Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Birthday

It looks like spring has come. The snow and ice are mostly gone and everyone comments about what a mild winter we have had this year. It is warmer than normal for the middle of March.

Could this be a spring flower?
A Hairy Woodpecker tapping on a tree outside our apartment
A walk across a drumlin in the spring
We spent Monday as a service day working on our church tasks. Besides cleaning out the library we will be doing some rearranging (at least the pictures on the walls) and changing the messages on the sign along the highway. We filtered out a lot of old manuals from the library, only keeping the current editions. President Holt came by while we were working. We were able to have a long talk with him about the condition of the branch. It helped in getting insight about the difficulties of the members. A lot of health problems come with age. We were given the missionary progress reports for the past six years. The same people have been invited to church by different missionaries for years with the same result - they didn't attend. There have been a lot of lessons given to investigators over the years without much progress. In spite of all this, the active members continue to be positive and happy in their lives.

We had dinner with Mary Longmuir on Tuesday evening. She had a friend there named Penny who will be moving in with her in a couple of months. That will give another active member of the branch.

Wednesday brought our normal district meeting in Belleville. We are impressed how Elder Anderson (our district leader) keeps his cool when missionaries give strange answers to questions. We decided to return to Campbellford by way of Trenton. We got out and walked around town a little (a nice day, of course).
Trenton city hall
There are three music stores within a couple of blocks of each other demonstrating the interest in music in this small town. We had a nice talk with Devin, who worked in one of the stores. He plays drums in a small band. The bass player in the band is a member of the church who sets the example for the other band members by not smoking or drinking, even though they play in clubs at times.

Devin - drummer boy
We went to the family history center again on Thursday. Mary and Joan won't be able to be there in a couple of weeks so we will be substituting for them. She showed Sister Wheeler all of the procedures and gave her the codes for the computers. Now we are official family history library substitutes. Actually, Sister Wheeler now has a calling in the branch. President Holt asked if she were willing to be the organist (or at least substitute organist) for the balance of the time on our mission. She will be playing every week to give Sister Holt (C) a break. It is very different playing the small Hammond organ. We had another dinner appointment with Doris, Eileen, and Linda in Marmora. Linda's son, Todd, came up from the basement where he usually stays so we were able to meet another branch member.

Hammond organ in the Trent Hills Branch
The most interesting part of the organ - according to Elder Wheeler

There is also a piano in the chapel

It is nice having more light in the evenings. After the dinner appointment we went by to meet Donna Moore. We had passed by several times before, but she was always away from home. We finally found her. Her husband does not like the church so she doesn't want visits, but we were able to leave our phone number in case she needs something. She moved into the branch about three years ago and none of the members have met her. She did not know where the church was so we gave her directions.

On the way back home on Thursday night the car indicated that it needed servicing so we took it to Peterborough on Friday. Right across the highway from the Honda dealership is the Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park. While waiting for the car we went to the park for a little walk. We didn't go very far, however, because the ground was wet and muddy. We had big thunderstorms on Thursday night where the lightning flashes would be followed by long, rolling thunder. We were able to get some rice bowls for lunch at the mall. We then drove around town to get an idea of what Peterborough is like since a lot of the members of the branch talk about going there for their major shopping.

Honda dealership in Peterborough - exciting, Eh
Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park - across from the Honda dealership
Why did we wear our missionary clothes today?
Saturday was the 170th birthday for the Relief Society. Sister Holt (H), the Relief Society president, had a stupor of thought about an appropriate activity until someone suggested having a birthday part for Chris McLaughlin. Chris is a former member of the branch who now lives in Ottawa and has cancer with only a few months to live. She had never had a birthday party which was one of her dreams before she died. We held the birthday party on Saturday allowing her to invite all her friends. The church building was central to where all the people were coming from. We had a crowd of about 48 people from all over Ontario, members and nonmembers. Several came from Ottawa, others from St. Catherine (where she used to live), Hamilton, and as far away as Manitoulin Island (with a smaller branch than ours) by Sudbury. We didn't know most of the people, but it was a good activity which resulted in serving many by helping an individual. 

Chris ready to cut the cake
There were a few stragglers from the party who attended church with us today. A former member of the branch is building a home here and will be moving back from Toronto. She has not been active, but would like to return to the church. She is in the Toronto Ward so we told her about Bishop Landim. She said she would visit with him and extend our greetings. We had a primary today (for two people), but there was also Mitchell, a young deacon. He went in with the elders, but we thought it better for him to have his own class, so Elder Wheeler taught the "deacon's quorum" today and had a good time.
Elder Wheeler with Mitchell, the visiting deacon's quorum
So this week we have met two members of the branch we hadn't seen before (one of whom no one else had met) and two who will soon be moving into the branch. Our car has been serviced which should now last for us to run all over the countryside this spring and summer. So life goes on in Trent Hills.

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