Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tuesday to Tuesday (July 8-July 15)


Tuesday ended with an early night because we are getting old. I already reported on what we did last week.

On Wednesday, things began to hop.  MOST IMPORTANT!  Amy had a birthday. I can’t believe that she is an adult, let alone an old adult.  Hahahaha  Just remember, Jon is older than you. From pictures I’ve seen, she had a great time. We love you oldest daughter.

We went to the gym early that morning. I’m telling you I’ve been hurting in my knees and my shoulders for a while now. I’ve never had this problem, and I feel 20 years older than I am. Consequently, I’ve been taking it easy on the knees and shoulders when I exercise. I hate walking slow like I have no energy.  

We were slated to go downtown and visit with a new member of the Church ((TIM LARSON) who works with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. They take care of people’s millions when there is just too much money to spend, and the people want tax breaks. So if I had 40 million, I could keep 12 to live off of (I think I could almost do that) and give much of the rest to this foundation. I then tell them (if I want to) how to give that money to charities or I could just let them decide how to disperse the funds. This goes on forever.  Anyway, Elder Lenhard needed to talk with this member about what resources are available to help the Saints in this area. This man has a good handle on the resources that are already out there and is going to help find those that the Church could tap into when people come to the Bishops for help. Of course, this would have to be approved by the Stake Presidents, and President Cutler (Mission President) has been using Elder Lenhard to find out information like that to report back to the Stakes. This good brother toured us around the facilities where he works, introduced us to several of his coworkers, and took us to the former Milwaukee Men's Club, now the fancy Milwaukee Club for lunch. It was funny. Girls, haven’t we all read books about those men and their clubs. There is a picture of all the men sitting in a room at dining tables (must be 200 of them) and they are all dressed in old-timey tuxes. Quite dashing if I do say so myself. It was a beautiful place, and it is so obvious it was meant for just men. We had to take some back stairs to a restaurant downstairs where we found the table set with all the proper utensils (ok Beverly, stop laughing. I know you think this is just proper etiquette, but this old farm girl has a hard time with stuff like this!).  Elder Lenhard and Brother Larson talked about what was needed and how to attain it. It would be a great help for the leadership in this area to know there are resources out there already set up that is meant to help the people in this area, but many of us aren’t aware of them.

After lunch, we had to scoot home to pick up some food materials to take to the young girl’s home, named Denise, (the one getting baptized on July 27) to help her feed the missionaries. We got home with a few minutes to spare, I grabbed what I needed and then headed to Sams. We picked up a dessert and some rolls and flew to her house. When we got there, it was 3:20. The missionaries were coming at 4:00. She lazily moved around, and I got her working on the spaghetti sauce. As it turned out, I ended up making the dinner (the poor missionaries) while she enjoyed their company. It was just funny, and I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming earlier. We finally got everyone fed by 5:00 (we had one set of missionaries who were 45 minutes late, and yes, we did wait). Do you know how soggy spaghetti can get as well as broccoli that is ready on time while we wait 45 minutes past the time to eat? Then we have to reheat everything. My less than stellar cooking skills just went down the tube. My dear sweet husband declared it the best spaghetti sauce ever. It was two cans of the nastiest sauce you can use (and that was one of the things I did not buy). We made it though and the chocolate cake was at least yummy.

We did not get home until 8:00. By then, we were exhausted. Good thing the day was over, oh wait! I had to do a load of laundry. I’m getting more confident in leaving the laundry and coming back to the apartment while the machine does its work. Sitting and watching it won’t accomplish anything. There appears to be no concerns about anything happening to it. At least when we got to bed, we had clean clothes for the morrow.

Thursday was a complete madhouse. We started the day by attending a lesson with an investigator that we had met a couple of weeks ago. We encouraged him to get into his genealogy, and he has done well. While there, I could show him the Ancestry site, and we found a couple of censuses to support the information he had received from relatives he had over for the 4th of July. It was exciting, and I hope he will take advantage of the genealogy library which is close to his home.  We also pray that the missionaries will be able to teach him the Gospel.

