Saturday, August 29, 2015

Butler, PA

It's a little ironic that Megan's first area is in Butler, PA right next to us in Pittsburgh.  We didn't ever expect that she would be so close to us.  We have never visited the little town of Butler and so we decided to take a short drive for our P-day on August 17th.

It was an experience we have always wished we could have had when Kent and Jared were away on their missions---to be able to almost be a fly on the wall and see how they get along with their companion....what it is really like where they live.....and how they interact with other people.  It was incredibly fun to be able to experience it with our granddaughter, Megan.

The name everyone in the mission calls their companionship by is "The Butler Sisters".  So we saw just how the Butler Sisters live and work each day.

We visited their apartment and found their living conditions to be barely okay!  Sister Sears assured us that it used to be a lot worse before they cleaned out all of the junk left behind by other Sisters and Elders who had lived there.  We were basically apalled at the condition of their laundry room though!  It looks like it came straight out of a horror movie!  Sister Sears said when her mom saw a picture of it that she was sure her daughter had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom in the dingy room.  Anyway, we tried hard not to overreact and took some funny pictures.  It is probably good for both girls to help them appreciate home a little more!

One of our first stops was a Lutheran church where the girls volunteer each week.   The churches in town all volunteer one day a week to feed the homeless.  The Lutheran church calls their dinner night, "Katie's Kitchen".   It seems that a few years ago some elders were walking by the Lutheran church and saw a line of homeless people outside waiting for food.  They went inside and asked if they could help and that started the tradition of the Mormon elders or sisters helping each week ever since.  Megan said their night at "Katie's" is one of her favorite parts of the week.

The church secretary knew Sisters Sears and Welch well and was delighted to show us the sanctuary of worship as well as other areas in the church----especially where they serve dinner to the homeless each week.  It was a beautiful building and we had a great visit with her.

Butler, PA is a small town of about 14,000 people and they are the only missionaries for our church there.  There is one ward building in the town amongst many, many other churches.  The claim to fame for Butler is that the first jeep was invented there during World War II.   It is said that the jeep was one major factor in the success of the war.  This bit of trivia was fun for Jim because jeeping has always been one of his hobbies in life.   He really enjoyed visiting the monument in the town square and talking with some old-timers.  We

looked around all of the monuments and visited with a few people.  The girls talked to some people to offer Book of Mormons to them and then we were on to the rest of our town tour.

Our next stop was lunch at a REALLY good Mexican restaurant.  We eat out with a lot of the elders and sisters and Jim is slowly realizing that most of the rest of the world LOVES pizza and Mexican food.  Poor thing....I try and fix meat and potatoes for him as often as I can!

Our final stop was to go look for a "geo-cache" that a church member told the girls about.  The cache was supposed to be hidden somewhere around a large yellow railroad car.  They gave us directions to help us get there.   We finally found the train car and then began looking and looking for something or other.   We aren't much into geo-caching and so we weren't quite sure what we were looking for.

 Anyway,  I finally spotted a small plastic box up underneath the bottom of the train car.  We took a few items out of the cache which is customary---a plastic army man, a sticker, and something else that I can't remember.  We took a few pictures and then we left our mark by leaving a small raisin box with one remaining raisin and a note that said "The Mormons were here"!

All in all, it was a wonderful P-day and we enjoyed giving Megan's mom a call on our way home to tell her all about our visit which she promptly reported to Sister Sears mom.  We have quite an informant network going on to check up and report on these super fun Sister missionaries.  So grateful for this experience.

Jeep cutouts, all painted & decorated differently, are all over town

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