Thursday, April 22, 2010

The rain clounds rolled in and brought a light shower early Wednesday morning . The hardwoods are in full leaf now and everything is so green and fresh. It is very enjoyable to get out in the evening as the sun goes down and walk our little country road together.
This picture was taken from our back deck looking to the north across the forest of hardwood trees that surround us on this Hopes Way address.

When we finished cleaning the chapel area I got young Sister Bass (on the left) and Samantha Scott (on the right) to stop long enough for me to take this picture, showing our the interior of the chapel.

When July approaches and we are released and return to Arizona, we will dearly miss meeting with these Bedford Saints in this beautiful little chapel.

Saturday, April 17, the young missionaries, Elder's Cowley (polishing the door) and Whitby (giving a thumb's up!) and Elder Chapman (the picture taker) assisted other members of the branch in a Spring cleaning of the Bedford Branch meeting house. We had an enjoyable time working together on this lovely building and surrounding grounds.

Monday, April 19, at her request we took sister Evelyn Deel, our Bedford Branch Relief Society President, down for a visit to Goodview and the other areas that border Smith Mountain Lake on the southern end of our branch boundary. She wanted to see where a new member of the Relief Society, Kathryn Laprade, lived.
It gave us the opportunity to show her the location of several other member homes in the area which are far distant from where Sister Deel lives up in Blue Ridge (some 30+ miles away).
This beautiful horse farm is located in Moneta, near Smith Mountain Lake on the road we take to get to our former Branch President Paul Martin, Erica and family. In her nearly 4 years of faithful service as Relief Society President, Sister Deel had never been to the Martin's new home. The distances that must be traveled in order to visit each member require much of time and expense. This is very different from the conditions we deal with in our compact wards and stakes in central Arizona. We so appreciate and admire members like Sister Deel who give so much of their time and resources in fulfillment of their sacred callings in this Bedford Branch and in the Roanoke Virginia Stake of the church.

This is the scene that greets us during this springtime season as we arrive for a medical appointment in the older part of Roanoke. Beautiful old neigborhoods and beautiful trees and gardens.
This is just off Franklin Street near the US 24 and I-581 interchange, not far from downtown Roanoke, but far enough to be a world apart from the modern hub-bub of city life.

Monday, April 12, 2010

According to Sister Neal, this is the Pink Dogwood blossom. The more prevelant white dogwood is Virginia's State tree. This was taken as we exited the Washington DC Temple on Saturday afternoon and were preparing to return to Bedford. It was a beautiful day!
This is brother and sister Neal, members of the Bedford Branch who accompanied a group of our young people and a number of adults from the Branch and from the Roanoke Virginia Stake to perform baptisms at the Washington DC Temple this past Saturday, April 10. The day began before 6 a.m, with everyone gathering at the parking lot at the Bedford chapel and then sharing rides together up to the Temple. It is about a 4-hr trip.

It was a very special day and a great privilege to be in the House of the Lord, participating in saving ordinances on behalf of our ancesters and other deceased persons who did not have the opportunity of receiving these essential ordinances, like baptism, while in this life.

It was really a lot of fun getting better acquainted with brother and sister Neal. We had a very good time visiting as we drove together .
Already, it is time to get back on the riding lawn mower and cut the grass on this expansive porperty where we live, here on Hopes Way in Bedford, Virginia.

The white blossoms in the forground adorn an apple tree in the backyard of the Hodge home where we reside. Cedar trees line the property on both the north and south borders of the yard.

Beyond the trees and the open land is the faint outline of the Blue Ridge Mountains that give such a beautiful setting to the community of Bedford and the surrounding rural area.
These lovely flower beds are part of a public garden that ajoins the Bedford Virginia Public Library. We come and go from this location on almost a daily basis, so it is interesting to see the changes that occur with the seasons of the year!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A storm was gathering as we drove through this beautiful residential development on the east side of Roanoke. These are Japanese Pear trees lining this one particular property, all abloom. We are not sure of the name of the tree to the left with its pink blossoms.
Monday, April 5, we took a drive through a beautiful neighborhood that we see each time we drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway enroute to our District Meeting in Vinton, Virginia. We see all these beautiful homes from a distance, but have no access to them from the parkway. So, we finally took the by-road off US 460 outside Roanoke and drove through this lovely residential area that has so intrigued us in the distance . This is just one of the many splendidly landscaped homes in this development.
Another of the many trees that are flowering now before they leaf out!
Spring flowers are all blooming now, everywhere we look! These are here at the Bedford Library grounds.
The big guy is Elder Whitby of
eastern Washington State. He came
out with Elder Liddiard last
November and had been serving with
Elder Wright up near Charleston, West
Virginia until this most recent transfer.
He will be serving with Elder Cowley,
here in Bedford. He is a fine missinary! His family has a farm with beef cattle, alfalfa, chickens, cows and cheery and apple trees. He like Bedford because it has more of a rural atmosphere than where he had been serving in West VA.
This picture was taken when we came to transport Elder Whitby and Elder Cowley back to Bedford from the Transfer site at the Roanoke Stake Center in Salem. They are, left to right: Elder's Cowley, Whitby, Erickson and Hansen (Zone Leaders).