Monday, November 24, 2014

Exploring Pittsburgh

One of our first stops has been to the building that we think will probably become our "home away from home"!  Three wards meet here and we are assigned to meet with two of them.  Since they each have a block of three meetings each Sunday, it will probably mean that we will have very long days on Sunday.  We have really enjoyed the meetings though and also getting to know many established members, brand new members and investigators of the church from various backgrounds.

Another nice surprise has been the opportunities we have for exercise here.  The church really encourages missionaries to exercise at least 30 minutes each day and longer if they want to get up early.   Sometimes it can be hard if you live in an apartment, have a busy
schedule, and bad weather.  We were so excited though to find a wonderful park just a couple miles away from us.  It has a track around a reservoir and a lot of trails and paths everywhere.  We have already been walking there twice and really liked it.  The weather really hasn't seemed as cold as we thought it would be either, YET anyway!!!  We had one day that had just a 'dusting' of snow, but it seemed like they put down more salt on the roads than there was snow!

We have found out that Pittsburgh is a city of hills, rivers (3 major ones), bridges (446) and lots and lots of steps.  We are trying to take the steps everywhere we go to also add to our exercise.  We have also heard that there are some other wonderful parks a little farther away so we want to explore those soon.

Today felt like our first real "P" day (Preparation Day).  Most missionaries seem to really try to take full advantage of these days that come around once a week on Mondays.

The first thing we did today was to visit the Vintage Senior Center that is just down the street from us.  We were so impressed with it! Okay----we know that means we have officially entered old age!
We have been assigned by the bishops to help older single women in the wards and so we wanted to find out the services that were offered there.  Anyway, it will also be a great place for us to go in and use their treadmills and other exercise equipment.  Don't laugh too hard!!!

We then went to the Heinz History Museum--
yes---ketchup, along with Big Mac's and Mister Rogers all originated in Pittsburgh. It is a museum associated with the Smithsonian museums and it was very impressive.  In fact, we got a year membership so that we can take some of the young Elders and Sisters (or other visitors) with us.  We decided it was so interesting to us that we can spend many more hours there.

There is a whole floor dedicated to sports and we thought of all of our family as we visited this floor.  We took a few pictures that we thought some of them might like.

Turns out that the first jeep was invented in the
small town of 'Butler' that is in an area northeast of Pittsburgh.  We plan to visit there one day.

Of course, there's also lots about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pirates.

A lot of other sports like golf, hockey and women's sports were represented.

They had a whole section about black sport leagues too.

 Our museum membership also includes the Fort Pitt museum.  It is located on "The Point" that is at the confluence of three rivers--The Alleghenny, The Monogahala, and the Ohio. There is a beautiful state park there.  The fort was used mostly during the French and Indian War.  There was a lot of Revolutionary history information here and also lots about George Washington.

Almost everywhere we drive we see beautiful views of the city with a bridge or river or interesting houses nestled in the hills.  There is so much to do on our "P" days that we think we will become like the younger missionaries who sometimes count how long they have left on their missions by the number of "P" days that they have left!

Following our fun activities of the day we also went with the Elders to help with a family home evening at the home of Sister Martin and her daughter and son.  She has only been a church member for a few months, but seems like she could have been a member all of her life.

Even though we had a great time today we are now looking forward to a busy week ahead with many missionary opportunities.

  • work on a Power Point for the mission president's wife on Poison Ivy (seems most missionaries from the West don't have any idea what it looks like and how bad it can be to get into it).
  • work on Family History so that we can start being able to help some of our single sisters with their family trees
  • try to keep our fridge and cupboards stocked up and food ready to feed hungry Elders
  • visits with the Elders in our apartment building who teach lessons that we help with
  • visit by ourselves to the single sisters to try and get to know them all
  • follow up with women at the senior center who expressed interest in what we do.  We left "pass along cards" with them (small pocket size cards with information on videos that the church makes available to those who call in)
  • study, study, study--to try and learn and remember everything. 

We miss everyone at home, especially at Thanksgiving time.  But we are so thankful for all the love and support that we feel, especially from each of our children and their families.  

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from Pittsburgh

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