Sunday, April 15, 2012

Going to the Birds

Don't get the idea that our mission is going to the birds. We do see a lot of them, however. It has been fun to walk around and find many different birds. It's still too early for some of them, such as the loon. Yes, these are pictures that we took.
Canada Geese in flight
Red-winged Blackbird
Turkey Vulture
Osprey with fish
Mourning Dove
Wild Turkey
American Robin
Now for our week - Elder Pineira, our new district leader, decided we should have district meetings on Tuesdays rather than on Wednesdays, however since Monday was a holiday (Easter) they shifted their preparation day to Tuesday so we had our district meeting on Monday this week. Is that confusing enough? It is for us. We mentioned in our last blog that we would have pictures of the new companionships, so, here they are:
Elder Pineira and Elder Leasuasu
Sister Beasley and Sister Jungert
Elder Davis and Elder Goodman (Zone Leaders)
 We had lunch at Boston Pizza in Belleville who offers a gluten-free pizza. It was almost as good as Sister Wheeler makes, but not quite. We visited Sister Tait in Marmora in the evening. She felt the church was true when she was fighting with an elder over her garbage can (he was trying to help her and she was trying to do it herself). She had a feeling come over her that let her know that the elders brought the truth.

Tuesday was a travel day. We went to visit the Bevans, another senior couple, in Bancroft (way up north from us). They are more isolated than we are. They don't even go to district meetings because they are too far to travel to. The people in the town (including some members) don't like white shirts and ties so they wear normal clothes (except on Sunday, of course). We went on a "meals on wheels" run with them into the countryside. Their apartment is in the same building as the church, which is on the main street in Bancroft. We were able to get contact information about Caitlyn, a lost member in our branch.
Chapel in Bancroft
Elder and Sister Bevans with Sister Wheeler - in the small chapel

On Wednesday we did some planning and tried to call members to set up appointments. We weren't very successful for appointments, but Elder Wheeler was able to talk to two members on the phone, getting more information than we have had in the past. Dyanne was in a rush when we visited last time. She has been sick and not able to attend church often. She said she would try to schedule a time we could go to their house for dinner. Her husband, Joel, raises horses for jumping. Elder Wheeler also had a fruitful conversation with Julia, married to a nonmember who thinks we are a cult. She has not been to church since she was a youth and attends his church with him. She has not had any contact with the branch, but the phone conversation allowed the opportunity to answer some questions and bear a testimony. We had dinner with Mary. She always prepares nice gluten-free meals for us.

We rearranged our daily schedule a little. We would get up in the morning, read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese, take a walk, have breakfast, shower and get ready for the day, then have our individual study time. The problem was "the pill" Elder Wheeler takes for reflux. He needs to wait for half an hour (during which we would walk) after he takes the pill to have breakfast. We found ourselves rushing to get back from our walk so he could eat. We decided to eat before we walk so we wouldn't have to worry about the clock while we were walking. On Thursday we took a nice long walk in the countryside on the Trans-Canada trail (in the opposite direction from Ferris Park. It was delightful, with a lot of birds to watch (some of the pictures are above). We went to the church to change the sign and for Sister Wheeler to look up information on her Canadian ancestors at the Family History Center. Since we had district meeting on Monday it shifted our schedule to Thursday for the church. We had to pick up a few items from some stores and met the Davids (members from Sama Park) who happened to be shopping at the Canadian Tire in Campbellford and Dani (a nonmember who lives across the street from the church and attended meeting for Easter) in No Frills. We had our choir practice in the evening, preparing for our "Broadway" concert in May.

On Friday we took a drive along Rice Lake, a beautiful resort area within Northumberland County.  We stopped in Warkworth to walk along the Millennial Trail that follows Mill Stream. Elder Wheeler stubbed his toe on the doorstop Thursday night, but was still game for a slow walk. [It reminded him of when he broke two toes in Arches Nation Park while carrying Kohler on his shoulders. Kohler  survived landing face-down in the dirt.] It was a beautiful drive. There are many resorts here that fill up in the summer.
Mill Creek in Warkworth
War monument in Alderville - First Nation land
The Three Bears - Goldilocks is taking the picture
Are we in South Dakota?
Rice Lake
Rice Lake

 On Saturday we took another loop drive. We were able to find Lisa in Madoc. She was friendlier as we talked on her doorstep. We then went to Eldorado to find Caitlyn, a 16-year-old girl who was blessed, but never baptized. She has been on our "lost" list for a long time. We finally were able to get contact information (with the help of the Bevens) and met her on Saturday. We still tried to find Ben, who supposedly lives in Norwood, but no one (even his neighbors) know anything about the mysterious man they sometimes see at a house that looks vacant. It looked especially so this time, with windows boarded up, a big dumpster and a potable outhouse in back. We found out from a neighbor that there was a fire at the house on Monday. There was a realtor box on the door so we still don't know if he lives there or if the remodeling is the result of the fire.

Today was branch conference. We had a lot of leaders from the district attend our meeting, which boosted attendance to 36. We had an interview during priesthood and relief society with President Prete, first counselor in the district, but also just called as a counselor in the mission presidency (so he was presiding at our meetings, even though President Davis, our district president was there).  We had a pot luck dinner afterward with a lot of gluten-free food (especially Sister Wheeler's lemon tarts). We were able to talk to President Davis during the pot luck. He may find something more for us to do.

Preparations for the pot luck dinner

1 comment:

AZ SMITHS said...

Those are some beautiful pictures! I'm sure the landscape will be so nice when Spring really comes into bloom. We love you and love reading your blog!