Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More February News

We have been told that February is actually the worst winter month here.  This year it does seem to be true.  We've had two ward/stake activities, church last week, and one meeting of stake conference this week---all canceled because of bad weather.  These cancellations seem very unusual to us, because we don't ever remember church being canceled in Utah because of the weather!  Here they do have to worry about freezing rain, people riding buses, and the wind chill factor.  We've had below zero temps and some snow, but we've been warm and dry and cozy during most of it.   We did have one very slow, somewhat tense, car ride down some of the steep hills here that were covered in snow.  Luckily, Jim is a good driver.   I feel a little embarassed to admit that I haven't driven yet,  but it really takes both of us to navigate the traffic here--Jim as the designated driver and me as the designated back seat driver.  We think they have a way of hiding red lights, stop signs, and turn lanes here.  Pedestrians, on the other hand, end up right in front of cars without any warning at all!  We have come to the conclusion that maybe the kids here grow up playing in the streets-- and so as adults they aren't at all intimidated by traffic and they really do jaywalk right in front of moving cars!  Anyway, right now I am content to practice my back seat driving skills until the road conditions get better.

We are excited and getting ready to start teaching two
temple preparation classes on Sunday and another class for the Matembo family in their home.  This family is one of the most special families that we have ever met.  They originally came from the Congo, then lived in South Africa for four years where they were converted to the church.  They came to Pittsburgh in December shortly after we got here  They have been trying to adjust to life here as well as trying to progress in the church.  They speak Swahili, French---and some English. The kids are especially doing well in English.  It is such a spiritual and reverent feeling to be in their home and we are able to communicate quite well as long as we have a family group setting. This last week we gave the two youngest boys pictures to color of the temple while we talked.  They loved the coloring and they were both so good and reverent.

We had a great Sunday session of stake conference.   It was all on the subject of prayer and it was just so inspiring.  We took Sister Martin and her children with us.  Sister Martin has only been a member for less than a year, but she was asked to speak.  She gave a wonderful talk.  President and Sister Johnson also talked.  President Johnson talked about how all of us have fear (missionary or not) and the role of prayer and revelation in administering the affairs of all the missionaries.  Sister Johnson talked about examples of the Savior praying and mentioned that her brother in law was just killed yesterday in a snow mobile accident.  The stake president, President Peterson, gave great insight about what "real intent" means when we pray.  He said it could mean  "to take action steps".  He then gave examples from the life of Nephi about the many times that he used action steps along with prayer to exercise his faith.  His words were very powerful to us.  As with most church meetings---"you just had to be there" to get the full effect of the spirit, but we hope that we will long remember the words and feelings that we experienced.

We had a great visit this week with Peter and his mom.  Jim and the elders gave them both priesthood blessings since Peter just had surgery and his mom has many worries and stress.  She isn't even a member of the church, but requested a blessing of

comfort.  We've also had good visits with Charlette, Patti, Amiee, and Karen.
We had a spaghetti dinner with two sets of elders the other night and it was really good.  It is fun to cook for them--- and we never have many leftovers!  It fulfills a motherly need I have to feed people I guess, because I really do enjoy it.  I have been pulling out a few old recipes and learning some new ones.

We have also really enjoyed getting text messages, pictures, e-mails, and Skyping with our grandchildren recently.  It is so gratifying to see them all progressing and doing well with the new adventures in their lives.  I decided to start including an occasional picture or two of events that are happening at home while we are gone.  In January Carson became our second grandson to hold the priesthood.  He was ordained a deacon on January 15th and started to pass the sacrament soon afterwards.  He keeps us up to date on what is happening in the world of sports while we are gone too.  When we Skyped with him the other night he just seems so much older and is now taller than his mom!

We also got a cute picture from Heather showing a brand new accomplishment for Brynlee.  She learned to tie her shoes all by herself!!!  She is in her second year of preschool and is getting very ready to go to
kindergarten next year.  She keeps her whole family in line!  We also heard that she and Jenna orchestrated a 'Valentines date' this year for Mike and Heather---- complete with hot tubbing, movie and popcorn on Valentines night.  They did a very good and cute job of waiting hand and foot on the 'love birds'!

No comments:

Post a Comment