  Pictured below is the end of picking.  This is also the Chapel area of the New Paltz Branch.


YSA at West Point Boat Ride

For a large portion of our week we were busy preparing to help organize and feed 125 Young Single Adults at an outing held at the boat dock at West Point Academy.  We were excited to be able to take this boat tour along with the YSA.  However, this is a Military operation.  Everything is done with exactness.  We prepared for about 100 but but nearly 140 came.  The Military boat takes no more than 125, exactly.  All the Missionaries got off to create room for the Young Single Adults that had come from New Jersey, Connecticut  and every part of New York.

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We sent out and bought 40 additional Pizzas and managed to feed all 140 of the Young Single Adults.  They ate everything in sight.


2 thoughts on “Missing (and enjoying) Simple Things

  1. Thank you so much for the sweet birthday call. I really enjoy the blog! You are doing a great job. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Love you both, Kt

  2. Sounds like you are having lots of great adventures and learning how to be ultra flexible and creative as you deal with life in a whole new culture! New York is a foreign country! Driving is a daily adventure–and we thought Utah had traffic and construction…too bad GPS isn’t updated by the hour to know what construction projects are causing issues! Hope you are having fun in spite of all the discomfort of change and “new” that missionary life is requiring! Sending lots of prayers and love–the KenJen Johnson family

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