Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our Journey to West Virginia

Thurday, June 6, 2013
            We were set apart this evening to be full-time missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the West Virginia Charleston Mission.  Brian, Josh and Amber’s families as well as Ellen, our granddaughter from Japan were present.
            A little miracle or tender mercy happened tonight.  President Felt had told Tim that we would be set apart tonight.  When we arrived at the stake house, Bishop Lynn Evans was just getting out of his car.  His wife had dropped him off.  President Felt was also getting out of his car.  He looked at Tim and I and said “Are you setting you apart tonight?”  I thought he was teasing us but it turned out that he had really forgotten.  He needed to visit with Bishop Evans, our very own Bishop, about something else and it would take them about 1 hour.  That was the only time they both had that week and had almost decided to do it another night but felt they could do it between 7 and 8 pm before Bishop Evans had other commitments with high school graduation.
            Graciously, President Felt invited us into the high council room and proceeded with the setting apart.  He was very kind and asked everyone in the room to give us some advice for our mission, including our 3 year old granddaughter.  He then told us that we were doing our grandchildren a great favor by serving a mission because every time they prayed for us it would strengthen their own testimony of Jesus Christ.
            I knew that evening that Heavenly Father is aware of each of us and he some how orchestrated our very own Bishop Evans and President Felt to be at that stake house at the exact time that we needed them there to set us apart.  It was no coincidence.

Saturday, June 8, 2013
            Today was the day to leave for our 2nd mission to Charleston, West Virginia.  We both arose early and was almost ready to leave when Tim went to the workshop to drain our hot water heater only to find that it just dripped a few drops at a time.  It holds 50 gallons of water so we knew it would take most of the day to drain it.  After about 20 minutes of stress, we discovered that the opening was plugged with some sediment.  Tim opened it up a little and we left it to drain on its own.
            Then Tim found he did not have any RV antifreeze to put in the drains and toilets to keep sewer gases out of the house.  He had to go to the store to buy some.   
            When finally were ready to set the burglar alarm we found out that the horn did not work.  Tim had checked it a couple of days previous and it seemed to work fine.  He worked on it for a while and determined with Bill Simpson that Tim would have to purchase a new one on line and have one of the kids plug it into the garage wall.
            Then as we backed out the driveway and went to shut the garage door, it did not want to close.  Tim spent another 15-20 minutes working on that.  We finally left when it went down once and basically told Bill “good luck”.  He will keep an eye on the house from across the street.
            We spent most of the day driving through Wyoming.  It is one of the ugliest states in the South Central part of the state.  I think Heavenly Father created it so we would recognize his beautiful creations when we saw them.
            We stopped at a McDonalds to get a drink.  While I was in the restroom I could see that an older lady was just standing there and not leaving.  When I went to wash my hands, she said, “I can’t seem to get the door open.”  I chuckled as she looked at the locked janitor’s door.  I had to tell her she was trying to open the wrong door.  We both laughed, especially when I told her I had done exactly the same thing a few years ago while I was at lunch with some ladies from work.  I wondered how long I would be locked in the bathroom.
            We walked out into the McDonald’s ordering area and she told her husband what had happened.  Then she said to him.  “I wasn’t even original.  This lady has done the same thing.”  I laughed and then he said to me, “You have a beautiful smile.  You must know someone up there who is in charge of things” and he pointed upwards.  I said, “Yes, I do.  Actually we are on our way to West Virginia to be missionaries”.  He said “God bless”.  It was a gentle reminder to me that I am now to open my mouth and share the gospel with others more than ever.

            We traveled for about 10 hours.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
            We didn’t make it to church today.  The only wards in our path did not have meetings conducive to our traveling needs.  I did feel guilty not going.
            The drive today in Nebraska was pretty.  I love the gently rolling farm lands.  It was very windy and then rain came about our last 2 hours of the drive.
            It seemed like every hotel we passed either Tim or I would say, “That hotel looks familiar.  We must have stayed there on our way to or from Florida.”  I finally laughed and said “We have sure stayed in a lot of hotels through this part of the country!”
            We spent about 7 hours traveling today.
Monday, June 10, 2013
            Today was an interesting day.  We traveled through Nebraska and down the border of Kansas and Missouri.  We have a GPS in our new car so were using it to navigate our way.  At St Louis, Missouri she directed us to take a turn which we did.  About ½ hour later, she told us to get off of the freeway and go to a certain street, so we did.  Then she continued to direct us through this cute little country town where the streets got smaller and the town more rural looking.  I told Tim it was odd that it would take us through a little town like this to get us to another big highway.  Normally one large freeway would take you directly to another.
            Now we were traveling amongst some fields and the GPS was saying “Go to unnamed street”.  Finally she said, “You have arrived at your destination.”  There we sat in the middle of a farm at RANDY’S COUNTRY BARN AND PUMPKIN PATCH.  We both looked at each other and just laughed out hysterically.  We had to or we would have cried.  It took us another 30 minutes to find our way back to a different freeway and be on our way – the right way this time.  We’re not sure why we were misled to begin with.
            This incident reminded me that is how our lives can be at times.  We are just moving along our merry old way when we go off the correct path because of being misled (by Satan) or others and soon find ourselves lost in life.  We are not sure how we could have gone wrong but we did.  Then it takes us time to get back on the right path back to our Heavenly Father.  We did make it safely to our hotel that day.
            We traveled for 8 hours today.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
            We arrived in West Virginia today about 3:30 and will spend the night at a hotel here and then go in to the office in the morning.  It was a beautiful drive with the exception of South Central Wyoming.  I think Heavenly Father made that state so we would have our opposites.  The trees on the rolling hills through Kentucky was so thick we didn't even know we had passed through Frankfort (the capitol) and Lexington.

A most interesting thing happened about 10 minutes after we crossed the border into West Virginia.  We had been listening to Jesus the Christ on tape for a good portion of our trip but when we needed a little pep in the drive to wake us up, we would put on a CD with music that Tim had recorded from his collection of 60's music.  He has about 300 songs on tapes.  I would take one out of his case and slip it into the disc player.  I started with Disc 1 and would then take 2, 3 etc. Like I said, about 10 minutes over the West Virginia border the song "Country Roads" came on!  We couldn't believe our ears.  We both laughed and then when it said "Take me home to the place I belong" I knew that it was a little voice from heaven telling us that is where we need to be at this time - it is our home for now.

We have only seen about 1 hour worth of West Virginia.  It doesn't seem as dense in foliage as Kentucky was but is still pretty.  We noticed either smog or mists of water vapor hanging low between the rolling hills.  It is overcast so right now we don't know if it is smog or humidity.  We didn't see that through Kentucky either.

As Tim mentioned in the last email, Janet was keeping track of license plates from the states.  She ended up seeing one from 4 states in Canada and every state in the US except for New Mexico, North Dakota, Mississippi, Delaware, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  She even saw one from both Hawaii and Alaska.  We didn't see one from West Virginia until 45 minutes before we hit the state line.
            We have traveled through the following towns named after 5 of our kids and 16 grandchildren:  Emma, Maxwell, Craig, Mitchell and Clayton
            It took us 6 hours to reach our final destination today.

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