May 16, 2021
We’ve experienced some firsts this week. We celebrated our first Mother’s Day here and the Elder’s surprised the Sisters by preparing a lovely dinner that day complete with table decorations. They ordered meat pies and fruit pies from a sweet member in Pattonsburg and added salads and ice cream to round out the menu. I had a call from each of our children which was a highlight of my day. They had pooled resources to send gifts that made the day feel a whole lot like Christmas. We now have some fun yard additions that brighten every day.
A message from that day that touched my heart from Mother’s Day was a quote from Elder Glen L. Pace regarding our Heavenly Mother. He said in a BYU devotional, “Sisters, I testify that when you stand in front of your Heavenly Parents in those royal courts on high and look into Her countenance, any question you ever had about the role of women in the kingdom will evaporate into the rich celestial air, because at that moment you will see standing directly in front of you, your divine nature and destiny.”
This week was our first week of cleaning that work centers, Diahman center, and public restrooms. It was a BIG job that brought a lot of appreciation from those who have done it in weeks past. That responsibility kept us closer to home with less time for other things. We used to count anticipated days with our children by the number of “sleeps” between now and then. This week we found ourselves counting the week by the number of “cleans” left. Tonight, we will finish that assignment and are happy to announce it won’t come our way again from another twelve weeks.
Darrel spent Monday and Thursday, Friday mowing this week. Tuesday, he spent planting flowering fruit trees and placing some BIG rocks at Tower hill around the driveway to block off the area recently cleared of under brush and reseeded with grass. Wednesday he was off so he could help me with my flower garden. We planted dozens of annuals among the perennials. We dug out an area about 1/3 the size of the original flowerbed and prepared it for grass that will grow six feet high. I also found a few spots to plant some 4 o’clock seeds I brought from home. If everything grows, it will be gorgeous this summer! Just for fun we enjoyed lunch at the famous Gingerich Dutch Pantry Amish restaurant in Jamesport for the first time that day.
Darrel got his first fish here at AOA. It was longer than his boot, but he felt he didn’t have time to take care of it, so it was a “catch and release.” We took our first trip to Chillicothe for a Saturday afternoon field trip. Although we spent the night before we reported in that city with a population of over 9,000, we saw and remembered little. Chillicothe is noted for the beautiful murals on the buildings, and we found them well-worth the trip. On some buildings, “windows” are actually painted on the brick with likely scenes from the inside visible.
The name Chillicothe is Shawnee for “big town.” Chillicothe is known as “The Home of Sliced Bread. On July 7, 1928, the Chillicothe Baking Company began selling pre-sliced bread at quality grocers in the area, marking the first-time sliced bread was available commercially in the world. They used the Rohwedder Bread Slicer, a machine created by Iowa Inventor, Otto Fredrick Rohwedder.
- The missionaries from the Independence Missouri Mission are brought to AOA the day before they fly home for some instruction time with their mission president and a final testimony meeting at the Diahman Center.
- Several U.S. flags fly at AOA, and the Sister repeat the Pledge of Allegiance together each Monday morning.
- My new scanner arrived and I’m back in the history preservation saddle. It is so nice to be able to work from home or the work center. I’m confident this is what was intended for greatest efficiency.
- There is a “praying cow” at AOA. She kneels as she nibbles around the fence posts making it so the Elders don’t have to mow that area in her pasture.
We have a few exciting “firsts” next week. We are anxious to share a full report in our next post. We love, appreciate, and miss you all! We feel the power of your combined prayers and your support blesses our lives every day. Thank you! Our Love: Elder and Sister Kenison