Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving has arrived and we are still here in New York.  We are happy to be here .  Verae is most of the way through her ordeal with the dentist or should I say dentists.  She is very thankful that the drilling and carving on her teeth is over.  She has the temporary bridge and they gave fit her for the permanent bridge which should be ready in maybe 3 weeks, but most likely 4 weeks.  So we may be here for Christmas also. One of the largest holiday festivals in NY is here at Lincoln Square just in front of the temple.  There will be live music and the lighting of a large Christmas tree. Still no word on the visa accept that SOMEDAY it will just show up and they will call us.
We love serving here, the people are wonderful. Besides the temple missionaries some of the senior missionaries in the area work one day a week in the temple.  Many of the workers are young adults without children and give one day a week.  A few are even coordinators.  We have a new Temple Presidency who we love already.  We had a wonderful dinner with the missionaries and the presidency at President Garff's apartment. Everyone brought what they wanted to make.  Everything was delicious and there was more that we could eat.
Click on the picture for the whole album

I took advantage of the fact the the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was just a block away on Central Park West street. So I went at 7:00 AM to the Parade to get a seat.  Many people were there since 5:00 AM.  The parade began at 9:00 AM.  The weather was milder than I thought it might be, but I bundled up anyway and I am glad I did.  The rain held off till the parade was over.  Here is a link to the photo album.  Verae decided to go up to the top of our building on the 37th floor and see what she could see from there.  Because of the other taller buildings all around, she could just see what passed between the building at the end of the street which wasn't much.  We then watched the last part on TV.  The picture at the left was taken after I raised my camera as high over my head to take the picture.  This is what it looked like if I didn't raise the camera.  It really was neat to see all the balloons though.

The week before we went to the New York Natural History Museum and walked and walked till our feet fell off.  We saw the Journey To The Stars show in the large planetarium sphere.  This was really spectacular.  This made it worth the walking and sore feet.  See the photo album here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Statue of Liberty Trip

Click on Picture for FULL Web Album
   For our P Day on November 8th we went with another missionary couple from South Carolina to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  I have been procrastinating this trip because I don't like finding out how to get to new places here in NY. and I had other things I wanted to see, like ground zero.  We went to Ground Zero last week so my excuse was gone.  The day Verae wanted to go was a beautiful day, but I didn't want to go very bad.  Our friends tried to go but the lines were just too long.  So I felt vindicated for my reticence to go.  However we mad plans to go on the 8th of November at 9:00 AM and so we bought our tickets online to avoid some of the lines and make sure we got tickets.  It was a horribly cold and windy day, too windy to use umbrellas.  We walked or stood in line for an hour anyway, but were finally able to board the ferry to Liberty Island after the security search like at the airports. Then when we were on the island we had another security search.  So much for the freedom we take for granted.  I didn't mind the screening because I know it keeps us safer.  I still thought it was ironic that to a degree we don't have the freedom to travel like we used to.
   I did enjoy the visit even though it was super cold and it even hailed a little.  There is a museum in the pedestal that supports the actual statue.  I learned a lot about the history of the statue which can be viewed at this link:  History of the Statue of Liberty.  It stirred in me deep patriotic emotion about the goodness of America and the symbol of freedom for which she stands along with our flag.
Click on Picture to see the FULL web album
   Next it was off to Ellis Island on the ferry which is very close to Liberty Island.  You can find the History of Ellis Island here.  I felt more emotion as I toured the great hall and visited the rooms that my father and grandmother passed through in 1918 we they arrived in America from Norway. Again it was fascinating I didn't want to leave after only 2 hours there.  We had to get back home to a group Family Home Evening with our new Temple Presidency.
   Sunday the 14th we went to two evening meetings.  One was a devotional for temple workers and friends and family. This was very inspirational. The other was a singles fireside which we crashed.  The speakers at the fireside were Elder and Sister Yost.  Elder Yost is a retired 4 star admiral and past commandant of the Coast Guard.  Their assignment now is in the New York Public and International Affairs office, assigned to represent the church in the United Nations.  They have hosted many affairs for the ambassadors of the various countries.  They learn more about our church.  To learn more about Admiral Yost and his career click here.  Needless to say it was an inspiring fireside for all who were there.
I have been working in their office helping with the computers.
   Verae has her temporary bridge now and we will go to the dentist again on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  We will really miss not being home for the holidays.