Tuesday, September 8, 2015

End of Summer Highlights

It is really hard to take pictures of some of our missionary experiences and also really hard to actually put these experiences into words that do justice to the situation.  Most of the time, for every missionary highlight,  it takes many visits and phone calls and countless hours of effort by us and others.   Sometimes all the work leads up to a little moment of joy and happiness.  That little moment, though, makes all the work worth every minute spent.  It is just an indescribable feeling.

We have had a few of these experiences come up over the latter part of the month.

HIGHLIGHT #1 We have been working so hard since June 30th to help the Matembu family get into a low cost internet program.  They were taken advantage of by telemarketers to sign up for an internet package that was way beyond their budget and so we decided to step in to help out with the situation.  We made trips to the provider and eventually went clear up to the corporate headquarters with phone calls.  It took us almost two months of wrangling through privacy laws, company bureacuracy, and MANY ups and downs.  We were blessed many times along the way to make calls or visits at just the right time or to the right person.  FINALLY, on August 28th, with the help of Elder Johnson, we got their internet up and running on a new computer for a very

affordable price.  It will help them so much with schoolwork, job searches, church work, and budgeting.

That same day we took the Matembu family to the Carnegie Science Center with our passes.
They had such a great time and it was fun to see them enjoy each other together.  We spent the whole day there with them and really enjoyed it.  One of their favorite parts was finding a room of African musical instruments.  They all joined in and came up with some really good rhythm in just a few minutes.  They also enjoyed the roller coaster simulator, the climbing wall, and the weightless space walk.

HIGHTLIGHT # 2 We were able to attend the Columbus Temple with Mel.  Mel is a recent convert
to the church and is so excited about all that he is learning.  He has now given a prayer in stake conference, received the Melchizedek Priesthood, stood in the circle for a confirmation, and received a calling as assistant ward clerk.  It is great to see how quickly he is progressing.

HIGHLIGHT#3  We had another fun P-day where we went to Ohiopyle and did some biking along the Great Allegheny Passage.  The section of the trail we rode was incredibly beautiful, level, and shaded with tall trees on each side. Our kind of biking!  On our way home we happened to see a sign for a Visitors Center for Fort Necessity.  The fort is one hastily constructed by George Washington for a battle that started the French/Indian War.  We are finding that the history here in Pennsylvania is so rich and interesting

HIGHTLIGHT #4 On September 2nd Elder Whitney and Davis came to our apartment with Elder Whitneys favorite recipe from home -- his mom's Manicotti.  They brought all the ingredients and cooked it up for us and we provided the extras.  It was a fun meal together.  We feel like we have
acquired a few dozen extra grandsons as they come and go in our area.  What a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the youth of this church.  A few days later the two elders were walking in a park and stopped to play basketball for a few minutes with another couple of young men in the area.  A newspaper reporter happened to be at the park and snapped some pictures of them.  It was in the Pittsburgh Tribune the next day!

HIGHLIGHT #5  Then on September 3rd we went to District Meeting and were surprised to have President and Sister Johnson drop in. We had a great lesson by Elder Whitney on overcoming fear and following promptings.   The Johnsons even went to Chipotle for lunch afterwards with all of us.  It was such a big group that there wasn't room for everyone in the restaurant so we brought it back to the church and all enjoyed lunch together.

 It was right after this meeting and lunch that another set of circumstances exploded!  Another post will be needed to explain.

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