Greetings Family and Friends,
Well, after a six week hiatus the polar bears are back in Wyoming. We had a wonderful time at home visiting with our children and grandchildren and many friends. We had a few uncomfortable moments at home, like the night I drove myself to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack, (Sister Leavitt was out doing the town with friends). It's bad enough thinking you're having a heart attack, but then to have the doctor chew you out for not calling 911 is too much !. As it turned out after a battery of tests and a night in the hospital, it turned out to be an esophageal spasm or what doctors refer to as a imitation heart attack. The good news is that my heart is in perfect condition and all I have to do is take is a pill for an irritated stomach. Sister Leavitt also had a little concern over a questionable mammogram, but it was okay also. It did hold us up another week waiting for the test results. Knowing she is okay is worth any wait.
We expected to come back to Wyoming in snowy, sub-zero conditions but no such luck. The roads were clear and the temperature was in the 60's. But, that didn't last for long, today we woke up to 10 degrees with frost on the ground. Fortunately, with a little help from our friends we had the right clothing and so we're all warm and fuzzy. Another amazing sight is that there are deer everywhere! They are all around us in herds. I remember when I used to go deer hunting I used to hike all over the mountains looking for a decent buck, while here all you have to do is walk out the door and several nice four point bucks are standing there looking at you. For some reason they are aware that missionaries won't shoot at them. A few year ago the sight of these beauties would have made my trigger finger itch like crazy, but now I just enjoy photographing them. The young ones even like to come up and pose for a photo shoot. Its mating season so the other day I watched two big bucks duke it out. I don't know what the big deal is, there seems to be plenty of females to go around.
We have picked up right where we left off, Sister Leavitt working in the office and I'm out fixing roads and trails. I'm trying to get as many trails as possible groomed before the ground freezes solid.
Today (Sunday) we had a Stake High Counselor and his wife speak in church. He is an attorney and she is a housewife with 3 children. They both gave great talks, hers on obedience and his on honoring the priesthood. Their young son (about 8)also played a musical number on the violin. ( I am a child of God ) accompanied by his mother on the piano, it was a tear jerker. I was also assigned to teach Priesthood and Sister Leavitt was assigned to teach Relief Society. Because there are so few of us teaching and speaking opportunities come along quite regularly.
After church we continued our weight gaining program with our great pot-luck dinner. After dinner Sister Leavitt and I had the opportunity to give a great little family from Provo a tour of the visitors center. The were returning home from Casper where they attended the unexpected baptism of his 74 year old father whom they weren't aware was even investigating the Church. He just phoned out of the blue and invited them to come to his baptism. The father of this little family is a convert also and is now the head tennis coach at BYU. I have rarely seen such well mannered children. After the tour they each came up unprompted and shook our hands and thanked us. The youngest one even gave me an (unsolicited) big hug. This job is great!
But we do miss all our Martin's Cove friends and neighbors from last summer, many of whom (thankfully) will be coming back next year, it will be great to see them when they return. We also miss our family and friends we left behind, which is the hardest part of serving. Especially our beautiful little grandchildren. Well, its time to hit the recliner for a Sunday evening nap so I'll turn the rest of the email over to Sister Leavitt.
Love, Elder Leavitt
Hi everyone -- As Elder Leavitt said, it doesn't take much time to get back into the swing of things. The hardest thing for me has been all the moving. It seems like the item I need the most at a particular time is still at home or in the motor home. And, I'm sure I'll end up finding that a lot of the stuff I have brought, I could've left at home. The other day I went to use my mix master and couldn't find the blades -- I couldn't believe that I would have packed my mix master and forgot the blades. I was talking about it at lunch and one of the other ladies said, "I might have them as I found an extra pair at my apartment when I was unpacking". She and her husband had stayed in our apartment while we were at home so she mistakenly picked mine up. Then, she said, have you seen my rolling pin? And my response was that I was wondering where that came from as I never use a rolling pin! So that little conversation pretty much sums up my discombobulated life right now.
I have been very busy in the office booking treks -- no rest for me. With so few of us here, we are teaching or giving talks almost every Sunday. Another interesting thing is that everyone takes turns leading the music -- even those who know little about music.
We loved our time at home -- we had so much fun seeing everyone and I think we did get to see or visit everyone we hoped to see -- even our dear friend , Ernie, who happened to fly in from NYC just a day or so before we left. We also enjoyed a short trip to Ohio where we visited with our buddies, Ross and Susan Johnson, who are serving a Mission in Cleveland and just loving it. The fall colors were absolutely gorgeous. We also enjoyed a couple of trips to Amish Country. We were able to golf several times as well. We were delighted that our youngest son, Kelley, was able to drive up from North Carolina and spend a few days with us. I had several get-togethers with friends and my sisters that were just great -- unfortunately one of them was when Charlie was in the Emergency Room. My cell didn't work that night so I had no idea what was going on until the next day. Anyway, thanks to all you, including our kids, who fixed wonderful meals for us and showed us such a good time while we were at home.
It was hard to leave again but we always felt that we still had one foot in Wyoming so we were also looking forward to getting back. As Charlie said, the weather hasn't been bad since we've been here but while we were gone they had 5 snow storms. We feel prepared as we have all the warm clothes,etc. that we need.
That's all for now -- we love and miss you all and hope that some of you can come visit us.
3 days ago