Sunday, September 21, 2014

Paw Paws

     We experienced another first!  Paw Paws!  The Grammers have paw paw trees in their yard and brought us paw paws to try.  The ones you see in the picture that are pretty and green are NOT ripe and ready to eat.  When they are almost black and super soft they are ready to eat.  They have black seeds  in the middle and are somewhat banana-like in flavor and very sweet.  If you try to eat one before it is ripe it is very bitter. They are custard-like in texture so you couldn't be cut up and put in jello or anything like that.  They're just "finger-lickin" good.

     This is a game I made up to teach my Sunday School class on Standing in Holy Places from Isaiah.  I actually had two boys in my class that day instead of the usual one.  The less active boy that came said the closing prayer and said, "Thank you for the time going fast."  I had to laugh!
     We had the Elders to dinner on Friday and I fed them the Favorite Family Recipes Zupa Tuscana and cheese biscuits.  Boy did they ever wolf it down! The Elder in the front on the left is Elder Rose.  He is Dave Rose's (BYU basketball coach) nephew. He and Elder Numbers (far right) are both first week out in the mission field.
We appreciate them so much!  They give us more help up at the courthouse than anyone else. Each set of Elders usually come to help us twice a week.
     We have experienced more frustration with blurring.  It looks like our blurring problem has actually been a constant since we started but it just depends on the auditor whether or not our work passes or fails.  When we got our audit back last week we looked at each failed image and the blurring was consistently 1 pixel to the left.  It couldn't even be seen until magnified to 1600X.  We've been in touch with camera repair in Salt Lake trying to figure out the reason for
the problem.  They had us put a level on the table and the table was level then they had us put a level on the camera and it was way off of level.  So David spent most of the day Friday trying to get the camera level and hopefully that will fix the problem.  It has been hard not to feel terribly discouraged.
     The picture doesn't show it very well but we are starting to see more leaves turning.  They tell us we will see dark red some day and it will be gorgeous.  What we have seen in our own yard is when they turn red they fall to the ground.
We love and miss you all so very much!  We need your prayers!  They do make a difference.  We pray for you, too.  We, like Brighton, know that God is real.  We see His tender mercies on a daily basis and we are so grateful!  As we go with the missionaries to teach others it is so hard to understand why they don't just jump at the chance to embrace the gospel.  We want so bad to give them what we have.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cleveland and Kirtland

Grandstand at Sternwheeler Festival

Festival fireworks

This painting is in the visitors center in

This is the original manuscript
of the Word of Wisdom on
display in Kirtland
David, Karen & Dan & Carolyn
Grammer at the Whitney Store

Site of Issac Moreley's school house
where God the Father and Jesus
Christ appeared
Kirtland Temple

David & Karen on front steps
of  Kirtland Temple
Sister Brumsfield, Dan, David & Carolyn
in one of the courtrooms
in the Cleveland Courthouse
One of the courtrooms in
the Cleveland

Main entrance hall at
Cleveland courthouse
What a crazy busy week!  The Sternwheeler Festival was great but all we really saw was the fireworks.  We did see a lot of sternwheelers but we didn't see them race.  The Elders called and needed help with their service project parking cars in Harmer Village so we did that most of the afternoon and finished in time for the fireworks.  The fireworks were the best we'd ever seen! Of course, the water just magnifies the effect.

Lady Liberty stained glass
window in Cleveland
Monday we went with the Grammers to Cleveland and learned how to do the divorce records we will be starting soon.  That was a big help and I feel pretty confident now about starting that project.  Prep will definitely be a lot of work but your prayers we asked for have been helping and the Marietta ward members have been back helping.  One of the sisters in the Ward got up and bore her testimony on Sunday and said that one of her ancestors that she has been looking for for many years just showed up in a newly released record from the Washington County Courthouse that we had just digitized.  She didn't know this relative had lived here and hadn't looked here but because of our work here she had found this relative.  Hooray!  Suddenly we have help again!

Kirtland was wonderful!  Our favorite was the Issac Morley farm.  I learned so much about Issac Morley I didn't know before.  I'd love to find a biography of him to read.  What an incredible man! (and his wife couldn"t have been one whit behind him)  Walking his farm was walking on holy ground!

