The Temple is closed until August 17, so we are out of chances to go after July 19th. We decided we needed to go on Thursday, so today we decided to do something with Victor. We took him to Holy Hill. We thought he had been, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that this would be his first time going there.
We started out that morning, and I really was not looking forward to going back. I did think that maybe this time I could find a Christmas ornament and then I would stop thinking about it (hahaha). The last time I remember thinking that I would come back nearer to Christmas and buy then. However, this time I could look with a jaundiced eye and see that there really was nothing that I wanted to get. They had some beautiful, and I mean beautiful, creches; but they were simply too big.
When we got there, we ate lunch first because we figured that when we finished, the cafeteria would be closed. I got a BLT which was the best I’d had in forever. Just saying!
|First sight of the Basilica|
|Showing the way|
|Heading to the cafe!|
|In the tower|
|Interesting info in the bookstore.|
After the shop, Victor and I walked to the top of the tower. It was less scary (as long as I didn’t look down too much). At one point, I really did feel fear as I looked down, and I got scared at the thought the stairs, which by the way were really skinny and the width of the stairs was for Mayan feet, might come out of the wall and tumble down. After all the stairs were old and had been hanging on those walls for a long, long time.
It was still the beautiful sight that we had found the first time we went. Craig did not go up because he didn’t feel he could take the stairs. When we got down, we toured the chapels (all of these Basilicas have two different chapels, one smaller than the other). Both have the Stations of the Cross around the walls. The smaller one is much less as dramatic as the big one, but it is beautiful. After we left the building, we walked outside and began to follow some signs that would take us along a path that wove through the woods. It was a beautiful walk, and again we followed the Stations of the Cross. At one place, we came upon a cemetery for the Monks who had served at the Basilica. Craig got some beautiful pictures of the stations. The weather was beautiful, and the walk was so nice. The trail took us down to a picnic area which was a back door to another way up to the Basilica.
|Victor and Linda on trail of the Grotto.|
|Sign at the back of the Grotto|
We finished the day with FHE at the Armstrong’s home. We got to talk with them about what happens after this life. She was told by the Sister Missionaries that if she didn’t get baptized in this life, it would be so much harder after this life. Craig was able to tell her the Plan and help both of them understand what this life is about and how our lives help determine the kind of people we will be to be accepted of the Lord. It was a great lesson.
On Thursday, Craig had a doctor's appointment that afternoon. He needed to renew one prescription and get his blood pressure and sugar checked. He is doing well. He as been taking some Vitamin B shots that have really been helping him. They help not only with energy, but with losing weight and is blood sugar.
On Friday, we started working at Festa Italiana with the Milwaukee Genealogy Group. This was the first time we had worked at this festival. We were supposed to be there at ll:00, but somewhere I had made the note that it was 1:00, so of course, we were late. We enjoyed working with this group. We closed down at 5 every day because this was the first time we got into this venue. Those who usually did the “genealogy” related tent had never done anything like the Genealogy Group does. We got set up, and life got started.
This was the hottest day of the summer for us. For the first time, we looked at each other and said, “this is Georgia weather.” We were quite miserable. Then, after about an hour the breeze came through the tent. It was like an air conditioner. After that, the day cooled off, and it was nice Wisconsin weather again. We loved it.
|A soldier actor|
|These guys led the parade and threw the flags around|
|One of the statues in the Cultural Tent - an Apostle supposedly|
|Wish we had had time for a gondala ride|
|Craig should have been in this picture?|
When we went to eat lunch, we stopped at the shopping area. I was hoping to get a Christmas ornament like I did at the Polish Fest. There was nothing there I wanted, but there was a Christmas decoration that was made by layering thin pieces of some kind of wood (all cut in the same shape). They were separated by screws that were about an inch in length. The shape was of a house decorated with Christmas ornaments. There were other pieces that made a little porch and then there were windows with wreaths. Unfortunately, I decided I didn’t need a $300 decoration that I would probably mess up trying to get home.
Saturday, we did not work the festival. We went with the other Senior Missionaries to Monroe, WI. It was so much fun. They showed us how to make cheese. We went to the Historical Society Center, and we got to see one of the oldest cheese factories that had been brought to that area. It was a lot of fun. We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and then we went to the downtown area which was really fun. We went to a “bar” where we ordered root beer. People would be given a special tack that would be wrapped in some of their dollar bills (at least a couple of people used $50 dollar bills and others used large bills). Then, they would throw them at the ceiling. At the end of two years, they would donate the money to town charities. They had just cleaned the ceiling back in September and donates over $2500. What a fun thing to do! (Just to put it in perspective, the ceiling must have been at least 20 feet high.)
|Places for cheese making in WI|
|Read the stats|
|Copper vat used to make cheese|
|Sisters Barley, Lenhard, Smith, Wright, Carter, and Linsley|
|This man was quite a yodeler|
|Some of the signs in Baumgartner's Bar|
|Cheese sits in here for weeks|
|Money on ceiling at Baumgartners Bar - used for charity|
On Sunday, we were able to go to the festival again. We went to Sacrament and then we left to get down there by 11:00 (wasn’t about to be late this day). The weather was really nice, and we enjoyed working. As usual, there were lots of people who came by. We found out that Sicily is the place to visit if you go to Italy. Rome is supposedly really dirty, and it is not the place to visit when there. Sicily is well taken care of and nice to visit. The history of the city is well preserved, and supposed to be a beautiful place to go.
On Monday, we went back to Feed the Kids for the Salvation Army. When we got there, the bread trucks had not arrived, and they could not determine when they would get there. We waited for a little while when they announced that anyone who couldn’t stay could leave. They would work with a skeletal group that day. So almost everyone left. We decided that since we had already set aside this time, we would stay. Five minutes after everyone left, the trucks showed up. It took a little bit of extra time to get the sandwiches made, but we did not.
On Tuesday, we had our District Meeting which would be our last meeting with our District Leader. Elder Crandall was the first District Leader we had when we first got here, and we got to have him at the last of his mission. He had changed. He was still a cool leader, but he had matured. We enjoyed working with him, and someday we hope to see him again.
That night we had to work in the South Stake Genealogy Library with the Senior Missionaries named Carter. They are the office missionaries, and we love them. They have been a bright light for us on our mission. They will be leaving in August. Our Stake Genealogy Director could not be there that night, so both couples kept the library open and worked on our work.
Our scripture for July is D&C 121:45:
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith,
and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong
in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as
the dews from heaven.
Elder and Sister Lenhard