Monday, August 25, 2014

Service Project

This was our service project Saturday repairing this tennis court on Harmer Hill.  Most of us were on our hands and knees sealing the cracks in the surface of the court.  That's David in the center staining the table under the awning.  We started at 9:00 am and it was 90 degrees pretty fast.  I spent the whole time on my knees and by the time we finished I remembered how really "old" I am. 

These are our wonderful Elders giving us service at the Courthouse.  They have been coming at least once a week lately and we really appreciate it!   They leave with sweat pouring down their faces and filthy dirty. They are (left to right) Elder Streeter, Elder Cox, Elder Mitchell, & Elder Leo.  We love them so much!
Elder Cox and Elder Streeter visiting with David after slaving in the book rooms.

We've only got about two more days of work before we start the divorce records project.  We are so glad that our supervisor from Quebec is coming on Wednesday to work with us just in time before we have to start it. It is so huge and we haven't done anything like it yet so we are unsure how to do it.  There are 80,000 records to be done and each record has many pages to be digitized. This project isn't in books, each record is in a separate file folder.
 Also, this week we get a visitor from Salt Lake.  There is a "Justice Conference" in Columbus on Thursday and Friday that is really important and exciting for our work.  This is where the church gets a chance to present to the Judges throughout the State the opportunity to have missionaries like  us come in and digitize their records in their courthouses. The Grammers that work with us and Brother DeJong that is coming from Salt Lake will have a booth there hoping to be able to interest some of the Judges in the digitizing program.  It's such a "win-win" program.
The work is truly hastening!  It's so exciting to be a part of it!  We love what we are doing!  It is so great to be a part of this great church and to have the gospel in our lives.  The Saints out here are amazing!  One elderly sister in Spencer drives 45 minutes every Sunday to come to church to meet with only a handful of members.  She's never had the opportunity to marry or have a family but her testimony is on fire!  What an inspiration she is!  We love you so much and hope you are all well!  

Monday, August 18, 2014

August in Marietta

I can't believe it's the middle of August already and the kids are going back to school.  This picture is of across the street from our house taken in the morning before leaving for the courthouse.  It is often misty and foggy like this.  It reminds me of the mornings at Neah Bay only  without the smell of fish.  

We are just beginning to see the slightest start of the turning of the leaves.  I can't wait for the fall change of colors.  I expect it to be magnificent.

I was able to catch some of the wild flowers here although there are places where there are large purple  masses of flowers that make you think a little bit of the Garden of Eden must have leaked out here.

We did end up getting quite a bit of work back to do over last week.  Even though we couldn't see the blurring the auditor was identifying, Michael Benson pointed out that the books were post bound and the pages could be taken out of the bindings and photographed flat.  We didn't know they wanted us to do that because we thought it would take so much longer but we sure do agree it makes for a better image so we are glad we are able to re-do them flat.   It's going much better now that we're doing them flat and it's going a lot faster than we thought it would.  I'm sure there will be more things we will learn by our mistakes as we go along.
By next week we will be starting a new project.  It will be the divorce records from 1900 to I'm not sure when.  There are over 80,000 records to be digitized in the project.  They will be very time consuming.  Each record will be many pages. When I'm off camera I've been working on preparing them for capturing.  They are really quite depressing.  I've been working on the ones from 1946 to 1950 this week.  So many soldiers came home from the war to wives who had been unfaithful.  I'ts very sad to read so many unpleasant things that happened.
Other sad news is Issac punched out.  He wanted  the social scene of the church but nothing to do with the religion.  He came over last week and told us his conscience wouldn't allow him to go to church any more when he knew he really never would want any part of the religion.
We've had the Elders to dinner a couple of times and last week they even played the "Bean" game with us.  It was very brief but fun, they had to get on their way quickly.  They are such wonderful hard working missionaries.
We really thank you for your prayers.  The aches and pains of our bodies we were having such a hard time with at first have practically disappeared. We're still tired at the end of the day but not in pain.  It's OK to be tired.  We won't complain about that.  We enjoy what we are doing and so grateful that we get to be here.  We miss all of you and hope you are doing fine.  We love you and pray for you and trust the Lord to care for you while we are away.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Back to Spencer

 Well after two weeks of being traveling Sacrament meeting speakers we're back at the Spencer Branch.  We thought we'd share the beautiful 80+ drive to Spencer.  The first 50 miles are on the freeway but a little before we turn off on Highway 33 we see this house on top of the hill to the left of the freeway.  I'm sure the view is fantastic up there but I don't think I'd want to be there during the thunder storms we have here.
Once you turn off the freeway onto highway 33 it's hills and curves for 30 miles.  I've got to remember the Dramamine next week.  The countryside is beautiful as you can see.  Don't you love the covered bridge on this farm?  Its hard to see from a distance but there are wild flowers everywhere.  The homes along the way are adorned with so many flowers.  Most of them look like they are from fifty years back in time.  A good example is the fire truck.  It really fits right in with a lot of what we see although the towns, I'm sure do have up to date equipment.
The Church house is very small and doesn't have a formal chapel.  Sacrament meeting is held in a central room as is the adult Sunday School class.  There are a few classrooms around the parameter where the classrooms and Bishops office and kitchen are.  It does have an organ and it has built in electronics that will play the prelude music without an organist but there is a sister who plays the organ for Sacrament Meeting.  Since there are only about 12 in attendance including the children that's pretty fortunate.
At the courthouse productivity has seriously slowed down.  We are doing marriage records now and we run into a lot of attachments.  The picture on the right shows a page with two attachments.  Some have four.  In some of the books the pages have been in plastic sleeves so we have had to take the pages out of the sleeves to open up the attachments to photograph them.  Where we used to do seven books as day, now we are lucky to get three done.  Some of the books have been bound so tight we have had to take them apart and photograph them out of the binding.  That's very slow.  The attachments are all for marriages of minors requiring parental consent or marriages where the woman is pregnant and a letter is required.  In such cases, where the father is a minor, the father always becomes an award of the court until he is 21.  How interesting is that?
At the rate we are going it will take us a month to finish the marriage records.  Maybe not, after 3 more books the books get much smaller, so we'll see.
By the way, Issac is still going to church!  (Without us, since we are going to Spencer) The Elders say it is going well.  We love you and miss you!  We hope you are all doing well!