We had to leave the appointment early to race across town and help a brother who has had a stroke get some groceries. We will be doing this every other week or twice a month. He is such a sweet man, and the stroke has had a devastating effect on him. He is a shell of his usually bubbly personality. I feel so sorry for him. He is working hard (and probably too hard) to get back to his old self, and he hates to be helped. I had to insist on some of the groceries. He is living with friends at the present time, and they appear to be really nice. He is from Senagal and was a Muslim. The friends he is staying with are also from Senagal and are Christians.

From there, we had to get home to grab materials and lunch for a Temple class we were going to present to two young men who are going on missions. One is going to Birmingham, AL and the other to Taiwan. It was fun to do, and after Church on Sunday, we are going to do two more, then two next week when their schedules work, and finally, the last one on the 26th.  When we left this meeting, we came home, grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the Pathway program and the genealogy library. It was crazy!  We are thankful to be kept busy, but this driving all over kingdom come and back every day gets tiring.

Last night I went to sleep in one of the recliners in the living room. I just could not face sleeping in the bed. I’ve been thinking that the bed is one of the reasons I hurt so much. When I woke up this morning, for the first time my knees didn’t hurt, and my shoulders felt better. We have got to find a pillowtop for the bed.

Friday was a free day so to speak. We went to the gym and came home to do some clean up stuff. It was a beautiful day, and we decided to head out to a lighthouse that we have tickets to visit. I called right before and found out they are only open on Saturdays and Sundays. We decided to go to a historic (everything in this area is historic) town called Greendale. On the way, we remembered a botanical garden that we had wanted to visit, and decided to go there instead. Our GPS died on us, just like that, died, dead, gone. Do any of you have any suggestions for another one? We really depended on this one. It is bad to use the phone as it uses data time, and I have to be the navigator which drives Elder Lenhard crazy. He knows I have trouble paying attention to it. He doesn’t want to just listen, he wants to see it, which is a no-no while driving.

The gardens were absolutely beautiful. For those of you familiar with Callaway, you know how they had one building with all the odd flowers that could be found. Then, of course, the whole Callaway experience was one of nature with the azaleas out big time in the summer. But there weren’t very many blooming flowers all over the place. These gardens included a small waterfall, flowers spread out through the woods and landscaped areas. Then there was the rose garden itself. I’ve never seen so many different colored roses in one place. It was gorgeous. There was a wedding taking place later in the afternoon, and I could see that the area of the rose garden was perfect. By the time we got to the rose garden, the clouds had shown up and it was sprinkling. I prayed that the bride and groom would have clear weather for their wedding. We had to get home and get some things done around the house. When we checked out, we got to talk with a woman about genealogy and how we felt about the importance of families. Elder Lenhard did most of the talking. He manages to talk to everyone we meet about the Church in some way. I’m more wait and see if they give me an opening before I really start, but my husband can manage to get any conversation to the Gospel.

The next day (Saturday) we were off early in the morning for a Mexican Fiesta genealogy training. We will be working this festival in August, and the woman who directs it wants us all trained. We both went thinking it would probably be a waste of our time, but we were humbled. We learned so much, not just on the genealogy side, but of the history of Mexico. There were only 8-9 of us there, and we met in the Mexican Cultural Center. It was an old building out in the back of the beyond. They want to get another building that will really give them an opportunity to expand their displays and make it possible for visitors to see what they have to offer. There were some beautiful dresses there that I would have loved to have walked off with, but I realized that I wouldn’t look nearly as good in them as the dummies on which they hung.

