Monday, July 28, 2014

Harmer Days and Issac Comes to Church

Hello to all our wonderful friends and family from Marietta, Ohio. We've been told that West Virginia is "almost heaven" and Ohio IS heaven.  We tend to agree! It's been a great week!
The highlight, of course, was Issac did come to church with us and he loved it!  The members were super friendly with him and the high priests group leader and his wife even invited us over for dinner after church with the elders and we all had a great time.  Issac is on the left and Elder Jamison is on the right.  We're afraid Elder Jamison will be transfered this week.  He's been here for four months and transfers happen every six weeks.  We expect his number is up and we dread it!

 Harmer Days was this last week end. The  Elders had a booth there and we went down and helped for a while.  There are restored old train cars there and old shops.  Its an historic village in the downtown area that was particularly active in the underground railroad during the slavery period of America.

The picture on the left is of the old railroad bridge at Harmer Village.  It rotates to open and let the large boats pass through and still works today. It is on the Muskingam River just before it flows into the Ohio River. Harmer Days raises money to restore it.  The picture on the right is of Marietta taken from "Lookout Point", a ridge above Marietta. You can see how everything is nestled in trees.
It turned out we didn't move to the second floor of the Courthouse but decided to stay on the fourth floor.  As brother Grammer went over the actual number of probate books to be digitized we all felt it really wasn't worth the move. He was able to get the Probate Court to agree to let us take the books up to the fourth floor to digitize them (which they hadn't agreed to before)and our problem was solved.  The work we expect approval from Salt Lake to do next will be upstairs and it will be massive.
On Wednesday this week the local newspaper is coming to interview us and do a story on the work we are doing.  Its kind of exciting but kind of scary.
We hope you are all doing well.  We are loving serving the Lord.  It is the best job in the world.  Thank you for your prayers!  We are praying for you, too!  We know the Lord hears and answers us both! We love you so much!

Monday, July 21, 2014

First Baptism

 This is the Shultz family.  They were baptized on Friday.  We got to help teach them.  They are so sweet and wonderful! Amanda is expecting #3 and just can't wait to be sealed to Travis! We work with Elder Tulles and Elder Mitchel quite a bit.  They are the Williamstown missionaries.  Elder Tulles is from Meridian Idaho. Elder Mitchel is from Lehi.  In the picture below I think you can see they are excited about the baptism! They are hard working dedicated missionaries.  So are the Marietta missionaries.
 When we came home from an appointment with Elder Tulles and Elder Mitchel last week our neighbor behind us, Issac, was in his lawn chair in the back yard as he often is.  We always chat with Issac when he is in the back yard when we come home and have a great time with him.  He is in his late 20's I think and is blind. We have become good friends.  When we first met Issac he told us he didn't want anything to do with religion. But when we came home with the missionaries they entered into the banter and the Elders asked if he would like to have the missionaries visit with him he said yes! We don't live in the area that the Williamstown missionaries cover so we had to set it up with the Marietta missionaries.  Then he hugged us and hugged us! Wow! are we ever excited!  The Marietta missionaries did meet with him and he has agreed to come to church. Yahoo!  We're setting up a time for the Elders and Issac to come over for dinner this week but I'm waiting to hear back what night that will be.

                                      This last weekend was the "Corn Festival" in Marietta.  Almost every weekend through July and August there is some kind of celebration.  Front Street parallels the Muskingam  River and between the street and the river is this park where most of the celebrations are held. Right now there is even a little "Shakespearean Festival" going on.  We went down to check out the corn and the Corn Festival and there were a lot of fun things going on.  There are always bands playing and games.  One of the games they play a lot here is "corn hole" which is a cross between bean bag and horse shoes.                      
On Sunday we spoke at the Ravenswood Branch.  It is very small but we were lucky enough to speak on the Sunday they have their "Linger Longer" which here is a full-on buffet and boy is it good food!  Next week we speak in Marietta then its back to the Spencer Branch.
We met the new Mission President on Saturday and they are trying to get some full-time missionaries into Spencer but it will take 3-4 weeks.  So we are a little relieved we won't have to make that 90 minute (each way) drive every week for very long.
We are working hard and last week captured 22,000 images, and had a perfect audit! Yahoo! We were promised we would feel angels working with us and that is happening. This is the Lord's work and it is so exciting to be a part of it. We love you and miss you!   It would be so great to hear from you!  We appreciate your comments, they make us feel like we are still in touch. Letters would be great, too! Thank you for all your prayers, they mean so much to us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week of Changes

