Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Friday, September 18, fire erupted while workers were removing old paint from the exterior wall of Bedord's historic old train station, now a popular restaurant where we have enjoyed a number of fine meals. Liberty Station!

They say the workers were using a blow torch to soften the old paint and the flames got out of control. The damage was very extensive. Even though the fire station is only a block away and responded quickly. It was fully involved by the time they arrived. We saw pictures on the news of one of the waitresses that has waited on us several times, being interviewed by the media. She was in tears. It started right after she arrived at work she said. There were numerous employees in the building but no one was injured.

The owners have made it clear that they are going to quickly renovate and restore and they say they intend to be reopened for business before the end of the year. We were happy to hear that. Apparently they do have insurance coverage.

The week prior to our recent Stake Conference (Roanoke Virginia Stake) we were again out on the many by-roads outside of Bedford placing type-written notices about the conference with the less-active members of our Bedford Branch. Always, there is something interesting to see as we drive these country roads. It would be interesting to know the history of this old homestead, out along highway 714, otherwise known as Falling Creek Road, south and east of Bedford in the township of Huddleston, Virginia. Several of our branch members live out this way, scattered about, sometimes on unpaved, gravel roads, a long ways off the beaten path.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The all-male members of the Vinton District are seen here, finishing off some full platters of double layer pizza at the nearby New York Pizzarea, following our Wednesday District Meeting. The quantity of food these skinny elders can consume is, as I said to Elder Fenton (left front), "prodigious."

Sister Chapman was not with us to set an atmosphere of restraint. I am afraid I over-indulged myself as well. It really was good pizza!

The only thing you see of our District Leader, Elder Fullmer, are his hands as he loads a take-home box with slices of pizza for later in the day. These guys can eat!

On the left, front to back is Elder Fenton from Salt Lake City, Utah; Elder Hart from Payson, Utah.

On the right, front to back is Elder Chin, our Zone Leader, along with Elder Fenton; Elder Hegland of Salt Lake; and his companion Elder Pirir, also of Utah.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We attended our District Meeting today, September 9, 10:30 a.m. at the chapel in Vinton, Virginia.
After the meeting Sister Chapman took this picture of all the male members of the District. (She declined to be photographed).
Back row, l to r:
Elder Pirir (pronounced Pareer, originally from Guatamala, his family now lives in Utah); Elder Boling of San Diego in the dark glasses; our District Leader Elder Fullmer of Rexburg, Idaho.
Front row, l to r:
Elder Hegland of Salt Lake City, Utah; Elder Shill of Plano, Texas, (Elder Shill is our former District Leader and grandson of our former Seminary colleague, Wynn Call); myself, Elder Chapman; and Elder Hart of Payson, Utah.
We love these young, hard working missionaries!

During the recent Roanoke Virginia Zone Conference, September 2, they had the missionary companionships pair off as part of a practice session, role playing approaches and meetings with investigators and new contacts.

Here we see our new District Leader, Elder Fullmer of Rexburg, Idaho and his companion Elder Hart (Payson, UT) practicing their testifying skills.

Elder Fullmer replaced Elder Wright here in Bedford at the Transfer that occurred the week prior to Zone Conference. He is an excellent Elder.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Linda took this picture as we had to say our goodbyes to Elizabeth and John at the Lynchburg airport, just prior to their flight back home to Arizona on Tuesday afternoon, September 1.
It is hard to put in to words what our family means to us and how much we love them and how happy we are when we see them or get to hear from them in any sort of way.
Thanks, John and Elizabeth for this wonderful visit here with us in Virginia!

After the women had their nails all beautified we finished our tour of the D-Day Memorial and picked them up from the nail salon and took them for lunch back up to the Peaks of Otter resort and restaurant on the Blue Ridge Parkway north and west of Bedford.

We had a most enjoyable time!

Here they took a seat on the porch at my insistance so I could get a picture. Neither one of them would have thought to sit down otherwise. They are so full of energy!

Nineteen soldier boys from this little village of Bedford, Virginia were killed by massive enemy fire on June 6, 1944 as they tried to struggle ashore from their landing craft during the first minutes of the invasion at Omaha Beach. Three others from Bedford would die that same day. That is why Bedford was later selected for this Memorial. They had sacrificed so much.

This is an attempt depict the climb up virtical cliffs that had to be surmounted by American forces as they stormed the shores of France in an area designed as Utah Beach.

This is the very recognizable bronze of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of all the military forces involved in the D-Day invasion. It was the quiet, intelligent and untiring thoroughness of this remarkable man that helped make it possible for all the many elements of the army, navy and air forces of England, America and all its allies to work in harmony and support of each other in this mighty accomplishment of turning the tide against Hitler. What a superb accomplishment! We should not forget their heroic efforts in behalf of freedom!

It was good to be there with my son, John. It was my first time to visit the memorial, even though we have been here in Bedford since last January.

Monday, while Elizabeth and her mom were getting manicures and pedicures at a local shoppe in Bedford, John and I visited the National D-Day Memorial which is located in Bedford.

It is a beautifully designed and maintained memorial, paying honor to the sacrifice of those who participated in the invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944, in Operation Overlord; perhaps the descisive day in the ultimate victory over Hitler and the Axis in WWII.

Before dropping down off the Blue Ridge and returning to Bedford, on our Sunday drive, we stopped for a few minutes at the lake located at the foot of the famous Peaks of Otter.

We promised them we would return the next day for lunch at the restaurant that is part of a resort located here.

Later, in the afternoon on Sunday, August 30, we took John and Elizabeth a ride through the Virginia countryside, including a short stretch of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was a little hazy, but still a nice day to be out.

This is at an overlook on the Parkway, about 15 miles west of Bedford.

John arrived on his birthday, August 29, so the next day, after they attended our Bedford Branch Sunday meetings with us we had the traditional Chapman family Sunday dinner complete with Roast beef, mashed potatos and gravy, tossed green salad, hot rolls, and fresh peach shortcake and ice cream for dessert! Not too bad!

Of course, just because it was John's birthday dinner didn't mean Elizabeth and I should forgo our practice of mustard on our roast beef!

Two of our children, John and Elizabeth, flew out from Arizona for a 3-day visit with us, August 29 to September 1. They were coming by way of Charlotte, North Carolina and were due to arrive at the Lynchburg airport at 11:28 p.m. We got to the airport in plenty of time, we thought, to be there when they got off the plane. I let Linda off at the main entrance while I parked the car. She took a seat near the entrance to wait for me. I came in and saw her waiting and told I was going to look for a monitor to see the status of the flight. I stepped into a small eating area (this is a small regional airport) and saw a young fellow seated there, eating a large burrito. Oh, my gosh! It was John! I was so surprised!
They had arrived in record time!
Linda said that just as I walked away she heard someone in the nearby women's restroom sneeze. She said to herself, "That has to be Elizabeth!" And sure enough, out came Elizabeth from the rest room and spotted her mom!
This picture was taken just as their mother greeted them for the first time! How great it is to get a visit from members of your family when you have been away from them so long.