Sunday, May 11, 2014

A tribute to mothers of all nations, but especially the USA

By Greg:

Happy Mother's day to mothers everywhere.  Some say this country was built "on rock and roll" but we all really know that women built this country. It was the women who built the homes, taught the children and made the men and their communities become civilized.  It was mainly the women who supported and encouraged the establishment of schools, libraries, churches and other community groups.  Their struggles and sacrifices were personal and real.

Today, women, really mothers, continue that role and personal sacrifice.  For this we take this day and honor them; we honor you: Mothers of all nations, but especially those we know and love.

This statue is called the Madonna of the Trails and is one of 17 that have been placed in each state that the trail west to Santa Fe crosses.  This one is in Kansas.  We have also seen her sister in Lexington Missouri. The "daughters" have placed these statues as a reminder to us all the role women/mother played in building this country.

After a full week in the office and all the related activities, we feel the need to "take the day" as they say, and have a P-day on Saturday.  Sundays are busy for us, so we have enjoyed the last two Saturdays.

Last Saturday the Liberty Stake sponsored a "Temple Run" which was a 5-K run around the Kansas City Temple.  We decided to join in.  Hey, we even got a T-shirt! (It was bright U of U red which clashed with my BYU blue outfit, however).

Debi started out in long-sleeved pink, but shed it for short sleeved red-warm day!

Rise and Shout!

I was determined to run the entire way, even though my preparation and training was not sufficient.  Debi, on the other hand, has been vigorously exercising for months on a stationary bike that we have in our apartment, and she has been going outside afterwards for a little running when the weather permitted. I have been running a little, but not enough.

A lot of moms ran/walked with strollers

There were a lot of missionaries there helping, but they were not allowed to participate.  We also knew many of the other people, so it was fun.

We are to the point now where we know and love nearly all of the missionaries

The sister missionaries are especially wonderful

This is Stake President Morgan and children, we love this man!
This is Counselor Foley and wife

This is Doctor/Bishop Dyke-he is Sports Medicine and fixed my hurt shoulder
Coach Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs was there.  He is a member of the Church and does a lot to promote the Church and the Chiefs.

Debi was in awe of coach Reid

It was a beautiful day.  I determined to run the entire route, and Debi kindly stayed with me.  We crossed the finish line hand-in-hand to the cheers of the crowd, not first, but gratefully not last.  Several younger people told us that we were an inspiration to them.  We still are adjusting to being old!

That night we bought tickets to see the Royals play Detroit.  The game was not that great, but it was fun to be there.  The stadium is beautiful.

We were on the upper deck, but right behind the plate.  We wondered if a foul ball would come near us.  I have laughed at people who take their mits to a game.  I am going to do that from now on.  A foul ball came up and right at us and hit Debi in the shoulder!  I should have been more alert and caught it, but I didn't.  She wasn't hurt too bad, and a guy behind us retrieved the ball for his personal collection.

I bought the "value" tickets.  For $35.00 you get an upper-deck seat and $10.00 food credit.  That bought us each a hot dog and some fries, but it was super-fun.  We are going again with the YSA Branch for a FHE in a couple of weeks, that should be fun also.

So, I have been limping along all week with sore knees and legs, Debi has a bruised shoulder, but we are learning our new duties that we inherited from the Sister who went home with no replacement.  4 of the 5 computers have been exchanged, and we got through the transfer and the leadership training session (this is where all the zone leaders come to a training and then afterwards come and get all of the supplies for their zone, which we are now responsible for) and we are moving on.  We are now over the phones in the mission.  Every set of missionaries have a cell phone.  They break them, lose them or have problems with them.  We are the go-to people for this as well.  I also order name tags from BYU for those who lose them, which I figure is about 8-10 missionaries a week.

We are well and happy and I am sorry that I sounded discouraged last post.  I just want to say, being a missionary is hard!  But it is worth it.

By Debi:

Yes, being a missionary is hard work but Yes, it is worth it!  I have been very much humbled and stretched during this mission but the satisfaction and joy are worth it.  I love the Lord and I am so thankful to be able to serve a full time mission. The young missionaries are such an example to me and I love being able to feel part of this great work.  I love supporting them and helping them so they can use their time teaching the gospel to the people of the world.  It truly is a blessing. Greg and I have been so blessed while we have been serving.  It is impossible to even list all of the miracles and blessings the Lord has blessed us with.

We love the work but it is nice to take a break on a Saturday once in a while and just see the sights.
Yesterday was a beautiful day so we decided to go and see the famous Flint Hills.

One third of our country use to be covered with prairie grass.  But because of farming and developing of the land there are only a few small areas that are still the natural grasslands of the Plains.  In Kansas, not too far from Independence there is the "Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve".  There is an old mansion with barns and out buildings at the visitor center.

The ramp is so they could take a team and wagons with hay up to the top floor of the barn

All of these buildings are made with native limestone, which even the fences are made out of.  Down the road is a cute little school house.  It was the first school house in the area and is now part of the Preserve.

The wife was terribly afraid of tornadoes so she had built a great cellar with food and water and protection for her family.

They also had a three-hole outhouse.  They put in a small one for the children.

We loved the beautiful rolling hills of green grass.  There were a few flowers and an antelope or two.

Proper grazing, fire and no plowing help preserve the native grasses

We stopped in a little town called Cottonwood Falls.  There is a little river and a wonderful old main street that they are keeping alive.

The courthouse has to be one of the most decorative ones we have seen in this area.

There were two boys on the bridge over the river fishing without their shirts on.  I reminisced back to the lazy days of being a child in a small town on a summer afternoon.  No fears or worries, just a day to go fish with a friend.  We need more of that in our lives.

The Spaniards were here before the pilgrims were in New England.  This is said
to be the grave of one of the priests who came with Coronado and stayed to teach the gospel to the natives in the late 1500s.

Greg feels like he has been here since the late 1500s
We left in the morning with beautiful blue skies but by the time we got back in the late afternoon the skies were black and there was a severe weather warning.  The weather here changes so quickly.  The people just roll with it but I still get a little nervous when I see a storm coming in.

P-days are great and we are thankful for the break.  We are now ready for another week and excited to help the work along.

Happy Mother's day to all of you beautiful mothers out there!

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