 Hello to everyone!  It's been quite a week here in Marietta for us!  We haven't taken many pictures but have a few interesting pages from the turn of the century.  These pages are from 1899.  The first one shows court costs.  The second one shows the cost of lumber and the third one shows the cost of basic food & household commodities.  One hundred and fifteen years makes quite a difference!
We had a really good week with capturing records right up until Friday. We have worked up to where we are doing about seven books a day now.  David has learned to not take "selfies" (pictures of his hands) and we've been moving along at a pretty good clip. Then on Friday our supervisor selected us as one of five couples to test the newest version of "dCam", the software program we use for capturing.  The good news was that Michael Benson from Salt Lake was visiting that morning so when there were problems with the download he was able to help. Even so we lost most of the day to the downloading and installation of the the new software. Instead of getting seven books done on Friday we got two done.  That was frustrating!
Michael was able to take a good look at the records available in the courthouse and found a treasure of marriage records we may get authorization to preserve.  They will be a lot of work, however because they are not in books, they are on 4x6 cards.  It would take 18 months just to do those.
We have another week of work on the 4th floor of the Courthouse and then we will be moving to the second floor to start the probate records.  We dread moving the whole camera set up but it will be a much nicer area in which to be working.

A different Judge, Judge Williams is over this area and he has personally built this area for us including finishing the floors himself. (I can't believe how personally into this work they all are and how excited they are to have us here!) He has had shelving built all around the circumference of the room to hold the books.  Inmates are coming tomorrow to move the books into the room  
so that we don't have to go up and down any stairs to get them and return them.  I'm not sure any other records preservation specialists have it so good! I'm amazed! And grateful!
More Changes...On Saturday evening our new Mission President called and asked us if we would work with the Spencer Branch.  Some of the Elders we have been working with here have been going out to Spencer trying to "keep it alive".  They have loved going to Spencer.  It is very "back woods".  The Branch President is "drafted" from our ward  and lives 2 blocks from us.  He is wonderful!  His two counselors are great also but if you saw them you would think they were from "Duck Dynasty".  Spencer is an hour and a half drive from here and we will go every Sunday and do as much as we can.  I think it will be a challenge since we have so little time to give it and it is so far away.  We will do our best.  We hope you all have a good week!  We love you and miss you!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fourth of July in Marietta

 Hello to all of our wonderful friends and family!  We hope you had a great Fourth of July.
Surprisingly, in Marietta where the history is so rich, the Fourth of July is fairly low key.  We did attend the parade.  It lasted about 20 minutes and there were no floats whatsoever. There was a band or two in the parade, but  mostly cars, politicians, firetrucks, and a couple of horses. We did enjoy it, however.
Every year on Fourth of July weekend, this huge river boat comes through Marietta,  It's like a cruise ship only on the Ohio.  It goes from New Orleans up to Pittsburgh.  It docks at Marietta for just a few hours.
 This cute little walkway goes along the Ohio River in the downtown area of Marietta.  A little further down the path it turns into a paved bike path much like the one that goes up Provo Canyon. This is one of our favorite places. I think water is a bit of a magnet to all of us with Kidman blood in us.

 This side of the river, of course, is Marietta. The other side of the river is Williamstown.  Both are in our ward. We have two sets of Missionaries in our ward and one is in Marietta and the other is in Williamstown.  We have been going on teaching appointments with both sets of missionaries.Wednesday this week we went with the Marietta missionaries  and the Williamstown missionaries on Thursday.  We have an appointment this coming Friday to teach a lesson in Williamstown on Family History. We love going with the Elders.  They are so amazing!

Some of you have  asked for pictures of some of the houses in the area.  This one is a block and a half from our house.  It's hard to take pictures of the houses on our street because they are so close together but this one is on the corner on our way to the Courthouse.  It is typical of the time period of most of the houses but grander than most, although there are many grand houses.  Most of the houses have front porches, which I love.  My favorite are the rounded porches like you see in this one.  Wouldn't it be fun to live in a house like this?  At least after you updated all the plumbing and electrical, anyway.($$$$).  Houses are cheap here, though.  The house we live in would probably sell for less than $60,000.  The house the Elders live in they swear is haunted.  They say they hear voices and doors open they haven't opened, etc.  They blessed the house but it hasn't helped, they tell us. With houses this old I can't say I'm really surprised there are spirits that don't want to leave them.  We just need to get their work done for them.

I'd never seen hostas bloom before I came here.  They're in bloom everywhere.  The other thing we'd never seen before is lightning bugs.  We saw them for the first time Thursday night.  They were like mini fireworks.  We haven't seen them in mass like that again but the temperatures have been cooler so we're wondering if the days need to be warmer for the lightening bugs to be out at night.  Next time we see a bunch of them together we'll try to take a picture.
We get a visitor from Salt Lake Family Search this Friday and we are so excited!  We hope he can help us with our focusing problem.  We haven't had any more books come back for focus problems but we have had re-work for blurring.  Blurring happens when the page is moving when the picture is taken, We're trying to figure that one out.
We miss and love everyone! We hope you are all doing well.  We'd love to hear from you!