Friday, January 16, 2009

January 15, 2009, Arrival in West Virginia

The countryside in southern Illinois and Indiana took on a dramatic difference from the scenes available to us earlier in our trip across Missouri.

No bill boards line the Interstate in Illinois or Indiana. What a difference!

I-70 from Kansas City to St. Louis is literally one huge bill board after another, mile after mile. Shame on Missouri (shame on Arizona, as a matter of fact!). Our compliments to Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky where you see the countryside with its wonderful farms, rivers and woodlands unobstructed by commercial signs and bill boards.

Wednesday morning the arctic air that swept down over the Mid-west brought the temperatures in the single digits as we drove through St. Louis and crossed the mighty Mississippi.

Linda took this picture of the famous "Gateway to the West" that stands on the bank of the river, welcoming travelers to St. Louis and the great western expanse of the American continent.

Here is where so many early settlers, explorers, adventurers and pioneers came to get outfitted and ready for their western journey across the plains.

We didn't stop but kept on heading east, changing from I-70 to I-64 as we crossed onto the Illinois shore and continued on through southern Illinois, then on through southern Indiana, finally stopping for the night in Frankfort, Kentucky.

We arrived at the West Virginia Charleston Mission Home on Thursday afternoon just President and Sister Thornock were completing a Zone Leader conference and luncheon.

The Zone Leaders were all gathered about their mission president on the front porch and Sister Thronock was preparing to take their picture as we pulled up.

We got to shake the hand of each of these fine elders as they departed. Then we were warmly greated by President and Sister Thornock and taken inside the Mission Home where they fed us a late lunch and engaged us in conversation.

We realized finally, that this is the very same mission home we came to 25 years ago to pick up our son Jeffery at the conclusion of his 18 month service in the the West Virginia Charleston Mission. How special it is for us to be here now at the beginning of our service!