Monday, August 3, 2009

This is a picture sent to us by Sharon and Allen LaRue when they were serving as Missionaries in the New York Rochester Mission. [I apologize for not knowing whether the two standing with them were new converts or investigators].

After returning home to Utah from their service as Missionaries back in 2008, Allen was diagnosed with cancer. He made a valiant fight but the dread disease finally took his life this past week. His funeral services will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4, at his home ward in Pleasant Grove.

Sharon and Allen are dear friends, over many years, since Sharon and Linda were in school together in Mesa. She and Allen were married in the Mesa, Arizona Temple on July 7, 1962, the day after I returned home from my Mission. Linda and I were able to be present at their wedding.

This was such a fine man; such a good friend and fellow member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is much beloved by his wife, children, grandchildren and many, many friends. We shall surely miss him, and wish Sharon and the family the very best in the days ahead.

We are deeply grateful that our daughter Melissa and her husband Russell LeSueur will be attending the funeral. Sandy LeSueur of Mesa is Sharon's sister. Also, making plans to represent us at the funeral is our oldest son Jeffery, of Rexburg, Idaho. We are so appreciative of this gesture of love and support.

This is what it looks like operating the riding lawn mower and taking care of the yard each week during the summer. This view is toward the west, along the edge of the cedar trees the line the north side of the property.

The Blue Ridge Mountains (Peaks of Otter) can be seen in the far distance.

A tractor and hay baler sits, parked in the field on the north side of the Hodge property where we live. They have cut these open fields and bailed the cuttings once, so for this Summer. It looks like they should cut it once again before the Fall weather sets in.

I enjoy being out-of-doors and working in the yard. It is a nice change from the other duties of each week, providing some physical activity for the body and relaxation for the mind at the same time. The riding lawn mower permits relaxation. The pushing mower that I use to do the trimming around all the trees and shrubs provides the physical exercise. It takes me a good two hours to do the trimming with the push mower. I consider it a good work-out for an older guy.

Almost weekly, we pick up Elder Wright and Elder Hart (bending over the trunk of the car) at their apartment down on Greenwood in the middle of Bedford and take them with us in our car to District Meeting with the other missionaries of the Vinton District. The meetings are usually scheduled on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Vinton Ward chapel. It is a distance of some 20+ miles and usually we can make it with time to spare in 45 minutes.

Today, Monday, August 3, we had District Meeting because the Zone Leaders were meeting with us to give instruction from President Thornock.

We enjoy our association with Elder Wright and Elder Hart. They are full of positive energy and exhibit such happiness in the work it is a pleasure to be around them. Today, on our way to District Meeting we learned from Elder Hart that his aunt (last name, Pew) lived next door to my younger brother Lance's in-laws, the Giviten's (now deceased) in Mapleton, Utah for many years. He said he remembered the news reports that were broadcast, telling of the death by natural causes, of Brother and Sister Giviten on the very same day. It turns out he has family in Santiquin and friends in Genola, Utah where my brother Lance and his wife Becky (Giviten) and family reside. When he looked in the mailbox today, one of the letters was from a friend in Genola. Before you know it we'll find that we are related in some way.