Over the past few weeks we have been grateful to hear from many of you and we’ve been asked if we are keeping busy. YES. Since our last entry two weeks ago we’ve not had the opportunity to sit at the computer to make an entry into our blog. The little Branch that we are assigned to, continues to use us continually. We often think this is not beneficial in the growth of the members but also fear that without our contribution many things would simply not happen at all. We have grown to love these people even in their struggles. They are those that the Savior would be serving if he were here. Missionary work moves so slow that we have to look backwards to see the progress that has been made since we arrived. Attitudes are somewhat negative about the church. As an example, we were shopping for food at Sam’s Club where a women approached Sister Howes to inquire about her badge. After Sister Howes explained that we were Missionaries for the “Mormon” church and what we did, the women told her that she thought we should stay in the West. Sister Howes surprised her by politely explaining that the Church actually began here in New York. She was surprised but but still un-moved in her position.
Our missionary work is largely limited to supporting the Branch and Stake organizations in our various callings. Not to make this seem like it’s a small task because we probably spend 40 to 50 hours a week in these efforts. In addition we support our local young men in their efforts to find and teach. We often conduct family home evenings in homes of new member or go out with the young men to help in special teaching circumstances.
One of the great joys we have each week, even though it’s lot’s of work, is our weekly meetings in District and Zone meetings. We always feed them and we’re always asked to contribute in some small way in the instruction that is given. The Young Missionaries inspire and motivate us to do more, study harder and work harder.
We are busy and the time is flying by.
Conferences and Transfers
We had a General Authority visit for a Mission tour. Elder Carlson, of the Seventy, spent a day instructing us. He was a 4 Star General before his call to serve (and you could tell). Below is Elder Carlson (left, facing) speaking to the two Brazilian VISA waiters. At below right is the Poughkeepsie Zone pictured with Elder & Sister Carlson and President and Sister Morgan.
Right after our last entry we lost one of our great missionaries to his assignment in Brazil, he was a VISA waiter. We were lucky to have him in New Paltz for a full cycle (6 weeks). He was part of four New Paltz missionaries for those six weeks and they made great progress here during those weeks.
The pictures above show our District (left) and Poughkeepsie Zone (right) minus our New Paltz Elders as they were transporting Elder Helvey (headed to Brazil) to the Mission Home. At the conclusion of this Zone meeting (which normally includes 16 missionaries) they asked Elder & Sister Howes to sit in front of them as they gathered around the piano and sang called to serve to us.
Only six of the sixteen remained after Transfers the following day.
WOW the Fall is Beautiful!
As we’ve explained, we travel to teach and serve wherever we’re assigned. We get to see great sites and meet interesting folks.
Beat those views
During the summer and fall every body of water has collected a green layer of scum. We notice that birds love this covering. They set in it pecking away in it.
The birds may love it but it looks disgusting.
Jump in the Car and Come on Over. Let’s pick some Apples.
We have reported before that we are literally surrounded by Apple Orchards. We can walk to them from our apartment. And we can’t go anywhere in our assigned area where they aren’t running “self-pick” Apple programs.
The picture to the right is a Fire Truck giving rides through the Apple Orchard next to our apartment.
And of course there are Pumpkins at every fruit stand as well.