Monday, August 29, 2011

Flying High

Gratefully, the title of today’s blog does not refer to what happened to us during Hurricane Irene. Our hearts are heavy for the states north of us that suffered so much damage. We came through just fine. A lot of wind and rain, but only one tiny downed tree limb and a bunch of ants who decided they liked our front entry better than floating away. We were very fortunate. The hurricane did pack a big wallop in some nearby areas, though. While we didn’t lose our power, over a million others in Northern Virginia did and some of them will not be getting it back until Thursday or Friday this week. There are about 20 schools in the DC area that are still closed.

The biggest inconvenience for us was when we showed up for church at a chapel near George Mason U. on Sunday morning and the parking lot was completely empty! We don’t have a home ward. We are asked to visit Young Single Adult wards and home wards with Institute-aged students in a four stake area. The empty building we visited Sunday morning had no power. It houses the Fairfax and Wakefield Wards. The power came on later in the day, though, so both wards in the building held a combined meeting that we attended.

The Fairfax and Wakefield Wards are in the Annandale Stake. Sunday we met both bishops and were able to spend some time with their stake president - President Bush. One of the other stakes we work with is the Mt. Vernon Stake. Their stake president is President Nixon. President Bush and President Nixon in neighboring stakes in Washington D.C.! Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor???

Now back to the title. We’re flying high for a bunch of reasons:

  • 1. We’re flying high because it’s official: we’re finished -- with the summer semester, that is. We taught our last classes last week and had a great experience getting to know many wonderful Young Singles - so diverse and full of enthusiasm.
  • 2. We’re flying high because now we’ve got a week off... well, not really. This week, we’ll be writing a syllabus and lesson plans for the new classes we start teaching next week after Labor Day. (We’ll tell you more about where they are held next week.)
  • 3. We’re flying high because we are looking forward to teaching the new fall semester curriculum. It’s going to be a great blessing to us, personally, to prepare to teach:

· Receiving Personal Revelation: Conference Messages That Will Change Your Life

· The Power of the Word: Using the Scriptures To Meet Personal Needs

  • 4. We’re flying high because it now seems like home to us here in Centreville, Va. It’s been a month since we arrived and we feel content here. We love our townhouse and we love our assignment. That doesn’t mean that we don’t think about family and friends every day, but it does mean that we feel very comfortable here and can find our way around the DC metro area. (Only got lost twice last week….)
  • 5. We’re flying high because we are in the flight path of Dulles Airport. Ordinarily that’s not such a good thing, but the craziest experience has happened to me (Pat). The sound of all those planes landing and taking off makes me happy! What’s up with that? Well, it’s because I grew up just 1¾ miles north of LAX. I could have walked to the terminals as a child. The sound of majestic aircraft soaring overhead is strangely comforting to me. It gives me a sense of peace. When I hear those planes, my heart carries me back to all kinds of wonderful memories from my childhood. It’s the same thing your sense of smell can trigger when you smell a particular aroma. Isn’t that odd?
  • 6. We’re flying high because we have been told to take off one day a week and explore some of the incredible landmarks around. Our sense of pride in our country’s history is growing stronger. These photos show a couple of places we’ve seen lately. Do you know where they are? (Hint: George Washington had a lot to do with both places.)

If you ‘d like a peek into our mission, click on this link: . PBS was recently given special permission by the Church and local priesthood leaders to film an eight minute segment about Single Adults in the Washington DC area, and specifically the church building in Crystal City that houses three singles wards. This remodeled office building was just dedicated as an LDS meetinghouse in March and has garnered quite a bit of media attention. We teach two of our classes there and often attend church with the young men and women in the video. Even though PBS didn't do a great job of representing the ethnic diversity in the wards, we really like the report. Way to go, PBS!

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