Sunday, October 22, 2017

22 Oct 2017 New branch presidency

Just a short note for today, a couple of branch items.
1 President Van De Graaf was released and President MH Merrill was called, as counselors Brother Spanbauer as 1st counselor and Brother Scott as 2nd counselor. President Merrill is hearing, but signs very well as does his family. Today was branch conference, so it was a good time to make the change. A special musical number was given by Sister Van De Graaf and her daughter. I don't have the daughters name but she sang the song ( How Great Thou Art) while Sister Van De Graaf signed it. It was beautiful, completely in sync, to the word. Later in priesthood meeting President Merrill's son (about 12 yrs old) gave the spiritual thought and recited a scripture in ASL.  If I can I'll try to remember to get some pictures of the ward building I will. It was remodeled from something else, probably a restaurant... Jk remember the Lancaster building we attended in Lancaster SC. was a remodeled Chinese restaurant.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

17 Oct 2017 Monday out with the team... and an ASL experience.

Yesterday was one of our get togethers with the missionaries / Rock Creek ward activities. As group we headed to Gettysburg, PA. to the battlefield monument, or other venues in the area. Having gone to Gettysburg in Aug of 2015 with Steve and Donna, heading home from our 1st mission, we decided to check out another site. Along with 3 other couples we visited the Eisenhower farm/house. It was interesting although not real elaborate. It's 189 acre farm in the Gettysburg historic site. Apparently Ike, President Eisenhower, loved the Gettysburg area, it was the site of his first command. Not the battle silly, he was commander over a new military training division, the armored tank division. He was there for several years before going to Europe for WWII. Anyway he came back and bought the Reading farm when he retired. That was right before being resigned or better yet, ask by President Kennedy to head up NATO. He and Mamie moved to France then finally came home to the farm. It sold for a whopping $42,000 back then.  Here some pictures:

                                                No flash photography so it's a little dark.
                                                                   Living Room  

                                                                    Ike in uniform

                                                      Sun Room, which was his favorite

                                                            Dinning Room

                                                              1 of a few bedrooms, maybe only 4
                                                                        and servants quarters

                                                        Outside in front

                                                      Just some of the acreage

                                                  I said that looks like the tree of Life


                                 The farm used to raise dairy cows, but now raises Angus Beef


                                                    I liked this old gas pump

                                                The Flag  No takingknee here

                                                                Putting green

                            Lunch with some of the missionaries, to the right are the Bishop's, behind them are the Juvenal's, across from them are the Snelson's, then Patty and I.

So now for the ASL experience, today at the temple I was in the baptistry and one of the coordinators came looking for me, and said there was a deaf sister going to be at the veil at 12:30 and they wanted me there to receive her at the veil. Here at the DC temple patrons who use another language can decide how much of the other language they want to use. She asked for closed caption in the endowment and ASL (signed) at the veil. I haven't had that experience yet, but they asked me to do it. So I did, my first real at the veil ASL experience! I still need to study and get it down without a card, but I liked it. Still so much to learn. More to come....

15 Oct 2017 Week 2 at the Deaf Branch

Today was the 2nd week we attended the deaf branch, it is a very warm and inviting branch. It does make it easier if you sign or can read sign language, however they always ask if someone needs voice interpreting. If thats the case someone, usually the sisters, will sit in the congregation and voice interpret. Everything is displayed on a video screen behind the speaker and in front of the branch presidency. Like speaking in conference, sort of. Anyway working with the deaf members is always a learning experience. They prefer you sign, when you speak or pray or whatever, and not voice for yourself. In other words like today I was asked to give the closing prayer, I signed the prayer and one of the sisters voice interpreted for me, I could have done both myself, but they feel it doesn't interpret the same???. I guess it works. Music is played on a iPhone or iPad and displayed on the screen, with someone signing the words, everyone follows the music director. These are some very sharp and smart people, most of the deaf I've met sign and read lips well, and most voice to you. Here's an example in Sunday School today the teacher said in class we sign everything, so the YW president ask if we wanted a voice translation? Patty said yes and she, who is deaf, voice translated perfectly. It really makes it easy for any stake leader to attend any meeting without missing anything. By the way the instructor was hearing, but still had Sister Munro voice interpret. On the other hand the same instructor taught priesthood and it was all signing because no one needed voice interpreting. Cool huh! If I work hard and pay attention I believe I can become better with my language skills. Actually today a sister said to me ( 1 week ago was the first time there, mind you) you're getting better. That's because I bore my testimony last week and said I need help. Already love this ward! Last Friday was ASL training at the temple, now that is a chore to learn, but I will do it. This Friday is ASL session day, we will see how that goes. I'll report back later. I think the Lords has us here for a reason, you think? So far we're having a great experience. President Van De Graaf has not been to church, (out of town last week and sick the week before), but next week is Branch conference so we will see him again. The last time I saw him was in Tucson when he was the branch president of the Tucson Branch. I know he and dad were good friends. Sister Slade and I are trying to either stay late after our shifts or go in early so we can practice the ASL ordinances. I know we really want to learn them, possibly come home and help in the Tucson temple.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

14 Oct 2017 more pictures and stories from early on

Just adding a couple more pictures, as I get caught up to date.
These pictures are from the "barn" at President Folger's, 1st counselor in the DC temple presidency.
It's not a working barn for sure, but it is for gatherings, such as this.
All the missionaries got together for a pot luck dinner

                                  Arnold Gillespie (Wayne's brother in law), Richard Merrill, Wayne Slade

                                       Patty standing around looking for something to clean up

                                    President Folger brought in a Raspado (snow cone)  machine
                                    It was a big hit, as you can see.

