Monday, November 30, 2009

This is Lillian Grace Tomlinson, 10 yrs old, with her dear friend, fellowshipper and mentor in the gospel, Sister Mabel Adams. This picture was taken right after her baptism this past Sunday, Nov 29 here the Bedford Branch chapel.

It was a very special baptismal service, one we will always remember because it was our privilage to teach Lilly the missionary lessons in her home where she resides with her uncle and aunt, Paige and Jackie Tomlinson and their family of 5 children. Each time we taught a lesson, Sister Adams would come 32 miles round-trip from her farm east of Bedford to be present at the lessons. She would bring hot cinamin rolls or some other special treat. She is such a kind and loving friend to each member of this Tomlinson family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The season of Thanksgiving is upon us with all of its fond memories and reminders of how very blessed we are to be citizens of this United States of America and to enjoy such freedoms and opportunities, denied to so many of our fellowmen in other parts of the world, even today.

The colors of autumn are still with us. It is a delightful time of the year.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, we will be guests in the home of Danny & Kathryn Laprade, down in Goodview. They have worked very hard and long to improve their home and now they want us to come and join them for Thanksgiving Dinner. Kathryn is not letting us do a thing to help, just wants us to come and enjoy.

Monday we were dinner guests in the home of our Relief Society President , Evelyn Deel and her husband Buck. We had Elder's Fullmer and Liddiard with us. We were also joined by Sister Rosemary Overstreet and her husband Mike. It was a very nice dinner and a nice evening in their lovely home in Blue Ridge, west of Bedford about 16 miles.

Tuesday we were dinner guests in the newly purchased home of Elmer and Sue Hodge. Again, the young elders were also invited and we had a most enjoyable time and a lovely meal. These are such fine people, serving so faithfully in the branch and in the Roanoke Stake. Elmer is in the newly installed Branch Presidency as counselor to President Scott. Sue continues as teacher of the Gospel Doctrine class and leader of the branch choir.

We will be waiting with great interest for updates from our children in Arizona regarding their Thanksgiving gatherings and for the results of the State Championship game between Show Low and Blue Ridge (Pinetop) to be held this Saturday on the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff. Our grandson Rathen is the star quarterback of his Show Low Cougar team and his father is the coach. They have had another outstanding season. We hope they can take it all like they did in 2007, winning the state 3A championship.

Monday, Nov 23, we attended District Meeting at the Vinton Chapel with the other members of the Vinton District. Recent transfers brought us Elder Liddiard (far right), of Elk Ridge, Utah. He replaces Elder Hart and is companion to our District Leader, Elder Fullmer, standing next to him. On the far left is Elder Pirir of Utah, orginally from Guatamala. Then his companion Elder Hegland of Utah, then another new missionary to our District, Elder Reed, former Zone Leader. He is companion to Elder Boling (in the middle with dark hair and glasses). We always enjoy our opportunity to be with these missionaries.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Elder Riley Hart, of Payson, Utah (on left) saying his goodbyes to us and his fine companion and District Leader, Elder Fullmer, of Rexburg, Idaho.

They are standing outside their apartment here on Greenwood Street in Bedford, Tuesday evening, Nov 17. The following morning they would be at the Roanoke Virginia Stake Center at 5:30 a.m. for Elder Hart to catch his ride north to his new area in West Virginia and for Elder Fullmer to await his new companion, Elder Lilliard of Elk Ridge, Utah, coming in from the MTC.

We will surely miss this fine young missionary, Elder Hart. He has been the best!

We love Elder Fullmer and we are looking forward to getting better acquainted with his new companion, Elder Lilliard, who we saw just briefly upon their arrival Wed evening.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Before we returned to Bedford, after our dinner with the other missionary couples we drove through the Virginia Tech campus and stopped to take this picture of the big football stadium where the high ranking V-Tech Hokies play.

It is a very nice campus with many lovely buildings constructed of stone. It has a painful past with the mass shootings and other incidents of violence that have occurred here. The shooter in the recent tragedy at Ft. Hood, Texas was a graduate of Virginia Tech.

This past Saturday, Nov 7, we enjoyed a Senior Missionary social, held at the LDS Institute of Religion on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, just 70 miles west of us, down the I-81.

We had turkey and dressing and all the trimmings for an early Thanksgiving feast. (We provided mashed potatos and a Razzleberry pie)

Most of you will recognize dear Bishop Rob Cochran and his wife Linda, seated at the front left. They are on a CES mission assigned to the Institute on the campus of Southern Virginia University up in Buena Vista, Virginia. Two other couples, the Lewis's to their left and the Bennion's at the far table (center) also teach at the SVU Institute. Elder Uhreh in the blue jumpsuit at the rear table (right) with the big smile, hosted our dinner. He did a lot of the work himself as his wife was home sick a bed. He is assigned to the VA Tech Institute which has one student ward and about 160 enrolled. SVU in Buena Vista has many more LDS students attending and needs more teachers and staff. They have 5 Student Wards on campus up there.

The other two couples seated at the back table, the Avis's and the ? (shame on me) serve in proselyting assignments in branch's up in West Virginia. They drove the furthest to be with us. Two other couples in West Virgnia did not come down.

Not shown in this picture besides ourselves, was President and Sister Thornock who were saying goodbye to the young missionaries at the door when I took this picture. We had a very fine meal and a wonderful visit together.

Brother Smith, a member of the Bedford Branch Elder's Quorum, helping with a firewood cutting service project a week ago, Saturday. These men of Bedford County are pretty much born with a chain saw in their hands. They cut through logs like so much butter! Brother Smith could keep two of us busy supplying him logs and two more busy stacking what he was cutting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It is interesting, that while some hardwoods are still carrying their full green foliage, others, like this beautiful pecan tree in our yard here on Hopes Way in Bedford, Virginia lost all its leaves days ago. So, everywhere you look there is the fullest variety of color and stages of change that accompany this wonderful season of the year.

Autumn leaves provide a beautiful change of color in our back yard near the end of October.

This is the sun, rising before us as we returned from an all-night stay in Salem, Virginia, trying to break through a heavy, low-lying cloud cover in the early morning hours after a rain storm.