Our excitement last week was that we placed a Book of Mormon!  Judge Williams and his assistant, Rae, brought us up some cinnamon rolls and while they were talking to us Judge Williams mentioned that there was coffee downstairs we could help ourselves to.  When we politely told him we don't drink coffee it perked Rae's interest.  She went home and talked to her brother in Virginia about it and came back the next day and asked us for a Book of Mormon and said she would like to read it.  We aren't allowed to proselyte at the courthouse so we will just have to wait and see if anything comes of it.
More excitement is we are getting a new bed tomorrow!  The mattress we have had has been, to put it nicely, a pain in the back!  At church last Sunday the couple from the mission office came to Spencer (they are going to be joining us until the first snow flies).  I don't remember how the subject of the bed came up but she told me we don't have to sleep on a bad mattress and she would start proceedings first thing Monday to get us a new mattress.  How lucky was that?  That must be more of your prayers for us answered, too!  Tender mercies are raining down on us like crazy!  Thank you!

We love and miss you so much!  We hope you are doing well!  We hope our prayers for you are being answered, too!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day started with a pancake breakfast at the church in Marietta.  It's an annual event and there was a great turn-out.  Some investigators even came.  We saw members we had never seen at church.  The young man you see closest to the front is Daniel Espinosa.  He is preparing for his mission and is with the missionaries on a regular basis.  He comes to serve at the courthouse  quite often also.  He is a really outstanding young man. He was serving a "mini-mission" when we arrived last June.  

     The Sternwheelers have already started arriving for this next weekend's Sternwheeler Festival. It is the BIG event of the year here in Marietta.  These Sternwheelers will race each other. Concerts in the park will start Friday evening. The fireworks will be huge. They tell us that they create a waterfall from the bridge you see in the background of a couple of the pictures.  The fireworks are done from a barge on the river and reflect on the water and the waterfall.
 We are very excited for the coming weekend and the festivities.

     We are almost at the end of the books to digitize at the courthouse and ready to start the divorce records.  Brother Grammer is working on finding us enough books to fill this week with work so that the divorce records can be put off until next week.  Our Supervisor from Quebec wants us to take a little trip to Cleveland to see how the missionaries there are doing the same kind of records there. The Grammers need to go with us to Cleveland and want to wait until next week to go. The trip to Cleveland will include a side-trip to Kirtland, so we are very excited about the trip.  The missionaries in Cleveland, we understand, are actually "ironing" the pages to prepare them for digitizing.  In the prep work I have already been doing I can see how that would help.  We will need someone to make us a little "ironing board".  We have an extra iron because we brought our iron and then the mission furnished us with an iron, so we're lucky with that.  The project is huge with 80,000 records and each record could have as many as 50 pages.  The project covers from 1900-1980.
We're hoping the Ward members will start coming back to help us.  Sister Grammer thinks they will, although we have only had the missionaries come since we were assigned to the Spencer Branch. Perhaps its been a good thing at this time since the divorce records require a  great deal of organization and too much help could have caused  disorganization right now.  The trip to Cleveland will clarify a lot of things for us. We're thinking the Lord knows what he's doing.

We were sad to learn on Sunday that the 2nd Counselor in the Branch Presidency, Brother Kudrick (at left) is moving from the area.  He is the sweetest man and has been such a blessing to the Branch.  Of course, losing anyone in an area like this leaves a big hole but he leaves a volcano sized hole.  He also taught the youth Sunday School class. President Offenberger has asked me to fill that hole and David to assist the High Priest Group Leader.
     On Sunday we locked ourselves out of our house and ended up having to break a window to get back in.  David cut one of his fingers pretty deeply in breaking the window but it is OK.  We're making an extra key now and giving it to Issac.  We could have gone without that experience.  The landlord is replacing the window tomorrow.
It's interesting, we don't really like the long weekend much.  We would rather be back at work.  We love doing what we are here to do.  We feel the urgency in the hastening of the work and there is nothing else we would rather be doing.  We're in the right place at the right time and we are so grateful.  We are grateful for your support and your love!  We love you so much!  We pray for you and trust the Lord to care for you in our absence.  We love hearing from you, we miss you so much!