We don’t think that we have mentioned that inside our Mission and District/Zone is Woodstock. Yes, the Woodstock famous for the 60’s Rock Festival. The area is full of Music Art’s programs and some strange characters. As we move around the area with our assignment to teach each week in a different Ward or Branch we have seen some really authentic (60″s) personalities. Maybe to many. At time we’ve wondered if this place is a cross between Woodstock and the movie Deliverance (not sure that I should admit to having watched that movie).
One of these guys was dancing in front of buses stopped during traffic lights on Columbus, two blocks from the Temple and it wasn’t warm. The Orange/Ulster/Sulivan Counties are serious “retro” areas but please can’t we move on. Maybe Sister Howes and I would have more success as Missionaries if we grew longer hair and wore tie/die. Wonder how the badges would fit into that look?
Violent? or Aggressive? No just water.
One of the first things we noticed when we got here three months ago (yes it’s already been that long) was the names of towns. Plattekill, Wallkill, Fishkill, Peekskill and many other kill’s. We didn’t know if angry folks settled this area mad at dinner plates, hated fish or peeker’s? We’ve since learned in the Dutch settlers language, a kill is a creek. The word comes from the Middle Dutch kille, meaning “riverbed” or “water channel”. The term is used in areas of Dutch influence in the Hudson Valleys (the area where we live) and other areas of the former New Netherland colony of Dutch America to describe a strait, river, or arm of the sea. Minnesota may be the land of 10,000 lakes but New York has more water to brag about. If you look you’ll find that New York touches the Atlantic ocean, is divided vertically by the Hudson River and horizontally by the Erie canal. On the northern borders it has the the St. Lawrence river and both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. And of course Niagara Falls one of the most famous water attractions anywhere. As we drive around we see water everywhere, all of it beautiful, if only we didn’t have to drive across so many bridges (tolls).
New York in Color!
It seems as though overnight that New York turned green. Again, we do a lot of driving all over New York. We have gotten use to finding our way by looking at land marks that we’re use to seeing but in the last week all the landscape changed. We can no longer see many of the landmarks as the trees bloomed. We are surrounded by fruit trees everywhere. If you come out in the fall and you’ll be able to eat apples off the trees. The pictures below show just the apples trees between our apartment and the chapel about a mile from us.
The picture on the left shows a landscape full of Apple trees. The one on the right shows apples trees with bee hives at each row (the white, short barrels, center under the trees).
After all the words and pictures above we don’t want you to think that we have turned into vacationers instead of Missionaries. We do travel so much and find ourselves stopping as often as we can to take a picture. This week we started with our first Zone meetings as the new Pougkeepsie Zone where we got to meet the new missionaries assigned. We lost the other Senior Missionaries so feeding this group became ours alone.
On Tuesday we drove to Kingston to make repairs to the District Leaders apartment.
Wednesday we stayed home and worked to organize the New Paltz membership audit so that the Branch Presidency could meet with us on Wednesday evening and approve and implement this tremendous effort (remember that our little branch covers about 300 square miles).
Thursday we drove to Manhattan for our Temple assignment, we arrived late due to traffic and Elder Howes was immediately assigned to Officiate the Endowment session. Like always (we say yes) he went into the session with a Sister follower and no one else (except patrons) having never done nor followed ever. Fortunately, I think the atonement even covers those mistakes made as officiator (let’s hope so, plenty were made). There was one of the Sister workers in the session as a patron and she started making eye movements to give me queue’s, by the end she was full-on making hand gestures. I was grateful. For the rest of the shift I was sent to the recommend desk. Can’t make to many mistakes there, it may be my permanent assignment after this week. Sister Howes feels the same way. She said that she couldn’t even do the laundry correctly. She is looking to be the recommend desk’s helper. We were the last ones out of the Temple and didn’t get home until almost 1am in the morning.
Friday morning we drove an hour south again to Osining to Zone Conference which began at 9am. We learned so much from the speakers who were made up of the Zone leaders throughout the four Zones that make up our Zone Conference and the Presidents assistance. What incredible young men.
We had to leave early to make it 60 miles west (remember FREE) to Middletown to teach our Strengthening Marriage class. We had good traffic and arrived a little early so Elder Howes decided to look at Washers/Dryers on Craiglist (we still don’t have one) and one showed up in Middletown about a mile from the Ward house. We liked it and bought it.
But then we had to run to UHaul, rent a trailer and load it before our class. All went well and we made it to the church, set-up and waited until 15 minute after the start time before the Bishop’s wife showed (not the Bishop). We taught the class anyway (a little hard since it’s a discussion as much as a class). Hopefully the Bishop and his wife don’t get divorced that wouldn’t reflect well on us.
As the pictures above show, Elder Howes got the units installed on Saturday. Nesting complete???
Happy Mothers Day
The reason the post is late this week is we used the Bell Canyon model and suggested that the Brethren take over for the Sisters and teach all of their classes to give them Mothers Day off. It went little differently though. Since they got the day off, they didn’t show up at all, nor many others either.
We had our little Son’s over for dinner and all of us called our great Mothers. We are grateful for our Mothers. Their support and love, and all of the teaching over the many years that continues. We are also grateful for our daughters, who are great mothers, even the one who hasn’t yet given birth. Happy Mothers Day!