We didn’t leave that meeting until almost 1:00PM. It was off to Sam’s Club where we both got our health screening. I love to go to these places and get our blood sugars, BMI, and cholesterol checked. Our sugars were fantastic, our BMIs on the cusp, and while Elder Lenhard has great cholesterol, mine is still high. UGH!  Why can’t mine go down? I will not go on the cholesterol medicine, but I struggle with it. While at Sam’s, I picked up some stuff to feed the missionaries on Tuesday. We also got a pillow top for the bed. I just couldn’t take another night without something to relieve the hardness we have been sleeping on.

We had to get home to prepare lessons for Sunday. The missionaries are teaching the Gospel Principles class, and we had the Temple Prep class to prepare. I took Lesson 2 of the Temple prep lessons and Elder Lenhard the third one. We were on the phone getting in touch with investigators we are working with and encouraging them to come to Church. It looked like we were going to get three there. We called the Quiles family who had gone to the Temple that day, and she was so excited. We will keep in touch with them. The young girl in their family will be baptized at the end of the month, and we hope to be able to go. That is the same time as a baptism in our Branch, so I hope we can make it.

On Sunday, I got up to the best I’ve felt in waking for a while. I could actually get out of the bed without my knees feeling as old as they are. Getting old is not for sissies. Like I said before, I think 25, my body tells me the right age.  I am grateful for the good health we enjoy. We may creak and squeak, but we are able to get up and move around relatively easy. I’m glad we came out on this mission now. I hope we can go more than once, but it helps if you feel good.

We had to get out of the house early because we had to pick up Denise who is going to be baptized later in the month, and then we had to go pick up her baby from the foster home in which he lives. She lost him to the system because of her involvement in drugs, but she is working to get him back. She had to go to Court Monday to report to the Judge and let him see how she is doing.  

After Church, someone else had to take her home because we had to stay and teach our lessons. These young men who are going out, Kohl and Xavier, are really special. Xavier leaves the first of September for the MTC. He will be going to Birmingham. We told him to look up Bear Bryant (can you believe he had never heard of him – and don’t any of you say “Who is that?” You should know.) He comes from a large black family (and I mean large in the sense of his grandparents joined, then their children, and many of their children) who are members of the Church. Back in the 90s, they were active and then they just went inactive. When the grandmother died, several of the grandchildren spoke at the funeral. We didn’t have any idea about their background, but we could tell they were members of the Church. We have had contact with several, and they know they need to come back, but the world has them caught up. Xavier is the first to go on a mission, and they are very encouraging. One young man who spoke at the funeral told him that he made a mistake by not going on a mission when he had the chance. He was ready to do it, and then got scared. There are some really good people in that family, and they are not as close as they used to be. They have expressed the feelings that they want to pull the family together again, and maybe Xavier will be the string that pulls them.

Monday started out early because we had a walking tour scheduled with two of the sister missionaries for downtown Milwaukee. We had to be there by 9:45AM which meant we had to leave by 9:00. The sisters were a little late, and we began to worry that we wouldn’t make it, but we did. We met in the Grand Avenue Mall downtown which was built in the early 1900s. It had been built over a hotel where General Douglas McArthur lived before he became the great general. He called Milwaukee his home, and when it came time to go off to a military academy, he came back to establish his residency (after having lived elsewhere for several years) so he could be nominated for appointment to an academy. In the meantime, the hotel had been torn down, and this building had been erected. It was quite a show place, and we only got to see a bit of it. Liberace played downstairs (this was his home also) in an entertainment area. Unlike most malls, this one had lots of wood and has been well preserved. They are remodeling it to include a theater, and I don’t think it is a movie theater.

A little bitty older woman met up with us (there were 16 gathered for the tour), and she had a tiny voice. I think we all recognized that we wouldn’t be able to hear her very well. While we were in buildings, it was ok; however, outside battling with all the noise from the cars and buses on the street, it was a struggle. The others in the group were fantastic. We introduced ourselves and explained that we were on a mission for the Church.  Some had actually come up to us earlier after having seen our badges from a distance and thought we were the tour guides. While walking, several came up to us to ask us more, and some were actually from this area and had never gone downtown. However, they had a wealth of information they were willing to share when we couldn’t hear the guide.

