Thursday, June 18, 2009

We drive down each week to Smith Mountain Lake in Goodview to visit Merle and Marianna Dutton. He just turned 80. She is 89!
On our very first time to knock on their door, they invited us in and made us feel welcome. Merle is a member. Marianna is Italian Catholic, faithfully attending Mass each Sunday. But, they love to have us visit and read with them from the Book of Mormon. They always request a prayer before we depart. We can rarely get away from their home without having been fed or given something to take home.
We have really enjoyed meeting them and becoming acquainted with them.
They both grew up in northern Vermont, but now call Virginia their home. Their house sits right on the north shore of the lake and they get lots of visits from family and friends who want to enjoy the recreational benefits of fishing, boating and swimming.

This is Sister Rosemary Overstreet, a convert to the Church of just one year, standing in the doorway of her teeny tiny home in Thaxton, telling us goodbye after our most recent visit to teach her the Temple Preparation lessons as she prepares to go to the Temple to receive her own endowments.
She is lame in the left arm and wears a brace on her right leg but her spirit is bright and her testimony is strong. She is so excited to be receiving these lessons. She is looking forward with great anticipation for the opportunity to go to the Temple.
Our visits with her are always a spiritual experience.

Gloria and Robert "Doug" Craig of Bedford, standing on their front porch with a very Senior missionary. They were so happy that Linda's sister, Lois Cooley, out in Kingman, Arizona, was able to find Doug's son and put him in touch with his father after no contact for 24 years!

Doug is recovering from a quadruple by-pass and facing other serious health issues. He can't quite believe that a son he hasn't seen since the boy was 4 years of age (Now 28, with three children of his own) is flying out from Arizona to visit him next month.

Gloria tells everyone, "God sent Sister Chapman here to us so we could find Brandon."

President and Sister Thornock join with the missionaries of the Roanoke Zone to sing the Mission theme song, "Almost Heaven, West Virginia," to the dear women of the Relief Society who prepared the food for the mid-day meal.

Elder Soderstrom and Elder Shill, our fine District Leader' are standing next to them. Elder Soderstrom leaves us for another area of assignment on Transfer Day, June 17. We will miss him.