Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Well, it has definitely been a while since we last posted.  We have had any exciting trips that never made it on to here but our last "trip" was 2 weeks in the Provo MTC followed by a week of driving across the United States.  We stopped at several Church history spots here and there and then arrived in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on August 19th to start a one year mission. 

Tanner Nelson entered the MTC a few days before we finished up.

We saw Addison Lomaxay while were there but this is a picture that
Addison sent me after we left.  It was good that he connected with
Tanner.  Elder Nelson is now in Knoxville TN and Elder Lomaxay
is in Cambodia.

Our first night on the road, we stayed in an old Mansion that
has been renovated and is now a Bed and Breakfast.  It was
a beautiful home.  The town it is in is very small and we had a
hard time finding a place to eat.  Breakfast the next morning
was fabulous though.

We stopped at Martins Cove and had a very warm hike back into
the cove.  I think it was about 2 miles.  I did not like the heat
but I just can't even imagine what the pioneers had to endure
during the winter time.  We saw the Saunders from our Stake.  They
are serving a mission there.

The scenery in Wyoming was not much to look at but we saw coal
mines and a few other interesting things.

Wayne kept saying we needed to stop in Wall South Dakota so
we could see Wall Drug.  There is nothing of a town there
but the "drug store" takes up an entire block.  It was a pretty
amazing place.

We drove through the Badlands.  I just kept thinking of all the
Western movies I have seen and could picture the cowboys
and Indians riding through the canyons.

Mount Rushmore

Custers State Park had some absolutely gorgeous
scenery.  We also saw a lot of animals there -
buffalo, prairie dogs, deer, etc.

We went to Winter Quarters where we shared our
tour with Lloyd Newell and his family, then went
to Liberty Jail and since we were in the area I
had to go see the headquarters for the Community
of Christ Church (Reorganized LDS).

Mississippi River
St. Louis Arch
And then things started looking really good.  Lots of green
and rolling hills.  Cute little farms everywhere.

We have been assigned to work in the mission office.  We headed straight for the office when we arrived in Pittsburgh.  We met the couple we replaced, the Gardners, took them to lunch, they took us to our new apartment and then we headed back to the office.  We started working right away and have been busy,, busy ever since.

President and Sister Johnson came in to the office to meet us that afternoon.  He works out of the Mission Home and we only see him occasionally in the office.  They took us out for breakfast the next morning to Pamelas.  It is supposed to be a pretty well known place.  It was good.
 One of the things that kept us really busy the first few weeks was getting five new apartments ready for when a group of 25 new missionaries arrived.  We only had 9 depart so new areas had to be opened up.  Our mission is so spread out that we rely on the Bishops, Relief Society Presidents and Ward Mission Leaders to help us.  They do the foot work of finding new apartments and then we do all the paperwork and ordering utilities, etc.  Completely furnishing an apartment when it is 3 to
5 hours away is interesting.  We have the move crew though.  These are three elders who load up, drive to the location and then unload everything and set the apartment up.  We have three storage units that were full when we arrived.  They are looking pretty empty now.  We have two apartments we are opening up this next month so we have been picking things up gradually to furnish them.  It isn't just the furniture  that we have to get.  We supply them with lamps, rugs, cleaning supplies, dishes, microwaves, toasters, and on and on.  I have loved shopping without using my money.

The move crew and their trailer.

 We had two General Authorities and their wives visit the second week we were here.  Elders Perkins and Meurs did training with 1/2 the mission in Greentree and then did the other half in State College the next day.  We had some fantastic meetings and then the Senior Missionaries here in Pitt got to go to dinner with the Perkins and Meurs that night.  The Rekief Society sisters fed us well at lunch time.

Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas is absolutely beautiful.  This is a trail that we can get on just behind our apartment.  It used to be the railroad track.  They have made it into a trail which goes about 32 miles.  Beautiful.

Well that covers the first month of our time here.  We have been assigned to work in the Young Single Adult Ward and so we travel a little more than a half hour to get to the church several times a week.  We put 1400 miles on the car in our first month here and I can see it being much more this next month.  We love driving the small winding roads here but rely heavily on GPS.  You cannot tell which direction you are going in and if you make a wrong turn you are lost.  There is lots to do here, when we have the time.  We are really looking forward to all that we will be exposed to.  The missionaries are wonderful and boost us so much.

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