This past week was Elder Howes birthday and while we had a very busy week we were in invited to a members home last Sunday for dinner. It was a surprise but they had invited all of the New Paltz missionaries (all four of us) to celebrate the birthday surprise.
You might guess that she’s a serious cook by the baking rack in her home kitchen. The bowls are grilled garlic Shrimp with home made Mango salsa.
Above is the main course, chile braised Pork Ribs served on Arugala creamy cheese Corn cakes with caramelized Onions (how could she know that Elder Howes does not eat Onions. The creme de la resistance was individual Cherry pies with, of course, Vanilla Ice cream. Yum! When Elder Howes was young his Mom always made him Cherry pie for his birthday and Sister Howes has usually followed that tradition. We ended our night with this great family with a family prayer.
Surprise Zone Meeting Again………
One of our (few) frustrations is finding out that a District meeting has been canceled in favor of a Zone meeting as we plan to feed them lunch after the meeting. Monday was one of those days. Elder Howes ran to the store early to purchase some last minute items, while there (good thing) the Zone leaders called to tell us that the rest of the Zone would be joining us. We quickly changed the menu, gathered our supplies (the meeting had to be moved to the Branch building, too many for the apartment) and headed out. Quickly planned Zone meetings usually mean announcements coming from the Mission President, today was no different, and it was announced that we would have Zone conference on Friday. This was also our first meeting of the Zone after Transfers, so we got better acquainted with 8 new missionaries.
Pictured above is (from left to right), Sister Howes, Elder Kiyama (blue tie), Elder Sprunt (upfront w/red tie), Elder Fabbi (in back, yellow tie), Elder Monson, Elder Montierth (back), Elder Reynolds (grey suit, light tie), Elder Lee (short guy in the middle), Elder Sullivan (standing on his toes in the back), Elder Vanner (light blue tie), Sister Aguirre, Sister Dunn, Elder Cloward (behind Sister Dunn), Elder Diaz and Elder Bailey. Elders Sprunt, Monson, Montierth, Reynolds and Diaz along with Sister Aguirre are all new this transfer.
Stake – Bishop’s Storehouse.
On Tuesday, yes Elder Howes actual birthday, we gathered at the New Paltz branch building and transform it into a Bishop’s storehouse for the day. As posted before we layout table with labels of the food to be placed on it, and when the Storehouse truck comes we separate the food onto the tables according to the labeled contents and then wait for the recipients to arrive then pick the orders and then clean and reset-up the building for Sunday services. It takes most of the day. Most of it, waiting. Elder Howes’s favorite thing! NOT
Zone Conference – Ossining, New York
As it turns out this post is for Bryce Berry. We had an awesome Zone Conference this past Friday. We always learn much and get to associate with the young missionaries and feel and hear their testimonies and feel their strength(s). All of this and then we’re inspired by our Mission President and his counsel and challenges for us.
During lunch Sister Morgan gathers all of those who’s birthday takes place in a three month period and each get a candy bar of their choice and all sing Happy Birthday and President Morgan gives some additional counsel and direction.
While waiting for one of the break-out sessions to begin, we were reading the plaques for the Eagle Scouts and Missionaries and were surprised to find this one;
We found the Eagle Plaque, the Missionary plaque did not include Bryce but did include a Brother Losso that we serve with in the Manhattan Temple. Small world.
The 2013 Mormon Helping Hands Day of Service Project for the Newburgh Stake:
On Saturday we gathered at Camp Liahona in Holmes New York to organize community service for the Village of Pawling, NY. Arriving at about 8:30 in the morning President Ey organized the volunteers to provide service in four different locations.
We then departed to get further instruction by the Historical Society member at each of the sites where predetermined site leaders were given job descriptions and further worker assignment. They also spent some time telling us the history of the buildings and sites where we would serve.
Elder & Sister Howes were assigned to the Akin Free Library. This library stands prominently atop Quaker Hill as a fitting memorial to a man of great vision and generous spirit. Albert J. Akin, whose lifetime spanned a full century (1803-1903), was responsible for some notable achievements that enriched the lives of not only his own generation but of generations to follow. He did much to promote the prosperity of the area, including the founding of the Bank of Pawling, bringing the railroad to Pawling and Dover, and establishing the Mizzentop as a premier resort hotel. In his later years he built and endowed Akin Hall for non-denominational Christian worship, lectures, and enlightenment. Akin Free Library was to be his last gift to the community. Construction began in 1898, but the building was not completed until ten years later – six years after the death of this remarkable Quaker.
The library occupies the first floor, and contains many resource documents, rare volumes, ledgers, genealogies of early families, as well as contemporary literature, books by local authors, newspaper collections, and a children’s section.
The Historical Society maintains a museum on the second floor dedicated to Quaker Hill memorabilia. The service window from the old Quaker Hill Post Office is featured, as are farm implements, turn of the century photographs, period and Quaker clothing, hats, and costumes.
The lower floor of the library houses the Olive Gunnison Natural History Museum. This gem of a museum contains examples of various aspects of natural history, including birds, minerals, reptile skeletons, butterflies, and a shrunken head.
We cleaned and replaced lights on 25 foot ceilings and cleaned more. When we arrived the staff were pretty hands off. It was like these Mormons might be contagious (we certainly are). After about 4 hours of work they were interacting and joking with us like old friends and are pictured at right with us as we departed. These projects not only help communities but break down barriers that could not be done in any other way.