Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer in Vermont

We are loving the summer here.  As you can tell we have been working so much we totally forget to stay in contact with all of our love ones.  We have a singles over 30 group that we teach every Thursday.  We are helping start a singles 18 to 30 group.  We have a big family history day at the church coming up on July 24th.  We are taking a group to the Hill Cumorah Pageant--wish all of you could be here to attend.  We have been teaching a lovely lady who has a camp on the Lake and really enjoyed being there for the 4th of July and watching the fireworks over Lake Champlain.  We teach about 20 lessons a week.  We have never worked this hard in our whole lives.  I've been made to feel very welcome by the St. Paul's United Methodist Church.  I will be conducting a bible study with them soon.  Can't wait!!!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Forever Friends

We know there are some people that we are to meet and this family is one of those.  We will love them forever.  Helping and teaching people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the BEST!

Sugar Shacks

Pumping Sugar from the Trees
Filling the Syrup Jugs
Wood Boiler for Sugaring
Sap Buckets Collecting Sugar

Spring is Early and Sweet!!

 The winter here has been very mild according to the natives.  There has been very little snow, very few sub freezing nights, but lots of wind.  The country here is beautiful, lots of trees, rolling hills, rural dirt one lane roads and lots of lakes, rivers and marshes.  We are now right on Lake Champlain.   The lake is the 6th largest lake on this continent, has 23 islands and goes North up into Canada. There are more people here and the economy is better.  We have all the stores here we need, and what we do not have is in Burlington, VT 26 miles South.  St. Albans is the main area for the Vermont Maple Syrup industry.  Right now they are in the middle of "sugaring"-collecting the sap for the syrup.  We are having warm days and cool nights and I guess that is ideal for the sugar maple sap to run from the trees.  We have been invited to go see the process for ourselves.  We have a friend in the church who is one of the largest syrup producers in Vermont and he has invited us down to his "sugar shack" and see how the process works.  His company taps about 150,000 trees.  Most of the trees are large enough that they require 3 or 4 taps.  They do about 1500 trees the old fashioned way, by hand tapping and collecting the sap in wooden buckets and then go around and collect the buckets  with a horse and sleigh.  We are looking forward to the outing.  

This is large dairy country out here with lots of huge dairy barns.  There are several creameries here to process the milk, and also Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory is about 40 miles south of here.  They also have a small processing plant here is St. Albans.  Most of the large dairies here are milking 300 to 400 cows three times a day, so they are pretty much a 24 hour operation.  Big milk tanker trucks are all over on the roads, whereas in Maine the only large trucks on the road were log trucks.  There was more wildlife in Maine than we have seen in Vermont.  There are wild turkeys, moose, white tail deer, cougars bear and who knows how many other small creatures, not too many horses and tons of cows.  The work of spreading the Gospel is the hardest but the most rewarding work we have ever done.  We are up at 6:30 every morning and usually don't get to bed until after 10 at night.  We drive over 500 miles a week and hope our car holds out until we get back to Idaho.  The country here in Vermont is lots and lots of hills and forests.  Our area takes us up to within a mile of the Canadian border.  We brought our pass ports with us in case we get lost and end up some where we should not be.  

We are looking forward to a temple outing in Canada next month with our new converts!

Monday, January 2, 2012

December/January 2012 Happy New Year

I was going to faithfully post to the Blog every week, then we realized that it would have to be every month.  Now I'm not even doing that.  We are trying to keep up with the young missionaries that are in our district and zones schedule and fast finding that we are not young!!!  Go figure!!!  We are not sure why we are assigned the same mission calling and an area of our own, which needs lots of work, but we keep reading the 1 Nephi 3:7.  The weather is great here.  Right now, there is no snow on the ground and the temperature is 34 degree F.  We put new tires on the car because we drive TONS, but haven't had bad roads.  We do have lots of humidity living next to the 6th largest lake in the United States (Lake Champlain).  We travel to the villages up and down the lake, but have never parked and walked the lake or been on the lake.  We have had deer meat from road kill, still seeing lots of wild turkeys, and get sugar highs daily from the yummy maple syrup.  The people are friendly.  The branch is small and spread out from near the Canada border to miles below.  We have lots of farms and farm land.  I'm sure there are more cows than people.  Most people work on the farms or drive into the Burlington, the city.  See how there is not much to write about.  Pretty boring stuff.  Knock doors, teach, find, convert.  Enjoy the spirit.  Work hard get little sleep, pray and fast!!!  So far no conversions, but lots of seeds planted.  We pray that someday germination will take place.  The Gospel is true and its blessings are for all.  Keep praying for the missionaries.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vermont in the Winter (collecting Maple Sugar)

We have been surprised at how nice the weather has been.  Prayer helps!!!  We needed to travel our area and find all of the villages so that we didn't get lost in the blizzards, if they have a big ones like last year.  We did have one small storm the day we had district meeting, the day before Thanksgiving.  It was beautiful the way it stuck to the trees and make it look like a winter wonderland.  I forgot the camera!  By the time I got back home, the snow was melted.  It was very warm today (50 degrees).  Lots of people to talk to when it is warm.  We are getting use to the smell of cow fertilizer, skunks, and wood burning stoves.

The Joseph Smith visitors center is beautiful-they light it like temple square, have a nativity with live animals and actors.  It was not as beautiful as our new grandson, as you can easily tell, from this picture of him when he was a week old.