During the past two weeks we have traversed back and forth all over the Mission. Part of this was travel to the City for Temple service but most was leading discussions on Overcoming Anger. We struggled to put this presentation together but, so far, it has been the presentation that has generated the most interest. We have taught it in Wards and in homes for Family Home Evening non-stop for the past two weeks. The weather during this time has been very rainy and wet. It has rained hard for two weeks straight making taking pictures difficult. On one of our trips we decided that we should buy fresh vegetables for our Missionary feeding events. The weather broke for just a few minutes and as we looked for a side of the road fruit and vegetable stand, and we got lost. We weren’t terribly lost, we knew roughly where we were, enough to not turn on the GPS to find our way out, but we were not familiar with the area. We have traveled this area many times in the past we had noticed signs that said NO STOPING – Correctional Facility. But we were off the beaten path and found the Prison, in fact we drove right to the front door before we decided this wasn’t a good idea and turned around to leave. As we turned the car around Sister Howes said “what a great picture that would be”. I jumped out and took two pictures of the Prison. BIG MISTAKE. Before we got 100 yards away we were swarmed by prison vehicles and guards. Two hours later they decided that the two Mormon Missionaries they had taken captive were only dangerous if they listened to the discussions. We spent most of our time talking to them about the church and what we do as Senior Missionaries. They didn’t commit to take the discussions but one of them wants to visit Utah. The best news is that after they deleted our pictures we escaped and we won’t be coming back for a visit. We’d like to show you a picture BUT I think they would invite us back for a longer visit. Here is the only pictures left from our day near the Prison (excuse me – Correctional Facility).
The picture on the left is the Fruit Stand and the one on the right is a picture (the only one they allowed me to keep) of Geese feeding in the field in front of the Prison.
The weather this Summer has been so strange. It didn’t get warm here until late in June and then for several weeks it was miserably hot 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity. July was warm and humid but bearable. We were told that August would be unbearable? As we watch the weather on our phones we notice that Utah has been HOT but NY has been well below average and extremely wet.
Above Left is the little stream coming into New Paltz. As you can see, even the trees on the other side of the creek are mostly underwater. The picture to the right is out of our apartment window showing the lake created around the bushes before it dumps into the creek behind (shown by the fence to protect children from entering it).
Daylight Savings Time
Living here with the millions of others has given us an appreciation for why we have Daylight Savings Time. We began to notice that the sun rises here very early and lately we have felt that it is getting dark far earlier than in Utah. As we’ve studied this, we’ve discovered that all of this is true. The Sun rises 31 minutes earlier and sets 31 minutes earlier.
Missing the Great Strength of Zion
It’s easy to understand missing your children, grandchildren, friends and family back home but we have really missed being able to rely on so many others with greater strength than our own. We watch our Branch and Stake struggle with so many issues that we take for granted at home. We have so much appreciation for each of you back home and the community of the church in Utah. I think often of the great men that served along side of me for five great years, for their counsel and leadership. The Granite View Stake has more talent in every Ward than the Stake here. They are great people but few in numbers. The Manhattan Temple is staffed by far more Temple Missionaries and Senior Missionaries than local volunteers. It let’s us know how much we’re needed and provides us an opportunity to invite you – come join us. Your badly needed, no matter what you feel your deficiencies might be, the Lord will magnify your strengths and provide opportunities to make you far more than you can do on your own and you will have such a tremendous impact on others. Please don’t wait, great things are awaiting your commitment and service.