Saturday, January 24, 2009

January 24, 2009, Saturday, the house hunt near Bedford continues

As we headed south from Bedford toward our temporary quartes at Smith Mountain Lake we had to stop and take this picture of a glorious sunset.

We have learned that Virginia has wonderful mountains; a most delightful countryside; a rich heritage of over 400 years of history as one of the oldest and most storied places in America; and it has beautiful sunsets to boot! We feel very fortunate to be here!

We know we will find something soon that we can move in to and begin settling in to our true purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ. We have been meeting a variety of townspeople, homeowners, realtors, property managers and others. All have been helpful and kind. They see us in our missionary attire, with our badges on and they usually ask what we are doing and where we are from and it gives us an opportunity to explain our reason for coming to the Bedford area. Sometimes we are able to leave a pass along card with them. We like to think we are doing some good, even though we are still homeless.

Actually, this is a land of great contrast between the old and the new. The rural area outside of cities like Bedford and Roanoke is covered with abandoned structures like these old homes that have stood here for years and years. A short distance down the road there will be a newer home or a well cared for older home with beautiful yards, barns, fences and outbuildings. Then a short distance furthor on you find an old single-wide mobile home or another derilict farm building, literally falling down upon itself, then a little furthor and a mansion of a home or a rural church of which there are very many.

We hope you can help us decide on which of these homes would be more suitable.

Wednesday, Jan 21, we had the opportunity of meeting with the missionaries assigned to the Roanoke District, of which we are a part. Elder Jytanski (2nd from left in middle row) is the District Leader. He is from Orem, Utah and conducted a very fine training session with these missionaries regarding the great importance of the Book of Mormon as a major tool in the conversion process. We were given the opportunity to introduce ourselves. They welcomed us warmly. We were able to go to lunch with them at a nearby Chinese Buffet after the meeting. Sister Chapman won their hearts when she announced that we would be picking up the tab for their meal!
The Zone Leaders, Elder Gowen (standing to right of Elder Kytanski) and Elder Green (first on the left in the back row), also joined us at this meeting and the lunch aftward. This is a fine group of missionaries. It was wonderful to be with them and feel of their dedication, energy and enthusiasm in an area where much of their time is spent going door-to-door.

These are our temporary quarters on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake some 18 miles south of Bedford, Virginia. There is a large walk-out basement on the lake side of the home that can't been seen from this elevation. You could get spoiled in a hurry living here. Linda appreciates that she has only the porch steps to climb as there are bedrooms, bath, kitchen and large living areas on the main floor.

This home was made available to us by the owners, the Miller family. It is their summer vacation home. They kindly allowed the Branch President to place us here while we hunt for a furnished home to rent, hopefully closer in to Bedford. Some members live down near the lake, including the Branch President, Paul Martin and his family. He is a building contractor and knows many of the homeowners who have property in this huge Smith Mountain Lake area, located in the southern part of our Mission.