Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Work Goes On

One of the members at Sister Wells memorial service said that she had come feeling very depressed and discouraged, but that she left feeling uplifted and comforted.
We were glad to hear that.  Many others said the same thing.  We believe that continuing on in the missionary work that Sister Wells loved is one of the best things that we can all do.  We feel strength and unity through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

.....And so the work goes on........

On February 12th we had a fun Valentine's experience at the Vintage Senior Citizen Center.  We previously visited Tom, the Activities Director, to tell him about the JustServe website.  We were excited when he told us they had an upcoming Valentines Luncheon and Line Dancing.  He said they needed about 6 volunteers as servers and so he submitted the project for approval on the website.  Before we knew it the project was approved and we were there with a member and a few elders to help.  It turned out that they had a professional chef, Nick, coming from Chatham University.  He had

a lot of expertise and treated us just like his "team of servers".  We had a "toast" of sparkling water to begin our work and then we each were given our assignments with specific instructions.  For example, the elders who were to present the plates to the diners were told how to hold the plates in a very professional way.  Then they were told how to transfer them to the table by presenting one from their left hand, then transfering the plate from the right hand to the empty left hand, and finally presenting again from the left hand.  At the end of the luncheon we were introduced to the crowd and Jim got to talk a little bit about who we are and what we do on our missions.  Nick was introduced and he praised us all greatly since he was impressed that we followed instructions and had never been on a "serving team" before.  Little did he know about our participation in many, many Relief Society and ward dinners!

Anyway, we think it happened in the way that "JustServe" is meant to
be used.  It was a community service, but also a tool to get to know others in the community more.  Nick even asked a little about the church after the dinner and we were able to give him a card with our church address and times.  We think a seed of goodwill was planted, and maybe one day he or someone else there will be interested enough to listen to the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have spent a lot of time lately working to aquaint community organizations with the website and see if they would like to become partners.  We see many good things in store for the future.

We have also been doing quite a bit of teaching with the Elders lately.  We have helped with lessons with Tony, Dave, and Donna.  They all seem to be progressing in their learning and search for truth.  We attended Stake Conference on February 20th and 21st and were so glad to have Donna come to Stake Conference with us on Sunday.  We were also able to meet a couple of sisters that Megan and her companions have been helping.  Then Tony came to church this last Sunday.  One of the quotes that we heard in a talk in Stake Conference was something I related to as a gardener.  It went something like this "we are all doing the work of softening the rocky soil of western Pennsylvania".  The quote referred to the parable that Jesus taught in the Bible about the gospel falling on good ground or stony ground.  We are hoping to keep trying to do our little part to till a small piece of good ground here and there!

We also attended the cultural talent night at Brashear High School.  It was great to see the talents and culture of one of the families that have become so close to our hearts. Dorcas sang and danced and Greg played the drums and danced.  Naomi was not old enough to participate in most of it, but everyone joined in the last number of African dancing and she was right there!  It was one of the favorite activities that we have attended while we have been here.

We finished up the month of February by taking a trip to Hershey, PA on P-day.  It was a fun break and somewhere we have always wanted to go. Actually it was a dream come true for my addictive side! We toured the museum, tasted some great chocolate, and enjoyed the fun atmosphere even though it was off-season.  It was a fun day, but we are now anxious to get
back to work with things in the mission.  We are realizing that we only have about 8 or 9 weeks left.  YIKES!!!!   Lots to do and think about in the next few weeks.

"The sweet fruit of the gospel is even better than chocolate".......and that is saying a lot coming from me!!

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