Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February 16, 2009, Monday, Finding members along the Blue Ridge

On our travels from Big Island where we had three member families we tried to contact, we drove along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping here at Abbot Lake at the foot of one of the famous Peaks of Otter. There is a resort hotel on the shores of this lake with a very fine restaurant, open year round. We stopped and had a nice meal before driving on to visit members living in Montvale on the other side of this mountain.

This is Goose Creek Valley, nestled beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains west of Bedford. A number of our member families are scattered about through this area. We had to open some gates, cross some cattle guards, drive through some cow pastures being careful not to stampede the cattle, drive over some steep, narrow and very rocky roads to get to some of the homes on our list. Often, no one was home and we were glad we at least had a flyer with our names and information on it to leave at the door.

We woke up yesterday, President's Day, Feb 16, to a new, light blanket of snow that fell quietly during the night. But today, we were determined to begin our travels about the Bedford Branch, to meet and get acquainted with those whose names appear on the church records but who we don't see attending any church meetings or activities. We prepared a flyer with information on upcoming events, i.e., Stake Conference, a YW fund raiser dinner, and the dates and times of April General Conference. We included our name and phone number as well as those of the full-time elders and the Branch President. By noon the snow had mostly melted away. The roads were nice and clear. We started with those who live furthest away, up in Big Island to the north and then we crossed the Blue Ridge Parkway and dropped down into Montvale on the west end of the Branch area. It was great to be out knocking on some doors and meeting some of our members.

Yesterday, was President's Day, when we remember these great men who established and preserved our American way of life. We love these two men, especially, Washington and Lincoln, for the integrity of their souls and their faithfulness to the cause of liberty in the time of greatest crisis in our nation's history. They stood resolute. They saw more clearly than other men the things most dear, most needful as conflict swirled about them. I hope we always take time to think of them and to speak of them to succeeding generations.
Early morning walks provide food for the soul. The day is fresh and new and we realize that regardless of any problems or set-backs of previous hours, this new day holds such promise!

Seeing the light of the morning sun touch the landscape and the sky, enfusing it with marvelous color; it deserves attention. It reminds us of the great privilage it is to live in this beautiful world and experience the wonders of nature around us each day.

It is about 7 a.m. in this picture, looking off toward the Blue Ridge Mountains from the hill just to the north and west of our residence on Hopes Way in Bedford