                                                     Missionaries playing some games

                                                             More Raspados

                                  Sister Barney, Sue Slade and Wayne Slade, Arnold Gillespie

                                                       Duck blind? Looks like it.
                                                                          Sister Slade and I

                                    Up front is Sister Colton (temple matron)

                                     Up front is President Folger, behind and to the right of him is President Colton                  

                                       Apparently Sister Slade couldn't find anything to clean

                                    The full moon was coming out, looked better at the site.

Friday, October 13, 2017

12 Oct 2017 Serving in Washington DC Temple

Well, let's see, we were called way back in August to serve in the Washington DC Temple. I have said I need to get a blog started, I have tried to get another blog started. Couldn't get it done, don't know why, however I just decided to add to the old Called to Serve Charlotte and start this page as the DC temple page. To get caught up, I had been serving in the Palo Verde Ward Bishopric (working with the deaf group) since getting home from the last mission 2 yrs ago. Patty wanted to serve another mission, but I was hesitant until I knew, (hopefully by inspiration) it was time to leave. It is a major decision to leave the family again and leave the deaf group we'd been serving. I made an appointment with the stake president and after talking with him we both decided together as it were, to put our papers in. President Lewis (East Stake President), President Thies (Rincon Stake President) Patty and I all felt it was the right time. Let me add, at least on my part, I prayed often about this and truly felt it was right. Now where to serve, (where the Lords wants us of course), however we did look to see where there was a need. We found that the Washington DC temple needed help serving the deaf patrons. We called the temple and spoke with President Colton and his counselor President Swift. They were excited to have someone interested in working with the deaf patrons, so we put our papers in and with the support and reccomendation of President Colton we were called to serve in the Washington DC Temple! For the most part the family was supported, so we made plans. The call said we would serve from 22 Sept 2017 to 4 March 2018, which is when the temple closes for 2 years. We  (Patty) wanted to get a head start so we planned on leaving by the 8th of September, allowed us some time to stop in Branson Mo. to visit with the Bennett's. This we did, arriving in Branson Saturday 9 Sept 2017. We went to church with the Bennett's on Sunday, went to the lake on monday and made plans to see some shows the next few days. There are a few LDS entertainers in Branson and the Jim & Marilyn can get discount tickets, beside the fact that she works part time for the Dutton's. Anyway we enjoyed a show with the Dutton's and a group call Six, who are LDS brothers.  On Wednesday we went to Silver Dollar City and enjoyed a day at there. We are grateful for the hospitality and friendship of Jim and Marilyn and Jamie and CJ. We got up early (by Patty's standards) on Thursday and headed out. We traveled to Columbus, OH, stayed the night leaving Friday morning for DC. We arrived in DC around 3:30 pm. When we got here we were meet by a group of missionaries who gathered together to help us unpack. This is a standard they set as new missionaries arrive all the others gather together and help them unpack. Since arriving we have been busy, the1st week I helped with the temple clean up, it wasn't my assignment yet, but I wanted to do something beside shop and spend money. The next week was our week to clean, and we did, everyday. What a blessing it is to be in the temple everyday. So something to mention, before we left we had a list of missionaries that were called to serve here. We noticed some names we knew like SLADE. Come to find out Wayne and Sue Slade are here along with Wayne's sister Gari Gillespie and her husband Arnold. They live in Eagar now. We connect with William Rufus Slade, kinda the same with Toby (Leland James Slade) whom I worked with on the railroad for years until his death from cancer. I miss you Toby, you were a good friend. Anyway Wayne's other sister Pat Nelson, from Gila Valley and her husband will be arriving here next week. Renee Coombs and her Husband Steve are serving here. She is related through the Slade and Lee sides. Steve & Renee Coombs know Steve Slade very well. Going back to Pat Nelson she served with Aunt Dorene in the Gila Valley Temple. What a great blessing it is to get to know all this family and friends. From here on out to date we have been serving in the temple. I will try to condense this part, as it is a lot. When you serve here you learn by fire, meaning we were trained in the temple the 1st day then you're off to serve. The train is good, but you are expected to already be knowledgeable in the ordinances. So most of the additional training is particular to the DC temple. Here is what counts, they are the most humble, patient, loving and kind group of people, it makes learning fun and easy. Everyday is special and your "line" changes everyday. We are so blessed to be here. Today (13 Oct 2017) is the first day we will work with the deaf in the temple, however I have already had a couple of experiences with deaf patrons. I forgot to mention on our first Sunday here Gladys Knight was here and did a "fireside". It was really good, like a ol' time revival. Will follow up later. Now for some pictures.
Until next time stand in holy places,

Paddle boat on the lake, traveling show.

Below are Jim, Marilyn and Patty on Jim's boat

 This is the group Six

These next pictures are from Silver Dollar City

Wayne and Sue Slade coming out of the temple
Below are a couple of pictures of the DC temple