We walked 10 blocks, stopping on the way to hear the history of the area. We saw some really neat places I’m not sure we’d have seen otherwise. Now, we want to go walk on the riverwalk and visit some of these places in more depth. There is a Pfister Hotel here that someone in the Ward at Layton had told us to visit. It was gorgeous. We didn’t get to see much, but we checked on the room rate, and we were told it is about $200/night. When we left, one of the younger couples in the group told us they were staying there and had bid on Priceline $65 and gotten it. They weren’t staying in the older section of the hotel, but the more modern one. It has a view of the Michigan Lake, and they highly recommended staying there. It depends on what is happening in town if they have rooms to let at a price we can afford.

There is an old Chamber of Commerce building that is huge. It is not used as a Chamber building anymore, but at one time it served as a sort of stock exchange (I think) for those who were involved in the grain business. This was the place to come to bring the grain to the mill and then send it out across the country. At this time, Milwaukee was known as the Breadbasket of the country. However, some kind of bug infested the area and destroyed the grains grown here and then anything that was sent here. It was at this point (in the middle of the 20th century) that the farmers turned to cattle and began the production of milk and milk products (cheese).

The reason I mentioned this place is that you would have to see it to appreciate it. They have a ballroom that is now used for weddings and that sort of thing. It is humongous. The walls are decorated with art you would see in an art gallery. I believe it was the German influence here. There are stained glass windows (as are prevalent in most of these old buildings). Like all the other buildings we have seen, there is a huge bar presence. They were certainly drinkers, and it appears to still have a significant influence here. There is actually only one beer company still here (it used to be the beer capital of the world). I believe someone told us that they are on the brink of having one of the major beer companies move back to Milwaukee. Many of the homes and beautiful buildings were built by the beer barons. We want to go tour the Pabst home eventually. It is crazy big (20,000 sq. ft) and again the architecture is beautiful. Downtown we got a couple of pictures showing the influence of the French style of building. Hope we got a good one to include here.

There are some really rich people in this area who own many of the historic buildings downtown. A lot of renovation has gone on and is continuing to preserve the rich heritage they have. There is another area of downtown that we will have to tour by ourselves I guess (unless we can get a tour on a Saturday which is the only day they have this particular one). It is called the Third Ward. I think it was an area settled by the Irish, but I’m not sure. If we can’t get a tour, we are going by ourselves. It has a wealth of neat looking shops that just beg to be explored.

Today, Tuesday, we have to feed the missionaries. We got a call from Sister Cutler today telling us that the Book of Mormon play was coming to Appleton, WI, in September. They want us to find out what the missionaries have done in an area where the play came through. This is right up Elder Lenhard’s alley. He loves to find out stuff like this.

I have to feed the Elders later today. I had planned on feeding them after the District meeting today, but alas, I did not know that tomorrow is transfers so no District meeting. So now, I had to make a decision on where to feed them. Since we are not located in the City Branch boundaries, only one set of missionaries could come to our apartment (the Hmong missionaries can go anywhere to teach).  We had decided that it is way too expensive to take four missionaries out to eat, so I bought pizzas, had a fruit salad and green salad, and got brownies. I have nowhere to cook them. I’m going to cook them here, wrap them up, and hurry to the City Branch building where I’ll put them into the oven if time permits to warm them up or hopefully, just to keep warm, while the guys set up a table and get other stuff out. I’m anticipating the worse, so no telling what will happen.













  1. Love hearing about all of your adventures...been talking to Anden and Mckay about the three of us visiting at some point. So excited to explore that part of the country. Oh, and to see you both, of course! :)

  2. Reminds me a little of Chicago with all the unique architecture. Very cool.

    Also sound like you guys are busy, busy, busy. Always praying for you!